quilt, quilting, quilts, sewing, Uncategorized

Quilts for …..

Last week we woke up to an unspeakable tragedy, and as usual, quilters jumped right in to help. I was compelled to make few block to send to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild, along with some binding, and then a friend asked me why I was doing it. Why am I sending blocks?

pulse web

You know, when you are asked a question like that, it kinda makes you think. Why was I doing it? What would compel a person to send blocks and supplies for quilts to people I don’t even know? The answer is simple: LOVE.

Steven Colbert coined it perfectly when he said “Love is a Verb and to Love is to Do”. And that’s what quilters do. This is how we band together for the greater good. In a time of tragedy, any tragedy, not just Orlando, this is how we can show strangers that we care. Think about it. To receive a quilt, a handmade gift always associated with love and kindness and warmth is truly a gift for people during a trying time. When one might be angry, or full of despair, or any other range of emotions, getting literally get wrapped in warmth and love is a great way to help people find comfort. Even if they are strangers.

So that’s why we do it. We can. We can do something good to help others.

Even if it’s only a quilt.

Piecing Makeover, quilt, quilting, quilts, sewing


Every so often I make a quilt that requires me to sew points at a bulky intersection. Over the years I have tried different things but find my best tip is to use pins. It seems counterintuitive, right? The pins will shift your points when you go through all the layers of fabric. Or will they?

Yes. If you pin through multiple layers of fabric at a bulky intersection with a point that will happen. But what if you use the points as a guideline?

Here’s how I handle that.

1. I stick a straight pin through the point on each piece.

First side

Through both points.

2. Nestle the pieces together so the pin is perpendicular to the fabric.

3. Place two straight pins on either side of the pin going through the point, about 1/8″ at most.

4. Push those pins through the fabric and remove the center pin.

5. BASTE the edge. 90% of the time this works. To avoid ripping out stitches, I baste first to make sure I’m sewing exactly through the points. It’s much easier to take out basting stitches and its gentler on your pieces.

6. Once your basting stitches are correct, sew over them with a regular stitch.

7. Press your pieces. Many times, seams with lots of bulk are great candidates for furling, but not always. And this seam wasn’t completely cooperating so I called it a day. It’s flat enough and a machine will easily be able to get through the intersection to quilt it.

8. Enjoy!

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More Scrap Quilts

I have been busy sorting and cutting my scraps. I have entirely too many. A friend of mine suggested I toss them. Can you believe that?! I scoffed that the idea. It did, however, encourage me to start using them. Maybe.

I’m going on a quilt retreat in a few weeks so my plan is to cut now and so I can spend almost 3 days sewing. Sounds like a plan, eh?

I’m starting with this pile.


and cutting my strips to 1 1/4″ each.


It’s a weird size, I know. Not all of my scraps were large enough to make 1 1/2″ strips and I decided 1″ strips would be too small to deal with once they were pieced. I see no reason to have finished 1/2″ strips for this. That makes for precise work and a lot of sewing for what should be a quick and easy log cabin quilt.

The centers will be dark grey because: why not. Ready to get started but I think I have 2 other tops ahead of it. Maybe? I’m starting to lose count….

quilt, quilting, quilts, sewing

Piecing it Together

I was able to get the parts of my Kaffe quilt arranged last week and am in the process of sewing the top together. I still need to cut the setting triangles but that shouldn’t take much time. Besides, I have to sew the diagonal strips first so what a little more work, right?

I was hoping to have the top pieced by tonight but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’m already thinking about the border. I think a narrow blue inner border and possibly a piano key outer border. Still contemplating anyhow and there is no rush to have it finished. Well, other than I have more quilts in the queue that I want to make.

kaffe crop

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Clean Spaces

I cleaned and reorganized my sewing space this weekend. The project took longer than anticipated (doesn’t it always?) but change is good and it was time. During my purge, I took time to go through everything and rediscovered a few old treasures that brought smiles to my face.

My grandmother’s button box. I remember Gam using this when I was a kid. Oh, nostalgia.


A few of my favorite buttons.


Some Coats and Clark silk thread on wooden spools – given to me when my great aunt Peggy passed away a few years ago.


And some vintage Lily Pulitzer fabric. Aunt Peggy lived in South Florida for most of her life so I know they are the real deal. This is one of several but it happens to be my favorite!



Painted Pillow Tutorial

For years I have said “You’re either the bird, or the windshield”. You want to be the bird. At least in my mind you want to be the bird. My take is that the bird leaves a mess on the windshield and flies away.

I suppose one could look at that statement and think “No, I want to be the windshield”, because in their version, the bird crashes into the windshield. It does happen, but my version is less traumatic for the bird and the windshield. The driver, too.

My book club friends and I use this phrase all. the. time. We shorten it and just say “Bird”. When something good happens you are the bird. When you get a job, you are the bird. When your kids make straight A’s, bird.  As a tribute to these girls, I made a bird pillow. It was so much fun to make!

Here are the steps to follow if you want to make your own, or any other pillow.

First, determine what size you want your pillow and your text. Open a word processing file (pages, word) or another program (I use Photoshop) and print out your text. I am using a graphic for the ‘i” but you can use any combination of letters, numbers, or symbols.


Next, tear off a piece of freezer paper and draw a straight line so your word will be level. Place the text under the freezer paper, being sure it’s aligned with the straight line you drew, and trace.


Using small scissors (they get around the little curves much better), cut out your word and iron it to the right side of your fabric.

Then paint. I used a black acrylic paint that is suitable for fabric. Not all acrylic paint is so please be sure to read carefully.IMG_2402web


Let the paint dry for a bit, and remember to put newspaper, scrap fabric, something under where you are painting so paint doesn’t get everywhere.


Finish your pillow with some bias cording, trim, anything and enjoy!

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Cloche Hat

My Intown guild always has a group quilt in process. Basically, you get quilt blocks made to your size, color, pattern, etc. specifications and assemble. I’ve talked about it before, I think. One member keeps the master list of when members “join” – it’s not an official sort of thing – and we go in order.

Our latest member to get her quilt requested a hat, shoe, purse block since she (ahem) likes to shop. My absolute favorite hat is a cloche. I own several, and want to buy more. A girl can always use a cute hat, right? I wanted to use bold fabrics, and I wanted my hat to have a little interest. The leaves are from an old Amy Butler fabric, the ribbon is a Lakehouse fabric, and the “pin” is a Timeless Treasures fabric.

We were asked to put some bling on it, so there may be jewels in this blocks future, though I’m not entirely certain yet….

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Mid Century Modern Quilt

Since I’m knocking things off my list, here’s another.

Husband doesn’t get excited about quilts the same way I do, but when I showed him this one, and told him I wanted to make it for our bedroom he was all for it.


A trip to my favorite quilt shop to pick up a collection of Kona cottons, and I was good to go!

Originally, I planned to have the quilt drop to the floor, but I didn’t like it. So, I hacked off eight-ish inches on each side to get a drop I was happy with. Now, that fabric was sure as heck not going to go to waste, so I pieced parts into the back, some became strips on the pillows, and the rest I used to make cording for the pillows. Nice accent, huh? Oh, and the print outs above my bed? I saw something similar on Etsy, but couldn’t pay $15/each when I knew I could make them with scrapbook paper from Michael’s, and some inexpensive frames from IKEA.  Until we finish building our headboard it will be just fine. And the cool prints on the right? You can get those here. I LOVE this guys artwork!


The back was almost as much work as the top, and I love it! The polka dot is a fabric that I found here. It’s on the back of the Euro pillows and it cost a pretty penny, so I used every inch I had. I smile looking at it, and think it’s great that my bed will (maybe) look mostly made even when it’s not. Ha!


My friend, Regina, quilted this for me. It’s got a mid century pantograph, and orange thread. I’ll get a close up soon.