Three days of Fun

Day 1 — Got off to a good start at our Sit & Sew Camp.  This is a camp organized by 1 lady in our guild for her bee, and 2 other bees.  My bee is invited each time and we have a lot of laughter and good times.  A little learning goes on too, as we often ask and receive help from those around us.

We have several ladies who do demonstrations, and yesterdays was interesting, and included handouts. Monday’s demo by Mary Reddington showed us a quick way to turn rows into a Boston Commons quilt, with 3 simple cuts.  I should have taken a picture of her before & after. Hopefully she has it with her today, and I will seek permission.   Mary does many baby quilts with a group called Tiny Tots in our Guild. They donate the baby quilts to local hospitals and all the babies born whose mother’s are on Medicaid get one of the quilts.  She showed us many methods for fast assembly of your rows by labeling using simple painters tape the first block in the row, stacking them up and putting a pin in the top left.  Then, when she assembles, the rows, she “webs” them, not snipping anything apart.  I have seen Bonnie Hunter ( Bonnie Hunters blog ) do that when I’ve watched her videos.

Eleanor Burns – Quilt in a Day has patterns on her website if you are interested in seeing what a Boston Commons pattern.

I also found detailed instructions on another blog by doing a quick search online – check  out Traveling Quilter Fast Quilt Method Boston Common

I worked at my projects all day.  I got quite a bit done.  I am making 6 “Star Pillow” envelope style slip covers.  The front (star) is made for all 6.  I also got 4 “pillowcases” stitched up.  I went prepared with 6 pillowcases pinned and ready to sew; and all the pieces cut for the stars.  I made all my my half-square triangles ahead of time at home.

I need to add the border around the block this morning and then they will be ready to layer and quilt.

18" finish size

18″ finish size

I decided to quilt the front of the pillow so I added an extra 1/2″ beyond the original pattern instructions to that final border to allow for that bit of shrinkage that occurs when you quilt.  I have my batting and some VERY lightweight muslin all ready to go for this morning.  I think I will keep the quilting fairly simple! Taking my ditch foot for the walking foot, and will simply stitch in the ditch around the star.  Once they are quilted, I am going to have fun with the back of the pillow. I will be using each of the different fabrics on the back, just to spice it up a bit.  Wait & see.

Off & running for another full day of sewing with my Bee buddies.

NOTE: The star pillow pattern inspiration came from a blog post by Melissa Mortenson – Polka Dot Chair Star Pillow directions.  The sizes were perfect for what I was going to do.  (Now, when I looked at her blog again, I saw she channel quilted her pillows…, still going to ditch them and make that star POP). Anyway, I think Melissa wrote a GREAT tutorial/pattern instruction if you want to try one of these BIG blocks.

Whatever you do today, have fun with it!  You never know what tomorrow will bring, so celebrate today!


Barn Quilt Demo

I was asked by our Quilt Show committee to be one of the demonstrators during our recent quilt show for Ocean Waves Quilt Guild.  They requested I do a Barn Quilt demo.

I had so much fun taking Suzi Parron’s classes in March 2015 that I felt confident I could present something useful.  As Suzi comments on her website (just in case you have never heard of these)  “Barn quilts are painted quilt squares-usually fashioned on boards and then mounted on a barn or other building. While cloth quilts are usually made up of a series of squares of the same pattern placed together, a barn quilt is almost always a single square “.

My first order of business was to order Suzi’s book Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement.  Oh my, what a great read!!  Yes, there are great photos,  but it is so interesting to sit and read.  You can order one directly from Suzi’s website – Barn Quilt Info   . (I was so busy with my duties as Vice President during Suzi’s visit that I failed to buy a copy of her book when she was here!)

I recently saw a photo of a quilt using a pattern by Eleanor (Quilt in a Day) Burns. She has a book out called Quilt Block on American Barns.  What caught my eye on that quilt was the barn in the center, complete with a barn quilt on the barn. It made me laugh, and I had to get her book.  Along with the great patterns are some wonderful photo’s of Barn Quilts (yes, the non – fabric; hanging on barns.) Check it out on Amazon!

The next “order of business” was to get the two Barn Quilts I painted in March and check them out and see if they were “quilt show ready”.  I had not hung them yet, as I had great intentions of touching them up following the class. (Good intentions but little follow thru!)  So, I spent a couple of afternoons working on them, preparing them to be viewed by someone besides me, up close!

I realized that there were “paint line ridges” between colors, so I broke out the trusty sand paper, and sanded the lines, and then sanded the entire board lightly.  The tricky part was the paint.  Suzi had sent us home from class with a container of paint for touch ups.  I had “JUST ENOUGH” of my red paint.  Along the way, my hubby gave me some paint/tape tips to prevent those ridge lines.  I followed his tips and I was very pleased.

The weather was so nice, I set up “shop” on the patio next to the pool. (You have to do SOMETHING while the paint dries!)

The final “order of business” was to get  new boards prepped for the demo.  My hubby had some 1/2″ oak from a previous project, and I gave it a little light sanding, and  3 coats of exterior latex primer.  What a difference that thicker wood was to work with. Heavy for one thing.  I did this over a couple of days, and let the primer dry well.  Perfect job for sitting out at the pool too!

Once my 2 boards were ready, I decided I should select and lay out a design, taping off areas to paint, and “refreshing my memory” on the process so I could speak about the process easily. My goal was an easy pattern that could start out as a 9 patch.  I figured if I had 2 boards prepped, showing different parts of the process, it would make sense. I dug out 3 cans of exterior latex paint, left over from our last round of painting our house, and got it stirred up and portioned out into small containers to take with me to the show.  (You should have seen the faces when I pulled out those “laboratory specimen cups” with the paint! Hey, the lids stayed closed, and they were “NEW” when I filled them with paint!)

I had fun at the Quilt Show doing the demo, and appreciated the attention and questions I got from those that came to listen.  I began my demo explaining that I am not an expert, and I am not an artist.  With my handy yardstick, ruler, blue tape and razor knife, I could, however, make a barn quilt.  If I could do it, then anybody else could too.  As I only had 30 minutes to demonstrate, I taped off just two areas on the sample boards and I asked for paint helpers!  The two ladies that painted seemed like they had fun!  Overall, I had a successful demo based on the feedback I got from those attending.

Many thanks to my hubby who cut the wood for me, got my photo’s running on a slide show, and helped me get the laptop, the computer monitor, cords, power strips, electric cords, paint, books and samples into the show and set up.  Bless his heart for putting up with me & my hobbies!  Thanks to my friends Barbara & Elli for sharing their barn quilts from our class in March.  Nice to have so many samples to generate interest.

Now that I have the boards back home, perhaps I should finish both of them! (I shouldn’t wait 4 months to look at them!!) And I want to take the original boards and get them hung!  One is going on the fence, and one on the garage near the entrance to my quilting studio.  Not quite sure what I will do with the two done in oak, but I will get them finished. Maybe I should pick up one more color of paint, just to jazz things up a bit!  I put together a handout with general information on how to make your own barn quilt, and lots of links to resources around the web too.  Seems there are lots of people making and selling them, both in wood and in metal.  They are becoming very popular and they are fun and easy to create, at least in the smaller 2×2 size that I used.  Now, if I only had a barn……….

If you are interested in the handout I gave during the demonstration, it is available here: barn quilts

The document is a PDF,  and has multiple links for more information.

Happy sewing and painting.


Houston goodies!

Well; I have been home 6 days from the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  It’s taken me 6 days to sort out life at home before I could give you this – My report – GO if you can next year!  GO for an entire week and take classes!!  I met up with my sister-in-law from California and we went non-stop. Classes; lectures, banquets, costume parties! Well; that took care of Mon, Tuesday and part of Wednesday!!  The cool part of the show is we got “VIP” entry into the quilt show; from 5-7 pm on Wednesday evening!  Public entry began at 7.

We were armed with our “vendor” map pre-marked with booths we wanted to get to before the public was admitted.  We made it to all of them!  We spent a boatload of money (more than I will admit to in public) the first day. (Ok, I gave myself a budget and really only blew it the day I bought the COOL iron ….you know the one the gal on Missouri Star Quilt Company uses..the pretty yellow one – the Oliso..that has a thing on the sole plate that pops up when you are finished ironing!)  I did manage to NOT buy a long arm….that is a story for another post!  I remind my husband daily that I saved him anywhere from $4000 – 25,000 !!  (Basically…I stink at FMQ…but again, that is a story for another post.)

I took 3 Free Motion Quilting classses; one on a domestic machine; one on a “sit down” Sweet Sixteen by Handi Quilter and one on a real long arm.  I also took 2 “binding” classes; and an applique class.  We attended lectures by Kaffe Fassett ” Shots and Stripes or Where Have All the Flowers Gone ?

Luncheon/Lecture— with Jodi Barrows – “The History of Women and their Quilts”

Lecture— Lois Hallock –    “Grab N’ Go—Seven Secrets to a Quick Getaway to a Mini-Retreat”

Lecture— Esther Miller – “More Stories from Amish Quilt Life

Lecture – Julie Moberly -‘ “Crafting an Ideal Day“.

Of course we dressed up for the IQA Quiltapalooza Fundraiser – a costume party/dinner where there were tons of door prizes!  And on Saturday the “Gala on the Green”.  We missed the Mix and Mingle before the Gala on the green; were I understand even more door prizes were given out.  And we “missed” reading our program completely, and didn’t realize dinner was part of the activity on Gala on the Green.  (Could have saved the $20 we spent at the Hilton for dinner and used it on more FABRIC!!)

 I also took a great class about borders, batting and binding.     I didn’t take any classes on Thursday to allow time to really see the show; and by Saturday evening; I was still feeling a bit “quilt deprived”.   If I go again; I will do classes from Monday – Wednesday; leave Wednesday evening open of course for the VIP; and leave all day Thursday & Friday open for the show.  Classes on Saturday are nice because the show is so crowded during the day.  And, I would stay THROUGH Sunday next time….(heck, you are already there, one more day won’t hurt).  We spent a bit of time on Saturday evening walking the show and on Sunday morning as well.  Good comfy shoes were the rule!

It was fun to see some of those famous quilting celebs – Ricky Tims in his booth, Pat Sloan with a golf club in the Aurifil booth, and even Maria Schell at the Craftsy booth!  Got to meet and hear Eleanor Burns give a talk (& get an autograph on one of her books!)  Especially enjoyed seeing Libby Lehman’s beautiful quilts. Her sisters were at the show, and it was nice to meet them.  I’ve been following Libby’s recovery on Caring Bridge since she had her stroke, and pray everyday that she will be healed.  She had a large collection of quilts present at the show.

Next post will be “all quilts” from the show, but today; do you want to see some of the “goodies” from the show?  I will share my pictures of the goodies; and on another day the photo’s of the quilts.    I promised a 100th post prize for the best comment on my last post, and will have to “re-read” all three before I finish this one to choose.  The prize is hidden amongst these photo’s ….so enjoy!


The giant Handi Quilter bag was handed out everytime you walked past the booth not carrying one. I have 6! Big enough to carry a quilt in or all your rulers & a mat!


Lots of books and magazines! Eleanor Burns autographed my Irish Chain book!


Got these in a variety of colors and sizes. Magnetic pin/sharp holder. Has a removable magnet on the back, and you can WEAR it… more pins stuck in your blouse!


a collection of fun! I was shopping for neutral fabrics; got some nice thread from Superior thread, a pounce pad and stencils and lots of fat quarters!!


Hiding amonst the fat quarters is a “just curves” foot for the sewing machine, and some new stabalizers from Sulky


Some thread from YLI and Aurifil. Needed more “browns” for the embroidery machine


LOVE LOVE LOVE the Texas fabric. (We sure would not find that in Delaware!)

And the winner get's this lovely bundle of fat quarters!

And the winner get’s this lovely bundle of fat quarters!

So, LubbyGirl, if you are reading this; send me an email with a mailing address and I will get your prize out to you!

(my email is