Category Archives: Quilting Skills

Modern Plus Quilts Blog Hop

The release of Modern Plus Sign Quilts, written by Paige Alexander and Cheryl Brickey is being celebrated with a blog hop this week and next. I am so happy to take part in celebrating this book.  I have long been a fan of plus quilts and made one a while back.  I called it Positively Floating and you can see it here. Adding a book devoted to modern interpretations of plus quilts is the perfect thing for my collection of quilting books.

There are a couple of things I really appreciate about this book. One is the ease of most of the patterns Paige and Cheryl designed.  I am not usually one for fussy quilts with tons of pieces to cut and points to match up.  While there are some advanced, challenging patterns in the book, there are also lots of options for simpler designs. Also, there is a nice write up on the history of plus quilts which I really enjoyed.  Finally, with many of the patterns, the authors included an illustration of a suggested layout for cutting the pieces such that you get the most out of the fabric needed. This is really helpful for me as I just don’t have a strong ability to see spatial relationships and often (more often than you’d think) will cut my pieces and find I don’t have quite enough fabric.  This is because I don’t always choose the most efficient cutting plan.  Part of me attributes this to the fact that for years I sewed clothing, not quilts.  Clothing patterns always show the best way to lay out the pieces on the fabric – so I never had to figure this out for myself.  Anyway, I think this was a great addition to the quilt book and you don’t see it in many books that are published.

Let’s move on to the quilt I made.  This is the pattern called Postage Plus.  It is based on a postage stamp quilt (basically small patchwork) used to build the plus.  The oversized plus is set into a bold pattern of stripes.  This gives a very modern result.  The book shows a quilt with a gray and white background which is looked really clean.  When I chose to make this pattern, it was so I could use up an older Moda jelly roll that I purchased from a destash last year over at Academic Quilter.  Using strip piecing with a jelly roll made this quilt a very simple project to assemble.

The quilt came together so quickly.  I love using the stripes to bring out the brown and green shades in the patchwork. The colors make me think of ice cream for some reason.  Lime sherbet or coffee ice cream, which would you choose?  I would go for coffee ice cream every time!

You might notice I am sharing a quilt top, not a finished quilt.  If you are a fan of Instagram, you probably saw the posts where I was unhappily removing a large amount of long arm quilting gone bad.  Ugh!  I took this quilt top and loaded it on a long arm at my friend’s house.  For whatever reason, I couldn’t use her machine and obtain a good result.  It just looked horrid. I am far from a perfectionist and will often leave issues such as wobbles, mistakes, or points that don’t quite work out in the quilt. (Maybe I am too lazy to fix things like this). But this was bad.  Even the lazy quilter in me couldn’t just ignore it.  So I stopped, after quilting about 25% of the top, removed it from the frame, took it home and unpicked it.  Really, it wasn’t too awful a task and I am happy I fixed this.

I am eager to load it on the machine at the same shop where I have been renting time.  I have an appointment on Friday of this week and will be able to quilt this up then.  Off topic here, but take a look at the blue skies we enjoyed yesterday.  It was a gorgeous day and I am lucky to have taken photos then.  Today it is fierce, pouring rain – not a day to be outside.  Sure changed dramatically over night!

In closing, I strongly recommend Modern Plus Quilts.  The book is top notch with creative patterns of varied complexity , nice tips and clear information – a book well done.  The blog hop goes on all of this week and through next week.  Paige and Cheryl are offering giveaways each day so be sure to hop over there and enter the giveaways.  Lots of fun happening in blogland these days!

Below is the schedule for the hop
Monday, March 12
     Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs
     Paige @Quilted Blooms
Tuesday, March 13
     Signature Plus
          Soma @Whims and Fancies
          Ann @Brown Paws Quilting
          Kitty @Night Quilter
     Tribal Plus
          Sophie @Luna Lovequilts
          Afton @Quilt Mod
          Shelley @The Carpenter’s Daughter Who Quilts
Wednesday, March 14th
     Plus Surround
          Jayne @Twiggy and Opal
          Jen @A Dream and A Stitch
          Abigail @Cut&Alter
     Kaleidoscope Plus
          Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
          Sandra @mmm!quilts
          Karen @Run Sew Fun
Thursday, March 15th
     Postage Plus
         Linda @Flourishing Palms
         Bernie @Needle and Foot
         Liz @Savor Every Stitch
         Stacey @Stacey in Stitches
     Rick Rack Runner
         Michelle @From Bolts to Beauty
         Patty @Elm Street Quilts
         Melanie @A Bit of Scrap Stuff
Friday, March 16th
     Row Addition
          Myra @Busty Hands Quilts
          Izzy @Dizzy Quilts
     Transparency Chains
          Christa @Christa Quilts
Monday, March 19th
     Faceted Rings
          Jessica @Quilty Habit
          Cindy @Hyacinth Quilt Designs
          Jennifer @Inquiring Quilter
     Petal Plus
          Julie @The Crafty Quilter
Tuesday, March 20th
     Message in a Bottle
          Tish @TishNWonderland
          Judy @Sew Some Sunshine
          Emily @The Darling Dogwood
     Cute as a Button
         Wanda @Wanda’s Life Sampler
          Karen @Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
          Katherine @Sew Me Something Good
Wednesday, March 21st
          Anja @Anja Quilts
          Kate @Smiles From Kate
          Sue @Sevenoaks Street Quilts
     Pinwheel Plus
          Carole @From My Carolina Home
          Alison @Little Bunny Quilts
Thursday, March 22nd
          Debbie @Esch House Quilts
          Laura @Slice of Pi Quilts
          Beth @Cooking Up Quilts
     Bear Claw Plus
          Janice @Color Creating and Quilting
          Joanne @Quilts by Joanne
Friday, March 23rd
     Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs
     Paige @Quilted Blooms

Linking to my favorites. Find them at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase by clicking on them, I will receive a small payment. This does not change the purchase price to you in any fashion.

Long Arm Practice

A few weeks ago, I was visiting with friends in the office I retired from. One of the women follows my blog and Facebook page. She told me she had a quilt top she had made in the mid-1990’s. It was intended for her daughter (now in her early 30’s). Robin thought it would be fun to finish it up and asked if I would quilt it for her. I am the first to say I am not highly skilled with quilting. This quilt top was for a twin size bed which is bigger than I am able to quilt at home. After making sure she knew my skill level, I agreed to finish it up for her.

She brought me the quilt top the following week. As she said, it is definitely 90’s colors (mauve, pink and green) but she was hoping I would have a fabric in the shop that might work for the backing. I sent her several photos to choose from. She made a great choice with the Dash print from Carrie Bloomston’s Dreamer line. I love this print. It is very similar to Moda’s Grunge fabrics with the addition of a small scale print on it. The background is pink with smudges of lavender. The modern back is perfect for slightly updating the 1990’s quilt top.

I took it to the long arm shop where I am able to rent time. To me, this is such a great opportunity. I don’t have space for a long arm and don’t relish the idea of maintaining one either. Being able to rent one is the perfect compromise for me.

The gal that works there helped me load it on the frame. For the first time though, I didn’t really need a whole lot of help. (She was probably glad to see this!). The quilt top has been sitting for many years and was a bit distorted. Before I took it to the shop, I did clip threads from the back, iron it well and starched it. Even with all of the prep, it was a trick to get it to lay flat.

Because of this, I figured I should quilt it loosely and let it be a bit puffy. I think it would have been difficult to quilt it tightly without having lots of puckers.

It took little time to quilt. I used large loops and an occasional loose flower and just quilted edge to edge. I am pleased with how it looks. In previous projects on the long arm, I found it a challenge to quilt circles, they would look oblong and sometimes almost rectangular. These look like circles! I am making progress.

Never having quilted for someone else before, it feels a bit strange to just stop at this point and return it to her. When I trimmed the edges there was quite a bit of the backing fabric left over. I asked if she would like to use it as binding and she agreed. So, I cut the binding strips and sewed them together. The rest is up to Robin. She will bind it and wash it.

It was fun to use the long arm again. I think it has been since about October since I quilted there, so quite a few months. I do have a quilt top nearly finished though which means I will be back there next week. This was a win-win for Robin and I both; her long time UFO is nearly finished and I got more practice time on the machine. She did purchase the supplies and pay for my fees to use the long arm. Even though it still needs the binding, I am calling this a finish (at least for my portion of the project.). Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF and a few others. Check the top of the page under Link Ups for lots of fun places to link to.

Free Spirit — Big Changes Ahead

Like many of you, I was taken aback by the news that Free Spirit is closing it’s doors.  Wow!  How can that be?  The artists designing for Free Spirit are an amazing group; including but certainly not limited, to Tula Pink, Anna Marian Horner, Joel Dewberry, Denyse Schmidt, Amy Butler, Heather Bailey and Kaffe Fassett.  It is hard to get my head around this as the news seems so sudden.

For those of you who haven’t already read this, here is the note published on the Free Spirit website:

We are certain you have heard the news. Please forgive us for delayed communication, but our first priority has been to support our employees and designers. It is with great sadness that we announce, effective May 1, we are exiting the Westminster Lifestyle/FreeSpirit fabric business. Our sister company, Coats and Clark, Inc. will continue as part of the sewing and quilting landscape just as they have always been for over 200 years.

We appreciate your support and love of our fabrics throughout the years. We’ve enjoyed bringing to you the best designers printed on the most luxurious of fabrics and watching you create incredible works. Thank you for your love of our fabrics.

For customers: We will continue to fulfill orders placed to date for delivery prior to Tuesday, May 1, with new orders for existing collections on a first come first service basis. We will not be producing new Westminster or FreeSpirit Fabrics from today onward.

I can only guess why something like this is happening.  For Coats & Clark to close this division, it must make sense for their bottom line.  Hard to imagine a company isn’t profitable with such an AMAZING team of fabric gurus designing for it, but it must be the case.  I have been reading with interest the responses from some of the designers.

There is a video on Tula Pinks Facebook page where she talks about her feelings.

The note on Kaffe Fasset’s Facebook page is shown below:

Dear Friends,
By now you have heard the news that the fabric company that we started over 20 years ago will be no longer in business by May. Coats has made the decision to stop producing the Kaffe Collective line, the Artisan line and the fabric lines of many of our good friends.

We have been caught completely by surprise and have not yet gathered our thoughts on how we will move forward, but rest assured, we will! Our fabrics and books are popular and in demand and there is no doubt that we will have a bright future.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement.

Kaffe, Brandon, Liza and Philip

So many people’s lives are in a tizzy, I am sure.  I don’t know how many people are employed by Free Spirit but surely this will take a toll on a good number of families.  I hope they are able to land their next position relatively soon and that Free Spirit treats them well as they close their doors.

I look forward to hearing about the next path taken by each of these amazing designers. Surely the larger fabric companies are looking to pick up some of them.  I have long wanted to carry Denyse Schmidt, Anna Maria Horner and Tula Pink in my shop but had not yet created a purchasing relationship with Free Spirit.  I could see Andover picking up any one of these three and if so, I will be eager to start purchasing their lines.

Wishing only the best to all those impacted by this change. Change can be difficult but hopefully this one will lead to new opportunities for those involved.


Looking Ahead to 2018

When I sat down to write this post and thought about all that happened in 2017 I realized what a crazy, wonderful year it was.  Our family had many big events – the marriage of one son, birth of our first grandchild, my husband changed jobs to a new company and new position, Julia raised two pigs for the first time, and most recently, my youngest son became engaged to his girlfriend.  We traveled more than usual with two trips to Vermont and one to Toronto. The year was filled with so much joy and it buzzed by so very quickly.

Looking back at what was accomplished in the sewing room was also interesting. I made nine quilts, two shirts, a number of projects for my grand daughter, as well as numerous small projects like tote bags, mini quilts and zip pouches.  Additionally, I made about 50 chemex cozies for my Etsy shop.  I am happy with what I got done, especially in light of all that was going on in our family.

My biggest accomplishment has to be the expansion of my shop to include quilting cottons.  I began this process at the first of the year. It has been a tremendous learning experience and a rewarding one at that.  Figuring out how much to buy, how to market it, when to promote and when not – all of this has been a wonderful process.  I am grateful for all of you who have shopped with me, supporting my shop. Thank you so much!

In addition to my fabric shop, I opened a second Etsy shop where I carry sewing patterns.  This has been a great project but quite time-consuming. It is satisfying to have over 400 patterns listed, with another 150 or so that still need to be listed. The shop opened in June and I have had 145 sales thus far.

Now to look forward.  In the new year I will focus on five goals:

  1. Continue to grow both of my shops.  Adding new fabrics and holding occasional promotions is something I am looking forward to.  I also will be working with a group of quilt bloggers and creating blogger bundles each month.  Stay tuned for more on that, beginning in January!
  2. Work on my free motion and long arm quilting skills.  I have an opportunity to work with a gal that lives quite close to me who has a long arm.  She is interested in trading me time on her long arm for fabric from my shop.  This will enable to me have access to a machine close by, rather than driving to the shop where I rent time. (That shop is 45 miles from my home.
  3. I have three quilts in process right now.  I would like to really focus on these and finish them up.  I love each of them. My Twisted quilt top is about 50% complete. I have a scrappy HST project that I made as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2016 and it sat in the closet all year, lonely and wanting to be finished. Finally, I have my Ring Me quilt.  This is going to be such a cool quilt.  I started it when I took part in a blog hop to celebrate No Scrap Left Behind, Amanda Jean Nyberg’s latest book last spring.  Originally I was going to make it lap size but the more I look at it, the more I like it.  So, I have decided to make it a queen size and it will be used in the guest room.
  4. Not really quilting or sewing related, but I want to set a goal to send birthday cards to my family and friends.  Seems like a small thing but I love receiving a note from someone in the mail and it is becoming a lost art.  I have a huge family but I am putting everyone on the calendar and cards will be sent!
  5. Finally, and most importantly, I need to work on acceptance of the limitations I experience due to my health.  For years now, I have had this drive to be super productive as a blogger and quilter (and also as a wife and mom). But my situation makes it really difficult to have a consistent level of productivity. It has been especially apparent over the past six months or so with my unhealthy days far outnumbering my healthy days.  This is really frustrating for me. So, the goal for 2018 is acceptance. Not that I won’t do what I can to stay healthy, of course i will.  But on the days I am down with a migraine and unable to be out and about, on the computer or at my sewing machine, I need to be OK with it. Blog posts are fun to write and I really enjoy the on-line quilting/crafting community but there will be weeks with less interaction. Such is life.  I am blessed in so many ways and on the down days, I need to remember this.

OK – Five goals.  I am absolutely confident I can achieve the first four.  It is the fifth that I will struggle with. I am up for the challenge though!  What are you planning for 2018?  If you are a goal setter, be sure to link up your post with the 2018 Planning Party hosted by Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl. You can link up until end of day on December 31st.

In closing I need to let you know I am having a huge End of Year Celebration over at my shop!!! All fabric, including the newest additions, is on sale. Hop over and take a look.

Sam’s Quilt

The sports jersey quilt is finished!  This is the second t-shirt quilt I have made, the first one being for my niece, Lil (Sam’s cousin.) The jersey quilt was a good learning experience, but what quilt isn’t? There is always something new to try or a skill to further practice.

The biggest challenge was definitely piecing those slick, polyester pieces of the jerseys.  Second to that would be working with the rubbery decals used for his number and the logos.  They were much thicker than one would think.  Other than those two issues, this was a breeze to make. You can read progress posts about putting it together here and here.

To quilt this rather heavy project, I rented time at the long arm shop.  It would have been difficult to feed it through the throat of my home machine because the decals are thick and stiff, making the quilt unwieldy. Once I had it loaded on the machine I quilted it with lots of interlocking squares.  It looks like a nice, masculine motif and works great with the blocky pattern of the quilt.

Sam’s football number was 50, just like his father’s was when he played.

I tried to avoid quilting through the rubbery decals and numbers.  Instead I went around and inbetween them wherever I could. It was really difficult to keep the quilt flat while quilting it. I cannot tell you why, the heft of it or maybe the slick jerseys? If I were quilting it at home, I would have guessed I didn’t baste it well enough. But when we loaded it on the long arm (the gal at the shop kindly helped me) it seemed very straight and flat.  At any rate, it is not tightly quilted. The quilt has a puffiness to it.  It doesn’t bother me though.  I plan to wash it today before I mail it off and it is likely to crinkle up a bit when the batting and cotton fabrics shrink up a little.


Remember I pieced the backing so I could use up a few more jerseys?  This is the first time I loaded a backing that really had to be straight on the long arm to line up well with the front.  It was mostly a success – the logos are straight but they aren’t centered across the back.  Side note, it has been quite rainy this week which is wonderful. I kept waiting for a clearing in the weather so I could take some photos.  Finally, Julia said we better just to take pictures Mom.  So off we went in the rain.  I put a beach towel under the quilt and she held it over the railing.  Such a dedicated quilt holder!!  You can see the towel shows under that edge on the left. 😉  Ok, back on topic – I love the way the back looks and it shows the quilting pattern off a bit.  I keep looking at the larger spaces near the decals and wonder if I should add some quilting there?  Do you have any input?  Are those unquilted spaces too large?

The binding is an older stripe with 1 1/2″ widths red and gray.  At first I was hesitant to use it because the red wasn’t exactly the shade I wanted but there are so many different reds in this quilt between jersey colors and the sashing I used that it worked well in the end. The bold, chunky look of the stripe fits with the blocky pattern of the quilt just fine.

So this one is finished and will be sent off to Sam early next week.  The long arm practice continues.  It is tons of fun but has a definite learning curve to it.  My skills are improving but I need so much more practice.  It motivates me to finish up some of my projects so I can go back and practice some more!

Now sewing time for me over the next couple of days. This weekend my sister and I are working the Pioneer Quilt Guild’s show in Roseville.  If you are local and planning to attend, please come say hello!  I am excited to see the quilts hanging and meet members of the Pioneer guild!

Sewcial Bee Sampler Quilt Finish

I am so happy with the finish of my Sewcial Bee Sampler quilt.  I loved making the blocks along with the billions of other quilters that followed along with this QAL hosted earlier this year by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. I posted progress shots along the way as I made the blocks, but just in case you didn’t know, the QAL included 25 blocks but I stopped after making 20.  This quilt is a comfortable size for a lap quilt and I felt like if I went for the full twenty-five blocks, this would just be set aside and not finished.  The colors of the quilt are so pretty and I was anxious to finish it and use it.

After sashing the blocks and rows with Mesh Joy, a gorgeous low volume print from Sharon’s Gossamer line, I took the quilt over to the long arm shop where I rent a machine.  For the backing, I used a piece of soft vintage gingham that I purchased at a thrift store over the summer. The light brown color is lovely and works well with the quilt top.

When I picked the binding, I was trying to choose between two fabrics, Terra Firma in deep yellow and Twinklestar Berry  from the Garden Dreamer line by Maureen Cracknell.  I couldn’t make up my mind so I asked Julia to choose between  them and she immediately went to the Twinklestar fabric.  It works well with the front and back.

I took it to the long arm shop a few weeks back and quilted it with a loose meander pattern. Because each block is different and the quilt is fairly busy, it made sense to keep the quilting simple.  More importantly, I wanted to use this quilting time to practice my control on the long arm and by using such a basic quilt motif, I could focus on the speed and evenness of the stitches on the long arm.  It was really helpful to practice like that.  It amazed me how little time it took to quilt it!

I really like the loft the quilt has with the loose quilting.  This quilt is so cozy.

The rich colors – cheddar yellow, the deep blues and the raspberry colors are my favorites.  This was such a fun quilt to make.  I know there are a lot of QAL’s popping up for the new year.  I think I will look through them and choose one. I have two more quilts in process and I hope I can finish those up before starting another one.  Tomorrow I plan to take my nephew’s jersey quilt to the long arm shop and quilt it.  Hurray for finishing up some projects!!

Have a wonderful weekend all!  Linking to some of my favorites. Please feel free to check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Hazy, Smoke Filled Days

Most likely you have heard or read about the horrific fires ongoing in California right now.  It is hard to put into words how awful this siege of fires has been, still is really….

The Napa/Santa Rosa fires are the most tragic, at least in terms of homes lost. All of these fires began Sunday night as the northern regions in California experienced a sudden burst of high winds.  The horrific loss of homes in Santa Rosa is disastrous.  These photos have been floating around the internet so you may have already seen them.

One of the Santa Rosa neighborhoods after the fire.

Another photo of Santa Rosa.

When my family went to bed Sunday night the wind was just crazy and we woke up Monday morning to calls that school had been cancelled. There were large numbers of people being evacuated from their homes and several huge fires were raging. I am very fortunate to live about 6 miles from the closest fire so our home was safe.  But many were not so fortunate. Now, two days later, some of the evacuations have been lifted.  We have not lost nearly as many homes as the heavily populated Santa Rosa area, but at this point, more than 200 structures in the three largest fires nearby have burned. Yesterday was windy again, making battling the fires much more difficult.

Fire retardant being dropped on the Lobo fire in Grass Valley, CA

As I write this, the most recent update is that the fires in my area are roughly 35% contained. This means they are making progress and, at the least, the fires aren’t spreading further. They opened school for all of the local schools but there are still several areas without power though. The air quality, as you’d imagine, is horrible.

Smokey haze in my front yard this morning.

At this point, there is no containment yet reported with the Santa Rosa fires. Hopefully the winds will remain calm today, making for a better firefighting situation. Unfortunately, there is no rain in the forecast this week.

Like I said, there aren’t words adequate to describe all of this. I am filled with gratitude for the fire fighters, first responders, and fire fighting teams from other parts of the state, as they work to put out these tragic fires. Throughout the day, I can hear the helicopters and planes that carry water and retardant to release over the fires. It is really eerie. The community has come together and supported each other. The fairgrounds opened up to take any livestock that needed to be evacuated. While my family was lucky this time and not affected by any of these fires, it is a vivid reminder that it could happen on any day to any one of us.  Living in this gorgeous tree filled and very dry region, fire is always a possibility.

Staying inside today because of the smokey air and will finish up a little project I started while Julia and I were home together this week. Hope to share this with you tomorrow.

Making Connections; Quilting Book Review & Bloghop

About two weeks ago, I was contacted by C&T Publishing asking if I would provide a review of one of their newest quilting books. Always up for learning something new or reading pretty much anything about quilting, I was happy to help.

The author, Dorie Hruska, is a long arm quilter, mom, and blogger.  She has her website,  Forever Quilting, set up as both her blog and her professional site for her long arm business. I really enjoyed looking at her gallery to see the work she has done for others. Her quilting style is lovely with many intricate patterns.

The book, Making Connections, is all about free motion and long arm quilting. The goalof the book is to help the quilter choose a motif or pattern for the quilt and then to set a travel path up for moving around the quilt in the most efficient manner, with the least amount of starts and stops possible.  This is really appealing to me. Like many of you, I struggle with how  to quilt something once that quilt top is done.

Reading this book through, I noticed two things that I really liked.  It is written as a workbook with very clear illustrations and directions. The practice builds in complexity as the reader learns the steps.  Also, there are lots of grids printed in the book to draw on.  The grids are bigger than graph paper but not quite big enough. When I practiced, I copied the page and enlarged it on our printer.  Finally, the book is printed in landscape orientation, not portrait. This makes it much easier to use as you don’t have the binding on the left side making it awkward to draw.

I took away a few really helpful ideas from Dorie’s book:

  1. Doodle the design before quilting.  I know this, we all know this, but it helps so much! There is such muscle memory in free motion quilting and by drawing it several times over, that routine settles into our brain before we begin quilting.
  2. While doodling the design and then while quilting, think, or say, the pattern you are moving in to keep you on track.  For example, Up, Down, Over, Up, Down, Over – or whatever works.  When Dorie maps out a path in the book, she sets this up for the quilter. As a beginner quilter at best, this was pretty helpful.  Seems so simple, but that little mantra was kinda cool. 🙂
  3. Don’t try to quilt the whole design in one pass.  Dorie layers the design so you might do one pass, the come back and add a layer to add another detail.  I get this and think, eventually, it will be helpful to me.  I am not quite there yet.  Some of the designs she illustrates for the reader are quite complex. She does use different colors so you know which pass you are working on each time. Also, she numbers the path so you can see what direction she is taking you in. This is quite helpful.

Note the complexity of the design, stitched in several passes.

The method used in this book is based on grids.  The perfect example is basic patchwork, or nine patch blocks, where there is an obvious grid.  The more experienced quilter would be able to apply it to more complicated blocks.

I didn’t have a quilt top on hand that would work for this so I didn’t actually quilt anything.  I did do some drawing to get that path ingrained into my brain though.  After drawing a bit, I made a quilt sandwich with some scraps of fabric and batting.  I drew a 3″ grid on it to practice.  Once I got going, my sewing machine gave me fits.   So, I had to quit and I took the machine in for service.  I have been putting it off and now it was sending me very clear messages that it wasn’t going to perform well! But ugly as the stitching was, the idea worked – I knew how to move along the design without getting stuck in a corner somewhere.  This methodology requires planning though.  It isn’t one where you move freely around on the quilt top, filling in sections as you go along.

If I were asked, I would tell the readers this is probably a book for an intermediate quilter. I think I could follow it for the basic design and travel flow but I don’t think, as a beginner, I could layer the designs and achieve a nice result.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and think it is a valuable resource for my library.  As I continue to practice, this will be very helpful.  Dorie and C& T Publishing have generously provided a book for me to giveaway to a lucky reader.  If the winner lives in the US, a hard copy will be sent.  For winners outside of the US, an Ebook will be provided. For those of you that want to go ahead and purchase the book, it is available through C&T Pubs or directly from Dorie’s website (she will send an autographed copy!)

To enter to win, please leave a comment on this post.  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you are welcome to leave a 2nd comment for another entry.  Sign up for my newsletter (which is sent out every month) for another entry.  (Sign up form is at the top of the page on the right side.)  That is three possible chances to win!!


For even more chances, please visit the other bloggers involved in this hop.  Lots of gorgeous quilting has been done to display all this book offers. Go check it out!  Here is the schedule:


Friday September 1st

C&T Publishing Blog@ctpublishing on Instagram

Monday September 4th

Holly Anne Knight Blog@stringandstory on Instagram

Susan Arnold Blog@quiltfabrication on Instagram

Tuesday September 5th

Becca Fenstermaker Blog@prettypiney on Instagram

Teri Lucas Blog@genqmag on Instagram

Wednesday September 6th

Sherry Shish Blog@poweredbyquilting on Instagram

Pam Morgan Blog@sweetlittlestitches on Instagram

Thursday September 7th

Katy S Blog@katyquilts on Instagram

Laura Piland Blog@sliceofpiquilts on Instagram

Friday September 8th

Suzy Webster Blog@websterquilt on Instagram

Bernie Kringel Blog@needleandfoot on Instagram  — You’re here!!!

Monday September 11th

Jamie Mueller Blog@sunflower_quilt on Instagram

Nancy Scott Blog@masterpiecequilting on Instagram

Tuesday September 12th

Sherri Noel Blog@rebeccamaedesigns on Instagram

Anorina Morris Blog@sameliasmum on Instagram

Wednesday September 13th

Yvonne Fuchs Blog@quiltingjetgirl on Instagram

Barbie Mills Blog@thequiltingmill on Instagram

Thursday September 14th

Afton Warrick Blog@quiltingmod on Instagram

Kathy Bruckman Blog@kathyskwiltsandmore on Instagram

Friday September 15th

Susan Arnold Blog@quiltfabrication on Instagram

Dorie Hruska Blog@foreverquilting on Instagram

County Fair and Quilt Show Prep

I just returned from spending a couple of days up in Downieville.  We had the flooring replaced in the kitchen. Even though the kitchen is very small, this was a two day job for the installer.  The house is very old and not at all square or level.  It was a bit of a trick for him to create a relatively level surface on which to lay the flooring.

Before and after, bye bye green and gold!

We did things in reverse order with this room. We haven’t painted or updated the cabinets yet and Ray plans to put up some bead board in the little eating area but the two tone gold and green floors were awful so we had the new vinyl installed and we will just have to tarp it when the other projects are done. It will be a while before we tackle them and we were tired of looking at that flooring. I am happy to check this off the list as we make progress on this little house of ours.

As you know, Julia is raising pigs to show and auction at the county fair.  She will be there each day and it will be time consuming for her.  Since she isn’t yet driving, I will also be there quite a bit.  I decided to volunteer some time at the quilt exhibit and also to…. Yikes! ….. enter a few quilts. I have never done this. It just creates this vulnerable feeling to have someone judge my work. But I am going to do this. Here are the three projects I chose to enter and why I chose them.

Positively Floating; September 2016

I finished this quilt last fall. I love the design of it and the quilting.  This was the second time I quilted on a long arm and looking at it makes me want to do that again.  It was a lot of fun and so different from quilting with my home machine.

It needs a sleeve and label to be ready for the show.

I will also enter my THREAD quilt.

I made this quilt when I was writing the tutorial for relief quilting. I love this little quilt.

The relief quilting was great and the improv border was so much fun to create. I think the little spools of thread add whimsy to the piece. Luckily I have a sleeve on this quilt but it needs to be labeled.

Finally I chose to enter the Sweet Tweets baby quilt.

This is a bright, colorful piece will hopefully catch the eye of visitors to the show. I am happy with the quilting I did on it. It still needs a sleeve and label.


Hopefully the visitors coming through the exhibit will like it as well!

For the next couple of days I will be in prep mode. I am vending at a quilt show for the Truckee Meadows Quilt Guild.  It will be held in Reno, Nevada this weekend. It is about two hours from home but luckily my in-laws have a second home in Reno and they are graciously letting me stay there in the evenings. It would be too much to drive back and forth each night. I need to cut more fat quarter bundles and get a few other things ready so I doubt I will get any sewing done this week. If you are in the area, please come to the show and find my booth. I would love to say hi.  🙂  I will keep you posted on the show via Instagram and Facebook. I hope you will follow along with this this weekend!

Today is my husband’s birthday so I need to be baking a cake and he requested enchiladas for  his birthday dinner.  I am going to get the cake in the oven now before it gets too hot.  Have a nice day and keep cool with this crazy heat!