May
20

Quilting Again!

Posted Sunday, May 20th, 2018 in Quilting | Read More

Last month I made a huge decision to buy a new quilting machine and frame. I had known for a long time that if I bought a longarm machine, that I wanted a Handi Quilter Simply 16 with a 10 foot frame. One of my concerns was the size and fitting it into my sewing room. My daughter told me to buy it and we would make it fit. She helped me carry everything that was stored under my old machine downstairs to make room for a new frame. Most of it was plastic drawers filled with fat quarters and other sewing notions.

I was able to try out a used machine at our local quilt shop. This machine had all the extras with it and was very nice. I was so temped to buy it until I found a new machine at a shop online for almost the same price. I really wanted to support the local shop but I also had to think of my needs. I also discovered that the price was set by the previous owner of the machine and there was no room for negotiation. Used versus new, for the same price…. I went with the new.

The machine and frame were delivered on a pallet and placed in my garage. My son-in-law carried all the boxes upstairs to my sewing room that evening. Bless his heart, they were so heavy! Now I needed to assemble the frame. My sweet daughter volunteered to put it together for me. But first, we needed to reconfigure my room. She is a planner and a perfectionist. She had planned the original layout of the room for me and now was rearranging the placement of my fabric cabinet, recliner, and cutting table. I was resistant  to changing the location of these items but now I am in love with new arrangement. And the greatest part of it all….I have lots of room for the new frame and machine.

This week Jennifer came over and we moved the furniture in my sewing room to get ready for the new frame. Her hubby was going out of town for the night on Friday, so she and the girls came to stay overnight. Jen and I (mostly Jen) worked upstairs, putting the frame together. On Friday she assembled the table and had half of the tracks finished before we went to bed. On Saturday we finished the frame and put the machine on it. Next was to add the front and rear handles and the accessories to the machine. We ordered pizza for dinner and then it was time to play with the machine. I loaded a baby panel for the top and a piece of flannel for backing. Then we played!

This machine has a stitch regulator which I had to learn. My old machine only had a speed control and I had to regulate how fast to move the machine to obtain even stitches. It didn’t take long to get a feel for the new machine. I’M LOVIN’ IT!!!!!!

Sami and I checking it out before I loaded a practice quilt. She loves moving the machine on the tracks. My future little quilter!

Here is my daughter quilting for the first time. She had never quilted on a frame before this. She made feathers on the duck that look fantastic!

Time to quilt!



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May
9

Women of the Bible – 17 & 18

Posted Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 in QAL, Quilting | Read More

The newest blocks in the Women of the Bible series are quick and easy to sew. I chose to use less busy fabrics in these two blocks because some of the previous blocks are very busy.

Block 17 is named Jael. She and her husband hid a Canaanite military leader in their home. As he was sleeping, she killed him. Jael was declared a heroine for bringing down an enemy of Israel.

The 18th block in the series is Tamar. The story of Tamar can be found in Deuteronomy 25: 5-6.

The stories of some of these women of the Bible are quite shocking. They were heroines in their time but would be considered extremely inappropriate and even criminal by today’s standards.

The patterns for these blocks can be found at Prairie Quilt.


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Apr
21

Women of the Bible – 15 & 16

Posted Saturday, April 21st, 2018 in QAL, Quilt Blocks | Read More

The next two blocks for the Women of the Bible sew-along are Deborah and Miriam. Miriam was the sister of Moses. She hid him in a basket in the river when Pharaoh ordered the death of all male Hebrew babies. The name of the block used to represent Miriam is mosaic.

Deborah was a respected judge of Israel. The name of the block for Deborah is Courthouse steps. I may remake this block as I am not really happy with my fabric choises.

A link to these blocks can be found here.


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Apr
8

Trying out a new template

Posted Sunday, April 8th, 2018 in Quilt Blocks, Scrap Quilts | Read More

I watch the Fons and Porter show that is broadcast on Saturday mornings here in Columbus. A couple of weeks ago they used a template from Fons and Porter to make a quilt called Orange Peel Two-Step. It was also featured in their magazine in the March/April issue. I looked up the pattern in my magazine and then ordered the template. It is curved piecing similar to a Drunkard’s Path block. In the TV show, they pieced strips of fabric before cutting the pieces with the templates. A pieced background is then sewn on both sides of the melon shaped  piece. I loved how the different shades played out in the block. When my templates arrived this week, I had to try it out. I used fabric from my scrap bin and a couple fat quarters.

I enjoy sewing curved pieces and have made several drunkard’s path quilts in the past.


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Apr
8

Women of the Bible – 13 & 14

Posted Sunday, April 8th, 2018 in Quilting | Read More

The Women of the Bible blocks this week are Asenath and Jephtah’s Daughter. Asenath was Joseph’s wife and mother of two sons. Her sons became forefathers of two of the twelve tribes of Israel. Jephtah was the son of a prostitute and was an outcast. He became a strong soldier and leader. While in battle, he made a vow to God that he would sacrifice the first person to come out of his house if he would win the battle. He thought that a servant would be the first to greet him but it was his daughter who ran out to meet him.

I used the same fabrics in these blocks that I used in the block for Jezebel. I like to use the same fabrics at least three blocks in a quilt top.

The next two patterns will be available on May 1 at the Prairie Quilt website.


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Mar
17

Women of the Bible – 11 & 12

Posted Saturday, March 17th, 2018 in Quilting | Read More

The blocks this week are named for Naomi and Judith. These were two quick and easy blocks. I did change the way I made the triangle in a square parts of the Judith block. I used my  Tri-Recs tools  instead of following the pattern instructions. It made cutting and constructing it much simpler.

I wasn’t sure I would get them made this week after being sidelined with illness. I am finally feeling well enough to go up to my sewing room and work a bit today. I am also working on another quilt that has been in the UFO pile for years. I will post more about that quilt later. Here are the Naomi and Judith blocks.


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Mar
5

Women of the Bible Blocks 7-10

Posted Monday, March 5th, 2018 in Quilting | Read More

I made blocks 7 and 8 in February but didn’t take pictures of them until I had completed the next two blocks. Block 7 is Rebekah. The designer of the block said she chose Crosses and Losses to reflect Rebekah’s story. The large light hourglass represents Rebekah, the mother caught between her twin sons, represented by the small dark hourglasses.

Block 8 is Ruth, a loyal daughter -in-law to Naomi.


The next two blocks are Bathsheba and Esther. Bathsheba married King David and was the mother of Solomon. Esther was of Jewish heritage and was chosen Queen of Persia.

The next two patterns will be available on March 15th.


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Feb
4

Women of the Bible – Blocks 5 & 6

Posted Sunday, February 4th, 2018 in Quilting | Read More

The latest  blocks are Hagar and Jezebel. I have added new colors for the Jezebel block. I plan to use all of the colors in my pack of fat quarters which includes pink and more blue and yellow fabric. I am using some plain colors that were originally with my 1930s fabrics.


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Feb
3

On Ringo Lake Mystery Quilt

Posted Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 in Quilting, mystery quilt | Read More

I put the last stitch into the quilt top today! Yippee!!! I am so glad to be finished with this one. I hit a rough spot when it came to adding the sashing around the blocks. I was ready to move onto something new but I would’t let myself start a new quilt until this top was finished. This past week I started working on it and it was enjoyable again. Sometimes I just need a break from a large project. I read that there are 3339 pieces in the quilt. I haven’t counted so I will go with that number. It just so happens to be my old house number.

Although I haven’t started a new quilt since I began working on this one, I have made some blocks in two sew alongs this year. I am doing the Women of the Bible (see my first 4 blocks here) and also the 1930s Farmer’s Wife Sampler. Two new blocks for the WOB were posted this week and I cut out and sewed them today after finishing the mystery quilt.

I started blocks for the Farmer’s Wife quilt in 2015 but only made 3 blocks. I broke down and ordered Marti Michell templates to help speed the cutting process for Farmer’s Wife. I am using my 1930s reproduction fabrics for this quilt. I will posted more about this quilt along later.

This is a closer view of the mystery quilt.

Bonnie is having a link up party on her blog. To see the mystery quilts others have made click here.


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Jan
24

Prairie Quilt’s Women of the Bible Sew Along

Posted Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 in Quilting | Read More

I  made the first four blocks in a sew-along that I found online. The blocks are named after women of the Bible. The patterns include cutting and sewing instructions, and a short description of that person. Two new patterns are posted on the 1st and 15th of each month and the previous patterns are taken down. You can get these patterns by visiting this site, Prairie Quilt.

I have a bundle of fat quarters that I bought last year with no project in mind. I decided they would be perfect for this sew-along. The bundle has a few large print pieces that will work in the larger blocks. The sizes of the blocks vary. I have made two that are 15 inch blocks and two that are 10 inch blocks. The names of these blocks are Rachel, Noah’s wife, Sarah and Eve.

The finished quilt is 110″ X 125″ with borders. I don’t plan to make my quilt that large (it wouldn’t fit my quilt frame). I probably won’t add all the borders.

There is a closed Facebook group, Prairie Quilt’s Women of the Bible Quilt Group,  for people making the quilt.

I have also started making blocks in a sew-along using the 1930s Farmer’s Wife book and my 30s reproduction fabrics. More about that later!


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Jan
8

The Mystery Quilt Reveal

Posted Monday, January 8th, 2018 in Quilting | Read More


Bonnie Hunter revealed the last step of the mystery quilt on New Year’s Day. I think this is one of the prettiest mystery quilts she has made.

I haven’t had time to make all of my blocks yet but I did put a couple of them together.  I have all the parts of the blocks finished but just need to join them. Bonnie is having a Linky Party on her blog. It is so interesting to see the other colorways that people have used. Some are also using different layouts of the blocks. I am trying to decide if I want to make one larger quilt or divide the blocks into two smaller quilts.  I think I am leaning toward one quilt….we will see…

We are having a snow storm as I write this and I cancelled a Dr. appointment this morning.  I plan to work on my blocks today and hopefully have a finished top by the end of the week.



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Jan
7

Christmas 2017

Posted Sunday, January 7th, 2018 in Sewing and Crafting | Read More

This year we had to delay our Christmas party because of the cold weather. Jeff and Christina had frozen water pipes in their house and had to resolve the problems the weekend we had planned to have our party. We had our party this weekend, opening our gifts on Friday evening and spending the day together on Saturday.

We bought a small Janome sewing machine for Sami. It is a very basic, five pound machine with a carrying case. It has different settings for stitch length and runs at a speed slow enough for a child. It forms perfect stitches and is perfect for Sami to learn how to use a sewing machine.

I think I was as excited to give it to her as she was to get it. After all the activity slowed down on Saturday, Sami and I set it up on the card table to try it out. I had some small squares of fabric cut for her to practice on. I asked her what she wanted to make and she said a backpack for her Barbie doll. We made a very primitive bag and put two straps on the top. She was so pleased with her finished product!

I have a small IKEA table and chairs set in my sewing room for her to put her machine on when she is here. She is only four years old and had to stand up to push the foot pedal when we were at the card table. I am hoping she will love sewing as much as I do. She has shown an interest in sewing when I have been working on quilt blocks. She likes to push the scissors button on my machine to cut the thread. She has also shown a huge interest in fabric. I have a container with monkey fabrics that she has claimed.

I am looking forward to spending time sewing with my granddaughter. I plan to move at whatever pace she sets. I want to make it fun for her.


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Dec
31

Mystery Quilt Rapid Fire Clues

Posted Sunday, December 31st, 2017 in Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt | Read More

Bonnie surprised us by releasing  clues 6 and 7 in rapid fire mode. We received the 6th clue on Friday as we usually do. On Saturday she posted clue 7. They are easier clues, working with pieces we made previously.

In Clue 6 we added triangles to the pieced triangles from clue 4.


Clue 7 had us joining the flying geese from clues 2 and 5.

It’s not too late to join the mystery quilt. Bonnie will have the free clues on her blog until February 1, 2018. After that date they will be removed and will be available for sale at a later time.


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Dec
28

And now Clue 5…

Posted Thursday, December 28th, 2017 in Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, mystery quilt | Read More

I have finished Clue 5 just in time for the next clue to arrive tomorrow! I don’t mind making flying geese but have had my fill of them for now. Clue 2  was also flying geese. It is the cutting that I don’t really enjoy. I have been using Bonnie’s Essential Triangle Tool to cut the flying geese. I like that they are cut from strips and fit together so well. My old method was No Waste Fast Flying Geese where you cut a large square and 4 small squares. It also involves drawing lines, sewing, and cutting and then repeating to make four FG at once.

All the fabric for Clue 5 came from my scrap bin. I had to buy coral and aqua fabrics for this mystery but the rest of the fabric is from my scrap collection.

Today I am linking up with Bonnie’s Link Up Party on her blog.


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Dec
18

Clue 4 – On Ringo Lake

Posted Monday, December 18th, 2017 in Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, Quilting | Read More

These are just a few of my finished clue 4 pieces. I am almost done cutting out the triangles. I am still working on clue 3. I have been alternating between the two clues and loading a quilt on the frame.

I finished loading Ezra’s quilt and started quilting today. After just a few inches, I stopped to examine the stitches. I then spent the next hour taking them out. The stitching looked fine on my trial piece but not on the quilt. I rethreaded the machine and cleaned out the bobbin area. It looked clean but I found a large piece of lint in the bobbin race after I had replaced the bobbin. By the time I was done “unsewing”, I was ready to take a break and fix dinner. Wish me luck when I try to quilt again tomorrow!

I am linking up to Bonnie’s link-up party at Quiltville. Take a peak at the fabrics other quilters are using.


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Dec
13

In the Pumpkin Patch

Posted Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 in Fabric Stash, Magazines, Patterns | Read More

I started this quilt last fall. It is another quilt by Bonnie Hunter and was in Quiltmaker magazine. The instructions in the magazine were not written by Bonnie. The pumpkins were supposed to be paper pieced but I skipped that and made strip sets. I then cut them into the size pumpkins I wanted and added corner blocks.

The orange fabric I used was from a fat quarter bundle that I ordered online. Most of the background fabric was given to me by a very dear friend from back home. I had given her a ticket for a bus trip to a quilt show that I was unable to attend. She surprised me with a gift bag STUFFED FULL of fabric. Included with lots of other fabrics were text prints. She knew I loved  text prints but didn’t have any in my stash. I saved them for a special quilt and this is the quilt I chose to use them in. Thank you Kris! I love this quilt!

I still need to hand stitch the binding to the back but it will have to wait until all the Christmas quilting is finished! To see a close up of the text prints, click on the picture.


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Dec
12

Christmas Quilts and “On Ringo Lake” – Clue 3

Posted Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 in Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, Quilting, mystery quilt | Read More

I am getting a late start on the third clue of Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt. I have been working on quilts for my two oldest grandsons, making quilts for the bunk beds in their new home. I knew I wanted to use the alphabet pattern from the book, Alphabet Soup, by Jaybird Quilts.  Jaybird has created special rulers to use in their patterns. I have had the rulers for a few years and really wanted to use them.

I told Jennifer my idea and she ran with it, designing a quilt pattern for me. I then had a picture to work with and created all the blocks to fit together. The letters were all the same height but I had to add fabric to the sides to make them all a uniform size. The rest of the blocks are half square triangles, quarter square triangles, flying geese, and triangle in a square made to fit in 12 inch blocks.

Jennifer also helped me pick out the fabrics. She has a better eye than I do for choosing the right shade of each color. We found the multi-colored fabric (the borders) and chose fabrics to go with it. After having to do the frog stitch a few times, I finally finished  both of the quilt tops today. My plan is to get them loaded on the quilt frame and quilt them next weekend.

Click on the pictures to get a closer view.

After finishing the borders on the boys quilts, I started working on the third clue of Bonnie’s mystery quilt. I cut all the strips I need. I  am using a shortcut way to piece them. At this time I only have a few of them finished but my goal is to be finished and ready for the next clue by Friday.

Click here to see the blocks made by other mystery quilters.


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Dec
4

On Ringo Lake – Clue 2

Posted Monday, December 4th, 2017 in Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt | Read More

This weekend has been busy for us. Sami’s 4th birthday party was held on Saturday. She had a wonderful time playing with her friends. We stayed after the party to watch the OSU game with Jen.

I started working on my second mystery quilt clue on Saturday morning before we went to the party. We are making flying geese and I wanted to try two different methods to see which was easier and more accurate. I usually use the Fast Flying Geese method but that includes a lot of drawn lines, sewing, pressing, cutting and more of the same to complete 4 flying geese. I did two sets this way and found that I had to trim all of them to get the correct size.

Next, I tried Bonnie Hunter’s new method using her Essential Triangle Tool. I cut out a couple and sewed them. They are very accurate and I did not need to trim them to size. This is the method I decided to use for the rest of Clue 2.

Please excuse my poor photography.

Today I worked on this clue until my daughter came over. We are each making a mug rug to take to quilt guild this week for a swap. We are almost finished with them and I will share pictures after they are completed.

To see the flying geese made by other Bonnie Hunter mystery quilters, click here.





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Nov
25

Bonnie Hunter’s “On Ringo Lake” Mystery Quilt

Posted Saturday, November 25th, 2017 in Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, Fabric Stash, Quilting | Read More

One of my favorite quilt teachers is Bonnie Hunter. She is the queen of scrap quilts and is a great teacher. Since I have been following her, I am actually using my scrap fabric. I have it organized by color but I haven’t cut it into the sizes that she recommends.

Every year she presents a mystery quilt on her blog, Quiltville’s Quips and Snips. It begins on Black Friday and usually ends around New Years Day. This year she says it may go a little longer into the month of January because of her busy schedule. Her new quilt is called “On Ringo Lake” and the colors are based on the sunrise she saw while on vacation at Ringo Lake in Minnesota. She again gave paint chip numbers  to help us find the same colors that she used in her quilt.

The first clue was given the day after Thanksgiving and her followers, including me, have been busy cutting and sewing blocks for the first clue. A new clue will be given each Friday until the big reveal in January.

We had family here for the Thanksgiving holiday which we enjoyed immensely. They left on Friday afternoon. After getting a good nights rest, I started cutting strips for my first clue on Saturday morning. I had time to start sewing the blocks before we went to our daughter’s home to watch the OSU/Michigan game. As soon as we arrived back home, I went up to my sewing room to finish my blocks.  Here they are!!!!

To see what other mystery quilters are doing, click here.


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Oct
23

Working on UFOs

Posted Monday, October 23rd, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

This year I have been working on projects from my sewing room. I cleaned out one side of my fabric cupboard and found several kits that I bought years ago. My goal this fall is to at least cut them out. Sometimes I like to have a project ready to sew without having to think too hard. lol My biggest problem is that I have too many ideas and want to make all of them.

When we moved to Columbus three years ago, I ordered a pattern that my quilt group back home was talking of making. I pulled fabric from my stash so I was ready to make it. When I got the pattern, I put it aside because the pattern is not very user friendly. I found the pattern and the fabric this summer and decided to make it. I also used fabric from my scrap bin because the pattern has so many pieces. I finally have the top finished and I love it.


I also found a kit that I bought in 2006 in Shipshewana at Yoder’s Dept. Store.  I had cut it out and made the sail portions of the blocks. I had to get my head around the pattern again to finish it. It went together quickly once I figured out what I was supposed to be doing.

I also have a closet full of finished tops that need to be quilted. One reason they are not quilted is because I need backing fabric for them. I found a site online that sells wide fabric at a really good price, so I ordered pieces for four quilts. One is going to be a Christmas gift but the other three quilts are Bonnie Hunter patterns. I have done her mystery quilts for the last four years and only quilted one of them. SEW… that is my next project…to load and quilt them.


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