Monday, February 28, 2011


My Lucinda Brodie quilt is done!  Binding is sewn as well!  Now I have to make the label.  Just in time for our guild quilt show -- we set up tomorrow, and it runs all month at the South Hill Library.  Come see our quilts if you're in the neighborhood.

Friday, February 25, 2011


I have finished my IQ buddy's block!  This simplified or mock cathedral window block is super easy to make, and what a pretty thing it is!  I supposed one could use white triangles over squares of colored fabrics, but I think I like the reverse much better.  An interesting thing about this method:  although I should have ended up with a 12 1/2" block, it was more like 12 1/4".  I guess that the quilting/sewing on the turned back folded side of the triangles drew up the fabric a little.  So, just in case it was needed, I added a 1" strip of white around the whole thing.  Another member of the IQ support group is assembling the blocks, and I didn't want her to be short changed with my smallish block.

Anyway, I told you that I had Lucinda up on the frame.  Here she is, ready to go. I decided to fill in the white spaces in the upper border with echoes of the designs.  I didn't like that as much as I hoped I would, but I'm stuck with it now, because I have neither the time nor the inclination to rip it all out.

Here are a few of the blocks.  I don't know if the quilting is visible or not.  But, you can magnify these pictures significantly by clicking on them, though, and that should help you to see the quilting.  I'm using a thin thread that I haven't used before.  After this, I'm going to stick to cotton thread.  It quilts up better.  But I figure it's ok to experiment on my own quilts.

I'm not sure you can see the feathered circle in the center of this block.  The IQ can make these from scratch.  So I insert a circle, tweak it to fit the actual dimensions of the circle of cloth I am working with (even if it's a little cattywompus!), designate the circle as a "path", and add the feathers in whatever number and size looks good.  With the IQ, you can try out all sorts of combinations first before settling on the one you like best.  Easy Peasy.

In this one, the circle of feathers is more visible.  The flying geese blocks were quilted with continuous curves.   If you're in southern Virginia during the month of March, come to the guild show at the South Hill, VA library and take a look at all the pretty quilts!

This is the last row of the quilt before the bottom border.  I have done one star on it but had to stop for dinner .  Tomorrow I'll finish it and Sunday I'll bind it -- I hope.  The show starts Tuesday.

A very good day, full of progress.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Lucinda is on the quilt frame, but I'm upstairs sewing away at my block for the quilt for IQ friend with breast cancer.  I'm using the colors found in a swatch of fabric called Peony Tales by South Sea Imports. 

First I cut 2 1/2" blocks of a background fabric.  Mine is white.  Then I cut 2 1/2" squares of each of my overlay fabrics, fold them in half to make triangles, and press (as above).

I place one triangle of the colored fabric over the background fabric square and pin.

Then I do the same thing with the next colored triangle.  Now I have two colors overlaying the background fabric square.

The triangles need to be stabilized in their positions, so next I sew around the BACKGROUND square about 1/8" in from the edge.

Now I can start arranging the squares into blocks of four.

I decide how I want the blocks of four to interact with the other blocks of four.

When I am satisfied with my arrangement, I sew individual blocks of four together.  Then I sew those blocks to the other blocks.  I chose to use a square of the inspiration fabric in the middle.

Now the fun part: I turn back the folded edge of each triangle and stitch along the edge, creating a curved space through which I can see my background fabric.  A lovely pattern arises, looking very much like a scrappy orange peel block. 

Now that I've gotten this block well underway, I will descend to my lurkim and give Lucinda my undivided attention for the next four hours.

Monday, February 21, 2011


The Lake Gaston Piecemakers Quilt Guild is a very busy and prolific guild.  The members are always doing something interesting. Sometimes we teach each other a specific skill (mine is paper piecing).  Other times we start a project and pass it off to the next person, as happened with the Round Robin, above.  This delightfully serene quilt was finished by Myrt, who brought it to me to quilt.  It will go to the outpatient chemo unit at the local hospital.  The backing is the softest flannel!  Someone will surely welcome the warmth and comfort of this quilt as he or she sits in that recliner receiving his/her meds.

While my IQ was chugging away during each row of the pantograph on the Round Robin quilt, I was able to finish appliqueing the bottom panel for my Lucinda Brodie border.  Today I will assemble the rest of the quilt and put it on my quilting frame.

I don't think I will have any time to do another project while quilting Lucinda since it's all going to be custom, but in case I do, here are the fabrics for the next small endeavor.  These will go into a block, which will be joined by other blocks from other IQ support group members, and will become a very special quilt for one of our team, who is dealing with breast cancer surgery, chemo, and radiation. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011


By now you know, if you have been following this blog, that I am working on a major opus called Lucinda Brodie. This quilt requires an inordinate amount of time to do because it has applique in it. I don't particularly like applique, so I elected to do it with the sewing machine, using a tiny blanket stitch. I don't like doing it that way, either, but at least it's faster.

This is a time consuming effort, and I hate to waste time on just one thing.  For instance, I, like most of you out there, can be washing clothes, cleaning the house, cooking chili on the stove, and listening to music all at the same time.  At the end of the day, I would feel like I've accomplished something.

I had these charity quilts to do for some of our guild members, and I didn't want to sit in my studio and work JUST on Lucinda Brodie, so I cranked up the iPod in its player, loaded Vanessa's Disappearing Nine Patch onto the quilt frame downstairs in my lurkim and selected a cute pantograph to go with the Halloween themed fabrics Vanessa had chosen.

While the IntelliQuilter was stitching out a row, I was appliqueing.  And at the end of 7 rows, here was the result.

In this view you can see the bats and witches hats in the design.

And in this one,you can see the bats again and pumpkins.  Cute, huh?

While I was downstairs in my lurkim, I had a pot of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove.  I love the aroma of homemade spaghetti sauce.  There's something energizing about it to me.  The day would have been perfect if I could have figured out how to fold clothes at the same time as sewing and quilting and cooking and listening to music, but I had to settle for just doing four things at once. 

I don't think I'll show you my applique just yet.  It took another quilt on the frame with another pantograph for me to finish it.  I'll show you that one tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Continuing Saga...

Join the party at Quilt Block's blog!  Send them a photo of your most recent project that uses .... FABRIC!  Did you guess it?  Anyway, here's mine.  I've done one applique border for my Lucinda Brodie.  Woo hoo!

This store really likes contests, so check in with them from time to time.

By the way, if you're thinking of appliqueing a border, DON'T do it the way I did.  I added the border and THEN appliqued.  WRONG!  The second one is already measured, and the designs are fused to it in preparation for interminable blanket stitch appliqueing tomorrow.  Then I'll sew the border on AFTER all the applique is done.  Live and learn.

I'm also hosting a class on the Disappearing Nine Patch quilt for my guild tomorrow.  We're all getting together to sew our Outreach quilts.  By the end of the month, we should have 30 quilts to hand in to Madeline's House.  I don't know if that will be enough or too many -- they wouldn't tell me how many residents they had, but after some round about talking, I'm guessing this is a good estimate.

Off to the lurkim to cut batting for the charity quilts.  Have a great day!  And don't forget to check out the Quilt Story blog!

TA DA!!!

My car is in my garage for the very first time!  Oh frabjous day!  Calloo! Callay!

Friday, February 11, 2011


OK.  Here's what I started with today.  I had my nine star blocks and 24 strips of flying geese sashing, which I arranged in (hopefully) pleasing color segues, following the quilt pattern that determines the direction of the flying geese.  I took a picture at this point because I was afraid with all the sewing of pieces together, I might accidentally "rearrange" and lose the order I wanted them to be in.  And that actually happened, so you might think of doing that yourself if you have a complicated quilting project like this.

Next was to make the 16 cornerstone blocks where the sashings come together.  These required appliqueing a fussy cut flower circle in the middle of each block.

Finally it was time to assemble the star blocks with the flying geese sashing and the cornerstone blocks.

This has taken ALL day!  Whew!  I am definitely tired tonight.  A huge salad with Tuscan Boule bread sounds like just the ticket!  Good night all.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


These are my three most favorite blocks from the Lucinda Brodie quilt I am making, using the pattern supplied in the Australian Patchwork and Quilting Magazine, Vol 18, No 5 from 2009.  I am entering them in the traditional category for the block contest going on at the Quilt Story blog.

If you haven't already been there, check the block party contest out.  Some of the blocks are STUNNING!

For those of you visiting for the first time from the Quilt Story gang, thumb through the Flickr badge to see some of my work. If you're more industrious, scroll back through the blog entries to see others.  And if you need long arm quilting, email me!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I needed to take a little break from making 120-some flying geese for my Lucinda Brodie quilt, so I put quilt guild buddy Myrt's Disappearing Nine Patch on the frame and let the IQ do five rows of a delightful McTavish-y looking pantogram that just made the quilt spiffy!

Here's that pattern.  Doesn't it look luscious?

While the IQ was doing its thing, I resumed making my Professional Tote by Creative Thimble,   I'll tell you.  This is one heck of a project.  Lots of things that need to be done, and in a specific order, of course.  No "eyeballing" it here.  This is the front of the bag.  You can see a zippered pocket in the middle and two pockets on the sides that are held partially closed by narrow cording and cording locks.

The back has a long pocket held shut with Velcro.  Above this pocket is a marvelous travel strap that lets the tote slide onto your luggage handle!  Isn't that cool?  Below is a picture of a handle going through the strap.

Inside there are even more pockets.  There is a long one in the center that is zippered and several along the sides.
It sure feels good to have this project done at last! 

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Hurray!  I have finished the nine blocks for my Lucinda Brodie quilt.  I am almost finished making the flying geese, too. Another day and those should be done.  That is, IF I don't have to spend several hours on the phone with AT&T again. 

We have gotten new phones and service, since our old provider has sold out to AT&T.  Although the sales people couldn't be nicer, there have been many, many problems setting up the account and getting our old numbers into the new phones.  Turns out it's a snafu on AT&T's part, but in the last four days, it has taken two visits to the store for a total of five hours and three telephone calls, each taking 30 - 90 minutes, during which each helpful but uninformed woman assisting us has had to retrace all the steps that had been taken by all the "helpers" who went before her.  Sigh... 

One of these days we'll get it all straightened out. Meanwhile, we bought one of their MicroCell boosters.  Our area of EBF, VA has poor reception for our cell phones.  Our former provider, Alltel, had the best reception, but they sold out partly to Verizon and partly to AT&T.  We tried Verizon and got ZERO reception here.  We're in the section sold to AT&T.  Even though for most of the surrounding countryside in our area we get adequate cellular coverage, we only get one bar in our home, if that.  But with this new gadget, we get five bars!!! Woo hoo!!!  At least THAT problem is solved!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I received this darling coffee set from my BFF Mary when I visited her recently.  The cup is just the right size for a leisurely introduction to the day.  Included were the delicate china spoon, a packet of French vanilla (YUM!) creamer, and a poem:

We've shared a coffee and a chat...
As friends so often do.
So when you brew this single cup...
Imagine I am there with you.

My eldest son and his wife gave us this wonderful Keurig coffee maker for Christmas, so I popped in a K cup of Newman's Own Special Decaf, sniffing its heavenly aroma as it steamed and poured its way into my new blue and white French Hen cup, stirring the French Vanilla creamer into it with my pretty new spoon, and took my first taste.  Mmmmmm!  Too good to waste.  I have a habit of making myself a cup of coffee and walking away from it, becoming distracted by the various demands of the day.  But not today.  Today I had a full schedule, but first -- the luxury of an uninterrupted whole cup of coffee!

Here's to you, Mary.  Wish you were here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


The Lake Gaston Piecemakers Quilt Guild meets every Wednesday for one reason or another.  The first Wednesday of the month is Scrappies.  Those of us who love scrap quilts bring our projects to a local church gathering room and sew together, enjoying the cameraderie in an otherwise solitary pursuit.

Today, eight women joined me to cut more 5" squares from the last of the fabric manufacturers' samples as well as a huge garbage bag full of scraps that a lady from my community had given me for potential use by the guild.  After two hours, we had pretty much cut what could be cut from all of the fabrics, and now it falls to me to divide them up into designer or color sorted packets for use in one of our Outreach quilts this month.

Next Wednesday is our guild meeting, during which these packets will be distributed to anyone who wants to participate in the Disappearing Nine Patch marathon on the following two Wednesdays.

This cluster of purples caught my eye, especially the set of patches with the soft peach in them.  If no one claims this set, I'm going to make another D9P with these and use a rich peach as the "pop" fabric in the middle of each block.

Meanwhile, my Lucinda Brodie progresses, albeit slowly.  The flying geese, above, are ready to go as soon as I make the last 30 of them.  During this week, while DH is waiting to start his new job next Monday, we two have been doing household projects here and there, which has diverted my focused energy from getting my basic building blocks done for my quilt.  However, tomorrow, DH is going to his new job to set up his tool boxes in their (hopefully) permanent home, and I have decided to stay home and sew to make up for lost time.

I'll miss him... for a while.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Joyce T's Disappearing Nine Patch arrived at my house yesterday and is leaving it today.   The fabrics were donated by Wish Upon A Quilt in the Raleigh area.  Joyce made this as part of my guild's outreach program, using a pattern I had modified somewhat from the usual D9P.

In this case, several of us took the donated fabrics, which were just swatches of various lines from fabric manufacturers, and cut those swatches into 5" squares.  The line Joyce worked with had both lights and darks in it, and she used them effectively to highlight each other, but we had about 30 other lines and manufacturers to work with.  The tables were covered with many gaily colored squares, some that were bright with Christmas colors and some that were tropical and some with children's themes on them and others that had a more old fashioned, reproduction appearance.

Out of all these hundreds of squares, collections were gathered for 15 or so quilts, coordinating them as much as possible if the swatches from a particular line were not adequate to make an entire quilt.  It takes 48 squares of colors, 48 squares of backgrounds, and 17 squares of a "pop" color to make one quilt, not to mention the extra yardage for sashings and borders.

Once the quilts are made, some members of our guild will quilt them by themselves, and others will have the quilts done by a longarmer.  No matter who does the work, however, the focus of our guild is to provide these warm creations for people who need their intrinsic and spiritual comfort as they face sometimes inestimable hurdles in their daily lives.

Because Joyce wants her outreach quilt to go to the local hospital's outpatient chemo unit, I quilted it with ribbons, the symbol of hope and caring for cancers of all kinds.  We hope it will cheer someone during the long hours spent in those recliners in the clinic.