Category Archives: Completed tops


Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Assembled

My Veteran’s Day quilt is a finished top. Inspired by the planned HeartStrings quilts made by Sharon in Maine and because i frequently get asked about these quilts, brief instructions are now on my website. 

Like all my tops being finished now, it will wait for quilting until I get the longarm here from Big Canoe which hopefully will happen in January if all goes according to plan. 


Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Assembled

The Plus top is completed and I like it a lot more than I expected. It was a discounted kit from Craftsy and I added some length to it so it wouldn’t be square – it ended up about 67×76 inches. 

My stairs are also finally carpeted – as I waited for them to be done today I found myself remembering that the one thing I told Keith I didn’t want when we started house hunting here in Tampa was to have to do any renovations. So of course, we’ve gone from one project to another in the two plus years we’ve been here but I can finally mark re-carpeting off my list. Next up is having the painter in to repair and paint the ceiling that the electrician had to cut into when installing the library lights. One project just seems to lead to another. There’s a 4th light but I couldn’t fit them all in the photo and I’m not even sure if we’re going to be able to get this scheduled and done before we leave for GA in December. They’re coming out Thanksgiving week to give us an estimate. 

I’ve also done some rearranging in the sewing room. I hope to have figured out where I want everything before I bring the longarm but I think that cutting table is going to move to the other side of the cubby. 

I love having the table to spread out my projects – right now I’m using it to pair up Happy Block centers and frames. 

Those are my string bins underneath and I’m about ready to start another set of HeartStrings blocks too. Having them under the table rather than tucked in the back of the closet should make it easier to get to them and hopefully use them up!


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Assembled!

Wow, does it feel good to be back to work even if I still have bins sitting on the floor waiting for me to finish sorting and deciding where to put the stuff in them!

The spool quilt is a finished top and will wait for quilting now until after I bring the longarm here to Florida. 

I’m linking again to the brief instructions on how I pieced my quilt – there’s also a photo of the vintage quilt that inspired me. 


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!