Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Nativity Quilt Pattern

For the last three years, I get a rush of orders for the quilt pattern that I sell on my Etsy page. This happens on Christmas day and the day after. This year I decided to be prepared. Last January I ordered copies, collated and folded them and put everything needed for orders (except the labels and postage) in envelopes. I spent most of today copying order information to labels and plan to mail them tomorrow. Some were digital orders as the pattern is available that way or hard copy. 

I'm not sure why this happens. Are people given the pattern as a Christmas gift? Maybe. Two of them are from Australia, two from Canada, the rest from USA. I'm thankful for the success of this pattern and for those who have finished it and sent me photos of their work! 

Blessings to all.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

King-Size Reveal --- Finally!

Scott's quilt is finally totally finished. This afternoon, we hung it from an open beam in our church using a temporary basted sleeve and heavy clips. The light from the windows is natural, but cloudy rather than bright sunshine. 

Soon this one is going in a box and under a tree. (If anyone reading this knows my son, don't tell him. He knows I've made it but has not seen it yet - and refused to look at photos.)

I'm glad this monster is finished. I could not work on it when getting a pacemaker as pectoral muscles are needed to handle something this big. Sometimes I was just so sick of working on it that I did something easier. 

It looks better in life, I think. Those who helped loved it and I am humbled by their praise because the Lord deserves it more. It was not easy to do and more answered prayer was involved with this one than anything else I've ever done. 

Two people said it was too nice to put on a bed. What he thinks remains to be discovered. Oh, it is 106" wide x 94" tall and took nearly 300 hours. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

More red slab quilts and one finish!

From a small box of red scraps I made this quilt which looks far better than the photo. My hubby claimed it as soon as he saw it. Now am working on this one (below) and will make another one also, all from that box of red scraps. The three of them are lap size or larger (or will be) for big laps!

The blue sashing is not my choice. A friend convinced me to try it. I've never been a fan of red/blue together, but it does have a certain appeal. Besides, it is from the stash and I am not buying more fabric! The left two verticals are sewn, with the third ready to attach and the fourth just hanging there looking messy. I am thinking of a 5" piano key boarder with leftover reds (they multiply in the dark when no one is looking). There is enough of them, plus a bit of blue to accent or put in the corners.

The third quilt has a brown/red print ready to cut up for sashing. 

Making these slab quilts is easy and fun. I'll quilt them with a panto and they will likely go to QoV Canada.

Scott's king size quilt is done, but no photo yet. We are taking it to our church where we can hang it from a beam and get back far enough to take a picture. It will be quite a production needing two ladders, at least two men, lots of clamps and patience on my part!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Heart News

Yesterday was the day. The appointment was in the morning but due to a problem with the person ahead of me, I didn't make it to the table until after 4:00 pm. However, I came out of that room part human and part computer! My pacemaker is hooked up and is now responsible for my pulse. Since it was so low/high/all over the place, the rate is set at 90, to be reduced once a month as my body adjusts. It was a looooooooong day, but the staff at the heart clinic in our city is so accommodating that it was not stressful. Only that I couldn't eat or drink all day! 

The patient next to me came back just before I went out. He kept saying, "I feel so normal." I knew exactly what made him so excited. My heart has not been 'normal' for a long time. I'm thankful for the excellent medical attention, my hubby who stayed with me all day, and to the Lord for getting me in when two times it looked as if I was not going to get this done until January. I had been feeling so crappy (good word) and now am happy to report that I feel so normal! Tired but normal. Wow. Praise the Lord!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Gallery Two is up!

Finally, I am starting to feel good and have some energy. Working on a quilt for a friend, a baby quilt, and maybe have the strength to fix the places where Scott's quilt needs some TLC before he gets it (and you get a photo). Note the link to Gallery Two on the right. It shows quilts 51-100.

Here is a sample, made from a kit by Cynthia England, but that does not mean it was easy! Some of the pieces are smaller than my little fingernail, about 1/4" yet the quilt is a decent size. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Top done, two more planned

Since last post, this top is ready to sandwich. My quilt wall and camera fight over blue for some reason, so the top picture gives a better idea of colors. This one is a lap size for a lovely friend who is small. 

The sunlight is bright today, so the blocks on the top right show the color the best.

I made a bunch of 12.5" slabs from my bin of red scraps a few months ago. Twelve of them became my hubby's quilt, which he claimed as soon as he saw the blocks with the background. (Btw, this photo does not do it justice.)

The other slabs sat. I didn't want to buy more fabric so tried a few larger pieces for the sashing without being too happy with them. Yesterday, a friend was here and made suggestions I would not have thought to try. One is using brown for most of the slabs that have a touch of it, and the other is using a bright blue because many of the slabs have a dash of blue. I have twelve with blue in them and sixteen with brown - and one leftover. It amazes me that all this came from a plastic bin that is about 9" x 12" x 14" full of red bits and pieces, and it was not packed full. 

Now the red bin is almost full again and there are eleven more in other colors. Sigh - will I live long enough!!

Incision is healing. Still cannot lay on my left side or do anything that requires lots of energy, but that should change after the next procedure!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Healing and a tiny bit of progress

I'm amazed how much pectoral muscles are used in a zillion ways — realized only when it hurts to use them. However, I've healed enough to sew a bit, stir the stew, work my hair dryer (good thing my hair is short), and put on a pullover. Driving is allowed, but it isn't that much fun, so I've become a hermit. People do call and drop by though, so I'm not twitching or doing anything too weird. Hubby is amazing and even though he is working most days, he is getting better at noticing when I need a hand, like pulling the quilt up to my chin after crawling into bed (need a stool). A friend tells me she had exactly the same problem and procedure eleven years ago and has had more energy in eleven years than she imagined. That sounds promising!

Here are a dozen blocks now ready for sashing. They will finish at 12" and the sashing at 2" — which will be blue. Note that half of these were in the light, half in the shade. The blue square near the middle looks like two different fabrics, but are the same. The sashing is about like that blue. The quilt will be about 44" x 58" which is a nice size for a small woman friend of mine who gets chilly watching TV at night. She loves blue and her living room is cream with touches of blue and yellow. She doesn't know this is coming, so I'm excited to get it finished for her.

We are having Indian Summer with lots of sunny days, cool nights, and happy people. For a few weeks, it seemed we would not have fall at all. Looking forward to more pumpkin stuff and lots of naps. (I slept all day Saturday. Shhh, don't tell anyone.)

Saturday, October 6, 2018


This quilt is finished and will be given away tomorrow. The binding was easy to put on compared to doing one in a batik! 

Don't know why the blues look so washed out and blurry, as this quilt has some nice color to it. Maybe it needs a second attempt in outdoor lighting.

I called it "Blue is not for feeling blue, Blue is for looking up" and already gave the recipient this wonderful quote from Jamie Anderson:

I had a pacemaker put in on September 27 and am often letting pain win over thanksgiving by feeling sorry for myself. However, this is Canada Thanksgiving weekend... and I need to be looking up! The Lord is good and loves me even if I whine, my family is sympathetic and helpful, and the sun is shining.

Still, I cannot quilt for a few weeks nor do much of anything else. Idle is not easy for me!

Making a long thankful list! May your weekend be joyful!

Saturday, September 22, 2018


The binding is on Scott's king-size quilt. Another lap quilt is being bound. I'm not certain about getting anything done for a few days though because September 27 is pacemaker day. 

I've felt rather slow, not too ambitious for the last couple of months and am taking it easy. The pacemaker offers hope for change, but it will not be hooked up for a few weeks after being put in. The reason is that the offending electrical impulses in my heart are in the two upper chambers meaning that they must be zapped to put them out of commission so the lower chambers and the pacemaker can take over. This zapping (ablation) cannot be done until the pacemaker is in and healed, likely in the first part of November. Both procedures are done without anesthetic, just local freezing. 

I've a few tops ready to quilt and can run my longarm using a panto without too much stress. And sewing on binding is a lovely way to pass the time! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Progress and another new project

I'm binding Scott's king-size, still trying to figure out what to call it and make a label. 

 In the meantime, I started this one. It is from a pattern by Sarah Ruiz called "Pathfinder." Her version is in solids, very modern layout. I decided to use up blue prints in mostly lights/darks. This is a night photo without a flash - not good for getting true color!

The size was larger than I wanted so dropped a few blocks and changed the layout. It is on my design wall, not yet certain about the layout so it is not stitched. I'm thinking it needs a gentle border too, perhaps 2" or so, but will have to scrounge to find the fabric. These blocks used up almost all of it.

One other thing: I decided to put all the quilts I've ever made unto other pages so have made a start. Click "Gallery" to see the first few dozen. It is fun to revisit them.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Quilting is finished

Finally, thirty-plus hours of quilting is finished. My house is not big enough to get a full-view photo, so here are bits and pieces. As easily seen, it needs to be squared up and trimmed, and the binding put on. Also, it is still wrinkled from being wrapped around the back roller for so long. However, I feel 10lbs lighter!

Also, I'm putting all my quilts (that I have photos for) in the Gallery, link on the right, EXCEPT those that are for sale. This will take a few weeks. It's interesting to see the progression.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Three left...

Three leaves left, that is, on the king-size. It seems like a couple hours or less but I'm so tired these days and have other things on the go. 

Wanting a change of pace that is simple, I'm making "Pathfinder" - a pattern by Sarah Ruiz only in blue floral prints, lights and darks. It is turning out nicely. More pictures next time. I need a nap. 😊

Also am putting 'everything' not sold or given away on a gallery page. Link is on the right. It will take awhile - 22 so far but I've made more than 200.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Quilting - the end is in sight!

I've been working on this king-size so long that I cannot say whether I like it or not. However, as the end is in sight, it is turning out better than I expected. Here is the large leaf on the left side. It was NOT flat and yet the quilting made it lay down and be flat. Truly, quilting makes the quilt.

I've done more than half the sand. It has the watery edge, then some grasses, then in the foreground some shells. For some reason, this part needed more quilting to get it to lay flat, but it is behaving nicely. 

I'm no expert and this one proved it, but it is nearly finished. The foliage at the bottom remains, and it will be fun. Then the binding, all 400 inches (about) of it.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Rejoicing because our God answers prayer

Many quilters and others prayed concerning those fires in Colorado and particularly in regard to the home of Ricky Tims because he is such a well-known person in the quilting world. 

I prayed (and likely others did too) that God would do whatever most glorified Him. He did and surprised us all. 

Ricky told his supporters to spread the news so I am using the two pictures on his Facebook page that made me weep. The first is "Before" with his house in the lower center. The next is "After" and as you can see, the whole area was incinerated — except Ricky's house!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Fires in Colorado

I've not met Ricky Tims but have used his ideas and am a member of "The Quilt Show" that is usually taped in La Veta Colorado. Most know about the fires that have swept through that part of the world. Sadly, Ricky's home is in the path of that fire. It is likely burned. If anyone wants the latest news, this link will take you to his blog.  His partner has taken computers, quilts, and their dogs to safety. 

This is my "rhapsody" quilt inspired by Ricky's instructions.

Another well-known quilter's home could also be in danger. Judith Baker Montano lives in La Veta. Her sister lives in my city and I know her fairly well, enough to feel emotions of this family.

Fire is one of the most devastating tragedies. Others have lost homes - because a man (already in police custody) decided to light this one.

I know this blog is about quilting, but these quilters are part of our world and our love of making quilts.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Decision Made & Slow Progress

The last comment reinforced my holes. Just line them up using a half-size block to finish the ends. Here is part of it on my 4 x 8 design wall. The rest is laid out on the craft table and only some of the half-blocks are done. They are 6 x 6 because the larger blocks are actually 6 x 10, not 5 x 10 so the setting will be uneven... which makes it more interesting anyway.

This is what Scott's king-size looks like now. I have to finish quilting the sand, all the foliage on either side of the sand and water, and this stretch of foliage along the bottom. I'm working one hour a day, which is about all I can handle. My meds and heart condition makes naps a must and there is eating and so on... Sigh.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Need a recipe for Chili Pot

Oh don't you love it when the doing goes beyond planning and then turn around and bites you? I've made a bunch of these blocks (randomly placed) 

and then decided I like them better in the next layout (also randomly placed).

The problem is I'd like to fill those 2 inch holes with something dark, but have no idea how to sew it together without a whole mess of partial seams. If I started out with making a pattern with wide and narrow rows, it would have worked, but that would remove the ability to do much rearranging.

Sigh. Does anyone have a recipe to make this change? Or maybe the first design looks better anyway? All comments and opinions appreciated.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Mid-month Progress

I don't set time goals for quilts because this is supposed to be relaxing, right? But this quilt has not been (no, I'm not going to whine). Now I'm quilting it. Here is a small section partly done. Actually, this part was fun. The leaves are dark enough that my jiggles and jerks are not too visible.

This is a relaxing break from the beach scene. The pieces are all 2.5 x 6.5 making blocks that will finish at 6" x 10" - I'm making about 81 or more of them, and likely a border. Good stash buster that will require more thinking/planning when the blocks are all finished and need a better arrangement.  At the moment, sewing them is like a coffee break (I don't drink coffee) when free motion becomes tiring.  I will use a panto on this hot chili pot!


Thursday, May 31, 2018

On the long arm and about 1/10th done...

Scott's king-size is on the long arm, but instead of showing a picture of it partly quilted (will later), here is a picture of the backing. Before pinning and rolling up some of the front, it was draped over the machine and looked like a 4-person tent! This particular backing is 120" wide.

I let the photo stick out to emphasize how I feel about working on this monster. I've never procrastinated so much in my life over anything else.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

A quick finish: Over the Waves

This is my 'cure' or therapy for keeping on when a project takes so much energy... make another project using a panel. This one is simple and cute. I used a panto on it for practice. The only 'extra' is the yellow piping with the red binding. I used the method explained by Susan Cleveland and her excellent tool to help make it. 

Our city has a group known as "Basically Babies" who collect a year's worth of items for layettes to give to needy families. Quilts are welcome, so this one is designated for them.

I have several other quilts ready to go on the longarm, so back at it...

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Checking in

I've been frustrated with too many things in my sewing room. It is large and envious, but like a blank wall cries out for graffiti -- or empty drawers demand to be filled... you know how it goes. So this week after a harsh look, I moved some furniture. My hubby has been coming in to 'visit' and watch TV but my big lazy chair was not in the right place. So now it is. I put an awkward cupboard beside its twin and moved the TV at an angle so that chair affords a perfect view of the hockey games.

And a desk (for drawing, etc. and guest quilters) is now under the window where it should have been in the first place. One ironing board is beside it so that works. Also, I've been folding fabric for days now. It was a jumble because I'm too busy to put it away properly. Besides, I knew if I did, I would be inspired and frustrated because life will be too short to use all those pretty fat quarters, yardages, and the stuff in the overflowing scrap bins. But now it looks like I intend to!

I made this large runner (18" x 72") for a charity silent auction. It is from the 2nd book "Skinny Quilts and Table Runners." All scraps. Those things are like rabbits and multiply in the dark when no one is looking! The hexagone one below it is also from scraps and for the same auction, but the 'picker' didn't pick it. I'm not into pink/purple, but it will find a home.

Also, I finished another one (which will likely be a Quilt of Valour) that is 56" x 73." It is hanging with a backing, batting, and binding. It is golds, oranges, browns and went together fast. No photo yet. There is a baby quilt on the machine, so the four others ready to quilt will have to wait awhile.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Ready for quilting

It is nice to have a few quilts ready to quilt, and the tarp off my machine which was there to protect it from flying plaster/dust. Now to get at it...

Scott's king-size is draped over my craft table, ironed, all the hiccups fixed, etc. Hi Edith... It looks much better than it did when you were here. I washed the backing and it came out smoother and no wrinkles at all. The batting was one long piece equivalent for two kings, so hubby and I rolled it on the bar under my machine. It needs a trim but it is ready too. This has been a huge challenge, and if anyone has made a king, you know 'huge' is the correct word. That backing is 120" wide. The batting is like wrestling an alligator. The quilt top is too large for my design wall and for the table it is folded on, but it looks great on a bed. Glad to get this far!

Others: The purple slab hangs with batting and backing, ready to put on the machine. I have a wonky log cabin in the same state of readiness and a large crib quilt also. Right now, there is a large table runner pinned on the machine. I just need to have my lunch, put supper in the crock pot, add the correct thread and do it! Yeah. 

Also have neatly folded four shelves of fabric. Only about 20 left, but this is progress. Neat makes me feel ambitious.

Onward and upward... thank You God! 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Purple Slabs

My scrap bins are about 10" x 15" and 9" deep. The purple one was nearly full. It still has 4-5" left at the bottom and the rest went into these 12.5" slab blocks. Sashing is 3" and I've made a bunch of 5.5" ones to use in the border. It will finish 73" x 88" so is a good size.

I am amazed at how far the scraps go, and how relaxing it is to sew them like this. Not a lot of planning, just sort to sizes and think log cabin but not too accurate. The sashing is a red-purple fabric that will go between all rows, around the outside, and likely be the binding too. So far so good.

Oh after taking this picture it is easier to see the values, so I moved a few of the blocks around. Purples do not like the camera either. I'm not much of a purple lover so am surprised at how many scraps were in that bin!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Progress report

Well, this one is done and ready to put in the mail... along with a couple of donations from a friend. The quilt is 39.5" x 36.5" so more of a lay/play than wrapping up the baby, however, the recipient is not yet a month old (tiny) and lives in a mild climate.

As for the stuffy (or is it spelled stuffie?), Stacey made him. He is about 8" high and totally washable. CUTE!  She texted me today to say she has something else to go with it... no clues though.

In this picture, he is sitting in front of Scott's king-size beach scene... which is nearly ready to sandwich on the longarm. I only know how I will quilt the leaves... so it might take awhile — and lots of prayer which has got me this far. I told Scott that as soon as it is done, I'm going to kill him. He just laughed, a suitable response. So far, nearly 200 hours. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Mmm. . . Music & Motorcycles. . . Enjoy!

My hubby has many 'passions' including flying and golf. He also has a motorcycle and recently bought an electric piano. He played piano in his teens and is getting back into it. The keyboard needed a cover so when I discovered this panel on sale at Hancocks-Peducah, I could not resist. 

The problem was the length. After praying, this great idea popped into my head -- put racing flag design on each end AND use fabric with music symbols on it.

I gathered my supplies Saturday and sewed whenever I could -- until Monday. It was finished it in time to get to bed and sleep a few hours before his plane landed around midnight. (He was in San Diego golfing). He's happy and I enjoyed this project -- quick and easy. The detail photo shows that this panel is really sharp!

Monday, March 19, 2018

"Cabin Steps"

My customer sent me this photo of the homespun table runner that I made for her last month. She lives in a lovely older home and was totally thrilled with how the runner looks on her sideboard. I am too. I called it "Instant Replay" with the qualifier (well, not quite) because the Olympics were on at the time and because I had the order for a year before getting at it. She likes puns and word play.

I also put the pattern for this on my Etsy page, in case anyone is interested. I called it "Cabin Steps." It was fun to make and would also look nice in a lake cabin or a country-style decor in the plaids. I'd like to try it in different fabrics, but then there are lots of things I'd like to try!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

This top is finished and now ready to put on the longarm. I'm happy with the little guy -- made the pattern from a copyright free clip art. Not sure how to quilt it, but fell asleep last night with a few ideas. Apologies for the shadow on the top. Forgot to turn on the flash! Hope you are having fun in your sewing room today... 😊

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Not much to say today, just working away on the king-size and the Celtic table topper. Finished and gave the Courthouse Steps runner to it's new owner. The delight on her face blessed me more than her check!

Right now, I'm building an elephant. All of the pieces are ready to assemble, but only showing you his eyes! For some reason, the shadow of my arm is yellowish under a combo of daylight and LED lights. Mmmm. Anyway, this cute guy will need a name...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Pattern Request

This photo is all over Pinterest and shows up in searches, but none of the links have information on the pattern for this quilt. Do any of you know anything about it? Someone wants to make it and I'm her detective!

If you know where I can find the pattern, please post that info in the comments. Someone else might be looking for it too!


Friday, February 16, 2018

New Model nearly finished

This previous post show the explanation for this quilt. The bottom one is worn, faded, and lumpy. The top one is my version to replace it (for a friend). She bought the older on in a garage sale, if I remember correctly.

The border fabric on the older quilt was also used in the backing and not faded. I had nothing like it in green and navy in my stash :-( and I spent some time looking for a match. Nothing close in local stores, but finally found it in an online shop in South Carolina. However, this photo shows the new border much darker than it is, and some of the other colors are also darker. All of the new fabrics are a brighter version of the older colors that have faded so much in the bottom quilt. 

The SC fabric is lovely Pima cotton. It took two weeks to get here.

The top is finished in the photo. In life, it is sandwiched and quilted except for a little bit. The binding is made and ready to sew on. My friend should have it on Monday night! She hoped for more vibrant colors, yet in the same design. I'm very happy with the results — and hope she will be too.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Celtic Table topper

The king-size beach scene is progressing, but no photo (it won't fit in my view finder -- heehee). I'm taking a break every few days to work on something else. Right now, it is a Celtic table topper for my daughter. She has a runner in black and white and asked if I could design one for her dining room. So here it is.

It is plopped on my couch where it gets stitched a bit while we watch hockey, curling, football, and golf. Actually, I'm not watching, but it gives me another excuse to sit down and relax. 

I made the bias strips using a clover gadget, which takes time but is easy. If the strips are wrapped on a tube until they dry, they are easy to work with too. The design is marked on the black background with chalk using a light box (actually, a used x-ray viewer from the 'mameogram store'). Then I pin the bias strips centered on the chalk lines, with pins only where the strips are 'over' leaving where they go 'under' without a pin. This helps keep me from snagging my thread on pins with every stitch! This would be easier if I used those little embroidery pins. Have no excuse for that. It is actually quite enjoyable, except the threading of the needle because the eye is smaller than the thread even though I'm using fine thread. Old eyes! 

My health is much better, but I'm sleeping/napping more. Need to keep away from salt and wish that the food industry would realize how important that is for some people. Those who love their salt can shake it on, but those who could die from an overdose cannot take it out of the food. Some restaurants are really good about preparing a sodium-reduced meal. Others don't seem to know what sodium is! My rant for the day.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A new model...

Several weeks ago a friend asked if I could make a replacement for her table runner. It was worn out, faded, and yet loved. She worried that I would not be able to find similar plaid fabrics.

When I brought it home and pulled out my small stack of plaids, I was amazed to find matches. They are not exactly the same designs, but the scale works. They are also brighter, which is what she hoped for. Even though 'faded' can be charming, she was wanting a fresh look.

This photo has the older runner on the bottom, and the parts and pieces of the new one on top. I worked on this most of yesterday afternoon, cutting all the strips and moving them around until I liked the result. In the photo, they are rather loosely arranged. I used a paper foundation and finished the block on the left. It is fairly easy. The outer border is not cut yet because I've two plaids that will work, and haven't decided yet which one to use. I hope my friend likes it!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

There is a reason

Sometimes my excuse is too busy, or too many projects on the go, or nothing to report, but this time, I've not posted for several weeks because:
  • A-fib heart issue acting up slightly
  • Christmas
  • Trip to CA for my cousin's 100th birthday party (a blast) 
  • but too much salt and air travel...
  • Heart problems increasing
  • A-fib fixed with cardio-version on Jan. 5
  • Jan. 7 blood oxygen dropped drastically
  • Hubby called ambulance and I wound up in hospital for a few days
  • Recovery = slow
  • Today, feel almost normal (even though normal is only a setting on the dryer!)
In the past couple of days, finished the basting on Scott's king-size and it is now ready for sewing all the pieces in place using free-motion. It looks good on the bed, and I'm looking forward to the next steps. No recent photo, but soon. 

This is an older photo, shows only the left side and middle. 
A big thanks to those who knew what was going on and prayed for me.