Monthly Archives: December 2011

My Irish Chain

Published / by Mary / 38 Comments on My Irish Chain

Done! Photographed (with my new Nikon 1 camera)! You get two shots — it was a bit windy but I love this photo of the quilt flying in the breeze.

Here’s the posed shot – pieced by Mom, finally finished by me 8+ years later!

And since I was playing with the camera – a shot of Chesty – love how quick the camera is.

Keith of course is ready for me to put the camera away!

So how did I do on my goals?

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on So how did I do on my goals?

This fall I was in a bit of a panic because there was still a lot I wanted to accomplish but knew it would be tough with the busy travel schedule I had planned so I listed out my goals for the last 4 months of 2011.

Piecing 5 tops (includes the current one)
Quilting 3 HeartStrings tops before Oct
Quilting 4 tops of Mom’s, one for my Aunt
Finishing the 4 UFO’s remaining on my UFO Challenge list
Quilting and binding Chris’ quilt by Christmas
Tie at least 12 quilts during the HS Sept sew-in and October while in Maine.

On the knitting list
Finishing my current scarf and the socks in progress
I’d love to knit two shawls I’ve already bought yarn for but would be happy with one

The Irish Chain is finished except for the label which I’ll make tonight and photograph tomorrow and I bet you want to know how I did on my list of goals.

While I didn’t finish everything on the list — the knitting suffered most with the socks still unfinished and just one shawl started and still in progress — I accomplished more in several areas.

32 quilts were tied this fall in Maine
15 tops were quilted
My postcards for Sept – Dec were completed
7 tops were completed (2 that I’d hoped to finish were not)
13 quilts were bound.

All the UFO’s on my 2011 Challenge List were completed!!

1. Patriotic Rail Fence — done March 2011
2. My HeartStrings quilt — done July 2011
3. Twisted Nine Patch — done Aug 2011
4. Red Irish Chain — done Dec 2011
5. Rectangle Strings — done Dec 2011
6. Green Boxed Squares — done January 2011
7. Green Floral — substituted for April — done April 2011
8. Spiderweb — done JUNE 2011
9. Jewel HeartStrings — done May 2011
10. On the Vine — done February 2011
11. Forest Bricks — done early — May 2011
12. 16 Patch and Pinwheels — done October 2011
13. String Tumblers — Done January 2011

You know I love my spreadsheets so in the next couple days I’ll have a full summary of all my quilting for 2011 and a UFO count going into 2012

I’m binding

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on I’m binding

I’m binding tonight but I just had to share this… My best guess was that the top was pieced 7-8 years ago and I remembered it being on the cover of a magazine … Now I had the magazine a while before Mom pieced the quilt but I’m guessing it’s 8-9 years old and since I only started quilting in Sept 2000 this would have been one of the first magazines I ever bought.

Kind of neat to think I will finally have my own quilt!


And look, it was a remake of an antique quilt which is still where I find inspiration for my quilts.

600 mistakes later…

Published / by Mary / 34 Comments on 600 mistakes later…

Seriously, you’ve heard the myth of Amish quilts including a humility block…well this is my humility quilt. I think the top is probably 8 years old and it waited all these years for me to improve my quilting skills….let’s just say I felt very challenged quilting this one. AND let’s all give thanks to 100% cotton batting which will crinkle up and hide at least 300 of those errors 🙂

In spite of it all, I love the quilt and am so appreciative of Mom piecing this Irish Chain for me so long ago. Tomorrow will be spent binding it and I should come in under the deadline for finishing this…my oldest UFO before the end of the year.


Can you stand another photo of Caleb?

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Can you stand another photo of Caleb?

This is the one of Caleb that Leala used for the framed “Grandma” photo. All the photos were 4×6 and I think Mom said that Leala had to special order the mat ( or have it made) to get one that had 7 openings. I’d post the photo Mom sent of it but I don’t know how the other parents feel about having the photos of the kids posted online so I won’t.

I just love little boys and he’s at such a cute age!


Pajama Quilter

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Pajama Quilter

You guys know how much I love quilting the freehand designs from the Pajama Quilter DVD’s I have so I though I’d let you know that Dawn is having a sale. I find the workbooks very helpful when I’m trying to decide what to quilt on a top. I can flip through them quickly.

I have an amazing sale going on right now. If you buy the ReThreaded DVD – the workbook is free. I’ve never had such a great sale before. (I have a large inventory of the Workbooks – so this is my way of helping everyone start the New Year with freehand quilting designs dancing in their heads!) As always, free shipping for all orders over $50.00 INCLUDING international orders.

Dresden Plate

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Dresden Plate

Dresden Plates are one of my favorite quilt patterns — I’ve always wanted to make one so when I saw this antique quilt on eBay, I started thinking. I’d signed up for the Take a Stitch Tuesday project on Pin Tangle but I’m not much for practice pieces so I knew I’d need to have some kind of blocks to work on and I love fans and Dresden Plate quilts that have been embroidered. One concern is that usually the number of stitches used on these types of quilt are limited but I’m going to give it a shot anyway and see what happens.


Here’s the start of my first block. I used my Accuquilt GO to cut the blades and circle and it’s a little fuller at the center than it should be but the embroidery will hide that small flaw. Don’t ask me why but I’m going to needle turn the outside edges and fuse the circle. Both will have covering stitches.


I’m still thinking about thread but think I want to use black perle cotton on all the blades. Where the blocks come together there will be an opportunity to add more embroidery or embellishment. Wish me luck!

Now I need to head back downstairs to quilt more of my Irish Chain blocks … There are 80 in this quilt and I’m more than half way done now … I’ve done 24 today but I need to pick up my pace.

My little cutie!

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on My little cutie!

Leala, my nephew’s wife took photos of all 7 great grandchildren at our reunion/birthday party and framed them together in black in white for my Mom for Xmas. She had each of the kids holding a letter and then placed the kids in age order …their letters spelled Grandma! Here’s a favorite one of mine that she took of Caleb.


The last postcards

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on The last postcards

I mentioned that our family postcard exchange is ending and I wanted to share the last couple I received, they’re both SO cute!

This one from Mom


And this one from my sister Ann.


I’m really going to miss getting new ones in the mail but understand that everyone is busy right now. I’ll have to rotate one of the old ones each month to put out on my little stand.


Sharing my process

Published / by Mary / 13 Comments on Sharing my process

You guys know I’m not much for fancy quilting and prefer quilting scrap quilts with an overall freehand pattern or a pantograph but every now and then I have to move out of my comfort zone.

I do very little ruler work so I’m pleasantly surprised that my straight line quilting isn’t too bad on the Irish Chain that Mom made for me.


I’m having good luck with this Dainty Ditcher that my sister Deb recommended to me a while back.


I’m quilting informal wreaths and just marking my center with a temporary pen. I don’t stitch that line I just try to quilt my feathers around it inside and out. I haven’t done these for a long time and I have to admit I don’t want anyone looking too closely at several of them.


It’s funny but I worried about quilting this for so many years and now that I’m actually doing it all the mistakes don’t bother me. I’d be really upset of it was on someone else’s quilt but on mine, I’m content knowing I’m stretching myself a little and the mistakes are a part of the learning process. Another good reason not to quilt for others!