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Having fun

While the bulk of what we’re working on in Maine are HeartStrings blocks and quilts, it’s not all strings. Several people decided ahead of time they’d cut and exchange some tumbler blocks … Both large and small. Seriously, I’ve never seen so many tumblers and the bulk of them were cut by these three … Tomorrow they’re going to have a Tumbler Race and we’ll see who can assemble a small top the quickest. There was lots of fun and good natured smack talking going on tonight!



I ♥️Maine

Lucky for Keith I can’t stay away from Chesty too long or I might be tempted to stay!

Love the water


Love the Lobster Rolls


Love tying HeartStrings quilts



Do I live in a fantasy world?

On my list of quilts to make is a tumbling blocks. I’d like to hand piece it … and even hand quilt it. I’ve found a beautiful Jenny Beyer quilt on Craftsy and am so tempted to purchase it even though I never make quilts from kits … Sometimes I buy deeply discounted kits and use the fabric for other projects but I don’t believe I’ve ever made a quilt from a kit.

So although I may be living in a fantasy world … I think I’m going to buy this. Who knows how long I won’t be living with my longarm and stash and if I’m ever going to do something completely by hand now would be the time right? Worse case, I use the fabric for a different quilt.



The weather

It’s still hot and sticky here in south Florida and I’m so jealous of everyone writing about their cooler weather.


However, I am very excited about experiencing some cooler weather for myself next week in Maine … I can’t wait to pull on some jeans and a sweatshirt!



You guys are amazing!

I am thrilled and honored every time I receive an email from one of you sharing your version of one of my quilts. Today I received two emails.

First, Marijke wrote and shared her version of my Forest Bricks

I thought you might like to see what I did with your forest brick pattern. It’s a wedding gift and I think it turned out beautifully. Thank you for making the pattern available.



Then Linda wrote and shared her version of my Carpenter Star

Yesterday I awarded quilts to veterans at our Alaska Veterans and Pioneer Home. Amongst the recipients were three brothers who each served in a different branch of the service. I decided I wanted to make three branch specific quilts, similar but different to these three young men. I used your Carpenters Star pattern for the Marine. It’s getting rave reviews!


Linda goes on to say that she shares my website with others looking for ideas for Quilts of Valor.

I also received a third email about an interview about HeartStrings that will appear in a book in the future.

Today I feel really good about what I do — quilting for those in need, organizing HeartStrings, and designing and making my quilts available to everyone via my website.


Hiding out!

Keith got home late last night and has been on conference calls all day so Chesty and I have been hiding out in the sewing room. The daybed makes a perfect place to park myself with the iPad after finishing my task for the day and with Pandora playing through my JBL speaker … We can drown out the business conversation from the other room!

My goals these days are less lofty but deciding what I want to accomplish in advance for the week and the day ensures that I make steady progress. This week my goals were to quilt a small HeartStrings top (✔️), bind it (✔️), and assemble these HeartStrings blocks I pieced during our July RWB project (✔️).



So lazy …

I had errands today including a haircut and while I walked in spite of the unrelenting rain this afternoon/evening (kind of proud of myself for not opting out d/t the rain)…. I haven’t done anything other than read and look at recipes for company on Saturday the rest of the evening. Hope your day was more productive.



Today’s task

We’re encouraging our HeartStrings members to sew along next week with the group of us meeting in Maine. We’ll be making blocks, assembling tops, tying quilts, and binding them and if you’ve followed my blog a while, you know I always tie quilts during the week in Maine. I decided to get an early start on the sew along and quilt and bind the small HeartStrings top I finished yesterday and my second task before leaving Sunday is to get these blocks I made in July assembled into a top. Since the design wall still has the bright 4 patch blocks, I started laying these out on the floor. I always sew my HeartStrings blocks first into groups of 4 and then sew the rows together.


Now I’ve got them all sewn into groups of 4 so tomorrow I’ll sew the rows together. Having the walking foot on the machine was helpful both in sewing the binding yesterday and in assembling these blocks. It handles multiple layers of fabric better than the regular quarter inch foot and I like to sew these blocks with a slightly generous 1\4 inch seam anyway because I press the seams open to decrease the bulk where the blocks come together. My machine allows me to adjust the needle position so with the waking foot on, I move the needle to right until I have the seam allowance I want.



Trial and Error

I finished picking all the quilting stitches out of the little HeartStrings quilt this weekend so today I was ready to start over – this time with straight line quilting. Off came the free-motion foot and on went the walking foot.


I started by quilting on either side of all the block seams horizontally and vertically … Lining the edge of my walking foot with the seam. That went well – no thread breakage or difficulty although some of the lines were a little wobbly — I told myself 100 times to slow down before I finally just set the machine so no matter how hard I pushed that pedal it just sewed slow and steady.


Once all the block seams were stitched, I needed to add some additional quilting in the center of the blocks to keep my quilting lines within the guidelines for my batting. At first I thought I’d use the guide that came with my sewing machine — it only attaches to the right side of the foot and it gets pretty crowded under the arm of the machine but I thought I’d give it a shot. I had to look for my machine manual to figure out where to attach it (couldn’t find it) and then had to look it up online. Luckily you can find most anything online!


It only took one partial line to realize that wasn’t working for me so those stitches were picked out and I decided to stitch in the ditch on either side of the center strips. I have to tell you that my stitch in the ditch needs some work but next time I quilt one of these little ones, I’m going to line my foot up on the center strip seams rather than trying to quilt in the ditch.

Things I should have learned from quilting the Strippie that still need reinforcing:

* Watch the foot NOT the needle
* SLOW down
* Stop frequently to readjust hands and the quilt.

Overall I’m happy with this little experiment and tomorrow’s task will be to get it bound.


Speaking of Log Cabins

I love this antique Courthouse Steps version for sale here.


There are just so many variations and layouts possible with log cabin quilts and I’ve made a bunch over the years.

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