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
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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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
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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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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Aug
5

Bonnie Hunter’s Tropical Twist Workshop

Posted Saturday, August 5th, 2017 in My Projects, Quilt Guilds, Quilting | Read More

This has been a busy summer here in Columbus. We have been watching the granddaughters quite often (and enjoying every minute!). I did get to attend a workshop with Bonnie Hunter in June. We were working on the Tropical Twist quilt from her book, “Addicted to Scraps“. Bonnie is the queen of scraps, therefore, I tried to make the entire quilt from my scrap bin. I pulled the green, purple and blue scraps for the darker strips and a variety of light scraps for the background. On a few of the background strips, I used the back of the fabric as the right side to get a lighter shade. This was a tip that I had heard before but Bonnie reminded us of it at the workshop.

Another tip for this quilt was to use the leftover triangles (that are cut off in making the larger block) in the border. Bonnie has designed a nifty little ruler , the Bonus Buddy, that is made for this purpose. It was included with her triangle ruler that I purchased last year.  At the lecture the night before the workshop, she mentioned that we would be using the Bonus Buddy. I went home and packed it for the next day. It works great! She said it will be available as a single item soon.

Tropical Twist

All of the blocks were made from my scraps. I do have to confess that I bought fabric for the aqua and yellow inner borders. I didn’t have enough of either of those colors to make an entire border.


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Jun
24

Mystery Solved

Posted Saturday, June 24th, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

I have enjoyed doing the mystery quilt. It was a very simple pattern. The fun part of making this was not knowing what fabric was in the brown bag and where each piece would be located in the quilt.

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May
1

How I Spent My Sunday Afternoon…

Posted Monday, May 1st, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

Last Sunday, my local quilt shop, Quilt Trends, held a program they call QuTee ReVue. They sell tickets and you get a reserved seat, a goodie bag, and refreshments. The program is an introduction to lots of new patterns, rulers, notions, demonstrations and prizes . All the items are sold at a discount the day of the event. I won a very nice prize, Bali Crackers, a collection of 40 ten inch batik fabrics.

I have a pattern that I have been planning to make with these exact colors. My prize could not have been a better fit for me!

Our goodie bags were useful and reusable bags with a snap to close the top. Inside were these nice gifts…

There was a package of machine needles in the white bag shown here along with a guide to all the different sizes and types of needles. The fat quarters and zipper were with  the pattern for the zippered bag. The magnet at the bottom of the picture matches one of the wall quilts that I have made for my sewing room.

Of course I had to purchase some goodies too! I bought two new specialty rulers, some patterns and a bundle of fat quarters to go with one of the new patterns. A couple of things that I ordered are on back order. They are an aqua colored rotary cutter and a nifty marking pencil.

These fat quarters will be used with one of the new patterns and specialty ruler that I bought. They had a sample quilt made using the same pattern and fabric and it was beautiful. I will use a plain white fabric for the background in this quilt.

While I was there, I picked up the next clue for the Brown Bag Mystery Quilt. The clues are very simple and easy to sew.  I made and pressed clue 4 this afternoon.

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Apr
20

2015 Snapshots BOM

Posted Thursday, April 20th, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

I was working on this Block of the Month in 2015 but didn’t keep up with it at the end of the year. It then became a UFO until this spring. I lost interest because of all the flippy corners. ( A method of putting triangles on the corners of rectangles, etc..) When I bought a new specialty ruler for another project, I found that it worked well for making the flippy corners without having to  draw a line, sew, and cut. I made the last three blocks for each quilt and completed both the large and small quilt tops.

The large quilt is 66 1/2″ X 88 1/2″ and the smaller version is 38 1/2 X 49 1/2″. I used my 1930s fabrics that I had been collecting for years. I had Fat Quarters and Jolly Bars (5″ X 10″) cuts of fabric.

Here is the larger quilt….

..and this is the mini version.

This shows them together to compare the sizes.

The larger quilt was much easier to make than the smaller version but they both went together very well. I did have to make a few adjustments on a couple of the blocks in the mini quilt to make the first round of sashing fit. The seam allowances caused a lot of bulk in the smaller blocks.

The pattern for the large quilt is available free at The Jolly Jabber, the blog at the Fat Quarter Shop. Sondra Davidson of the blog, Out of the Blue, made a smaller version of the Snapshots quilt.  The measurements for cutting a smaller quilt are available on her blog.


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Mar
18

Brown Bag Mystery Quilt – Clue 1

Posted Saturday, March 18th, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

I visited my local quilt shop, QuiltTrends and picked up my first mystery quilt clue and a new ruler. Sue was demonstrating the Creative Grids Quick Trim Ruler and showing how it can be used to make the clue. I have been wanting a ruler to do this step but I didn’t know that one existed. This ruler is used when a square is added to the corner of another square or rectangle. Rather than drawing a line on the diagonal and sewing on the line and then cutting away the excess, it can be made by lining up the ruler with the square and cutting. When it is done this way, all the leftover corners are the same size and can be used for another project. I have always disliked drawing all those lines before I can get down to the business of sewing.

I cut the first corner, sewed it and measured to make sure it was the correct size. It was! I then put a piece of colored tape on the ruler so that I could pick it up and quickly see where to line it up for the next piece. I finished sewing and pressing all 48 pieces for clue 1. Next I sewed all the leftover HSTs and pressed them too. I now have 48 extra pieces to be used for another project.

I know that I will use this new ruler often. Yes, I am a ruler junkie!

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Mar
13

The Next Episode of a Brown Bag Mystery…

Posted Monday, March 13th, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

Sunday afternoon I began the process of cutting five yards of fabric into small pieces to be sewn back together again. How they will be sewn together is the mystery!

Next Saturday I will pick up the first clue to the mystery. Sue at Quilt Trends will demo helpful rulers for making the quilt and also demonstrating how to make the first clue.

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Mar
12

Brown Bag Mystery Quilt

Posted Sunday, March 12th, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

I don’t need another project but I couldn’t help myself! This mystery sounds like fun so I bought a kit at Quilt Trends last week. The kit includes 5 one yard pieces of fabric. They are inside a brown paper bag and stapled shut so you can’t see what you are getting. There are five paint chips tied to the outside of the bag to give a hint about the fabric colors inside. I chose a bag called Pacific Harbour with dark turquoise, gray, peach (or light orange), white and light turquoise paint chips. (I was really tempted to buy a bag with shades of pink and green but the turquoise won the battle!)

Inside the bag is an information sheet with instructions for cutting and and explaining how the mystery works. Clues will be given every two weeks starting on March 18.

This is the fabric from my mystery bag. I was surprised to see that one of the fabrics in the bag is from the same line of fabric I am using in Charlotte’s quilt.  I know I will like this quilt!

I am off to my sewing room to start cutting fabric. Watch for the next episode of the Brown Bag Mystery, coming soon!

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