Barn Raising completed

Phew…that was a lot of work….all that wood and such………..

Kidding…..last post I let off with a peak of a couple of potential layouts for my “silk” project. Last week I posted about playing with them on the design wall.  I had 96 half square triangles  (3.5″) from our May class – Cheryl Lynch “Sewing with Silk” .

I had settled on the Barn Raising pattern.  By Wednesday afternoon it was ready to layer and quilt after trying  out some backing fabrics.  We settled (with hubby’s help) on the fabric for the border, back and binding.

I got them cut and attached, and ready to layer….  OOOPS….need to get batting A trip to Hancock Fabric was in store for the evening, and I managed to get 40% off of some nice warm and white batting.

I got it all put together and quilted by Thursday evening.  Now, I have Quilt guild on June 2 and I wanted to take it for “show & tell”, but I hated the way the thread I had used looked when it went across the blue and the magenta.  I had used a varigated seafoam green, and quilted in the ditch along all the squares. So, you know the seam ripper had to come out.  The seafoam green disappeared into the greens and pale purples…but not so much on the blue and the magenta/cranberry color.

On Friday I took a bus trip to the Quilter’s Unlimited Quilt Show in Chantilly VA, and selected some threads at the Superior Thread booth.  Saturday I spent picking out the stitches on some of my quilting. (Listened to an audio book, Simple Genius – David Baldacci while picking…)  Well….the threads I picked at the quilt show were great…at least 1 was. Since I failed to take a fabric sample with me, I ended up with a red tone, not a cranberry/magenta that I needed.  The blue I got was fabulous….you can not even see it on the finished top.  By the time I picked out all the threads that crossed the blue and magenta, I realized I could just pull from my embroidery thread rack…..and I did.

So, all the ripping out, quilting and binding were the effort this weekend. I am much happier with the end result.  I added a hanging sleeve just before I put the binding on, and actually HAND FINISHED the binding, the sleeve and my Stitching Grandma label.  So…here it is….the Barn Raising, in Silk.


Adding the label

Adding the label

All of the colors are represented in this batik

All of the colors are represented in this batik


Putting on the binding

Putting on the binding

Barn Raising in Silk  27 x 39"

Barn Raising in Silk
27 x 39″

First finish for JUNE !!! (Hey it IS June….and I spent about 4 hours today hand stitching that binding down and getting that hanging sleeve on…….)

Quilt show….spent too much money of course, but picked up some fun fat quarters. We play a game at our Quilt Bee that involves trading, and the them this month is BEACH. I had a lot of fun to pick out fabrics that fit the theme.  Also I tripped over some reproduction fabrics that will become a table runner in the near future.  And, I bought a pattern to make a quilting tool book tote for going to classes. I have all the supplies on hand except a 2 1/8″ metal ring. (Either the quilt store or the hardware store tomorrow for that!). (It will be a race with my friend Barbara to see who gets it finished first!!)

Let’s see…oh, 2 new pounce pads. One for white and one for pink.  (Somebody….me… put blue in with the white, forever making it a blue pad……). Had interesting discussion with the “Pounce” man about application and got out of there without buying any more stencils.  Got  big spools of thread from Superior (you know, buy 3 and they are ONLY $15)….and….found a product that will make applique a bit more high tech….8 1/2 x 11″ run thru your printer paper, similar to wonder-under.  Transfer your design right to the paper via the magic of your computer. (You know I will spend as much time trying to cram as many designs on a page as I would tracing them free hand.) 🙂

We saw some great quilts and these all caught my eye.  The last one is a Bonnie Hunter design. It is called Celtic Solstice and was a mystery quilt last winter. (On my “to do” list too!)  The USAF Logo is also on my list…but first I need to find the design somewhere or buy design software.  There are two that look like optical illusions, and I loved them both.  And how about those feet….that was a paper piecing challenge at one of the chapters of Quilter’s Unlimited. Too cute!

June begins with a busy week starting tomorrow with Quilt Guild meeting on Monday and a class with the Guild on Tuesday.

Our speaker will be Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr “The Luminous Quilt” lecture and trunk show. The class on Tuesday will be Snowdrift Quilt taught by Bill Kerr, and is a Graphic Curves class.  (I have not mastered curved piecing yet…..). Have my fabric chosen for that project; as well as for 2 other projects in line.  (Did you notice I skipped right over “That Shoulder Bag”pattern I downloaded from Gourmet Quilter….no, I have not forgotten…it is on my list….).    Meanwhile….the weeds in the garden grow ever taller…but the Peonies are outshining them anyway!

Happy stitching everyone!



Projects abound this week!

Have had a few more projects completed since the Baptism banner went in the mail.

Last week was Quilt Bee day for the Material Girls and we worked on baby quilts for a charity.

At our meeting we cut 6 inch (I think) squares using some lovely flannel.  I cut up enough for two kits.

I brought home a kit and  another stack of fabric to kit up.

The one I brought home already cut turned out like this —

flannel baby quilt for charity

flannel baby quilt for charity

Winnie the Pooh charity quilt in flannel

Winnie the Pooh charity quilt in flannel


I decided I would try a little “free motion quilting” which was less than lovely. 😦   (But hey, it is a baby quilt and they won’t care that my swirls and stippling aren’t great. Good practice…) I don’t like bringing the back to the front to bind, so I made some binding out of flannel scraps (left over from the wedding quilt last year).

My “next project” was to take a UFO out and finish it.


Cupcakes anyone?

Cupcakes anyone?

Used a pounce pad and stencil

Used a pounce pad and stencil

Quilted some swirls

Quilted some swirls

Finished front

Finished front

cupcake 9 patch back Baking fabric!!

cupcake 9 patch back Baking fabric!!

I loved this cupcake fabric and sprinkles, and most of all the fabric on the back and the border.  I have enough left to make an APRON for my youngest granddaughter…thinking 2nd birthday! (Shhh..don’t tell).

The next project…..there is a story of course.  A couple of weeks ago we were “up North” in Dover DE and ventured into the Habit for Humanity “re-store” store.  A favorite stop when we are in that area (we have one right in our home town we never seem to visit).  I spied a rolling butcher block top cart/island.  It was SOLID wood; real butcherblock top (2″ thick) and the price was $65.  I have been after a piece that I could transform into an ironing station. This met the requirements for sturdy and wide.  It is 2 ‘ x 4 ‘ and a nice comfortable height for working at.  We brought it home, gave it a good scrub with a brush and some murphy’s oil soap. Let it dry for 48 hours, then we coated the entire thing in teak oil.  That took nearly a week to soak in and no longer feel “sticky”.

This weekend we hauled it upstairs, into the quilt room (disassembly and reassembly required to get it up the stairs…..too heavy for me to help carry otherwise).  I picked up some nice 90″ wide batting (cotton) at WAL-MART off the bolt and 2 yards later, had a very nice padded surface.  We covered the cotton batting in flannel.  I engaged dear husband with his air powered staple gun to affix it snuggly.

We contemplated further “covering” for the project.  I bought this lovely ironing board cover at a quilt show in 2013 –

You will note that it is a “generous size  65x 29.  (Did I mention how thick the butcher block was?)

IronSlide brand cover by BoNash

IronSlide brand cover by BoNash

Well, it would not wrap around the edge and under for stapling….so, the next best thing….add an edge!!  (Thank you to the nice lady at Walmart who suggested that and sold me a box of self adhesive velcro.)

I added 9″ to the long side on both edges.  We tacked a piece of molding to the cart, with the hooky side of the velcro running the length.  (We measured and affixed the velcro before we tacked it to the cart).  We did this on all four sides.  With some careful markings with pencil and PINS, we marked where the velcro needed to go on the skirting and the ends, and put it on.  (Before we did the velcro step, we stretched out a nice big piece of flannel; taped it to the work table, and stuck the self adhesive cover to this piece of flannel.  I used my “Pampered chef” rolling pin to smooth it out.  Hubby was afraid it would be so sticky we would not be able to reposition or remove the cover if we wanted to.)(He is a genius….) It took longer to peel back the paper on the sticky side than any other part of the project.  The cover had “wrinkles” in it from being folded up in the packaging for so long.  I am SO glad we took that extra step because now, I can easily remove the cover.


Isn’t it fun!! I love the awning stripe fabric.  I have rolls of “decorator” fabric that I was gifted and this was the tail end of a roll.  I have just enough left to cover a bulletin board later this week. (Need more staples for the staple gun first. )  No, ironing a big quilt top will not be a problem  And I can pull it out from the wall as needed.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  Going to invest in a container for underneath to hold the starch and water jugs etc…that way they don’t get knocked over when I roll it around.  (Maybe a fabric box with some of that upholstery fabric I have bolts of….)

In between the ironing station project, I worked on a layout of my SILK half square triangles (HST). I took a class at the beginning of May and we made 96 3.5″ HST. Our class was taught by Cheryl Lynch ( ). She is a fabric artist who taught us how to stabilize the silk before cutting! She also had us draw a grid on the back of the fabric and we made speedy HST. Good trick if you are making a bunch in a particular color scheme. Check out her blog — I bet she is looking at architecture for great ideas for quilts.

I played around with a chevron design –


chevrons in silk

chevrons in silk

But then, I decided to try a design that was in the classs booklet called BARN RAISING:



You know I had to pick this.  It was by far the best idea from my perspective.  I think it will be a wall hanging.  It should finish out 24 x 48.  I have 4 rows on the bottom put together.  I have a goal of having it finished to take to the guild meeting  NEXT Monday.  (Garden weeding will HAVE TO WAIT…..).

I need to “up date” my 2014 project list with a few finishes! 🙂  I need to go sew….  My thought was to finish this, as it counts against the UFO list; and then cut out and sew a BAG that I purchased the pattern for.

I have a favorite “video blogger” The Gourmet Quilter” and she did a 3 video tutorial on a great over the shoulder bag

( )!

I loved it so much I bought the pattern from her website! If you have some time, go check out her videos!!  Picture of the bag from her website below to give you an idea!  Love that fabric she used.

(Pattern available here —  )

MY  bag will be made from fabrics in my stash.  At first, I thought I would use some of the lovely NYC fabrics I bought early this year.  But then, I changed my mind. I had some fabric just WAITING for me to use for this bag.  It will be my “treat to myself” when I get it finished.

Do go check out the Gourmet Quilter on her blog. Her videos are DELICIOUS.

Time to sew…..




Airplanes and little boys

Did a little machine embroidery on some 6″ squares.  Airplanes for little boys!  These planes are about 3/4 ”  each!


Also did a 6 ” square with initials for the quilt I am making.


Got all my squares put together with sashing and posts.  The red squares above will go in the center of that blue border I have pinned on the design wall.  The cornerstones will be the same blue as the posts in my sashing.   Spent a lot more time fooling around with the embroidery machine than I had intended.


Thought I would get the border on today. But…that’s life.

My dear husband was disassembling and reassembling the swimming pool pump, in hopes we could get the pool opened up; chemicals in, and the green gloop gone.  (Why is it that some times you open a crystal clear pool, and other years…ewww…..think the frogs want to swim there today.)  Love what happens when you pour the shock in and watch any of the algae turn white; break away from the walls and float to the top!! (Sick humor I have).  We have an auto cover that we flip the switch and roll back.  The “WORMS” somehow always seem to get in the pool along the edge of that auto cover.  Gross…..   But…hey; the water is 63 degrees; the air was 81 today; and by the time the water is warm enough to get in, I should have it crystal clear and balanced.  We use BAQUICIL; a non chlorine product, and I am often challenged by the chemicals. Thank goodness our local pool store does water tests for me WHENEVER I wander in with a bottle of pool water.

Hopefully, tomorrow afternoon, the domestic chores will not get in the way and I will be able to put the borders on the quilt top.

Two rows done!

The end of the day yesterday

Well; this is where we left off yesterday~!~

and today I decided I had to make BLUE posts to go with the sashing

two rows completed

and this is how I made out today!

Got all my sashing and posts attached made and attached; and managed to get two rows done!!    More tomorrow I am sure!  This is the “fast” part! 

I just love this pattern presented by Aurifil Threads and Pat Sloan. See the note at the bottom of the blog with info about the designer Jeni Baker.  Again thanks to Susan Clair Mayfield – the Gourmet Quilter for her great videos on her blog –

Time for dinner!

Getting back to sewing! Aurifil block of the month


Do you remember this block? This is my Aurifil block of the month for March 2013.  Official name is “THE BOXER” (see notes at the bottom).   I am making a memorial quilt using this one block, with my own concept of colors and patterns.

  Well; I haven’t touched them since April 18!  I took a little trip with my sister Anne to Florida and a nice cruise for 7 days!  It was a good break from the busy life!

Well; I got back on Monday, a week ago; sewed at church with our Senior Quilters on Tuesday.  I managed to work on binding another Senior Quilt.  I put that quilt on a hanger with the binding 1/2 on, brought it home and hung it in the sewing room.  When I went to “load the car” THIS Tuesday; I realized my sewing machine was still in the roller tote (not on the desk); the quilt was still on the hanger and I had not sewn a stitch for the entire time in between Tuesdays!  What…how is that possible?  Life….(My husband thought that when I retired, I would be more efficient around the house, you know, vacuum, laundry, tidying up the garden, cooking, cleaning, etc….well…let me tell you, sewing has taken priority!  At least for several months….and the house was a wreck.  So, when I came home from a week of being waited on,  to a house full of clutter and pets etc, I thought I better do SOMETHING!)

But this week…..I have taken a vow to do some sewing.

On Monday I went for my first visit, and joined the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild.  ( ).  I attended their meeting and was warmly welcomed by Melissa, the membership chairman, and by Pat, a former president of the Guild, and fellow member at church.  Pat invited me months ago, but my Mondays were not working out.  I have them on my “retirement schedule” now!  I have been invited to participate in a “BEE” next Wednesday.  This is a smaller group within the guild and is largely made up of new guild members.  So, I think it will be a nice way to get to know some other quilters in the county, and to learn from them!

So, back to sewing!  Finished my 3rd binding job for the Senior Quilts.  We have 10 out of 14 back at church on hangers, ready to present the first Sunday in June.  Looking forward to taking some pictures of the whole collection of quilts once they are all back.

I committed yesterday to sewing from 11 am until after 10 pm, taking a few breaks (the dear husband likes dinner…..hmmmmm).  Since he was going to his own meeting in the evening, I took advantage and sewed in the evening while he was gone. Usually I stop at dinner time.

So; do you want to see some progress?  Thought so……started the day with 7 blocks done.


Takes about 45 mins to an hour per block to assemble.  (There are 33 pieces in each of the 12″ blocks)


I was thrilled to get all 12 blocks finished by the time my husband came home from work at 5.  I puttered around then, thinking how I would “set” the blocks.

My limitations on this quilt was the fleece I bought to back this quilt.  It wasn’t giving me the flexability I wanted, so I “mentally” threw the fleece out of the equation.  Then on the design wall; I started laying pieces of border and sashing to see how it would look.


I thought that since it is full of busy prints it needed something to give a place for they eye to rest, and I went with the solid red for sashing.  I was thinking red cornerstones but have changed my mind.  I am going to use the same solid blue as in the center blocks.  I will also be using the solid blue as posts in my sashing.


This was my last concept picture before I started working on the sashing……

I worked on sashing until 10 pm last night, and plan to spend most of today getting it together. I got all but 2 of my squares sashed on the left hand side of the block.  I was deliberating what my next step was, and decided  I needed to do a sashing & post review first!  I love the video’s that the Gourmet Quilter ~ SusanClaire Mayfield does!  .   Watched her tips & techniques video 054 and 101 this morning (ok, I watched about 6 others, ones I had missed while traveling).  Now….I can proceed with confidence.

Glad to be back at the sewing!!  (Already thinking past this quilt to all the UFO’s…..and the little sundresses ……and the cushions for the patio furniture……..)

Notes:  CREDITS go to Aurifi l Designer Block of the Month;  March 2013: The Boxer Block by Jeni Baker @ In Color Order (note:  For any questions email: Visit for more patterns and tutorials. Visit for more block tutorials.  © 2013 Jeni Baker, In Color Order LLC.

two works in progress

Last week was a busy quilting week. On Tuesday our Senior Quilters group was to meet at church and tie two quilts. Because it was Easter Vacation, the turnout was not what I expected. It turns out, it was just me for the first hour and a half. So; I took that time to work on my own project for layering and pin basting. By the time I finished, the other person arrived and we managed to get one quilt tied. I decided we would “try again” for Friday, and I had a bit better turnout, but darn if it didn’t start out much the same way….the cell phone started ringing, the text messages came in, and again, I was there for the first hour and a half with no help. Thank goodness for a nice wide roll of masking tape!! On Friday we did get two tied, so it was progress. Considering there are 14, we have a lot of work to do. I brought one of those quilts home to bind.
We had a little “make your own” binding lesson on Thursday at my house, and I loved to show the video by the Gourmet Quilter –
Both videos are great tutorials for new quilters. Making your own binding is easy and economical, that is for sure.  By Saturday, I was  binding the quilt I had brought home (I pieced this one as well); with the purple binding I made.  Now, in the video’s the Gourmet Quilter does not press her binding or pin, but I do both, a little crazy, but it works for me. I only pin to the corner, then make my mitered turns the way she shows.

Binding Adara Ryans quilt

I was having such a good time sewing and watching quilt video’s Saturday.  I realized that Bonnie Hunter / Quiltville was going to have her QUILTCAM on at 2 pm, so I logged onto her blog – and watched live.  She has so much energy and shares so much information while she sews.

Binding Adara Ryans quilt 2

If you look at the computer monitor behind my machine, she is on screen.  Now, this is a fun way to enjoy the company of another quilter.

I was so motivated I finished the binding on the senior quilt, and put my buddy Pete’s quilt in the machine (the one I layered on Tuesday); and started to machine quilt it.

petes quilt in the machine

petes quilt in machine 2

I am cross hatching across the blocks; and I got about 1/4 of the way done.  I stopped when the power cord vibrated out of the side of the machine!

petes quilt in machine 3

I’m sure that was a sign to take the whole quilt out of the machine, straighten it all up on the table and have a good look at what I had done, and what needed to be done next (LIKE DINNER)….

So, here is where I left  it for Sunday — no sewing today because we tied 2 more quilts at church, and I brought another one home to bind.

petes quilt on the table partial

You can see the beginning of the quilting starting to leave it’s impressions. I set myself an alarm on my phone to get out to the garage and up to the sewing room and get busy by 10 am Monday.  I would really like to get this finished by the end of the week.  I figured I can work on this all day Monday (Yes, it is wash day…but I managed to get some wash finished this weekend, so it will be light loads all day!); then Tuesday morning make some binding and bind the one I brought home today. Wednesday is busy with family matters, and Thursday I have a class at Serendipity Quilt Shop. So, that leaves Friday to get this DONE!  I have my memorial quilt blocks on the design wall, waiting to be stitched , so the projects are adding up.

I do have to say, I really enjoyed the cross hatching on Pete’s quilt…..a lot of work with my little Brother machine and the 6″ throat, but I like the results….(hopefully the quilt police with the rulers and such won’t examine it….I think Pete will be pleased)

a little FMQ, and some stitch in the ditch


This Pattern is called ON POINT by Pat Sloan.  I started this in a class in January and previously posted some comments and photo’s.  This quilt is moving along nicely finally.  I haven’t touched it in a month, because I have been working on other projects.  I got it layered and pin basted on Tuesday, and started working on the outline stitching.


Started out by outline stitching the big blocks, stitch in the ditch along the borders and a big x in the middle. I used my walking foot to do this, and am glad I ordered a new one. I haven’t had a lot of luck using the ordinary foot for stitch in the ditch due to the thickness of the quilt and my small machine throat.

These big flowers did not lend themselves to “stitch in the ditch”; so I put the FMQ foot on, put the Queen Size Supreme Slider Free Motion Machine Quilting Mat super slider on the machine,

used the QUILT HALO ring

….. and after a little practice piece, I decided to just go for it. I switched to a varigated purple thread, so it may be hard to see. I have only done FMQ on 1 other quilt, and so I am quite the novice.

The Left side of triangles  are done, and I started working across the top.  So far, the HALO and the Super Slider Mat are really helping me.  Big improvement from my last feeble attempts.  I’ve been refreshing my skills by watching videos today; and special  thanks to the Gourmet Quilter Blog on wordpress –   or  –  — Susan Claire Mayfield .  She has the BEST videos full of information and instruction!!

More fun in a day or sew….

Happy Stitching!

Quilting videos

I love to learn new methods and techniques.  I am always searching on the internet for videos that I can watch to sharpen my skills or demonstrate a process that I haven’t seen; or see a process that I think is too complex for my limited skills. I get frustrated when you find a series, only to find out there is a charge.

Today I tripped over  Hey QUILTY – a Mary Fons  free video site; with about 8-10 minute videos.  Here is a link to their Episode Guide:   Hey Quilty has a lot of videos to watch.  Mary Fons also has a blog

On the Fons & Porter website; I found a group of free videos in the “Sew Easy” section   .  I was happy to find them as well.  I cross posted a lesson on making CIRCLE APPLIQUES to another blogger, and thought I would share it here with you:   .  Perfect circles every time.

Here on WordPress blog I found The Gourmet Quilter –   Susan Claire Mayfield gives a video lesson nearly every day.  She gives very clear instructions that even a beginning quilter could pick up and us effectively.

And of course, there is Nancy Zieman with her show Sewing with Nancy on PBS   —   What I like about Nancy’s shows is she does sewing, embroidery and quilting and you can select a link that takes you to your area of specific interest.  The shows run 25 mins or so. I’ve watched a lot of them on the embroidery aspects, and it helped me when I got my new machine.  Of course, she is sponsored by Babylock, so she has a “very” high end machine – “as she should” she says!   She has done a whole series on different pressure feet for your machine; she calls them the “high heels” of sewing.  Encouraged me to order a couple of unusual pressure feet for my machine!

I enjoy watching the videos on the computer as I work on my projects.  If you are not up for watching, but would rather LISTEN, then Pat Sloan has just the right thing !  She does a radio show every Monday, and all of her past shows are available to listen to.  Using the computer you load the show, and when it concludes, another show loads.  I found that very handy, set it and forget it.  I do have to note the date on the last program I listened to so I have a starting point for my next listening event.   Be sure to go all the way to the bottom of the All people  Quilt page, and you will see a “player” .  Scroll on the listings on the player to the bottom, and listen from the beginning of her shows.  These shows run 25-30 mins.

Then of course, there is always You Tube….

SEW FUN !!  Enjoy the technology that accompanies the quilting – embroidery – sewing hobby!