Born to Excel Camp 2018

2 07 2018
Our church just completed its annual week long Vacation Bible School called Born to Excel Camp.  There are Bible lessons and songs and snacks, but the extra time is divided into two tracks approximately 45 minutes in length. The children register for two hobbies/interests from Geology and Gem Mining to Cooking. I helped with Counted Cross-Stitch and Quilting. Ran helped with Woodworking. It was a great week, and it was a blessing to see the “old folks” in our church turn out in force to help and teach the “young folks.” 170 kids; 75 volunteers!
In the Quilting class, each of the nine girls had a seasoned quilter coaching her through the process. I worked with Emily as she learned about fabric selection, 1/4″ seam allowance, and operating a sewing machine.
Michelle, the Quilting group leader, worked for several months auditioning suitable easy quilt designs and adapting one for Excel Camp. She made a sample, wrote instructions, and purchased fabric in colors that would appeal to the children. Then she cut kits of squares and bricks of the various color groups, placing each kit in a gallon zip bag. Emily chose purple, and we worked side by side Monday – Thursday to create the quilt top. At the end of Thursday’s class, we sandwiched batting, backing (right side up) and quilt top (right side down). I trimmed all three pieces the same size with rotary cutting equipment and pinned all around the quilt top with straight quilting pins.
Friday morning, Emily sewed around the four sides of the quilt, leaving a 6″ opening for turning. The photo shows her tugging the right side of the quilt through the opening. What an exciting moment when she had completed that step! We poked out the corners with blunt scissors, rolled out the edges all around, and then used the iron to make it crisp. Next, Emily sewed all around the quilt, taking care to close the turning opening securely. Finally, I placed masking tape diagonally across the quilt in two places for Emily to sew along as she the sandwich together.
The Excel Camp Quilting class ended with nine happy girls, nine proud quilting coaches, and nine beautiful quilts!

Sarah’s Chevron Quilt

18 08 2017

Just wondering, do you save back issues of your quilting magazines? My grandmother did; she stored them in stacks under the guest room bed. When I was a teenager, I loved leafing through her Quilters Newsletters and imagining how I would color in the diagrams with fabric.

Here’s the story of another grandma, Anna, who saves her quilting magazines and encourages her granddaughter to translate quilt patterns into her favorite colors. The quilt shown here is based on my pattern, “Chevies on the Levee,” published in the September/October 2014 issue of McCall’s Quilting. Click here to see a picture of the original quilt.

Meet Sarah.  “I play travel volleyball, take piano, and I love to sew!  When I was five I made my first quilt with my grandmother.  I got tired of my old quilt so I set out to find a more modern design.  I was thinking about a chevron quilt, and my grandmother found one in your 2014 September/October Magazine!  I decided I wanted the colors aqua, coral, white and gray.  My grandmother cut the pieces and I sewed everything together.  We added a beautiful label to the backing and finally started to quilt.  It was my first time quilting a quilt all by myself!”

Please comment with encouraging words for Sarah:


Quilting with the Grands – a Summary

6 08 2017

A quick look-back at previous blog posts tells me that I need to bring you up to date on what’s been happening in my sewing room. I have been hosting grandchildren . . . and they have worked on sewing quilts!

Krystine enrolled in a “Prest-O, Change-O” class that I taught at Sew There! quilt shop in Angier, NC. I designed the pattern which uses two packs of 5″ charm squares and some yardage. Krystine sewed the squares together, and then we cut the quilt apart diagonally. Moved the pieces. Sewed it together again. Moved the pieces. Sewed it together again. And Prest-O, Change-O, the squares are on-point. She had fun selecting an inner and outer border, discovering that batiks are a favorite fabric to work with.

Kaleb worked with a Star Wars panel that his mom purchased at a quilt show. We used Electric Quilt software to figure out border widths, designs, and colors. Notice that the stars in the four corners of the second border are actual star colors: red, blue, yellow, and white. The corner blocks in the outer border are stylized X-Wing fighter jets. Kaleb plans to enter this in a 4-H fair next spring.


Not to be left out, 4 year old Aidan decided to make a rocket ship quilt for his little brother. I’ll post more about his quilt in the future.

I had a grand time sewing with the grands during the past few weeks!

Have you worked on a quilt project with a child this summer?