Friday, March 30, 2012

Country Charmer Kits

Hello Everyone,

My last post was about Autumn, this post is about Christmas.  So if you don't want to even think about the Christmas word, stop reading now.

I put a few Country Charmer kits together at the shop, and I liked them so much I decided to buy one!  I have a issue with fabrics, kits, books and quilting notions coming home with me on my workday.  It is a good thing that I only work one day a week.  You know the phrase, Will Work For Fabric.

I thought, I'll just make one block....

....which ended up being two blocks.  I cut the pieces and put them on the block layout sheet and started stitching.

It is so much fun to put kits together.  I get to select checks, polka dots, stripes and plaids from the whole store!  I'm just waiting for some more border fabric to arrive, and the kits will be posted for sale online.  I'll keep you posted when they become available.

I almost always make all of my patterns twice.  One quilt for the shop, and one to travel the country.  This quilt is staying at the shop, and then it will come home to stay for our enjoyment this Christmas.  Oh but wait, I may have a daughter-in-law or two fighting over this one!

Enjoy your day dreaming of sugarplums dancing in your head.

As always,


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Something for Fall

Hello Everyone,

The four of these blocks, a few more of these blocks,

........will be combined to make something for an Autumn quilt. I'm seeing some applique along with some embroidery in this quilt.  A few of my ideas are on paper, the rest of them are in my brain.  Time to get them out of my head and onto the design wall.  I have my work fun cut out for me today, tomorrow and several more days/weeks after that.  I love this process of combining colors and different block designs. The hours just melt away while I'm in my little piece of heaven, both mentally and physically.

My quilting room is awash with all colors of Autumn, my favorite time of the year.  If I start now, I'll have a new addition to my fall decorations and a new quilt to display in the In Between Stitches booth at Pacific International Quilt Festival in October. 

I hope you all enjoy today while looking ahead to your future quilting projects.

As always,


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Opportunity Quilt

Hello Everyone,

The best part of designing quilts, is seeing what other quilters do with my patterns.  The Needle Nellies from Georgetown, California made Party in the Garden for their opportunity quilt this year. I am going to go see this beautiful quilt at their outdoor quilt show in September. I can't wait to see it in person and meet the talented ladies that made it.

The Needle Nellies are committed to raising money for the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department through opportunity quilt ticket sales.  Check out their website HERE. By supporting their group, you could be a winner, and have their wonderful rendition of Party in the Garden hanging in your home.  If you would like to purchase a ticket to win this quilt, contact:

or call Lynn Tubbe 530-334-3167

Needle Nellies, you made me so happy and proud when I saw this picture! I look forward to the quilt show on September 15th and I know you will sell tons of tickets for the Fire Department.

As always,


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Another One in the Finished Column

Hello Everyone,

The binding is finished, the hanging sleeve is on, all I need now is a quilt label and Madrigal is completely finished! When the Urban Cowgirl fabric by Moda arrived at the shop, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.  In my mind, I could "see" the finished quilt.  Now I get to see and touch the finished quilt.

Here is the first version of Madrigal that I made with Luna Notte fabric along with some older 3 Sisters fabrics called Wuthering Heights.  This version is hanging at The Quilt House in Gardnerville, Nevada and is traveling around to quilt shows in California and Nevada.

This is how Madrigal got her name. 

The definition of madrigal is…’ a song with parts for several, usually unaccompanied voices singing in harmony.’  The naming of this quilt originated when this beautiful fabric seemed to sing to me. There are many different ‘voices’ of this quilt.   The center appliqué section acts as the choirmaster.  The other voices singing in harmony are the blocks, the setting triangles with their flanges, the setting squares with a quilted, feathered wreath, and the scalloped black border is the final curtain on the performance.  Listen to your blocks while selecting the fabric.  You will know when they start to sing!  All you have to do is listen with your eyes.

 As you go about your quilting, listen with your eyes, you know what you like, you know what looks your instincts and go for it!

As always,


Friday, March 23, 2012

The Ties That Bind

Hello Everyone,

This is just a tease to show you the scalloped borders on Madrigal.  One side is finished.....just three more to go!  You can really see the wonderful Urban Cowgirl fabrics in this close-up.  I loved the lacey look of the fabric in the setting triangles.  The small red border, block center, and binding is American Banner Rose fabric.

It is a little trickier sewing binding to a scalloped border, but so worth the time!  I use these wonderful little clips to hold the binding securely while I stitch.  The scallop isn't very 'deep' which makes it easier to attach the binding.  I started with a 2-1/4" strip of binding.

I will stitch today until my arm tells me to stop.  Hopefully I can get another side or two finished then I'll attach the hanging sleeve.  Soon I can take pictures of the whole quilt and put this in the finished column.

I love to work on binding.  It gives me a chance not to have to think too hard about anything.  It's a wonderful sense of completion, relaxation and contemplation about my next design.  I can also sit in front of the boob tube and not feel guilty and not feel guilty about wasting my time!

I hope all of you have get a sense of completion today and can move on to something else that brings you great satisfaction. 

As always,


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Madrigal Machine Quilting Part 3

Hello Everyone,

Just a quick post this morning to show you the progress I've made on Madrigal.  I quilted all the way to the bottom border and took it off the machine last night to let her 'unroll' for the evening.  I was so anxious to see what the quilting was going to look like on the whole quilt.

I'll turn it, put her back on the long arm this morning, and quilt the side borders and setting triangles in one continuous pass of the machine.  There is a light at the end of the quilted tunnel!

Then I can cut the scalloped borders and get to work on the binding.  I'm thinking about red binding, the same as the tiny inner border.  I'll have to audition some bindings today and make my final decision.

I have a very full day ahead of me, so I'm signing off for now.  I hope all of you enjoy your day doing something you love to do.

As always,


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Madrigal Machine Quilting Part 2

Hello Everyone,

I received a few comments and personal emails asking about the acrylic templates that I use for machine quilting.  While I was quilting yesterday, I took lots of pictures of them to show you my quilting process. I'm trying to keep track of my time on this one.  I'm not even halfway finished, and I've been working on it for 10 hours.

Let's start with the pieced block.  I use a small circle template to create a uniform shape around the center of the block.

I put a piece of white tape on the template so I can align it perfectly on each seam.

I rotate this circle and quilt around the block in one continuous pass.

I end up where I started and quilt a tight stipple in the light, center section of the block.

I will then use this ruler and stitch in the ditch across the whole row of block in one continuous pass.  I dislike stitching in the ditch as I find it hard to stay in that ditch!

For the center section, I switch to my micro handlebars for the fine, detailed quilting around the applique section of the quilt.
And I do mean small details.

The fabric I used for the vase screamed for crosshatching.  The end result looks like an old satin jewelry box.  After I took this picture, I went back and outlined all of the leaves.

Then I quilted a very irregular spine for the fill-in feathers.

I quilt up one side being careful not to catch in the flange.

Then I quilt up the other side.

Before you know it, the area is starting to look really good.  My irregular spine doesn't look so irregular anymore does it?

Then I work my way up to the top.  The throat space on my machine is only 16", so I will have to go back and finish the top of the block later when I can re-roll the whole quilt.

The embroidery is perfect to add feathers as leaves.

Now I'll show you how I quilt the setting squares using an oval acrylic template.

I center the template and stitch around it.

I quilt feathers up one side, then come back to my starting point by quilting a double spine.

Then I quilt feathers up the inside. The only marking I do on this block is a few dots up the middle of the oval so I can center the middle feathers.

Then I do the same on the other side.  (Opps, I see a bit of a wrinkle.....oh well I won't tell anyone it you don't.)

Then after I'm finished with several rows of very detailed, custom quilting, I have a glass of Potty Mouth wine from Twisted Oak Winery.
You know I am an honorary member of the Potty Mouth Piecers.  I could never do a You Tube video of my quilting....there would be a few censored words!

I'm off to the shop today to fill in for the owner.  No more quilting today, which might be a good thing.  My machine and I both need to take a break from each other!

As always,


Friday, March 16, 2012

Machine Quilting Madrigal

Hello Everyone,

I got the backing made for Madrigal, and put her on the long-arm yesterday.  As you can see, I quilted directly on the marked line to establish the scalloped border, then filled it with free-motion feathers.

The setting triangles needed something other than feathers, so I went with a double line.  Determining the placement for the lines was easy by lining them up with the seams in the patchwork blocks.

I used an acrylic circle to make this design in the blocks.

I wanted to quilt something really different in the setting squares other than my standard feathered wreath.  I practiced drawing whatever this is called, then went right to the quilting machine.  I used a pointed, oval, acrylic template to establish the shape, then quilted in the feathers.  Since I'm so consistently inconsistent with the number of loops in my feathers, I'm always counting while I'm quilting, and they are still off.  Oh well, in the grand scheme of things, it won't matter.

I'll be quilting on and off throughout the day.  I'll go into the quilting room and complete a row or two.  This quilt will eventually be completed, but it is going to take quite a bit of time.

I hope you all get the chance to slip into your sewing rooms today and have a chance to quilt.  All of the minutes, hours and days add up to a beautiful creation.

As always,


***Note to Kathy who saw The House on Edgewood Lane quilt at the AQS show in Lancaster, PA.  I am unable to respond to your wonderful comment as I don't have your email address.  Please send an email to me directly at 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Drop-In Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,

The 2nd Tuesday of the month is my drop-in class day at In Between Stitches.  It is great fun to see the progress the girls make between class meetings.

Kathy is making wonderful progress on her Party in the Garden quilt.  You would never know that she is new to applique!

It all starts coming together.

Carol has a lot of hexies to show off for Summer's Blush.

Isabelle was turning out pinwheels and blocks for Winterset.

Louise is making more and more yo-yo's adding to her collection. The Yo-Yo quilt takes a lot of time, but it is so worth the effort.

Cindy is mass producing HST for basket handles for Buttonwood.

Kay is doing a wonderful job on her Party in the Garden.  I love the different colorway!

It is so much fun spending the day with the girls.  There is sharing of ideas benefiting all of us.

On another note, The Christmas Shoppe will have four of my quilts on display in their booth at the AQS (American Quilter's Society) quilt show starting today in Lancaster, PA.  If you are in the area, stop by Mary Jane's booth and check out her beautiful display of quilts, fabrics, patterns and embellishments.

It's a rainy day here in California.....finally!  We've had an unusually dry winter so it wonderful to have a good storm or two roll over the state.

I hope you all have a very creative day.

As always,