Guest Blogger at The Quilting Company

6 03 2018

Do you “subscribe” to the blog of The Quilting Company? If so, you read my article entitled “Shortcut to Dresden” on March 5. If not, here’s a link to the article.

The blog article appeared just as the April/May 2018 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts hit newsstands. What a fun issue this is! And, believe it or not, two of my quilt designs are published in this magazine.

I made the published “Shortcut to Dresden” with the “Flower Mill” collection from Moda designed by Corey Yoder. I enjoyed working with these beautiful fabrics. What a lovely herald to Spring!

When you link to The Quilting Company’s blog, you’ll read a description of the techniques I used to create a second “Dresden Plate” quilt made from Civil War reproduction fabrics. While “Shortcut to Dresden” espouses fusible webbing and machine applique, this second quilt calls for hand applique. It was my take-along project for several trips last summer.

“Ring Around the Rosie” is also published in the April/May issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. It is a spin-off of the “Garlic Knots” design I’ve been working on this past year. I increased the number of rows from six to eight and arranged every four blocks to form diamonds. I was hoping that the design would resemble “Double Wedding Ring.” What do you think? Have I achieved a faux “Double Wedding Ring” with the advantage of no curved piecing? Interestingly, the fabric line for this quilt is “Abigail” by Dover Hill for Benartex. Of course, I jumped at the chance to create a quilt from fabrics bearing my name!

McCall’s graciously gave me two copies of the magazine to share with blog readers, so we’ll have a drawing. If you would like to win a copy, leave a comment below stating the type of applique you prefer, machine or hand.

P.S. Don’t think, “It’s no use to enter the drawing; I never win anything.” Usually only about 30 people comment, registering for a chance to win a magazine. The next winner could be you!

P.P.S. Click here to link to The Quilting Company’s blog to read my guest blog post.


“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.)

Summer 2017 Projects

5 06 2017

It’s June, quilting friends. Summer vacation has begun! Although my life is no longer tied to a school calendar (my children have left college days far behind), I still anticipate carefree summer days. I always hope there will be more time for leisure pursuits like quilting. It occurred to me that I should write down my summer projects since lists of goals motivate me.

Recently I started two projects, one pieced and one hand applique. I am super excited about both! My extensive piecing project for the summer is a very scrappy “Confetti” quilt designed by Augusta Cole. After seeing several renditions of the design at the NC Quilt Symposium show the third weekend in May, my friend Nancy and I decided we had to make the quilt. We were so determined to put a dent in our scraps that we ordered patterns and organized a Sew Day for other interested Tarheel Quilters this past Friday. I’m happy to say that I’ve completed the 245 required “Four Patches,” and now I’m attaching white rectangles to all, leader/ender style.

My hand applique project is from stashed Civil War reproduction fabrics. Twelve blocks should make a nice lap sized quilt. The photo shows the basic layout. Even though I planned this as a take-along project for car trips, I’ve prepped all the Dresden Plates and have already appliqued half during these summertime evenings. I love how it’s turning out!

After hanging my “Summer 2017 Projects” list in my sewing room, I happened to glance at my clothes hanging rack of quilt tops that need quilting. Oh, yeah, I guess I should put those on my list:  Hubby’s retirement quilt (a mother/daughter effort), “Jelly Roll Mosaic Tiles” (for the second quarter challenge), “Hunter’s Star” lap quilt, “Splendid Sampler” of 6″ blocks, baby boy quilt. And then there are the UFO’s:  “Chopped” designed by Joan Ford, “Long Road Home” swap blocks, “House” swap blocks.

And just like that, my project list has grown from a manageable 2 to a challenging 10! Deep breath; here we go! One thing is for sure, I will not be bored this summer, and I’ll have something interesting to write in that back-to-school essay, “What I did on my summer vacation.”

What is on your Summer 2017 Project list?

More “Dresden Plate” Pictures

31 08 2014

Thank you for your encouraging comments on all three vintage projects I completed for my customer John.


I realize the previous post did not show the completed “Dresden Plate” quilts. The reason— I finished the second quilt after dark Friday night, and Saturday morning dawned foggy. And I so wanted to photograph the quilts on my neighbor’s white picket fence on a sunny day. Here they are in late afternoon Saturday sunshine.


They also look gorgeous on my neighbor’s rocking chairs in dappled sunlight!


Can you keep a secret? John’s sisters are getting quilts and matching pillows for Christmas!

Vintage “Dresden Plate” Quilts

30 08 2014

As you know, I’ve been working recently on some vintage quilt pieces sent to me by friend and customer, John.

Dresdens pile

The third vintage project in the box John sent me was a stack of Dresden Plate rings. There were nineteen. Nineteen? Everyone knows you need twenty blocks to make a quilt in a 4 x 5 grid! Furthermore, the rings did not lie flat due to narrow seam allowances.


I decided to remove one wedge from each ring to make the 20th block.

Dresdens number 20

I purchased yards and yards of Kona cotton “Snow” for background fabric. After cutting 20″ background squares, I centered the rings, pinning well.

Dresden well pinned

Fortunately, Grandma Davidson had turned under and basted the raw edges of the Dresden Plates. Loading my sewing machine with thin ecru thread, I hem-stitched around the center circle and scalloped outer edge of each plate. Perhaps you can see the stitch on the dark blue wedge in the photo below.

Dresden stitching detail

I was planning to sash the blocks in sold medium blue until John saw a photo online of a “Dresden Plate” quilt sashed with various prints. Interesting idea! At Loving Stitches quilt shop I found the perfect mix of 1930s reproduction prints for the sashing.


And then we “did the math.” Using all 20 blocks would make a gargantuine king sized quilt. I asked John if he would like two queen size quilts rather than one king sized quilt. I was relieved that he said “yes.” The king would have been rather unwieldy to work on.

I cut the sashing 3″ wide, the “Snow” inner border 4″ wide, and the blue outer border 5 1/2″ wide. The quilt is about 90″ square.

Now to decide on quilting designs. Keeping in mind the vintage nature of the quilt, and my customer’s budget, and my desire to finish the project, I thought an all over design would be quick and simple. But the quilt screamed at me. It said, “Feathers with white thread in the outer blue border, curls in the inner border, feathered circles in the interior of the rings, and I don’t care what you do on the background and on the plates themselves.” Such a demanding quilt! What do you do when a quilt screams at you? You listen!



By working on John’s grandmother’s unfinished projects, I’ve developed a theory. If Grandma had finished all her projects, the quilts would be worn out by now. Since she left some UFOs, they have now been transformed into fresh, new quilts for her grandchildren to enjoy. Maybe it’s a good idea to leave some UFOs behind for the next generation to complete!

What UFO would you leave behind? Me? There’s that Baltimore Album quilt I started 15 years ago . . .