Monthly Archives: January 2008

Folk Art Quilts

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I mentioned it in an earlier post but just to give credit where due, my heart quilt is a variation of Sandy Bonsib’s cover quilt on her book Folk Art Quilts.

My travel day was long considering I never went to bed last night! I left for the airport at 5:30Am and can anyone tell me why I’m still awake? I told Deb to come knocking on the door by 8:30AM (she’s an early riser).

We should have some photos to share tomorrow – we’re going to a local quilt show and Deb heard that at least a couple quilts she quilted got ribbons in the show. We’ll also stop by a bead shop – I think I need more since I’m just starting to establish my embellishment stash.


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Heading to Florida!

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Heading to Florida!

With an anticipated low of MINUS 19 tonight, I’m pretty pleased to be jumping on a plane tomorrow morning to visit Deb in Florida. I do enjoy the winter weather but a long weekend in the FL sunshine will be nice.

My goal was to finish all the blocks for my heart quilt before leaving so I’m going to head to the sewing room now – I just have one more row of blocks to do so I should easily be able to finish them tonight.

I’m taking my laptop and camera so I plan to continue to post while I’m gone – I just won’t be checking email as frequently.


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Signature

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on Signature

I posted several times last night testing the signature and link so you might have gotten some that worked or didn’t work. I added my name but then decided only to put the email link…then decided again to put my name. This is the final version (for now). Hopefully the signature shows up AND the email link should work!


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UFO # 9

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on UFO # 9

I know, they just keep coming don’t they. I finished the binding and labeled the Dragonfly quilt tonight. You can’t see the quilting in this photo but I posted a photo of the back the other day – my Wonky Feathers show up really well.

This was a top I designed in EQ for Mom to use fabric given to her by Deb. Since I’m such a good daughter, I also cut it out, and then helped with the piecing when the sashing was not lining up for her. It will be donated as part of the HeartStrings Quilt Project.

Amazon’s Kindle Reader

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Amazon’s Kindle Reader

I don’t know if you all realize that I love gadgets and electronics (computers, digital cameras, sewing machines, longarms, etc) but one thing I had doubts I’d ever purchase was an electronic book reader. I LOVE books and I couldn’t picture myself reading them on a computer type screen.

Well I changed my mind – after weighing the pros and cons I’m going to give the new Amazon Kindle Reader a try. I love the idea of carrying my library around with me in the space of a paperback book, downloading a new book instantly, and paying less per book = more books.

I made the decision to buy a few days after Christmas but they’ve been back ordered. I got an email last night saying it should arrive the week of February 8th – I can’t wait!

It certainly won’t replace all books for me but it will definitely be my “carry around” book. I’ll just warn you – they aren’t cheap but I figure for me the savings in purchasing the books will help offset the cost.

UFO #8

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on UFO #8
I finished up the binding on another UFO tonight. This was also a donated HeartStrings top sent to me from Barbara.

I made some new HeartStrings labels for 2008 and I’d printed a page yesterday to put on Deb’s strippie top that I finished last night – thought it was too big so I printed another page tonight using a smaller label for Barbara’s coins. Funny but seeing them side by side the larger one doesn’t seem as HUGE as it did last night so I’ll go ahead and use the other labels from that sheet rather than waste them. You know, those Printed Treasures sheets aren’t cheap!

The good thing is I’ve finished two more HeartStrings donation quilts and now I’m going to work some on the blocks for the Pieces of my Heart quilt (see, it has a name now).

Am I crazy?

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Am I crazy?

I want to start another crazy quilt but I’m debating the color scheme. I only have cotton fabric so it won’t be a *true* crazy quilt with it’s mix of fabrics but I’m really tempted to make it in only blue and white. I’ve never seen a two color crazy quilt but I liked the look of my postcard and love blue and white quilts so I’m thinking why not. It’s not going to be huge – look how long the doll quilt took me and that’s without any beading which I definitely want to do on this one. Any thoughts?

I bought this book after seeing it on VickiW’s blog and I love it – it has lots of motifs for me to use for embroidery. I decided I’d start embroidering some on fabric patches while I decide my color scheme. On Allie’s blog I learned I could use paper to trace the design and stitch through – how cool is that?
I’ve finished the binding on this donation quilt tonight. It reinforced my belief that having a large stash isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I love that I can pull backings and bindings for a variety of donated tops and finish up these quilts with the fabric I have on hand. I love how this stripe looks.

I had several great suggestions about a name for my current piecing project, my favorite was from GypsyQuilter “Pieces of my Heart”. Of course, I’ll probably shorten it to “the heart quilt” and 6 months from now I won’t remember what I actually called it but for now it pleases me.

The week in review

Published / by Mary / 14 Comments on The week in review

Stashbusting

  • More progress made on my current project which is completely from stash and officially needs a name now – I started out calling them crumb blocks but they’re really more like log cabin blocks pieced with crumbs and strings….add some scattered hearts and what do you get? I don’t know – any suggestions for naming this quilt?
  • The backing and binding on this donated top quilted this week were from stash.
  • The backing and binding on this donated top finished this week were from stash.
  • The binding for this donated top was pulled from stash and has been stitched on – now it just needs to be hand-stitched down.
  • No fabric purchases either.

I got through my to do list this week – 3 tops quilted (4 if you count the dwirling panel quilt on Sunday) and 3 quilts bound.

Finally, two UFO’s were finished #6 my doll sized Crazy Quilt and #7 a donated HeartStrings top pieced by Annie.

I got lucky

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I realized after starting to quilt this afternoon that this beautiful backing was going to SHOW every flaw and that maybe I should have saved it for something safe like a pantograph. I decided I wasn’t going to post photos of the back if it looked bad.

Not only does it look halfway decent but the tension was excellent and even though I used a variegated thread…no top thread dots on the back. You can enlarge both photos to see the quilting up close. Vicki, maybe I should quilt more often without any sleep!


Still awake

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Still awake

To keep myself awake, I started quilting the dragonfly quilt. I debated for 1/2 a second not doing an overall design and quilting each block separately but since I needed to practice my Wonky Feathers again, that’s what I went with.

Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve used one of my variegated threads on this machine. The thread broke on me a couple times but once I turned the needle a little more to the right it’s been running fine.

I have a plan

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on I have a plan

I have to get back to a somewhat regular sleep schedule before leaving on Thursday to visit Deb so I decided I’d stay up all night and then NOT go to bed until tomorrow evening. Keith’s been told he has to keep me entertained today so I don’t sleep. Unfortunately, it’s MINUS 16 degrees right now so the idea of curling up in bed under a pile of quilts is really appealing.

I’ve had a wonderfully productive night.

  • I finished my applique hearts and sewed the skinny red strips on them
  • I made and then machine stitched 2 bindings (I still have to turn and hand stitch them to the backing)
  • I made another row of blocks
  • I squared up a backing and loaded a top to quilt later today.

I was having trouble finding a binding for this donated top I quilted the other day but then I found this stripe buried in the stash.

This is a terrible photo because the light is NOT good in my quilting room at 4AM. My design wall isn’t big enough for this quilt so the blocks are just pinned up to give me an idea of how it will look. I still have two rows of blocks to piece but this coming along nicely.

This is the top I loaded on the longarm. I *designed* this in EQ for Mom and then helped her get it pieced. The instruction sheet is posted on MaryQuilts.com

And finally, I wish I could get a better photo of this backing made for me by VickiW. I won a prize at her blog and she dyed this backing for me to go with the Dragonfly quilt. It’s just perfect for this quilt and she made a huge piece. I have enough leftover to use with a second fabric and make one of my Off Center 4 Patch backings for another quilt.


And before I forget to mention it, I was busy the night before redoing the HeartStrings website if you want to take a look.

If I was the jealous type

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on If I was the jealous type

It would bother me that Deb is a lot better quilter than I am….but since it’s an area I can’t possibly complete – I’ll just be the proud sister. Deb didn’t piece this top but she did a wonderful job of quilting it.

She posted photos on her blog and I think even commented when this quilt won in Vermont but imagine my surprise when I was flipping through my Quilter’s Newsletter tonight and came upon this. Too bad she’s not a night owl like me or I would have called her!
By the way, JudyL’s book got a mention in this month’s issue too.

A bit of this….a little of that

Published / by Mary / 12 Comments on A bit of this….a little of that

I know you have heard it before but my sleep schedule is completely out of control again. I was up all last night and most of today but crashed this afternoon and had to have a nap before cooking dinner.

I did make good use of my time and fused my hearts and started to stitch them down (by hand)for my current quilt. There are only 9 of them and I’ve just got 3 left to blanket stitch. Here’s a photo of the blocks on the design wall….I need more red and then a purple and tan or goldish column.


I finished the Dwirling on this top sent by Deb in AZ too and I’m pretty happy with the results – it’s a fun pattern to stitch.

Most of the night was spent on categorizing my expenses in preparation for sending off my tax stuff. I use online banking and download statements into Microsoft Money but this year I’ve been REALLY bad about assigning categories so I spent HOURS last night and got through 3/4 of it although I still have to finish up categorizing on the credit card expenses. Then I’ll be able to print my summaries up and the hard part will be done.

Quilting and book expenses aren’t looking as bad as I expected BUT dining out – OMG, I’m surprised we’re not broke! I’ve actually been really good this week and have cooked every night but one and that night Keith just stopped by Panera for sandwiches and soup so it wasn’t too bad. That darn Condo in GA that we haven’t been able to sell has been a drain as well as the Marietta house BUT I also started the process to sell the house to Chris and Becky. They’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage and I’m working with an attorney to write up a contract.

Don’t you HATE this time of year? I’m always stressed until I see what we owe or will get back. Usually it’s just a little over or under but I still worry about unpleasant surprises!

In case I haven’t bored you completely…I’ve been cooped up in the house for two weeks because I’m still feeling the effects of this cold so now that I’m ready to get out some tomorrow and this weekend, they’re calling for low Temps of -13 to -15 with wind chills of 25 to 45 below zero. Luckily, I leave for Florida to visit Deb a week from today.

Oops, one more thing! Thanks to Deb and Ruthie for mentioning me on their blogs for the You Make My Day award. I already said I wasn’t going to list 10 blogs but again, I thank the entire community of bloggers that we belong to for continuing to inspire my quilting and being my virtual friends.