Archive for April, 2011

embroidery, knitting, and hand piecing

I’ve packed a little of everything to keep me busy over the next 3 weeks….I wonder how much I’ll get done?

A Google images search for free embroidery designs came up with this one. Flickr is also a good source of embroidery designs.


I love to travel

And it doesn’t hurt when I have a comfortable place to wait for my flight and get free upgrades to first class!


I’m getting something new when I get to VA today …. I can’t wait!

Out early this morning

I thought I’d head down to the Apple store on the Light Rail to see if they have any iPad 2’s in. And while they’re saying there’s a chance of an inch or two of snow, spring must be here because the bikes are out!




I was getting ready to write that I hadn’t done much today when I realized it’s really tomorrow already – I’m back on a schedule where I’m not just up late … I’m up all night. That’s going to be tough in a couple days when I have to travel again.

I finished up the blocks for the Strips and Strings Log Cabin and the blocks now need the sashing finished which won’t be done until I get back from my extended trip to VA and GA.

And I finished up my postcards for our family exchange for April.

I still want to cut out a Fan quilt for Mom later tonight – I brought back a bunch of her blues in February and am going to cut them with the Dresden Plate die.

Scrambling to check the weather

Nothing like the tornado sirens going off to make me run check the weather. I’m really bad about looking at the news especially when Keith is gone….imagine my surprise to see they’re calling for snow this weekend!! Looks like we’re not in the alert area today so maybe it was a test??



This hasn’t happened in a LONG time

With the completion of this binding tonight — I have NO quilts here at the moment waiting for binding! I can’t remember the last time I was all caught up.

Pieced by Tish for our HeartStrings Lime Green project.

Quilted with the pantograph Hearts in Bloom

And look what came in the mail — 3 more tops — from Jan. Don’t you love her use of stripes on either side of the center string?

People ask me all the time if I get bored with these HeartStrings tops but I never do. They’re fun and low stress to quilt and they can really look different depending on the fabric choices and settings.

Now I’m going to go up and see if I can make the rest of the Strips & Strings log cabin blocks before going to bed to read. If I’m lucky I can get them done so I can work on the sashing the next couple days.



I’ve got a good start on my blocks and even started sashing some of them.

The massage was great too so it was a pretty good day! I’m going to try to finish up the binding I’m working on this evening, wish me luck.


For me there’s not much worse than uncertainly or being in limbo and it seems like we’ve just entered that state. Another big reorganization with Keith’s company with the two levels above him being let go (fired on Friday) and a new boss which adds some uncertainty to our moving plans as Keith meets with him and determines whether there will be any changes to his job.

While we moved here to Minneapolis because of his job, we were leaving because he was no longer required to be based here and we could be anywhere in the eastern US that had access to a major airport.

So…will we move or not? I’m thinking probably yes but we’re going to push it back  several weeks and aim for August because there are things I can’t do to get ready until we know for sure …. but there is still plenty of sorting/discarding/donating that can be done whether we go or stay and I’ll continue that.

We won’t make any changes at the condo though until we know for sure because I was going to empty out the entire downstairs for my longarm and sewing room. Right now there are a couple twins beds and a sitting area with a sofa and a small table and chairs and I don’t want to get rid of them if we don’t move because I like having the space to put guests.

So instead of cleaning today — I allowed myself to start a new quilt and I’m going for a massage. How’s that for pampering myself?

I’m piecing strips and strings log cabin blocks (mindless sewing!) and then they’ll be sashed with cornerstones. Not my usual setting but I saw one in the book Log Cabin Quilts with Attitude that really appealed to me.

I keep a bin under my sewing table and toss in little scraps and pieces too small for my string quilts and while I don’t make crumb quilts, I can usually get the first 6-7 logs out of the pieces in this bin.

The blue will be my sashing and the red the cornerstones.


Another finish

This top was pieced by Tish and quilted with freehand butterflies and loops from the Pajama Quilter DVD.

These butterflies are SO easy and fun to quilt!


It was random…truly!

Susan won the giveaway and not just because she said nice things about me!

I am always amazed at your creativity and generosity. First off, if I had been the one to find the redwork blocks in my stash and knew I wasn’t going to use them, I probably would have pitched them. But not you. Your creative brain kept working and you found a new use for them. What a great idea to use them in your post cards! And your generosity….well, what can I say. I just think you’re generous not only because you’re having a fabric giveaway….but your generosity shows in all the free patterns you provide for us.

I used a random number generator to chose the winner and I appreciate everyone taking the time to comment and for stopping by to see what I’m up to each day.


One done, 2 in progress – my day has been spent binding.

This is the substitution for my #4 UFO for the month and it’s done. I hope to get #4 done by early June but I’ll be working around several trips and continued preparation for the move so I’m not making any promises.

Another close up of the quilting with the pantograph Feather Me

The top was pieced by Mom for me years ago and I don’t remember anything but the name of the quilt – Domino.


Mom will be so disappointed

I’ve been stressing about how to quilt my Irish Chain, it’s the #4 UFO on my list but I just don’t want to rush the quilting after waiting all these years and I’m leaving in a week for an extended trip so I made a substitution …. and loaded and quilted #7 on my UFO list. This one was also pieced by Mom and I’ll give you a better view of the top when it’s bound.

It’s quilted with Feather Me by Mereth England, I love this pantograph – so elegant I think.


I’ve got a Chisel die for my Accuquilt GO and have been looking at patterns that would use it — somehow I got distracted from my cleaning/sorting by EQ7. Since I won’t be able to piece it anytime soon, I’ll post it here to remember it.


Still sorting and a giveaway

I found these Redwork blocks in a bin that hasn’t been touched in our last several moves. In fact if I had to guess, my best guess is that they’re 7-8 years old and all the months are done except for one in progress and one not started but I know I’ll never use them and just as I was getting ready to finally throw them away, I realized they would fit on a postcard….so they’ve been saved and I use them in my monthly postcard exchanges.


Along with the blocks, I found this fabric. The yardage is Fossil Fern and the fat quarters and scraps are batiks, neither of which I use in my quilting and the project they were purchased for was abandoned years ago. So I thought I’d do a giveaway.

There’s a little over 2 yards of the blue green fabric and about 3 yards of the blue in addition to the fat quarters and scraps.

Leave a comment here and I’ll draw a name on Monday…I’ll leave the drawing open up to the minute I pick a name Monday afternoon.


This will take forever

I’ve been spending hours in the sewing room sorting and cleaning with very little noticeable results as of yet. I’ve gotten 9 bins from previous projects (small and large ones) emptied and the contents put away back in the appropriate drawers but a couple of my drawers are now pretty full and I’m having to resist the temptation to start a quilt to empty them out some.

I’m not going to have room to move my shelves with me but I really depend on these drawers to hold my smaller pieces of fabric — usually fat quarters or smaller go in them and they’re the first place I head when I start a scrap quilt. I did find a smaller version of my shelves that should fit in the condo and it will hold my 8 drawers. I’ll turn this on it’s side and put it in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs — assuming it fits. I’ve got lots of measuring to do when we head to Big Canoe in a couple weeks.

I’m also straightening my shelves and going through all the fabric – I’m finding some to donate to HeartStrings for backings and some smaller pieces that will go to a very prolific piecer for string quilts and other donation quilts. You can see which shelves have been tackled already and which ones haven’t! Most haven’t been but I’m working on it.

I’m also going through my books and sorting them into 4 piles — one pile to go to the Condo with me, one pile that can go into storage, a small pile for Mom, and a pile to give away or donate. Book sorting takes a lot of time because I have to look through each one before deciding which pile to place it in. And again, I’m getting lots of ideas that are tempting me to stop cleaning/sorting and start sewing but I’m trying to resist.

Bricks instruction sheet

I created an instruction sheet for the RWB version of my Yellow Bricks and uploaded it to my website if anyone is interested.


I had an email from Elaine that my CAPTCHA code is causing problems with comments. So while I’m leery of not having any type of spam filter, I’ll try a new one — unfortunately it’s also below the comment button so you have to look for it.

Please email me directly if you have problems because I’d hate for you guys to be trying to comment and not be able to!

Email Mary at

One goal

As I sort through my sewing room, I’m trying to piece backings for all the tops waiting for quilting. I found with HeartStrings, I’m a lot more likely to grab a top that already has a backing made….maybe this means I’ll actually get more of my own quilting done.

2 added today to those waiting for quilting with pieced backs


Yellow Brick top is finished

I do love these borders! How was this for fast? I started it Saturday when I should have been cleaning/sorting in the sewing room but I did spend a couple hours in there cleaning before putting these borders on.

UFO #4

Are you participating in JudyL’s UFO challenge?

She drew the number 4 for April and this is the one on my list — it’s my oldest UFO, probably at least 7-8 years old, pieced by Mom for me and I’ve been waiting to get “good” enough to quilt it. White space intimidates me but no more procrastinating! Don’t mind the wrinkles, it needs a good pressing.

I’ve even had the backing fabric – bought years ago on a trip to Deb’s and I’ve been careful not to use it for anything else.

I’ve got less than 2 weeks before my next trip and will be gone the rest of the month so I’d better get this pressed, the backing pieced, and make up my mind what I’m going to quilt on it.