Monthly Archives: December 2016


Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on Quilted

I had the 2nd Strippie partially quilted yesterday but hadn’t decided what to quilt in the larger strips. I was so tempted to just do a meander and get it done but I originally designed these quilts to practice my quilting when I first got my longarm – I’m not one to practice a lot on muslin that gets tossed away so decided to design and piece a quick, cute, top that could be donated when done. Trust me, buy a really cute print and that’s what people focus on not your less than perfect quilting!!

I’ve got several quilting books here for inspiration and today I went to one of my favorites – Step by Step Freemotion Quilting by Christina Cameli. I’ve got the Kindle version so that I have access in GA with the longarm and here in FL. 

As a side note, I used to buy physical books for ALL my quilting and knitting but since my quilting has been split between two places, I like to have ebooks because you know the book I want will be wherever I’m not! Martingale is great because I can purchase the physical book and get a ebook version too. For knitting, ebooks are great because I use the Knit Companion app and I can copy the pattern pages I want and use the app to keep my place when I’m knitting and again, since I always have my iPad, I always have my pattern!

Today I chose the Primordial pattern to quilt. Here’s how the page looks on the iPad Kindle app. They have a browse feature that doesn’t work with every book but it’s great for content like this because it’s much easier to flip through the pages quickly.

While it’s no where as nice as the book version – it’s surprisingly forgiving and I’m happy with this first attempt. Here’s the back….

Here’s the front … see what I mean? Cute print … no one will notice my less that stellar quilting. Those are crescents quilted in the smaller strip. I was trying to come up with an idea and was looking at the print … thought something fern-like might work, drew it out a few times and this is what I ended up with – not exactly fern-like but I liked it and went with it on the quilt. 

And of course since I was hurrying to finish up these two UFO’s before the end of the year, something had to go wrong. Luckily it was just a little section and easily fixed! 

This one is now ready to be trimmed and bound … right after I finish hand stitching the binding from yesterday’s quilt.  


Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Balance

This week I’m trying to balance time with Keith with spending lots of time in the sewing room finishing up as much as I can before the end of the year. He unexpectedly took off this week and next week from work to “use” rather than “lose” vacation time as his company only allows employees to carry over a certain number of vacation hours. 

I have lunch with him and then late in the day we’ve been taking our walk, having dinner, spending a couple hours watching a movie or reading in the library and when he heads to bed, I’ve gone back to work binding quilts. 

Last night we combined our walk with dinner heading to Ballast Point. I don’t fish but for those that do, there’s a fishing pier, a water play area that Rae enjoys when she visits, an a small restaurant where you can sit outdoors (which is great because after walking the 3 miles there, outdoors is best). Since we got caught in the rain on the walk home, we showered and settled into the library for a couple hours. 

I’m getting used to the activity metrics used on the Apple Watch. It still counts my steps but has 3 rings that you try to close each day – steps are not one of them unfortunately! Standing or moving once per hour, 30 minutes of exercise, and active calories (calculated by height, weight, activity, and pulse rate the best I can figure). The active calorie ring is the hardest to close although the goal can be adjusted. You can then track/view the results on your iPhone. 

I’m a gadget girl for sure but I’m telling you – for me having SOME kind of activity tracker helps me be more active so if that’s your goal, I would definitely recommend researching and buying one. I’ve also found that having some type of overall mileage goal helps too. I’ve had fun tracking my virtual progress along the Appalachian Trail on Walking 4 Fun this year and and am looking forward to teaming up with Chris for a combined total of 2017 miles in the coming year. I still have virtual miles to complete on the Appalachian Trail so I’ll continue on that too – so far I’ve made it to New York State but the end of the trail is in Maine so there’s more walking to be done!


Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Quilted

The Frog Strippie is quilted, trimmed and the binding has been sewn on – I’ll hand stitch it down this evening. I think I’m finally feeling a little more comfortable quilting on the regular machine but I still need plenty of practice to feel more than competent. I quilt these Strippies vertically so I make sure I can draw my design in the orientation I plan to quilt. I decided on a swirl in the smaller strip and a water-like meander in the large strip. 

And because someone always asks – I use Adobe Ideas on the iPad to practice/try out quilting ideas. It’s no longer available but a newer app, Adobe Draw has the same abilities including the ability to actually draw the quilt ideas on a photo of the top. Sometimes I do that but sometimes I just scribble it out like I did below. 

These frogs are so cute – this is the quilting in progress pictured below. I really am liking my room set up now. Having two machines is great because I’ve already got the 2nd Strippie partially quilted and I wouldn’t want to take off the free-motion foot to get the binding on the first quilt so I used the Elna for binding. 


Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Finished

The binding is done on the 9 patch and I’m happier with this now. I looked for the photo of the vintage quilt that inspired it but have no idea where that photo went. The colors are completely different and the quilts don’t even look like they’re from the same block which is what I wanted to show. Oh well, I really do need to be more organized with my digital photos.  Brief instructions and a drawing of a RWB version are on the website. 

This is not a UFO but finishing it up this week keeps it from going on my 2017 UFO list next week!

I’m working on both Strippies today – I’m quilting some stabilizing lines on either side of the small strip so I can remove lots of the pins before starting the freemotion quilting. Since I’m using the same thread, I’m doing all the walking foot quilting first. I hate changing threads and feet back and forth!

2017 Goals

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on 2017 Goals

I’m working on finishing up December goals but also thinking ahead. While I’ll have specific monthly goals for my quilting and knitting, I have general goals for the year too. 

2017 goals

Quilt, knit, and walk more. Buy less fabric and yarn. 

Stephanie from my HeartStrings group is doing a no buy year but I know I won’t be successful with that so I’ll focus on buying less. Maybe I’ll manage some no buy months ?!
Also, Chris invited me to participate in a challenge with him – 2017 miles in 2017. He’ll run, I’ll walk and I’m sure that we’ll hit the goal together. Right now the only race I have planned is the 1/2 marathon the end of February so Keith and I will look for another race or two for the year to keep us motivated. Chris had a goal of one race per month last year and they ranged from 5k to half marathons and he overachieved – I think he ended up doing about 22 races. The 2017 miles don’t have to be done in races by the way – the races are just a way to motivate us for the training miles!

Back to work!

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Back to work!

Travel and family time are fun but I’m ready to finally be back in my sewing room! I’ve got several December goals to work on the rest of the week with the aim of finishing up as much as I can before the New Year arrives and my reward will be to start a new quilt on New Year’s Day. 

First up today was to trim and get the 9 patch quilt bound – it’s ready for me to hand stitch the binding down tonight. Next, to finish assembling the brown/green Carpenter Star that I cut and kitted at Big Canoe this past July. Click the link to see a brown and pink version made a few years ago and for brief instructions for making one yourself. I did change the pieced borders on this one – I cut them using the Accuquilt GO 1/2 rectangle die. 

I’ll be home all of January but we’ll have company twice – it’s SO nice to have a queen bed for guests again and Chris and Becky brought my red quilt from Big Canoe when they came. 

There’s still room for my table when there’s no company and tomorrow’s tasks are pin basting and quilting a Quick Strippie.


One last day

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on One last day

The kids head home in the morning but we’ve had a great visit. What’s not to like about playing in the water in December?

We also did some crafts – we try to do something creative each year and after Chris and Rae made some ornaments for our Christmas tree I mentioned I wanted some for the Big Canoe tree so Chris bought a woodland set. He made an owl while Rae made another Candy Cane. 

I made a squirrel.

Chris wanted my help sewing something and Rae wanted to give sewing a go too. I’m not sure she has the patience for quilting but she’s still young. 

We also had some family card nights! We always enjoy their visits and are looking forward to them coming back next month.