Fall & Finishes

Fall is peaking in all her glory here, and the confetti of color always makes my heart dance a little faster. Tappity-tappity. ūüôā

I have several quilt tops scattered around the house that just need to be quilted… with various reasons why they aren’t.¬†I pieced a fall tessellated leaves quilt in 1992,3,4-ish, and had an idea how to quilt it that didn’t pan out, so there it sat, needing to be picked out. Ick.


I decided this year I would use it, so I carried it everywhere, picking a little here and there until it was ready to quilt again, and I knocked that sucker out it in no time. What a feeling!

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With that feeling of accomplishment fueling my fire, I pulled out this sparkly stars top I pieced just as long ago, and still had the binding, if you can believe it. Every year I hang the top on the wall for Christmas…. good grief, just do it, right?


Now I’m on a roll! Today I drove to Pennsylvania with Sew Sista for her guild’s annual retreat, and I’m bringing ¬†quilt ops and batting. Here’s to more finishes!

AnnaBeth’s Quilt

My friend, Sandra, asked if I could take an old, loved (read: worn) comforter and turn it into a quilt for her daughter’s engagement present. I assured her I could. When the box arrived, it was worse than I thought. The fabric was not only threadbare, it was so faded I had to rip seams to find out what color it used to be. And it was from the 80s. ¬†I needed to use the comforter as the focal fabric and find fabrics that would compliment it.

I hit pay-dirt with a simple blender fabric and a couple of solids. ¬†The design is one I created after seeing a pattern in some subway tiles… the tiles were rectangular and a math nightmare for the woven look I was after, so I settled on squares, which were still a math pain, but not as much. I practiced on this quilt, which is still unfinished in a corner. I learned a great deal from it, so it made the construction of AnnaBeth’s quilt much smoother.
I found the perfect floral for the backing that tied in with the focal fabric and gave it an updated look.

[The lighting makes the carpet look pretty dirty. Don’t look.] ¬†I free-motion quilted a rose motif to pull it all together.


Sandra sent me a picture right away. I think she likes it. ūüôā


Bee Blocks


In May it was¬†my turn to pass out kits to my guild friends for my Bee blocks. Inspired by some of the quilts floating around the internet made with orphan blocks I decided to be daring. ¬†I also needed to stick to what was in my stash for materials. ¬†Everyone¬†received¬†a piece of Kona “Parchment” and some scraps. The mission: Make any block, any size using the Kona for the background. ¬†When I collected this delicious assortment of blocks the excitement was almost too much to handle.



I taped some flannel up¬†in the dining room and rearranged blocks until I liked what I saw. I’m s-l-o-w-l-y adding to it and piecing things together while thinking about how to fill those empty spots. I’m not in a hurry. ¬† So far I’ve ¬†pieced some blocks to each other and added the Flying Geese on the left. ¬†It’s a puzzle… and improv isn’t my forte, so I’m trying to go with the flow.



Officially Spring!

Spring is here! This is when the weather in Virginia gets super crazy: ¬†we start getting really warm days plunked in the middle of all the cold ones… a tease really. Sunday it was 72 degrees. Yesterday it snowed all afternoon. ¬†The cold, wet days are good days to get some sewing done! I whipped up this little bit o’ baby love using scraps. It’s a wonky bow-tie ¬†sorta thing I put together with some units I had left over from another project. I do that a lot.


I LOVE the look of black and white prints juxtaposed to bright colors. With all that white I needed something for the borders that would add interest and this piece of black and white print made those bow-ties pop. Because money is tight and I love a challenge I was determined to pick from my stash. ¬†I had a fun curly-cue print for the back but of course it wasn’t big enough. ¬†I had two swaths of that black fabric that were just wide enough to add, and I’m so glad I didn’t have enough of the curly-cue! I’m tickled with the final result and the recipients raved. It’s hard to give away something I love so much, but this is for the prettiest baby girl ever, so I didn’t mind.


I didn’t finish my Alison Glass challenge quilt in time for the guild reveal, but I’m happy with the way it’s coming together. It’s a pattern I drafted myself for a commissioned quilt I’ve been working on. This was the trial run, and I’m so glad, because I had to tweak it. A lot. A. Lot.


This picture is dark because it was taken in the middle of the night…… That folded over yellow square at the top needs to have its border ripped off and sewn to its other side. Sigh. And the bottom right hand block is the only one of its kind. I might ditch that last row.¬†And now that I look at it, I think I want to extend those cross pieces to the edges. I don’t like the way the colors stop at the edge like that. This trial run has become more work than I intended, but it’s so bright and cheery in person. It might not get finished until the commissioned quilt is made and delivered.¬†

My doodles for work are so much fun – but mostly they’re things I can’t show until they’re done. (Poetry not intended…) ¬†Earlier this week I got a peek at the header I hand-painted for a gal and I’m excited for it to go live so I can share.

I’ll Take An Order of Spring, Please

Spring is finally on its way! I can tell because it was almost 80 degrees yesterday, 75 today and we keep eating dinner at 8:00 pm because it’s daylight savings and it doesn’t feel like it’s time to make dinner. ¬†It felt soooo good to turn my face toward the sun and feels its warmth. ¬†We’re praying for sun. We’re seriously waterlogged and need clear skies.
Remember the hole I mentioned last week? Well….for almost three weeks we’ve hosted our very own pioneer days of sorts.¬†We can’t put anything down our drains. Nothing. Nada. (Think toilets….. ¬† yeah.) Dishes are done in plastic basins. It takes 6-7 buckets full to empty the water from a shower into the woods. And this is my current laundry system. The Hunk’s new morning chore is emptying that barrel in case I need to do laundry.

The ground is so saturated the water keeps filling the septic tank.  Glamorous. Right now my life is consumed with moving water around in buckets until the ground dries out a bit and life can get back to normal.

Last week was the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest here in Hampton, and my friends and I had a blast white-gloving, shopping, and manning the PMQG’s raffle quilt table. I also took a portrait class with Esterita Austin which was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and a total blast. Sew Sista was here¬†all week and it was refreshing to get away from the house. A change of scenery keeps a girl from lashing out, ya know?¬†

Here’s a small peek at something I’m planning for a special someone. It’s a surprise, so that’s all I can share now. But I love the way it’s coming together.

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¬†My friend, Alison Glass, designs fabric. (I love having friends who do cool things!)¬†The Virginia Beach MQG, issued a quilt challenge using Alison’s lovely fabrics, and I love playing with these bright beauties. The reveal is this Saturday, and I can’t wait to see everyone’s creations.




Seeing Red

Do you ever get on a roll and one thing leads to another? That’s what’s been happening in the studio this week. ¬† Saturday’s guild meeting was a jelly roll race, and I’ve had this luscious red batik jelly roll a friend bought for me a couple years ago. I love it so much I didn’t want to risk messing it up. (I know….) ¬†I decided to take the plunge and use it for this project, with no idea how a monochromatic jelly roll quilt would even look.

First things first: sew aaaaall those strips together end-to-end. Very boring.


After trimming the seams I was left with a pile of bits that could not be wasted, so I had some fun and made wee 3-1/2 ” blocks….


And here’s my finished quilt top. I used my wee blocks to spice things up a bit. (Notice that piece of black and white love? That’s the one I didn’t have enough of for my snowball blocks. And I love love love it. And I really wanted to use it on something that lives here, because I tried to find more of it and I can’t.)

I’m in love with this quilt! ¬†I named it “Red All Over”, and now I have to decide how to quilt it. In the theme of keeping it real, I trimmed too close when I squared it up. I hate when that happens. ¬†In hindsight, I wish I had done that before sewing that top border on, but it is what it is and I think it will look intentional when it’s finished…like I meant¬†for the blocks to run off the page, so to speak. For now it’s out where it makes me happy every time I see it.


Christmas Prep & Blog Hop Winner


¬†I LOVE Christmas! I love everything about it – traditions, keeping happy secrets, decorating, visiting people we don’t usually see, the music, the lights, the MAGIC! ¬†I especially love giving gifts. It’s SO VERY HARD for me to keep things under wraps until Christmas day. I keep asking the Hunk, “Do you want a present now?” ¬†He always laughs and says no, because he knows I’d gladly spill all the beans if given the tiny bit of encouragement. ¬†So fun!

In the spirit of GIVING we have a winner! Lisa M. was chosen by the random number generator to receive her choice of these adorable patterns from the oh-so talented  Terri Stegmiller! Merry Christmas, Lisa!



Pattern Testing, Blog Hop & A Giveaway!


I was delighted when Terri Stegmiller asked if I’d test one of her patterns along with some other talented quilters. I was given her adorable “Butterfly Moments” pattern to do with as I please.

Now, I have to tell you – I LOVE Terri’s work, so I was more than a little intimidated wondering what I would do to her pattern. You read correctly: not with it – to it. ¬†I’m amazed at how she layers all that mixed media goodness together to make such eye candy!

I had several ideas, but I thought this would be a fun gift for one of my younger friends, so I chose some bright prints and a black and white polka dot background. ¬†I embroidered the letters by hand, but, as you can see, this background probably wasn’t the best choice…they don’t show up very well.

To make things easier I fused the pieces on the background then free-motioned the “outlines” to give it a coloring book feel. Then I quilted it with a swirly free-motion design and ta-da! A super bright quilt for a little girl’s wall.

This pattern was so easy ¬†it could be adapted for any variety of techniques. I’m thinking it would make an adorable penny rug! The possibilities are endless, and you can see the other quilters’ versions by clicking on the links below. ¬†To make it even MORE fun, each blog will be giving away one of these adorable patterns by Terri.

All you have to do is comment below for your chance to win here.   IMPORTANT: The pattern will be delivered by email, so be sure to include your email addy in your comments!

You’ll have your pick between¬†“Paws in the Garden” or “Butterfly Moments.”¬†I will be drawing a random winner this Friday, December 13.

Paws In The GardenButterfly Moments

 Make sure to visit everyone for more chances to win!!

{giveaways} Sue Bleiweiss & The Sketchbook Challenge

Sue Bleiweiss is the creative genius behind The Sketchbook Challenge which she started in 2011 “to illustrate the many different ways that artists use their sketchbooks.” ¬†With a different theme each month and fabulous contributing artists there is something for everyone and inspiration galore. Anyone can jump in at any time. I’ve been participating in the Challenge from the beginning, with better results some months than others. Before I began the challenge I expected my sketchbook to be full of finished, “perfect” art, ¬†which paralyzed me while it sat empty. Exploring these themes has helped me let my sketchbook be my play place to think, plan and wander.

This week Sue’s giving away a copy of her DVD, some of her cheery fabrics and a copy of The Sketchbook Challenge book. You don’t want to miss out! All the details are ¬†here! While you’re at it, take a peek at the Challenge and hop in!


Quilts for Oklahoma

The Oklahoma City MQG is collecting quilts for victims of last week’s tornado. Last night the Oklahoma City area, including Moore, was battered by more severe storms and tornado activity.

For those who have quilts you’d like to donate, or the desire to make a quilt specifically for those affected, the OCMQG requests you send your quilts by June 30th. You will find all the details on the¬†Oklahoma City MQG site.¬†