Monthly Archives: January 2017

On my design wall

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on On my design wall

The problem with working on multiple projects is that progress seems slow. I’ve made a few more rows on the Pyramid quilt, the Hexagons are all sewn into rows and off the design wall now. The hard part will be hand sewing all the rows together!

And up on the design wall, my HeartStrings blocks were arranged and assembled. Nice to have something finished and yes, I do consider an assembled top a finish!  This one will go to Big Canoe for quilting – I’ve just set my dates for the beginning of March but already have tops to quilt for Mom and my Aunt so we’ll see how many of mine I get done. 

Rae’s Menagerie

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Rae’s Menagerie

My daughter-in-law sent me this photo this morning of the animals I’ve been crocheting for Rae over the last year or two. (I made the quilt they’re sitting on for her also)

I wanted to say that I appreciate those of you who commented or emailed that you disagreed with my views but didn’t feel the need to attack me personally.

Hit delete if you want

Published / by Mary / 79 Comments on Hit delete if you want

I know some of you hate when I venture away from quilting but it’s my blog and I do have opinions even if I temper what I really want to say so I don’t offend people. I’m sure there are those of you that have visited me for years that I like and respect that don’t agree with me or my political views. So no, I don’t want to offend you but I feel so strongly against Trump it’s hard not to respond in a negative way to everything going on right now. 

I’m NOT an activist and what I really want to do is hide in my sewing room for the next 4 years but since that doesn’t seem to be the responsible thing to do when hatred and bigotry (and ignorance) seems to be taking over our country, I’ll just try to be a little kinder in my daily life. I’ll keep making quilts and giving them to those less fortunate, I’ll keep supporting organizations that help the poor, those in need, and yes the immigrants here legally and hope for a kind and fair solution for those here illegally. We’ll try to make a difference here in our community. 

I know our country needs work on many, many levels including healthcare and immigration but I don’t support Trump or his policies. Every time I see one of his ”tweets” I feel ill. 

While it’s tempting to close comments to this post I won’t, write whatever you want but understand, there’s nothing you can say that will change my opinion and while I’ll read all the comments, I won’t get into a debate. Keep in mind, my opinion is not based on what people say about Trump but on what Trump himself says. I’m not close minded, I’ve just heard all I need to hear from him to form my opinion. 

I have lost my mind!

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on I have lost my mind!

I am usually much more disciplined about focusing on a single piecing project and getting it to a the finished top stage before moving on. I just looked at both my sewing room … where 3 projects are active and one waiting …

….and at my database which shows that I’ve already started 5 new quilts and it’s just January AND I’ve got UFO’s that need attention. 

After fussing with the layout and pressing of the pyramids yesterday I changed my mind and decided to piece them in rows. For some reason my brain was making it more complicated than it needed to be and I sewed a couple rows to decide on the width and make sure the seams would nestle when I went to sew the rows together. They’re just hanging off to the side for now. As soon as the hexagons are sewn into rows they’ll come off the design wall and the HeartStrings blocks will go up. I’ve done a lot of the cutting for the Pyramid quilt but I’m not sure how many more I need yet so I’ll keep the fabrics out for now. It’s obvious that I’ll get at least 2-3 quilts from this group of leftover fabric and additional strings for the bin too. 

It makes more realize (again) I have way too much fabric between Big Canoe and what I’ve collected here and too many kits now too. I’m going to add 2 more goals to my 2017 plan – Rather than monthly goals, I’m setting goals for 2 months at a time so for each 2 months – I’m going to add a goal to piece a top from the string bins and one from one of the kits or precuts ( I have a bunch of jelly rolls, these hexagons, and fat quarter bundles I’ve been collecting) . I don’t have to make the quilt from the kit but I do need to  use the fabric…. so that’s 6 of each or 12 tops in addition to other projects I decide to start all while keeping my UFO’s under control. Sounds like it’s going to be a busy year!

I had planned to pin baste and quilt a small top this week but that won’t happen until I get these three a little further along. 

More treasure from the bin

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on More treasure from the bin

I went through the large stack of fabric pieces from the bin that weren’t strings – most were trimmings from backings and some are just large enough to get 2-3 triangles from but I think I have a good variety for my 1000 Pyramid quilt. Doesn’t this look much more interesting now that it’s sorted by color and ready to start cutting into triangles?!

From trash to treasure!

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on From trash to treasure!

I love how this bin of leftover strips and strings …

Becomes this stack of blocks! I’ve finished the 48 blocks that will make up a HeartStrings quilt and will toss them up on the design wall and assemble them when I finish getting the hexagons in rows. 

Next up … I’ll start cutting more triangles for the 1000 Pyramid quilt from that pile of scraps on the floor beside the bin. I’ve also got a new 4 inch Tumbler die so I’ll cut some of them too. 


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When we were getting ready to move from Minneapolis I called Chris and asked him to participate in training to walk a marathon with me. I knew that managing my weight would be a challenge when I was not walking everywhere like we did in Minneapolis and I don’t like working out at a gym. We created a training blog and eventually decided that a half marathon was challenging enough! Since then we’ve done a number of challenges and races and Keith has joined in. This year Chris invited me to join him in the 2017 miles in 2017 and we’ve been hard at work all January logging miles – he’s running most of his and I’m walking mine (we have to accomplish the 2017 miles together – that’s about 5.5 miles a day between the two of us).

When Adam was here this past weekend he wanted to join in but I was afraid if we added him to our team we wouldn’t be challenging ourselves enough so I suggested he ask Keith to form a team and they did. Team Walking Thunder has some catching up to do!

I love how working together on these challenges make us all healthier but also creates another opportunity to interact as a family every day or so. We changed from a blog to a shared photo stream a while back and some days all 4 of us are in different cities but we’re in touch reporting our progress, challenging and encouraging each other. If you have a son, daughter, husband, sister, brother, or cousin … why not challenge each other? You don’t have to be in the same house or even the same state and it just takes 2 of you. 

1000 Pyramid Q&A

Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on 1000 Pyramid Q&A

You have questions and I have a few answers for you!

I’m using the Accuquilt GO equilateral triangle die –  4 and 1/2 inch (4 and 1/4 inch finished) – die number 55429. 

I have a Kaledoscope die that could be used but the reason I bought this one for 1000 Pyramid quilt is that the points are squared off and there are notches to help line it up too. So I just had to cut some triangles and show how easy they go together … I know people who piece this in rows but I will do it in blocks of 4 triangles … pressing to the dark.

One of the biggest challenges with a shape like this is not wasting too much fabric when you’re cutting. I’m using pieces of all sizes so I’ll just have to do the best I can but in some cases, I can cut extra triangles out of the leftovers … like here. The important thing to keep in mind is to send it through the cutter on the lengthwise grain! I started with an 11 inch square folded in quarters , cut 4 triangles, opened it up and cut two more. 

I went back and looked for a photo of the Kaleidoscope quilt – I really need to make another one of these too but maybe I should get my light and dark values correct – I ended twisting these after I realized I needed light corners on the block. I was still really happy with how it turned out! That border by the way was made out of all the “waste” triangular pieces left after cutting the blocks and I loved it.

Now it’s time to get back to my HeartStrings blocks!!

Back to the sewing room

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Back to the sewing room

I’m heading back to the sewing room this morning to make more Heartstrings blocks and I realized I’d forgotten to show you my new addition. We’ve been here in Tampa a year and a half now and I finally feel like I’m getting the house and my sewing room set up like I want it. 

I’ve always been envious of those big board ironing boards so I ordered one for myself. I’ve only been using it a couple days but I love it. If you’re not familiar with them, they fit on top of your regular ironing board and give you more pressing space. I’m sure a handy person could make one themselves but … Keith isn’t handy and I didn’t want to take time to figure it out.