Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Yesterday, I was fortunate to take a class with Ann Shaw, a wonderful quilter who teaches the Ruth B. McDowell style of quilting.  I have always admired Ruth's quilts, and dreamed of taking a workshop from her.  Unfortunately for me, she retired last year.  But Ann is a great substitute, and she's okay with that designation.

Our class was all about chickens.  Meet Fred.

I'm calling him that, even though the pattern is named Gallus Gallus
available through  Ann has many other chicken patterns, plus other animals and flowers.

After prepping the pattern, the day was spent auditioning fabrics.  Starting with the eye, then the head, 
and working around the body,
to the tail,
Fred (as I'm calling him at the moment), began to take on a personality. 
He appears quite majestic, struttin' his stuff!  

Today, I'll work on the background, for which I've chosen pale lavenders, plus the bold print to ground him.
Then comes the sewing.  He's just pinned to a foam board, in case I want to change any of the fabrics.  I'm sure he'll look a bit different after backgrounds and seams.  Come by again to see him finished!

Happy Quilting!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Rows Done--Now What?

The last three rows for the Row by Row Experience are now complete.
Row 6 has lots of components--a paper pieced truck, pinwheels, and dresden blade sunflowers.  First time making a dresden anything!

Row 7 is so cute!  The background is made from nickels I cut down to 3", and the rest is fused applique.  Adorable!

And my last row, composed of log cabins, a fused hive, and fused flowers was super quick to put together.

Now for the proposed layout.
Notice anything?  This quilt is really long, and narrow.  I think I'll be adding something to the sides to increase the width.  Off to the stash to see what I find!

Linking up with Stitch by Stitch today.
stitch by stitch

Happy Quilting!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Progress--Lots of Progress

The last two days have produced lots of progress.  My Metro Rings project is quilted and bound, and just needs the sleeve sewn on.  Here's a couple of sneak peeks

I finished the edge with the piped binding technique I used on ABC 123.  You can find the tutorial here, from  It gave the quilt such a nice finished look.  I wish I could show more, but it will have to wait a few weeks.

Also got another row done for the Row by Row Experience, easy fused applique leaves.
I chose to do this in a brown batik versus the suggested black, because I really didn't want black in my cheery quilt.  The rows are coming together nicely--just three more to go!  I'll post as I finish them.  

Until then, Happy Quilting!



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More Metro Rings Progress

Just finishing up my Metro Rings project, and it's turning out very well!  Here's a quarter of the star.
Not bad for winging the star design!  I did take pictures of my process, and hope it's not too overwhelming.

Let's start with the inside rings.  I wanted the inside star points to match up with a ring seam line, and the outer points are at a point where it looked good.  The background pieces were marked, and a wide enough strip of fabric was cut to cover.
In the picture, I'm showing my seam, then it pressed.  I left the background on to help with trimming the straight edge, and the curve, then trimmed it off.

Now on to the other side.  The curve was traced on the piece, and points marked, again a bit of a guess.  Then the strip fabric was sewn on.
The background was left on for cutting guidance.  Put it all together, and it makes a beautiful star! 

I would like to say I have really enjoyed this ruler, and the pattern.  I give Jenny a 10 on 1)ruler design, and 2)clear instructions.  I can tell a lot has gone into making these patterns, and she has done a terrific job!  I definitely would recommend giving this a try.

Now I must get back to sewing, as I'm hoping to finish up today, and start the quilting tomorrow.

Happy Quilting!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July Project of the Month

Made more progress on my July Project of the Month, Metro Rings, using the Quick Curve Ruler, though I'm not sure how much I can show, for two reasons.  First, this is a gift, and I don't want the intended recipient to see the whole thing.  Second, I'm working from a pattern, and don't want to give away this designer's hard work.  But I'll do my best and give a peak!

For this project, I've chosen several batiks.  A lovely gradation strip set
 and a coordinating background.
 Following the pattern, I've cut out my curves with the QCR
and sewn in the background pieces, again following Jenny's hand placement suggestions.
Unfortunately, my eyesight is not the best for fine print, and I could not tell which 1/8" mark the pattern was referring to.  Well, I found out after I cut all of the left side pieces.  Oops, too narrow!
Fortunately, I had enough strip set and fabric left to redo those sides, and get back on track!  Phew!

Today, I'll tackle my next challenge, which is not in the pattern, so I'm totally winging it.  To give you a hint, look at this Judy Niemeyer pattern here.  I've always thought this design pretty, and thought I'd work it into this project.  Wish me luck!

And linking up with Freemotion by the River today.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Row by Row Detour

This weekend was my mother-in-law's birthday, and I suggested to hubby that we take her out for lunch.  She lives almost two hours away, so quite the day trip, but, hey, it's her birthday.  And of course, it was convenient that there were three Row by Row participating quilt shops along the way!  Aren't I bad?

So now I have rows from ten shops, but I don't think I'll do them all.  There is another sailboat row, and a third leaf row, which is very autumn in it's theme.  The other rows are less seasonal, and will blend together nicely.  Here's a recap of what's done so far
Click on the following links to see the individual row posts:
Row 1Row 2Row 3 and 4

For now, I'll take a break from the Row by Row, as I really have to do my July Project of the Month because the deadline is in three weeks.  I ordered the Quick Curve Ruler (QCR) and Metro Rings pattern, and started with a test piece yesterday.
And, being me, I couldn't just use scrap fabric.  I had to use something that could eventually be made into a quilt.  When I'll get this one done is anyone's guess!

Anyway, back to the QCR.  So far, I really like this ruler.  Very easy to use, especially lining things up for cutting.  And as for sewing the curve--easy!  It's very gentle, and I did find that following her hand placement guidelines makes it come out just about perfect. 
Today, I'll start in on the real thing.  Check back again about the progress!  Linking up today with Anything Goes Mondays at Stitch by Stitch.
stitch by stitch

Have a great day, and Happy Quilting!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Row by Row #3 and #4

Okay, I'm hooked!  The Row by Row Experience  is just too much fun!  I've made two more rows, and I'm having a blast due to my fabric choices.

Here's the sailboat row, with the shark infested water.
How cool is the zigzag fabric for the water?  And for the sails, small scraps from my overflowing scrap collection so I didn't have to sacrifice a larger piece.  Love the sharks!

Yesterday afternoon, I headed out to collect some more patterns.  Fortunately, there are four shops south of me, within an hour and a half drive, making it worthwhile.  And yes, I'm crazy enough to go for a drive.  So, this morning, I created row #4, the farm.
Isn't this cute??  Love the cow fabric!  Which I have a massive amount of.  This row gave me an idea to do another row quilt, one of a town, and farms, etc, etc, to use up some of said cow fabric.  Hmm, in my dreams!  But anyway, this is one of my favorite rows so far.

Collecting the patterns, going through the stash and scraps, and learning new techniques, all to produce a small strip (usually 9" by 36") has been strangely rewarding.  I didn't think I would like this that much, but to put some of the what-am-I-going-to-do-with-this fabric to use is great!  If you get a chance to join in, do so, it really is a lot of fun.

Happy Quilting!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Row by Row #2

Still continuing with the Row by Row Experience, and here's yesterday's accomplishment
Isn't this an adorable row???  The flowers are not paper pieced, but because of the clear instructions, it was really easy to put together with strips and squares. 

Since each flower is it's own unit, it could easily be expanded, and would make a really cute border.  I'll be putting this pattern in my 'keep' folder for future reference!

Today I'll be working on Row #3, sailboats.  Come back tomorrow to see it!

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Row by Row

Last month during the Bay Area Shop Hop, a few of the quilt shops were promoting the Row by Row Experience.

What's that, I asked?  Well, it's a different kind of shop hop that started in New York three years ago, and has now expanded across the nation!

The way this works, is that a quilter visits a participating shop to pick up the row pattern that the shop designed.  Proceed to the next shop, and do the same.  Arrive home, and begin sewing each shops' pattern.  If the quilter has managed to sew eight different rows, then assemble them into a top, and quilt and bind said top, the quilter can take it to a participating shop to hopefully be the first to complete the quilt and win 25 fat quarters from that shop.  And there is a bonus prize if that shops' row is in the quilt.

Doesn't this sound fun?  And yes, I got sucked into it!  Did I need another project?  No, but I like the different rows that have been designed, and it looks to be a fun project.

Here's what I have so far.
Picked this pattern up last week at a Modern Guild meeting held in one of the quilt shops.  I have to admit, this one was not that fun to assemble, and I did make a mistake, but I'll let you find it.  No plans for a fix, I'm just letting it go!

I'll post more as I get them done.  Maybe I'll have to plan another trip to visit some different shops....

Happy Quilting!

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Sporting Donation

Last week I got the chance to quilt up this charming sports themed quilt

made by one of our guild members for a patient in the Spinal Center at the VA.

I could have done a pantograph on this, but thought it would look better with a bit of custom quilting.  Gold Glide thread was used on the top and bottom to cut down on thread changes.   The use of rulers and freehand quilting really added to the piecing design, making this one sing!  

Here's some close ups
The binding is now done, so it's off for a lucky recipient!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Unfinished List

Now that life has settled back into routine, I have renewed quilting energy.  I've assessed what I've finished this year, and what is still waiting for, shall we say, inspiration?
Such is the case with this stack.  Sometimes I feel I have to be in the right frame of mind for quilting designs, and that certainly hasn't happened for the last few months.  But I know I'll get there, and eventually these will get quilted.

The peach/teal diamond quilt is still a WIP, and needs some sort of a border, which I haven't figured out yet.  
Without it, the quilt is rather boring. I'm leaning toward something pieced (on the left) versus just a strip of fabric (on the right).  This one needs to get finished to free up space on my design wall.  Another inspiration problem.

My unfinished list also includes a few tops in progress.  Two appliqued quilts need the blocks sewn together (this is one of them)

and another needs the undersea applique.
I have the fabric for it, I just need to spend the time looking at our Great Barrier Reef snorkeling pictures to compose the scene, and figure out how to make it look somewhat realistic.  This one might involve a few classes first before I work up the courage.

There are a few blocks laying around that need a few more to be a top of a useful size, and I'm still waiting for the Quick Curve Ruler and Metro rings pattern.  Hmm, I should get that fabric washed and pressed...

Well, until inspiration strikes, I'm tempted by other fun projects.  I'll post about those later.  Now just how many can I juggle at once???

Happy Quilting!