Saturday, July 21, 2018

Old Glory 

I’m still working on my One Block Wonder but in between I’ve started Old Glory. This is the first mini quilt from Kim Diehl Simple Whatknots collection 7. 

This little flag is 6.5" by 8.5".  

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Lunch hour sewing 

After spending all morning working on spreadsheets and invoices, I took my lunch break at the sewing machine.  That's a benefit of working from home.  Two more vertical rows have now been added to One Block Wonder, plus I have another ready to attach.

The borders are now on the Patriotic Lone Star.  A blue with big white stars was waiting in my stash for just the right project.  I even found a great backing in the stash so now it's ready to quilt.  I love how this one is turning out and can picture it hanging above my piano.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Our oldest grandchild, Mason, just spent a couple of days with us. Yesterday morning he went golfing with grandpa while I worked, and then I received this picture asking if they could bring home a pet.  It must be a boy thing - this fascination with snakes. This was a dead bull snake they found on the course.  And I hear that grandpa had to pull him away while reaching into the snake den where they saw baby bull snakes disappear.  He said he just wanted to touch them. Bull snakes do bite although they are not poisonous. But this whole thing just made me shudder!!

After taking Mason home late in the afternoon and spending a little time with his siblings Olivia and Jonah, we then went granddaughter Sophia's t-ball game.  Her league is for 4-6 year olds, and each team has a mix of boys and girls.  They play 3 innings where every kids hits once and no "outs" are called so the kids get to run the bases.  It was the last game of the season so they all got medals for participating.  Next year she moves up to "coach pitch" level where they learn to hit a pitched ball instead of a ball sitting on a tee, and she'll be on a team with just girls.  Little brother Jack just turned 3 and was more interested in the snacks that mom brought.  Sophia is 6 and missing both front teeth. Love that toothless grin!

Sometime next week we'll have Olivia for a couple of days of alone time, without her brothers.  And then it will be Jonah's turn to spend time with us.  I love all of my grandkids, but will admit that I'm not very good at entertaining little boys.  So thankfully grandpa can take them on snake adventures.    

Monday, July 16, 2018

Sew Vintage 

I forgot to post a photo of this little project for our Sew Vintage group challenge.  We were challenged last month to do something with the camper block from Lori Holt's Spelling Bee book.  These blocks are each 6.5" and I added a 2.5" border around them.  The camper needs a little embroidery to connect the step and to add a doorknob.  Adding a family name or some other words below would make a cute little wall hanging for someone's camper.

We aren't a camping household. Years ago when our kids were in elementary school, we rented a very small camper and spent a couple of nights in the Black Hills. The girls and I thought it was fun, but my husband hated every minute of it.  He hated that he had to sleep katty-korner across the little bed. He hated that the shower was too small for him to hardly turn around in. It just wasn't his idea of fun. 

On a sad note, our Sew Vintage group lost a beloved member yesterday.  Dorla was a lovely person who was a pleasure to have part of any group. Her quilting knowledge and experience was really valued.  All of her "quilting community" friends join her family in mourning her loss but will celebrate having known her.  She would have turned 84 in about a week.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Patriotic Lone Star

Wednesday night is league golf for my husband, so my house was quiet and I decided to sew.  I have the Lone Star part done after less than 3 hours of sewing time.  This could be a lovely wall hanging if I add a simple border all around.  Currently it’s 28" square, so maybe a 3" border would be perfect.

The other crazy thought I had is to put a border on it and then add Garlic Knot blocks all around it, making a Quilt of Valor.  Either choice gives me some options to play with. This was definitely a pattern I will try again.

And now - back to work on my One Block Wonder, while finishing ideas percolate through my brain.

Easily distracted

Can you guess what has distracted me today?  It's a Lone Star quilt pattern done with jelly roll strips.

Last night I was looking at random quilt ideas online and I saw this easy Lone Star pattern.  Bonus - it was FREE.  The Lone Star has been on my "someday" list for a long time.  And when I needed a break from the computer screen and invoices this afternoon I went into my sewing room to see if I had any possible jelly roll strips - with evening sewing in mind.  However, once I found these patriotic strips, I thought - "just sew one strip set" to see how easy it goes together.

You know what happened next.  One strip set became 3, then I just had to cut the 45 degree sections, and next thing I knew an hour had flown by.  One diamond unit is sewn and the other 7 are all ready to go. Maybe this evening I'll find a cream background in my stash. 

I need to get back to work or I'll never get these invoices out and the project budgets updated!! 

Check out the free pattern at the link below:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Almost halfway . . .

I've only spent short amounts of time sewing this past week although with the weather super hot and humid, that is exactly where I should be.  Instead I've spent time catching up with my online students, and processing invoices for my husband's company. 

So only 6 vertical rows are sewn together so far - out of 16.  I do have 2 more rows ready to add, so my OBW is nearly halfway. It's interesting to watch the full hexie shapes emerge as the rows come together.  I've been taking my time to make sure I have them aligned correctly before sewing.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Slow progress 

I have 3 vertical rows put together so far. The rest are numbered and pinned into long strips. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

OBW layout 

With just a few small adjustments I think this is my One Block Wonder layout plan. 

Now the transfer of my blocks from the family room down to my basement sewing room . . . Without messing them up.  Guess I wasn’t thinking ahead was I?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

One Block Wonder

The blocks are all done for my first One Block Wonder.  Now I need to do some layout planning.

I've been looking online at how others have put these together and have seen some really unique layouts.  On Facebook I joined a OBW group, and on Pinterest I've set up a new board to save ideas. And wow - are there lots of ideas out there!  Some layouts appear to be totally random and there are other layouts where the colors are grouped in various ways.  Some of my blocks read very pink, green, orange, or purple.  Others don't have a dominant color. So I think I just need to play with them and see what happens. 

There is a chunk of the original fabric left that I could incorporate into the design, similar to using a panel.  That would make it larger.  Decisions, decision, decisions.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

June goals met and July goals set

The prettiest finish for June had to be the Christmas Jelly Roll quilt.  The block has no name, but it's so cute and I know I'll use this block again in the future.  I cut up a matching layer cake for the outer border.  Red seemed ideal for the backing and I used leftover jelly roll strips for the scrappy binding. This one will be a Christmas gift.

For June, I had set the following goals for myself and did quite well, except for the UFO Challenge goals.  I should have added SURVIVE the guild quilt show and the family reunion.
  • Play more golf - only played 3 times, BUMMER
  • 3 RSC Sampler blocks in teal/aqua - DONE
  • 2 Saturday Sampler blocks + 2 of the alternate blocks - DONE
  • 12 red Ritzy Cracker blocks - made 5 red blocks
  • 6 dark Ritzy Cracker blocks - made 5 dark blocks
  • bind Jelly Roll Race - DONE
  • bind Christmas Jelly Roll - DONE
  • APQ UFO Challenge - Urban Cabin - not touched
  • APQ UFO Challenge - past Simple Whatnots - not touched
The Ritzy Cracker blocks went to the family reunion for signing. More on that another time, but I'm excited to put these together.

My plan for July is to keep up with the BOM projects, and go back to more UFOs as time permits. I have a couple of new projects I'm dying to dig into, but those may be my reward for finishing something.
  • finish One Block Wonder blocks & be ready to set together
  • 3 RSC Sampler blocks in July color of red
  • 2 Saturday Sampler blocks, plus 6 alternate blocks
  • patriotic Simple Whatnot
  • Urban Cabin - make 3 more blocks
  • make 2 Row By Row blocks/rows

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Outdoor art on a small scale

This was a pretty surprise on Monday morning - popping out of a flower bed just before the #1 tee box at a local golf course.  A large plain china plate, then a beautiful flowery china plate, and topped by a china rose. And it was all bolted onto a metal post in the flower bed.  
My husband plays that course at least 4 days a week and says he has never noticed that before. I just played there a couple of weeks ago and didn't see it either, so maybe it is new.  I just know it was a fun surprise to see it.

Monday, July 2, 2018


It is Monday and we have survived the guild quilt show and the huge family reunion going on at the same time over the weekend. 

Over 160 people were at the Saturday evening supper and little program. This was a reunion of descendants of my husband’s Swedish immigrant grandparents. They would be amazed and proud if they could see this group. 

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Quilt Show begins

Just a glimpse of the quilt show . . .

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Packing my bags

This stormy, rainy morning task is packing up my quilt show pieces so they are ready to go tomorrow. This is my big suitcase, and when it is full of quilts that will determine how many large quilts I'm taking. I have a small suitcase for wall hangings and table toppers, etc.  As the quilt show Featured Quilter this year I can bring whatever I want no matter when I made it. Otherwise we generally limited the show pieces to things made since the previous quilt show.

Since I'm on the quilt show committee, packing my own stuff is the least of my worries today.  I have to finish all of my other preparations: printing the rest of the programs and making sure I have gathered the raffle tickets, the meal tickets, extra quilt labels, sign in sheets, cash for the ticket takers, signs for doors, box of pins, tape, scissors, pens - and probably a bunch of things I've forgotten.

Setting up is always stressful, but once it's show time on Friday morning I'll take pictures and post some eye candy from the Heartland Quilters' Guild Quilt Show.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Sunday sewing . . . or NOT

I finally got back onto the golf course on Sundat.  My husband and I had a mid-morning tee time along with one of his buddies.  It was a really nice morning, not too hot and just enough breeze to keep the bugs off.  And I played OK, so it was good.  And after about 5 days of being sick with some summer cold kind of bug it was good to do something fun.

After our 18 holes of exercise - they walked it, and I rode in a cart - we decided to check out the brunch at a new local restaurant. The atmosphere was rustic and fun. There was live music. The staff was nice.  But it took 1 hour 15 minutes to get our food!!  That is crazy and definitely not something that pleased my husband.  The food was great - when it finally arrived.  I had a raspberry mimosa and the Benedict Arnold brunch dish.  It was a very good take on eggs Benedict. My husband had chicken and waffles, which he said was delicious. But I sure hope they get their service time figured out or they won’t survive long.

Once we finally got home I sat down to work on the binding on the Christmas jelly roll quilt, and fell asleep.  My husband left and went to a movie all by himself, and I slept on.  That’s OK because I didn’t want to see the latest Jurassic World movie anyway. 

So to make a long story short, there has been no sewing going on around here Sunday. But it was a pretty good day.  Golf, lunch that I didn’t have to cook, and a nap.  Works for me!!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

More Saturday Sampler

Here is the second version of the Saturday Sampler block. I ended up leaving the light pink squares in the same place, along with the white. I just reversed the black and dark pink. I tried a couple of different layout options but liked this the best.

Last month we got the patterns for 2 different alternate blocks.  Here is my first attempt. I've wavered back and forth as to the color placement.  I want to use a lot of the same bright colors as I did in the regular blocks.  But I'm not sure if I should reverse the black and white that are in this one, so the black is the background and the white is in the flying geese sections.  I just can't decide.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Saturday Sampler 

This month's Saturday Sampler block was tricky to lay out, but easy to sew.  This is my first version - the "dark" block. My light block will have the black moved into a less prominent position.  I really like the look of this one and keep picturing it in red/white/blue.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Jelly Roll Race II finished

I have this quilt bound with a week to spare before the guild quilt show.  This is a terrible picture that doesn't show the color very well.  But we've had some very grey overcast days and my usual outdoor spots were wet yesterday when I tried to get some good photos.

The lime green turned out to be a really good choice I think. It's a Grunge fabric, with subtle variations in the color, giving it a slightly "worn" look.  Grunge colors make great blenders.  Plus it makes the purple and blue really pop. The jelly roll was a Kaffe - with lots of purples and blues.  It's been sitting around way too long and I'm very happy that I finally used it.

Design Wall Monday - OBW

What's on your design wall this morning?  My "design floor" has is filling up with half hexagon One Block Wonder sections. And obviously I need to find a better spot to lay these out to photograph.  
One Block Wonder blocks are starting to accumulate, with the hexagon halves pinned together.  The triangles from the first 2 strips of layers are done.  I've gotten 16 sets of triangles (1 hexie block per set) from each strip. The 16 triangle sets from strip #3 are ready to sew. And I'm heading to my sewing room shortly with a cup of coffee and the rest of the morning open for sewing. 
Check out the other design walls at:

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Butterfly Bash 

Our local quilt shop, The Pin Cushion, hosted a Butterfly Bash earlier this month to celebrate the beginning of summer. What a fun idea! 

A landscape company did a great presentation on planting butterfly gardens or containers. They showed us several types of plants that attract different kinds of butterflies. And we got some tips for caring for those plants.

Then a guild member (Ruby) gave a short trunk show of butterfly quilts. She collects vintage quilts and her favorite ones have butterflies. She also makes and loves modern butterfly quilts. We got to see some gorgeous quilts and heard her stories about where they came from. So interesting!

The shop had a contest going, where we had to guess how many butterfly "items" were in the shop.  My guess was way off - only about 20% of the actual number. But it was fun to walk around and look for the butterflies.

Last but not least, they handed out a free pattern plus a piece of 30s reproduction fabric to anyone willing to make a butterfly block and bring it back.  Each butterfly block will be put into a quilt the shop is making to look like a vintage one on display.  Each of us who made a block will have our names entered for a chance to win that quilt.  I may need to make this block again because it was quick and so cute. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

RSC18 Country Lane

Rainbow Scrap Challenge block for June is Country Lane. It is a block found in the mid-1930s on the Mountain Mist packaging.  I decided to try putting my white background in totally different placements on my 3 blocks to see how much it changed them. And wow - it changes the blocks a lot.

I'm not sure which block version I like the best. They all turned out pretty well, and it was fun to play around with color placement. My colors don't look quite as "aqua" as they are in real life.  I used aqua and teal scraps for these.

How do you lay out your pieces for sewing?  I have 3 of these simple design boards that I use quite often.  They are simply a piece of craft board covered with a piece of fleece or batting, and then a wide binding strip is hot glued around the edges. This is the smaller one, and the other 2 are about 4 inches larger. I love using these for unfamiliar blocks in particular because I'm less likely to put a piece in the wrong place if I can lay it out like this and see the arrangement. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

One Block Wonder progress

Every block is unique, and these are just from the first strip cut. There will be more! I have 4 more strips cut from my layers. I have no idea yet how I'll lay these out, but I've been looking online at the amazing variations that people are doing.  

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Endless Ritzy Crackers

Are you tired of seeing these blocks yet?  I got 9 more made, and with the family reunion coming up in two weeks I do need to count them again and figure out if I need more.  The reunion numbers were at about 95 this week but we expect to hear from a few more yet before it all happens. So my plan is to have about 150 blocks ready to sign - just in case we need that many.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Sidetracked by One Block Wonder

I knew that my focus on finishing UFOs would get derailed sooner or later by some exciting NEW project.  Goals were set for June, and here it is less than halfway through the month and I'm diving into something new and fun. 

One Block Wonder has been lighting up the Internet lately, plus I've seen a couple of beautiful examples in person.  I bought and downloaded the book onto my Kindle quite a while ago. And I finally just couldn't resist any longer.  I bought this gorgeous digital print on Saturday with something else in mind, but by Monday I had gone back for more so that I could use it for OBW.  I needed 6 repeats of the print. This is Euphoria by P & B Textiles and I love the colors in this.

My 6 layers are all pinned together with the design matched up carefully.  I've cut one strip so far, and then sub-cut into the 60 degree triangles I need for the hexagons.  The hexagons are put together into halves, but pinned together to keep the halves in a pair.

I have a stack of triangle groups laid out on my ironing board, ready to sew.  This will be an on-going project in between my goal projects.  Since the hexagon halves take about a minute to stitch, they will make good leaders and enders. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Useful scraps

I was cutting some purple strips of leftover backing into squares of various sizes. And I noticed they blend nicely with some leftover pink unicorn squares. This could be a doll quilt.

Check out Design Wall Monday at:

Thursday, June 7, 2018


We visited Belle Meade Plantation and Winery in Tennessee yesterday, and also attended a wonderful show at the Grand Ole Opry. Our Belle Meade visit began with a food and wine pairing. We got to taste 5 different wines, paired with some very tasty foods. Like every wine tasting I’ve done it went from light to dark to dessert.  And they paired these wines with some local cheeses and local chocolates among other goodies.

The Belle Meade mansion and plantation was awesome. What a beautiful home with an interesting history as a Mecca for race horse breeding.  I highly recommend this as a place to check out in the Nashville area.

On the beautiful grounds were black walnut and magnolia trees.  These magnolia blossoms were as big a dinner plates and they smelled lovely.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Morning coffee

I’m having my morning coffee on our little balcony and doing a little hand stitching. 

It’s a perfect sunny 72 degrees with a slight breeze. All inside a huge glass covered atrium. But it feels like you are outdoors. In the background I can hear the sounds of the waterfalls too. No birds or bugs however. 

Monday, June 4, 2018


This month's Saturday Sampler blocks are Picnic Basket.  I had these laid out very carefully, rearranged the colors a couple of times, and finally sewed them together.  I can't believe I didn't see the problem with that second block - even while pressing it.  Not until I looked at the photo to write this post did I notice that I flipped one section.  So, once I get back home, I'll pull that block and pick out the stitches around that section so I can turn it the right way.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Road trip

My husband travels a lot for work, although not as much as he did for most of his career.  He doesn’t particularly enjoy traveling. But I love to travel and experience new things. I don’t travel with him very often, but this time I’m tagging along. Can you guess where we are?  The hotel is within a short walk to The Grand Ole Opry, so we walked over and did the backstage tour this morning. Very interesting!

As a kid who grew up watching Hee Haw (because that is what my parents were watching) and listening to country music, this was fun.  Then we headed back to the hotel.  I’ve gotten in more than my 10,000 steps in today already. Just getting around this massive hotel will be exercise.  I’ll probably help him set up his booth for the conference and trade show tomorrow morning. But mostly I have a couple of days to just relax and enjoy myself.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

June UFO Challenge

APQ has announced the June number for the 2018 UFO Challenge and it's number 11.  Yikes!  I have a couple of things on here that I've been avoiding. But the good news is that one of the projects (the Friendship Exchange quilt) is already done.

There are 2 Simple Whatnots kits from this past series that I still haven't made, and I have one that needs to be quilted yet.  The next series will begin in June with our first class.  I've fallen behind!!  I have Raspberry Cocoa along with me this week while I tag along with my husband on a work trip, and plan to do some simple hand quilting on it. Maybe I can get this one done for the quilt show since it is only 27" square. 
As for the Urban Cabin quilt, first of all I had to find the project box for this one. It was on the bottom of the stack of boxes inside my cutting table cabinet.  And yes - there are too many other project boxes hiding in there.
Opening up this project box provided some surprises.  I thought the Urban Cabin quilt only had one block made before I set it aside. Turns out, there were two blocks made and the strips were cut from the colors for the strip sets. Woot woot!!!!  These are not colors that I usually gravitate toward, but I think I'm going to like it. Funny how one's tastes change over the years.
I have no idea why I set this one aside - or even WHEN I set it aside.  It's pretty sad that I don't remember when I was working on this one, but after checking my old UFO lists I know it's at least 4 years old because it was on those lists every year.  So, any progress I can make on this one is an improvement, right?