Mayra’s Quilt

19 10 2018

This summer Mayra traveled from Honduras to visit her family in my hometown. I met her at a church picnic. We managed basic communication with her limited English and my very limited Spanish and a few friends who translated for us. She is a university student studying accounting.

Hubby and I began attending the bilingual fellowship at our church, so we saw Mayra and her family often at the beginning of the summer. In July, the thought struck me that perhaps she would like to learn how to make a quilt. She could make memories of sewing with her mother and me, and she could make an awesome souvenir to take back to Honduras at the end of the summer.

Mayra was enthused about the project! Fortunately, her mother agreed to participate in our sewing sessions. Antonia is familiar with sewing skills and terms, and she is a little more comfortable speaking English. I purchased 5 x 7 cards and wrote down sewing vocabulary for myself. I wanted to know how to say such things as thread, scissors, sewing machine, iron, fabric, pins, and needles.

Since Mayra is a beginner at sewing, I needed an uncomplicated pattern. I selected “Brick a Brack,” my quilt design that was published in McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2014. My quilt featured purple fabrics, but Mayra selected blue as her main color. My bins of blue supplied all she needed. I rotary cut the rectangles and squares, Antonia pinned and pressed, and Mayra sewed.

We got together four or five Tuesdays to work on Mayra’s quilt. After sewing a couple of hours, we stopped and ate lunch together. We worked on communicating and laughing at our failed attempts to be understood. (Fortunately, she has a helpful translator app for her smart phone!)

Besides making a quilt, we stitched together a friendship this past summer. We are both motivated to learn more vocabulary so communicating will be a little less complicated next summer.


Quilting Quickly Magazine Winners

8 10 2018

Congratulations to Connie and Teri who each won a copy of the September/October 2018 issue of Quilting Quickly!

Thanks to those of you who left comments answering the prompt, “Tell me what other fabric themes you could use when making this 2 1/2″ strip friendly quilt.” I loved reading your suggestions: Fall, Christmas, Patriotic, Valentine’s Day, Star Wars. Jennifer envisioned strips of  lime green, turquoise, gray, black and white, while Brenda suggested gray, navy, teal, yellow and green for masculine flavor. Both Barb and Jane suggested cutting strips 2 1/2″ wide from stash and/or the leftover bin. What great ideas! I am anxious to begin making another “Simple Treats” as my Christmas bin is overflowing.

If you didn’t win a magazine this time and your newsstand has sold out, you can purchase a digital or print copy of Quilting Quickly from The Quilting Company’s online store.

Fourth Quarter Challenge

1 10 2018

Happy Fall to you! And happy October! And happy fourth quarter! Yes, three-quarters of 2018 have passed into history, believe it or not. Today I’m issuing a challenge for the final three months of this year. “Determine to make at least one sewn or quilted item for holiday gifting.”

I recently finished making a quilt from Maywood Studio’s “Chloe” line for publication  (which I can’t show you yet), and I’ve decided to use leftover fabric to make a table runner for my Dad’s wife. Connie loves fresh flowers and the color pink, so I believe these fabrics will remind her of spring and summer during the cold winter months. Her birthday is in early November, but if I don’t make that deadline, I can aim for Christmas.

Please comment below with the projects you plan to make for holiday gifts this year. I’ll be asking for photos of your progress, so sew with your camera or smart phone handy.

Up-cycle Suggestions for Your Studio

10 09 2018

Last week I posted a picture of my rolling Banana Boat cart that now holds tools and projects. I can wheel it next to my design wall or near my sewing machine. I invited blog readers to share their ideas for up-cycled bins, containers, and furniture. Many thanks to those of you who commented!

Several quilters affirmed the handiness of a rolling table. Stacy keeps long term sewing projects on hers and can roll it into a nearby closet when not in use. Malinda has a hospital tray on wheels (well scrubbed, of course!) to extend her sewing table, cutting table, or ironing board.”I love that it’s height is adjustable and it easily rolls to where ever I need it.” Malinda beautifies her cutting table with pretty bowls to hold pins. Janet T. utilizes a computer desk for a cutting and ironing station; the pull out section that once accommodated a keyboard now holds a pressing mat and rulers. Debbie R. places an egg cup at her ironing station to hold bits of threads gathered while pressing. Adding nostalgia to her studio, she uses children’s play dishes to hold clips and other notions on her cutting table.


Marie K. writes, “I have 3 stands of recycling bins I use for holding much of my stash of fabrics. I bought them at Walmart. They were designed to hold recycling items, so they are 12 bins with handles on both sides which stack and can be pulled out like drawers.” Marie organizes the drawer contents by color and by seasons (i.e. Christmas) or style (i.e. Civil War repro, florals, juvenile prints).

Congratulations to Marie who creatively uses Re-cycle bins to Up-cycle advantage in her studio!

Up-cycled Studio Furniture

30 08 2018

What do you think of my rolling project organizer? I “inherited” it from my father-in-law’s workshop; it was a Banana Boat sunscreen display cart which conveniently held his tools, engine parts, rags, etc.

With a bit of Dawn detergent and some elbow grease, I up-cycled it for my quilting studio. Scissors and other dangerous-to-small-grandchildren tools can park on the top shelf along with patchwork blocks ready for the design wall. After serving as a portable table near my design wall, the cart can roll over to my sewing machine desk with a box of 2″ scrap squares at the ready for Leader/Ender piecing. A third shelf holds a Charm Pack of 5″ squares for an up and coming project, as well as leftover Flying Geese blocks.

I am very excited about the potential of this unusual but helpful piece of studio furniture! And I wonder if you also employ an unorthodox organizer, container, bin, or cart. Comment below – I’ll send a prize to the quilter with the most creative up-cycle.

The Quilting Company’s Halloween Mystery Quilt

16 08 2018

Are you game for a new project – – a mystery quilt, perhaps? The editors of many of the quilting magazines you enjoy have launched a Halloween themed mystery quilt designed by Kathy Patterson. Here is the link to the blog which gives a few hints about the mystery and details the fabric requirements.

The weekly clues begin today, Thursday, August 16. Kathy will share quilting Tricks for smooth construction and Treat us kindly as we sew together. Here is the link to Clue #1.

Clue #1 Link

Maybe I’ll follow the clues using a Civil War fabric palette.

Quilting Quickly Magazine Winners

15 08 2018

Congratulations to Liz Horgan and Rochelle Summers! They are the winners of the Quilting Quickly July/August 2018 magazine drawing.

If your newsstand is sold out of this fine magazine issue, you can order from The Quilting Company. Click here to purchase.

Thanks, everyone who commented with “congratulations” and participated in the drawing. It was interesting to note that some of you would try “Nocturne,” a layer cake quilt first, while others of you preferred “Cross Check” which is made with 2 1/2″ strips. The “most humorous comment award” goes to Renata H. who wrote, “Cross Check… as I am like Monk in rechecking things.”

If you make either quilt, I hope you will send me a picture to share with blog readers. It would be fun to see these quilts made with different fabric lines. (