Sunday, December 30, 2012

Big dogs Will Find A Home

While packing up my sewing room I came across a bag of dogs block from a Buggy Barn pattern. I decided I did not want to make a whole quilt using these. Instead I will use it as a medallion and surround them with string blocks. There are lots of ways to make strings and I can try a new one on each quilt. These will be donation quilts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Back To quilting

My beloved Handiquilter is all fixed and working better than she has in a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggg time. I have a huge backlog of tops to get quilted.
I cannot seem to get paragraphs on the blog any more so I will separate words with pictures.
I think I have found a great local guild called the Night Owls. They had a speaker from a group that helps at risk kids in many different ways. They will get all these quilts at the next meeting Bob The Builder was a book type panel. I love how it turned itself into a quilt.
I am working on using my stash and just buying a few things to fill in.
There are a huge amount of quilt shops in the Phoenix area.
The patriotic one was done by a guild friend from Maryland. It just needed to be quilted.
This is the last one to show.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bloggin from Phoenix

We are here and reasonably unpacked. I am VERY glad we did alot of purging before the move. We were able to use just 2 of the moving pods which saved us quite a bit of money. We left the bed behind which was quite old anyway and ghosts of marriages of the past. We have bought a new one from Ikea along with a sofa that we both can sit on and is VERY comfortable. My sewing room is smaller but Chas installed 2 long shelves in the large closet which holds all my stash and lots of other quilting supplies. The Handiquilter resides in a corner of the L shaped living room. I cannot seem to get off East Coast time and wake up way too early and then go to bed early. I will give myself the rest of this month to recover before searching for another job. Here are some pictures I have taken in the last few days.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Moving Across The Country

I just wanted to make a quick post to tell my readers that we are moving to Arizona the end of this month. I have been consumed with purging and packing. Out goal is to discard about 50 per cent of our possessions including furniture. Freecycle is my friend. With the help of a dear friend we have found a darling house to rent in Phoenix. Here are a couple of pictures. We were afraid we night have to rent an apartment but grateful that did not happen. We will be looking for jobs when we get there.
Here is the front of the house.
The view from out back---simple breathtaking and amazing.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Quilt Of Valor--pattern by Mark Lipinsky

I watched the PBS special on TV and fell in love with the quilt Mark was making. The pattern appears in Fons and Porter magazine this month. I was going to figure out how to make it just by looking at it. I was really glad to have a pattern. I have plastic templates for the Drunkard Path from another quilt that I made. I sew them using 3 pins. I was a little bored using the same red as I usually make a much scrappier QOV. I do see more of these in my future as I really enjoyed the process. Next time I will experiment using lots of reds. I think the blue needs to be consistent though. Navy with white stars would be very pretty. I did find the fabric he used for the blue online. I seldom use what the pattern suggests but found the fabric on sale. I bought enough for 2. It is really a black background. I quilted swirls all over. I have a very simple machine and hate doing pantos. I decided on white thread as I thought any color in the white would detract from the quilt. It was a good decision. This will go to Afghanistan through Quilts Of Valor. I hope it lets the recipient know how much we care.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Show And Tell Bag

I saw this bag when I went to MAQ quilt camp this summer. I just had to make it. The directions are really good. There were still some difficult parts for me and I am not sure if I did the zipper packet right. But I made it work just fine. It will hold alot of quilts and has inside pockets. All fabric was from my ample stash.
It got pretty thick along the top with all the layers. I love the way these straps are made.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Missouri Star Tutorial Diamond Rail Fence

I love the Missouri Star Website. They have so many wonderful video tutorials on there. The latest one was a Diamond Rail Fence. I love adding diamonds to what can be a rather boring quilt. I quilted stars in the center of the larger diamonds. Next time I will not add the smaller ones. They are fiddly to put on. I also will trim the blocks a bit to get them to a perfect exact size. I cut lots more strips so I will be able to make another one without cutting too much more.
This quilt will be mailed off to our troops in Afghanistan through Quilts Of Valor.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Scrap user quilts

At our sewing day at the library a guild member gave me a copy of a pattern. It uses 2 1/2 strips. You keep the center strip consistent through the quilt. I made this one quite quickly from all my bright strips. I used the leftovers for a piano key border. It was fun and easy. It will go to our local hospital to cheer up a child.
I can see more of these in my future.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kids quilts from library sewing day.

Friends from my guild and I sew once a month at our local public library. I always have pre cut kits made up of children's quilt patterns. I had one half done one month an was able to finish it up. I also got another one just about done. Quilting these are a breeze on my Handiquilter. These will go to our local hospital.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Eagels from Julia

I got confused with what blocks I put on what This one used the Disappearing 9 patch from Debbie. This has another panel and more of the churn dash blocks. I am almost out of them. This one turned out quite big.
Blocks already made and panels make these quilts go quite quickly. I try to stay off the internet and not watch too much TV for more quilting time.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Statue Of Liberty

My friend Julia sent me a bunch of wonderful patriotic panels. Debbie sent me some BIG 9 patch which I cut apart into disappearing 9 patch. The Church Dash blocks are from our exchange. The little corner blocks are from Vicky. The borders and binding are from fabric from Meg and Char. The putting it all together into a quilt for our military was ME.
What a wonderful joint project. This will go to Afghanistan.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

For Our Military

A group of friends did a block exchange using the church dash. I decided I would incorporate them into a Quilt Of Valor. I had them sign the center of each block. I found this wonderful panel in my local quilt shop and bought several. I have enough for a couple of these quilts.
Here is a little closer look.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Camp Quilt Completed

I took a string quilt class on Sunday at camp. I picked all bright strips to use for this quilt. It was VERY easy and fun to make. This will be donated to our local hospital for the children. The blocks were 6 1/2. I am currently working on another with brights. These blocks will be 8 1/2 and put into a different setting. I use phone book pages for the foundation.
I love the binding fabric and bought it at my local quilt shop on sale.

Monday, July 16, 2012

MAQ Quilt Camp

We have an annual wonderful Quilt Camp in Emmitsburg Pa at a lovely college campus. They have fabulous teachers, fun activities and all the food is provided. This means no cooking or dishes.....that is something I could never get tired of. Besides learning quilt lessons I discovered some wonderful things I can do with scraps and strips. I have a pretty good sized stash and try very hard not to buy new fabric. The one exception is patriotic for all my Quilts Of Valor. I go through alot of that so I am always on the look out for different designs. I usually buy just one yard.
Another very good benefit is seeing all the different ways to do the class from the other students. They choose different fabrics, maybe tweak something or use a different setting. Also we are free to visit all the other classes to see what they are doing. It can be VERY inspiring. I went up with a local friend and we had another guild member in our dorm room. I met up with a dear friend who I usually see only there. This is another benefit of camp. We do stay in touch through Facebook which I love. This is a picture of a quilt that I made from a class from last year. All the quilts in the room were from camp projects from previous years. This will be a donation quilt to either Hospice or the Veterans Hospital.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Arizona Emblem

I visited several quilt shops while on my trip to Arizona. They sure have ALOT there. I wanted to make something to commemorate the wonderful time that I had there. I picked up this pattern at a lovely shop in Williams. I did micro quilting on my Janome to make the shapes puff out some. This is hanging in our living room for us to enjoy.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Manly Quilt From Panels

A wonderful friend from my guild donated lots of panels to me for my charity quilts. I am making some to bring to our annual retreat in North Carolina. these will return to Oklahoma for a Veterans Hospital there. Here is one all ready to go. I received the most wonderful donation of wide quilt backings yesterday. It is a ROLL of beautiful flag fabric. I no longer have to worry about purchasing backing. I have enough to donate to local people when they make a top for any military organization.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Swoon Centers and Strings Around

I fell in love with the pattern called Swoon. It is easy to purchase as you just use Pay Pal and buy it as a PDF. After making 3 of these I grew a little weary I decided to use them as a medallion in the center of a Quilt Of Valor. I made these strings using the trimmings off a backing--thanks Carla for the backing fabric---as a consistent center. I really like how that looks. I sewed them onto phone book paper---thanks JanetK. The good news is that I have 2 more centers to use. I think the fabric with words came from Char. This is my wonderful online friends who support this mission with fabric donations. Thanks Lizzies.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Label Love and a Turning Twenty Quilt

I have been very unhappy with making labels for all my quilts. No matter what I chose to write with-----it washed out quite a bit on the first washing. I have lusted after an embroidery machine for quite some time. They are quite expensive so I just had not made the purchase. I went to the Brother website to look again at what was offered. One the Homepage was a really cute machine for $300. It is sold only through Wal-Mart. I looked at all the features and decided it would be perfect for what I want to do....which is mainly labels. Returns would be easy if I did not like it. Just take it to the local Wal-Mart. It came in the mail and was very easy to learn. I had a little trouble accessing the saved patterns but once I figured that out---was a piece of cake. I could buy some software to download designs off the internet but really have enough in here for what I want to do. I think I will make a new guild name tag also. I also decided to make a Turning Twenty quilt and use up some of my Fat Quarters. Some of them were not quite big enough so I just added from stash. I am not totally thrilled with this quilt. I like a more complex looking one and not such big patches. I added an applique on one that I felt was just too plain. I doubt I will make another of this pattern. It went off to Afghanistan along with 3 others. Last week we had a hail storm for a short time. We seldom get these here in Maryland so I ran for my camera. There was also a rainbow across the street from this crazy 10 minute storm.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Guild Challenge Quilts

We were given an orphan block at our guild a few months ago. We had to make something out of it. I was lucky enough to get a patriotic block. I had lots of blocks sent to me by my dear online friends. It was easy to put them into a sampler type quilt. I won second place-----there was a tie for first or I would have been third place. This one is also for our military in Afghanistan. I can fit 4 in a box and then mail them off. I buy the 14 x 14 boxes at Wal-Mart for under a dollar. This is much easier than search
ing all over for boxes.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Quilt From H*ll

I saw this pattern------cannot even remember the name and thought it was fabulous. I must have put it on the design wall a dozen times and ripped and resewed sections. I still think something was not right but figured it was good enough. I will NOT be making this pattern again. But I do love the center design. This will be off to Afghanistan. I FINALLY have my big Janome back and working great. It makes binding so much easier to put on. I had to send it to Alabama to the dealer I bought it from after the local dealer was unable to repair it.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Horses For The Ladies

My friend Julia sent me some wonderful patriotic panels. I had made a few of the Moda One star blocks and decided to see what I could do with both of them. I am finally feeling confident enough to branch out from patterns to do things on mine own. This will be donated to our local Veterans Home for the Ladies Section.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How Did We Survive??????

Those of You Born 1930 - 1979

At the end of this Email is a quote of the month by Jay Leno.. If you don't read anything else, PleaseRead what he Said. Very well stated, Mr. Leno

. TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's! First, we survived being born to mothers Who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, Tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, Locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode Our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads. As infants & children, We would ride in cars with no car seats, No booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes. Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

 We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, From one bottle and no one actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon.. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. WHY? Because we were always outside playing...that's why! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, As long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps And then ride them down the hill, only to find out We forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, No video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, No cell phones, No personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS And we went outside and found them!

 We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth And there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, And the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, Made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, Although we were told it would happen, We did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and Knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just Walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal With disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law Was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! These generations have produced some of the best Risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

 If YOU are one of them? CONGRATULATIONS! You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good . While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were. Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ?

 The quote of the month is by Jay Leno: "With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of swine flu and terrorist attacks. Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Group Effort for Quilts Of valor

Here is another quilt made from blocks from friends. These blocks come from a very talented quilter in Oklahoma----thanks Vicki. These go together fairly quickly and are really fun to play with. I am STILL trying to get my big Janome repaired so I needed to put the binding on using a walking foot on my smaller machine.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Another Quilt Of Valor

Here is another quilt that was just waiting for the binding. I sewed these strips to a thin square of fabric. I did not like now thick some of the seams were when quilting it. I will use paper from now on. I do like the gold in the middle.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Next in the lineup

I saw this pattern on a website and figured out how to do it. It is strip piecing on paper. The intersections got thick tho and I think this will be a quilt I do not make again. I do love how it looks though. Afghanistan bound.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Backlog Of Quilts

My Janome 6600 has been out of order for quite sometime. I was waiting for it to be repaired so I could bind my quilts but decided to just do it on my smaller machine with a walking foot. I do my bindings totally by machine for strength and fast application.

Each day I will put up one new quilt. This quilt is made from blocks sent to me from online friends. I just put on sashing, borders and then quilt them. MUCH quicker than having to make the blocks.

This will be sent off to Afghanistan for one of our wounded military,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Surprise Win

I live in St Marys County in Maryland. I belong to a very wonderful guild. There are lots of quilting opportunities in our area but many of them are during the day. This is not possible for me as I work outside the house. My guild meets at night.

We have a local quilt show for county residents every couple of years. I have been working on a large block of the month over a little over a year. It is called Civil War Tribute. I saw this quilt in Lancaster a couple of years ago and was gobsmacked.
I wanted to make it in red white and blue instead of the usual civil war colors.

It barely fit on my Handiquilter and I quilted swirls all over it. Next was binding and a sleeve.

It was one of my entries in our local show and I was both thrilled and surprised to win Best In Show. BUT this is viewer judged and it was impressive hanging up. I a not by any means a show quilter but I am proud of this quilt. This quilts is on our bed as I make quilts to be used.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Never Say Never

I have never really been interested in making a totally scrappy quilt---you know the kind---just go by light, medium and dark. BUT at our guild the other night they had the cutest block for us to make this month. So I took the plunge.

It took me about an hour to make the first one as I kept getting the placements confused. BUT I figured out a labeling system and now it is much easier.

I usually give my scraps away---except red white and blue. But I had a container of them waiting for our guild yard sale. I took them out and cut the correct sizes for a bunch of blocks. I then made the hourglass units. I cut them oversized and then trimmed to the correct size.

The block turned out a little larger but that allowed me to trim it to a perfect 11 1/2. All the seams distorted it a little--or maybe my pressing. I cut enough for quite a few and will make as many as I can with those pieces.

I may redesign this block to be able to use 2 1/2 strips and 2 inch. I think it would make a wonder Quilt Of Valor. I have LOTS of those strips in a nice big box.

Who would have thunk it?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Blue and Yellow Happiness for a Veteran Lady

Our guild is supplying quilts for the new ward opening at our local Veterans Home. I had a nice pile of blue and yellow flowered fabric. That is my favorite color combo. I have 3 quilts for us made with that and do NOT need another. I just used my 10 1/2 inch ruler and cut it all into squares.

This is like the very popular quilts that sell at Pottery Barn and other places like that. I wanted something fast and easy but still pretty. I used the puffier batting that has such a nice dimension for the quilting. It takes up more room in the box when mailing quilts---so I save it for local donations.

I bundled up the scraps to sell at our guild tonight for a little yardsale. Lots of pretties left.

Thanks for the suggestions on the string quilt. Using tissue paper is really great as I can cut it to any size I would like. I had no trouble quilting it on my HQ16 with the fabric as a foundation though.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Strings On A Foundation

In my journey of experimenting with scrappy string quilts---I decided to try stitching them onto thin fabric. I put gold in the middle as I think it adds a really bright color. The blocks are 12 inches.

I think I like this better than paper as it does not have to be removed. ALSO--I like the larger blocks. This quilt will be going to Afghanistan after it goes to my guild for show and tell.

*Sigh* I see I turned one block But I still love it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blocks From Judy

One of my online friends sent these beautiful blocks. They were pieced very nicely so I just needed to add sashing and borders.

My big Janome was in the shop so I had to wait for it to get back home to put on the binding. Sadly after 2 quilts--it is doing the SAME thing. It will go back again today. I have 2 other sewing machines for piecing so I am able to keep making these quilts.

The little cornerstones are from Vicki and the binding from a local guild friend Kathie L. The backing is from Carla. This is a true collaborative quilt.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Star Fun

I just love my Accuquilt Cutting System. It makes flying geese so easy to cut and sew. I love star quilts and made this one as my next Quilt Of Valor donation. The middles were inspired by my friend Polly.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Quilts From 3 Dudes Quilting

My Arizona friend Janet shared this free pattern with me in North Carolina last October. I sort of forgot about it until I saw one she made. I do not save scraps so I had to go to fabric to cut out the strips. I cut out so many I had enough to make 2. I really love making this pattern and see more in my future.

It is available here:

Look for the one called Let's Strip It Magic Mountain Quilt.

Both of these will be donated to Quilts Of Valor after my guild Show and Tell later this month.