It’s not a one way street

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on It’s not a one way street

Since my blog is usually about what I’ve accomplished during the day, you get to see the things I do for Mom but in case you didn’t realize it, this is not a one way street. Many of my quilts are collaborations with Mom and she’s always been willing to exchange labor with me. Most recently she’s pieced two bed size quilts and I convinced her that since she didn’t often use her pinapple quilt that I should have it. She sent the quilt with my brother and it’s on the bed at Big Canoe but I’m debating whether I want it here in Tampa or there. 

I don’t know if she has a label on it but it’s been years since I quilted it for her. I think we were still living in Marietta and we left there in 2006.  I don’t even recognize the pantograph so I bet it’s one I used on the larger Gammill.  One of the disadvantages of having downsized the longarm when we moved to Minneapolis is that the throat space of the smaller Premier only allows me to quilt a 12 inch wide pantograph.  That means having to roll the quilts and realign the pattern more often which takes more time. 

Not a very good photo … I prefer this bed up against the wall but since it’s our only guest room at Big Canoe (my longarm is in the 3rd bedroom) placing the bed here allows me to set up cots on either side when the kids are there with their little ones. 


Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Finished

The RWB rectangle quilt is finished. It’s #6 of 7 in my binding marathon and a UFO started in Oct 2015. 

This one was inspired by an antique quilt and instructions are on my website.

It is also a donation quilt and will go with several other completed quilts to Kathy in WI.  She donates RWB quilts to a local hospice where they’re presented to veterans. 

I know many of you are involved with making quilts for veterans and I have more inspiration on the website. I often design in RWB even when I make my quilts in different colors to help provide inspiration. Looking over the list, I see I need to update it too! 

It’s also labeled. When I’m adding a label during binding I like to put it in the bottom right corner with two edges tucked under the binding. Several people also commented the other day that they thought the year should be included on the label — I agree and when I label my quilts they DO have the dates on them but unless I think I’m going to use an entire sheet of labels during a year, I prefer to write the year in by hand with a permanent fabric marker. 

I also checked my UFO spreadsheet and realized that this makes UFO #12 for the year. Twelve UFO’s per year is an ongoing goal for me although I do like to surpass it these days since my total UFO number has been creeping up since the longarm has been in GA. I number all my UFO’s and each year new ones get added to the bottom of the list so a lower number means an older UFO.  Half of these completed were just from last year but the oldest one was from 2008 and as you can see there are some lower numbers on the list too. 

  • 1
  • 3
  • 6
  • 8
  • 14
  • 17
  • 19
  • 20
  • 22
  • 23
  • 25
  • 27

Solar Eclipse 

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Solar Eclipse 

Here in Tampa we’re obviously not in the path of the total solar eclipse but I plan to view the partial eclipse. I’ve ordered glasses (safe ones!) and this website allows you to input your zip code and it will tell you how much of the eclipse your location will see and what time to view it. 

And just in case you need a link to safe viewing instructions – here’s one from NASA. 

Instant Pot

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Instant Pot

I mentioned that I might get an Instant Pot here in Tampa after trying out the one in GA and it arrived today. I decided to try a new recipe tonight – Chicken, rice, and broccoli.  I followed the recipe except I’d read that broccoli got mushy so I steamed it in the microwave  and added it at the end with the cheese just like she added her frozen broccoli. I always get the steamer bags anyway. 

I loved how easy this was to make but Keith and I both gave this a C. I found it a little bland and a little sticky but worth looking at other recipes and adapting it some.  

Another beautiful sky at sunset tonight – the view behind the house.

I also spent time in the sewing room but nothing to show today for my efforts. I should be finished binding #6 tomorrow. 

This Evening

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on This Evening

Dinner in the village …

And then a walk with Finn in the neighborhood …

Love where we live even when I’m complaining of the heat!! We jumped in the pool for a swim after I walked Finn. Not sure why I don’t spend more time out by the pool but it might be because I’m usually upstairs sewing and viewing it from the window!


Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on Labels

Do you label quilts? I have gotten so bad about sending quilts off without labels in the last 3 years and keep thinking I’m going to improve but the reality is most of my donation quilts get sent without them these days. Over the years I’ve used a variety of different methods and today I did one of my easy versions for a quilt going off to Becky’s grandmother. 

I use the Avery label making app to design them. Lots of cute clip art and graphics are available. 

Once I have a design and have tested the print page, I use a Printed Treasures sheet in my ink jet printer. This particular label will print 6 to a page and leave space between each one for sewing them on.  Pressing the label after I cut them apart makes it easier to peel the backing. 

I find the tight weave of the label fabric hard to sew through and if I border the label with one of the fabrics from the quilt, I can roll the edge under and applique it to the quilt. I cut this border 1 and an 1/8 inches wide but I probably could have done 1 inch and still have had plenty to roll under. 

What’s your favorite label?

I can’t ignore what’s happening

Published / by Mary / 19 Comments on I can’t ignore what’s happening

With Mom living with my sister Maureen now, I travel from Charlottesville to Bridgewater VA and back when I visit and this weekend’s events in Charlottesville make me ill but I admit that I’m no longer surprised at the hatred and bigotry displayed.  I personally hold Trump responsible for fueling and making it acceptable with his rhetoric during his campaign and even now he won’t denounce it with any sincerity.  

My excuse for procrastinating

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on My excuse for procrastinating

I haven’t made a lot of progress on the school house quilt and it’s because the scrappy sashing isn’t quite working for me. The darker strips are jumping out at me. 

One of the things I like to do with a scrappy quilt when something is too dark or bold for the rest of the fabrics is to be more planful rather than random with my placement. This hourglass quilt is a good example. The dark olive hourglass blocks were drawing my eye when I had them scattered randomly in the quilt and not in a good way!! My solution was to group them in a way that still drew the eye but created a more pleasing arrangement. 

For now, I’ve grouped the darker blues together so they frame some of the lighter school house blocks and I’ve started filling in with more of the medium and light blues for the rest of the sashing. I’m not sure that I’ll stay with this more planned sashing but at least I’m moving ahead again. 

Binding of course remains my main focus and I’m working on #5 right now. More HeartStrings blocks were made also and I’ve got 24 of 48 blocks made.