Bits and Pieces

I have several quilt photos I want to show you all. I have been having fun working on several quilts lately and I am excited to show you all what they look like.

Quilt #1 Gwen’s Quilt

Pieced by Connie for her niece. This quilt is way too cute and extremely well pieced.


Here is a closer view of the quilting. I used cotton threads and Soft & Bright batting. I quilted feathered wreaths in the purple blocks .


I am not a huge fan of pieced backs. You have to take as much care, maybe even more so, when piecing the backs because there is the potential of pleats and puckers on the back during the quilting process. Connie pieced this back so well, there was NO problems.


Quilt #2 Woodland Diamond

This is an amazing quilt pieced by Chris W. It is traditional Radiant Star design, but with some applique. And I LOVE the choice of fabrics. Click on any of the photos for a larger, more detailed view. I used several high sheen polyester threads and Soft & Bright batting.


I had so much fun quilting this quilt! Below is a close up of a corner and you can see the quilting around the applique and the curved crosshatching I did in the corner block. Yes, this took some time, but it was well worth it!


Here is the back of the quilt. Again, click on the photo so you can see the detail.


One more view of the back. Here you can see the detail of the quilting in the corners and in the diamonds in the star.


This quilt was beautifully pieced and appliqued, which makes my job a whole lot easier!

Quilt #3 – Tree of Life

This is one of my own quilts which I created a couple of years ago. Yes, I do work on my own projects from time to time! I LOVE this quilt! It is one of the first holiday quilts I hang in my home.

The block is only 12 inches square – the half square triangles are only 1 inch finished size! This proves that you can take a single block, add a lot of borders and make it into a decent size wall quilt. The finished size of this quilt is about 48 inches square.

The photo below shows the quilt top before quilting. The border has fusible applique on it. (Fusible is the only applique that I do!)


Here is the quilt after quilting! And yes, I had a TON of fun quilting it! Click on the photo to see the details. I used several different types of thread including gold, high sheen poly and cotton threads. I also used several of my templates and a lot of free hand designs too.


Here is a close up of the tree block.


I am making another quilt with the same block – sized differently so the half square triangles aren’t quite so small – and I may have it as an online class. I’ll keep you posted when that happens.

I was also doing some online research on “Tree of Life Quilt Pattern” and my quilt wasn’t showing up.  That is because photos were not online! Now they are and they should show up in future online searches!

I hope you have enjoyed the photos. Now I have to get back to quilting!



Mt Rainier Holiday

Yesterday, my daughter Katie, her two children and I went for a ride to Sunrise at Mt Rainier, WA. It was a free National Parks weekend and we made a day of it!

Mt. Rainier was FABULOUS and breathtaking! We were at 6,700 feet above sea level and the breathing got a little labored with exertion, but I survived! While there, I took some photos (of course) –

Click on any photo for a larger view

B-MR-1     B-MR-2     B-MR-3

We also took a “little” hike – about a mile out and a mile back – but the trail was somewhat un-even and there many rocks and branches on the trail and there was a fair amount of up and down (at 6,700 feet above sea level!). I had to be careful where I put my feet. I didn’t want to fall.

The first photo below shows my 10 year old Grandson Nathan. Make sure to notice his backpack.

Along the trail we took a rest and had a snack. If you were in the sun it was almost HOT but when the wind was blowing it was cold. In the second photo, Nathan and I are resting. I wore my sun visor and my scalp got sun burned!

B-MR-5    B-MR-4

After out little rest break, Nathan didn’t want to carry the back pack anymore so his Mom carried it for him, along with his 30 + pound sleeping sister! Katie is a “pack horse Mama!!” Notice how the back pack is being carried. I did offer to carry the backpack.


Because the park was so crowded, we had to park about a half mile from the Visitor Center along the side of the road on a very narrow turn out. It’s a good thing Katie not only know how to be a pack horse Mama, but she knows how to park a car almost anyplace!

This is a day that we all will remember for a LONG time!

Fun with Panel Prints

My sister is going to be a Grandma!!! I am SO excited for her! The baby, a boy, is due in a few months and the whole family is excited.

My sister is also a quilter and in her travels, before there was even a hint of a baby, she found these absolutely darling panel prints. She purchased them and saved them for when she would be a Grandma, or if that didn’t happen, she would donate them to a kids charity. I don’t know where she purchased the panel prints, but these were some of the nicest panel prints I have seen or worked on!

The first panel print is titled “In the Beginning” for obvious reasons. Here is the full view of the finished quilt.

Click on any photo for a larger view.


Here is a close up of the top of the quilt.


And a close up of the bottom of the quilt.


This is quilted with Signature, 100% cotton thread and many thread color changes were done to match the thread to the fabric.

Now for the fun quilting!!! My nephew, the baby’s father, is a heavy equipment operator. When my sister saw this panel print, she could not help herself! Here is the full view of the panel. It isn’t very large, only about 42 x 34 inches.


On a panel like this, I like to quilt “texture” into what is already printed on the fabric.


Here is a close up of some of the trucks.


And another close up of another truck. Please click on the photo for a larger view and you can see the stitching on the trucks.


Again, I changed my threads many times and I also used Soft & Bright batting.

I have one more panel to show you – Another heavy equipment themed panel. (My sister finds the GREATEST fabrics!) Here is the full view of the “Gravel Pit” and I went crazy with the texture! Yes, I did quilt pebbles in the gray “asphalt” on the panel! This quilt is also 42 x 34 inches.


Because I knew that I was going to be changing my thread a LOT, I decided to baste the quilt first. I like using a bright (usually neon) color, high sheen poly thread for the basting with a large stitch. After the basting, I put a color of thread in the machine ( I started with a variegated gray) and quilted the “asphalt”  and anything else using that thread color, moving the quilt back and forth as needed to get to the area to be quilted. Then I changed to another color of thread and quilted ALL the areas that need quilting with that color. Before I quilted any area, I removed the basting from that section.

This photo shows the basting on the un-quilted quilt top. The quilt is on my machine with the bright overhead lights.


In this photo, this area has been quilted and it is hanging outside on a cloudy day. Click on any photo for a larger view.


Another photo of a basted area.


And here is that area quilted.


One more basted area –


And the same area quilted.


One more photo of another section of the Gravel Pit.


I have sent my sister photos of these quilts but I can’t wait for her to see them in person! These quilts are getting mailed back to the Midwest in the morning!

I can’t wait to hear about the reaction of both my nephew and his wife when they see these quilts. And of course, after the baby is born, I’ll get photos of the baby laying on the quilts!

Last month, my second oldest Grand Daughter, Mackenzie, graduated from high school! Woo hoo!!! She lives in North Carolina and unfortunately, I live near Seattle and no, I was not able to attend her graduation in person. Boo hoo!!

But… technology to the rescue! Her graduation ceremony was streamed LIVE and I was able to watch the whole thing in real time, sitting in front of my computer. To make things even better, my sister and my Mom and Dad, who all live in Illinois, were watching the same thing on their computer. We were doing group texts and conference calls during the ceremony and after. Even though we were all (literally) thousands of miles  apart, it was like we were all in the same room!

I even took a photo of my computer screen (on my cell phone) of Mackenzie getting her diploma.

Click on any photo for a larger view.


Ain’t technology great!

And of course, Grandma Cindy made a quilt for Mackenzie for her graduation. She will be going to the University of Nebraska next month and she will be studying music.

I found some perfect fabric in the Keepsake Quilting Catalog, ordered it and began making her quilt. Since she is studying music I found a “music fabric” collection and also a collection of red batiks for the University of Nebraska.

To see the Fabric Collections at Keepsake Quilting Click Here

The piecing pattern I made was a Free Pattern that I found online called Garden Path. To view the instructions Click Here


Mackenzie’s Garden Path quilt is completely done. It’s all quilted and I just finished putting the binding on it. If you click on the photo you should be able to see the fabrics with the music theme.

I quilted it with silver high sheen polyester thread using a free hand Swirls & Hooks pattern.


Here is a close up of the piecing and quilting.

I used a black print fabric for the back. It is a very dark black, but in the photo it looks more gray.


You can see the quilting better from the back of the quilt.

I wish Mackenzie lots of luck and fun times at college. Enjoy your quilt Mack-a-doodle! Grandma Cindy loves you!!!

Yum, Yum!!

For many, many years I have grown artichokes in my garden. In fact, when I first started growing artichokes, I started them from seeds! Over the years the original plants have had “babies” and I have supplemented them with new, purchased plants.

Generally the winters here in Seattle are fairly mild compared to other parts of the country. If it does get below freezing, which isn’t very often or for very long, I cover my artichokes with old sample quilts from my longarm classes. (To view a past post about using sample quilts as garden covers Click Here )

But sometimes, the winter is cold and nasty and a few of my artichokes do not survive. I now have two fairly large artichoke plants growing in my garden.

This spring, my artichokes have gone wild! Each of my artichoke plants has at least three artichokes on them.

Did I mention that I LOVE artichokes!

Here are some photos of my artichoke plants – click on any photo for a larger view.


Artichoke plant #1 with four artichokes on it. Do you see the baby artichoke near the bottom of the photo?


Artichoke plant #2 with three artichokes on it.


A side view showing both plants and the artichokes growing on both of them. And there is one big artichoke on each plant ready to be cut and cooked!

Over the years I have cooked artichokes many different ways. I have boiled, steamed, baked,  roasted and microwaved my home grown artichokes. But this year, I’m using my crock pot!

I cut my artichokes, trimmed them, and put them in my big crock pot. I put some garlic through the garlic press and put that on top of the artichokes, along with lemon slices and lemon pepper. I put some water in the bottom of the crock pot, covered it up and set it on high for about 4 hours.

Here are my artichokes in my crock pot ready to be cooked!


While the artichokes were cooking, I was back out in the garden trimming my wisteria!

This is what my wisteria looked like before I attacked it with the pruning shears! It definitely needs a haircut!


After a bit of work……


Oh my gosh, it looks SO much better! And there is a hosta at the bottom left! You can hardly see it in the before photo!

After working on my wisteria and other garden stuff, I’m back to my artichokes.

My house smells divine and my artichokes are tender and look great! Here is the one I ate for dinner


It was SOOOOOO good! I dipped the leaves in some honey mustard sauce, yum, yum, yum!

All that is left is a pile of eaten leaves and the “spikes” from the inside of the choke!


The other artichoke I cooked is in the fridge and I’m going to warm it up and have it for dinner tomorrow!

I have a dear friend who recently had shoulder surgery. I wanted to do something special for her and my first thought was to make a quilt for her. But, she is a professional quilter and another quilt is probably the last thing she would want. So I began thinking and I came up a knitted shawl!

With her shoulder surgery, she couldn’t get her arm into a jacket easily, so I thought having a shawl to throw over her shoulders would work well for her.

I found a simple shawlette pattern at my local yarn shop and began working on it. The pattern is from the book “Free Spirit Shawls, by Lisa Shroyer. For details on this book Click Here (The pattern I used is on Page 55.) I did change the lace pattern on the bottom of the shawl, but everything else was by the pattern.

My daughter, Katie, reluctant agreed to be a model, but I had to promise not to show her face. And being a good mother, I didn’t!

Click on any photo for a larger view.


Here is a back view. The main yarn was a hand painted sock type yarn, knitted up “speckled” and it has bits of turquoise and aqua.


The shawlette is not very wide, but it is LONG!  I blocked the shawlette on a 6 x 4 foot piece of Styrofoam insulation and it went from edge to edge.


And here is a view from the front.

I have already sent this to my friend and she LOVES it. I hope it keeps her shoulders warm and cozy for a long, long time!

I just finished another quilt which is WAY, WAY TOO CUTE! It was made for a girl, Bryanna, who is having a 16th birthday  real soon.

Click on any photo for a larger view.


The quilt was made by Bryanna’s Aunt and she did a great job with the piecing. There was a lot of “open” spaces and I had WAY too much fun quilting it!


Here is a close up of the top half of the quilt. Notice the name quilted below the point of the heart! Also the hearts in the borders.


And here is the bottom of the quilt. It is a bright sunny day outside and the bright sunshine is doing strange things with the colors – especially the white background fabric.


There were a few extra blocks left over, so they were pieced into the backing fabric. I couldn’t control where the quilting would be on them, but it did turn out very well.


One more view of the back of the quilt, near the top. I love the texture that is showing from the quilting in the pinwheel star block.

It is a bright sunny warm spring day and now I am going outside to work in the garden!




Hearts and Feathers

I finished these quilts this week and they are WAY too cute!!

This quilt is a Batik Irish Chain for a baby that I quilted with feathered heart wreaths and continuous curves. The quilt is 41 x 53 inches.

Click on any photo for a larger view


I love the colors of this quilt! And here is the back of the quilt.


I used Soft & Bright batting, Lavender and Sand Dollar Signature, 100% cotton thread.

When I make feathered heart wreaths, there is a “process” that I use. Here are some photos to show the basics of how I quilt them. Here is the un-quilted space.


Then I mark the spine and the inner and outer boundaries of my feathers. On this quilt I used the Mark-B-Gone, water soluble marker. You can barely see the marker, enlarge the photo to see it better. I mark just enough that I can see the lines.( If you want more information on what I use to make the heart shapes Click Here)


Now I quilt the feathered wreath free hand, including the spine line!


And lastly, I removed the marker with a spritz of water. Here is the finished feathered heart wreath.


I quilted the heart wreath with the Lavender thread and the background (behind the heart) I used the Sand Dollar thread to match the fabric. I LOVE the effect! If you look closely in the expanded photo, you can see the continuous curve quilting I did in the squares.

One More Quilt! This quilt has hand embroidered squares and (again) is WAY too cute!! This quilt is 34 x 45 inches.


Here is a close up of some of the blocks. The embroidery was VERY well done!


I used Signature Lavender thread in the printed fabric and quilted feathers in the borders and sashings and added “detail” quilting in each block. I also used Warm & White batting.

Like I said, WAY too cute!!! And here is the back of the quilt. You can really see the quilting!


Here is a close up of the back of the quilt.


Needless to say, I had a lot of fun working on these quilts!