Thread snippers

For those wondering, I bought my thread snippers at Joann’s but the first pair I bought came from an online store selling longarm supplies. These are not the exact pair I bought but they’re very similar. I’ve had mine for years so that model may not be available anymore. Click the link to go to the Joann’s site but they may have them in the stores too. That’s where I got mine probably with a coupon!

Thread Snippers

I’ve got my Aunt’s quilt loaded and the quilting is in progress. I’m a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t choose the pantograph before loading it because if I had, I would have loaded the quilt lengthwise and used Feather Frond (pictured below)   I prefer the looks of this pattern in a vertical orientation and since I wasn’t going to reload the quilt, I chose Halcyon instead. I also thought I was going to use black thread on it which is why I quilted a couple of mine with the black thread first (dark thread is more likely to have breakage issues) but I decided a dark green would work better. 


Since Halcyon is a pattern I use frequently I was worried I’d used it on another recent quilt for my Aunt but thanks to my databases, I was able to check that I hadn’t used it … At least not recently. I checked back through 2012.  It takes a bit of time to keep the records but I find myself checking them all the time, it’s especially valuable now that my quilting is spread between two locations. I track tops quilted including who’s top and the quilting pattern , tops pieced, amount of fabric used, UFO’s, and quilts donated. I summarize my progress each year and keep them so I can look back. I lost a couple years along the way due to computer failures but for the last 8-9 years I’ve kept them online in Google Docs. 


My dinner date

Chris, Becky, and Rae met us for dinner tonight – we each drove about 45 minutes and met in between their house and Big Canoe. 

 Pop and Rae enjoyed dessert. She’s a good sharer!


Bree celebrated her first birthday last weekend and we’re looking forward to Adam visiting with Caleb and Bree this weekend so we can celebrate with her too.  


It’s not cheating …

I mentioned earlier this week my goals were fairly modest – to get 6 tops quilted while I was here in GA. For me, one of the keys for being successful at meeting my goals is to have them be fairly realistic. Another key is having some wiggle room! I was late getting started today and we’re meeting the kids for dinner and have an hour drive to the restaurant so I needed an quick top for quilting today. Luckily I had a little Strippie I could quilt using black thread (already on the machine) and I still had some smaller pieced batting from before the move from MN. It’s also a UFO and I need to finish 6 more before the year is out to meet the goal of finishing 12 UFO’s each year. 

A side benefit to quilting a Strippie was I could take the opportunity to quilt something different. Since I have such limited time here, I’m always in a hurry to get something loaded and quilted so I fall back on a pantograph or freehand designs I already know. I designed this little quilt years ago when I got my longarm so I could practice new quilting designs and still have something cute to donate when I was done. 

For the Strippies, I always pick three designs and then repeat them throughout the quilt. Today all 3 started with wavy lines. The first one was was from the book Step by Step Freemotion Quilting by Christina Cameli. She’s good at breaking down a design and showing you how to easily quilt it. This one is simple.  I also like that it comes in a Kindle version. I always used to buy physical books for quilting and knitting but I find it easier to buy a Kindle version and view it on my iPad these days because I always have access to it whether I’m here in GA, at home in FL, or even in VA visiting Mom if I want to show her something. 

I like to use the Adobe Ideas app to quickly practice a design before quilting it.  


The 2nd design was just a wavy line in the skinny blue strip and for the focus fabric, I decided to quilt a vine design. I hate backtracking – it either looks sloppy or too thready to me – so I like to quilt a wavy vine and then add my leaves on either side of it, echoing the line rather than backtracking along it. I also quickly drew this one out before starting too.  When drawing something like this that I’ve quilted before, I’m more concerned with just reminding myself about the quilting path rather than making it pretty. 


My black thread blended with the top but you can see the quilting clearly on the back side. If I was concerned about my ‘practice’ quilting showing, I would have chosen a backing where the thread blended in better.  


And because I was kind of in a hurry, of course I had to have a thread knotting/tension issue. Not sure what happened but luckily it straightened itself out and I only had to pick out a small section. I love these little snippers with the curved blade for slipping under the stitches when I have to rip something out.  


And that’s #5 quilted. Up tomorrow is a top of my Aunt’s.  


It’s free but …

I found this free scarf pattern and while I love that it’s free – I hate having to register for an account and place a pattern in my shopping cart to download a free pattern. I do think it will look nice in a skein of my color changing cotton yarn so I did register and download it. (You can view it at the link above without registering)

On my needles

I knit a little each night and my scarf – Magnolia Glen – is growing! This one isn’t a free pattern but I am loving the drape and length of it knit in my cotton yarn. It should be perfect for Tampa!


Best of Black Mountain quilts

We were at my sister’s house last month and she had this quilt I’d made her hanging over the railing.  


It was from one of our family exchanges where we each got to pick a pattern and have someone make it for us. I adapted the pattern some from the book and really like my version best :)  Don’t be afraid to make a quilt your own with small changes. 

Mom said we should both remake this one … And I crossed my fingers that it was in one of the books I’d kept in the move from MN. 

I’d kept it – The quilt from the book (Best of Black Mountain quilts)

 Also in the book is this quilt –  another reason I need that scanNcut from Brother … Wouldn’t it be easy to cut these applique pieces?!   I would set this one differently too but I love those baskets!



Another one is quilted – a HeartStrings top I pieced during one of our special projects. I rarely “just” meander a quilt but that’s what I did in the black and white strips. 

I also pulled a few fabrics to add in with my leftovers from the Chevron Rail Fence quilt – I’m recreating a simple antique  quilt I saw on ebay. Here’s the beginning of it laid out.  Since I’m not sure if I’ll have enough fabric from the leftovers, and since a scrap quilt can always use more variety I took advantage of being here to pull some to bring back to FL with me.  


I almost forgot to pull some neutrals but I remembered and grabbed a handful of them too. 


I’ve reached the halfway point of my goal to quilt 6 tops while I’m here. Because I have to balance family time with quilting time when we’re here in GA, I try to be realistic about what I will accomplish …plus, I like to spend my evenings upstairs sipping a glass of wine and knitting!

This was a kit on clearance at Connecting Threads, pieced by Mom and quilted with the pantograph Double Rose Vine by Norma Sharp. It’s an old one but I like it and wanted something floral on this top. It’s really hard to get decent photos of my quilting in the late afternoon here – I miss my MN studio where the sun would come in just at the right angle to show the quilting but I do like that my sewing room and longarm rooms are right next to each other here rather than two floors apart!


Love this little one!

We’re lucky that we get to spend as much time as we do with Rae … Living in different states, it takes a lot of effort on our part and on her parents but so worth it.  


My day



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