Annual update

So my blogging skills are not what they once were.  I thought finally getting a phone would help with the photos but I still have to transfer them to my computer as writing anything of length is painful on a phone and the voice translator is not my friend.  Not as bad as this mind you, but still:


I have been trying to work through my WIP’s/PIGS etc.  I finally quilted my Cuppa quilt, which was the Sue Spargo BOM in 2016.  I really enjoyed this one!  I am almost finished with Greenbrier as well, just waiting for some cooler weather!

I finished Scandinavian Christmas, a pattern by Lynette Anderson that I had been wanting to do for several years.  I did it almost completely in French General fabrics and really love how it turned out:

I even entered my Austin Bluebird Sampler in our guild show finally.  I quilted it just after a workshop with Cindy Needham so i was playing with all sorts of templates on it.  I would love to re-do some of these blocks in different fabrics:

This year I signed up for Jen Kingwell’s Pretty Circle Game BOM and I am loving putting these blocks together.  There are templates for each block which really make it simple to get an accurate block.  This picture was on a rather cloudy day, but you get the idea.  These are all hand pieced and have lots of luscious fabrics like lawns and double gauze.  I can’t wait to see them all in the final quilt!

This BOM has turned me into a bit of an #amitieaddict, and I have started Green Beans and Sweet Tea, another Jen Kingwell pattern, this time with a bit brighter palette including Jen’s Beach Road fabrics which I just love!  These propellor blocks are almost finished (again, all hand pieced!!):

For those days when I haven’t had time to prep any quilting handwork there is the Coffee Quaker sampler, a cross stitch pattern by Heartstring Samplery:

And finally, instead of a cat here is our little pup Finnegan.  He’s a cute and cuddly little guy who likes to snuggle 🙂

Hopefully the next update won’t take a year…








Last fall I attended my first quilt retreat at Mary Koval’s Retreat Center in Bedford, PA.  I had such a great time!  The facility has been recently renovated and is really lovely, from the big kitchen and common areas to the beautiful antique quilts on the beds.  I had a really fun group of companions, and Mary herself was to be found down in the quilt shop.  She did not seem to mind my fangirling and dug out all sorts of treasures to show us, and eventually sent me off with a Palampore and a challenge to quilt it however I liked.  I planned to do it over Christmas but about a year ago I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that I have yet to get under control and by December I was not in very good shape and didn’t manage to accomplish much of anything.  I decided to stop taking any new custom work, and have worked through most of the queue that was in place before Christmas, and so finally got a chance to load the Palampore a few weeks ago.  I like to try new things when working on my own quilts, and this time I played with all sorts of thread.  I have been longarming a good ten years or so now and have accumulated quite a few different kinds but haven’t had a chance to try them all out.  Here are some of what I used, everything from monopoly to metallic.  The background was all stitched with Superior Thread’s new Microquilter which I really liked, none of that thready look that you can get sometimes when backtracking.

Here is the full Palampore:

As always, the quilting is tough to capture on this scale, but here are a bunch of closer shots.  I really have to say it looks much better in person!  I did the birds mostly in different metallics and the flowers in many different colours and thicknesses of threads.  The background is pretty dense, with lots of little feathery fronds along with some McTavishing and pebbling, and the border is larger feathers.  I did a class years ago at MQX with the wonderful Linda Taylor and one of the things that has stuck with me from that is “When you’re in doubt, feather your way home”  🙂


Finally, here my first Palampore.  I started the quarter square triangles at the retreat but had to stop due to my featherweight not cooperating.  They are mostly from Mary Koval’s fabric line Tree of Life ca. 1830, which came out at the same time as the Palampore and I added enough to make it fit nicely on a queen size bed:

I quilted it with a couple of different pantographs and really like how it turned out.  I hope to get the binding on soon.

I still have one more Palampore left, it is reserved for broderie perse but I need to decide on what project(s) I will make with it!






Folk Tails

I’ve been busy quilting some of last year’s Sue Spargo BOMs, a really fun quilt called Folk Tails.  It’s full of the animals and imagery of Africa, where Sue is originally from.  I saw a great exhibit of African textiles at the Philadelphia Museum of Art back in the spring which gave me a lot of inspiration and  I’ve also been listening to a lot of Johnny Clegg and Savuka.  This is a little clip of the last one, created by the google photo assistant which is a cool little tool that accesses your photos and makes things all by itself!​  Enjoy!


New Year’s resolution fail


This year I resolved to update my blog more frequently.  It’s already January 25th and this the first post, so you can see how that’s working out…   Part of the problem is I already post a lot more on social media, mostly Facebook, but I am now posting on Instagram and Twitter as well.  The biggest reason for my increase in posts is a new phone!!  Instead of having to take a picture on the camera, find the right cord, load them onto our network, open in in Photoshop, reformat it and then upload it, I can just press a few buttons and I am done!  I think I love the camera more than the phone part – it even has better resolution than our old camera.  So here’s to technology.  You can find me on social media using these links:


See you out there in cyberspace!







A Wild and Woolly Spring!

I was busy this spring quilting about a dozen wool quilts, mainly “In Full Bloom” the 2014 BOM by Sue Spargo as well as a few earlier BOMs also by Sue – Bird Dance and Earth & Twig.  Each quilt was quilted differently, although a lot of clients liked the hummingbird I put in the first quilt so it was repeated several times.  I had fun creating different textures in the wool.  The coolest thing was seeing how each quilt was different – very inspiring!

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Wilhemina Marie is going to Paducah!

Alice named her Beyond the Cherry Tree quilt Wilhemina Marie, after her mother.  She wanted me to quilt it with the original patterns which I did and I also added some here and there in a similar Naif style to keep the quilting even.  It was accepted to the 2015 AQS show in Paducah!  Congratulations Alice!

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Proof of My Insanity


Like a lot of quilters, I have a hard time throwing out scraps.  I have a couple of large bins to prove it!  Some scraps are kept segregated, like Amy Butler and sock monkey, and of course all of my Lancaster type reds, greens, yellows and cheddars.

For Christmas last year I asked for this book.  There are many blocks with tiny little pieces so I thought it would be a good use of those scraps:


This morning I finally had a chance to play a bit and make my first block!  Only 136 more to go!


I am also making progress on Block 1 of Minick and Simpson’s Austin Bluebird Sampler.    I don’t usually like samplers, but this one really appealed to me, so much so that I actually bought the kit for it!  I have been very pleased with the kit so far, it’s a wonderful change to actually have fabric left over!


I am also making progress on the first of nine blocks in a sweet applique quilt that I am using almost 100% feedsacks for:


Workwise, I am busy quilting several of last year’s Sue Spargo BOM, In Full Bloom, but Sue has asked that we refrain from publically sharing any pictures until she has published the pattern.  I did do a few more Bird Dance quilts before starting on the IFBs, here’s a quick peek at some of them:


A few weeks before Valentines I was surfing fb on a Sunday morning, as you do, and I saw the cutest little pomegranate quilt called Love Apples by Jo Morton.  As luck would have it, Jo herself was online and told me which book the pattern was in.  It is in her latest book For All Seasons, and was also published in Quiltmania.  I set to work on it as soon as I received the book, and here is my version – I do think it is possibly the fasted I have ever completed a quilt in, at least in recent memory:



We are under yet another Winter Weather Advisory – March is coming in like a lion!  After enduring the second coldest February on record, I am looking forward to spring!


A look back at 2014

Well, I successfully managed to avoid both updating this blog and setting up an e-commerce webpage for several months!  I think I may go back to etsy instead of setting up my own page.  The freebie software is not very intuitive, and frankly, I’d rather be quilting than building a website!

It’s gotten really cold this week, and I have been seeing all sorts of birds.  Today there were three tundra swans just sitting on the frozen lake with some gulls:


and some bald eagles have been hanging around.  Here’s one in a tree:


Perhaps he is hoping for a peek at my Kent Island Eagle quilt:


The eagle in this quilt is based on another Kent Island Eagle quilt.  The original quilt dates back to the 1830’s and is predominantly made of indigo on a light background.  When I saw the pattern that Kay Butler and the Kent Island Historical Society had created I knew I had to make it!  I had a yard of real indigo that I wanted to use, and some ecology cloth for the background.  I did make some changes, especially to the eagle as the original had a weird thing coming out of the top of its head, almost like a turkey.  As I was working I wondered what the heck the original quilter was thinking when she made her eagle like that – a political statement of sorts perhaps?  The original quilt is very large and I was hoping for a wall hanging so I did not make all the borders, but instead added on the red and white striped border which is kind of reminiscent of the American flag.  My triple rod crosshatch quilting in the center is appropriate to the original period.  I have finished the quilting but still need to get the binding on.  It will be hanging in the Greebelt Courthouse show this year along with Pennsylvania Hearts and Hands.

This is what I am working on now:


another scaled down version of a quilt, this one from Blackbird Designs  “When the Cold Wind Blows” called Love Letters.  I am calling mine Abridged Missives of Devotion.  The original had nine of these huge blocks, but since we have cats that like to sleep on our beds I don’t think I would ever use such a quilt so I made only four of the blocks.  I fell in love with the border stripe fabric by Edyta Sitar (from her Sweet Sixteen line) so I added it as the outer border.  It was quite challenging to try and get the pattern to match as it didn’t quite fit.  I am hoping to finish soon, but the quilting seems to be taking forever:


This is a macro lens shot, those little swirls are at most 1/2″ wide, often less…  very, very time consuming!  Hopefully the finished product will justify all the trouble!

I spent a bit of time going back through our picture files from last year, and here are some of the quilts I worked on last year.  Not all are included, some pictures didn’t turn out so well and some I neglected to take pictures of in my rush to deliver them back to their owners, so if you don’t see yours I apologize, I think I may need a new camera soon:























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That’s all for now!

Very late on Sunday night…

Past my bedtime actually!  I am struggling trying to set up the long-threatened e-commerce page to sell the lovely Aurifil Lana, and maybe some cotton too, but at this point the darn cart won’t even show up.  I am going to call it a day and dig in again tomorrow.  Thank you for your patience!

Long Time Coming

As the title of this post indicates, its been a while since I’ve update this website.  It’s also the lyrics in a Tragically Hip song, Long Time Running, an oldie but goodie off of Road Apples.  I almost always quilt to music, it gets me in the zone.

This first quilt was on the machine from mid-December until the end of January.  The pattern is Beyond the Cherry Trees by Gay Bomers of Sentimental Stitches.  It was a free BOM a couple of years ago, and Alice really outdid herself!  She wanted the original quilting patterns, which are in a sort of naif style of leaves, flowers and stars and the like.  Where the quilting was uneven I just added more with the same feel.  I was on an Amy Winehouse kick while quilting this one.



I spent February and some of March finishing my Gypsy Star.  I started it in a workshop with Kaffe Fassett back in Houston in 2012.   This makes me think of The Temptations “I’ve got Sunshine on a cloudy day…”

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I also finished Three French Hens, a project started when Sandy Klop (aka American Jane) came to visit our guild several years ago.  It uses mostly all American Jane fabric (A Breath of Avignon) and I just love how it turned out.  I did change the orientation of the blocks, so it will fit nicely hanging in my dining room.  Le Lait: L’Album Blanc was the soundtrack for this.

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Next up, a couple of Sue Spargo’s Bird Dance quilts, her BOM from last year.  I was a little concerned that the blocks were quite small, but it all worked out and they turned out really fun!  I think I was into the new Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings album around then.

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My Earth & Twig won a teacher’s ribbon at MQX in April – Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” about sums that up!


I bought a new toy!  She is looking pretty good considering her age.  More Amy Winehouse playing this time in the car while I went to pick her up:


And finally, after quilting this:


and this:

Piece of Cake Alice

I decided I really had to make my own!  Luckily Alice still had the pattern, by Piece of Cake and in an old issue of American Patchwork and Quilting (2005 or so?).  Anyhow, I put it in the guild show and so I had to name it, and I must have been listening to my summer playlist because I decided to call it “Hot Fun in the Summertime”.  It is mostly all Vintage Modern fabrics by Bonnie and Camille, although the strip background and bindings are from the Scrumptious line.  I took the pictures outdoors when the sun was low to try and get the dense fill to show.  The diagonal is following the fabric, and on the dot I drew a 1″ grid and filled them with lines alternating horizontally and vertically.  The dense fills along with a double batting of cotton on the bottom and wool on top really make the applique pop.

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Hope you had fun looking, and got a good earworm or two!