Monthly Archives: June 2017


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Assembled

The 5 Star top is assembled. It’s rare that I make a monochromatic quilt and right now I’m a bit ambivalent about this one although I know it will be fine with quilting. There are instructions on the website for this quilt including RWB version

By the way, I don’t like making square quilts. I make quilts to be used and I’m taller than I am wide (at least for now) but sometimes I like to start with a square design like these enlarged star quilts where I start with a single block.  In this case, border 1 (the light green) and border 2 (the half square triangles) were only added to the top and bottom of the quilt giving me 16 extra inches of length before I added the final border. 

Sometimes I frame the entire quilt before adding the length like in this Log Cabin but the idea is the same, two of the borders are only added to the top and bottom of the quilt to add length. 

Another way I like to add length is to add borders just on top. These hearts weren’t square before I added the border but I wanted just a little more length. 

And of course, I’ve added rows of stars over my Patriotic Rail Fence quilts several times, including the original version that had stars not just on the top but also on the bottom. 

More progress

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on More progress

I quilted and bound the Bright Rectangle quilt today while my house was being cleaned. One good thing about having someone come in to clean is that it forces me to straighten and pick up the house before they come so that was my day yesterday although I did manage to get the center of the 5 Star top assembled and the pieced borders are laid out and ready to sew. The binding is also done on the small doll quilt but I haven’t gotten a photo yet and the Plus and Circle quilt is ready to have the binding hand stitched too. Working my way through the list!

Brief notes about these rectangle quilts are on the website. Both were quilted in a simple grid with the walking foot following the piecing. 

Happy Father’s Day

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on Happy Father’s Day

Keith and I have a quiet day planned with just one of our ‘boys’ here but I have to say he’s been a wonderful father to all 4 of the boys!

My dad is also in my thoughts today. He’s been gone 28 years but I have so many wonderful memories … we had a large family, 6 kids, so our vacations were either visiting family or camping. Chris was always jealous because he wanted to go camping but our vacations were again, either visiting family or staying in hotels – Keith definitely wasn’t into camping!

I’m not sure where Kevin was … probably standing with Mom while she took the photo but the other 5 of us are in this photo with Dad. (At least I’m assuming it was Mom who took the photo!) I’m standing right in front of Dad with the bag on my shoulder, Debbie is in front of me, Ann is beside me, Dad is holding Maureen and Pat is on the left fishing.

Doing great!

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Doing great!

We had a rough night last night but Finn is doing great – he just slept too much because of the anesthesia yesterday and kept us up half the night. He wasn’t hurting … just wanted to be out of his bed and with us. Lots and lots of whining. 

For those of you who hated seeing him in the cone you’ll be happy to know he’s being really good – leaving his incision alone and hasn’t been in the cone at all today but I’ve got to say his arm looks a bit ridiculous where they shaved him for the IV. Makes you realize he’d look a lot skinnier without hair!

Chesty had terrible allergies all his life and spent his share of time in the cone so it really doesn’t bother me a lot. It’s a lot less traumatic than having complications from a wound they won’t leave alone and I just consider it part of being a responsible pet parent. 

In addition to spending time with Finn, I also managed to get in a walk – 4.26 miles and since I’ve fallen behind I decided I need to make a push during the rest of the month. Technically I should be at about a 1000 miles by the halfway point – June 30 – but I’m going to aim for 900. That requires 56 miles in 14 days which even keeping in mind that I count all my steps/miles, I don’t get many around the house so I’ve got to get in a walk every day to meet the goal. I’ve also challenged Keith and the boys to step up their game and the loser will be planning and cooking dinner for everyone on July 8th at Chris’ house. I can guarantee it won’t be me cooking but I’m anxious to get to GA and spend some time with the boys and the little ones!

Finn and I also spent some time in the sewing room … I love how my machine is set up for quilting. The back extension on the Koala cabinet plus the table on the left side of the machine support so much of the quilt which makes it much easier. I’m also still amazed at how much the texture from quilting transforms a top. I’ve just got about 1/4 of this left to quilt now and while my spirals are still wonky, I’m really liking the texture of them on this top and so happy I took the risk of doing them. 


Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Dithering

I knew I wanted to freemotion quilt this small top but I also didn’t want to mess it up. I can do a decent meander but I’ve never been a huge fan of a plain meander so I decided I’d keep it simple and do a loopy meander. First up was the doll quilt and while it was OK, I realized I wouldn’t like it at all on the Pluses and Circles quilt. So I went back to dithering about whether or not to just do a plain meander. Instead I decided to practice a few swirls … they’re something I find easy to quilt on the longarm and they always turn out well. 

Not too bad so I decided what the heck – I’ll never get halfway decent at quilting on the domestic machine if I don’t take chances and just quilt what I want. I’ll improve over time with practice. 

The binding is on the small doll quilt and ready for hand stitching and I’ve got a little less than a 1/3 of this one quilted. Let’s just call them wonky swirls!

All the pin basting is also finished and I’m asssembling the 5 Stars in quads so 3 are done and I’ve got one more to sew together before I start on the borders. Progress has been made but I go to get Finn from the vet in about 30 minutes and I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to sew in his immediate post-op period. 


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Bound

I finished the binding on this blue/green rectangle quilt a couple nights ago. Nice to actually finish something for a change!

I also just realized that I left two things off my list from earlier today. I need to piece a back for Becky’s king size quilt and put borders on Mom’s queen size log cabin and both of those should be done before I leave for Big Canoe!

I have a plan

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on I have a plan

I always get more accomplished when I have a plan or a list of goals to accomplish but sometimes I don’t want or need the self imposed pressure like the last few weeks when I was traveling and then sick for two weeks. 

Now I’m feeling better, have company coming for a visit next week, and just have a few weeks before I head to Big Canoe so it’s time to start planning!!

My table is up in the guest room so I need to get everything pinned that might be quilted before we leave for Big Canoe so I can take that table down. I pulled backs and started pinning. Love this little flannel butterfly fabric and it will work well with the Bright Rectangle top. As I’ve often said, it’s so nice to have a stash to pull from so I don’t have to shop every time I make a quilt. 

As I was pressing the top, I went ahead and looked at thread choices. It will be quilted just like the blue/green rectangles in a straight line grid following the piecing lines. I ALWAYS look at my thread choices on the quilt top before choosing – ALWAYS! My first thought frequently turns out not to be the one that works best. 

I use a lot of lime thread on bright quilts but in this case, I’m going to choose the cream. 

Since I’ve been quilting again on the sewing machine here, I like to do a practice piece before freemotion quilting – I’ve been making doll quilts from leftovers and I have a few tops waiting. I’m going to use gray thread on my next quilting project and that thread will also work on this small doll quilt so I got this one layered first. 

So 1 week before company, 3 weeks before Big Canoe, 1 day before Finn has his neutering surgery and this is my list – I definitely don’t plan to have everything done before I leave but I’ll work my way down it. 

Pin baste

  • Green doll quilt – done
  • Bright rectangles – in progress
  • Small tumbler from Maine


  • Green Stars – in progress
  • School House quilt
  • Applique butterflies on Jelly Roll Quilt
  • Back for Becky’s king size quilt
  • Borders on Mom’s queen size log cabin


  • Green doll quilt
  • Circles and Pluses
  • Bright Rectangles
  • Maine Tumbler

Bind – whatever I get to

Walk – it’s time to get back in my groove as I’ve fallen behind on my miles in the last few weeks. I have passed the 800 mark but I need 2017 miles by December 31st!

Chasing rainbows!

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Chasing rainbows!

Not much accomplished today other than time with Finn and a dentist appointment but we did have the first rainbow of the season or at least the first one I’ve seen …

Chasing it through the park …

…to the bay! Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a photo of the entire rainbow but you can see the faint glow of the second rainbow in this photo. 

Two machines

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Two machines

Having two sewing machines set up in my sewing room has long been a dream of mine and it’s been every bit as great as I imagined it would be. Today, I worked on assembling the green 5 star quilt on the Elna AND quilted the blue/green rectangle quilt on the Babylock Jane. 

Did you notice I moved the Stella Two light next to my machine? I really like this light! I posted a coupon code for a $25 discount and free shipping in a previous post and that coupon code is good for a year they tell me so if you’re in the market for a new light I do recommend this one. I’ve refused compensation from the company so I don’t get anything if you order it but I’m very happy with mine. 

While I was trying to avoid re-creating a stash here in FL, between my bargain buying and a slow migration of fabric from GA, I found the perfect flannel backing and a fabric that works for binding this one here. I love having this stuff on hand so that when I’m ready to sew, it’s all here! Aren’t those Dino’s cute?!

This simple rectangle quilt might just be my new favorite leftover quilt. Quick to piece, quick to quilt with straight lines following the piecing. I also have the binding already on and ready to stitch down tonight.