Yearly Archives: 2022

My Current Favorite

This quilt has been a long time in the works. It is ‘just a patchwork’, no complicated piecing, no fussy blocks, but oh I have wanted to make it for a really long time! There are a some really gorgeous quilts made with very bold colors which totally appeal to me. A while back, I started to collect pieces with powerful color and scale. When I had my shop, I would cut 1/3 yard of pieces that appealed to me and set them aside in a project bag. I got lucky at thrift stores and garage sales a number of times and picked up pieces that I knew would work in this quilt. Mixing the scale and the lights and darks to make sure there was a good variety was a lot of fun. Finally the project bag was full to bursting and I knew I had enough to work with.

Doing some very complicated math, I decided to cut 11″ blocks and end up with a quilt measuring about 100 x 110 inches. This is by far the biggest quilt I have made. The piecing was not a big deal. I laid the squares on the floor and moved them around for a bit trying to keep like fabrics from touching. Other than that, I didn’t worry too much about a particular layout.

Once the top was assembled, I had to move furniture around to be able create enough floor space to baste it. Honestly, this is a monster size quilt (for me anyway)! The backing is a wide back I saved for this project when I closed the shop. I am fortunate to have a reasonably sized sewing table but it wasn’t going to work for this. So I commandeered the dining room for a couple of days to quilt this. I don’t know how I could have free motioned it – there is so much weight. Instead, I bought a walking foot (hurray!!) and stitched straight lines, two inches from each seam.

I do love this bar for projects like this. The walking foot came with one for the left and another for the right side. It really wasn’t too difficult except for when quilting the middle sections – there was a lot to stuff through the throat of the machine at that point. It all worked out though – save for a few puckers on the backing. I took a bit of time and ripped out some stitching to fix a few of the puckers. For the most part though, I left them as is. After all, it is the back side of a utility quilt. Who is going to see those puckers?

It doesn’t show in the photos but, on a whim, I decided to use the blanket stitch on my Bernina for the binding. I can’t give a reason for this – I just thought it would look cool. Which it does but, oh my gosh, it ended up taking fooorrevvver to bind this.

If you are admiring the walnut headboard on our bed, it was made by my talented husband.

This quilt is a bit like a quilter’s I Spy quilt. See if you can find fabrics by the following designers: Alison Glass, Sharon Holland, BariJ, Kaffe Fasset, Malta Dubrowsky, or Amy Butler – there is something from all of them. (Plus many where I cannot tell you who designed them)!

Another fun fact – this is the first time I filled a quilt with wool batting. It surprised me how different it was to work with. Much puffier (more loft) so the quilt is thicker. When I cut my usual 2 1/4″ strips of binding, I didn’t know there would be such a difference and it was a bit challenging to wrap that binding over the side. Next time I will definitely cut a 2 1/2″ binding. That should work better. I love the feel and heft of the quilt plus it feels warmer.

I have fabric set aside to make a couple of matching pillow shams. This is going to happen very soon. Shams will finish this off nicely!

Thanks for reading folks! Big quilt equals long post I suppose!

Beginning today, C&T Publishing is holding their warehouse sale! I love this event because they clear out some excellent books at great prices. Enjoy up to 70% off of loads of titles! Sale runs through Sunday, September 25, 2022. (Yep – this is an affiliate link!)

Linking with my usuals, found at the top of the page under Link Ups. Check out some of these sites to see what everyone is making!

Mercyful Quilt Notice!

Hi All – Just popping in to tell you the following. If you have a quilt for Mercy Hospital and have not yet mailed it, please hold on to it for now! The person who receives the quilts and brings them to the hospital is located near a horrible fire in California. She has been put on evacuation notice. So she doesn’t want any packages to be sent, in case she does indeed have to evacuate her home. I will send out another post when all is well again and Mercyful quilts can be mailed.

If you have mailed a quilt in the couple of days, it will most likely be held at the post office as they do not deliver mail in the evacuated areas. It is just easier to put off mailing things until this fire is under control.

So far, the “Mosquito” fire has burned 30,000 acres and over 6,000 people have been evacuated. Please keep the fire fighters and those who are suffering the effects of these tragic fires in your thoughts. The west coast, and California in particular, suffers more each year. It is an awful season to endure each summer and fall.

Pretty and Pink

When I started to collect my thoughts for this post, I realized that pink is a common theme with the projects I intend to share. This is strange because it isn’t one of my favorite colors. Hence the title to the post. Let’s see what I have been working on.

Another Mercyful Quilt!

Remember I shared about a quilt show and lavender festival I attended earlier this summer? While at the show, I picked up an almost finished quilt top because I knew it would be sweet as a Mercyful quilt. Then center was complete but smaller than I wanted so I added two borders.

Two borders made this just big enough.

Quilting this was a quick effort using a serpentine style straight stitch following the lines of the blocks.

Sweet pastel colors.
Super soft voile backing.

What makes this quilt for me is the backing. I have a few pieces of 60″ wide voile made by Frou Frou. It is so silky soft. It was a trick to make this work because the quilt is nearly 60″ wide. Using an excessive of pins when basting (to make sure it didn’t shift while quilting it) worked though. I used a sweet pink floral for the binding. It is ready to be sent off to Patty for Mercy Hospital.

Totally different feel with this project!

Before Julia went back to California in July, she asked me to make her another bag. She wanted the same pattern as the previous two I made for her. (When this girl finds something she likes, she sticks with it!) I have used this reversible bag tutorial at Very Purple Person. I believe this is the fourth bag I have made with this pattern. Julia shopped my fabrics and found this piece; a fantastic print designed by Ocllo Mason for QT Fabrics. I received it as a sample when I had my shop (I do miss those occasional freebies!). It looks like a galaxy and the colors are so rich.

The other side of the bag.

Julia helped me to center the pieces for the bag so she would have two distinct patterns, one for each side. She chose a pale white tone on tone fabric for the lining.

This girl loves simplicity so there is one medium size pocket inside with a velcro closure as well as a velcro closure for the main bag. Easy peasy. I just mailed off a few things to Julia the other day and this bag is included in the box.

Final project for this post! At the same quilt show I mentioned earlier, I also picked up a few books. This little pamphlet by Moda Fabrics was one of those. It contains super simple ideas for using up 2 1/2″ squares. I often cut my scraps this size and knew it would come in handy.

Bonus HST’s

I have several sets of those bonus HST’s from making flying geese blocks. If I can remember to just stitch them before trimming the corners, they are almost ready to go for use in a new project.

Set on point with a deep background.

OK – this project is only sort of pink. But the background (while it doesn’t photograph as such) is fuchsia and there is pink in some of the HST’s so I decided it still fits.

Hand quilting hearts on the solid squares.

The quilting is a lot of fun and nearly complete. The trick will be binding it and not catching any of the hearts in that process. I kind of wish I had added a small border to help with this but I didn’t have enough of the background fabric. I’ll just have to go slowly (not my forte!)

OK – those are the projects I have been working on – and two are even finished! Woot! Here is my closing picture of my girls. Little sister sure misses H during the day. Kindergarten is a full day program in their district and A is so excited when her big sister gets home!

In the ‘live’ version of this picture, A is running toward her big sister. It is adorable!

Hope everyone is looking toward a fun weekend. I know so many parts of the country are dealing with this horrible heat wave. Because it is super difficult to cool off in many parts of the US; I think staying inside and sewing is the only sensible solution. 🙂

Cozy Finish with Fleece

This quilt is a first for me. I have never backed a quilt with fleece. As I was making this little Halloween quilt, it seemed like a fun thing to try. I was hoping for a soft, cuddly quilt and wow – backing it with fleece did the trick. Early in the summer, I browsed an estate sale of a quilter. I restrained myself and bought only some Halloween fabric plus a few books. The fabric was from an older line designed by Debbie Mumm.

Using fleece made the quilt feel substantial enough that I decided not to put batting between the quilt top and the fleece. I had read of some issues with quilting fleece backed projects so I pinned the heck out of it before quilting. It was interesting – for some reason, the straight line quilting was more difficult than the free motion. (I tried both out.) I suspect this is because I still haven’t bought a walking foot for my new machine.

Isn’t this a fun quilt?

A few posts back, I shared the pumpkins I made with strips of fabric. Using a tutorial by Jayne over at Twiggy and Opal, I framed the pumpkins and then cut them so they would be a little bit wonky. I like the whimsical effect of having them slant to the right and left.

To make things a bit more interesting, I placed the panel off to the side so that the quilt isn’t symmetrical. When I quilted it, I did straight lines for most of the borders and then echoed around the tree and the cats on the panel. Very simple quilting was the ticket.

The binding was made with fabric I had on the shelf; machine stitched to the front and hand stitched to the back.

It isn’t feeling like fall outside just yet but while out walking, I have seen some leaves that are turning color already. It won’t be too long before autumn is here. We are spending Saturday afternoon with my son and his family. We haven’t seen them for a couple of weeks so we are looking forward to it.

My son and his wife took the girls on a long camping trip last week. They shared so many great pictures of their adventures. But this was my favorite. These two sisters have an awesome bond.

Hope you are finding ways to celebrate the end of summer! Kids are going back to school and fall is on the way. Enjoy!

Linking up with the Peacock Party as well as other favorites. Find the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

2022 Positivity Quilt Along Wrap Up

Just stopping in to thank all of you for such a successful quilt along. Mercyful Quilts now has another batch of fresh, gorgeous quilts on the way. I am always looking for ways to keep the shelf full for their Palliative Care department and all of you are a huge part of that.

Many thanks to Preeti (Sew Preeti Quilts) for heading this Positivity QAL up for the second year in a row. Preeti designs the quilt, writes up the instructions, keeps the timeline and answers many questions from quilters needing a little help here or there. Without her, this event wouldn’t happen. Thanks also to the quilters who graciously spend their time and money to make a quilt (or two!) for the program. I believe we have about 15 quilts this year as a result of the event. There may be one or two more that get finished up later and that is totally fine.

Due to the generosity of Art Gallery Fabric and Benartex Fabric, each quilter who finished a quilt and either linked up or sent me a picture of the final quilt will receive a gift. I know the prize, or gift, is not the reason we make these comfort quilts. But it is nice to be able to replenish your fabric after you have given up some of your stash to make a quilt for us. These gifts will go out in the mail later this week. If Preeti or I don’t have your address, we will contact you to get the mailing information.

As I write this post, I am thinking about how grateful I am to have your support for Mercyful Quilts. When I consider the time it takes to make a quilt, the expense of the fabric, batting, backing and binding, possible expense of a long arm quilter, and the cost of the postage – this is no small undertaking. Many people don’t understand how many hours and hours go into each quilt. Nor do they know the amount of money spent to make one lap size quilt. But I know and am so thankful. When I count my blessings, each of you are counted.

2022 Positivity Quilt – Final Link Up!

Who has finished their 2022 Positivity Quilt for Mercy Hospital in Sacramento? Visualize me with my hand up in the air and a huge smile on my face! Whether you are finished, or still working on it, know that Mercyful Quilts is so grateful to you for your time, creativity and generosity. These quilts give comfort to families as they say goodbye to a person very special to them. Anyone who has lost someone dear to them knows how difficult this is. For us to be able to provide some support to these people is a gift.

My 2022 Positivity Quilt

I am really happy with the quilt I made for this QAL. Before I left California, my friend Stephanie (who has donated 3 quilts to Mercy Hospital already) gave me a stack of fabric. In her honor, I used the bundle of Dreamcatcher fabric for this quilt. It wasn’t the absolute perfect choice because so much of the fabric was directional and made some of the blocks look a bit chopped up. But – the overall effect is good, so I am pleased. I mentioned before that this western themed fabric isn’t something I would typically choose. But this quilt isn’t for me, is it? The region that Mercy Hospital in Sacramento serves has plenty of people with horses and ranches so I am hoping this quilt calls to a family with this sort of vibe.

Pieced backing for the win.

I had some large pieces in the stack and was able to piece a backing with them. At least this way I could feature the directional prints in the right manner.

Loops and more loops

I quilted the body of the quilt with loops of all sizes. I wanted to practice one shape while I was quilting so I selected circles – quilting just circles over and over was great to develop that muscle memory. As usual, I quilted with Glide thread. It is super silky and works well for me.

Time for the binding

I like this little nook in front of my machine – it is just the right place to tuck the roll of binding while I am attaching it. I machine stitched to the front and hand stitched the back.

Now that this is finished, I have two Mercyful quilts ready to go. So – do you have yours ready too? If so, please link up and show us your finish!

If you can’t link up, please send me a picture so I can enter you in the prize drawing. Here is Lisa T’s quilt finish. Lisa’s quilt is a lovely rainbow of color!

Such pretty colors in this one – pieced and quilted by Wendy F.

The two quilts shown above were made by Danielle (@justanaveragequilter). The different background colors make such a difference in the overall look of the quilt!

Maybe I should share a prize or two donated by Art Gallery Fabric. They are always very generous sponsors and I am grateful. Surely you are already aware of the quality of AGF fabrics but if you haven’t given them a try, please do.

Each of these Art Gallery Fabric prizes give you three yards of fabric to work with! There are also bundles of fabric provided by Island Batik as well as

OK – Here is the link up! Show us what you made. (Or email me a picture! You can use the contact me button on this page.)

I am linking up with Oh Scrap! this week.

Checking In

I have been out of touch for a couple of weeks. Last we chatted, I was heading to stay with my grand girls for a long weekend while their parents took a quick break. We had so much fun. The girls were very easy to take care of even though the two year old was running a bit of a fever. She was still very happy to be with her grandpa, even if not feeling quite 100%. We got to celebrate Ray’s birthday while we were there.

Celebrating Grandpa’s birthday together

The girls had fun painting a cardboard box outside. There was no real plan other than to paint for the sake of painting.

Muffin tins make a great holder for the paint.

Once the box was done, H asked if we could make it into a rocket ship. She clearly had a very specific plan in mind. Ray and I talked to her for a bit to try and suss out her plan. She was able to explain just what she thought it would look like.

Working with Grandpa to make the rocket ship

It turned out so cute and the girls were pleased!

Rocket ship to the moon!

When H was in the box, she and Grandpa would count down to blast off and Grandpa would shake the box like crazy to make it feel like she was blasting off. It was so fun.

The day we were driving home I started to feel sick. By the time we got home (it is only a 75 minute drive) I felt horrible. Climbed into bed and there I stayed for three days. Then I just felt awful for another three or four days. I tested negative for Covid and it seems I had the flu. The day I started to feel better, Ray crawled into bed and repeated my entire experience. Ugh!! We lost a couple of weeks to this virus and it was not fun!

Once we got our energy back, we invited the girls to come for a weekend. We really wanted to spend some time with them before H starts school.

Playing at the local splash pad

We went to a local park that has a splash pad. Little sister was a bit leary of most of the fountains but she would occasionally stand near one and shriek. It was really funny. Mostly she watched and also stomped in the puddles.

This girl couldn’t get enough!

No fear with this one though. She has such an adventurous spirit!

Two kitties in a swing

There was a playground next to the splash pad. H was in this big webbed swing and really wanted her little sister to join her. A was not going anywhere near it. She kept saying it was scary. After many invitations, big sister said, “let’s be kitties” which is one of A’s favorite games. A few meows later and little sister was in the swing snuggling with H. I was almost getting choked up here. H kept patting her little sister’s back, saying ‘see, this isn’t scary, I am here with you’. They fight occasionally but this sort of thing makes up for the squabbles.

Making pizzas.

The last night we all made individual pizzas together. The girls love doing this. Yum.

Summer is winding down and H starts kindergarten in two weeks! Hard to believe she is going to be in school.

My friend from California arrives today for a quick visit. She is also a quilter and as luck would have it, today is the local quilt guild’s show. I am really excited to see Sophia, even if just for one night.

Scrappy pumpkins

With school starting for H and summer winding down, I have been thinking about fall. I made a few scrappy, strip-pieced pumpkins. I think I will incorporate them into a Halloween quilt.

Debbie Mum Halloween panel

I can’t remember if I shared this but I was at an estate sale some time ago and picked up this Halloween panel. I am thinking I will use the pumpkins to border one side. I am going to make blocks out of them that set the pumpkins on an angle so they have some character. More on that as I make progress.

Lastly! Sunday is the opening of the final link up for the 2022 Positivity QAL!! I have my quilt finished. If you do as well, please link up!! Remember that if you don’t have a way to link up, you can email me a photo and I will add it to the blog post. I want you to be eligible for the prize drawing!! The link up will be open all next week so you still have time to finish it up. See you soon!

2022 Positivity Link Up Winners

Good morning everyone! I wanted to pop in and let you know the names were drawn for the prizes for this link up. Mercyful Quilts is truly grateful for both the quilts being made as well as the sponsors who have donated gifts for these quilters! The next time you are looking for just the right pattern to make, please check the shops for our sponsors. You will surely find just what you are looking for!

Here we go:

Mari H – won a pdf pattern from Storied Quilts

Sylvia – won a pdf pattern from Twiggy & Opal

Katie – won a pdf pattern from Knit Bug

Wendy F – won a pdf pattern from Quilting Jetgirl

Amanda – won a pdf pattern from My Quilt Infatuation

Lisa F – won a pdf pattern from Sally Manke

Congrats to these quilters! I have emailed you so please check your in-box for the information. The next link up will be to show your finished quilts. This happens during the end of August.

The turnout for this year’s event is a bit less than last year. Who knows why? Maybe people are busier this summer. Maybe it is too darn hot across the whole country to be sewing. (I cannot believe how scorched much of the US is right now!!) At any rate, we are grateful for those who are participating. If you are working on your quilt and not making the time schedule, no problem. The need at Mercy Hospital is constant so we will happily receive your quilt donation at any time! If you feel overwhelmed and cannot finish the total number of blocks please make as many as you want to complete your quilt. While the pattern calls for 80 blocks, a generous quilt can be accomplished with less than that. Especially if you add a pretty border to enlarge it.

I hope you are sitting down as you read this because I have some news! Not only have I finished my quilt top for the 2022 Pos QAL, but I have pieced the backing. There is more! The binding is cut! The quilt is basted! I know, I know – this is shocking. I am almost positive I have never finished a QAL within the stated timespan. What is happening here??? Is my plan to focus on one project at a time actually working? I feel like I don’t even know myself anymore. Hahaha.

OK – Closing for now. I have the pleasure of staying with my grand daughters next week for a couple of days while their parents have a quick getaway. No sewing will be happening but lots of fun will be had!

Because blog posts are much more fun to read if they have pictures, here are some fun ones!

Feeling so cool with their shades on while waiting for their swim lesson.
What do you think? Is this girl not an Audrey Hepburn lookalike??
Big sister taking little sister (and Olaf) for a ride.

Quilt Show, Shopping and Lavender of All Kinds

Last Saturday was a busy day and so very much fun! Being new to the area, I wanted to go to a quilt show up in Sequim which is about 1 1/4 hours from my house. Luckily I met a woman who lives nearby and also wanted to go so we took a road trip together. The quilt show was outdoors in a park which made the whole Covid thing feel less of an issue. It could be tough to manage an outdoor show in this area due to all of the rain we have but everyone got lucky and we just had cool cloudy weather.

I especially loved the ruffly feathers on this rooster.

I took lots of pictures for ideas and inspiration. The show wasn’t juried but there was a vote for each category so Susan and I went off and chose our favorites. The people seemed so friendly, probably because everyone was thrilled to be back at an in-person show! It has been a long time.

This VW quilt was so cute.

The best part of this quilt was the little pictures of people (and a cat!) driving the cars. I was really tickled by this. The license plates showed names, I suppose of the person driving the cars. It was so creative.

Two laser cut quilt kits.

My friend and I browsed the guild’s boutique area so we could be sure to show out support. 😉 We both bought these two kits. The pieces for the Native Rays kit and the Hollow Hexi kit both are cut with an older Alison Glass line of fabric. I think the arrow quilt will be fun to do and hang in my sewing room. The hexi kit will be made a bit larger with borders and then (eventually) donated as a Mercyful quilt. I haven’t made anything like this before but I am up for something different. Plus they were a steal. I found the Hollow Hexi kit on-line for $120. Both were sold for one dollar each. I don’t know why they were priced so low?

Super pretty postcards!

When I saw this book of postcards, I was first drawn to the label because it is from the Shelburne Museum. This museum was very close to my son’s house when they lived in Vermont and I have been there a couple of times. I thumbed through the postcards and they are lovely so I am going to have fun mailing them out. Again, one dollar well spent! Finally, there was a rack of quilt tops that were for sale. I chose a pink one and planning to enlarge it with a couple of borders and then donate it. I actually also worked on this already and it is ready to be quilted! I’ll share photos later on.

A Stitch In Time

Across the way from the park was the local quilt shop, A Stitch in Time. I restrained myself from buying but did do some wandering through the shop, perusing their fabrics. It is a great shop with a big selection. Will I ever tire of just looking at fabric? No, no I won’t! Fabric shops exude potential, inspiration, and creativity. I am always itching to go home and sew when I am in a nice shop.

A lavender farm in Sequim.

I had no idea this area was well know for its lavender production. We happened to be there during their annual Lavender Festival. People drive from farm to farm enjoying the gorgeous fields of lavender. We stopped at this farm and walked a bit. It was exquisite. The fragrance was incredible with all of the different varieties in bloom.

Bees everywhere doing their work.

The house we just bought has quite a few lavender plants and I am enjoying cutting bunches of it for the house.

In sewing related projects, I have been continuing the effort to sew with what is on the fabric shelves. Check out the picture above – I have unpacked everything!! Each piece of fabric I have is now on a shelf. I am thrilled. It feels good to have it out and available. I have quite a number of unfinished projects to work on. They are all organized and I am enjoying working through them.

A sweet cloth book for my girls

Both grand daughters are old enough for regular books. But I have several of these panels left over and the story is such a sweet one. So I made up a copy for them and gave it to them last time they were over. I made up two more for gifting in the future. It would be a nice book to read with little ones during the Thanksgiving holiday season. (If you are interested in buying one, I have five panels left. Leave me a comment and we can work it out.)

Reading the new book together.

Today is the last day to link up your quilt top for the 2022 Positivity QAL. If you want to link up, click here. Prizes will be distributed over the weekend at some point. Otherwise, we will be back in a month with a parade of finished quilts to share!

2022 Positivity QAL – 2nd Link Up

We have reached the middle of July which means it is time to link up your quilt tops for the 2022 Positivity QAL! I can’t quite explain how we are already to this point. It sure doesn’t feel like that much time has passed. This is a fun link up and there will be a drawing for prizes at the end of this week!!

I have to be honest with you. I only have 26 blocks completed. This is not enough for a quilt top so I cannot share one today. I could make up all sorts of reasons for this. Instead I will just blame it on Julia. She was home for a month for summer break and we got to spend lots of time together.

Enjoying an iced Chai near the harbor.
Having lunch in Port Townsend
Taking silly pictures with Beau, the dog she cared for while his humans were away.

The time passed and a few days ago Julia returned to California and her college life. This means more time for sewing. I will keep working on the blocks for this cute southwestern themed quilt. The pieces are cut so I need to keep plugging away at it. You know, watching how quickly others are getting their blocks and quilt tops done, I have decided I must be a very slow quilter. These are easy blocks but it seems like at each sitting I only get four or five completed. (There were also a couple of times I had to rip out the blocks because I was distracted by an audio book or podcast and got sloppy.) Whatever the reason, I am not one who can whip out a quilt top. Slow and steady wins the race…

Please do link up your progress – I am excited to see what you have made!! By chance if you are participating and do not have a blog post to link, you are welcome to send me a picture of the quilt top and I will add it to this post. You will be included in the drawing for prizes at the end of the week.

Updating this post to add photos of quilt tops sent to me today. 🙂

This beauty is a scrappy version made by Wendy F.
Love the bright colors on scrappy gray backgrounds made by Amanda R.
Another beauty. Lisa T made this and I love how she alternated the direction of her blocks. This creates lots of movement in her flimsy.

Also – an update on the previous post which included a giveaway of the My Sewing Workshop book. The winner has been selected and it is Kathy U!! Congrats to Kathy.