Monthly Archives: December 2009

December’s totals

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on December’s totals

A couple days early but since I’m out of town, I won’t get anything else done this month.

Tops finished– 4 (1 with the Mom’s help)

Tops quilted – 7

Quilts completed (bound and labeled) – 1

On Sunday, I did manage to piece a couple backs and two  bindings made and sewn on quilts but they’re not stitched down yet so they’ll be finishes for next year.

My last top of 2009 quilted

Published / by Mary / 21 Comments on My last top of 2009 quilted

We leave early tomorrow for GA and won’t be back until New Year’s Day so this will be the last top I quilt in 2009.

It was pieced by Barbara in FL and I hadn’t been able to decide what to quilt on it until last night when I decided that Baptist Fans would look great on it. So I was up very, very early again this morning to load and quilt it.


Unlike the random Baptist Fans from yesterday, these were quilted in rows – both versions are quilted freehand with no marking.


I had a couple questions recently about how I quilt these and although I’ve gone into more detail at this post, I’ll comment again here.

I quilt the fans upside down starting with the smallest arc so if the top is directional, I load it upside down on the longarm and I start at the top left corner. When I’m quilting in rows – I quilt each row all the way across the top from left to right.


In this quilt I tried to keep the same number of arcs in each fan but I don’t usually worry about that as much as filling the space I need to fill — of course, the more evenly I’m quilting the arcs the more likely there are to be the same number of them in each fan — at least in this *orderly* version.


In the random version from yesterday, I still start in the top left corner and quilt the arcs upside down – I work to fill the space, the fans can have a different number of arcs, and I work my way back and forth across the quilt rather than quilting each row from left to right.

This is really a very easy design to quilt — I’m a very average quilter so you know if I can do it YOU can!

Still working

Published / by Mary / 17 Comments on Still working

One of the nice things about a quiet holiday with just the two of us is that I can slip away and work for a while every now and then. I’m going to have a lot of binding to do when I get back from GA on the 1st of Jan.

I was up at 6AM this morning and got this HeartStrings top of mine loaded and quilted.


Quilted with freehand Baptist Fans, these are randomly placed rather than the rows of them I’ve done on the last couple tops I quilted with BF.


I pieced a back from stash and just as I was getting ready to load the quilt I realized there was a big flaw in the backing. After debating whether to piece another back, I decided to just fuse this block that’s been sitting on my shelf for a long time over the flaw and stitch it down.


It’s really kind of random looking but these colors are in the front of the quilt so it works OK I think.

Keith and I are planning to go to walk downtown for a movie and lunch today. I hope you all are enjoying your holiday too!

It’s Christmas Eve!

Published / by Mary / 25 Comments on It’s Christmas Eve!

I was up early this morning – the excitement of the snow and Christmas Eve I guess.

We got about 4 inches last night and it’s still coming down! Aren’t my trees out front looking beautiful. They make it a little easier not to have a tree this year.


This is something you won’t see often – our association does all the snow removal but in a storm like this it may take them a while to get around to shoveling the stairs although they already plowed the street.


And here’s my baby on his perch. He got a bath and blow dry the other day so he’s all pretty for the holidays.


Any since I was up, I loaded and quilted this gorgeous HeartStrings top pieced by Deborah. She makes the most beautiful string quilts with leftovers from her other quilts and sends them to me to quilt and donate.


A simple pantograph – Blowing Leaves by Dave Hudson and a variegated Lava thread. I’m usually very lazy about my thread and mostly use Permacore because it runs well in my machine, it blends in well with the scrap quilts I’m working with, and it’s not too expensive but I bought this cone probably 2 years ago and never tried it until now. It ran very well in my machine and has a subtle sheen that’s lovely.


And finally, at least for now here’s one more photo of the snow from my longarm room. I don’t always open the blinds down there but today I did so I could watch the snow.


I have a little cooking to do for our picnic tonight by the fire, just potato salad, deviled eggs, and some Christmas cookies. I bought a Honey Baked Ham (yum) so I don’t even have to cook that. And later today we’re going to walk downtown – cross your fingers I don’t get stuck in a snow drift!

Hope your Christmas Eve is as lovely as mine is turning out to be!

This is more like it

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on This is more like it

Some swirly dwirling this morning on another top from San.


And a little closer on quilting


And just in case anyone has missed it, Dwirling is from my favorite quilting DVD by Dawn Ramirez.  I’d also recommend this DVD from Patsy Thompson if you’re looking to build your basic freehand quilting skills. Patsy has other DVD’s for sale as well as some great free downloads on her site so take a look around while you’re there.

Dawn quilts on a longarm and Patsy on a regular sewing machine but in my opinion the concepts and designs are appropriate for either machine in both video’s.

Bright ideas

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Bright ideas

Or in this case NOT so bright. I loaded a HeartStrings top pieced from group blocks by Sue (or her Mom) and just before I started to do some swirly dwirling on it (quick and easy AND looks good), I thought I’d try a heart variation.

Lets just say it’s a good thing the top is very busy and that at least the quilting gives it good texture!


And the back (one of many backings sent to me by Tish for these donation quilts).


It may be time to go back to my pantographs for a while but the good news is one more top is quilted!

Definitely Wonky

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Definitely Wonky

It’s been a while since I’ve quilted Wonky Feathers (from the Pajama Quilter DVD) but as usual even though I’m cringing while I’m quilting, when I finish and take the quilt off the machine I’m usually fairly pleased. I need to quilt these feathers soon before I forget them again.

The top was pieced by San and it’s one of several sent to me to quilt and finish for Alycia’s Quilt of Valor project. I sent 3 finished ones to Alycia in November and another one is being bound by Sheree.  You might not think feathers are the best quilting design but this quilt has floral setting triangles so I figured it would probably end up with a *girl* soldier.


Here’s a better look at the quilting


And my living room is almost back to normal — the ceiling has to dry some before they can put the lights back up but we enjoyed sitting by the fire this evening and Chesty was very happy to be allowed to roam around again.


Finally, we’re getting a little snow tonight but the exciting thing is this forecast for the rest of the week including Christmas! There’s a Winter Storm Watch in effect from Wed – Fri and they’re calling for significant accumulations of snow. I think we’ll do our grocery shopping tomorrow night rather than Wednesday as planned.


Wishing you all a white Christmas too!

Do you make leftover quilts?

Published / by Mary / 15 Comments on Do you make leftover quilts?

One thing about making scrap quilts is that I usually cut extra just to get a good variety of fabrics so I frequently end up with a 2nd quilt from the leftovers.

My blue strings

Final Blue Strings

And it’s leftover quilt

Hourglass Strings quilted

The 30’s log cabin

Baby cabin

And the leftover Baby Stripes

Baby Stripes

Becky’s half log cabin

Becky's half log cabin

And it’s leftover Two Rail Fence

Red and Purple Rails finished

I am halfway done with the Green leftover Rail fence and hope to finish it before we leave for GA on the 28th but I’m working at a pretty slow pace so we’ll see.

What do you do with your leftovers?

How strange….

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on How strange….

Gari sent me the link for this quilt of hers and I remember seeing the quilt but not the use of the piping (or flange) but it’s exactly what I’m doing with this Rail Fence quilt. I even commented on the quilt. Good thing I didn’t claim to have *invented* the technique right?? I would have been really embarrassed.

Really though, I never claim to come up with anything new because I spend a lot of time looking at quilts and it tends to all jumble together in my mind and come out in my quilting. I am always inspired by the quilts I see (even when I don’t remember it)!

Make sure you follow the above link — Gari’s Log Cabin quilt is gorgeous!