Wednesday, December 4, 2013


My friend and customer, Andrea, dropped off a quilt yesterday, and I started quilting right away.  The backing was Minky, which is a slightly furry fabric that makes a really soft and warm quilt back.

Andrea picked out the quilting design called "Holly's Hearts" and it looks really great on the quilt!

Andrea decided on a variegated thread in primary colors for the top thread and a variegated thread in pastels for the back.  The Minky is so fluffy that you can barely see the thread itself, although the pattern really stands out!

This quilt measures 60" by 60" and the fee for the quilting was less than $60.  What a deal!

If you are interested in having a quilt professionally quilted by me, click here for the details.  If you prefer, you can go straight to my Etsy shop by clicking here.

Monday, December 2, 2013


I have been wanting to make a scrap quilt forever.  I've been buying fabric and quilting since the 1990s, so you can imagine the amount of leftovers I have.  I've been looking at scrappy quilts to find a pattern I liked, and I came across this one that I found at A Little Bit Biased.  As you can see, it is finished and ready to be listed for sale at my new Etsy shop.

The reason I put off making a scrappy quilt was that the directions usually start out with "Cut out 578 2 inch squares."  Oh, my!  I could not imagine doing it!  But I liked this quilt so much that I dragged out my bins of fabric "stash" and started cutting out 2" squares for the nine and sixteen patches, and larger squares for the star points and background.  It took a few days, and I was very methodical (obsessive) about the colors I chose.

The picture to the right is the stacks of all the colored squares I cut out.  Each small stack is 4 squares of that color, and I did nine stacks of blue, nine stacks of yellow, etc., so altogether, there are 312 of the 2" squares, and 80 of the larger squares.  And this does not count the white squares that I cut out for the background.  So, all together, I cut out 624 of the smaller squares and 160 of the larger squares, plus sashing, so the grand total was around 900 pieces.  Whew! 

So many steps went in to piecing the blocks, including making all the half-square triangle blocks for the start points.  The picture above shows the 160 blocks I made for the star points, which then had to be pressed and trimmed to the right size, as show by the pink ones on the right.  I really wish I had kept track of the hours I spent making this quilt.  It has to be over one hundred!

This little pile is just the 16th of an inch that I trimmed off of each edge to make the blocks come out perfect!

After all that cutting and sorting colors into order, it was such a rush to finally make the first block!  I won't even go into any detail about how I arranged the colors, but suffice to say that the colors are in a certain order, and there is no block where a color is repeated, or near a like color in a block next to it in the quilt.  I have heard other quilters say that, when they make a scrappy quilt, they put all the pieces in a bag and choose them at random, but I am too obsessive for that!

It was fun doing the sashing, too, and I put it together as I went so that I could be sure there were no like colors touching in the sashing, either!

Many hours and many days later, the quilt was ready to go on my Ansel 26 long arm quilting machine.  I chose a quilting pattern called Feathers All Around and I love the way it came out!  I did the pattern a little bit smaller than I usually do for my quilts, because I wanted it to have a more old time-y look.  I quilted it with white thread.  The backing for the quilt is white, too.  I love the way you can see the quilting on the back.

All that was left to do was bind the quilt, and after considering a white binding, I decided to piece the binding using a lot of the fabrics I used in the quilt top.  Every 12 inches, the binding changes to another color.

This quilt is done and ready for a loving home!  The dimensions are 57" x 70" and it would be a great quilt for a child or an adult that likes a little whimsy in their life!  Click here to see the quilt and buy it!

I have the next quilt in my mind already and have purchased fabric for it, so please favorite me on Etsy so you can see my creations as they get listed!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Over a year ago, I got the idea to open a shop on to sell quilts and other handmade items.  I made some quilts to sell, and stopped at Hancock's at Paducah to buy fabric for a sweet little jewelry holder that I wanted to make:

I bought enough fabric to make 60 of these items and started sewing.  Many, many days later, I was finished, but never pulled the trigger on the Etsy shop.  I sold a few of the pouches at a flea market last year, but the rest have been set aside for the day that I might get around to opening my shop.

Well, today was that day, and my shop is open!  So far, only the jewelry holders are listed, but after Thanksgiving, I plan on doing my photography and listing my quilts.

You can visit my shop by clicking here.  There are nine different colors to choose from.

I told my sister, Diane, about my new shop and she posted it on her Facebook timeline, and a few minutes later, I had my first sale!  I'm very excited!

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I had a lot of fun today playing with my Quilt Pro quilting software and designing this quilt.

I've been trying to come up with a design that I could use to make a quilt with all of the purple, yellow and orange scraps that I have collected.  I know the colors above are different than those colors, but it still gives me ideas.

A favorite tree of mine growing up was the Autumn Purple White Ash, which we used to call a "Purple Grandma Tree."  We had one in our yard on Sycamore, and when I moved back to that house as an adult, the tree was gigantic and the star of the yard in the fall.  We planted two of them in the yard on Oakwood, and there are three of them across the street from our new home, so I get to see them all the time.  The leaves turn purple and gold.  This is a Autumn Purple White Ash tree in all of its glory:

Friday, January 18, 2013


I had the fun of teaching Kathy and Diane to quilt tonight.  I told the story that I started quilting because my older sister, also named Diane, started quilting and I did not want to be left behind.  My sister told me at the time, back in the early '90s, that when I stopped quilting, she would buy all my supplies for half price.  Little did she know that I would end up being a professional quilter and quilting teacher.  
As usual, both of my students were delighted with their finished blocks and are pondering which quilting class to take next.  Of course, I suggested my Quilting Trend: Machine Quilting & Binding.

Students so far this year - 4

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I made a vow that this year I am going to take a photo of every one of my Quilting 101 classes at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store in Orland Park, Illinois.  I taught my first class of the year tonight and, as usual, we had a great time and both of my students, Debbie and Sandie, did a great job, as you can see by their quilt blocks and the smiles on their faces!  Okay, one of the smiling faces is mine, because Debbie was a little camera shy tonight, so I stood in for her and let her snap this picture.  This block is called "Hole in the Barn Door" and it's the block I use to teach rotary cutting, perfecting the scant 1/4" seam, interlocking seams and block construction.  Year 2013 is off to a good start!