On the Road Again

15 05 2018

This past weekend hubby and I visited relatives in VA and PA, celebrating Mother’s Day with them. Prior to our trip I prepped stems and leaves for hand appliqué. I am making “Peony Star” designed by Kathleen Tracy. Marie K. suggested this project when I asked her for ideas of handwork suitable for road trips.

In the photo you can see that I pressed leaf shapes cut from freezer paper on the right side of the fabric. I cut out a scant quarter inch all around, pinned the leaf in place, and used the freezer paper as a guide for needle-turn hand appliqué.

If you are interested in making “Peony Star,” you can find the pattern in “The Big Book of Civil War Quilts” published by Martingale. The quilt is pictured on the cover, center row, far right.

Have you prepped a handwork project for your summer road trips? If so, what pattern/design are you working on?


Saturday Scrap Strategy #6

12 05 2018

During the second quarter of 2018 I challenged myself and blog readers to tame the tangle of scraps by cutting them into usable sizes of squares and strips. I personally am more motivated to deal with my scraps if I have specific projects to prep for. One ongoing scrap project is my “Roman Stripe” bed size quilt. You can read about the beginning of this project by clicking here.

It looks only about three-quarters finished, doesn’t it? You see, I estimated that I’d need 250 blocks for the quilt. After making 250, I began sewing them together and realized with chagrin that I way under-estimated. So now I am cutting more 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles for block centers and more 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ strips for the sides. This is an easy block to make – just two seams and you’re done. I’ll be doing the happy dance when it is finished, but until then, it is my leader/ender project that’s motivating me to delve into my burgeoning scrap bag of strips and strings.

Do very scrappy quilts such as this appeal to you, or would you make “Roman Stripe” with limited colors?


Stephanie’s “Daffodil” Table Topper

2 05 2018

My friend, Stephanie, has joined me in making seasonal square table toppers this year. She made one for February’s Valentine’s Day, and a green one for March’s St. Patrick’s Day, and now she has completed a yellow “Daffodil” topper made with Half Square Triangles to celebrate spring! I love the cross-hatch quilting design.

Click here to view my blog post with instructions for this quilt.

At a recent quilting workshop with Logan Lap Quilters, Stephanie asked me if I already had plans for a Memorial Day table topper. What a great idea! I am passing the challenge on to you. We’ll have a contest with two winners. One prize for the table topper I select (judge’s choice) and another prize for another one of the participants, drawn randomly.

Memorial Day table topper contest guidelines: Your quilt should measure 18″ – 36″ square with a patriotic theme. If you use a commercial pattern, you must cite the pattern name and designer’s name. Send a picture of your quilt to me on or before 20 May, 2018. (aby.quilts@gmail.com). I can’t wait to see your creations!

Trinity’s “Farm Girl Vintage” Finished!

30 04 2018

About two years ago, Debby, long time member of Tarheel Quilters Guild, initiated a “Farm Girl Vintage” bee. My daughter Trinity was visiting at the time, and we decided to join the fun. We followed instructions in Lori Holt’s book of the same title. I made 6″ blocks, and Trinity made 12″ blocks. You can see a picture of my quilt if you click here.

Most of the blocks in the quilt pictured above are in Lori Holt’s book, but Trinity also included some that were offered online: cow, pig, honeybee, corn and tomatoes. Aren’t those tractors a fun addition? Trinity says they are what motivated her to make the quilt in the first place.

We considered several edge to edge quilting designs. For 1930s reproduction quilts, I generally suggest “Clamshell” or “Baptist Fan,” but neither seemed appealing to Trinity for this quilt. I happened to recall that I have a tractor pantograph, and Trinity was tickled to choose this design. Just a bit quirky, it makes the quilt a little less girlie. I used pastel variegated thread which blended nicely with the colored areas of the quilt as well as with the very light background and sashing. Click on the picture to zoom in an view the quilting stitches.

Trinity is so proud of finishing this UFO; she plans to put it on her bed right away!



Mystery Quilt Workshop with LLQ

23 04 2018

Last Tuesday daughter Trinity and I spent a delightful day with Logan Lap Quilters in Columbia, SC. Trinity was my sewing/pressing demonstrator while I handed out clues for the mystery quilt. Conversation flowed as the ladies sewed Half Square Triangles, Nine Patches, and Square in a Square units.

The instructions allow for individual interpretation as can be seen in the photos below.


Trinity, with great foresight, bought more than the required multi-colored print fabric. By playing with the units and adding sashing and borders, she expanded a baby quilt design into a lap quilt. She is rightfully proud of her quilt and plans to give it to a friend who needs a lot of comfort at this time.

I quilted the quilt with dark brown/red/blue variegated thread using “Lorien’s Splendor” pantograph designed by Hermione Agee. Click on the picture to zoom in to see the quilting design in the large tan areas. At my suggestion, Trinity used the wrong side of Tan fabric #2 because the wrong side displayed the same tone as Tan fabric #1. Why not? She paid as much for the wrong side of the fabric as she did for the right side!

Have you made a quilt without first seeing a picture of the final outcome, sewing clue-by-clue? Was it unnerving or did you eagerly embrace the adventure?

Library Tote – Made by Judy S.

18 04 2018

Judy S., blog reader and recent winner of a McCall’s Quick Quilts magazine, sent me a picture of the library tote she made from purple, green, blue, and magenta strips leftover from another quilt project. Isn’t it darling?

Click here to find measurements and instructions for this small bag on the blog post for January 4, 2016; you can read about the library tote I made from fat quarters for my grandson. Besides using strips instead of fat quarters, Judy also modified the instructions by leaving an opening in the lining (instead of around the upper edge) for turning the bag right side out. Judy is so pleased with the outcome that she is considering making totes for her seven children, choosing fabric each will enjoy.

Instructions for a simple, full-size quilted tote bag can be found on the Patterns page of this blog. Check out Unlimited Possibilities Tote Bag!

Kitty Cat Quilt Finished!

11 04 2018

The baby quilt I explained for Saturday Scrap Strategy #1 is finished! Using pink variegated polyester thread, I quilted loop-loop-meander over all. Pink binding finishes it nicely.

My favorite feature of this quilt is the pieced border. It adds interest to the quilt and utilizes additional scraps from the patchwork. Win, win.