First Quarter UFO Challenge Blog Reader Finishes

28 03 2018

Hooray for those of you who accepted the challenge of working on one or more UFOs in the first quarter of 2018!

Be inspired by the finishes of fellow quilters:

Kathy H. planned to work on a “Snowman” flannel throw, but she turned her attention instead to finishing a whale pillow and a heron wall quilt. The whale pillow was from a kit she purchased at a quilt show in Denver 3 years ago. Since the show was happening again this past weekend, she was motivated to finish the project before the 3rd anniversary! The blue heron was only a year in the making-so he didn’t languish unfinished for too long. The wall quilt was a labor of love for a dear friend who loves herons. Kathy bought the Toni Whitney design as a kit from her local quilt shop. Our UFO Challenge motivated her to complete these unfinished projects.


Judy B. finished several quilts. The Valentine quilt was started 2 years ago with her sister-in-law. The pattern is a Buggy Barn design.

Judy started the sampler quilt pictured below in 2005 or 2006.  It was a block exchange, but the group stopped exchanging midway through the year. Judy then made it part of a round robin, and finally had enough blocks to finish this lovely quilt.

The awesome blue and white quilt is her husband’s retirement quilt which she began piecing 11 years ago. Each house represents a home they lived in together during his Army career. The patchwork blocks in the border represent the various states and countries they lived in. She embroidered the years and names of the posts where they were stationed beneath/beside the blocks. Judy counted-cross-stitched the Army seal in 1999 but decided not to frame it at the time. As she worked on this quilt, she found the piece and decided to include it in the quilt. Kudos, Judy, you take the prize for the completing the longest running UFO!

And my daughter, Trinity, finished two tops that she mailed to me for quilting on my longarm. She designed the patriotic quilt around the Pledge of Allegiance central panel; it is a gift for her hubby’s best friend who retired from Army service last year.

The off-kilter squares quilt, “Everything’s Coming Up Rainbows,” was designed by Krista Flekenstein and published in Perfect Quilts for Precut Fabrics (Martingale). This is a gift is for the best friend’s wife as an encouragement in her battle against breast cancer.

Stephanie is attending a quilting retreat this week. (Lucky her, right?!) She took UFOs to work on and has finished two tops already. Both “Highlight” and “Stacked Rectangles” are free patterns from


The clock is ticking. Will you finish your UFO(s) by this weekend?



Patriotic Banner

4 07 2017

Happy Independence Day! I am so thankful to be an American!

Our family was invited to a 4th of July picnic . . . and I decided to make a small quilt as a hostess gift.

If you would like to make a similar banner, here are basic instructions:

Make a Saw Tooth Star block that finishes at 8.” Cut a 1 3/4″ wide navy print strip to frame the Star block. Choose 2 red prints and cut a 2″ x 40″ strip from each. Cut these strips in half. Cut 3 tan strips 2″ x 20,” and sew the tan strips between the red strips. Press seams toward the red strips. Sliver trim the ends of the red/tan strip set to square up and attach it to the framed Star. Press seam toward the Star block.

I quilted wavy lines with red thread in the red stripes and loops with tan thread in the tan stripes. I meandered with navy thread in the background of the Star and quilted a continuous curve in the Star with tan thread. Navy print binding and a hanging sleeve on the back finishes the project.

Are you working on a patriotic project?

First Quarter Challenge – Yet More Inspiration

30 03 2017

This year I’m making a concerted effort to use some of my pre-cuts, and I’ve challenged blog readers to do the same. If you’ve been following along from January through March, you’ve seen creative ways to use Fat Quarters and/or Quilter’s Candy.

Ilse sent a picture of a modern mini quilt using Brigitte Heitland’s Zen Chic collection. She wrote, “At the 2015 Nürtingen (Germany quilt) exhibition, all helping hands received a Quilter’s Candy pack from one of Brigitte’s many quilt fabric series, with the request to transform them into something special to exhibit at the upcoming 2018 show.”

The simplicity of Ilse’s quilt spells sophistication, don’t you think? I love the wavy quilting lines–close together where the colored squares are densest and farther apart toward the edges of the quilt where the squares are farther apart.

It will be so interesting to see all the quilts made with Quilter’s Candy in next year’s exhibition. (Be sure to send pictures, Ilse!)


Several other blog followers were inspired by recent posts. Darla sent a picture of a “Holly Hobby” placemat made by her sister, Anna. My post on the vintage “Little Dutch Girls” quilt reminded her of the placemat made years ago. I love the sweet embroidered flowers on the bonnet and sleeve cuff.

Helga contributed a picture of her “Sternen und Herzen” I Spy quilt in response to my question on the “Eye Spy” post. The quilt is about ten years old and remains at Helga’s house. All the grandchildren and young visitors can enjoy looking at it when they visit her.

Stephanie, inspired by the Polka Tot post, shared a picture of a patriotic quilt she made for Army Chaplain Sam Boone. She increased the block size to 9″ and used scraps and fat quarters from stash. Bowties are Chaplain Boone’s trademark, so this Quilt of Valor design suits him to a T.

With the first quarter of 2017 behind us, it’s time to look ahead to the second quarter’s challenge. Your role is to roll up your sleeves, unroll your jelly roll, and get the ball rolling on a new quilt!



Patriotic “Bowtie” QOV

13 04 2016

DSCN7763On February 6 I participated in a sew day sponsored by the Fayetteville chapter of Quilts of Valor. Click here to read the blog post and to view the quilts we worked on.

Joyce, one of the participants, finished up a patriotic “Bowtie” quilt which I volunteered to machine quilt. The use of gray is noteworthy. I would not have thought of using medium/dark gray with red, white, and blue, but it certainly allows the prints to shine. Because Joyce used gray in the blocks, she could use white for a contrasting sashing.

DSCN7764For the quilting design, I meandered in the blocks and sashing with a light gray thread which blended well with the light as well as with the dark fabrics. Taking a cue from the starry prints, I quilted stars and loops with red thread in the outer border. Joyce plans to bind the quilt with the leftover red backing fabric.

A valorous veteran will soon receive a gift that tangibly says, “Thank you for your service.”

Have you made a Quilt of Valor recently? What design did you use?

Quilt of Valor Sew Day

10 02 2016

This past Saturday (Feb. 6) my local quilt shop, Loving Stitches, hosted a sew day for making Quilts of Valor. Susan and Kathleen planned an awesome event, from the decorations, to the name badges, to treats and chocolate, to door prizes. Fun was had by all! And, more importantly, progress was made on several quilts for deserving veterans!

I actually spent several morning hours at home rather than at the shop. I long armed this patriotic quilt foundation-pieced by another quilter. Then at the sew day I prepared and attached the binding.


Kathleen displayed a string pieced lattice quilt. And several of the ladies were working on strip-pieced quilts with stars.

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One young woman brought her grandmother who displayed her second quilt top ever – a wonderful Bowtie design. We all remarked that the gray background made the patriotic colors pop. The next quilt, jointly made with her granddaughter, will be Ohio Star.

IMG_20160206_120209_845 IMG_20160206_130103_600 (1)

Sue worked diligently on a Disappearing Nine Patch with an unusual, yet effective, block configuration.


Our local Quilts of Valor chapter meets on 4th Sunday afternoons at Loving Stitches quilt shop in Fayetteville, NC. If you are involved in a QOV chapter, please comment below. Give your city, state and meeting information. You can learn more about Quilts of Valor at


Patriotic Raffle Quilt

24 06 2015

Special Ops Warrior Foundation

On Saturday, June 20, my husband was a guest speaker at a benefit concert for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. It was held at the V.F.W. in Jarrettsville, Maryland.

In addition to hearing contemporary Christian music by the Chicken Coop Project and bluegrass music by other groups, I was happy to see (and purchase a ticket for) Rosalee’s patriotic raffle quilt.

Rosalee's raffle quilt

What a fun family day with games for the children, excellent pit barbecue (beef, turkey, or ham), pickin’ and grinnin’ bands, and conversations with like-minded patriotic folks!

(Too bad I didn’t win the quilt!)

Patriotic Postage Stamp QOV

22 10 2014

From time to time, I longarm quilt tops made by members of the Fayetteville Quilts of Valor group. You can read about the Quilts of Valor Foundation here.


This remarkable quilt top was made by Susan. It contains over 700 2″ squares which she cut from the small scraps left over from other QOVs. Susan espouses Bonnie Hunter’s method of cutting her scraps into strips and squares of useable, standard widths.

Did you notice the wonky gold stars sprinkled throughout the quilt?

The quilting design is freehand meandering with five-point stars in honey colored polyester thread.

Any soldier would be proud to receive this wonderful quilt!