Monthly Archives: November 2016

December Goals

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on December Goals

It’s been a while since I listed any quilting goals but I’m feeling the need to plan the limited amount of sewing time I have left this year. 

  • Quilt one of my donation tops tomorrow
  • Bind the green hourglass quilt
  • Bind the donation top that gets quilted tomorrow 
  • Finish assembling the Carpenter Star top
  • Pin baste two Strippies and get them quilted and bound 

It’s not an overly ambitious list but I’m traveling during the month – GA, VA, MN, and Ft Lauderdale – and having company for Christmas so wish me luck!


Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Quilted

Mom pieced this top with the intention of me finishing it and giving it to Lisa, my SIL, but her death came much sooner than we expected and there was not a chance to finish it. We’ve decided that we’ll give it to her son Brian. It’s also got a soft Minkee backing but without batting – it’s been a while since I’ve quilted something without batting and I miss the stability that batting gives during the quilting process but I do like the weight and feel of this one. Pantograph is Bubbles.  I think I might try a flannel sheet with the 3rd one I need to quilt with a Minkee backing but that won’t be this trip. 

This photo of Brian and Lisa was taken about 5 years ago at one of our family reunions. Love them both so much. 


Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Quilted

I often think about selling this place when I’m not here – especially when there’s a problem like the leak from the unit above but it’s so convenient to visit the kids here and I love being surrounded by the trees. I’ve made Keith promise me that if we ever make the decision to sell, we have to come stay a week first. I fall back in love every time I come. 

My view this morning

My trip downstairs to work.

I’m heading out to meet the kids and I’ve got to run by Joann’s first but my green hourglass top is quilted. The pantograph is Feather Frond and I was just lucky enough not to run short on the backing. It would have been a huge problem but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. 

I love how this one climbs up the quilt vertically but I’ve got to confess I was mistaken yesterday (I’ll go EDIT that post). To load these Minkee backs on the longarm with the least stretchy side between the rollers you need to load it with the selvages on the sides – I did this one wrong but was lucky – I don’t ever roll these tight. 

This top was pieced 3 years ago and was at Big Canoe, I shopped online for the Minkee while I was in FL and can you believe what a great job I did picking the perfect shade of green for it?!!

Next up is one without batting and I’ve got to say this is a heavy quilt with the batting. It will make a great winter quilt for someone that has a lighter weight one to use in the other seasons but if I was going to use Minkee on a back for someone who was just getting ONE quilt – I would not use the batting!

For those getting the blog directly to your email – I think I know why the print is small sometimes – I changed formats so I could use larger photos – it’s better for viewing when people visit the site. The landscape photos (camera held horizontal) are wider than the portrait ones (camera held vertical) and that causes the type to be so small in your email that it’s impossible to read without enlarging it. I may play around with trying to use only vertical or square photos and see if that resolves the issue but sometimes I just want a full horizontal view so no promises. 


Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Arrived

My 8 and a half hour drive was actually fairly pleasant today other than the hour + it took to get through Atlanta. I swear that traffic just keeps getting worse. I went through about 1:30 – 2:00pm trying to avoid rush hour but it seems like it’s always heavy traffic no matter what time – at least it was moving and by moving I mean if you’re doing the speed limit prepare to be run over!

I was happy to see that there’s still some fall color in the area but disappointed that there’s a burn ban because of the drought and I can’t have a fire. I don’t ever remember having a ban on inside fires but apparently even the chance of a spark from the chimney is too much risk. The first thing I did after unpacking the car was take a short walk to snap some photos. I love the colors of Autumn!

The second thing I did was to go downstairs and get a start on tomorrow’s quilt. I had some machine maintenance to take care of and then I loaded and started the first top. I’m just here at Big Canoe for a few days so the goal is to quilt 3 tops and at least two of them will have Minkee backings. One with batting and one without. I’m hoping this one isn’t going to be too warm but I’m sitting under a flannel quilt right now and am quite comfortable so hopefully it will make a perfect winter quilt. I have very little spare width so I’m crossing my fingers the backing doesn’t shrink up much (any!) with quilting. 

With Minkee backs I always load the quilts lengthwise so the least stretchy side is between the rollers. 

EDIT – I was confused when I loaded this quilt – the selvages should be on the sides not pinned to the leaders for the least stretchy side to be between the rollers. Luckily, I don’t ever roll these very tightly and the batting provides stability too. It all turned out OK on this quilt but it would have been more important to have it loaded correctly if I wasn’t using batting. 



Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Troubleshooting

Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like the site is working OK now with the minor tweaks I made late last night but the email subscriptions have small text and large photos so I adjusted another setting and I’m testing the post here. I’ve had the feed sent to myself so I’ll be able to tell if the change helped. 

Caleb and Adam fishing

Quick question

Published / by Mary / 25 Comments on Quick question

I’m trying a new template for the blog because I’ve had some issues with uploading photos with the old template. I had a comment saying the headers and links aren’t showing up for her with the new format. 

I have no issues using Safari or Chrome on the iPad. Are any of you having issues? Can you tell me if you’re having problems with the new format yes or no and what browser you’re using to visit the site. 


EDIT: thanks to some initial comments I noticed that the sidebar disappeared when my iPad was held vertically and the links were at the end of the page but were on the side when the iPad was held horizontally. I tweaked a thing or two and now the sidebar appears on the right no matter which way I hold the iPad. 


Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Distracted!

I’m in the sewing room this afternoon working on the Carpenter Star …

I’ve been gathering the stuff that needs to go to GA and VA with me.

I started to think about a free pattern from Shannon Fabrics that I’d sent Mom a link to and that I could take one of my Strippie kits and add a border fabric. 

So I went to the fabric closet and came up with three possibilities. I’ll make the gray one myself but I’ll offer Mom a choice of the other two. 

Her first choice

Her second choice

Just a note of caution – if you decide to download the pattern – they use Minkee and it calls for 1/2 inch seams. I’ll use cotton and 1/4 inch seams but may just back it with Minkee. We made a quilt for my sister that she loves and I’ve bought more Minkee to back quilts for my nephew, for Mom, and for a Xmas present. I’ve had good experience with the Minkee from Shannon Fabrics too – they’ve donated several bolts over the last few years to HeartStrings for our Maine sew-in. 


Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Thankful

I’m thankful that Keith and I spent a quiet day at home together and that in the next 2-3 weeks I’ll visit and spend time with family. 

I’m also thankful that my kitchen, while not finished, is functionable and I was able cook a holiday dinner for us tonight. 

If you celebrate – I hope you had a wonderful holiday filled with all the things you love. 

Carpenter Star

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Carpenter Star

After waffling most of yesterday and today about what to work on, I decided to start the Carpenter Star this afternoon. It’s another one of the kits I cut from stash while I was at Big Canoe in July. I’ve done this one before in brown and pink and this time I’m working with green and brown.

As I’ve said before, I often refer back to my own instructions when I’m making a quilt a again. This one is easy to piece in 4 sections and quick too – I’ve already got two done. I’m using a single fabric for the background here although the first one had a scrappy background. In this case, I was trying to cut multiple kits and it was just easier to use one.

This pattern also makes a great Christmas Tree Skirt. Mom has made several of them including this one.

It was beautiful along the bay tonight when we went out for our walk.