Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Bricks Around The World" 2

I put the first 8 rows of "Bricks Around the World" on the design wall last night so that my oldest could see how it look since he chose the order of the fabrics. I did not want to start sewing until he had a chance to see it up on the wall just in case he wanted to make some changes. He is very happy with the order and I think he is looking forward to taking his quilt back to campus with him.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Bricks Around The World"

I finally started on the flannel frayed edge "Bricks Around the World" quilt that I bought the fabric for over a year ago when I knew absolutely nothing about making a quilt. I had signed up for my beginning quilting class and on the sign up day I noticed a frayed edge quilt on the wall. I immediately found a book in the used book store and went and bought fabric to make one, along with the special scissors my quit instructor mentioned when I asked her about the quilt on the wall. Of course, then I became intimidated by the idea and the fabric has been sitting on the shelf ever since then.

Now that I know more about color, prints etc., I wish I had waited on purchasing the fabric, and ordered it from one of the quilt stores up north that have larger selections of flannels. I bought mine at a chain fabric store here in Texas, and they did not have a very good selection in a range of light and dark prints.

Since this quilt is for my oldest son I thought I better get started on it since I am hand quilting the one I am making for my youngest son. I decided to make the bricks a little larger so I can have a bigger quilt for the size of my son, and he helped me work out the ratios. I began cutting the fabric Sunday night, and I did the sandwiching last night while watching television.

The pattern is from "Frayed Edge Fun: 10 Cozy Quilts" by Evelyn Sloppy. Here is a picture of my stack of rectangles and squares (my youngest always reminds me that a square is a rectangle), and the page from the book. I am hoping to start putting the fabric to the sewing machine tonight.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sarah's Patchwork by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Very enjoyable book. Sarah's life story is told through the different fabrics in her patchwork quilt, starting with Sarah's journey with her brother on an orphan train.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hand Quilted Wallet

My aunt gave me a new green purse for Christmas, and I love it because it is an organizer, and very light weight. When I went to transfer all my stuff from my other purse, I realized that there was a problem with the new purse. It would not hold my cash money without folding it up. I don't like to carry my money that way. My wallet would not fit into the new purse, so what to do? Easy solution. I made myself a light weight quilted money holder. I used it today when I was out with my new purse and I love it. I also had many compliments on my money holder.

I used material from the turtle quilt I am making for my youngest. When I quilted the design I made a cool discovery, the bulk of the design made block C's which is my first initial.

Hand Quilted Money Holder

New Purse

Gypsy Quilter Gripper

I often have trouble with my grip in my hands being weak which makes it difficult to hold a ruler while using my rotary cutter. Several times my ruler has slipped and I have made a miss cut. Last week I purchased the Gypsy Quilter Gripper, and it has made a huge difference in my being able to hold my rulers in place. I went back today and bought one for small rulers.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


The New England Quilt Museum is hosting a exhibition of contemporary quilters from Switzerland. Their work is unbelievable.

Christmas Gifts

I have spent the last 2 weeks making gift card holders from a pattern in Fon's&Porters Easy Quilting -Winter 2008.

I have always been very timid when it comes to starting something new with my fabrics because I do not like to cut things up (pretty funny that I would choose quilting as a new hobby.) However, my friend Kathy has given me box after box of fabric that she no longer wanted and there are many beautiful pieces in there that are not really to my color tastes, but work beautifully for gifts, so I started with those pieces. I used some of my fabric for the lining since Kathy's boxes did not have a lot of solids, and for two particular friends I bought fat quarters because I was looking for something very specific.

Each gift card holder took me about four hours to hand quilt and complete. I know that they would have gone a lot faster with machine quilting, but I enjoyed thinking about each recipient while hand quilting each one and while not particularly praying over them like you would when you make a prayer shawl, I was thinking about their lives and wishing them well.

I forgot to take pictures before I gave them all away, but L did put a close up of hers on her blog.

I am already thinking about what I will make next year. I think I already know what L and M will get. I actually got the idea from a newsletter that M gave me when she gave me my Christmas gift.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"A Single Thread" by Marie Bostwick

I saw this book advertised in one of my quilting magazines and put it on hold at the library after reading an excerpt on Amazon.

I really enjoyed this book. It is about a woman named Evelyn Dixon who moves from Fort Worth, Texas to New Bern, Connecticut to complete her dream of having a quilt shop as she is still reeling from her divorce.

Evelyn makes friends through her quilt shop and the story follows Evelyn's first year of having the shop and the life of a friend made through the shop.

Whereas this book does not go into a lot of quilting details like some I have read, it has enough quilting in it to make it a quilting novel in my book. It was a very nice story, and left me wanting to meet these "book friends" again.

Marie Bostwick has a website, and when you become a reading friend you can get into her forums, which includes a quilting forum, and read her blog, etc.

Her next book will be called "Cobbled Court" and will be out in the summer of 2009.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Learned a Lesson

OK, I learned a lesson tonight.

I have the turtle quilt sandwiched, basted, and on the frame.

When I bought the backing I bought some really cool thread that the woman at the shop told me I could quilt with as long as I used this stuff called "Thread Heaven." Well, she was wrong. I have completed one block and it has been a disaster.

I should have quit with the first spiral, but I kept thinking I just needed to get the feel of the thread down, but no. It is just too thick.

I admit I know nothing about thread. This is labeled 40/3 and I really thought it looked too thick, but she assured me it would work, even though she admitted she did not do a lot of hand quilting.

I'm so disgusted with the results that I am going to pick it out and start over with a different thread. I have some 200m Cotton I am using on another quilt, but I am afraid to start a second one with it in case I can't find that color and won't have enough to finish the other quilt. I am no judge of how far a spool of thread will go and how many projects it will cover.

I guess I will be going on a thread shopping trip tomorrow after I do a little research.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Turtle Quilt Back

I finished the turtle quilt back tonight. I hope to sandwich the quilt tomorrow and put it in the frame for quilting.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Floor Quilts

I made a great discovery today. I want to Quilter's Workshop in Carrollton, TX and found a book called "Floorquilts!: Fabric Decoupaged Floorcloths-No-Sew Fun" by Ellen Highsmith Silver.

I asked the woman working there about the book and they actually had two floorquilts made up and the other woman working there had made them. She came out and sat down with me and told me things she found in the book that did not work well and some other hints. She was really great and it was very uplifting to meet someone so willing to share.

This project is pretty far down on my list, but it is definitely one I am going to try.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cat Quilt Top Complete

I have completed the top of the cat quilt. It has been a challenge because I forgot one of the rules my quilting teacher told us, do not use a stripe in a border. Not only did I use a stripe, but I used a wavy stripe. Fortunately, a wonderful employee of Quilt Country took a look at the top for me and told me about some techniques I might try and around midnight Wednesday I came up with my own technique to try to match the sides borders to make them long enough. I just wish had figured it out before I redid the one border six times trying to get it close to meeting my approval. The border is far from perfect, but they will have to do or the quilt will never be done.

I am very excited about the backing. I'm still working on the exact design, but I am very happy with the fabric selections.

When you look at the pictures, just remember that I alternated the panels so that no matter what end Jill is sitting at she can see some of the great cat pictures in the panels.

I wish I had a better way to take pictures of the quilt tops. These pictures really do not do it justice.

Whole quilt top.

Close up pics of a couple of the sections of the cat quilt.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Began Working on BFF Jill's Cat Quilt

My BFF Jill is a cat lover. She is also a huge fan of Laurel Burch. I found a great deal on some Laurel Burch kits, but they were very small panels more like a small wall hanging. The kits came with the panel, batting and backing. I bought 3 kits, some sashing and border material, and batting. I went into EQ6 and played around with a design and I came up with something I like.

Tonight I started putting the sashing on the sides of the panels. I am very pleased with the color of sashing material I found. The side sashings are going to be wider than the top and bottom sashings. Also, I am alternating how the panel between upright and upside down because I want her to be able to see the cats no matter which end she pulls up on her when she pulls the quilt on.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Turtle Quilt Top Completed

I finished the turtle quilt top tonight. This weekend my youngest and I will go to Lewisville to Quilt Country to look for the backing material. I am going to let him pick it out. We were discussing tonight about all the options he has because of the border.

Here are some pictures of the finished top. I have to put it up on my board to get pictures, and it is impossible to get a quilt this size up there without wrinkles. I am really pleased with how all the fabrics came together.

This is a long view of the quilt. This is a corner.

This shows the Border and 2 blocks. Just another view of the border along the blocks.

I can't wait to see what the youngest picks out for a backing. I really am pleased with this quilt top.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A New Quilt Shop in Wylie, Texas

My quilting friend and I went to the new quilt shop in Wylie, TX last Thursday. It is very nice. I like the fact that they also had jigsaw puzzles that are related to quilting. There is one I would love to own, but I spent my money on a fabric for Jill's quilt.

The shop is the Blue Ribbon Quilt Shoppe. They have a very nice website at:

Progress on the Turtle Quilt

I was able to spend the evening working on the turtle quilt for my youngest. I made quite a bit of progress. My BFF Jill will be happy because she is next in the queue for a quilt.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Turtle Quilt Started

I was able to start sewing the rows of the turtle quilt I am making for my youngest son tonight. I put it up on my design wall to see how it is going to look. I designed it with my EQ6 software, it is the first time I used the software. I think it is going to look really nice.

Here are the first two rows:

(Click the picture to better look at the block fabrics)

Here is the design for the quilt:

My youngest is very pleased with how it looks. Turtles are big in our house!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Into the Night" Blooming Nine Patch Quilt Top Complete!

I finally got my act together so that I could start quilting again. I finishes the Blooming Nine Patch quilt top. I still need to do the backing and get it off to be quilted, and that might be a while yet, but I can move on.

It is very difficult to get a good picture of such a large quilt in my house, but I tried.

Next project is the turtle quilt for my youngest son, but I cannot start that until I cut 3 no-sew blankets for a couple of charity projects on the horizon, and one baby gift.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

This Looks Like a Great Ruler

I just watched the demo for this ruler and it looks like something I could use because I lack confidence in using my rulers and I seem to always slip at one point.

I'm not buying anything right now, but I am keeping this on my wish list.

Pat Sloan's Website/Blog


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quilts of Valor

My friend J's son was wounded in action in Afghanistan. While in the hospital he was presented a beautiful Quilt of Valor. J recently sent me a blog showing some other Quilts of Valor.

WOW, I am no where near being able to make such beautiful quilts.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Quilter's Quest is Closing it's Doors

I have been taking my lessons and buying a lot of fabric at Quilter's Quest in Princeton, TX. However, the owner Angie is moving, so Angie, Pearl (her mother), and her girls are closing the doors.

This week Angie sent an email out saying that they are marking their last 1700 bolts of fabric down 60%. Previously the markdown had been 50%.

I am going up this morning to find some backing fabric for my aunt.

The doors close June 19th. The address is:

Quilters Quest LLC
106 E Princeton TX
Princeton TX, 75407

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Favorite Quilt Shop to Date

I haven't been to a lot of quilt shops yet. Most of my fabric has been bought at Quilter's Quest in Princeton, TX, but alas they are going out of business. In fact , starting today they have marked their fabric down 60%, minimum cut 1 yard.

When my aunt was here, we went to Suzy's Quilt Shop in Garland, TX., and Quilt Country in Lewisville, TX.

Suzy's is definitely my favorite now. I like how the store is laid out (see:, and I am really pleased with how helpful they are to their customers. I look forward to shopping there again soon.

Turtle Quilt #1

My youngest and I both love turtles. His turtles are live pets, and my turtles are a collection containing figurines, clocks, dishes, etc. that I have been collecting since elementary school.

My aunt from Tucson visited us recently and brought me a fat quarter with a turtle design that I loved. On a visit to a quilt shop we found a bolt of the same fabric. I bought a yard and another fabric that went with it plus fabric for sashing, still not sure what exactly I would be doing with the fabrics.

The next day we went to another quilt shop and I found the perfect border material and some fabric for setting squares.

When we came home we started thinking about what design we could use. We decided I should pick a pattern that would show off the fabric. I started going through my books and found one I thought would work. Then I had my son scan the fabrics into my EQ6 program and started designing the quilt. Once I had it designed we decided we did not like the setting squares and we went with smaller borders inside the bigger one. Here is the final design:

Here are the fabrics:

9 inch squares will be in these two patterns:

The sashing will be in the dark green:

The smaller borders will be in the dark green and the following two fabrics:

The outside border will be this fabric:

Second Quilt Top

After the beginner sampler class, I took a second class to learn how to make a "Blooming Nine Patch" quilt top.

Due to family obligations, I have been unable to finish the quilt top, I am exactly 1/2 the way through the king size top. I hope to finish it very soon so I can send it off for quilting.

I love the colors.

(Click on pictures to see enlarged pictures)

Colors for the Blooming Nine Patch
12 colors
Finished top will be king size.

Backing for Blooming Nine Patch Quilt

Quilting Has Been A Dream

I have wanted to learn to quilt for years and years, but never had the time.

Last October I decided to take the plunge and I signed up for a beginner's course to make a sampler. My friend joined up with me, and that meant I could not back out. (I have a hard time going into new situations.)

I finished piecing the sampler top and I am working on hand quilting it.

I really enjoyed making all the blocks except the "Flying Geese" and the "Eight-Pointed Star."

I also made one big discovery: Quilting makes me happy!