Monthly Archives: April 2015

Much better

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Much better

I was very careful when I repinned this and it’s paying off. No folds in the backing although this solid does show the wobbles in my lines. 

I changed my mind about stitching them without marking — it’s going quicker and my lines are overall straighter. Luckily the wobbles don’t show on the front. 

There seems to be some interest in Big Stitch quilting so I’ve added a tab at the top of the blog that might answer your questions. I highly recommend trying it if you’re interested. I’m really enjoying it. 

I also finished binding # 3 so I’m coming along on my list of goals. I’ll snap a photo tomorrow. 


Published / by Mary / 12 Comments on Finished

Just one more quilt to bind which is good because I’m leaving for Big Canoe on Sunday and will be quilting a few more. It feels good to finish up these quilts and shawls in progress but I’m going to be really ready to do some piecing by July!

This is my HeartStrings top pieced in 2013 during one of our special projects. Keith called it the Good and Plenty quilt when he held it up for me to photograph today. 

Do over

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Do over

It’s hard to see but I got the 16 Patch quilt repinned and started the big stitch quilting again.  


I also got the second binding done but didn’t get a photo so that will have to wait until tomorrow. 

I didn’t whine about it on Tuesday but I was feeling a bit down – it was our 26th anniversary and Keith was out of town so I spent it alone. Tonight we had a lovely dinner out and I talked his ear off for a few hours and feel much better! 


Published / by Mary / 17 Comments on Finished

My Pinwheels and Rails quilt is finished! I really enjoyed big stitch quilting this one. I had several questions about the thead I used and while I answered those via email I will tell you all that I’m using size 10 Curio crochet cotton by KnitPicks to hand quilt these. If you do a search it seems that most people use size 8 or 12 perle cotton. I like that the crochet cotton comes in a larger ball so I don’t have to wonder how many to purchase or worry about running out. I also think 8 is a little thick and 12 is a little thin … Size 10 seems the perfect weight for my liking. 

Since I drafted and pieced this quilt after seeing another one made from a published pattern, I will not post instructions on my website but I will tell you that everything in the quilt used 2.5 inch strips, even the pinwheels. I used Thangles for them which allowed me to use the same size strip as the rails and the framing of the pinwheel. 

Blocks are 8 inches (8.5 inches with seam allowances) and my quilt is 5 blocks across and 7 blocks down making it 40 x 56 inches. A perfect size for hand quilting I think!

Setting modest goals

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Setting modest goals

I’m feeling overwhelmed when I think about the next couple months so it’s time to make some “to-do” lists and set some modest goals for my quilting and knitting. 

We have a closing date on the Tampa townhouse – I think the bulk of the work is done on my part and the loan is being submitted for underwriting … I image that I’ll still have a few requests for information as we go through the next few weeks but hopefully nothing too time consuming on my part. 

I’m traveling 4 times between now and the move in a little more than 9 weeks which complicates things a little!

  • Big Canoe
  • Tampa
  • Virginia
  • Vienna, Germany, Prague

I’ve chosen a mover, have an actual move date set, have notified the apartment we’re leaving, and sent an inventory to the movers … Still waiting the final quote but no surprises expected there. The movers will do a little packing but I’m packing the sewing room and the miscellaneous stuff. 

  • Packing apartment – first week of June
  • Change of Address notifications – Last week of May

Between the packing and travel, I probably won’t be able to “use” the sewing machine after this week so I’ve got modest goals for my sewing and knitting and all of it will be hand work after the next two weeks. 

  • Bind 3 quilts
  • Quilt 4 tops at Big Canoe
  • Repin the 16 patch and hand quilt it
  • If I’m super productive, I’ve got another small quilt pin basted that can be hand quilted too
  • Finish two knitting projects – purple scarf and big red shawl
  • Wash 7 quilts and ship them off for donating or take them to GA for donating later. 

I already feel better – just making the list above got me back in the sewing room. Three bindings cut, one machine stitched on and ready for hand sewing. Can you tell I like bins? I have one with my binding supplies, one with safety pins for layering quilts, and the tall one has my hand quilting supplies. 

I’m also preparing for living in a new area again. Although we lived in the Tampa area 18 years ago (Valrico), we weren’t near downtown and a lot has changed since we were there. 

I think I’ll knit instead

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on I think I’ll knit instead

The day started off well as I began quilting the little 16 Patch quilt. My plan is to big stitch diagonal lines creating a crosshatch design.

By watching how my needle lines up with the previous stitches, I hope to get fairly straight lines and avoid marking. 

Not too bad …

Hold on there, I knew there was a little fullness in the backing after I’d pinned it but what is this?!!!

Completely unacceptable! All the stitching and pins were removed and it’s ready for me to repin. 

I’ve been pin basting these little ones for a year for hand and machine quilting without any issues so I’m not sure why I did such a bad job on this one but for sure, I’ll be much more careful when I redo it. 

I think I’ll get out my knitting and set this aside for now. 


Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Delayed

Heading home from Mom’s and my flight is delayed – hope I don’t miss my connection!

We didn’t get much done from a quilting standpoint but I did cut out a tumbler quilt for her to piece. Mom’s lived in her house for almost 53 years and is sorting and clearing out things. Today we went through some old photos. 

A great one of my Dad – he was the family photographer so we don’t have a lot of good ones of him although there are some in this batch we sorted through that I’m looking forward to scanning and sharing with the family. 

I think this may be the only one I’ve ever seen of him with his brothers and sisters. 

An old one with me with all my brothers and sisters (can you pick me out of the crowd?).

And a cute one of my sweet boys with their cousin Brian. Chris is in the middle and Adam on the right. 


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Pinning

I’m really enjoying the big stitch hand quilting I’m doing on these small quilts so since I finished up the Pinwheels and Rails, I pieced a backing and got this little 16 patch top pin basted and read to hand quilt. Chesty supervised!

For quilts going on the longarm, I order rolls of batting but for these child size quilts I’ve been hand and machine stitching here in FL, I’ve been ordering the Hobbs packages from Connecting Threads. When they’re on sale, these small battings are less than $6.

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on

Through the years, I’ve share instruction sheets for the quilts I design and make on my website While they’re available for anyone to use, I’m always thrilled when the instructions are used for donation quilts. I was reading blogs today and came across Nancy’s post showing a couple QOV kits she’d brought home to complete and was thrilled to see that my Patriotic Rail Fence had been kitted up by her local QOV group. 

I have progress of my own to report too – I finished the hand quilting on the Pinwheels and Rails quilt and am going to trim that today and see if I have a fabric that will work for the binding. I’m also making progress on the Big Red shawl but that’s going to take a while!

We’ve passed the inspection and appraisal hurdles on the Tampa Townhouse purchase but now I’m searching for insurance. Our insurance company, USAA, has decline to insure it due to the proximity to the coast. They have a partner they’ve referred me to so I’m not concerned about getting insurance but I’m betting I’m going pay more than I want for it. Luckily I just need a policy that covers the interior, the building itself is covered by a master policy that the association maintains.