Author Archives: Mary

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. 

It’s green

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on It’s green

Last summer I pulled out a bunch of my green scraps and cut 3 kits to bring back with me to piece here in FL. The first one was my carpenter star and I added browns in with the greens. It’s not quilted yet but I love how this one turned out. 

Today I pulled out the 5 Stars kit and started piecing it. It’s really green! Not sure I love it but I’m sure it will be fine when it’s finished and quilted. 

I also drafted a RWB version ( my blue looks a little purple I know!) and a number of people have made this version as a Quilt of Valor. 

The 3rd kit is a green/blue LeMoyne Star but that one is still waiting to be pieced. 


Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Google

Have you ever googled yourself? It seems a little vain but sometimes I find the most amazing things – like groups that use one of my instruction sheets for their donation projects, a site that features one of my instructions sheets, or a google images search that turns up lots of my quilts. 

Sometimes I see a quilt I’ve forgotten about like this one of Mom’s I quilted for her. 

Or one of my many HeartStrings Quilts – either made or just quilted by me. 


It can be a bit surprising to find yourself turning up all over the Internet!

Miscellaneous iPad stuff

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Miscellaneous iPad stuff

While I was debating a pieced border versus a single fabric border on the Ohio Star, I played around in TouchDraw – the app I use on the iPad to draft quilts. It’s a drawing app not a quilt app but it gets the job done. (Maybe one day EQ will develop an app for the iPad.) While I was working, I recolored the Spools and Star quilt – I’m thinking I might make it in RWB.  I use the app Impression to put a watermark on my quilt photos. 

While I was under the weather, I spent time organizing our photos from the Hatteras trip and ordered a bunch of photos printed using the Shutterfly app so I could make mini albums for my Mom, my sister, my brother, Chris, and myself.  I had fun choosing different photos depending on who the album was for and I’ve heard back from everyone that they received them and they all loved them. I have lots of digital albums but sometimes I just want a physical album to flip through! 

 One of my favorite memories from the trip …. this photo of the two Rae’s. Mom and her great granddaughter named after her. It’s so wonderful that they can spend time together – not many people have the opportunity to get to know their great grandparents. I’m hoping Rae has lots more years with Mom and I’m saving photos like this one for her so when she’s grown she’ll have reminders of the times they spent together and she’ll know how much Mom loved her. 

Keith got home just before midnight so I get to sleep in … he’ll get up in the morning to feed and walk FInn so I’m going to putter around looking for inspiration for my next project! There are inspiration albums to browse, eBay, Google photos, and Flickr!


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Assembled

I ran into a few challenges but the Ohio Star top is finished. This was a kit but I didn’t want to make the pattern that came with it so  made up my own. Cutting and piecing the quarter square triangles is a breeze thanks to my Accuquilt GO but as I mentioned, there’s one 4 inch square on the Ohio Star die and it was just easier to rotary cut those. 

This top will go to Big Canoe for quilting and will be eventually donated but it will probably wait a while before I get to it. 

I’m not complaining¬†

Published / by Mary / 13 Comments on I’m not complaining¬†

Are you a morning person? Or a night owl like me? Unfortunately for me, Finn is a morning person – an EARLY, 6 am kind of morning person. When Keith is home we split dog walking/watching duties but when he’s gone, it’s all me and while I have no problem taking him out between 12-1 am, it’s really hard to get up at 6 am and face an energetic puppy who wants to eat, play, and walk!

Chesty learned over the years that when dad wasn’t home breakfast became brunch and he would sleep in late with me. Of course if Keith was home as soon as he twitched in the morning, Chesty was all over him asking for his breakfast but he would let me sleep in – such a good boy! I’m hoping over time Finn will also learn to accommodate the fact that while Keith is an early riser, I prefer to start my day at 10 am rather than 6 am!!

I’m sewing

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on I’m sewing

Still not feeling very energetic but I’m spending time in the sewing room. At this point, it’s obvious that there won’t be many goals met this month but as long as I’m sewing and making progress I won’t worry about it. I do have just two things that have to be done before we leave for Big Canoe next month – piecing a back for Becky’s quilt and putting borders on Mom’s Log Cabin quilt but I’ve got plenty of time to get to those. 

Yesterday I wandered around in the sewing room again debating what to work on. Rejected quilting either of the two small tops pinned and ready and decided to start a new top. Pulled a kit – you know I have a bunch of them bought at clearance prices – decided I did NOT want to make the pattern that came with the fabric. Looked at my GO dies and started cutting and piecing Ohio Star blocks. After a couple false starts, I decided I needed to do some math to see how far my fabric would go and decide what size the quilt was going to be.  Should have started with this step!

Not sure what I’m going to do with the border yet – I don’t intend to just put a plain blue one on but my choices will be limited due to the fabric that I have. It’s times like that that I miss having the stash here! The stars are pieced and I’ve got the sashing started. 

Did you notice I was fussy cutting some of the star centers? The orange blocks have a tree centered in them. The others have a bird or part of a bird. I didn’t want to use up too much of the border fabric when I hadn’t decided what I was doing yet and fussy cutting uses more fabric. 

I’m using the GO Ohio Star die but I have to say I shouldn’t have bothered to buy it. There’s one square and the quarter square triangles on the die. It’s easier to rotary cut the squares for the blocks and I have another die that has the quarter square triangles. I think I’ll pass this die along to Mom as she doesn’t have a quarter square triangle die and she likes Ohio Stars. 


Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Vices

I admit I love playing slot machines although I probably only do it every 5-6 years … Keith thought it might be fun for me to get out and play some slots to celebrate my birthday. We didn’t go out last night because I ended up not feeling well enough but we did go out for a few hours this afternoon to the Hard Rock Casino. 

Of course it didn’t take long to lose my money but I had fun. I sat down to feed the last 3 dollars in the machine and won $10 … moved on to another machine and won a little more …. picked a 3rd machine and ended up winning a little more – I won $43 with that last $3. Enough to buy Adam a Hard Rock Tampa shirt!

Still miserable

Published / by Mary / 23 Comments on Still miserable

I just can’t seem to shake this congestion and cough and now I want to feel sorry for myself because it’s my birthday and it’s raining. Instead, i decided to head for the sewing room.

After aimlessly wandering around in the room for 30 minutes trying to decide what to start, I realized a Strippie would be perfect – no real concentration needed and I could piece it from start to finish today. I’ve had this fabric forever and I guess I liked it so much I was saving it – now I know just where this little Strippie is going be gifted in 6 months and it’s even better that Gram started making it on her birthday!

Another positive ….. in addition to being my birthday it’s National Donut Day! Thanks Keith for helping me celebrate!

I’m going stir crazy after hanging around the house for the last couple weeks so I have no idea what we’ll do later but rain or shine it will be something that doesn’t involve staying home!

A certain size

Published / by Mary / 16 Comments on A certain size

Over the years I’ve found that certain size quilts work best for me – most of my quilts are donated and I tend to stick close to two sizes for those donation quilts. The larger sofa size tends to be about 54 x 72 and the smaller ones about 40 x 54 and these I quilt in FL on the regular sewing machine. I don’t worry about staying exactly at these measurements as I’m designing and piecing a quilt but most tend to be close to this size. 

I knew I wanted to quilt this HeartStrings top I’m working on here – there’s already a backlog of tops to be quilted in GA so I decided 20 blocks would work – our HeartStrings blocks are 9 inches finished (9.5 with seam allowances). 

Next up, a little quilt math – 2 inch finished sashing would give me a quilt that is 42 x 53. I can get 4 sashing strips from each WOF strip and I need 31 sashing pieces. 31 divided by 4 is 7.75 so I need 8 strips cut 2.5 inches = 20 inches of fabric. That means this black star fabric with 22 inches will work just fine although I’ll need to bind it in a solid black or maybe a pieced binding – we’ll see. 

And in spite of being sick, I actually have something to show for the week!

And Chris had something to show me – he picked up my kayak today! I hate I won’t get to use it until July but I’m looking forward to enjoying it at Big Canoe.