Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stash Report - Week #9

I am still being good, but it won't be for much longer.

Used (Finished #10) this week, (13.50)
Year To Date Finished, (98.60)
Added, -0-
Added Year to Date, 58.55
Net Year To Date, (40.05)

In 11 days, I will be traveling to Baton Rouge, La. to attend the Gulf States Quilting Association Seminar. In addition to the great teachers, I am hoping for at least one full day of shopping. My "cookie jar floweth over". I am signed up for classes with Judy Laquidara and Bonnie Hunter. For more fun, Mary is flying in from New York to make it a girlfriend trip of sewing, talking, shopping and more sewing.

If anyone can make it into the Baton Rouge area, check out the Seminar details at the GSQA Website. There will be two inspirational speakers/trunk shows, Linda Schmidt and Bonnie Hunter --- and "hopefully" several vendors to help me bust the bank.

For more Stash Reports, visit Judy Laquidara's website.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Finish #10 and quilting progress

Finished the 16-patch/pinwheel quilt, a pattern from the Bonnie Hunter Site. I must have tested five different borders before deciding to go light -- then the ah ha moment.

Close-up of the quilting. I have decided to label my quilting method as "naturalist", because in nature, flowers and leaves are not symetrically perfect - and neither is my quilting.

As you can see, I am still quilting tops. I will NOT go back to piecing until I have my Carolina Christmas (Mardi Gras) quilt done.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Design Wall

"The Goose Has Left the Pond", designed by Larisa Key of Connecticut was published in the November 2001 QNM. I held on to this magazine in hopes of one day making this quilt. It was started last year, with only two blocks, settings and border left to go.

I am trying to quilt several tops and cannot concentrate with an empty design wall. Putting this one up will keep my mind off starting another top and inspire me to finish this one.

For more design walls, visit Judy Laquidara at

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week # 8 Stash Report, Finish #9

Week #8 Stash Report
Used (Finished This Week), (6.25)
Used Year to Date, (85.10)
Added this week, -0-
Added Year to Date, 58.55
Net, (26.55)

Finish #9 is the Cowboy Quilt (58 x 58) for our new great nephew from the Jackie Robinson Pattern, published in the Fons and Porter Magazine, Summer 2009.

For more stash reports, visit Judy at

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Machine Quilting Surface

This is my homemade sewing table. Several years ago, I wanted to start machine quilting, however it was difficult with my little Singer and no surface.

I went to a local lumber yard with my hand drawn dimensions and asked the salesman if someone there could cut the wood...they did. I just needed to pick it up the next day. I purchased a piece of scrap wood, a package of legs (they came in four), sandpaper, a can of paint and headed home.

I measured the height of the sewing machine from table to base so the next day they could also cut the legs down. I sanded, painted, waited and then I was ready to start machine quilting.

As you can see, several years later, my table has served me well. Poor thing is so worn from the pins and general use. I drag her everywhere as she is very portable.
When I upgraded to the Janome 6500, my BIL opened the hole up to fit the bigger machine. Added these push pin felt "thing-ies" (is there such a word) to raise the height of the table.
Would I do something different... probably would make it a little longer on the right side to hold more gadgets and my cup of coffee. I have no clue what type of wood this is. But I am happy and bet I spent a whole $25! She may cost a little more now.
Here are the dimensions:
36" x 24"
Hole for machine -- whatever size your machine needs
Space on the right -- 3" (would rather 5")
Space in the front of hole -- 6" (perfect)
My portable surface table now rests on the narrow side of a 48 x 84 sheet of laminated pressboard sitting on two peddle machine bases -- but it works just as well on top of the kitchen table.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

We can't take it with us!

Most of us have a stash that will last a life time. I have fabric from my great-grandmother who died in 1968 and grandmother who died in 2006. Our Mom did not quilt, but she left behind garmet fabric (and knits). I read the posts and comments on Judy Laquidara's site ( regarding our precious fabrics and tops being sold at estate or garage sales. OR WORSE......being tossed!
A friend Angela, LOVES garage sales and "dumpster diving" looking for dishes -- well not really dumsters -- more like "side of the road piles" Last year, Angela found a couple of quilt tops someone tossed -- TOSSED, both hexagons. One was double knit, the other, a hand-pieced top using feed sacks and fabrics dating back many years. Someone put many hours and love into this quilt, only to be tossed. I am handquilting the top to finish her work. Who knows, maybe I will pick up a quardian angel.
That reminds me...I need to write something in my will...oh wait...I need to write a will.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Design Wall / Project

Finally, I am about to sandwich the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt, Carolina Christmas/Mardi Gras ( For the backing, I have this beautiful fabric (Christmas present to myself) designed by Tina Givens for Freespirit, Cloe's Imagination collection. I will layer the quilt on our big king size bed - while the sheets are washing. The bare mattress is nice and slippery for dragging the quilt to a tall table stationed at the foot of our bed for pinning. My husband Mike helps me with the dragging to keep the layers together. I guess you can say my sewing studio has overflowed into the master bedroom.

This is the quilt for our new great nephew (#6), LeeLyn, born February 8th in Texas. I have been a big fan of Jackie Robinson ( for years after taking a class with her back in 1999. She created this cowboy quilt for Fons and Porter's Kids Quilts, published in Summer 2009. The blue fabric at the top, has little cowboy boots perfect for a little boy. We have a great niece (#6) due this spring, in I will be pulling fabric for her too. Wow -- a dozen! From my husband's side, we have 5 (2 girls and 3 boys)!

As you can see, my design wall moved to the table. My big design wall still as the 1/2 hexagons from the Quiltathon hosted by Judy Laquidara this past weekend.

For more "Monday Design Wall" projects, visit Judy's site at

Sunday, February 14, 2010

February 2010 Quiltathon

My list of projects for this weekend:
Finish 16-patch/pinwheel top -- done except for borders
Finish Faffe 1/2 hexagon top -- done except for borders
Finish cutting the 1/2 hexagon pieces for design board -- done and pictured above
Babysat 18-month old nephew while family attended Mardi Gras Parades. Today was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for the celebration.

Monday and Tuesday extended Holiday weekend list:
Finish newborn great nephew's quilt
Sandwich at least 2 tops for quilting (as usual, I am behind on quilting tops)
Continue lessons on the EQ6 program

For more quiltathon projects, visit our host Judy Laquidara's website at

Stash Report - Week #7

Used (finished) this week = (8.60)
Used year to date = (78.85)
Added this week = NOTHING!
Added year to date = 58.55
Net year to date = (20.30)

My goal this year is take whatever amount purchased (this week 58.55), double it (117.10) and make sure I finish this much. At 78.85, I am a little behind....however I have the remainder of the year to catch up.

Happy Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras -- Can't wait to see the progress of the quiltathon.

Be sure to visit Judy's site for more progress reports at:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Weekend Projects

I have a long list of "want-to-do's", but being realistic, will continue to sew together the 16-patch/pinwheel blocks and the Kaffe hexagons.

Last night, I started cutting more of the 1/2 hexagons from my stash of 2 1/2" strips using the method from a previous post On the design board below, I am grouping the colors and using black and whites on the out borders. When I tire of sewing and need to stretch, I add more colors to the design board.

To see more projects during the Weekend Quiltathon hosted by Judy Laquidara visit

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's Survivor Night!!!

For those of you who are fans of the reality show "Survivor", eighteen quilting friends play the game. We are each assigned to a player when it gets down to 18 players. This season, the first one of us kicked off wins an oriental fat quarter from each player... the last one standing wins 1/2 yard of oriental fabric. We also make blocks for the runner up. This year is a 12 1/2" block with an "idol". This will be interesting -- those little idols are so ugly, they are cute.

Last year, the first kicked off won the "ugliest" fat quarter from each player. My contribution was so ugly, I gave her the whole yard! The runner up won paper-pieced stars. The winner won a yard of batik fabric from each one of us.

What kind of games do you guys play??????

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quilt #8 Finished

Above is the 8th quilt finished in 2010. Using 1 1/2" strips left over from the quilt made for DS 2009 Christmas, I played with simple piecing/blocks on the design wall; added little borders; then cut the 6 1/2" navy star fabric for the border. After sewing together the border strips (joined diagonally), I used the navy triangles leftover to give the top depth. I will save binding handwork for lunch hours. Finished at 70 x 70.

Here is a close up of my "doodling" using my Janome 6500.

This is the quilt I made DS for Christmas 2009. Each block started with a 2 1/2" center, surrounded by 1 1/2" strips. I had a large collection of reproduction fabric and other fat quarters just right for a bachelor's pad. When I finished this 68" x 86" top, there were PLENTY of 1 1/2" strips left over -- used to make Quilt #8.

One of my visitors recently asked about my approach in making a quilt. I also read the comments on Judy Laquidara's blog (, where several posts discuss their methodology of starting a quilt. If I find a pattern that I love, I tend to make several. One year I made 11 BQ quilts.....6 of them with LSU colors and tiger prints for my boss, 4 nephews and a friend. I can't even count the number of "Short Stack" quilts made in different colors. This pattern makes the perfect twin bedspreads, baby quilts and themed quilts -- and reduces the stash in record speed. I also enjoy mystery quilts. favorite tops are those that just evolve on the design wall.

I have recently purchased EQ6 to make patterns from some of those quilts that just "happen". I have made it through Lesson 1, but honestly find it more fun to play with the real fabric and rulers than write patterns. Thank goodness there are very talented quilters who can transfer their ideas to paper and are very successful. I will definately "applaud" them and "plug" them every chance I get.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Design Wall

Still quilting tops....the top above came from my son's Christmas quilt leftovers.

My design wall is full. I finished cutting out the half hexagons from the Kaffe 2 1/2" strips using the instructions from a previous post: I still have a drawer full of strips, so I will cut another quilt for sewing later using this same method.

Now I am anxiously off to work. I am sure the energy will still be high all week as Louisiana celebrates the Super Bowl win. The Mardi Gras floats and bands all carried the same black/gold themes here in my town, which will probably go down in history as the biggest pep ralley --- I can only imagine what is going on 50 miles away in New Orleans. Good thing I have my Saints shirts because I will need them all week long!

For more Monday Design Walls, check out Judy's blog at:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Stash Report

This week was both productive and not so.....Our LQS (The Quilting Niche') had her monthly fat quarter sale ($1.50 for all fat quarters) and I HAD to use my HC coupon to stock up on Kona.

Used (Finished) this week: (17.00)
Used Year to Date: (70.25)
Added this week: 19.75 (ouch!)
Added Year to Date: 58.55
Net Year to Date: (11.70)

Happy Mardi Gras and Go Saints!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saints / Mardi Gras Fever.

Above are Phyllis' three grandchildren with four baskets/tubs of "stash" from the parade last night. From the left; Austin, Alissa and Alexis (notice her Aunt Jamie's red high heels).

Samantha, Phyllis' daughter is ready to roll next Friday night. Her Mardi Gras Crew, Aphrodite has a membership of approximately 450. I think we have about 10 crews -- Mardi Gras is BIG here. I will actually have a four day holiday weekend next week.

Phyllis and I just returned from shopping and found one of the crews for tonight (Saturday) having fun in the front. As I mentioned in a prior post, the crews start partying early in the morning on these make-shift floats, hopping from one spot to another. The music coming from the bus was in the theme of the "Saints"! The parking lot looked like Christmas and when we shopped inside, EVERYONE was dressed in Black and Gold (including me with my "number 9 Drew Brees"). I have never seen anything like it.

The two pictures above are from the Friday night parade, Hercules Crew. Phyllis froze getting these pictures, while I stayed home in the warmth and sewed! Our younger sister Rayna is coming in from Texas Thursday night for more celebration.

On a final note, tomorrow is the big game. The energy is at an all time high here in South Louisiana. If the Saints win -- I can only imagine the celebration. If the Saints lose, the celebration will still go on -- as we all know, Peyton Manning is one of our own (born and raised), whose Dad, Archie is one of our most famous Saint's quarterbacks.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Project for 2 1/2" Strips

The 2 1/2" strips are over flowing. I purchased a bundle of Kaffe Fassett fat quarter a few years ago and had cut them into 2 1/2" strips. This past Christmas, I made a quilt using this pattern for my dear MIL (need to find the picture).

Using my favorite EZ Tri Tool Ruler, line up the 2 1/2" line at the top of a 2 1/2" strip. Cut and flip all the way across -- that's it! Once I fill up the design wall to a desired size, I pin a number label on each row, remove each row in order and store them in a shoe box next to my machine. When I need a break from a current project, I pull out a couple of rows.

Please leave a comment if you decide to try this little project, so we can visit your site and your fabric choices.

This first Mardi Gras Parade rolls in town tonight. As early as they can, the float crews will be driving all around town in open vehicles, flat bed trailers or roofless school buses, dancing to music and tossing beads as a pep rally of sorts to the BIG show tonight. They visit businesses, restaurants, community homes sharing their enthusiasm. I have my camera to capture a few shots for sharing.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Finished Quilt #7 -- String Gems

Finally....this quilt was finished last night, however due to the size, I brought it to work for help holding it up while the final picture was taken (there are two ladies and a gent hiding behind there). The quilt measures 84 x 84. From a distance, the Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds shine like "Gems". A closer look reveals the many strings from my scrap bags.

To quilt the top, I stitched in the ditch along the diagonal lines to stabilize. Feathers run through the strings, flowers through the light backgrounds, and the "Gems" are a combination of both. The custom quilting did take longer than a panto, however I enjoyed the process. My only complaint, my "long arms" are pooped.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Office Quilt

About four years ago, I found Gwen Marston's "Liberated String Quilts". This quilt was made from leftovers of two larger quilts I made as gifts. LOVE this pattern. The quilt stays in my office where the temperature drops when it is hot outside (go figure!). She needed washing and is now going back today to the office. Finished, it measures 43 x 55. I used 6 1/2" batik squares, several from leftover borders and black/white strings.
I am sure my 6 1/2" drawer is getting full again, but I must refrain myself until other projects are finished.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Design Wall

The 16-patch/pinwheel blocks are done. The pinwheel blocks are alternated white and beige "lights", which resulted in a cool striping of sorts. I am auditioning the borders while "still" quilting on the string top.
When I come home tonight, will finish quilting the string top and save the binding for next weekend. I am anxious to start quilting the black and gold "Saints" tops my sister Phyllis worked on this weekend -- we have a Super Bowl party to get ready for (if I have not mentioned that before). The Bonnie Hunter Carolina Christmas (Mardi Gras) Mystery Quilt top is also in line for quilting along with several UFO's.
Come back for a visit during the week for a show of the finished quilts and pictures of the pre-Mardi Gras Season in South Louisiana.