Monthly Archives: August 2013


Published / by Mary / 12 Comments on Lazy?!

I’m kind of lazy…or maybe we can call it easily bored or even just busy but I’d had in the back of my mind that I would custom quilt my Carpenter Star. I kept putting it off and choosing other UFO’s to finish but today I decided it was time to get it done. Pieced in February 2011, it’s finally quilted. There are instructions on the website for this easy quilt.

Quilted with the pantograph Halcyon. Yep, the same pantograph I used on the Charmed Squares because a) I knew it would look good on this quilt and b) it was already on the machine.


That’s the 4th one quilted … It’s very, very unusual for me to quilt 4 of mine in a row but I mentioned that I try to finish 12 UFO’s a year. Most of the time I aim for one a month but with all the recent and upcoming travel I needed to do one for July, Aug, Sept, and Oct. Now these 4 just need to be bound by the end of October and I’ll be caught up.


Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Assembled

I finished the assembly of this HeartStrings top I started yesterday at the sew-in. Blocks were pieced by AnnG.


I always press these seams open to decrease the bulk from the foundation and encourage everyone assembling our HeartStrings blocks to do the same. It takes more time but the top lies much flatter and is easier for the volunteers to quilt.


I also finished piecing my Black/White/Blue HeartStrings blocks and they’re ready to assemble.

A learning opportunity

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on A learning opportunity

I choose to look at this not as a disaster but as a learning opportunity.

I got my shawl soaked and pinned out … And found a hole. The yarn has broken and it’s NOT where my knot was (that’s actually higher in the lace area).

I’m not sure why it broke there but there is enough of the yarn ends for me to pull to the back, a stitch, or maybe two have dropped out but that’s an easy fix also. Luckily this is in the garter stitch section and not the lace although a hole in the lace section wouldn’t be as noticeable would it?! Thank goodness you can find information on any topic online – including how to repair holes in knitting!



I’m not the best blocker but I’m trying to leave the ruffle ruffly so hopefully it has enough pins.

Off my needles

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Off my needles

I stayed up all night and finished the Radiance Shawl. Just need to weave in the ends and block – no problem meeting the deadline.


I’m still not fond of lace weight yarn and will probably avoid projects using it at least for a while. There is more of it in the stash and at least one project that I’m anxious to try so maybe it won’t be as long as I think before I knit with it again.

I Love Scraps!

Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on I Love Scraps!

I used to try to avoid using my favorite fabrics for backings but I realized over the last few years that using a fabric for a backing gets it into my quilts faster than leaving it in yardage on the shelves. Whether it’s a chunk left at the end of a quilt loaded on the longarm or the side trimmings that go into the string bins, my favorite fabrics make it into my scrap quilts faster when they’re used for backings first.

This bin is full of the leftover chunks at the end of each quilt and its time to take them upstairs and put them in the bins with my other scraps.

photo 4Chesty does not really like being downstairs in the longarm room so I know when he’s down here its because he’s having separation issues.

He’s telling me he wants US to go upstairs now!

photo 4



Published / by Mary / 16 Comments on Why?

Why am I compelled to tell you all about my mistakes?

I quilted one of the Quick Strippie tops today and realized that I’d used the wrong side of the fabric for one of the strips … since fixing it would have involved taking out quilting stitches, taking it all off the longarm, and ripping out and resewing the strip — I left it. Although the strip is slightly lighter in color than the others, only a quilter would realize that I’d used the wrong side of the fabric. I don’t think it will matter to the child that receives this quilt!

photo 1


I also wanted to comment on piecing leftover batting. I’d bought some of the fusible tape and tried it but I have to say it worries me so I continue to zigzag mine by machine. I think the fusible could dissolve with washing and since I don’t prewash my fabrics, I always get some crinkling and shrinkage and I feel like gaps would develop between the areas where it’s held by the quilting stitches. I want a secure join especially in kids quilts that will be washed frequently. Just my opinion!

photo 1

On my design wall

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on On my design wall

I like a day like today … A little quilting, a little piecing, and a little knitting. I even managed to make dinner for Keith!

I also like that I’ve been doing these HeartStrings blocks for so long that I have my process down pat. I use 48 blocks per quilt, 6 rows of 8 blocks and it takes me an hour to piece and trim 8 blocks … That’s just 6 hours for all the blocks and its easy to do an hour here and there. I’ve got half the blocks done now, an hour’s work each day for the last 3 days and its fun to see the quilt grow on the design wall.


I think I remember how

Published / by Mary / Leave a Comment

It’s been two months since the longarm has been used! That has to be a record around here but I cranked it up today and loaded a UFO for some quick quilting – just a panto but perfect for this busy top.¬†DSC_3389

Hard to believe but I travel again next week so my simple goals are to quilt 4 of my UFO tops — I’m gone a couple times in September and all of October so I need to catch up with my goal of finishing 12 UFO’s a year. If I get 4 quilted I can work on binding when I get home from the next trip. I also have to finish my Camp Loopy shawl before I leave … I hit the 80% mark last night so it’s an obtainable goal.

Other items on this week agenda are a couple days volunteering at the library and a HeartStrings sew-in on Saturday in Roberts, WI. I’m going to be busy!