“Merry and Bright”

9 12 2017

This weekend the Northeast is realizing its dream of a white Christmas a few weeks ahead of the 25th. We drove to Pennsylvania to enjoy a family dinner on Sunday. Fortunately we arrived before snow accumulated on the highways and backroads. It has turned into an afternoon for hot chocolate, the Hallmark channel, and hand binding quilts. Darla, my MIL, stepped out on the deck so I could photograph this wall quilt I just finished binding.

Daughter Trinity pieced this wall quilt from a panel she admired at Loving Stitches in Fayetteville, NC. She selected a muted, medium blue quilting thread feeling it would blend with the gray border in the background, the lime green border, as well the tan background. Her theory worked marvelously; the blue thread lends sophisticated silver accents to the quilted motifs.

I quilted leaf-like veins in the tree with tan thread and outlined the tree, deer, and stars with blue thread. I meandered in the background of the panel, stitched a close, rounded zigzag in the green border, and quilted holly leaves and loops in the outer border. I quilted continuous curves in the four corner blocks.

Hoping your weekend is Merry and Bright whether or not your landscape is beautified by snow.


“Chain of Hearts” Published

4 12 2017

Excitement is running high! “Chain of Hearts” has been published in the January/February 2018 issue of McCall’s Quilting. And the editors have donated two copies for me to give away to blog readers, so be sure to leave a comment below for a chance to win.

I was inspired by Corey Yoder’s scrappy patchwork heart design, “Lovely” #1300, published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, vol. 13. Instead of using many spring colors on a dark gray background as she did, I selected color saturated reds and pinks from Wilmington Prints.  The project is pre-cut friendly; I used 2 packs of “Ruby Days” 2 1/2″ strips as well as minimal yardage of red and pink tone-on-tones. For background I selected a light gray with gray polka dots. Using medium gray thread, I quilted hearts and loops over all in the interior and outer border. The thin black border is an unquilted accent.

The pages following the “Chain of Hearts” instructions describe how to make a coordinating table, dresser, or bed runner. The Quilting Company is offering a kit for this runner. Click here to link to the online store. Why not order a kit and craft a beautiful table quilt for Valentine’s Day?

And now for your chance to win the Jan./Feb. 2018 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine. Leave a comment saying for whom you would make “Chain of Hearts.” The drawing will be on December 12.

Fall Table Topper

2 12 2017

December 2nd, and the Christmas season is already in full swing! I love seeing the decorations and lights around town, and I enjoy singing along to Christmas carols on the radio. However, a glorious, colorful fall still lingers in North Carolina. No one is complaining about the sunshine and unseasonably warm mid-day temperatures, and I continue to be inspired by the orange, yellow, red, purple, brown, and green colors swirling around during afternoon walks.

This table topper for a good (quilting) friend is an attempt to capture the vibrant fall hues that have inspired me this past week. The “Sherbet” design by Alison Dale was published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, vol. 13 (Block # 1263). I enlarged the block to 15,” and used the large scale multicolored fall print as the springboard for selecting the coordinating tone-on-tone fabrics from my stash. I modified the design a tiny bit by piecing a “Square in a Square” for the center of the block. Using light olive thread, I quilted heart-shaped leaves over all. The mostly brown print for binding adds colorful interest and nicely frames the piece.

How about you? Are you like me finishing up fall sewing, or have you transitioned into projects using holiday prints and colors?

4th Quarter Challenge – A Blog Reader Shares

29 11 2017

This year we’ve had a great time using pre-cuts with a different challenge each quarter. The 4th Quarter Challenge is using the packages of 5″ charm squares we’ve purchased and hoarded.

Karla sent several pictures of runners she made for her washer and dryer. I asked her about the benefit of placing quilts on her appliances. She explained that it is convenient to store her detergent and fabric softeners on top of her front loading machines instead of in the high cabinets on the wall above. When the runners become dusty or detergent spattered, Karla simply tosses them into the washing machine.


The fabrics are Basic Mixologie by Studio M. Karla began with 2 charm packs and used some of the leftovers to make a Chunky Dresden color wheel. The center is machine embroidered. Karla blogs at mysewfulretirement.com. Look at her Nov. 6 post to read more about her pre-cut projects.

Thanks for sharing your projects with us, Karla!

What about you? Are you making some holiday gifts with charm squares? Please send pictures of your projects to aby.quilts@gmail.com.


“Pepper & Flax” – A Beginning

27 11 2017

This week I am working on a quilt slated for publication by McCall’s Quick Quilts in a summer 2018 issue. The fabric line from Moda is “Pepper & Flax” designed by Corey Yoder. The hues are sunshine yellows with shades of gray and some spring grass greens thrown in to soften the mix. If you decorate with yellow and gray, you are going to love making a quilt with this wonderful fabric line!

My daughter, Trinity, and I worked together designing the quilt. Although I can’t divulge the quilt design, I can show you my grandson helping with the project. He’s using a desk needle threader/thread cutter manufactured by Clover, a notion sold in most fabric stores and quilt shops. (Click here to see a photo.) I chain pieced the 147 units, and Aidan is using the cutter to separate them prior to pressing. The thread cutter “razor” is embedded in the gadget making it safe for little helpers.

So this is a quick project on four counts:  Strip piecing, Chain piecing, Quick thread cutting, and a Willing child helper. Once the quilt is published next summer, I plan to host a Quilt-A-Long here on the blog. So, stay tuned and finish up all those UFOs so you’ll be free to participate!

Need a Winter Mystery?

24 11 2017

I am talking about a quilt mystery, of course. One of the blogs I follow is Bonnie K. Hunter’s quiltville.blogspot.com. Each year Bonnie designs a mystery quilt, posting clues each Friday from Thanksgiving weekend through New Years.

Why not check out her blog today and peruse the first clue–Hint: it’s strip pieced Nine Patches in teal, brown, and neutral. How fun and easy is that?!

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

23 11 2017

Happy Thanksgiving, quilting friends!

I am counting my blessings today as I am sure you are:  a new home and a retired hubby to enjoy it with, close ties with our children and grandchildren, a wonderful church family in Lillington NC, and plenty of everything from daily necessities to extravagant niceties.

Magazine Winners:  We have three winners for our drawing for the newly released Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, vol. 16. One copy will be sent directly from Quiltmaker, and I will send copies to two of the winners. Congratulations Carol Nelms, Joyce LM, and Janet T. I will write to you ladies requesting your USPS addresses. If you didn’t win a copy, and your newsstand has sold out, click here to link with The Quilting Company, F + W Media’s new online source for quilt information and magazines.