Monthly Archives: June 2007

Playing Hooky

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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

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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.

Time for a break – I’m going for a walk!

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Time for a break – I’m going for a walk!

I’m finished the 3rd HeartStrings Chinese Coins top. Are you tired of seeing these quilts yet? I’ve got several more to make so I’m still playing around with different variations. I’ll be adding the cutting directions to the site in a day or two and I think this one would look great in brights like my EQ drawing.

Since you can’t see my purple inner border fabric very well in the above photo – I’m adding a close-up here. Those of you playing along with Judy’s Use the Stash Challenge may remember my plan for June was to work on these tops. The coins were donated by HeartStrings members and I’ve been pulling borders and sashing from stash. This purple however was a 1/2 price purchase yesterday.

The borders and sashing for the first two coins quilts (here) and (here) were from fabric in my stash and HeartStrings members are making and sending backings. Between piecing the tops and quilting them I don’t have time to piece multi-fabric backs for them so I appreciate the help!

HeartStrings Chinese Coins #3

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Keith is out for a run and then will be leaving for the airport when he gets back and showered – this time a quick trip to Denmark coming back on Tuesday – so I’m checking email and planning my quilting for the day.

I’ve got another set of Chinese Coins up on the design wall and here’s the EQ6 drawing of the quilt. The coins I’m using are not all the same width like the ones in this drawing and they’re not as bright either but you get the picture and just like the 2nd Coins quilt, this one would look great in brights.

I also want to get the quick strippie quilt cut out from these fabrics today.

A new strippie

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Keith and I ran by the quilt shop just before heading out to lunch and I saw this really cute lizard print. It’s been a while since I made one of these quick donation quilts and its been on my mind since posting an instruction sheet on I bought one yard of the print and the gold and blue are from stash – I’ll back it in stash fabric too.

For those interested in the cutting directions for the Dragonflies quilt – I posted that instruction sheet on too.


Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Family

Someone mentioned that Debbie and I look alike. There’s always been a strong McLaughlin family resemblance between the 6 of us but I think that she looks more like my Dad’s side of the family and I look more like Mom.

This picture was taken in October at Chris’ wedding and the youngest and oldest are standing on either end. I won’t tell you who’s the oldest in the family but I think it’s pretty obvious from this picture since Maureen looks like she’s 12!

If Pat and Kevin switched places in the back – we’d be standing in age order which puts me smack in the middle of the pack or what I like to refer to as the oldest of the youngest girls!

You may have also noticed that I call her Debbie and she calls herself Deb – old habits are hard to break – luckily she doesn’t seem to mind.

A slow day

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I didn’t work much today – spent a bit of time on the computer and just before Keith got home this evening I pulled out the HeartStrings quilt to bind. I save all my leftover binding bits just for quilts like this one. Unfortunately, I add more to the bin than I take out.

Keith leaves again on Saturday so I’ll take the day off tomorrow to spend with him and be back at work in the studio Saturday morning. We’re going to Ft. Lauderdale Thursday – Sunday of next week to visit family. My niece is heading off to college and my sister-in-law is having a big party for her. Chris is going to drive down too so we’ll get to see him but unfortunately Adam has to work.

Thanks to everyone who went to Debbie’s site to welcome her to blogland.