Scrap Dance Tango Pattern is published

Do you remember my “Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt”?? My last post about it was Sticking to a project .

Here is a picture to remind you of the project.

Scrap Dance Tango is Assembled

Well, Carole at From My Carolina Home on WordPress has PUBLISHED the pattern!!  Go check out her blog!!!!  From My Carolina Home

Details in her blog post today about purchasing the pattern.  And remember, just because I made it king sized, doesn’t mean you have to.  The directions were great, everything from a table topper on up to king!  She writes great instructions and she helps you take on a big project by breaking it down into manageable bites.  This is the 3rd pattern I have done with Carole’s great  patterns and I can tell you they are EASY to follow!

Enjoy and check out the great stuff going on over at Carole’s page.

June’s Quilt – FINISHED

It feels like a big relief to say I have “FINISHED” June’s quilt. If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I was asked to finish this quilt last fall for my friend, June. There is a long story behind this project, and the label hopefully captures it.  I worked on it Friday and Saturday and got it trimmed, labeled and bound.  I will “deliver” on Monday afternoon.  Many thanks to my sister in law – Carolyn – for her lovely long arm quilting.  She was so generous!

June built the 9 patches around the center panel and handed it all off to me last September.  I picked out the fuchsia and the green for the borders, and built the pieces in the side borders out of her leftover bits & pieces.  Carolyn volunteered in May when she visited to do the long arm quilting, so when the top was done, I put it in the mail, and shipped it out to California.  She had it back to me inside of 2 weeks. What a BLESSING!  While it was “out” I got the binding prepared,

Susie's Magic Binding for 2 quilts

(Susies’s Magic Binding prepped for 2 quilts)

I actually purchased 4 more yards of the green fabric when I tripped over it on a bus trip in July. June wants to “recover” her fabric headboard and make some chair cushions.   In order to work on the binding, I had to move my machine back over to my big table.  Isn’t the backing fabric pretty?


I got the lilac in a wide (108″) backing from Marshall Dry Goods on line.  Great prices and fast shipping (Less than $10 per yard for 108″ wide !!!!)  I had to “stop” binding to get the label ready.  I like to make sure it is stitched under the binding, as well as fused on.  June will get to “hand stitch” the other 3 edges.

Label for June's quilt

You can see this project has been “in the works” for quite some time.

Binding and borders of Junes quilt

Carolyn did a lovely job with the quilting, using a loop-d-loop style of free motion quilting.  The green is part of the border, and that pop of fuschia comes from the flange you get when you make Susie’s Magic Binding. The lilac rose backing fabric was perfect for this project.


June chose an creme colored thread, because she wanted it to “show” on the dark purple.


Ready to pack up and deliver on Monday afternoon.  I hope she likes the finish!


On a side note; while I was getting the specifics from June for the Rose Garden Quilt, June asked if I could prepare another label for a quilt she just finished repairing.  Sorry, no photo’s of her other quilt, but here is the label, ready for her to iron on and stitch down. (It has some wrinkles from the final preparation, but I can’t iron them out, as there is fusible on the back. (Note, I use Floriani Fusible No Show Mesh Stabilizer when I finish the label and turn it right side out. )


As I was making both labels, I was wishing for a high end embroidery machine. My little Brother only has a 4×4 field, and I have to realign for each line of text. It is not always “even”, no matter how hard I tried! Best I could do, and done is better than perfect.

Time to get Addison’s quilt label made & quilt bound!

link to Susie’s Magic Binding Tutorial Tell Marti I sent you if you pop in to view the tutorial!

Working on UFO # 1 – Swirly Bird and more

Oh, was I ever disappointed that when I looked at my UFO list, I discovered that my “Crusty Crab” was #2, not #1.  My new quilt bee – The Queen Bees has a UFO challenge and # 1 was the project that needs to be finished by TUESDAY!!!!!  Dagnabit!

Well, I tried to renumber the list, but the “challenge Queen” said NO WAY GIRL…..

So, I got out # 1…and worked on it some on Saturday.  The pattern was by Linda Poole, and I took a workshop from her in June of 2015 when she came to Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes, DE. By the end of the week of the class, I had all the applique  stitched down, and I just needed to add tail feathers and an eye.  But, I was busy and the project went in the “box” and in the cupboard.

The UFO challenge has me pulling it out to see what I need to do to finish and move on. I added the tail feathers using variegated embroidery machine thread, but using my Janome and one of the fancy stitches that is built in.  I did trace the general shape from the pattern, but went “free form” with the stitching.  Hubby helped choose the clear button for the eye from the mason jar o’buttons.

Once the tail feathers and eye were on, the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to “play around” with some “thread painting”.  This is the result….and no, I am not finished quite yet.

Swirly Bird

Swirly Bird pattern by Linda Poole

Tail Feathers

The green thread is not supposed to be there..just a loose thread to pick off of the project…… I picked a stitch that is built into my sewing machine and just played with it to make tail feathers. I used variegated embroidery thread and put some tear away stabilizer behind the feathers.

Bird feathers

Played with the same variegated thread on the wing. Dumped out the button jar and hubby picked the clear button for the eye.


This is the “first flower” I played with doing a little “thread painting/stitching”. Again I chose the variegated thread, but this time orange/yellow/green.   It was fun!

And then I went nuts and here are some of the other parts…..up close……



I still need to do a little something on the green stems. I did the leaves, but forgot to take a close up.  You can get an idea if you click on the picture of the full project (first photo) and zoom in.  Anyway, once the stems are “stitched”  I can layer it up and quilt it.  The size is about 22×22.  I really had fun playing with my embroidery thread collection as I worked on this!  So many choices with the wonderful threads I was given. Having it all on thread racks makes it so easy to choose too!!

Hoping to knock it out this afternoon.  My sewing room was hitting 85 degrees yesterday; with 2 a/c units running; so not sure how much I will get done.  My room is over the garage and in this heat, it is tough to get it comfortable.  Our whole house is struggling with the temperature. The house is over 110 years old, and not the most “efficient, and no central air. At least the pool is still refreshing, though I may have to add a little cold water to it this afternoon.    What are you doing to stay cool during this heat wave?

(Note – my “other bee” – The Material Girls is also doing a UFO challenge, and I have NOT kept up with them!! This project was on that list too, but I can’t remember which number it was…)  I keep saying I am not starting any new projects until I finish a few things….so if I can get this out of the way, I won’t feel so guilty!

Update on June’s Quilt — I mailed it to my wonderful sister in law, Carolyn ( One Block Wonder Woman ) and she quilted it yesterday for me.  She is amazing!!  I had ordered the backing and she just got it on Wednesday and she is finished already!! June will be so tickled.  I have the binding all cut, but need to prep it.  While I was on a bus trip on Friday, I found more of the fabric that I used for the borders.  I bought what was left on the bolt (4 3/8 yard). June wants to recover her fabric headboard, and I didn’t have enough of any of the fabrics left, so this should give her what she needs. Any leftovers, I will turn into matching pillow cases or a throw pillow or something. I was tickled to find that fabric again, and this time I didn’t have to pay for shipping!

Update on Addison’s Quilt – it is still on the big table and I am still staring at the borders.  But…..I did get a wonderful thread that will look great on the borders at the quilt show on Friday (Quilt Odyssey 2016 – Hershey PA). I had a visit to the Superior Thread Company booth and got a wonderful grey variegated – Fantastico #5169.

I love to get my thread at the shows, because you save a couple of dollars on each spool if you buy 3 or more.  So I came home with 3 spools of Fantastico (5035-cashmere- variegated) (5169 – grey variegated) (5075-silver black variegated), and 3 spools of Masterpiece.  The Masterpiece I use for piecing and my colors are boring – granite # 156  – canvas #151 – and graystone #155.   My spreadsheet of Superior Thread is growing longer.  I dated the bottom of the cones of all the ones I bought this time and last March, so I can see “how long” they are lasting me.  I am on my 3rd greystone cone since I started using it and my second canvas. Those cones are 2500 yards! I am on my second spool of the cashmere too.   What thread do you love to piece with? Do you have a “go to” color for quilting?  My go-to is either the cashmere or Bottom Line Silver #623.  I am on my 2nd cone of it too.  I also love playing with the embroidery threads that I have.  My daughters have gifted me so many and I just love having so many color choices.

Time to go! Enjoy your day and stay cool!

Finished backing for Addison’s quilt

As I mentioned in my previous post  on July 10, 2016 ,  I just needed to get those 5″ borders on the backing and it would be ready to go.  I didn’t realize when I started that post that there was no photo of the basic back put together. So,  that post showed only  “blocks on the wall”.  Well, here it is; borders on, ready to pin baste on Wednesday.  The backing measures up at 91 x 99; and the quilt top measures out at 80.5 x 89.25.

Addison's Quilt back

As I mentioned previously, I had LOTS of left over half-square triangles and fairly large pieces of fabric too.  So, the Wheel Blocks were made, and the big blocks of fabric, balanced things out nicely I think.  These big blocks give you a better look at some of the fabrics that were used for the half square triangles in the top below.

Final border is on

The 91×99″ backing should give me the needed “clearance” when it comes to layering!  The border on the quilt top, and the extra 5″ borders on the backing are the same fabric.

I’ve been thinking about how to quilt this project. It has a very “modern” look.  I think I will do it quite simply, along the ditch on the diagonal stripes, using the walking foot, keeping it simple.  What would you do???

The binding is prepared and pressed and is the same fabric as the borders. I added a solid coral to be the “piping color” using the Susie’s Magic Binding technique that I so enjoy doing.

Binding for Addison's quilt

Have you tried it yet?  Tutorial can be found on Aunt Susie’s 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks blog here – Susie’s Magic Binding

Had a great time this morning at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Community Sewing day.  I worked on Quilts of Valor String blocks.  It was nice to visit around the room with members of the guild whom I miss the chance to speak with on a regular basis. Tomorrow will be for “layering up” that Courthouse Steps log cabin baby quilt.  Happy stitching!

Project # 3 – CHECK it off the list

Hello again, for the 3rd time in as many days!  I must report that I got the last bit taken care of for Project # 3 – June’s Quilt.

The back story – my dear friend June started this project from a kit 10 or 15  years ago.  She was given the kit as a gift by her daughter.  3 years ago, after her daughter died suddenly, June pulled this partially completed project out of the closet and showed it to me.  The center panel and the 9 patches were assembled. The fabric line had a lovely border available way back when, but she didn’t get it 10 or 15 years ago.  When she found it, she was unable to get the “green” color way, and for some reason ended up with the border fabric in blue.  She asked me to help her “pick out” new border fabric.  At the time, (2013), we shopped and she chose a green fabric that reminded me of “hospital scrubs”.  It was “really flat” in my opinion.  She wanted something to go with the center panel, and it was the best she could find.  It was what she wanted, and that was that.  Every once in a while, I would ask how she was making out on the project, and she would say, she was still “thinking about it”.

Last fall (Sept 2015), she handed me the entire project in a bag and asked me if I could please “finish it for her”.  At 82, and still full of grief, June didn’t think she could manage it on her own.  So I took on the project.  I’ve been working on it, in and around other projects.  Once I got the first two rounds of borders on, (purple and fuschia) I had to sit down with her, and get a better idea of what she wanted.  In October, I was in Lancaster Co. PA and I had swatches of her fabrics with me and picked up a “different” green for the border.  I bought P & B BELLA SUEDE LEAF TEXTURE – MINT; as it had some depth and texture to the pattern vs the “flat green” that looked like scrubs.

June wanted a quilt that would have a 20″ drop down the side of the bed.  She currently has a “stack & whack” quilt that was hand quilted by an Amish lady. It has a tuck under for the pillow and a pleated corner.  Given my limited skills, I told her I could make it with borders to giver her the drop she was after, but I wasn’t going to attempt the pleated corner.  I had to do some convincing to get her to agree that it needed the same border on all 4 sides.  That border at the top will tuck under and over the pillows.  I took it to her last week, showed her how it would look without that top border.  I also made 3 pillowcases for her with that “flat green” fabric and some extra bits and pieces of the leftover fabrics.  I’m glad she agreed to the border for the top, as I had already ordered the additional fabric that I needed!!  I gave her the pillowcases, made with her fabric, for her 83rd birthday.  I made her promise she would use them and NOT hide them in the cupboard. (She has a way of doing that with things that are new…saving them…)

The new fabric arrived the middle of the week, and once I got Project # 1  and project # 2 done, I got busy with this one.  The final border is on,  and I will be sending it out to my dear sister-in-law, Carolyn for long arm quilting.  But first I need to order some batting (king size); and 4 yards of 108″ wide backing. Another trip to Lancaster Co. PA is planned in 2 weeks, so I hope I can find something that will suit me at Weaver’s Dry Goods in Lititz PA.  When I was there in May I was “window shopping” backing fabric, but didn’t buy any.    I did find something I liked on Marshall Dry Goods website.  They have an extensive selection of wide backing for under $10/yard.  I need to get backing for Project # 1 also while I am there, along with border fabric for my  Allietare .  (I figured out that I don’t L O V E the border fabric I bought, so will try again while I am at Weaver’s.)

June's Quilt

The dimensions are 99″ wide x 118″ long.


It seems huge, but when we put it on the queen sized bed in our guest room, it works.  June’s bed isn’t as high as ours, and once it is quilted and bound, it will not hit the floor.  Those pieces inset on the sides are “extra blocks” that June had made.  I had a little fun working them into the project. She was really pleased with the way they came out.  And while it is off to Carolyn’s for quilting, I can make the binding.  I have enough of the fuschia and green to do some “binding with a flange”  also known as “Susie’s Magic binding”.

And, speaking of binding, while I am at it, I will be making the binding for Addison’s quilt (Project # 2).   I spent a little time “playing” with EQ7 today, watching the video tutorials once I got it installed in my quilt room computer.  I want to do a pieced backing for Addison’s quilt, and am hoping to get busy with that project later this week.  Once Addison’s backing is made, it will be time to “layer & quilt”.  Hoping to get the backing done this week, so I can get it layered up on the 13th when my Sit N Sew group meets at church.

So, soon, very soon, I can get on to my Pet Mosaic Project from my retreat last month.  It is a “slow mover”, as there is a huge amount of design work to do, but I really want to “get back to it”.  It will live on the design wall for a while!  You can “check out” the photo album here –  Pet Mosaic Photos on FLICKR

It feels like I have made significant progress this past week on several LARGE projects.  Too bad not one of them is on either “UFO list” that I have!  Oh heck, I will have to dig one of those other PIGS out of the sack in the next few days too.  🙂

Have a great Independance Day!


Sticking to a project~!!~

Well….I did it….I stuck to the # 1 project and got it completely assembled.  Next up is borders; backing; quilting etc etc etc….But, the hard part is done, and now I can move on to Project # 2….
For your view pleasure, I present my version of Scrap Dance Tango; a quilt designed by Carole –  From My Carolina Home blog  .  My project is going to finish as a KING SIZE QUILT.   Currently the quilt is 88 x 104″ set with the blocks 11 across and 13 down.  I chose the “a/b” setting.  Carole finished her quilt with a 2″ background fabric and a 3 ” green print border.  I know I better do a little “measuring” with the quilt on my bed so I can check out the drop etc before I make a final decision on borders etc.  

Scrap Dance Tango is Assembled

Thanks Carole for a FUN mystery quilt.  For those “new readers” a little back story —- we started this in January with cutting instructions and construction of half square triangles.  In my case, it was 1430 half square triangles, finishing at 2.5″.  Once a month, Carole presented the next “step” in the dance (I mean pattern); with the final step revealed on June 10th.  If you are interested in this pattern, it will soon be available for sale.  Check Carole’s blog post for more details.  

I thought I would share with you a picture of just the basic  blocks – before the assembly began, so you can envision from where it all started: 

working on step 6 Scrap Dance Tango

Special thanks to my friends who continue to bless my life with little “scraps” of fabric, especially Cindy J. and Nancy B.   I welcome their contribution to this project.  The only fabric that I purchased was the  white background fabrics.  I made those “scrappy” also, so I could stay with the Scrap Dance Tango theme of things.  

Now, it is time to move on to Project # 2 – Addison’s Quilt – which is simply lacking 2 borders!!

This may be a finishing kind of weekend in terms of quilt tops!!  Stay tuned.  


Why I take photo’s along the journey

No, I am not taking a trip by plane, train or automobile….I am on my quilting journey.

The journey involves the building of 8 inch blocks and doing the “TANGO” with them. The Scrap Dance Tango that is!

A few days ago I posted my progress ( Scrap Dance Tango and other fun    ) , and yesterday I had a chance to join another 3 sections of blocks and took another photo.  Yes, the pictures all are starting to look alike to me too. I promise not to bore you to much more with this project until I get at least 50 more blocks joined!

I very proudly brought the photo to my hubby’s attention, showing off what I had accomplished after my “afternoon nap”.  Then I GASPED when I saw a block turned the wrong way!  I did that section a few days ago!  That mistake was glaring at me in the photo’s I took for the previous post,  but I didn’t see it.  Nope, not the first, second or third time I looked at it….  So, of course, I had to go back and look at the other photo’s and now it jumps out at me “BIG TIME” in every photo !!   I circled it, since nobody else saw or mentioned the error in my last post!


Do you take pictures as you work through a project?  More often, I see the mistake studying the photo.  It seems to present the error more easily than while I am looking  at the blocks while I have them on the wall, at the machine, at the ironing station.  I like to study them on the computer screen.  If you see an obvious error in somebody else’s work, do you tell them?  I know that I would appreciate you mentioning to me if you see something along the journey!

Time for some un-sewing!  Shouldn’t be too bad, but just a little annoying!

I’m sure this won’t be the only one I TWIST instead of TANGO.   I think the error was made during basic block building, so; I am going to go over my blocks looking for that particular error and see if I can find any more blocks that I TWISTED those “kissing fish”.

Guess I will go “rip”…..

Pattern is by Carole – From My Carolina Home –   link to (  pattern information  )



Progress on 2 projects

(Say that really fast, I dare you……..)  – Addison’s quilt is “off the design wall” and “on the work table”.  The main body of the quilt is together, and now it is time for borders!  I put up a post the other day on Facebook and asked my friends, and my daughter’s friends to comment on the “best border fabric”.  They chose #3


And, as luck would have it, my fuzzy quilter brain did not calculate those extra inches that get taken up when you are joining wide pieces on the diagonal….and so, I came up short of fabric.  I cut 6 3/4″ wide borders and need “just 2 more strips” to finish.  After a mad dash to JoAnn Fabrics (50 miles away), and a giant “FAIL” on locating the fabric in stock in the store, I went on line, and ordered 2 yards! While I was ordering, I decided I might as well get some of that solid coral. I will be binding with the same fabric as the border, but will use Susie’s Magic Binding and put that pop of coral as the piping.  SEW….Addison’s quilt has two borders on, and I will await the arrival of the rest of the border fabric.  I have a shopping trip planned in July for wide backing for this quilt.

Meanwhile, since Addison’s quilt is “off the design wall”, I could proceed with Step 6 – the big reveal of Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt.  This mystery is designed by Carole – From My Carolina Home. Directions for Step 6 were posted last Friday.  I have been sewing like a wild woman since Wednesday morning.  There was a lot to do in terms of “block construction”; especially for my king sized quilt!

Here is a peek –

assembly line step 6

building the components of the “B” blocks

ready to sew the last group of blocks

lots to line up, so I am pinning!  I need to make 72 of these blocks – there are 60 in this photo below.

just 12 more

And I just need 10 more!!  Once I have the last 10 constructed, I can start laying out the pattern.

Note; yes – you HAVE seen this block before… was the same block we did in Step 2.  The blocks from Step 2 are being called the A blocks, and these block are identical.  We will however “ROTATE” them, and call them B Blocks.  Getting them on the design wall and making sure the blocks are properly rotated will be interesting. I will be using my pins with the marking beads ! These blocks will look very impressive when I get them up onto the design wall later this weekend!

There is still time to play along if you head over to Carole’s blog for the pattern.  Do it quickly, as it will be coming off the blog soon!

Addison’s Quilt – on the design wall

Last week I mentioned that I was busy making and squaring up lots of half-square triangles.  That work is finished and I spent several days on the design wall placing the pattern that I had planned.  I came up “5 short” for the pattern I wanted with the turquoise that I thought needed to be in the quilt.  LUCKILY – while I was working on the “Second Time Around” donations for Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, I found several donated pieces that were exactly the right color!  There certainly is a benefit to having all that fabric to “shop from”.  Saved me a big shopping trip in a week when I was obligated for so many other things. I pre-washed those pieces Wednesday night, and yesterday afternoon, got them starched, ironed, cut and sewn!  From 2 scraps that measured 9×9, and another that was 12×22, and a really odd shaped scrap that was about  12×20,  I was able to get enough blocks made that I could insert them throughout the pattern, and they feel like they “belong there”.

 Status – Pinned to the design wall.   Sorry, I just can’t get back “far enough” to take a picture of the bigger projects.  (Hubby is aware, and a new design wall “across the room” is in the planning stages!) (Note: Hubby is my design consultant, and has a “symmetrical”  point of view.  I will NOT complain about how many times he gently “suggested” I change something on this layout!  I originally wanted to put only a “pop” of turquoise” in this quilt, by placing 2 rows, and he did not like it..and I cautioned him that I might need another shopping trip………..enough said!)

Final layout

I’m going to let this design “simmer on the wall” for a couple of days. This pattern is 14 across and 16 down (288 – HST).  I have enough 5″ HST now to make a king size, trimmed in the basket, waiting to be used too, so switching out a block should be fairly easy.  Instead of being totally scrappy, there is a “controlled pattern” to the placement of each block, and I am still trying to decide if I really like one or 2 of the fabrics, now that they are placed.  The goal is a double bed size quilt, and this will have a narrow white border followed by a wider grey border.  My quilter’s math brain right now works that out to a 2″ white and a 5″ grey, but we will see how it all works out.

Because this quilt is for my littlest granddaughter, I thought I would give her mommy a choice in patterns that I was willing to make. She asked for a double bed size, as the crib “converts” to a double later on.  (Note….that gives me TIME to finish….and for that I am most pleased!)

I love making Half Square Triangles, so I created a Pinterest board- Baby Quilt HST ideas with patterns that I thought she might like and then my daughter chose the one that would best suit her decor and style.  She chose “A Halloween Quilt” by   Simple Simon and Company .  When I studied the blog post describing the pattern, she said she started with 8″ blocks.  I knew I wanted “smaller” blocks, and a bigger quilt.  I also wanted to add the 3rd color.  While Simple Simon used oranges, I am using a coral.  I love getting inspired by the work of others, and then tweaking the design to make it my own.  Pinterest is a great way to save ideas and inspirations.

Thanks for reading and following!  I have so many new followers this year, and I thank you all for taking the time to like the posts I write and for your lovely comments.


Cards and Quilting

I had a busy day on Saturday!  It was “card making class” at the library day.  There is a lovely lady, Jan,  in the community who has offered to give “free” classes at the library. We just bring our supplies, and she often will bring her embossing machine and other tools to share.  I decided on Friday to check out two books to gather ideas, and managed to page through them before I packed up my gear and went to the class.  We are “self guided” as we have been meeting for several months. Jan is available for suggestions and shares here experience with those who attend by offering suggestions.

I managed to get these 4 cards “crafted” in the time allotted.  I am glad I came in with ideas.  I had a little bit of fun with the stamps and fabrics and ribbons and tulle.  Now I need to create the insides.

card 1 May class

Card 3

I decided that these next two cards are “lacking”, so will look at them for a few days before putting them away.  They just need a bit more pizazz!

Card 4

card 2 May class

In the afternoon, I spent some time working on my granddaughter Addison’s quilt. She is 2 months old, and I am building a double bed size for her.  I started collecting the fabrics in March, not long after she joined the family.  Before I left on my cruise, I was able to get some of it cut and sewn into half square triangles.  I worked last week on squaring up quite a few.

During our fabric acquisition road trip, I acquired more white and another grey to add to this collection.  The whites and the new grey are waiting to be starched & ironed.  (I am a pre-washer!).  Meanwhile, more trimming must be done.

Half Square Triangles

These HST will trim to 5″.

More Half Square triangles

I got over 100 HST stitched yesterday, using up all the whites I had cut.  I will take a break and trim some today, then show you the layout that my daughter chose for Addison’s quilt.  It is quite graphic and fun!  (I really should figure out “how many” of those HST I need, but because I enjoy making them, I will keep sewing!)

Have a great day!