Sunday, December 7, 2014


Date:  November / December 2013

Size:  Approx 46 x 58

Reason:  I drew my sister Alison's name for Christmas

Fabrics / Best Buys:  I discovered I do not keep purple in my stash.  I had to buy everything.  Shucks.

Thoughts:  This was my first improvised back.  I think.  I learned the concept in a free Craftsy class.

The quilting is both FMQ with a darning foot with the straight-ish lines done with a walking foot.  I think I did the walking foot stuff first and then filled it in with FMQ - there is more than one FMQ design on it.

I think I like the back better.  :)

Lessons learned:  Angles are the difficult.  This quilt was a lot more challenging than I would have thought.  The pattern called for appliqued circles, but I completely wimped out and didn't add them.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dancing Butterflies

The coolest thing happened yesterday.  I opened my email to discover that because I had linked my finished quilt ( to her gallery, I had won a random draw for her next tutorial.

I was going to pass on the 2015 class (even though it looked so pretty) because I thought I should take classes in more than just FMQ - I may or may not have purchased two classes on Craftsy.  For half price of course.

This year for Christmas, my husband is giving me the best thing ever- a shopping spree on Connecting Threads. He feels like he is copping out a bit by letting me choose my own present, but I absolutely love taking my time, buying things I would never otherwise (like fun rulers) and perusing the precuts.  Oh joy!  I graciously offered to share the experience with him so he could feel more involved in the process, but he gave me a very expressive look and didn't bother to answer.

Anyway - the reason I mention my husband's gift is because I thought it would be fun to shop for the tutorial with it so I emailed Leah  - who is still putting the finishing touches on her book - and asked if she had a materials list ready.  Within hours she emailed a jpg of the back cover of the book.  I love this girl.  She doesn't stand apart or act like a celebrity and she talks about real life on her blog - her struggles and joys.

It looks like I'll be appliqueing butterflies next year.  Is anyone planning on having a girl in the fall?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Leah Day's Building Blocks

Date: January 1 - October 26, 2014

Size:  48 x 56

Pattern: Building Blocks by Leah Day

Reason:  I love that I can FMQ on my domestic machine and although stippling is wonderful, I wanted to learn new techniques.

Fabric / Best Buys:  Almost entirely scraps.  I only dipped into my stash for the yellow and blue and white.

Thoughts:  This was a really interesting class and learning process.  Even though I've FMQed many quilts before I could feel myself getting more comfortable as the class went on.

I used a 2" binding strip instead of 2½".  It made a nice thin binding.

Lessons Learned:

1)  My sewing machine does not like to FMQ with poly as the top thread (it breaks lots).  Poly in the bobbin works just fine.

2)  Pencil washes off of white fabric

3)  I don't like premarking quilting patterns, but it really helps with accuracy so suck it up.

4)  Don't undo your work just because it's not perfect.  The triumph is in the learning and growing.

5)  If doing different colour ways front and back try to have ONE colour in common to make choosing a binding colour easier.  Just sayin.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kiwis (And Flies)

Date:  Early 2013 - August 2014


Pattern:  Missouri Star Quilt Company "Pheobe's Flower Box" YouTube video here.

Reason:  I needed to empty my green scraps drawer.  Irony:  My sister gave me a gift of scraps when I was nearly finished the top.  Half of them were green.

Fabric / Best Buys:  I'm fairly sure every single piece in the top is a scrap aside from the sashing and border.  I used darker fabrics wrong side out when I needed a lighter value.  The border is from the box my sister gave me.

Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this pattern.  I also loved improvising the back with leftover scraps.  There is a free class on that teaches different methods.  That's where I got the idea.

My seven year old named this quilt.  I tried to shorten it down to Kiwis, but "Kiwis and Flies" stuck in my head.

The flower quilting took a long time.  I got really good at petals by the time flower number 600 rolled around.

Lessons Learned:  Do math better.  Buy more than I think I need.  I found myself a fat quarter short of a discontinued fabric.  I asked for help on Quiltville's FB site.  Someone immediately said she'd mail me what I needed free of charge.  Quilters are the best thing since rotary cutters.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Blessing for Ruth

Date:  July / August 2014

Pattern:  From my head:

Block A:
~  Make crazy quilt blocks and cut them to 6.5".
~  Sew 2.5" strips of white to the crazy blocks
~  Sew 2.5" strips of a colour that matches the crazy block to the white
~  Square block to 10.5"

Block B:
~  Make crazy quilt blocks and cut them to 8.5"
~ Sew 2.5" strips of white around the crazy block
~ Square block to 10.5"

Size:  37 x 47

Reason:  A new baby in our church

Fabric / Best Buys:  All the fabric used was scraps and gifts except for the borders - I took those from my stash.  The binding was a pre-ironed binding given to me by my Aunt.

Thoughts:  I love this pattern  I used it for the first time here.  I've been wanting to use it again ever since.

Lessons Learned:  I finally got up the courage to stitch text into the quilting.  It went really well and fit perfectly  (Numbers 6:24-26)  I'm so excited that it worked.  I'll do it again on my next baby quilt.  It worked really well to run through the motions in my head that my hands needed to make word by word.  It kept me from getting overwhelmed and allowed me to keep calm and not rush.  Winner!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Scrappy Lattice Garden

Date: 2011 - Feb 2014


Size:  86 x 86

Reason:  My Grandmother has given me hundreds of HSTs.  I'm always looking for good HST patterns.

Fabrics:  Half the HSTs are from my grandmother, the other half from my scraps.  The sashings are from fabric a friend gave me. 

Lessons Learned:  Hand stitching through batik is painful.  Just FYI

Thoughts:  My sister's MIL wanted practice tops to break in her new long arm.  I wish I had had more tops available for her when she asked :)

This quilt is on my bed.  It makes me so happy.  Who knew I love scrappy quilts so much . . .

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Teddy Bear-topia

This quilt was designed by my seven year old daughter.  She just assumes that whatever she dreams up I can do (insert super hero costume here).  The very first bit of piecing was a Curved Seam.  I've had very poor success with curved seams so to keep my sanity with this one, I cut the curve from the blue, ironed it under a ¼ inch and used a decorative stitch to sew it to the green.  Then I trimmed away extra green from the seam allowance under the blue.  It worked for me, but I doubt that's how they teach it :)

We used a graphics program to draw the bear then print it, cut it out and piece it back together.  The paper pieces served as our templates.

Note to self:  My background brown was not a whole lot larger than the lighter brown going on top of it - sometimes my satin stitches on the top and bottom layers overlapped.  Either design the background bigger or the foreground smaller. 

I didn't use a iron-on bond product for the larger pieces when I attached them to the background, but I did use interfacing - for the most part that went really well.  The smaller things such as eyes were glued on before they were stitched.

I used interfacing

Another note to self:  Cut background to size AFTER the applique has been sewn on.

Also - tractors are never green in my family's world.  Just sayin'

My daughter also picked all the fabrics and all the thread.  The red inner border was the last thing she picked.  I think it's fantastic.

The Small One also had me do trapunto.  She doesn't even know what that is, but the bear and the clouds have extra layers of fill - the belly has an extra layer again.  I used YouTube videos to teach me the ins and outs.

The whole reason for this quilt was the tie - here it is - the last piece of the puzzle.  Her cousin is due in September.  I hope s/he enjoys the teddy bear.

Date:  May / June 2014

Size:  36 x 40ish

Fabrics / Best Buys:  All these fabrics were from my stash.  The four patches were made from a Hoffman Bali Snap that I was given for Christmas.