Happy Independence Day!

4 07 2015

DSCN7462How are you celebrating? We’re having a houseful of company some of whom are learning how to scuba dive in our quarry-lake. This means lots of cooking in the kitchen and grilling on the porch. I’m anticipating talking and laughing with friends and family.

On this Independence Day, my thoughts about my country turn me to prayer:  prayers of gratefulness for freedom, safety, and plenty; prayers for wisdom for our leaders; prayers for deployed soldiers and their families who miss them; prayers for our youth, the next generation.

And now, a little bit about the pictured quilt:  It’s a combination of a “Postage Stamp” quilt and “Star Bright” quilt. The squares were cut 1 3/4,” so with 3″ borders the project is only a bit larger than a placemat. “Postage Stamp” is my favorite quilt for graduates. It’s a visual reminder to keep in touch with old friends while making new connections at college or on the job. Sometimes life feels like lots of contrasting pieces, but sewn together with balance and purpose the pieces make a beautiful creation.

Hoping your celebration is joy-filled . . . with a little time for quilting!


1 07 2015

DSCN7461“Can you quilt on your longarm machine a quilt that has already been quilted?” was my male cousin’s question.

“It depends.” In my estimation, it depends on the condition of the quilt and its fabrics, the style of the previous quilting, and how the quilt will be used.

In my cousin’s case, the quilt of 8″ squares was basically intact; a few split seams were easily repaired. The quiltmaker, an elderly lady, used polyester batting, and she tied the quilt. Many of the ties have come untied during the 20 plus years my cousin has used the quilt.  G.C. felt that a simple, all-over quilting design would extend the life of the quilt and render it more wash-able. He plans to use the quilt in his home and on road/camping trips; it is not a display-only heirloom.

I accepted the challenge of re-quilting and discovered the multitude of fabrics used by the quiltmaker:  quilting cotton, poly-cotton sheeting, nylon jersey, double knit, and the backing is drapery fabric as are many of the 8″ squares. In case you are wondering how the fabrics you use today will withstand the test of time, I’ll testify that all these types of fabrics are sturdy, polyester double knit will never dry rot, and the drapery backing has only a few worn places on the very edges of the back-to-front binding. (Not that I am planning to switch to drapery and home dec fabric for my own quilt backings any time soon!)

G.C.’s quilt is not perfect; it’s not even pretty. But it has been a comfortable and comforting companion, well-used and well-appreciated. I believe the all-over meandering in gray thread will extend the life of the quilt as he wished.

Another example of the re-quilting question was my aunt’s desire for me to cover two old patchwork quilts made by her grandmother and great-aunts. Although the patchwork designs were interesting and well-executed, the fabric is worn in many places. Unbonded cotton batting resulted lumpy areas and thin areas (unbonded cotton batting shifts within the quilt when washed). Auntie wanted the quilts covered front and back with new fabric and quilted through all layers so she could use them on beds for warmth in wintertime. While I am willing to make large pillow-case type covers for the quilts, I do not advise using them as fillers for new bedcoverings because the quilts have more family value as they are. In the future, a granddaughter might like to decorate her home with antique textiles. In addition, the older batting and tattered edges of the quilts would have been difficult to work with on my longarm. In truth, I would rather make my aunt a new, warm quilt than to cover her family quilts with new fabric.

Would you re-quilt a quilt? “It depends,” doesn’t it?



“Polka Tot” Published

29 06 2015

I am so excited to share a published quilt with you! Click here to read McCall’s commentary about the quilt.


“Polka Tot” appears in McCall’s Quick Quilts, Aug./Sept. 2015 issue. Magazine subcribers should already have their copies, and it will be on sale in fabric and book stores on June 30.

McCall's QQ Cover Aug. Sept. 2015

The polka dot fabrics in bright colors are so cheerful! What baby wouldn’t love this quilt? At 38 1/2″ square, “Polka Tot” is perfect for tummy time. It can be compactly folded to fit in a diaper or stroller bag.

You can read more about this quilt on July 9 when I’m a guest blogger for the McCall’s blog. I will have several copies of the magazine to give away and pictures of a bonus, manly lap quilt to share.



Patriotic Raffle Quilt

24 06 2015

Special Ops Warrior Foundation

On Saturday, June 20, my husband was a guest speaker at a benefit concert for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. It was held at the V.F.W. in Jarrettsville, Maryland.

In addition to hearing contemporary Christian music by the Chicken Coop Project and bluegrass music by other groups, I was happy to see (and purchase a ticket for) Rosalee’s patriotic raffle quilt.

Rosalee's raffle quilt

What a fun family day with games for the children, excellent pit barbecue (beef, turkey, or ham), pickin’ and grinnin’ bands, and conversations with like-minded patriotic folks!

(Too bad I didn’t win the quilt!)

“Crabapples” Progress Report

22 06 2015

As posted earlier, my sewing project for the summer is a scrappy “Crabapples” quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter and published in Adventures with Leaders and Enders. I am happy to report that all 25 tree blocks are now assembled!


The paper-pieced trunk sections were easily sewn, and I was surprised how quickly I could assemble the blocks once the scrappy Nine Patches and three-sies were made.

Next step: placing the “Crabapple” tree blocks on my design wall, spreading the various green tonals around, and cutting sashing.

How are you progressing on your summer quilting project?

“Just Can’t Cut It”

18 06 2015

My friend and longarm quilting customer, Linda, sent me a gorgeous quilt top to quilt. It’s a gift for her mother. The fabric of saturated purple and blue and green is simply stunning! I can see why Linda didn’t want to cut it up into small patchwork pieces.


The fabric line is Moda’s “Terrain” designed by Kate SpainClick here to view swatches of the complete line of fabric.

The color tones of the fabrics are so similar in value, I could have quilted a simple design like “meandering” to merely add texture to the quilt. But the quilt is a special gift and the fabric is so awesome, I decided a fancier quilting treatment was warranted. I quilted loops and double loops in the border. I quilted large, bodacious flowers surrounded by leaves in the large squares, smaller flowers in the smaller squares, and a curvy fern frond that stretches across the three retangles.


Linda, your mother is going to love this quilt!

To order a “Just Can’t Cut It” pattern designed by All Washed Up Quilts and distributed by Missouri Star Quilt Company, click here.

“Four Patches on Parade”

15 06 2015

DSCN7444This past week I’ve been working on a new teaching sample, because in August, I’ll be giving a workshop to the Busy Bees in Greenville, SC. We’ll be making “Prest-O, Change-O,” a charm square friendly design. Through an innovative cutting technique, we’ll change a straight set quilt of squares into an on-point set quilt of diamonds. To illustrate the versatility of the cutting method, I designed “Four Patches on Parade” pictured here. (I’ll distribute this bonus pattern to workshop participants.)


For my quilt sample, I used Kona Snow and Navy as well as two prints by Denyse Schmidt. (Thanks, Karlyn, for helping me choose coordinating fabrics from my stash!)  I love how the solids and prints play together – the quilt has a fresh, vintage feel, don’t you think?”


Here’s the quilt loaded into the longarm — a blank palette for quilting designs. Since so much of the quilt is solid navy and white, I decided to add interest by quilting leaves in green thread. I had two choices of green thread: a dull olive which matched the green print and a lime green which is brighter than the print. I chose the lime green because it contrasted better with the navy fabric; the dull olive just faded into the navy. The free-hand leaf shape mimics the flowers in the green print fabric.


With 5″ borders, the quilt measures about 45″ square, the perfect size for a charity lap quilt or baby quilt.


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