First Quarter UFO News

21 02 2018

Are you working steadily on your UFOs? Remember you have one chance for a small prize per UFO finished between January and March. If you haven’t already stated which project(s) you are working on, leave a comment below.

Helga, who pledged to work on four projects in the first quarter of 2018, sent a picture of UFO#3 complete. Hooray, Helga! This is a quilt for her grandson Luis who celebrated his first birthday last week. Zoom in to see the many tiny airplanes printed on the fabric. Luis’ parents work for an airline, and he, himself, is a frequent flier. He’s already taken about 40 trips in his short life.

Elaine committed to finishing the blocks for Stitcher’s Garden; quilting will happen at a later date. And she wants to finish a paper pieced project of Snoopy for her daughter. (The paper pieced pattern was created by


I am working on “Long Road Home” made from blocks exchanged with friends last year. (Or was it the year before???) I’ll post a picture once I hand stitch the binding. Click here to see a pattern for the quilt by Red Crinoline Quilts.

Happy Quilting!


Quick Quilts Magazine Winner

6 02 2018

Congratulations to Teri C. for winning her very own copy of the February/March issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts! And thanks to all of you who comment on my blog. Your comments let me know what you are interested in seeing and hearing about. I appreciate this way of keeping in touch with quilting friends far and wide.

If you did not win this time, and your newsstand does not carry McCall’s Quick Quilts, click here to link to The Quilting Company’s online store and order a copy. Quilting magazines are one of the best deals around. For $5.99 you’ll purchase on average 12 patterns for less than the price of a single pattern purchased at a quilt shop. In addition, you can enjoy the delicious, colorful eye candy and read about trends in the quilting world.

Star Wars Quilt Finished!

24 01 2018

This past month’s WIP (Work in Progress) is finished. And I have one happy little grandson! Do you remember that I tried to talk him out of making a brown star? Come to find out, the closest star to our solar system is Proxima Centauri which has been described as “dim” or “brown.” Just goes to show ya that sometimes kids, who watch shows about fictional characters exploring space, learn a thing or two!

I quilted freehand stars and loops with medium gray thread all over the quilt, and I bound it with dark navy solid fabric. It is about 60″ square, so it’s a quilt Aidan can grow up with!

If you’d like to make a similar quilt, you will find measurements and instructions for the 24″  central Triple Star on the Patterns page of this blog. The gray sashing is 3″ wide and the Saw Tooth Stars are 12,” finished. The outer border of starship print is about 5″ wide.

Now back to my UFOs!

Aidan’s Star Wars Quilt – A Beginning

4 01 2018

For Aidan, it was a Star Wars Christmas. Here he is, smiling as he poses with all his gifts.

Recently, while pawing through one of my fabric bins, he came across Kaleb’s quilt backing leftovers. (You can read about Kaleb’s Star Wars quilt here.) Inspiration dawned in the five-year-old’s mind – “Let’s make a Star Wars quilt for me, Grandma.”

I decided 12″ Saw Tooth Star blocks would be quick, easy, and would pack a lot of visual punch. I enlisted Aidan’s help in drawing diagonal lines on the wrong side of squares for star points. And he frequently operated the foot control as I guided the fabric under the presser foot. We made the required 12 blocks, and then Aidan insisted that we needed a brown star. I tried my best to talk him out of it since we already had enough stars . . . and whoever heard of a brown star, anyway. He protested that while brown would not show up well against a navy background, it would show up against a white background. So stay tuned as we finish up this quilt, you’ll see that a brown star does indeed replace one of the red stars we made.

2017 Pre-Cut Challenge Wrap-up

31 12 2017

We began 2017 with a challenge to transform our collections of pre-cuts into quilts. To make it doable, we focused on one type of pre-cut each quarter of the year. The challenge for January-March was using Quilter’s Candy (2 1/2″ squares) or Fat Quarters. April-June we worked on Jelly Roll quilts. July-September the focus was Layer Cakes (10″ squares), and October-December we utilized Charm Squares.

Thanks to all of you who accepted the challenge and shared your projects throughout the year. By showing your completed projects and works in progress, you motivated other blog readers to sew along and you inspired others with your patchwork ideas.

As a fond farewell to our challenge, I’ll share Helga’s quilt top that she’s making with a Zen Chic Jelly Roll. Like most of us, fun family activities cut into her sewing time during the holidays, so she’ll finish the quilt in the new year.

So what shall be our challenge for 2018? I’ve been thinking long and hard about a project that you would find satisfying, useful and helpful. The Quilting World is replete with Block of the Month programs, block exchanges and round robins not to mention online classes, seminars, and workshops. All of these activities are fun and challenging, but I wonder if you, like me, have several projects you would like to finish this year prior to adding something new on your sewing desk. Therefore, I propose a UFO (UnFinished Object) challenge. To play along, leave a comment below stating which UFO you plan to work on in the first quarter of 2018 (Jan.- Mar.) When you finish your project, please send me a picture to post on the blog so other blog readers can congratulate you and be inspired by your progress.


“Dresden Plate” Finished!

30 12 2017

Hooray, my “Dresden Plate” quilt is finished! I am so happy I accepted the challenge made by Stacy of to diligently and purposefully work on one UFO during the Christmas/New Year holidays.

I quilted the quilt with an edge to edge pantograph called Double Plume by Keryn Emmerson. Feathers are my go-to quilting motif for Civil War repro quilts, and the Double Plume pattern is a favorite. It quilts up smoothly without any backtracking and adds a pleasing texture with just the right density. I used an old gold Magnifico polyester thread in the top and a coordinating tan So Fine! thread in the bobbin. The gold blends nicely with all the fabrics in the quilt:  the shirting backgrounds, the colorful “Dresden Plate” wedges, and the brown print border. After auditioning several black fabrics (which seemed too stark in contrast) for binding, I settled on the same brown print that I used in the sashing. And, glory be, I had just enough fabric!

Excitement over finishing this project held over from the summer, fuels my enthusiasm to finish my “Garlic Knots” quilt also made with Civil War reproduction fabrics. More on that next week!

Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy new year . . . with a generous amount of time to explore creative pursuits like quilting!

Auditioning Border Prints

26 12 2017

I have been working diligently during my spare time this past week and a half to complete a Dresden Plate quilt begun this past summer. You can read about this project on previous blog posts here and here.

After piecing and attaching sashing, I auditioned fabrics for the outer border. I fully intended to use the light teal print which coordinated color-wise with the sashing print. But, alas, when I pinned a length of the print next to the quilt on my design wall, the value was “bleh,” too faded, not enough contrast. I just couldn’t make myself use the lovely (but inappropriate in this case) print as the outer border!


Digging through my stash of Civil War reproduction fabrics, I found a pink micro print. The nearly solid pink emphasizes the pink roses in the sashing print . . . but I am not a “pink person,” and I felt 5″ of pink all around the quilt would draw attention to the border rather than to the appliqued plates.

Back to the stash . . . I found a dark teal print (strips of leftover backing from another quilt). It would do, but seemed too intense; the large scale print drew undue attention, in my opinion.

How about a dark brown print? One I had been saving for a “Square in a Square” scrap quilt published in a magazine five years ago. I doubt I’ll ever get around to making that quilt . . . and there’s no time like the present to use up hoarded stash . . . so this seems my best color and print match. The scale of print is just right for a border, and the color is a bit darker than the brown in the sashing. Although I am not a “brown person” either, this fabric frames the quilt nicely and yet lets the appliqued blocks shine as they should.

The audition is over. The decision is made. On to the quilting! (Stay tuned for my progress on this holiday finish-a-UFO-challenge.)