Archive for June, 2008

Another one finished

This was a top donated to HeartStrings by Deborah and I finished up the binding and labeled it last night. It’s very sweet looking in the 30’s prints. I don’t have very ambitious plans for quilting today – hopefully I’ll get a binding on the last one I quilted and get another one loaded on the longarm.


I wanted to mention a series I’m reading by Bernard Cornwell. I’m on the 2nd book in the series and once I got past all the unfamiliar names of people and places, I’ve really been enjoying this historical series he calls the Saxon Stories. In fact, I stayed up all last night reading – seriously, I was up until 5AM.

I’ve seen his books around forever but for some reason never picked one up. Don’t you LOVE finding a new author and having tons of books to go back and read? I’m especially fond of historical fiction and books that come in series – I enjoy reading about the same characters and series are like one long book that doesn’t end.


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Q&A

I had some questions about how I’m making the Mary’s Triangles (they’re really called that) for my RWB quilt.

I found this site today which shows the same method as I’m using except instead of the small squares and rectangles for the blue and beige, I’m making short strip sets. I’m also not making my blocks oversized, I decided on 5 inch finished blocks and although my book has a table with cutting directions for different sizes, I found this website that has a formula for calculating the size to cut the squares and rectangles. Each of the combinations below makes 2 blocks and they go really quickly.

These are my first few blocks…I’ll have more variety in the fabrics as I get more blocks made. I also had a question about how I’ll assemble the blocks – if you follow the link above for my RWB quilt, you’ll see there are 4 distinct quadrants in the quilt. I’ll assemble each one separately like I’ve started below and then sew the 4 sections together.
And for Debbi who wanted to see how I connected my hearts on the quilt from this morning…I just used loops between them.



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It’s OK to play

Remember that SNL skit called Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley? I decided last night my daily affirmation needs to be “It’s OK to play”.

I love the work I do with HeartStrings and quilting in general but sometimes I let it feel like a job (with lots of overtime!). I don’t work so of course I still want to contribute and be productive but I need to give myself permission to take time off without feeling guilty. Between my move and all the recent and upcoming trips I’ve been stressing about not getting enough quilting done. So starting today – I’m going to wake up each morning and tell myself “It’s OK to play”.

Well, maybe starting tomorrow – this morning I quilted this string top donated by Barbara – here’s just a peek at the heart quilting. I took a class with Jamie Wallen and he used these swirly hearts with feathers and fills but I decided they’d make a nice overall quilting pattern and connected them with loops. (Click photo for a larger view).

I also started making blocks for my RWB top last night – they’re slightly wonky unintentionally but I think they’ll work fine. I just need some practice at regular piecing for a change.

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Two things checked off my *to do* list for the week

I’m done with the binding and label on this quilt – the photo doesn’t show just how cute it is.

After playing with EQ this afternoon, I’m going with this off center design which gives me the size I want although I might switch the red and blue sides. I’ve also read the instructions for making the block and rather than cut individual squares and rectangles I’m going to do some strip piecing – should be much easier. I’m using a 5 inch block and if I get too tired of making the blocks….it might end up with fewer blocks and a border!

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Red~White~Blue

I’m an obsessive person – you all have realized that by now haven’t you?

HeartStrings is working on RWB blocks and Chinese coins between Memorial Day and July 4th so I made 20 blocks and sent them to Sue to be included in group quilts.

Then I read about Alycia’s project which has grown from 100 Quilts of Valor to a goal of 400 Quilts of Valor for 2009 and thought that’s perfect – She’s a HeartStrings member – we can help her reach her goal. So I pulled out my bin with RWB fabric that I’d gathered from stash 6 months ago and pieced my RWB Rails.

Since I still have a ton of fabric from that bin (currently all over the floor of my sewing room) I decided I need to do at least one more top and took about 1o minutes to flip through a couple of my books looking for ideas and came up with 5 possibilities (good thing I didn’t look any longer than 10 minutes).

I hope you all will think about making a quilt for Alycia’s project and you may even have these books at home to choose from….or you can look on my MaryQuilts.com site for some free instructions.

The first two potential quilts are from the book Hooked on Triangles by Johannessen and Uren and are done in black, white, red ….easy enough to change to RWB. They’re a little small but there are directions for making a 12 inch block versus an 8 inch block which works.


This one is in the book Sew One and You’re Done by Evelyn Sloppy and while it’s a square quilt – some creative borders could bring it up to size and rectangular. I don’t care much for square quilts – they seem awkward to me. The color scheme on this one is already RWB too.

Here’s one from the book Mile-A-Minute Quilts by Sharon Hultgren (no it’s not made from crumbs!). Now looking at the block in the top right corner you can see this is made from diamonds….I don’t think so…….but a simple Sawtooth Star would work just as well. This one’s already in RWB too.

And finally, the one I’ve chosen to work on is a combination/variation of quilts from two books. The technique to make the block is from Sally Schneider’s book Triangle Tricks and the inspiration quilt is in the Quick Quilts from your Scrap Bag by Leisure Arts and done in Christmas colors of red, green, and white…easy enough to make that RWB!

Since Keith’s only home for about 12 hours before leaving for a week, I’m not going to run up to the sewing room to start this right away but I can design my EQ layout and finish up the binding on the Lizard quilt while sitting here with him.


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A lunch date

I went to visit Sue Frank for lunch and to pick up a couple HeartStrings tops. It was fun and I really should get out more!

We also had a chance to talk about some housekeeping items for the HeartStrings group – Sue receives the blocks from members and organizes them into sets to send out as well as assembling them herself into tops for our volunteer quilters. She’s even got her Mom helping!

So I’m getting a late start today but Keith is still out of town so I have plenty of time to get some work done.

My current *to do* list looks like this:

  • Load a HeartStrings donation top on the longarm and quilt it.
  • Bind the Lizard quilt – I think that binding is cut but I’ll have to piece it first.
  • Bind Deborah’s 30’s string quilt - I’ll have to make that binding too.
  • Pick a pattern or design another RWB quilt – I’ve got all the fabric from the RWB rails on the floor – I might as well use it.


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Lizards

Now that Blogger is cooperating, I’ll share the photos of my Lizard Strippie I quilted this afternoon. After my glass of wine, I went upstairs and finished assembling the RWB Rail top and trimmed this quilt so now I have two ready for binding and need to load another quilt on the longarm.

Maybe I’ll get some of that done tomorrow but I’m going to visit Sue Frank from HeartStrings for lunch and pick up a couple tops for quilting.

Do you think I should call this quilting Swirling? It’s a slight variation on Dawn’s Dwirling from the Pajama Quilter DVD. I was getting ready to quilt spirals and decided this would better suit this little top. As an added bonus it was quicker to quilt too!


And of course, I had to add a Beanie Baby to the top – again from Dawn’s DVD….this is a really cute little quilt. I’m also happy to say the fabrics for both the top and back were from stash too!



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It’s Happy Hour

Where did this day go? I got up late, returned blades for ceiling fan we bought, came home and then walked to the post office and downtown, lunch downtown, walked home, quilted, walked Chesty in the park – now it’s time for a break and a glass a of wine.

Blogger doesn’t seem to be cooperating with the uploading of photos – I got this one to post by putting it on my MaryQuilts.com site first and then linking to it but I’m too lazy to upload and link all the the other ones I was going to show. I finished quilting the Lizard Strippie and will try to share the photos later tonight.

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Sunday progress report

This was a good week!

  • I quilted 2 Heartstrings donated tops and finished the binding on one – the other is ready to bind.
  • I pieced two backings from stash for tops waiting for quilting.
  • I pieced my RWB rails from stash – the top is almost assembled.
  • I have one of my Quick Strippie Quilts loaded and ready to quilt with a backing from stash.
  • I purchased NO fabric this week.
  • Oops I forgot I ordered fabric from Pam at Real Women Quilt which arrived today (Monday) 3 different fabrics 2 yards each. Pam’s having an Inventory Reduction sale so check it out – not that I’m encouraging you all to buy fabric!

Keith will be gone from for a week and a half except for Wednesday night so I’ll have lots of time to work but then I have a trip to Florida coming up the last week of June and a trip to Virginia the first week of July so I need to get a lot done.


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It’s Saturday

We walked over to the Stone Arch Art Festival this afternoon and while I had my camera, I thought I’d share a couple photos from the common area in front of the townhouse. They have a little babbling brook and pond which look quite lovely right now.


Then a couple photos from the festival – it was well attended with lots of people milling about….
and in the adjacent street – a car show.

I thought it was time for a change of my profile photo so I’ll add this one Keith took this afternoon.

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