Monthly Archives: June 2007

Thanks for the Encouragement

Published / by Mary / 24 Comments on Thanks for the Encouragement

I appreciate the comments and emails commenting on my quilting of Ann’s table quilt. I’m sure you can tell that this type of quilting moves me out of my comfort zone which is overall freehand quilting and pantographs and I appreciate the reassurance you all have given me.

Mom saw the quilt tonight – she really likes it so I’m happy and she’ll bind it and give it to Ann.

Just a comment on the trip from HELL! Those of you that read my blog regularly know I travel a lot. So it takes quite a bit of inconvenience to make me comment on travel woes. Rather than give the long version (24 hours long!) I’ll just summarize below

  1. 3 hours sitting at the gate ON THE PLANE in Minneapolis due to a mechanical problem.
  2. Knowing after the 1st hour I’d miss my connection.
  3. Having to make an unscheduled stop in Cincinnati to fix the mechanical problem because they didn’t have the part in Minneapolis.
  4. Being allowed off the plane in Cincinnati at 9:30PM to get some dinner only to find ALL the restaurants and food court had already closed.
  5. Having the worst seatmate EVER who was loud and obnoxious the entire time and during the incessant talking on her cell phone called me a bitch and unfriendly because I wouldn’t listen to her rant about how pissed she was. (Thank goodness for iPods and headphones!)
  6. Getting to Atlanta at 11:30PM AFTER all flights to Newport News had left for the day.
  7. Having to stand in a line from 11:30 PM to 6:15 AM to reschedule a flight (Keith got on the phone after a couple hours but the best he could do was a Sunday morning flight).
  8. Trying to get on the 7:20 AM flight (Standby) but being unsuccessful.
  9. Having a Delta Crown Room agent finally get me a confirmed seat at 10AM after being told the earliest I’d get out was 9:30PM on Saturday.
  10. Two hotel reservations made and not used (one because I was in line all night, the second because I got on the 10AM flight).
  11. Getting to Newport News but my luggage NOT arriving.
  12. Having them come out to deliver my luggage but ONLY the suitcase with the quilts arriving.

Hopefully # 12 will be them bringing my clothes and toiletries tomorrow!!

There’s a reason I like quilting pantographs ….

Published / by Mary / 13 Comments on There’s a reason I like quilting pantographs ….

and overall freehand designs. I struggle to get a smooth flow between designs in different areas of a quilt. This is a table quilt pieced by Mom that I’ve been quilting. (It’s for my sister Ann)

I had intended to leave the blue squares without quilting but realized they needed something. The little feather flowers in them aren’t too bad. The quilting in the beige squares looks better in person than it does in the photo. I like the swirls in the flower backgrounds but it’s not great in the border.

Debbie gave me some ideas for quilting the flowers – my starts and stops need improvement. It’s done and I’m not too distressed about it so I guess it will do.

Chinese Coins #4

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Chinese Coins #4

I probably won’t get a chance to make this top before I leave for Virginia on Friday but I’ve worked up the EQ file and posted instructions on It’s titled Uneven Chinese Coins – as usual – my quilt names are pretty uninspiring. I have the perfect purple border/sashing fabric for it.

Keith is going to be home the next couple days so we’ll have some time together before I head off. I hope to reload the table quilt for Ann and finish it up before going to Mom’s but we’ll see how it goes.

Playing with the longarm

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Playing with the longarm

Sandra from Stashbuster was here today and we played around on the longarm. She brought a quilt top but we decided that playing around on mulsin would be better for her first time. She was so nice that she left the top for me to finish and donate even though we didn’t get to work on it.

I took photos of some of her hearts and leaves to share. These are two of my favorite allover freehand patterns so I always have people try them out. I can tell she’d be pretty good at this with just a little practice.

Here’s Sandra holding the quilt top she left – pretty isn’t it? It will make a great donation quilt. She hasn’t even see these photos yet because she went straight to work from here and now I’m going to finish picking out the border stitches and reload the table quilt for Ann.

Frogging again

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Frogging again
I was making good progress on a table quilt made by Mom for my sister Ann today until I had to unpick the border. What a pain as I’m trying to get it done before going to Virginia on Friday. Sandra from Stashbuster is coming over tomorrow to play a bit on the longarm so I’ll try to have it all picked out so I can reload it after she leaves.
I stopped in at the Circle Lord booth at MQS to check out the new swirls template (which I ordered once I got home!) and Kay took this photo of my sister and I and mailed it to me. Thanks Kay!


Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Home

We’re home from Ft. Lauderdale and had a great time visiting family. Samantha’s High School graduation party was lots of fun and she’ll be off to the University of Florida in a week for the summer session.

Chris drove down from Marietta so we enjoyed seeing him too …if only Adam and Becky had been able to make it I would have been completely happy.

Do you want to write a book?

Published / by Mary / 12 Comments on Do you want to write a book?

I’m getting ready to head to the pool to read a bit and was checking email first and wanted to share this.

I was up late Wednesday night checking out this site – Blurb, downloading the software, and slurping my blog into a book.

You’ve seen the little books that you can create at the photo sites right? I’ve been tempted to order one but they’re very limited and I didn’t like that I had to work online to make them.

Blurb has software you download and tons of options and formats. I’ve already slurped my blog and am in the process of editing it. It takes a ton of editing so it would probably be easier to start a book from scratch but since I use my blog as a journal I like the idea of having it in a book format. I’m having to replace some photos because the resolution is too low and edit out some content but it’s great.

I can see lots of ways I could use this program personally and if you’ve ever wanted to write a book or publish a book of your photos you’ve got to take a look!

We’re off to the airport

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on We’re off to the airport

No sewing for the next few days but I packed some yarn for a prayer shawl.

I posted an instruction sheet on last night for the Patriotic String Star quilt that I made for Quilts of Valor – it has the binding machine stitched on and I’ll hand stitch it down when I get home.

My Sidebar reading list was getting too long so I also added a ~Reading List~ page over there with the full list.

See you on Sunday!

Ft. Lauderdale

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Ft. Lauderdale

I just got back from taking Chesty to Downtown Dogs for boarding while we’re gone this weekend. We’re heading south to Ft. Lauderdale tomorrow morning for my niece’s graduation party and we’ll be home Sunday. He’s adjusting well to boarding so I don’t feel so bad about leaving him. Today there was another little white dog that you can also see in the webcam photo but Chesty is the one in front facing away from the camera.

I spoke to Michael from Circle Lord today and my swirls template should be shipped Friday. I’m anxious to get it and try it out as the quilts I’ve seen look wonderful. Mine will be the smaller version since I have a Gammill Premier. Now I just have to wait a decent amount of time before ordering the zig zag template used to quilt this one. Maybe I can convince Keith I need this one too in another 3-6 months (keep in mind I only do quilting for family and charity).

Speaking of quilting I have a small table quilt to load and start and a binding to put on before I leave so I better get to work.

Just to give Debbie a hard time – can you believe that she’s not planning to drive over from the SW side of the state to see me while I’m in Ft. Lauderdale. Don’t ask how many times I drove to see her when I was living in Florida and Georgia and they were cruising on their boat!

Playing Hooky

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Playing Hooky

I had every intention of working today after walking Chesty in the park but it was such a beautiful day I decided to walk downtown rather than work.

I first went to Barnes and Nobles and bought Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich and the latest issue of Mark Lipinski’s Quilters Home Magazine. When this magazine first came out I thought he was way over the top and trying too hard to be different and out there but I have to admit I have grown to like his outrageous comments and commentary. I’ve only seen 1 quilt pattern that interests me but I’ve been consistently buying the magazine.

Then I went and sat outside and read by the Orchestra Hall – I can’t tell you what a beautiful day it was – in fact Keith got home from Denmark and was calling my cell trying to find me because I wasn’t waiting at home for him (not that it’s a bad thing that he realizes I’m not ALWAYS waiting for him to come home).

When I got home Keith and I took Chesty for another walk in the park and then we got takeout and ate dinner on the balcony overlooking the park.

I didn’t work at all except for posting an instruction sheet for the Rectangle String quilt on

By the way, Debbie blogged today about the side clamps we bought at MQS – she had to convince me to try them but they are WONDERFUL – the best $20 I’ve ever spent on my longarm. She posted photos so go take a look.

It’s a wonderful day in Minneapolis

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on It’s a wonderful day in Minneapolis

It’s sunny, breezy and cool, Chesty and I just got back from a walk in the park, AND Keith gets home late this afternoon from Denmark!

I finished the binding on my HeartStrings Rectangle Strings quilt last night – you’ve seen photos before but this is the final one. It’s in the dryer now and will be ready to donate when needed.

I also pieced the Lizard Strippie top last night – it might not look like it but these are very cute when quilted and make great donation quilts. I like to practice my border quilting in them and I’m going to look through the Frameworks book by Diana Philips that I bought at MQS to see if there’s one in there for this top. There’s an instruction sheet on called Quick Strippie.

I finished it all

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on I finished it all

I got all the way through my to do list today. I’ve been really productive with Keith traveling so much the last couple months and it just feeds on itself. The more I get done the harder I work. Things will slow down in the next few weeks as I have a couple trips coming up.

I had one of those light bulb moments yesterday when I was finishing the quilting on Mom’s top. I never take the time to practice stitching new quilting designs because I always have another quilt to load and finish. Drawing on paper helps a lot but I like to stitch them some before using them on a quilt for the first time. I realized yesterday that if I use the extra backing at the bottom of my quilts – I can practice something every time I finish a quilt.

Here’s the Ebb and Flow pantograph on the Patriotic String Star – I like the wavy look it gives. I also finished piecing the Lizard Strippie but it was too late to get a good picture so I’ll share that one tomorrow.

My plan for day

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on My plan for day

More quilting……Keith’s in Denmark until Tuesday night and it’s raining outside (a good reason to avoid the long walk I should be taking) so here’s my plan – it’s a little ambitious so it might carry me further than today.

In no particular order

  1. Load and quilt the Patriotic String Star with the Ebb and Flow pantograph (won’t that kind of give it that wavy, flag blowing in the breeze look?)
  2. Cut and stitch the Lizard Strippie that I didn’t get to the other day
  3. Finish the binding on the Rectangle strings – just a little more than one side left to do
  4. Make some more Half Square Strings blocks

These triangles were cut for me by Mom (she helps me out in exchange for quilting services) about 4 years ago and were intended for a king size string quilt for my MIL. For many reason that I won’t go into here – that quilt was never made.

I finished one HeartStrings quilt earlier this year but the basket has been sitting by my sewing table since then waiting for me to use them up. I made a couple blocks to photograph last night as I was writing the Half Square Strings instructions to post on the site so I’ll work on these blocks and take a break from Chinese Coins for a bit.