Category Archives: Piecing in progress

Buisier than expected

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Buisier than expected

The holiday weekend was busier than I expected and I hadn’t accomplished everything I wanted to in the sewing room so I closed myself up all evening and sewed away. The boxed squares blocks are assembled and it’s ready for borders and the HeartStrings blocks have all been pieced and tossed up on the design wall. I’ll move some blocks around before sewing them all together. 

I wish I could say my string bin looks emptier but I don’t think these blocks made much of a dent. 


Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Home

You probably guessed we were home from my last post … Finn was retrieved from the Vet where he was boarding and some sewing was done.  I’m throwing everything in these blocks and am using a red center. The design wall still has the boxed squares so I’m working on assembling those blocks too so I can toss these up when they’re done. 

I also got through the mail that came while we were gone … Becky sends me the best stuff. How cute is this?!

I’ll sew again tomorrow but I’m also going to be cooking and watching football so I’ll get less sewing done I’m sure but there are 4 days in this long weekend so I’ve got plenty of time to sew. 

Something new

Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Something new

I’m going to make another set of HeartStrings blocks over the long Thanksgiving weekend but I have a few days before it’s time to start those so I wanted something quick and easy to work on. That meant a jelly roll or one of my many kits would work best. I decided I’d make one of my boxed squares quilts. 

A single jelly roll will make a quilt that is 48×60 and that’s a nice size but I found a kit that had a jelly roll and border fabric which will bring it up to my usual donation size. I’ve said before that sometimes I buy discounted kits just for the fabric even when I have no intention of making the intended quilt and this’s what I’m doing with this one.

You could also use 2.5 inch strips cut from stash and make it any size you wanted like I did with this one. 

I love that this is quick to cut and quick to piece. I’m pairing up two of my strips that have good contrast and those two strips will make 4 blocks so I’m cutting 3 sets of strips to piece at a time and just like that I’ve already got 24 blocks made. 

I tossed a few on the design wall just to see ….. I’m going to like this!

If you want to make a Boxed Squares Quilts there are brief instructions on my website. 


Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Progress

I’ve managed to make half of my HeartStrings blocks for my Veteran’s Day quilt. I’ll continue to work on it this week. 

If you’d like to make a quilt for a veteran, I have lots of inspiration on my website

If you’d like to make a planned HeartStrings quilt like mine, inspired by Sharon in Maine, you can find guidelines here.  I found I didn’t have enough of my red star fabric for all of my corners so I’m using the blue star fabric on one corner and the red star fabric on the other. 

Stolen moments

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Stolen moments

Keith leaves tomorrow and I didn’t come home until Friday night so I planned to spend most of the weekend with him and Finn but I found an hour here and there to work in my sewing room. I finished cutting the Plus quilt and have even made some progress piecing it. At first I didn’t think I would like it at all because the squares are so big (cut 5 inches) but as I get more up on the design wall it’s growing on me. I think it will make a great donation quilt once it has the texture from quilting and I think I’d like a scrappy version with a dark background and light pluses. 

Today also included knitting time with Finn this morning … he slept beside me until he heard Keith come back in from his walk. 

A four mile walk along the bay …  sometimes I still find it hard to believe all this is just a short block away. 

And finally we watched football late this afternoon. The Vikings have a bye week but the Redskins won so Keith was happy.  I hope you all had as nice a weekend as I did!

Still on my design wall

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Still on my design wall

I’m moving very slow when it comes to finishing up my to do list for August – I’ve almost run out of steam but there is some progress on the Schoolhouses. I’ve moved on to piecing the 9 patch cornerstones. 

I’ve also started a new quilt – inspired by a vintage one found on eBay. 

There’s knitting going on too but I don’t expect to finish anything this week …. just slow progress on both quilts and the knit blanket. 


Published / by Mary / 16 Comments on HeartStrings

Today I sewed along with my HeartStrings group – some of them are meeting in person in Roberts, WI and some of us are sewing along from home. String piecing is messy business … at least it is in my sewing room!

I finished up a set of 48 blocks and even though I’m going to send these in for our block drive, I couldn’t resist quickly laying them out to get an idea of how the quilt will look. 


Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Schoolhouses

Mom cut and appliqued my schoolhouses using the Accuquilt GO die and they’ve been waiting for me to make the sashing and assemble them. The scrappy sashing is a lot of cutting because I don’t have yardage and it’s not going to be as quick as I thought or I might have saved it for when we get back from Big Canoe. I hate leaving things partially done on the design wall.

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. 

Boring or efficient?

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Boring or efficient?

I had the morning to spend in the sewing room while the cleaning woman was here and after pulling out a couple bins, I found the leftover strips from my PLUS 1 quilt. Since I’d just used the little rectangle quilt as an example of quilt math, I knew I had enough strips (18) and after pulling a gray background – knew that as long as I cut carefully, I’d have enough of it to make another small quilt. 

The blocks are ready to assemble, I still have enough scraps for a doll quilt, and my house is VERY clean! A good morning all the way around. 

Sewing along with HeartStrings

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Sewing along with HeartStrings

The WI/MN group is sewing together today in Roberts, WI and I’m working along with them from home. Kathy is focusing on RWB quilts for veterans on hospice but since I’ve got several of those to quilt this summer at Big Canoe, I decided to make one of our planned Sharon HeartStrings quilt. I’d bought fabric back to FL from GA last summer and after looking a bit in the FL stash, these are my 8 fabric choices. 

I haven’t decided whether to make a 24 block quilt and add a border that can be quilted here in FL or to make a 48 block quilt that I’ll take to GA for quilting on the longarm. My intention was one that could be quilted here but now that I’ve got more blocks on the design wall I’m leaning toward the larger size. I’ll get 24 blocks made and then decide. 

My first 4 blocks on the design wall. 

Just in case you want to make your own version here are the guidelines we follow for these. 

: please review these guidelines to see how we make our blocks first and then adapt them as noted below. 

Choose 8 fabrics – I yard each ( not all of each fabric will be used)

 All strips are cut 2 inches (fabrics 1-7)

For the corner triangles (fabric 8), use the same fabric on both sides of the block and they are cut from 4.5 inch squares (cut the squares first and then cut them on the diagonal).

This is a planned quilt with all the strips in the same place for each block.

NOTE: Nann made one last year and was a little more precise in her fabric measurements — we just estimated a yard of each knowing there would be some leftovers but I’m including Nann’s measurements here in case you have some fabrics you’d like to use but have less than a yard of them. 

*It turns out that you don’t need one-yard pieces of all eight fabrics. Label the center 1, the strips flanking it 2 and 3, then 4 and 5, then 6 and 7, and the corners 8. #1, #2, #3 — 16 strips (32″). #4 and #5 — 12 strips (24″). #6 & #7 — 11 strips (22″), #8 — 4 strips (8″). That is handy to know if I try another Sharon quilt. 

On my design wall

Published / by Mary / 12 Comments on On my design wall

You’ll probably get bored seeing this one but now I’ve got half the rows pieced and up on the design wall. Of course it’s pinned sideways – normally I’d just lay these long skinny rows on the floor but I’ve still got fabric all over the floor and need to cut some more triangles before I put it away. I love how this is coming together!

I also got my oldest UFO pinbasted. This quilt is a prime reason I don’t like to put away partially finished piecing projects. I just don’t ever go back to them. In this case, the quilt in progress became a lap size top with the leftovers being used for a doll quilt. I’ll start quilting this one tomorrow. Just straight diagonal lines and either a meander or maybe stars in the border. We’ll see. 


Do you hand piece?!

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Do you hand piece?!

Foundations are cut, string bin has been pulled out, squares cut for block corners …

On this week’s agenda: HeartStrings blocks, pin basting the Churn dash quilt, and yes … I might have lost my mind. 

I found these two sets of Honeycomb precut blocks and decided to throw them up on the design wall. After researching sewing them by machine I’ve decided to hand piece them …. do you hand piece? I hand pieced my first quilt because I didn’t own a sewing machine and hadn’t ever used one. I’ve got a UFO from  2008 or so that I started to hand piece… but rather than pull that one out, I decided I’d hand piece this top.  The easy part will be to sew the rows together and my goal is one row per day and then I can label the rows and take them off the design wall. My follow up goal will be NOT to set it aside until the top is assembled!!!

Happy New Year!

Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on Happy New Year!

I hope you all had fun bringing in the New Year. We’re not party people so it was a quiet event here. Around 9 PM I fixed a Brie and fruit tray and Keith opened some champagne. We sat on the porch and talked some about the challenges we had in 2016 and our hopes for 2017 and then Keith took a little nap and I woke him up in time to walk down to the bay to watch the fireworks at midnight. 

As a reward for working so hard last week to finish up as much as I could, I got to start a new quilt today which also meant I got to use my new GO electric that arrived right before Christmas for the first time. Last night I drafted this quilt based on a vintage quilt I found on eBay.

Quilt size is 48 x 64

I’m using 4 inch finished half square triangles which will make the block size 16 inches finished (16.5 with seam allowances).

This afternoon I pulled out the GO ….

Pulled out the box of fat quarters that were purchased a while back ….

And I quickly realized that my plan to make this quilt scrappy wasn’t going to work with the fabrics I have. There are 16 HSTs in each block and while I don’t mind repeating a fabric if needed, I didn’t have enough fabrics of a similar shade in each color so plan B is to make the quilt as drafted. Luckily, I’m adaptable!

I’m using a light gray solid for my background and I’ve got the first 3 blocks made – I love starting a new quilt!