Author Archives: Mary

Getting started was the hardest part 

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Getting started was the hardest part 

I had very little sleep last night and was tempted to take a day off – a day off quilting and a day off hiking but instead I decided to go downstairs and just get the next top loaded. Then I decided to just start the quilting. Then I was halfway done and decided to just finish the quilting. And then I decided to take it off the longarm, photograph it and fold it up. It will go back to FL for binding and is quilted with the pantograph Ebb and Flow. 

The quilt was based on a vintage quilt and made of simple rectangles. I have the quilt details on my website. 

So after finishing this quilt (#3 of 9) I decided I might as well go for that hike too. 

Finn will have me up between 5:30 and 6am tomorrow morning so maybe tomorrow will be my rest day!

Parallel vacations

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Parallel vacations

Mom is on vacation with my two sisters and brother and the vacation photos are going back and forth between Big Canoe and Smith Mountain Lake via Facebook. I got a jolt just now when I went to check for updates and found this photo of Mom and Maureen on the Jet Ski. I can’t believe she rode the jet ski but I’m told she said it looked like fun and wanted to ride and apparently wants to do it again. Here’s to always being open to trying new things!

It’s a good day!

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on It’s a good day!

Top #2 has been quilted – my log cabin quilt. Thanks to a backing provided by Tish, it was quick to load and quilted with freehand swirls. This one will be donated when it’s bound. 

Next up was kayaking! All set to launch …

Out on the lake…love seeing the mountains surrounding me!

Finally, dinner at home, the Tour de France, and Sangria!

All kinds of technical problems

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on All kinds of technical problems

I’m having problems with our internet here and problems with uploading photos to the blog intermittently and problems streaming the Tour de France so I’m pretty frustrated right now but maybe this photo will upload. I finally got out on the trails today – about 4.5 miles hiking to the lower falls after I finished quilting. 

Mom is also on vacation this week and I’m only able to intermittently view the photos my family is posting but here’s a great one of her and Emma! Emma is my brother’s granddaughter so one of Mom’s great-granddaughters. When we were at Hatteras I mentioned how great it was that Mom got to spend time with Rae and the same goes for Emma. She sees Emma even more often than she does Rae because even though Emma lives in Tennessee, Kevin lives much closer than I do. 

Warming up

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Warming up

It’s been 4 months since I’ve quilted on the longarm so both the machine and I needed to warm up. 

I chose an easy pantograph, Happy Times and my first of 9 tops is quilted.  This is my blue/brown HST top that I pieced for one of VickiW’s challenges and I love how it turned out! I’ve mentioned it’s hard to get a view of the quilting here at Big Canoe because I don’t have lighting coming from the side of my machine but this gives you an idea of how the quilting looks. 

There’s a full view of the top and some brief instructions on my website. 

Swim club

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on Swim club

There are two pools here at Big Canoe but we prefer the one we can hike to – it’s also got the lake with lots of additional activities. Today Chris, Becky, and Rae along with Keith’s niece, Samantha, and her boyfriend joined us for a day at the swim club. In addition to swimming with Rae, I did a little kayaking and some paddle boarding. Last year I tried paddle boarding for the first time – it can be a bit of a challenge to balance on the board while paddling but I’ve done it several times now and haven’t fallen in the water yet!


Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Kayaking

Chris got my kayak up to Big Canoe and chose the best of the available racks … he was hoping I’d be able to manage to get it up and down by myself … that’s mine on the top left.

Although it rained most of the day we had some clear weather around 6 PM so Keith went with me to see if I was going to be able to manage the kayak on my own. The bad news is no I’m not. It’s just too high, the ground too uneven, and the kayak is too heavy. I’ll have to go to the marina and get on a waiting list for a lower berth and in the meantime, I’ll have to coordinate with Keith’s schedule so he can help me get it up and down. I admit I’m pretty disappointed as I wanted to be able to come and go on my own.

Good news is I did get a little paddling in today.

Getting organized

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Getting organized

First up was getting both the longarm and the sewing machine uncovered and ready to sew … I’d already decided on a goal of quilting 9 tops while I’m here. I could probably push myself harder but the last week we’re here Keith is taking vacation and my brother is coming to visit so I’m not counting on getting any sewing done then. The other three weeks I will be spending time with the kids, hiking, and kayaking so 3 per week it is … 3 tops x 3 weeks equals 9 to be quilted in July. 

Next I chose the 9 tops and started pairing them with their backings. There are 4 to be quilted for Mom, 4 of my tops for donation, and the king size top for Becky and Chris. 

Next up I cleaned up the cabinet under the cutting table looking for that companion angle ruler I thought I had. Instead I found an Omnigrid ruler with no name but it looked like a quarter square ruler to me … so I pulled two fabrics, cut two strips 2.5 inches x width of fabric and cut 4 triangles from my strip set. The one complaint I have about the ruler is that it’s slipping around a bit so I need to buy some of those grippy dots they make for keeping quilting rulers from slipping. 

I went ahead and cut the second set of 4 triangles and sewed them together too. 

This will be a fun and very easy quilt to make and while I am tempted to dig through the stash and cut my own 2.5 inch strips for a scrappy version, I’ve got tons of Jelly Rolls and fat quarters that would work back in FL. In case you missed my inspiration quilt, I found it on eBay while searching for vintage quilts. 

Next up I decided to pull some pinks and purples for the zig zag rectangles. A little quilt math and I was ready to pull my fabric. I have to say I hate having my fabric in bins but I managed to find 7 that should work well together. 

While I was in the bin I pulled fabric for two more tops – this will probably be some version of our HeartStrings Happy Blocks or my Charmed Squares. 

And the plan for these is a Strippie and Tumbler combination.

So that’s 4 tops planned for when I get back to FL and the last thing on my to do list for today was to piece a back and load the first quilt on the longarm. We’ve got plans with the kids for the weekend so I’ll start quilting this one on Monday. 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

More inspiration

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on More inspiration

I need to take Finn out to potty again at 2am before I go back to bed so I’m killing some time. 

I love brown and for right now I’d have to say it’s my favorite color so this one caught my eye when I did a search for vintage quilts on eBay. Again, I’m not sure how vintage this one actually is but it’s another one I could see recreating. 

The chevron design is something you see pretty often with bricks only these are skinnier rectangles. I decided to draw out a couple versions … the one on the right is a 2×4 finished brick and every other row starts with a 2×2 finished square. The one on the left is a 2×6 inch finished rectangle with every other row starting and ending with a 2×3 inch finished rectangle.  The above quilt obviously uses thinner strips but I have 2.5 inch strips on my mind right now. 

Typically I don’t like sewing long skinny rows together but it wouldn’t be too bad on one of the smaller quilts I make and quilt in FL. Keep repeating your rows and end up with something like this. 

Of course for a kid’s quilt, I’d used different colors but add a couple borders to the RWB version and you’d have a veteran’s quilt to donate. 

Time to take Finn out and head to bed now!