Monthly Archives: November 2015


Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Prep

While most of my HeartStrings quilts are made from leftovers, I’m making a small Sharon quilt this week – that’s one with coordinated colors where strips are placed in the same position in each block. My strips and foundations are cut and their order in the block determined. Unfortunately, my iron appears to have died so I’m going to run over to Target to replace it. 

Our townhouse was painted before we bought it and it’s all a light yellow-y beige. We need to have wallpaper removed in the entry way and the downstairs bathroom painted, and while we’re doing that, I want to paint the wet bar area in the family room and the bottom half of the breakfast room. I’m looking for a single color for all the areas that will accent the color already here but it can’t be too dark because frankly the townhouse is a little bit dark anyway (not a bad thing in my opinion in FL). We’ve got the paint contractor lined up for Monday and I just need to choose a darker beige or tan that works with the lighter beige that’s on all the other walls. 

In the MN townhouse, my beige had pink undertones, the beige I had them use at Big Canoe has green undertones, and this one needs to have yellow undertones I think. Problem is, I don’t really see those undertones so much until the painting done.  I keep coming back to this one called Brunswick Beige but I’m just not sure it’s dark enough or gold enough to work with what’s on the other walls.


Remember the owls?

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Remember the owls?

I’ve told you before I can’t resist buying deeply discounted quilt kits even if I don’t plan to make the quilt. This started as a Connecting Threads kit that I bought for Mom but I adapted the size and borders and we substituted the owls (from an Accuquilt Go die) for the appliqué. 

Mom doesn’t take the best photos but she’s finished the top.   

She says the green looks a little washed out in the photo but it’s perfect in person. I zoomed in a little so you can see how cute those owls are.   

A dip in the temps!

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on A dip in the temps!

I love sitting outside and reading so tonight while I’m waiting for Keith to get home from St. Louis, I grabbed my quilt, my kindle, and a cup of coffee and settled in my chair. I’m comfortable under the quilt but we talked about possibly getting a heater if we need to so we can sit out here year round. It’s been 18 – 19 years since we lived in Tampa so I’m not really sure how cool the nights will get.  

 Keith laughs at me bringing a quilt outside but I did it in MN too.  



Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on Assembled

In the end, the borders were determined by the amount of fabric I have here. A pieced border to finish the pattern and the one to float the blocks. Quilt size is 50×59 and had I planned better, I would have added one more row of blocks to the length but overall I’m pleased with it. 

I’ll use the other blue print to bind the quilt but don’t hold your breath, this one will go to GA eventually to be quilted on the longarm.  

 The binding is on the HeartStrings quilt and now I just need to hand stitch it down. Progress is being made!

The view from the nook

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on The view from the nook

I thought I’d share a view of my sewing room from the nook. It also has to serve as a guest room and we have the daybed in there (it has a trundle so it sleeps 2).  I kind of hate to have it in there but at least it’s another surface to pile things up on and it doesn’t take up too much space. 

 My pressing station is just a step down from the nook and that HeartStrings quilt on the floor – it’s ready for me to bind tomorrow.  

The muslin stacked up on the ironing board is going to be pressed and cut into foundations for more HeartStrings blocks. I’m sewing this holiday weekend and other Heartstrings members will be sewing along with me. 


Love my porch

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Love my porch

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to sit outside each night and enjoy a nightcap. A little music, a little conversation … This porch is why I fell in love with this townhouse and I’m sitting out here right now writing this post (Keith has to get up at 3:30am for a flight so he’s gone to bed)!

 They were expensive but these chairs were worth every penny and I’m spending lots of time in mine. 

The last time I posted about buying yarn Megan asked what I was doing with wool yarn now that I live in FL. I’m making gifts and I still travel a lot so hopefully I will have plenty of opportunities to wear my wool scarves but I’m also stocking up on cotton yarn. I bought more on Friday so last night I decided I needed to use another skein before the new stuff arrived. Plus, I love having a scarf with short rows on the needles because it’s easy to pick it up and knit a few rows. Can you guess which skein I chose from yet another bin? Once I get further along I’ll share a photo and the pattern – easy and free – what’s not to love? 



Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Assembled

My cutting table arrived this week and I assembled it today and rearranged the room some. Not sure if it will stay like this but I’m thinking I have plenty of room in the nook for both the sewing and cutting tables. My chair swivels and I can swing right around and stand up to trim blocks or to cut.  I left the cabinet doors off the cutting table because the open shelves are more usable for me. 


The design wall moved to the wall where the other table was.  

The string bins from under the table are now in the closet. Still more arranging to do on the left side.  The right side stays closed most of the time and the ironing board sits in front of it. 

Next up, organizing the empty guest room across the hall – I’ve been bringing some things back from Big Canoe and from Mom’s and they’ve all just been dumped in this room along with most of the bins I had in the walk-in closet in the apartment. Eventually we’ll buy furniture for our bedroom – after we remodel the bathrooms and after we replace the carpet and the king size bed we’re using will come in here but luckily that’s a long way off.  I use the floor in here for blocking my knitting too – that’s why the flannel sheet’s down there. 


Between here and Big Canoe, I must own more bins of all shapes and sizes than any other person in the world!

Off my needles

Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Off my needles

I finished assembling the center of the tessellating quilt and have two of the pieced borders on … I’m debating how to finish it off so I go into the sewing room every time I pass by and stare at it a while. My options are add a top and bottom border to complete the pattern – I know I’m going to do that .. Then I can add a narrow border to float the blocks and I think I’m going to do that one, finally I can add a final framing border but I’m not sure if I want to do that. If I don’t add a third round of borders, I might make the 2nd round a little wider. I’m going to stew over it the next day or two and then I’ll finish the top and move on. 

In the meantime, I’ve been knitting like crazy and the blue scarf is done and I’ve knit a hat to coordinate. It may be a little small but it fits me as a snug beanie and it fits hat head. Worse case, Rae will get another hat.  I’ve got plenty of yarn so I’m going to knit a second hat – one with a fold up brim so there’s a double layer over the ears for really cold days. 

I cannot get these blues to photograph accurately but they’re pretty. 


Design wall

Published / by Mary / 12 Comments on Design wall

I quilted the first 5+ years without a design wall and never felt like it was an issue but about 9-10 years ago I was at a quilt show and bought this one – Cheryl Ann’s design wall 72×72. While you can certainly quilt without one, laying out projects on the floor like I did or on the bed like Mom does, a design wall just makes things easier. 

I like mine because I can take it down when I need to or even slip it behind something. It’s fairly easy to find a wall to prop it up against. I like to have it somewhere I can see the quilt developing and change block positions or study my color choices. The design wall does come with legs to make it free standing but I’ve always just propped mine up against a wall. 

In the MN apartment it was in the room with, and directly in front of the longarm (the sewing machine was in the next room) and I could stare at it when I was working in there on a quilt.  

 In the MN townhouse, it was propped up at the top of the stairs. There was a guest bathroom behind it but I just folded it up when we had company. Every time I went up and down the stairs, I studied the quilt. 

In the FL apartment, it was in the sewing/guest room and I was able to just slip it behind the headboard when we had company. 

Here in the FL townhouse, it’s propped up across from my sewing table but I think when I get my cutting table assembled I’ll put the cutting table up there in the nook and the design wall will go where the cutting table is right now which will make it easier to take photos.  



Not so bad

Published / by Mary / 24 Comments on Not so bad

I’ve avoided making tessellating quilts even though I’m drawn to them because I didn’t want to fuss with making and placing blocks in a very rigid order but I have to admit it wasn’t so bad. 

I pinned the pieces of the blocks together as I cut the quilt out.  

As a square went up on the design wall, the tabs went on the sewing table and I sewed 3-4 of the alternate blocks at a time. A design wall is really needed for these quilts I think. I constantly had to look at mine to make sure I was sewing these blocks in the correct order. 

I ran out of pins so I started assembling the columns early – this turned out to be a good thing. I focused on the quilt in sections but once the sewing started, you can’t change blocks around anyway so rather than saving all the assembly for the end, it was nice to do it as I went along.  

 Tomorrow, I’ll work on the pieced border that completes the pattern all the way around and then I’ll sew the columns together. I think I might add one more border but I’ll wait and see.