Archive for November, 2009

More binding done

This top was pieced by Barbara in FL and sent to me to quilt and donate.


I pieced one of my off centered 4 patches for the back. The HeartStrings label is sewn right into the corner and covered on two sides with the binding.


Taking a break

A couple hours on the computer at the coffee shop to get me out of the house for a bit.


Then some quilting – I’m ready to mail the quilts and pillow shams back to my aunt tomorrow. For the shams,  I loaded a piece of muslin, used some batting scraps and the same pantograph from the quilt (Plumage).


Still to come tonight, some binding and a few more HeartStrings blocks. Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. Although I spent it alone, I’m very happy with everything I got done!

A couple more finishes

I’m still working on my third set of HeartStrings blocks. I wasn’t sure about these blocks at first but now I’m really liking the jewel tones.  I’m using our HeartStrings Logo setting for this top.


I also finished tying the 3rd quilt from Lani and her group in CA and got two of them bound.



I talked to Keith today and now he won’t be coming home until Tuesday around dinner time.  I don’t think I’ll be able to keep up this pace that long but I still have a couple things left on the list to work on tomorrow.

The monster quilt is done!

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I chose Plumage for this quilt — other than it would look good. After days of chugging away at it, my aunt’s 2nd top is quilted. Now I just have two pillow shams to do for her and I’ll be done.



I love being productive!

This top was pieced by Cheryl and sent to me to quilt and donate.


Quilted with the pantograph Leap Frog by Norma Sharp. Isn’t this cute how she framed the ponies?


I’ve done a little of everything today and now I’m going to put another movie on and start tying a 3rd HeartStrings top.

I worked well into the night

I’m beginning to think I’d like to have a space that I could set up a tying table and leave it. Last night I sat at my table watching a movie and tied this HeartStrings top pieced by Lani and her CA group.  I also had a fire going – it was very cozy. Unfortunately, the table will have to disappear when Keith comes home.


On my agenda this day 3 of 5 are more HeartStrings blocks, quilting on my Aunt’s 2nd top, and maybe some binding if I get to it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

After sleeping late (very, very late) I finally feel like I’ve caught up a little on my sleep. First up on today’s task list was to finish the binding on the donated top pieced by Helen (from Bonnie Hunter’s Orange Crush pattern).


I just love the texture the clamshell quilting gave to it. The pantograph is Improved Clamshell by Kathie James.


I’ve got a small turkey breast cooking and then I plan to make my Mom’s dressing and have a mini Thanksgiving feast.  I’ll also start another set of blocks for our HeartStrings Holiday Block Party, set up another quilt for tying, and work on quilting my Aunt’s 2nd top.

I got a late start but it’s going to be a busy day! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

Day 1 of 5

I’m alone for the holiday and am planning to get a lot of work done while Keith is gone.

Today I did have to go out to run a couple errands and to pick up some groceries for tomorrow but I managed to set up, tie, and bind a HeartStrings quilt. The top was pieced by Lani and her group in CA.


Since Keith is gone, I set up my tying table in the middle of the living room. You can see Chesty resting on the sofa behind me. His belly is pretty bruised up but he seems to be feeling much better. I do have to keep the cone on him because he goes straight for the incision when I take it off.


Still on today’s agenda is some binding and then when I put Chesty to bed I’ll go downstairs and quilt for a while. I got the 2nd top from my aunt loaded and started last night but I’ve got lots of quilting left to do on it.

What I do for family

I don’t like doing big quilts,  especially since I had to downsize to a smaller machine a few years ago, but I have two tops here from my Aunt that I want to get done and send back to her before my trip to Virginia next week so I had to get to work on them.

I finished the first one tonight — typically borders aren’t her strong point (they tend to ruffle or wave) and I was nervous when I measured and saw that this quilt had 19 inches of borders on all sides. Luckily, it could have been worse and the quilting ate up most of the fullness.


Doing a pantograph on a quilt this big is rather boring but the payoff is perfectly spaced motifs that are consistent throughout the quilt with no stress. This pantograph is Lush Leaves from Lorien Quilting and it suited the colors in this quilt well.


Just to show I still remember how

Sheree and Cindy have been helping me out with binding HeartStrings quilts but I have 5 quilts I did last week that need binding so I got to work on them.

I finished the binding on Pat’s Diamond Strings tonight.


Joan asked me a question about how I did my binding so I had Keith take a couple photos when I was working on quilt #2 tonight.

Mom & Deb hold the quilt in the opposite direction but that seems backwards to me. I stretch the quilt across my lap, backing up and work from right to left using a blind stitch. I use straw needles from Jeanna Kimball.



Dazed and uncomfortable

Poor baby, he’s not feeling very well tonight and he’s still half dazed from the anesthesia but I’m sure he’ll feel better in the next day or two. I appreciate the comments and emails – I am always anxious and upset until he is home.


On a quilty note, one other task I finished today was the edging on this simple postcard. It’s doing double duty this month — going to my cousin’s daughter for our family exchange and it’s my interpretation of Vicki’s theme for November. I’m thankful for SO many things and certainly this isn’t the most important but Keith and I were just talking this weekend how thankful we are for changing SEASONS. Although this card just depicts fall, having 4 distinct seasons is one of the things we love best about Minnesota.



Chesty’s surgery went well and I spoke to the Vet a little while ago. They were able to do a minimally invasive surgery to get the stones and we’ll be able to pick him up tonight between 7 – 8 PM. Now he’ll just need a couple weeks of good nursing care and he should be back to normal (hopefully).

I’ve got my Aunt’s quilt loaded and have the quilting started. I’m thrilled that I’m able to do a pantograph on this one — Mom wasn’t sure how large the tops would be (there are 2) and I was afraid that it would reach to the edges of my table but I have a few inches to spare.

Working while I wait

A couple quilts trimmed, a binding made and stitched onto the quilt, a backing pieced, and unlike my usual pace of taking 2-3 days to assemble blocks into a top, I got all the brown centered HeartStrings blocks assembled this morning.


Now I need to stop stalling and go down and load one of my aunt’s tops on the longarm.

Now we wait

Thanks again for all the good wished for Chesty. I took him in early this morning and now all I can do is wait.


I  spoke to the Vet on Friday and it looks like Chesty is probably not a good candidate for Lithotripsy and  most likely they’ll do a *mini* procedure on Monday — kind of like a laparoscopic  type procedure with just a small incision for the cystoscope. Chesty would be embarrassed for me to share this but his small penis is an issue here as well as the number of stones.

At any rate, he goes in Monday morning and they’ll do the least invasive procedure needed to remove the stones.

On a more quilty note, I finished my brown centered HeartStrings blocks and will assemble the top over the next few days.

Another one of Pat’s tops quilted

This one a RWB HeartStrings and one of my favorites.  After playing in my pantograph box this past week I was ready for some freehand fun so it’s quilted with a swirly version of Dwirling from the Pajama Quilter DVD.


I’m also still working on my brown centered HeartStrings blocks.


I lucked out here

Thanks for all the feedback — I’m leaning toward Version A which seems to be the overall favorite although I really think either would look OK.

I’m actually kind of thrilled that they chose this one since I had already pieced the quilt. It will be easy to add borders and then quilt it and I still have lots of time – I’m not a big fan of making large bed quilts. For those of you who don’t remember seeing it — here’s a partial shot of the top — it’s big even without the borders and I didn’t have space to get a full photo of it.


And for those of you checking up on Chesty — his procedure/surgery is scheduled for Monday. They’ll attempt to remove the stones via lithotripsy but will have a surgical team standing by if needed. I’m hoping for the best.

Finally, it’s funny but Keith and I have a bit of a different perspective on the baby — he tells people that HE’S going to be a grandpa….I tell people that Adam is going to be a Dad. I guess I’m still adjusting to it the idea of my baby becoming a father but Adam is excited and that’s what matters most.

A wedding quilt AND a baby quilt

Or maybe a baby quilt and THEN a wedding quilt. I’m not quite sure the order I’m going to need these but I’m working on designing borders for the Stars & Pinwheels quilt to bring it up to queen size. So which do you like better?

Version A

brown - pink with pieced border

Version B

brown - pink v2 with borders

And just in case you were wondering, it’s my son Adam and his girlfriend Lindsey who are expecting.

A quiet afternoon

After getting a haircut, I’m sitting in a quiet corner of the library with my computer and a cup of coffee. It’s a great place to come work when I start going stir crazy from being home too much.

mary in libraryPlaying with the webcam on the laptop

Diamond strings

Top pieced by Pat and quilted with the pantograph Blowing Leaves by Dave Hudson. Pat participated in our HeartStrings Diamond Strings project – she chose to make fewer blocks and add borders unlike my top that uses more blocks and no borders. Instructions for both can be found at my site.


A close-up of the quilting on the back.


And here’s a full view of the pieced back — one of many sent to me by Tish for HeartStrings quilts.