Thursday, November 30, 2017

Quiltville Mystery Starts

Hello everyone,

Sorry to have been missing for so long. I've had ongoing back problems since 2007 and spent this year to date going downhill. After having four different procedures every other week for the last two months I've decided it's not going to get any better than this. So I'm not going to wait to feel better any more. I am using the Quiltville Mystery, "On Ringo Lake,"  to get back in the game.
En Provence

I did make the 2016 En Provence mystery and showed the quilt at my guild show in October.  It was fun to see it hanging. When you are making a quilt you have pieces in front of you and you don't get the full effect. Nor does it look the same when it is spread out on a bed. 

This year's mystery, On Ringo Lake, started the day after Thanksgiving with the first step. We had received guidance on color and yardage before Thanksgiving. To make it easier to choose fabric, Bonnie shares paint chips to use as a guide.

(All posts relating to the mystery quilt are linked from here:

These are the colors that Bonnie suggested, pulled from the wonderful photo she took of Ringo Lake. I am working from my stash of reproduction fat quarters and half yards. My husband, who passed away last year, gave me fabric as a monthly anniversary gift for the 16 years we were married. So I had a lot of fat quarters that worked well last year. The only issue this year is I have plenty of neutrals and chocolate brown, but no teal or coral. So I decided to do my own color palette based on a package of fat quarters that I just received, called Jamestown from Windham Fabrics.

I am using purple for teal, yellow for coral, and green for brown. I have completed the first week's clue, right before the next one comes out tomorrow.

I have Bonnie's Essential Triangle Tool and have purchased the recommended Simple Folded Corners ruler for this year. These are not required and techniques for making the units of the quilt without the rulers will be covered. But, Bonnie uses the mystery quilt as a teaching tool, and will show how to do things quicker and more accurately, using these tools. Why not give it a try? Both are available directly from and other quilting sources.

I am very excited to be doing this quilt again this year. I like using the fabric that Mark gave me, and remembering him as I sew. If I can keep up and take each week to do the clues I'll be very happy. I have some other projects that I've been poking at that I'll share as I work on them, too.

Don't forget to visit and see all of the completed week one blocks that are linked. It looks like most people are using the recommended colors, but there are some different ones.

I plan to get going on the Ruby McKim 101 Patchwork Patterns quilt again, but maybe not till the new year. This is a busy time for everyone with Christmas coming. Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Stash Storage

Happy Wednesday,

After posting about my sewing stash storage several of my local friends asked about it. And I just happened to get new boxes, and a new fabric line in the last couple days. So I thought I'd share photos.

Here is the fabric that came, called Bally Hall by designer Di Ford-Hall. I bought a bundle with a yard of each of the large bird prints and fat quarters of the rest, from Reproduction Fabrics. As you can see it has a lovely color palette and is dated mid-nineteenth century. I don't know what I'll do with it yet. After making Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville Mystery this year I'm ready to use more of my fat quarters for scrappy-like quilts.

The boxes I use are from Snapware and measure about 8" tall, 9" wide and 16" deep. You can find them at Amazon, or World Kitchen where they happen to be on sale right now for $6.74 each, and shipping is free if you spend $99. They are also offering 20% off your order if you sign up for email. I really like them because they are a medium sized box, and don't get too heavy if you fill them with fabric. They also have a handle on the top which makes them easy to carry.

I fold the fat quarters selvage to cut edge, then again. Fold in half lengthwise and you have a perfect fit. You can do the same with half yards and they fit fine, but larger than that takes up too much space in the box. I also don't stash larger pieces of fabric. When I buy yardage it is for a specific purpose or project. These boxes make good project boxes, and they cost a lot less than the ArtBin boxes. 

Lastly, I have a Brother label printer, model QL-700, that uses rolls of labels. I have the size visible on the boxes, which is the standard 5160 address label that comes in sheets of 30. On a roll like this I can print as many as I like. I also have a roll of file folder labels, and you can get several other sizes. 

I was a computer programmer back when I held a full time job so I do love my technology. In addition to the label printer I have a color laser printer, an inkjet photo printer/scanner, and document scanner that is super fast and scans both sides of the document as it feeds through. All very useful! Really, I need 4 pieces of equipment. 

I also have a Brother Scan 'n Cut and I need to learn how to really use it. Maybe after the coming guild quilt show, which I'm doing the program for. My quilts for the show are done, yay!

Back soon with  a 101 Patchwork Patterns block.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Quilt Qwazy Queens Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to my blog. I am very happy to be participating in this blog hop, organized by Marian at Seams To Be Sew. Thank you, Marian, for all the work you do putting together these fun events. Down at the bottom of this post you will find out how to enter for several giveaways each day of the hop. The list of sponsors is incredible!

The schedule for Quilt Qwazy Queens is:
Quilt Qwazy Queens Schedule
March 16
March 17
March 20
March 21
March 22
A number of the participants have shared their sewing spaces/studios. If you are looking for great ideas, or just enjoy seeing other's studios, be sure to visit everyone. Daily prizes will have expired for past days but there are more to come.
I do not have a room that is my sewing studio. I am in the process of cleaning out my husband's family home (he passed away last year). There have been 3 generations of his family that have lived in the house since 1916, and no one ever threw anything out. So I thought I'd share some photos of where I am making due and sewing when I can. 

First is the kitchen cart that actually works pretty good for a cutting table. It holds a 12" x 24" cutting mat and has a wing I can flip up to hold bolts.

My stash looks pretty organized, doesn't it? I have fat quarters and smaller yardage sorted by type (batik, repro, modern, etc.) and by color. This is only about half the boxes. My husband gave me a monthly anniversary gift for the 15 years we were married, wrapped in fabric, or just gave fabric. He mostly purchased fat quarter or half yard bundles of full lines of reproduction fabric, from Reproduction Fabrics. I've tried to continue his habit of getting the new lines as they come out. 😊

My final sewing essential is my machine, a Bernina 830 with embroidery. It sits on a desk from Amazon at the end of my bed. I put a 12" x 12" pressing board on my desk and I'm set. I try to spend a couple hours a day sewing but fell behind last year. I'm dealing with a few health issues and don't have much energy some days. Oh well, we all take breaks from sewing sometimes. 

When I moved to the Seacoast area of New Hampshire in 2002 I joined 2 guilds as a way to meet people. I belong to the Cocheco Quilters in Dover, NH, and the Seabreeze Quilt Guild in Exeter, NH. Seabreeze has their show coming up on April 22nd so I've been trying to finish some projects for the show. You would think in the 2 years between shows I would have something. Well, I do, and I have some photos!


My friend Bea and I decided to do the block of the month for Seabreeze for 2015/2016 and created the original sampler pattern shown here. Each month in the newsletter, for 12 months, you got a block pattern in 6", 9" and 12" sizes. You could make all one size, or combine all 3 into the sampler layout shown. Bea's is on the left, made from batiks. Mine is on the right, made from Thimbleberries stash. There were some filler blocks to make everything fit together, and Bea used all neutrals for hers. I used prints. I like the two different looks!

This quilt is called Pointing to Center and I designed it for a short block of the month for 2016. With the show coming in April we wanted something that could finish in December. I know of at least 2 other guild members who have made this quilt and will have it in the show. Should make a nice grouping, don't you think?

Both of these patterns will be available in my shop at Craftsy, and at QuiltWoman for wholesale purchase, very soon. I just need to reformat them from the monthly newsletter layout.

I have two more at the quilter and expect them back any day. One was a mystery quilt that one of the other Seabreeze members provided in the newsletter. The other is the Bonnie Hunter Quiltville Mystery from this past year. I have been saving her annual mystery patterns that start after Thanksgiving for 5 years. This year, I made it, too! I used many fat quarters to substitute for the yardage required and so finally made my first scrappy quilt. When I started to assemble the blocks I thought I was going to hate it. But I love it now. I'll have photos soon.

Ok, I think it is time for the fun stuff. First I have a bottle of Terial Magic Fabric Spray. This is a fabric stiffener like heavy starch. It works great for anytime you want a firmer hand, like with cutting machines, scrapbooking, etc. 

Northcott Fabrics has given the Quilt Qwazy Queens a whole bunch of fat quarters. My prize for today is from the On The Green collection.

The last chance to win here today is a $50.00 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop. Good luck to all.

One final good thing today is the discount available for Electric Quilt. I use this program all the time and would highly recommend it. 
Use the promo code: EQHOP201 for a special hop price, good till 3/27/2017

Exclusions: Electric Quilt 7, EQ7 Migration Kit, Upgrade from EQ Mini to EQ7, EQ Mini Migration Kit, EQ Academy classes, and EQ University classes.

Don't forget to visit the other blogs today, and be sure to stop by and see Marian for the winners. 

I hope you have enjoyed your visit with me. Hopefully new medication should have me feeling better and back to work on the 101 Patchwork Patterns quilt that I've been sharing here. It's been on hold a bit but I'm ready to jump back in the water.

Thanks again,

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My January Challenge and A Touch of Snow Blog Hop Winners

I was chosen as the January Challenge for Henry Glass Fabrics. They shared a fabric line called Pretty as a Pansy and I commented how I liked it. A couple emails later and they sent me a package of the fabric. It is very nice feeling cotton, with a smooth finish and a nice hand. They included 2 of a panel from the line so I thought I should use it. I already had a design started that would use a panel so I started off strong.

Then I tripped over Nosey. Remember Nosey from my last post? The 19 pound stray that must be part Maine Coon, from his size. I was coming out of the bathroom just off my kitchen and tripped over him. I landed flat on the floor. Both knees were bruised, the back of my left hand hit the door frame, and I don't know what my right hand/wrist hit, but I know I flung it out trying to stop the fall. Anyway, I'm not even a month out of the brace on my right wrist so this didn't do me any good. I couldn't do much for a week or so. And I didn't get to the photographer with the quilt, but I will. This is the top before any quilting was done.

On to better things, Marian of Seams To Be Sew announced the winners from our blog hop yesterday. She sent emails to the following lucky people:
Carol M.
Carolyn S.
Kathleen G.
Susan S.
So check your email if your name is here and see what you've won!

I am off to a long weekend sewing retreat tomorrow and plan to do a couple blocks for the 101 Patchwork Patterns quilt. One of the guilds I belong to is going to the Franciscan Guest House in Kennebunk, Maine. Hope everyone gets time to sew!


Monday, January 23, 2017

A Fresh Snow Blog Hop

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the A Fresh Snow Blog Hop. Thanks to Marian of Seams To Be Sew for organizing another fun event. Our task was to work with something other than wool. I owned a quilt shop named Little Lamb Quilt Shop from 2004 to 2011. And yes, we had wool. Lots of wool. Nice yardage from The Dorr Mill Store here in New Hampshire. And hand dyed fat quarters from several different dyers. It's so much fun to work with felted wool, but I set it aside when the shop closed.

I went digging though storage boxes and found 2 kits left from the shop. The first is a sewing kit pattern from Karyn Lord of Wool and Whimseys. Karyn doesn't have a website but you can find her patterns lots of places. The local place for all things penny rug related here is in Kennebunk, Maine, called Camp Wool. They have tons of wool, and so many patterns! I went there for the first time a few weeks back and I will definitely have to visit again, after I finish the kit I bought there. 😊

The first thing I made is a hand sewing kit and pin cushion. The sewing kit opens up and has a large pocket, a split smaller pocket and a heart to hold threaded needles.

I had so much fun making this that I thought I would make a penny rug next.

I've got all the tongues backed with Wonder Under and cut, ready to go. I have been working on the penny rug itself, and I'm almost done with the stitching on it. 

I could not get a photo without the cat. Every time I set it on the table he jumped up and sat down. After several tries, I gave up. If you look close enough you can see the dog is stitched but the flowers need some still. 

Here's a better shot of my helper, Nosey. He was adopted, and came with the name. It definitely fits!

Be sure to visit the other participants today:

Again, thanks to Marian at Seams To Be Sew for organizing this fun winter hop. Be sure to visit her each day for a free pattern. She has extra kits from the Wooly Block Hop that took place this past fall that she is donating for daily prizes. Be sure to visit everyone and leave a comment, then use the Rafflecopter to be entered in the drawing.

Thanks so much for for stopping by.

Friday, January 20, 2017

101 Patchwork Patterns Block 14

Welcome to another block in the delayed, but ongoing 101 Patchwork Patterns. After a tough couple months I've finally been able to sew again and I'm really enjoying it. You don't realize how much you love something until you can't do it. Well, hopefully I won't have to be in an arm brace again, because it really makes it hard to type or rotary cut. I'm very right handed and I could push pieces through the sewing machine with my left hand but that was about it!

Before we get started I want to tell you all about a blog hop that started today. A Fresh Snow is today, and Monday through Wednesday. We will be sharing projects that include fabric other then cotton. As quilters we tend to use mostly cotton so it will be interesting to see what everyone does.
The schedule is:
Jan 20 (today)
Jan 23
Jan 24
Jan 25
I hope you can stop by and visit all these wonderful blogs. There is a daily prize to be had! Thank you to Marian of Seams To Be Sew for organizing another fun event.

Download Milky Way Pattern

This block starts a new portion of the quilt, and the blocks are going to measure 10" in the quilt, so 10-1/2" including seam allowances. I have detailed making half square triangle units several times before. This time we are making 9, 4-patch units. The following walks you through a quick and easy way to do this.

Start with 2 strips of each blue and white, cut 1-1/2" x 14". Sew pairs of blue and white strips together as shown above. Press towards the blue fabric.

Next,  place the two strip sets right sides together with the colors opposite each other.

Place your ruler at the right end of the strip set. Align any ruler line with the horizontal seam. Make a cut to the right end of the strip set, just a quarter inch or so, to give you a clean edge.

Spin your mat around, or carefully pick up the strips and turn them around. Use your ruler to cut 1-1/2 inch sections from the strip pairs. At the sewing machine, sew a 1/4 inch seam on one cut edge of each pair. Open and press.

Using the 4 patch units, the half square triangle units, 2 yellow squares and 2 background squares, lay out your block. Sew into rows, then sew rows together. It looks like a lot of piecing but goes fast.

So, here is a drawing from Electric Quilt of where we are at. This round will be 20 blocks. If you haven't had a chance to assemble your center portion yet, the assembly instructions are here.

Be sure to stop by on Tuesday and see what I've been working on in wool.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Project Quilting - 8 is Great

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. I went to Connecticut to visit my family for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I developed a problem with my right arm the beginning of November. It was so painful I was having to eat with my left hand. I went to the doctor, who sent me to an orthopedic doctor. He ordered an MRI to check for torn things, but all was well. So I had 6 weeks of physical therapy and was told to rest my arm as much as possible. So rotary cutting, sewing, even typing was too painful. I was finally discharged by the doctor on Thursday and given the OK to resume normal activity. With the understanding that I'd go slow, and rest when it hurts. I am frustrated but glad to be spending time sewing again.

You may be familiar with Persimon Dreams Kim Lapacek's Project Quilting. You can read all about it but the short story is she issues several challenges and you have a week to post your entry. Lots of prizes are available, but the main point is to challenge yourself creatively. The first challenge, issued on January 1, was "8 is Great." This is the eighth year of Project Quilting. I have wanted to participate in the past but never completed anything. I decided this was the time to join. I spent the week making this small quilt.
18" x 18"

It is from a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman called Octagonal Orb. I simply Googled "eight" and started looking through the images that came up. I was hoping to find something that would inspire an idea, but found this pattern instead. I love it! I just happened to have a 10" square package of Island Batiks on hand. 
I divided the fabrics up into three piles: dark, medium and light. Choosing six from each, I made the rings of the orb go from dark in the middle to medium to light on the outside. I just love the pastel colors and wanted to have more of those, so the largest outside ring was the best position. I have yardage of the grey on hand, Charcoal Kona Cotton.

This was a fun project to make. Now, as the Project Quilting challenges continue, I need to work on my quilting. This is just stitched in the ditch around each ring. I need to practice a bit and just go for it on the next challenge. 

Now that I am sewing a bit again I will return to the Ruby Short McKim 101 Patchwork Patterns quilt. The next block will be available in a couple days.