A new start

I wanted so badly to do some sewing so I have started a new quilt top. The pattern I am using is Lone Star Sampler by Lissa Alexander published in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of McCalls Quilting. Here is a link to the magazine. I really liked the design and just knew when I saw the Snowbird fabric line by Laundry Basket Quilts (Moda) that it would pair up nicely. So I bought some jellies and yardage.

20140721-064659-24419170.jpg Here we go!




We are officially done with school at our house, so we are settling into a summer schedule. Mondays are gardening day and we finished our planting this week. Wednesday is CSA day and just look at our box!

20140618-103804-38284170.jpg. It’s early in our local growing season, but that’s rhubarb, strawberries, mint, chives, early onions, lentil and bean sprouts. It’s completely different than last week salad box. The rhubarb is already chopped and in the freezer while this first round of berries will be made into jam. Herbs are used immediately or dried. Thursday will be processing day – either freezing or canning. So in addition to the normal quilting content, I’m going to share some of my favorite recipes, if for no other reason than to collect them in one place. I hate to admit how many times I have to call mom because I lost that slip of paper AGAIN. So here is the first

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
5c chopped rhubarb
4c sugar
20 oz can of crushed pineapple, drained
6 oz box strawberry jello

Combine all ingredients except jello in pan. Bring to a hard boil for 12 mins. Remove from heat and stir in jello. Ladle into hot jars and seal. OR cool and freeze. Yields 3.5 pints.

I do double batches and jar it up. I prefer not to fill the freezer with things that can be shelf stable.

I’ve also been knitting away on bandages and have the first one past the halfway point. It moves along as I use snippets of time to add a row. With only 28 stitches across, it’s pretty easy to add an inch. It does not look like I have made a dent in this ball, so hopefully I can keep going all summer and fill a mailer by Christmas.


I have gotten in a bit of handquilting. Half of the triangle border on Celtic Solstice is done. I’m adding a petite cable to the green and cream sashing on either side, marking as I go. It will be the only stencil used on this quilt.

Whoot, whoot!
The Bon Bon quilt is out of the frame and bound. I really need to review my math as I had over 80″ of binding left over. The quilt is 60″ not 90″, which makes a big difference.

20140603-145833.jpg. I love the texture that the fans added to the top. So pretty and a pattern that I plan to use again.

The frame did not stay empty for long as I have pinned in and started Celtic Solstice.

I debated for a long time on a quilting pattern. I’d lay it in the floor, drape it on a chair, fold it over the banister and just plain stare. I have a couple good ideas for a more artistic treatment, but in the end, I’m quilting by the piece, in the ditch. This will be a heavy use quilt, I want those seams secure. I don’t particularly enjoy all the quilting through seam allowances, but this time, it seems necessary.


Now the particulars for my own reference
Top: various reproductions
Pattern: Celtic Solstice by Bonnie Hunter
Batting: Quilters Dream Poly – mid loft
Thread: Coats and Clark’s Star machine thread in Falling Leaves (red, orange, green). It’s reading mostly orange and should satisfy the oldest child.
Backing – Bella solid – a yellow color



I’ve been walking on the edge with the BonBon quilt. My spool of thread is not going to make it to the end of the quilt. And I probably will be playing chicken with the binding too. In all the excitement of almost being done, I just started cutting strips without the usual ciphering to compute the length needed. I wanted a slightly wider binding, but that little extra means that I only got 8 strips from the fabric instead of 9. I think I’ll be 5″ to the good, but let’s hope I don’t end up like the thread.


So this week I’ll need to run to the store for another spool to finish the last 12″ of quilting. And oldest child has decided that Celtic Solstice needs to be quilted with orange thread. I don’t like orange and do not have orange thread in the house. I know YLI does not make orange hand quilting thread, so I’ll need to look at other brands.

But I needed to go to the store anyway. This past weekend, we worked at bring home items from my grandmothers house before Goodwill
and a dumpster arrive. I was blessed to bring home two cabinet machines – one White Treadle and a Morse.

Here is the White. I think I can handle the cleanup on this one. It does have the bobbin and case, but is missing the cover. The lift mechanism on the cabinet is also broken, but looks easy to repair.

It turns out that my Grandfather once worked in sewing machine repair. I don’t have that ability, so when I make the trip for thread, the Morse will take a run to the repair shop for a once over, especially the electrical. I’m not sure that last time either was used, but I’ll put them into my studio and give them a good home. In order to make space, I may need to divest my Singer Vibrating Shuttle, but I’m going to try and move furniture first.

In the meantime, I’ll mark the Celtic Solstice and pin it in the frame. I counted seven tops still waiting in queue so let’s get quilting!


The spring rains and warmer weather are upon us. I’m spending the morning emptying dressers of sweaters and the like and finding lighter wear to fill them for the summer months.

I have rolled down the Bon Bon quilt for the last time. It is so good to see the final edge of a project. I was hoping to have it ready for the Bloggers Quilt Festival, but it’s not going to happen. While I quilt this final stretch, I’ll be contemplating what will be marked onto the Celtic Solstice top.

I also started hand piecing the sashing strips for the Compass quilt. I know I said I did not want to go this route, but I needed some handwork to do during tv time.

20140527-085811.jpgI am starting with cutting up the compass centers, after all, it is good fabric and I’d rather use it than have odd shapes in the stash. Out comes the Easy Angle and Companion Angle Rulers. Now a stack of triangles.

20140527-085824.jpg I am surprised at just how far these centers go. From just 4 of them, I have completed 6 vertical sashes with more pieces waiting. I should get most of the inner sashing done without cutting yardage. Once I have the center assembled, I’ll make decisions on the border. I think that this will measure around 60″ without a border.

I’ve been plugging away on the Grandmothers Flower garden as well. Pictures of cream hexagons are not all the exciting, but this completed stack is another story. Next up are all the green connectors to make a row. This is row seven of nine. I had planning to leave this “gated”, not making two sides even, but now I’m not sure. I’ll have to see how much fabric is left after all the rows are assembled. I purchased for this quilt over 6 years ago and trying to source matching fabric will be almost impossible. Today’s theme seems to be the quilts will dictate their fate.


Our household got hit with more crud after Easter and I have been fighting it this past week. BUT I have completed the remaining compasses and started setting them into the background.


20140504-165012.jpg. They are unpressed, but looking good. I’ll keep working on this tonight and see how many I can complete this week.

I’ve also been digging around for my graph paper. The computer on which my EQ program was housed died on Wednesday and I need to upgrade versions for the new laptop. I was in too much of a fog to hand draw several layouts in order to audition sashing ideas. It truly feels like stepping back into the Stone Age after having EQ in the studio for almost a decade.

We have also lost my husband’s grandmother this week. She was one spunky lady whose grit got her through a lot. She was a gifted seamstress and made many quilts during the revival of the 1970s. When she could no longer work a needle, she focused more on knitting. I have inherited her remaining quilting things and found amongst them a pattern for a whole cloth quilt. My SIL has already asked about doing a memory project using some of her clothing. For myself, I will be remembering her by doing a service project. Grandma was a great humanitarian and always volunteered. As she became unable to go out, she turned to knitting bandages for a leperosy hospital. I think I am going to try and make a few to donate in her memory after the compasses are set together.

And a Happy Mothers Day to all! We will be grilling and remembering the legacy of those great women who have influenced our lives, especially Edna Mae. >

Finding my way

Some projects take their time coming full circle. I have had a project bin sitting untouched in the corner of my living room since Christmas. Before that it was in a prominent spot in the studio. One of those projects. I finally opened the box last week to find out exactly where I left off and decide on a next step in construction.


I had twelve 12″ completed, hand pieced Mariners Compass blocks that I made after a workshop in Houston with Cindy Blackberg. I decided that I want a 4×4 set and have made two more so far. Below is a close up of two compasses against the background fabric (Butterfly Kisses by Andover). It’s not the best photo as the background is blending into my hardwood floor.


Next step is to finish two more compasses and set them into the background. I’m debating between a 15 or 16″ finished size. I wanted to do a pieced sashing with cornerstones of this Windham print. My original plan was to do this all by hand piecing, but when I calculated the number of flying geese I needed …. It’s making me rethink the strategy if I want this to a flimsy before the kids leave for college. I’m inclined to use the machine to make all those pieces.


A note: I took the hand piecing class with Cindy in Houston. She is now retired from the teaching circuit, but still keeps an active blog, mailing list, and continues to develop new products. She designs rubber stamps to mark the cutting and stitching lines onto fabric with indelible ink. No tracing. The stamping is fast and great for scrap quilts or unusual shapes. Here is her website