Monthly Archives: March 2016


Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on Nervous!

Tomorrow is a big day! When we bought the townhouse here in Tampa, we decided we’d use the front room as a library. Here it is empty except for an antique electric fireplace ( it doesn’t work but I love the look of it). I looked at a lot of bookcases trying to decide what would look best and in the end we decided we’d have something built. I want to cover that entire back wall with shelves. 

 I wanted open shelves that were kind of random and this was the photo I shared with the carpenter.  


He sent us a photo earlier in the week showing the work in progress and I think they’ve created the idea I wanted. Now I’m just hoping that when they put them in place, they’ll look good with the existing fireplace. Cross your fingers, they install them tomorrow and I’m going to be so disappointed if they don’t look good. 

We’ll still need to find an area rug and a couple comfy chairs before it will be functional but I’m hoping it will be a space we love and use a lot. 


Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on Oops

Keith’s home this week and while I don’t hide my online shopping from him I don’t always announce it either. The mail arrived and he just came upstairs with 3 small packages for me. Yummy yarn, some black fabric to replace what I used in the PLUS 2 quilt and to share with Mom – she wants to make one too, and Quilty’s Easiest Quilts Ever, Spring 2016, a magazine from Fons and Porter – they’ve republished my Diamonds and Rails quilt and I like to have copies of magazines that I make an appearance in.  

In the sewing room, work continues on the Double 4 patch.

Store Closing

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Store Closing

I buy most of my fabric online. It’s good quality and I buy it on clearance or when it’s discounted for the most part but I’m not a snob and will shop Joann’s or now that we’re here in Tampa and the Hancocks’s is the closest store, I’ll run over there if I need a backing, binding, or notions. Today I needed a binding and unfortunately found out the store is closing. Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!  


While I was there I bought some brights in various colors that can be used for bindings and some flannel for the backs of the small donation quilts. I guess I’ll just have to plan better when I go back and forth to GA and grab binding fabrics for these small ones while I’m there with the stash. 

Double 4 Patch

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Double 4 Patch

This is a block that I’ve gone back to several times, making a scrappy green version and a scrappy red one too. Eventually, I’ll make a multi-colored version also but for now, I’m going with Red/white/blue (RWB).

What a mess – this is why I rarely allow myself to stop in the middle of a project.  

After sorting out what was in the bag, I sewed some strip sets and made some 4 patches. A few blocks are on the design wall and I know where I’m going with this one. 

I have instructions on my website for the double 4 patch blocks but be careful how you lay them out and assemble the blocks. If you want an easier version I have one of those too – this one alternates 4 patch blocks with 16 patch blocks – same effect, just a difference in how you sew the blocks.

I often design my quilts in RWB and like to encourage quilters to make and donate a quilt to our veterans. I have brief instructions for different quilts on my website.  Remember, because most of my quilts are scrappy I don’t have fabric amounts listed for the most part – I keep pulling fabric from my stash until I’ve got enough blocks for my quilt. 

In case you missed yesterday’s post, this is the quilt I’m working on now, one I started back in 2014 and packed away when we decided to move from MN to FL so Keith could manage his mother’s care. I never did get it pieced while we were living in Plantation and caring for her but now it’s time to get this one done. 



Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Finished

My first Rainbow quilt for our latest HeartStrings challenge is completed. If you look closely you’ll see I used a striped binding on this one.  

I’m also contemplating what to work on next – I drafted this courthouse steps top based on an antique quilt.  I’ve used 4 colors in my design but the actual quilt will be scrappier. 

I also looked up one of my UFO’s that I started just before we left MN in 2014. I think I’ll finish this top first, if I remember correctly, I’d just done the cutting and maybe some 4 patch blocks.  


More progress

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on More progress

I’d intended to freemotion quilt this top but when I was halfway thru pinning it this morning I realized that I could quilt it with the walking foot without having to remove any of pins. That made the quilting a lot quicker since I didn’t have to stop frequently. Quilted in a simple grid – this top was pieced from a jelly roll but turned out rather busy. I think it would have benefited from the use of an additional background fabric but it will still make a nice donation quilt.  Unfortunately I’m going to have to run out to find a binding fabric since my limited stash here has nothing that will work. 

So, since that one’s stalled until I get a fabric for the binding, I trimmed the last one waiting for binding from GA. I love how the quilting texture shows up in this photo. The binding is already finished but I’ll have to snap a photo of the completed quilt tomorrow.  

Since I accomplished so much today – I get to start a new quilt so I’ll be looking through my inspiration files. I’ve also got a bunch of kits so maybe one of those will be next. 

Strippie fabric

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Strippie fabric

Usually I buy my focus print and then pull the other two fabrics from stash for my Strippies … However, I was ordering fabric for Mom from and could resist these … Won’t they make a really, really cute Strippie? Seriously, it’s the easiest baby/child’s quilt ever. The fabric does all the work for you. 

I also received a gift in the mail from Teresa … She must have know I was a bag ‘Ho’ AND that I’m happiest staying at home knitting and sewing. What a fun gift!  (I know you can’t tell from the photo but it’s a bag!)


I did say it was fast

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on I did say it was fast

What’s better than turning a set of fat quarters that have been sitting around for a few years into a quick quilt?! My pink 16 patch is a top. Not quite as beige as it appears but it’s late at night (again) and things photograph differently in my sewing room when I don’t have the sun streaming in. 

So I’ve had a few questions about the size of the blocks – the squares finish at 3.5 inches but you will really want to take a look at the tutorial that I’m linking to here especially if you want to use fat quarters like I did. I’ve got another set I’m going to use for yet another 16 patch already picked out but I’ll piece something else first. 

On our walk today this bird came flying past – I wasn’t sure if it was an egret or a heron so I looked it up. My now educated guess is egret.  


Aren’t you impressed with all that I’ve accomplished since I’ve been home from GA? Three bound, two pieced, one quilted, one scarf finished up and another one started. It feels good to be back into a routine and accomplishing things in my sewing room. 


Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Strings

I’ve made a lot of HeartStrings quilts and this is one of my favorites (I keep saying that!). The backing was one of many made by Tish and sent to me for use with HeartStrings donation quilts and I love how it looks with my top. I just smile when I think of how this quilt will brighten the life, just a little bit, of whomever receives it. I finished the binding on it tonight and it’s now my 3rd UFO finish for the year.  


Edit: here’s the beauty shot taken this morning. 

And since we’re talking about strings, I just had to share this photo I came across during my photo sorting today. (Don’t worry, I didn’t make a habit of allowing Chesty to wallow in the strings and all my donation quilts are washed.) 

I’ve really missed him this week, a combination of seeing him in so many photos as I sort them and being home long enough to feel his absence. 



Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Finished

This was my second UFO finish and I just noticed the birds are hanging upside down – no time to retake the photo now so I’ll post it and if I think about it later take another one and change it out.  

Edit: photo retaken with the birds right side up!

It’s one of my Quick Strippies and its quilted with a combination of straight lines outlining the smaller strips and some freemotion hearts. It’s not half bad since this is only the second one I’ve done any freemotion quilting on with the regular sewing machine since I got the longarm 13 years ago and the first one was done when we moved from MN – that’s been about 20 months! I definitely need more practice but I admit it’s been easier to use the walking foot and I’ve hand quilted 3 using the big stitch method. It’s a challenge to freemotion quilt even the small ones but if Mom can do it so can I 🙂

I’m heading back to the sewing room to finish up the 16 patch blocks.