The little bow tie top is assembled but not with out help from my seam ripper! I almost walked away but didn’t and I picked out 3 seams so I could flip a section around. In spite of some problems with the assembly, I really liked making these blocks and I’m looking forward to using these dies again!

The lighting for the photo is terrible but that’s as good as it gets at midnight in my sewing room!

No borders on this one either … you might have noticed, I make a lot of quilts without borders both because I’m recreating vintage quilts that don’t have them a lot of times but also just because I like quilts without borders!


Happy Block #7 of 8 is quilted! Just one more of these to quilt which is good because I want to have these last ones finished so I can take them back to Maine in September to donate.

Pantograph is Happy Times

It feels like I’ve been making more progress but my closet is filling up with tops and looking at my spreadsheet, 14 of the tops I’ve quilted have been for family or group quilts … not that I mind doing them but I think I need to up my goal for quilting or I will not be happy with that UFO number next year!

I thought I’d also be able to get the Bow Tie top finished this afternoon but the storms rolled in just as I was finishing the quilting on this one. Maybe I can get back to the sewing room later tonight.

Funny how easy it is to forget the weather patterns from year to year. This is typical weather for us but somehow I’m surprised at how many storms we’re having…. and even worse, the tropics have been really quiet so far but I just read that they upped their estimates for named storms this season so I expect it could get even wetter around here the next couple months. I’m just hoping we don’t have to evacuate this year!


This 16 patch quilt is UFO finish #11 for me this year which sounds good until I look at my New Starts … 12 quilts have been started, 11 are finished tops, and only 2 have been quilted and bound … at this pace, my UFO number is going to go up next year.


Keith and I had a nice weekend together – some biking, some time just vegging, and a date nite. I didn’t have time in the sewing room but I did manage to make progress on the crochet Shell blanket (this thing is massive) and get the Strips and Strings Log Cabin quilt bound.

Instructions for the Strips and Strings Log Cabin are on my website at this link..

Keith left early this morning so I’m back to work. I’ve made a good start on assembling the Bow Tie top and I’ve got a Happy Block top loaded on the longarm but the afternoon storms have rolled in so I’m going to sit and work on hand stitching the 16 patch binding.

Creating Texture

I’m binding today and as I laid the quilts on the floor to trim, I thought about the discussion I had yesterday when looking at the Innova longarm. I was explaining that I was a scrap quilter and did a lot of donation quilts and said that I mostly quilted overall freehand and pantographs doing very little custom quilting and she said “so you just need to hold the layers together” which is not at all what I meant.

Texture makes a quilt come alive and I don’t have to do elaborate quilting to create texture, I also don’t have to have my thread stand out. Nothing could be simpler than these wavy lines I quilted the other day and after quilting it I even wondered whether I should have done something more but looking at it spread out to trim, I’m very happy with it and it’s going to be so cozy and soft and cuddly!

I also trimmed the Strips and Strings Log Cabin and again, while it’s not elaborate custom quilting, these freehand fans create wonderful texture on this scrap quilt.

So for me quilting isn’t about just holding the layers together, it’s about adding texture that makes a quilt come alive!

Binding has been made and machine stitched on both quilts so now I’ll work a while on hand stitching it down!

Yikes! I did it

Keith and I had an agreement that when we sold Big Canoe, I would take some of the proceeds and buy a new longarm. Right after we got the condo ready to sell, moving all our stuff out in January 2018, I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer. We sold Big Canoe last July and I’ve been waffling back and forth about the longarm since then but today I finally went to try the Innova Longarm and I bought one! I’m sticking with the 18 inch throat with a 10 foot table but this one has some upgrades and features that I’m excited about especially the pantovision

I’m sure there will be some adjustments … after all, I’ve been quilting on Gammill’s since 2002 but I think I can adapt!


I’ve had several questions over the last few weeks about my comments that I don’t sew during storms and I was a bit surprised because I thought most people avoided using electrical equipment during lightning storms.

Florida ranks as the top state for lightning in the US and Tampa as the top city … we have a LOT of summer storms and they’re violent with lots of thunder and lightning. It impacts what we do outside with our biking, walking, and swimming and it impacts what we do inside.

My longarm is ALWAYS unplugged when I’m not using it and during the summer months, I keep my sewing machines unplugged when not in use too. I’m lazier in the non stormy season about keeping both sewing machines unplugged but I never risk damage to the longarm!!

Lightning safety information