Category Archives: Completed tops


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. 


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. 

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. 

Adapting to change

Published / by Mary / 18 Comments on Adapting to change

I had some time in the sewing room today and as I finished piecing the little snowball top my mind wandered.

Life has changed so much for us in the last few years and I think I’ve finally realized that there’s a new normal now. The almost 8 years we spent in Minneapolis were the most productive quilting years I’ve had and I kept thinking that things would settled down and I’d get back to that level and for some reason not being that productive has created stress for me. 

Out of curiosity I looked at what I’ve accomplished so far this year – 11 tops quilted and 9 tops pieced – that’s not a bad count and it represents hours of happiness spent in my sewing room!

Part of the stress comes from the blog – It started as a quilting blog although over the years (11+ years!) it has developed into a journal for me where I write about my quilting, the family, and my travels. 

Don’t worry – I’m not about to stop quilting – I love the time I spend making quilts and being able to give family and people in need a handmade quilt is one of the things I love most. I will however stop worrying about being more productive and about whether I have something quilty to share on the blog every day like I did in years past. 

I’m grateful for so many things in my life and I plan to continue to enjoy my time with family, time with Finn, my travels, my quilting and knitting, being active (walking, hiking, kayaking), and having company visit us here and at Big Canoe.

I’m also happy that this little snowball top is assembled! I really don’t like coming back to a top in pieces on the design wall but luckily this one was quick to sew together and that means I can move on to something new!


Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Assembled

The little Crosses and O’s top is assembled. So quick compared to the 2+ weeks it took me to do Becky’s king size one and now I need to clean up a little in the sewing room and piece a couple backs. 

This one will be quilted here in FL and I won’t set up the table to get it pin basted for a couple weeks – when we get back from Hatteras because I’ve got a cleaning service coming Tuesday and company coming Saturday. That means I get to do more piecing after getting those backs done. 

I had an email asking me to review a product from Amazon. Do you use the wonder clips in your sewing?! I love them for hand sewing my binding rather than using pins and since I’m always losing one or two I was thrilled to have the opportunity to buy them at discounted rate in exchange for the review. 

I think they’re a little lighter weight than the Clover ones but they should easily hold up to being used for my binding. And look, they come in a cute little bag!

The price is good, shipping is free if you have an Amazon Prime membership, and they arrived in 2 days. Here’s the link if you want to check them out. 


Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on Surprise

I bet you didn’t expect me to be making MORE cross blocks today after finishing Becky’s king size top yesterday! I’ve blogged before about leftover quilts – usually it’s when I’ve pulled a group of fabrics together for a scrap quilt – I like to take advantage of all that work I did to sort and press! In this case, I had plenty of fabric left from the fat quarter bundle so I made more crosses but paired them with appliqué circles for this little 40×56 quilt. 

The circles are fused and cut with my Accuquilt GO, stitched down with an open zigzag stitch. 


I’m got some rearranging to do before I sew the blocks together but I’m done for today!


Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on Assembled

There’s a reason I don’t make large quilts – I’m easily bored! Becky’s king size top is FINALLY assembled. If you didn’t see my post on the pattern I used, you can find the details at this link.


It will go to Big Canoe with me this summer for quilting … along with 2 queen size tops Mom made. Not really looking forward to quilting 3 big ones but at least Mom has to bind 2 of the 3 although I think I remember offering to machine stitch the binding on her two and just leave the hand stitching for her to do.  I must have been feeling sorry for her like when I offered to help her put the borders on them. Mom has always pieced a lot more large bed size quilts than I have (although I’ve quilted them all plus a number of large ones for my Aunt) but she’s old now ( her words!) and the weight of a large quilt is a lot for her to wrestle with.