Archive for March, 2007

A UFO becomes a NEW project

I love it when a UFO can become a new project. For some reason it’s always more fun to begin something new than to work on an old stalled project.

I’d had several sections of strips sewn together sitting in a bin for about 4 years thinking that they’d either become a piano key border or a Chinese Coins quilt. With the new short-term project for HeartStrings, I pulled them out and I have a jump start on my Chinese Coins quilt.

Pam at Real Women Quilt had emailed me that she had a sale on some of her fabric that might work for HeartStrings quilts and I found this blue that I’ll use to sash this first Chinese Coins quilt. Can you see all the Joann’s prints in these strips? When I started quilting all of my fabric came from there – now most of the fabric I buy is quilt shop fat quarters and fat quarter bundles. (Like the bundle sitting on my cutting table that I bought from Pam when I ordered this sashing fabric.) I still like bargains so I do shop the 50% off shelf at my quilt shop and other sales like Pam’s for my border yardage and pick up the occasional border at Joann’s too.

If you’re interested in using up some shorter strips or strings – Join us for April and May and work on Chinese Coins sections. You can either make the entire quilt yourself or send me the sections and I’ll join them together and we’ll see how many quilts we get.

Home again

Georgia Visit

Click on the above album to see photo’s from the trip.

We’re home again at least for the weekend. We leave for Hawaii early Tuesday morning so unfortunately Chesty will be heading back to the kennel on Monday afternoon, for now he’s glad to be home.

We enjoyed our night at the Ritz Carlton – Reynolds Plantation and then a couple days at the Marriott at Stone Mountain. Spring was in full bloom in the Atlanta area and I had a dusting of pollen on my clothes every time I went outside but it was beautiful.

A relaxing afternoon

Here’s another post without photo’s but I do have the camera with me so I’ll share a few when I get home on Friday.

We had a great dinner with the boys and Becky to celebrate Adam’s birthday. The Ritz Carlton at Reynolds Plantation is beautiful and they upgraded our room to a HUGE suite (there was one and half bathrooms plus a full living room plus a nice deck). It was hard leaving there this morning to come to Stone Mountain but I did have a wonderful afternoon sitting by the pool and then a hot stone massage before dinner.

Tomorrow – more relaxing by the pool with my book.

I’m off to Georgia tomorrow

Keith and I are heading to Atlanta in the morning. We’ll stay tomorrow night at the Ritz Carlton that Adam works at and take him to dinner to celebrate his birthday. Chris and Becky will join us so I’ll see both my boys.

Then we’ll spend a couple days at Stone Mountain where Keith has a conference and I plan to relax and read.

Chesty went to daycare/boarding late this afternoon. Between this trip and the upcoming Hawaii trip he’s going to think I’ve abandoned him.

I’ve got my Pineapple blocks partially assembled and may get the blocks completely together tonight. The small lap quilt I was using the Featherz template on was progressing well until I made a significant error on the last wreath – that one will have to come out and be redone so it will be waiting for me when I get home.

Circle Lord Template

I think a comment on my previous post warrants a little clarification from me .

DB wrote: I’d love to see you ‘practice’ piece. I’ve never seen a posting that references woggly stitching with the Circle Lord. Someday I hope to get the C.L. THANKS

I’m using the Featherz template with my Circle Lord for the first time. As with any new quilting template or design, I expect that a bit of practice will improve my results.

For those of you wondering how the template is used – there is a stylus attached to my machine that fits in the groove of the template and I guide my machine to stitch the design.

The results are definitely affected by how smoothly I move the machine as I’m stitching the design and advancing the template.

I’m thrilled with my Circle Lord and fully expect some learning curve rather than instantaneous perfection and the instructions with the template clearly state that “at first you will not lay the thread as well as with more experience.”

I frequently share my quilting challenges on my blog and this case is no different – I have wobbly stitches on these first attempts using this template. It’s not a negative comment on the product and I have no hesitation in recommending the Circle Lord.


I’m trying out the Featherz template I bought with my Circle Lord tonight – I’m not crazy about my results so far as my lines are kind of wobbly but the template is easy to use so I’m sure I’ll improve once I practice some.

I’m quilting a top purchased on eBay that I’ve had sitting around for a few years. You’d think I generate enough UFO’s on my own that I wouldn’t have needed to purchase any additional ones but I bought a few tops before I realized I should just focus on finishing my own tops.

Spring is coming to Minneapolis! The restaurants on Nicolette had their outside seating set up and Keith and I walked downtown and ate dinner outside. Nice!

UFO #10

I know I just posted a picture of this quilt but I stayed up late last night stitching the binding down and wanted to share the finished quilt. It’s my 10th UFO finish for the year and the quilt will be donated with my other HeartStrings quilts.

Another UFO

This blue and green rail fence variation was made from leftover strips and didn’t quite turn out like I expected. (You can see a photo of the top here.) I’d expected it to look more like the version I made from my leftover red and purple strips.

So it sat on the shelf until last night when I pulled some fabric for a backing. I didn’t have enough of any one fabric so I made one of my off center 4 patch backings and loaded it on the longarm last night.

I quilted it with a pantograph I bought at Jodi Beamish’s site Willow Leaf Studio. It’s Ebb and Flow from Lorien Quilting. I’ve had the pantograph for a while but just hadn’t used it. I like the way it looks on this quilt and it was pretty quick and easy.

Someone blogged the other day about their dog getting into their batting. Chesty decides to chew on mine every now and then. He found my brand new roll of Hobbs the other day and chewed off a chunk. Luckily this quilt didn’t need the entire 96 inch length so I let him off with a warning.

HeartStrings Quilt Project Blog

I’ve created a blog to share all the wonderful progress being made on the HeartStrings Quilt Project. Neither the website or the Yahoo group alone have been ideal for sharing information about donations or upcoming events. I’m hoping with the addition of the blog – I can share photo’s and stories of the quiltmakers and groups participating in the project on a broader scale in a more timely manner.

You can find the site here: and make sure to click the subscribe with bloglines.

Another sleepless night

I couldn’t sleep so I was playing on EQ thinking I could combine my Half Square string quilt with my Baby Stripes and Linda’s zig zag setting. I was trying to come up with an easy string quilt that is pieced on a muslin foundation with half the block just being the muslin foundation. So I would only be adding strings to half the block.

For my first quilt, I just modified my EQ drawing of my Half Square strings – those blocks are smaller than the HeartString blocks so the setting is 8×10 blocks – adding a red center like the HeartStrings blocks – and I felt it needed borders.

Then I started thinking about what if I made part of the blocks with a blue half so I’d have a built in border when I assembled them and that was version 2.

Finally, I thought I’d make fewer blocks and make them the same size and setting as the HeartString blocks and this was version 3.

I was going to use a lightweight fusible interfacing for my next string quilt foundation but if I decide to try this quilt I’ll stick to the muslin.

Happy Birthday Adam!

My baby is 22 today. He’s far away in GA but next week I’m tagging along on a business trip with Keith and we’ll see him then. We’re going to stay Tuesday night at the Ritz- Carlton and go to dinner at the Georgias restaurant where Adam works. Chris and Becky are going to drive from Marietta to join us.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Being half Irish, I just had to spend part of my day in a pub! Keith and I headed downtown to drink some Guinness and watch the St Patrick’s Day parade down Nicolette Avenue. Keith even spent $5 and bought me some beads.

We’re not big party people so we were home by 7:30PM and now I’ll work some on my Pineapple blocks – hopefully my seams won’t be too crooked after the Guinness!

Questions in comments

Patti also posted about this today but I thought I’d add my two cents. I hate not answering questions but don’t always have time to chase down email addresses. If I get a comment and it shows most likely you won’t get an answer to your question.

You can either edit your profile to include your email address when you comment or just type your email address in your comment if you have a question you’d like me to answer.


I’m still on the sleep half the day and stay up all night schedule. Keith was in town last night for dinner and gone again today. He comes back from Florida tomorrow and leaves for California on Sunday. When he’s out of town a lot I get really bad about staying on a *normal* schedule.
Yesterday I quilted this top Lori in CA donated to the HeartStrings Quilt Project. I’ll try to get it bound today; and I made more Pineapple blocks. I have 20 made now but lots more to piece in order to have enough for a king size quilt.

What happened to Spring?

After several days of warm weather it’s decided to snow again! I’m sure it won’t accumulate since it’s 40 degrees out there right now!

UFO # 9 finished

Click on photo to a larger version
I finished the binding on the Rail Fence quilt last night so I’ll show one final picture. I’m very happy with the improvement that the applique and quilting made to this rather unappealing top!
This quilt will be donated as part of the HeartStrings Quilt Project. Although it’s not a string quilt, I feel that as long as we are donating non string quilts that are given to the Project to quilt and donate that I might as well label my own non string quilts with the HeartStrings label.

Raw edge applique on the longarm

Diane from Patchogue questioned whether it was OK to applique after quilting.

For this quilt, I used the longarm to stitch down the applique at the same time I was quilting. The bears and trees were fused first, then I loaded and quilted the rest of the quilt, and last I quilted the applique down. I wasn’t too happy with it last night but looking at it this morning it doesn’t look half bad.

There’s a book (one of many in my collection) called Appliquilt in the Cabin by Tonee White that uses a technique of appliqueing and quilting at the same time. Hers is done by hand but I don’t see why it couldn’t be done by machine too but unless it was a small piece I would think it would be too difficult to maneuver the bulk of the quilt.

Line Dancing

I finished loading my rather unattractive Rail Fence UFO last night and have been working on the quilting today. The plan was to stitch the applique down first and then throw a pantograph on it. After further thought I decided I’d try a Line Dancing design by Diana Phillips that she calls pine needles.

Once I finish quilting the pine needles I’ll go back and stitch down the applique. I also made another 3 Pineapple blocks last night – now I’ve finished 12 but still have a long way to go to make a king size quilt.


I’ve been sewing some Pineapple blocks the last couple nights after Keith goes to bed. I’m back off schedule – sleeping late and then staying up most if not all of the night. Usually it’s not a problem but I was supposed to cook black beans today and now I don’t have time. I could either run out to get something to cook (no grocery store run this weekend) or I could call Keith and tell him we have to go out to dinner – again.
I also started an interesting book about Catherine the Great on Saturday night. If you haven’t noticed I started keeping a reading list on the sidebar. I was only sporadically posting what I was reading so I’m trying this for a while to see if I keep up with it better.

Quilt donations

I donated eight quilts to the Ronald McDonald house in Minneapolis this afternoon. They were piling up and I ran out of room on my shelf so it was time for them to move on. Six of the eight were HeartString Project Quilts.