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Friday, October 11, 2019

TODAY'S NEWS........

Hello readers,

I just wanted to let you know that I am slowly going to be moving to a different platform that will fit my current needs better.

My plan is simply to rewrite and improve some of the posts - which will move to my new blog site.  I will also be adding new content based on questions or comments I get from other quilters. Other posts I will leave here as is. Enjoy the photos and content.

Feel free to contact me directly with questions, to show off your finished quilts, or other quilt related comments at

I love to quilt - and we are talking any of the steps from buying the fabric through the last stitch in the binding or tag. I have had this blog for many years simply as a way to keep a basic journal of what I am doing or have done in quilts and quilt related activities.

I am hoping to write better posts on the new site and be a better mentor and encouragement to the quilters out there who are looking for new ideas, helpful tips, and just "you can do it" attitude.  Quilters are great people who share and help each other.

My new address is:

Come visit soon.

Monday, September 23, 2019

STRIP QUILT TOP (or how to make a really fast quilt top)

STRIP QUILT TOP (or how to make a really fast quilt top)

So I am back from vacation, and looked ahead at the calendar for October - well shucks, I need a smaller quilt top to do a hand quilting demo the very first Saturday of October.  Now what??  I guess this is one reason I have so much fabric stored.......

Anyway, I went thru all the interesting fabrics or fabric panels to see if anything I had on hand would work for a historical demonstration (1820 ish) and found a border print that if left intact would work as a strip quilt.

After ironing the fabric, I trimmed off enough to make a section that was 42" wide x 54" long.

I found a solid blue cotton that matches the blue that is in the paisley strips and cut enough 1.5" strips of it to make a narrow inside border all the way around.

The outside border is a dark red (with a very small white print) that makes a nice frame for the top.  I cut 4" strips of this fabric and added to the top.

 I ironed it and the top is now 50" x 60". Now to baste and hand quilt.

Saturday, September 21, 2019


In my previous blog post, I was leaving for two weeks to see family and go to Maine for a quilt retreat.  Had a great time - it was hard to return to the traffic and noise of real life.  I did not get nearly as much quilting done as I hoped and planned for - I guess I just needed to stop and really relax.  Read a couple books just for fun (gasp !!) and walked a lot in the beautiful nature I was surrounded with.

I was planning on doing mostly applique during this time - it's easy to stop and start, and picking up where I left off allowed me time to walk, visit, and look at the scenery. I even did some more of a counted cross stitch project I started last year while in Maine. I work hard for 50 weeks a year to have these two precious weeks a year to totally relax and do only what I enjoy (phone and internet connection was not reliable so even technology was put away).

I can't decide if I want leaves or not.....

So combining 3 sections of small tumblers and 2 sections of flowers with solid colored borders between - still a work in progress. 

It has been years since I heard loons, but they were a constant on this lake.  Wonderful, eerie call that they make just made the time at the lake even better.

This trip was a good reminder to take some real time off - from work, stress, technology, day to day life, and really just relax.  I woke rested and ready to take on each day - not because I had to, but because I wanted to.  I am not a movie/TV watcher normally, but as a group we watched "chick flicks" each evening (usually something with Sandra Bullock) and it felt so good just to laugh and joke. Wow, didn't even feel guilty for not doing anything while just sitting there.....

So, here is a few photos of the scenery around the cabin deep in the Maine woods. It was rustic, fun, and stress free.
Early evening - the loons are calling, but too far away to get a good photo

Mid day view from the picnic table

Beautiful fall color
On the outhouse door - there was a tin can inside for $$
This photo might inspire me to try a landscape quilt
See post on new blog:

Thursday, September 5, 2019


Happy Fall
View from Haystack Mountain in northern Maine 9/1998

Peace and calm in northern Maine - 9/1998

Well, it is September again and it is time to endure flying (I remember when it was fun to fly.....) so I can see family in Lancaster, PA for a few days before heading up to northern rural Maine for the annual quilt retreat. We decided to rent a cabin deep in the woods on a lake this year instead of meeting at SB's home.  We have been sewing together for over 20 years and started back when Loring AFB was still up and active - about half of the group are local ladies and the other half of us were Air Force wives. We did all kinds of sewing projects together and have just continued the tradition once a year when we can all get together.

However, the internet connection is very undependable there so I may not be posting anything until I return in two weeks.  In the meantime, I will take lots of photos and hopefully even get one or two of the four projects I am taking along completed - wow, wouldn't that be something.....

So the three projects I am taking are:

1. English paper piecing hexagons in two sizes to work on "flowers" to applique to "vines" for part of  a scrap quilt.  I have the background fabric cut and the vines already sewn down so just need to add the flowers.

The bigger size hexies - scraps being put to beautiful use.

2. Pumpkin Spice - this wall hanging needs the pumpkins appliqued down and something done about an outside border and it will be ready to quilt.

3. A strip quilt trying to use up the leftovers from several log cabin quilts.  This one is more an idea at this point so I guess we will see how it works out - sorry, no photos yet.

In the meantime, please read older posts you haven't gotten to yet, and just have a great time quilting.  The time will fly by fast and I will be back to show off the projects and give some basic directions before you know it.

Another place for quilting ideas is my Pintrest account:


Saturday, August 31, 2019


I love fall - the brilliant leaf colors, the blue sky, the farmers working in the fields harvesting crops, the lower temps that I find much more comfortable, putting the garden to bed for the year, cozy wood fires in the cool evenings, kicking through the dry fallen leaves........


Fall/Autumn is really the season I decorate for.  I put out fall themed quilts, pumpkins, corn stalks, artificial leaves and ceramic small pumpkins, candles in crocks, and photos of barns in the fall.  What can I say except that fall is my favorite season.

I saw this pattern in the magazine Primitive Quilts and Projects - Fall 2013 and just had to make it.

Primitive Quilts & Projects Magazine - Fall 2013 - Page 52-55

However, I tend to start with a pattern and then go off in my own direction based on what materials I have, my mood at the time, and what I want to do with the finished project.

In this case, I wanted something longer and a few inches wider to fill a particular quilt hanger in my dining room. These are the sizes I cut:

  • 3" squares for the nine patch blocks
  • 7.5" alternate blocks
  • 6" border
  • Purchased .5" green bias tape (I machine sewed mine down - I'm in a hurry to get hand appliqueing the pumpkins) 
Please remember that I use my sewing machine foot as my sewing line guide and it is just a bit bigger than a quarter inch, so I would encourage you to make a nine patch block and measure it before you cut out the size I did for alternate blocks.

My top went together quick and I am now ready to do the hand applique of the pumpkins.  I will probably add an outside border but at this point I don't know what fabric or size.

Before the border

After the adding the border - 32" x 46"

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

JUST DO IT (or encouragement to quilt)

The saying "Just do it" sounds so simple but there are days that it is not.  Our lives are busy and full, and sometimes quilting falls by the wayside for a bit.  That is ok !

I am passionate about quilting and it is important to me, but I learned many years ago that I am not Super Woman and some days there just are not enough hours or enough energy to do what I want.

If you are reading this blog, then you are interested in quilting. But being interested and actually doing an activity are not the same.  I am interested in instrumental music and I listen to a lot of it, but I don't play an instrument and have no intention of learning how to play an one. Quilting is not a spectator activity - it is an activity that requires a person to be involved and doing if the quilts you want to make are going to get made. Each quilt a person makes teaches something that can be used somehow in another quilt.

I have many great quilting books and magazines and I get all kinds of ideas, encouragement, and inspiration from them. When I first started quilting, I would look at a quilt or a photo of a quilt, shake my head sadly and think that there was no way I could do whatever the pattern was. However, as I got braver and realized that if I messed up a quilt the world would not end over it, and no one would die - it freed me to try those different patterns.

Successfully completing each step of the quilt process gives confidence to go to the next step. Before you know it, the top is complete and then when it is tied, or quilted it is so exciting that getting the binding on and a tag made is just ...... well, exciting.

Woo hoo..........I made a quilt !!!!

Even now, after so many quilts, I still get excited to complete a quilt - and I don't care what size it is.

Don't be discouraged because the quilt is not large, or some expert pattern.  Every completed quilt represents hours of your precious time, probably some money, definitely some frustration, something new learned and an object you should be proud to have done. With each completed quilt, you will become more confident in your quilt making skills.

People ask me how I have time to quilt.  I don't have time - I make time for quilting because of willful choices I make each day:

  •  I set my timer and cram in 10 or 15 minutes most mornings before I head to work, which starts out my day with a good attitude because I feel like I accomplished something already. Yes, that means I get up a few minutes earlier but those few minutes of some quilt related activity also is a reward for laying out my clothing the night before, packing my lunch and having it ready in the fridge, and having all the personal stuff I need for the day all together and ready to leave as soon as the timer goes off.
  • Being healthy and active helps the body, which also helps quilting activities.  I try to walk at least a mile every day - even if I have to do in a mall or hotel hallways.  I don't snack, drink coffee, or eat if I am not hungry.  I do drink a lot of water every day, take my vitamins,  eat what I like but with smaller servings, and reward myself with one soda a day (I love cherry coke). 
  • Get enough good sleep and rest.
  • I am basically a home body and when I am done with work for the day, I am happy to return home to "my castle" for the quiet and peace it brings to my stressed and tired body and mind. Even a hotel room can be relaxing if I have a project to work on each evening. 
  •  I do not live on the computer.  Please understand that I work on the computer all day long - and yes, this blog is done on the computer.  However, I choose not to waste time on social media (it is a spectator sport), computer games, or just "surfing" the web.  I want to actually be doing something and have something to show for my time. 
  • I also don't live on my phone. I choose to not make or receive calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. My phone spends a lot of time face down and on "Do not disturb" mode. I am picky about who I spend time on the phone with.  Think of time as money - there is only so much available and needs to be used wisely.
My day is winding down and I will soon be headed to bed. but let me just encourage you again to fit some quilting activity into your busy day each and every day.  There is just a good feeling to see the progress you make each day on something you really want to have. Quilting is good for the mind and soul.

                                                    Happy Quilting to one and all

Monday, August 19, 2019


I have found coaster sets make great gifts and I can use novelty or unusual  fabrics that I would normally not use for a quilt can be used for these cute items. Mine are 4" square, and are reversible. They wash and dry just fine on gentle.  

Cotton fabric and poly batting.

All of these are for sale at my Etsy store: