Archive for June, 2007

My sister has a blog!

I’ve been trying to convince my sister Debbie to start a blog. She’s a longarm quilter and we just recently went to MQS together where she won an Honorable Mention ribbon for the quilt she entered.

While we were there we met Judy – who also told Debbie she should start a blog and she must have been more convincing than I was because Debbie just created her blog Rags N Quilts.

I’ve also added a link to my sidebar so please visit her and welcome her to blogland!

HeartStrings Chinese Coins

Here’s the 2nd HeartString top from donated Chinese Coins sent in by group members. From computer to finished top in less than 2 days (while working on other projects too) is pretty quick but it helps when the coins are already sewn. The first top can be seen on the HeartStrings blog.

These coins were made by Teresa and given to me at our April HeartStrings Sew-in. Although I got lots of sections from other group members, Teresa’s were perfect for this quilt because she used the same width strips and all her sections were 12 inches. I trimmed them down to 3.5 inches and the leftover 2 inch sections were used for the border. I have plenty of her coins leftover so I’m going to make a version of the red coins quilt too.

Found it

I went looking for the coins quilt with red sashing and found it in a folder of old computer files. The file is dated 2003 and if I remember correctly it was an antique quilt for sale on eBay.

I have the center of mine together and as I was sewing the sashing on I remembered why I usually avoid sashed quilts – especially sashed quilts without cornerstones but I chalked my lines and I think everything is lined up really well – I must be getting better at it because this is the 3rd one I’ve done in the last year without problems. As you can see from one of my inspiration quilts – the maker was *sashing challenged*. I also found the webshots link to the other quilt – this is the photo I’d saved on my computer at some point and used to design my quilt in EQ6.

I really wish I’d bought this quilt back then. It really appealed to me flaws and all and the memory of it has been in my head for 4 years.

New Pantographs

Usually I finish a quilt and bind it immediately but I was in the mood to quilt so yesterday I loaded and started a second HeartStrings top which I just finished. Both quilts were quilted with new pantographs and since neither one is bound – I’m just showing these photos of the quilting.

The Rectangle Strings was quilted with a pantograph called Feather Me by Mereth. I picked it up at the Golden Threads booth at MQS. The longer circular sections gave me a bit of a challenge as my new machine just does not move all that smoothly but I love the looks of the quilting on this quilt and the wobbles aren’t too noticeable on this busy top.
I had a chance to talk with Gammill at MQS and it was suggested I check my track and try to run the machine in manual mode to see if it made a difference. Well it does run much smoother but there’s a reason I bought a stitch regulated machine! I’m going to give them a call and see if there’s anything I can do to improve how it moves.

The Blue HeartStrings quilt was pieced at the MN area sew-in the end of April and was quilted with a pantograph by Lorien Quilting from Willow Leaf Studios called Happy Times. What a quick easy pantograph and it looks great – I’ll be using this one again too.

More Coins

I finished up my list from Sunday and I’m partially through quilting the Rectangle String quilt.

I decided to load another HeartStrings quilt first and I finished quilting that one this afternoon but I haven’t taken a photo yet. I was in too much of a hurry to make a backing and load the 2nd quilt of the day. I usually procrastinate loading quilts and it’s unheard of for me to load 2 in one day – I’m very proud of myself!

I also started playing with the layout of the 2nd Chinese Coins quilt from the sections donated by HeartStrings quilters. I thought I had enough of my favorite black fabric to do this but am having to settle for a grayish black in the interest of using my stash whenever possible. The sections sent in were 5.5 inches so I’m cutting these in two – one section is 3.5 inches and the leftover section which is 2 inches will be used for the pieced border. The coins in the drawing are brighter than the ones I’m using too – I might just have to make this quilt again in the future with black and brights.

I saw a photo of a similar quilt somewhere on the web but don’t know where. I first saw this type of layout in an antique quilt – maybe in Gwen Marston’s book Liberated Strings – that quilt used a red sashing.

I really like the look of the shorter coin sections and with enough coins for 6 or more quilts I want to use different patterns. Feel free to send me links to your favorite Chinese Coins quilts.

I also uploaded two instruction sheets today to the webite – the Off Center 4 Patch backing as requested and the instructions for the easy Chinese Coins version used for this quilt and this one.

Progress report

I had 5 bullet points on my list for today and I’ve checked off 3 of them and am getting ready to sit down with the 4th and work on a binding while I watch a little TV.

The first item was finishing this top Mom and I had started at her house in May – the borders are on and the binding is already cut and sewn.

Second, I pieced this top from donated Chinese Coins sections for the HeartStrings Quilt Project.

Third, I trimmed my aunt’s quilt, made her binding, and machine stitched it on for her – it’s ready to ship back to NC now.

I doubt whether I’ll feel like loading a quilt tonight but I’m please with my progress.

Amish Stripes and Strings

I posted an instruction sheet for the recently completed Amish Stripes and Strings top on the site if anyone is interested.

Back to work

After being gone this past week I’m eager to get back to work. Keith left early this morning for Salt Lake City and LA and won’t be home until Thursday so I’ve got some uninterrupted time for quilting.

Here’s my to do list and I’m going to see how far I get today. Most of the day will focus on working on HeartStrings quilts.

  1. Cut and sew borders for 16 patch and pinwheels
  2. Trim Aunt Dot’s quilt; make and machine stitch binding
  3. Layout 1st Chinese Coins quilt from HeartStrings project; pick and cut border; assemble top
  4. Make backing; load HeartStrings Rectangle Strings quilt on longarm
  5. Stitch binding down on a donated HeartStrings top that I quilted last month.

An interesting post

Nancy had a very interesting post on her blog about letting go of all the *rules* and just having fun with her quilting. I posted a comment over there about my perspective but thought I’d post here too because I think it’s something that many of us deal with.

This might not surprise those of you who read my blog but what motivates me and makes me happy in my quilting is being productive and making and donating quilts. (That’s not to say that being a quilt factory and blindly mass producing quilts is what my quilting is about.)

I don’t have *rules* for myself but I do have* goals* and it sounds like I just use a different word for the same things Nancy talks about – curbing my fabric buying, using the stash I’ve already accumulated, finishing UFO’s, and making a number of donation quilts.

I set goals for myself and then work toward them – if I don’t accomplish everything I set out to do then I focus on how far I did get toward my *goal* rather than beating myself up over breaking a *rule*.

So Nancy’s *rules* make her unhappy but my *goals* make me feel productive and happy. Since as Nancy said so well quilting is something we do for fun, I think she made the right decision for her quilting.

As for me – I’ll continue to set my goals and work toward them.


I’m back from the quilt show and wanted to post a quick note. I met my sister Debbie in Kansas on Tuesday and we spent the next 3 days catching up with each other, viewing quilts, and shopping the vendor mall at the show.

This was the first visit to the show for both of us and the first time Debbie had entered a quilt at MQS. She won a Honorable Mention ribbon for her wall quilt Some Like it Hot – Frog Legs Cajun Style. Unfortunately you can’t see Debbie’s amazing quilting in this photo but you can go to her webshots album and see some close-ups.

I also had a chance to meet Judy in person for the first time – we chatted a while and took her over to see Debbie’s quilt.

Is blogger having problems this evening?

I tried to post on the HeartStrings blog earlier and although it shows up in my list of published posts it won’t show up on the blog. Hopefully this post will. I’m leaving for MQS in the morning so I won’t be blogging for a few days. See you when I get back.

I finished quilting my Aunt’s quilt just in time – a rather plain strippie. I used the Fay Feathers pantograph thinking that it would add a little more interest to the quilt.

Quilt Instructions

From time to time when I post pictures of my quilts I get requests for the pattern. Since I work up most of my quilts in EQ its usually not a problem to provide VERY BASIC instructions. I decided it would be easier to upload the patterns in PDF format to their own site since blogger doesn’t allow file uploads.

For now you can find the instructions for the spiderweb quilt, my double 4 patch, and my favorite quick donation quilt (a quick strippie pattern).

The link to the instructions will be added to my sidebar.

Birthday Fun!

Keith surprised me with a new digital camera that I wanted (in addition to the livestock!) so we took a walk across the river and had a leisurely lunch at the Bulldog pub. The sky was threatening as we walked home but the rain held off for us.

Click the album below if you’d like to see more photos from today.
Minneapolis June 2 2007


Thanks for all the comments and compliments – I do like the new haircut although next time I’ll have her do the back just a little differently. I’d forgotten how *easy* short hair is so that’s a bonus.

Nice to hear it makes me look younger too – just in time for my birthday tomorrow. I’d recently read about Heifer International and asked Keith and the boys for livestock for my birthday. In addition to getting a sheep from Chris, Adam, & Becky and a cow from Keith, my sister sent me a Jelly Roll and Mom gave me a Rosary bracelet made of Connemara marble.

Yesterday I worked on my Amish Stripes and finished assembling the top. I also finally stopped procrastinating and loaded my Aunt’s top on the longarm so I should have if finished and hopefully mailed off before I head to MQS on Tuesday.