What I learned today….

Today I decided to quilt my Swoon block.


Can you see all the quilting?  No?  Neither can I.  Navy thread on the navy parts, white thread on the white parts, and a pinkish-off-white on the lavender sections.  You have to get your nose on top of the block to see the quilting.  I tried doing swirls in the lavender sections, but couldn’t see what I was doing, so tore that out and just did straight lines…….without a ruler – not a good idea.  In the white parts I did loopy loops and pebbles.  My straight lines were very wobbly, but since you can’t see them it didn’t bother me.

Here is a closer look at a white section.


No so bad.  Then I unloaded the quilt and turned it over.  YIKES.  Holy Moley.  What a MESS on the back.

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This is what I learned today…….

1.  Check the thread tension EVERY time you change threads.

2.  Use a light colored backing if you are using light colored thread.

3.  Use a ruler when doing straight lines.

Now I have to decide whether to take out all the offending stitching OR just throw it out and chalk it up to lessons learned OR go ahead and bind it and use it as a table topper that is not allowed to be turned over!  What would you do?





Every since I saw Camille Roskelley’s Swoon quilt (Thimble Blossoms), I have wanted to do a block.  The blocks are huge and only require 9 blocks to make an 80″ X 80″ quilt.  I just wanted to make one block and bought the pattern to give it a try.  It took me all afternoon to make the one block, but I really like the result.

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I think I might add a border (or not), quilt it, and use it for a table topper.


How do you learn?

Recently I added a Pro Stitcher to my HandiQuilter Avante.

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I can now quilt an elephant on my quilts.

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Are you impressed?  Don’t be.  The way I learn is by making mistakes, and yesterday I made plenty of mistakes and learned a lot.  Feeling confident after watching all the instructional videos, I plunged right in and loaded a quilt to do an edge to edge quilt pattern.  I chose an open and airy pattern to quilt on my Button quilt – a pattern titled Loose Threads.  Sounded just right for the quilt.  Unfortunately I was in too much of a hurry because I failed to measure where the pattern would end in the throat space and how it would fit together row to row.  I also was not careful basting the edges and didn’t watch the batting which folded in the center.  Lots of mistakes.  Lots of lessons learned.  I was a little discouraged, but finished it up and trimmed it, wobbly edges and all.

Can you see all my mistakes?

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Here is one………..instead of a rounded edge, there was not enough throat space so the rounded edge was squared up.

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Here is the backing……….can you see the mistakes here?

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No, of course not.  I was miserable over my mistakes, but today when I looked at the finished quilt, I realized that it is hard to find the mistakes and all in all it looks pretty good.  Also, I read in one of Julia Cameron’s books her words “Here’s what I like about God: Trees are crooked, mountains are lumpy, a lot of his creatures are funny-looking, and he made it all anyway.”  So my lumpy, bumpy, quilt fits nicely into this world.

All the mistakes I made mean that I have learned. When I re-watched the instructional videos today I took lots of notes and am now ready to try again.  Do you also learn by making mistakes?

Here is a close-up of the backing fabric.  I think it is adorable.





Here a scrap, there a scrap, everywhere, scrap, scrap…..

Back in the middle of May, I started cutting all my bins of scraps into useable squares and strips.  Today I finished that massive project.

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And re-arranged them into bins by size instead of color as they were before.

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It was time to start making some scrap quilts ! ! !  I looked on Bonnie Hunter’s website (Quiltville) for one of her free patterns.  The pattern I chose is Dancing Nines.  Her pattern uses 2″ squares and I am using my 2-1/2 inch squares, adjusting the pattern accordingly.

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I have 42 blocks made and just need to add the two-sided sashing to 34 blocks.

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As you can see, the bin with the 2-1/2 inch squares is practically empty.  (Ha Ha)

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There will be a LOT of scrap quilts in my future.


Yet another table runner……

My friend Gail who works at the local quilt shop offered to cut 60 degree wedges for me to make this table runner.  Such a deal !!!  She used the cuts for a demo she was doing and I got the benefit of a table runner all ready to sew.


Border fabrics and 60 degree cuts make for very clever arrangements.  (The fabric is “The Saturday Evening Post Licensed by Curtis Publishing, QuiltingTreasures)

The backing fabric is what sold me to get the border fabric.  It reminds me of New York City (where I lived for a brief time) and Central Park.  I can hear the horns honking!