Sewing and knitting

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Sewing and knitting

After cutting out the churn dash quilt for my sister on the GO Big, I got her started sewing. ( I’m really wanting the electric GO for myself now. I bought this one for Mom months ago but this is the first time I’ve used it). 

We’ve got all the blocks packaged and she can just make one or two when she has some time. She’s viewing this as a long term project and might not even work on it again until I come back in March but she’s doing great. 

I’m also teaching Mom how to knit a lace scarf so I ran back and forth between the two of them all afternoon!

I’ve arrived

Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on I’ve arrived

My drive on Friday went fine and I arrived here in the late afternoon (just under 9 hours driving!). I’m kind of glad that I’ll be flying to Minneapolis from here and then home.

We’ve been visiting and today I got two scarves cast on for Mom. Tomorrow I’ll show her the new stitches she needs to know to knit the leaf scarf and remind her how to purl (it’s been a while) and I’ll cast on a couple more for her to work on when she’s ready. Monday we’ll start in on the cutting for her next few quilts. 

Thanks for all the comments on the Yellow/Gray nine patch – that’s one of the things I love about quilts – there are different things that appeal to different people and it’s good to know that when donated, this one will most likely find someone that will love it too. 

Already missing my little ones!

Packed up and ready to go

Published / by Mary / 20 Comments on Packed up and ready to go

The 3rd top is quilted – a 9 patch of mine that I can’t say I’m particularly happy with. It’s based on a vintage quilt but I’m not sure the yellow/gold, black, and gray color scheme work as well as I had envisioned. Quilted with the pantograph Jilly by Keryn Emmerson. 


The car is packed up, the longarm covered, a coat donated to the local coat drive, and I’m knitting and sipping a glass of wine on my last evening here at Big Canoe. I head out early in the morning for Virginia. 

December Goals

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on December Goals

It’s been a while since I listed any quilting goals but I’m feeling the need to plan the limited amount of sewing time I have left this year. 

  • Quilt one of my donation tops tomorrow
  • Bind the green hourglass quilt
  • Bind the donation top that gets quilted tomorrow 
  • Finish assembling the Carpenter Star top
  • Pin baste two Strippies and get them quilted and bound 

It’s not an overly ambitious list but I’m traveling during the month – GA, VA, MN, and Ft Lauderdale – and having company for Christmas so wish me luck!


Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Quilted

Mom pieced this top with the intention of me finishing it and giving it to Lisa, my SIL, but her death came much sooner than we expected and there was not a chance to finish it. We’ve decided that we’ll give it to her son Brian. It’s also got a soft Minkee backing but without batting – it’s been a while since I’ve quilted something without batting and I miss the stability that batting gives during the quilting process but I do like the weight and feel of this one. Pantograph is Bubbles.  I think I might try a flannel sheet with the 3rd one I need to quilt with a Minkee backing but that won’t be this trip. 

This photo of Brian and Lisa was taken about 5 years ago at one of our family reunions. Love them both so much. 


Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Quilted

I often think about selling this place when I’m not here – especially when there’s a problem like the leak from the unit above but it’s so convenient to visit the kids here and I love being surrounded by the trees. I’ve made Keith promise me that if we ever make the decision to sell, we have to come stay a week first. I fall back in love every time I come. 

My view this morning

My trip downstairs to work.

I’m heading out to meet the kids and I’ve got to run by Joann’s first but my green hourglass top is quilted. The pantograph is Feather Frond and I was just lucky enough not to run short on the backing. It would have been a huge problem but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. 

I love how this one climbs up the quilt vertically but I’ve got to confess I was mistaken yesterday (I’ll go EDIT that post). To load these Minkee backs on the longarm with the least stretchy side between the rollers you need to load it with the selvages on the sides – I did this one wrong but was lucky – I don’t ever roll these tight. 

This top was pieced 3 years ago and was at Big Canoe, I shopped online for the Minkee while I was in FL and can you believe what a great job I did picking the perfect shade of green for it?!!

Next up is one without batting and I’ve got to say this is a heavy quilt with the batting. It will make a great winter quilt for someone that has a lighter weight one to use in the other seasons but if I was going to use Minkee on a back for someone who was just getting ONE quilt – I would not use the batting!

For those getting the blog directly to your email – I think I know why the print is small sometimes – I changed formats so I could use larger photos – it’s better for viewing when people visit the site. The landscape photos (camera held horizontal) are wider than the portrait ones (camera held vertical) and that causes the type to be so small in your email that it’s impossible to read without enlarging it. I may play around with trying to use only vertical or square photos and see if that resolves the issue but sometimes I just want a full horizontal view so no promises. 


Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Arrived

My 8 and a half hour drive was actually fairly pleasant today other than the hour + it took to get through Atlanta. I swear that traffic just keeps getting worse. I went through about 1:30 – 2:00pm trying to avoid rush hour but it seems like it’s always heavy traffic no matter what time – at least it was moving and by moving I mean if you’re doing the speed limit prepare to be run over!

I was happy to see that there’s still some fall color in the area but disappointed that there’s a burn ban because of the drought and I can’t have a fire. I don’t ever remember having a ban on inside fires but apparently even the chance of a spark from the chimney is too much risk. The first thing I did after unpacking the car was take a short walk to snap some photos. I love the colors of Autumn!

The second thing I did was to go downstairs and get a start on tomorrow’s quilt. I had some machine maintenance to take care of and then I loaded and started the first top. I’m just here at Big Canoe for a few days so the goal is to quilt 3 tops and at least two of them will have Minkee backings. One with batting and one without. I’m hoping this one isn’t going to be too warm but I’m sitting under a flannel quilt right now and am quite comfortable so hopefully it will make a perfect winter quilt. I have very little spare width so I’m crossing my fingers the backing doesn’t shrink up much (any!) with quilting. 

With Minkee backs I always load the quilts lengthwise so the least stretchy side is between the rollers. 

EDIT – I was confused when I loaded this quilt – the selvages should be on the sides not pinned to the leaders for the least stretchy side to be between the rollers. Luckily, I don’t ever roll these very tightly and the batting provides stability too. It all turned out OK on this quilt but it would have been more important to have it loaded correctly if I wasn’t using batting. 



Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Troubleshooting

Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like the site is working OK now with the minor tweaks I made late last night but the email subscriptions have small text and large photos so I adjusted another setting and I’m testing the post here. I’ve had the feed sent to myself so I’ll be able to tell if the change helped. 

Caleb and Adam fishing