I’m transitioning to vacation mode today … last night I finished up my 18th tied quilt at the Maine sew in … yes, there were a number of smaller ones in the stack this year but I’m OK with that!

A stack of finished quilts AFTER some had already been given to Laura to take with her to donate. I have no idea what our final number will be but Brenda was counting so maybe she’ll post the number after they finish up today.

I’m taking 6 tops home with me and will quilt and bind them and bring them back to Bev in April to donate.

So, I slept late this morning, checked out of one hotel and into one in downtown Portland, walked over to Becky’s diner for lunch and will head to the airport soon to pick Keith up! We even have a small water view from the hotel room.

Maine Sew in — Day 3

12 quilts tied, 3 lobster rolls eaten! My days and evenings are busy working and catching up with what everyone has been up to. This is such a special week for me and I’m so appreciative that Bev continues to organize the sew-in each year and that Keith is OK with me coming and participating. I feel SO very fortunate.

I’m the one taking all the photos but I did pass the phone to Brenda to have her snap one of me! You can see the rest of today’s photos at the HeartStrings Blog. Check the previous days posts to see all the quilts we’re working on.

Hourglass quilt

I love Hourglass quilts and want to make another scrappy one but I want a larger block like this vintage quilt from eBay although this is probably a 6 inch rather than the 8 inch block I want to make.

I’ve got a 4 inch finished die and I’ve made a couple quilts from it.

This one that I gave to Becky

And this one was donated.

I know that I can make these from squares but once you’ve used the die with the tips already cut off, it’s just so easy you don’t want to make them any other way although I did make this one from a Layer Cake (10 inch squares).

I have a 6 inch flying geese die but I don’t like the layout on the die and it only cuts two shapes from each layer … I feel it’s more wasteful than my smaller die that is laid out in a square and cuts 4 shapes from each layer.

6 inch finished QST die

I decided I would request a quote for a custom die and see if they can make me one that isn’t too expensive. I drew a quick photo to include with my request so we’ll see what they say.

Maine is my Happy Place!

I’m heading to Maine and the HeartStrings sew in today! I can’t believe this will be the 10th year Bev has hosted the group. I’ve only missed two years – 2016 when I was caring for my sister-in-law and last year when I was going through treatment for my thyroid cancer – and I’m so excited to be going back this year.

Keith and I first visited Maine in 1996 with his father who was born and raised in Portland Maine. It became one of our favorite places and we visited a second time with his parents and then in 2009, we started visiting once or twice every year.

Three times, including last year, we’ve spent the entire month of October there and I’m thrilled that we’ve just made plans and rented a cottage near Willard Beach for April of next year.

Both Chesty and Finn have loved their time in Maine and Keith has done a good job finding us places to stay that allow dogs.

For next April, we’ve booked the same little cottage we stayed in last October. It’s a little quirky but it’s in our favorite Willard Beach location.

But that’s for next next year, this week I’ll work with my HeartStrings group and then Keith will join me for a few days. I wonder how many lobster rolls I can eat in the next 9 days?!


I hope you had a wonderful day, mine was busy! I head to Maine tomorrow morning so I had packing and other things to finish up around here but we did take time for a bike ride along the bay!

This morning before our ride I was waiting for a call back from Innova support and since I was in the sewing room, I trimmed and got the binding machine stitched on the two Strippies I quilted Friday … they’ll need the bindings hand stitched when I get home but it was nice to get that part done.

I had called Innova support because I was having problems importing patterns into my Pantovision app. I’d started trying last night and tried again this morning. He had no idea what he did different than I did but he managed to make it work! After I got off the phone I downloaded some free patterns and was able to import them without any problems.

I’m excited about the trip to Maine – I love it there – but I also wish I had more time to play with the new machine before leaving!

I have to add a couple features to my list of things I love about the new machine. There’s a bobbin “gauge” on the stitch regulator screen – see the top left? It’s easy to reset when I put a new bobbin in. You do have to tell the machine how many yards are in your bobbin and I’m still experimenting with that number to get it just right but I’m really close. If you use a lot of different bobbin threads you’d have to change it when you changed the type of thread you were using but I mostly use Permacore so it will be easy for me.

The other thing I’m loving is the basting stitch!! It’s wonderful. On the Gammill I had to hit the single stitch button move the machine, hit the button, move the machine and so on … this one I just drop that Stitches per Inch down to 3 and move the machine normally. It gives me a nice big stitch but not loosey goosey like the one I’d get on the Gammill.

I’m hoping I can get some sleep tonight – I have to get up early for my flight and it’s hard traveling when I don’t get any sleep!