Archive for the ‘General’ Category

It HAS been a while since I have posted quilt photos!!! Even though I haven’t posted many photos, I really HAVE been busy. As always, I am working on several project at one time (I must be the Queen of multi-tasking), and sometimes when multi-tasking it takes more time to get things done! If anyone know of how to get an extra hour or two out of a day, please let me know.

I recently finished this way too cute Snowman Quilt. It is 38 x 51 inches and it was very nicely pieced. There were a lot of small-ish pieces and the stars were done with the folded triangle technique.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

The batting is Warm & Natural and I used several high sheen polyester (HSP) threads. The background fabric is a tree print, and I think the trees are birch trees (I am not a tree expert. Let me know if they are different). The main color of the trees are gray, so I used a silver HSP thread and just “followed” the direction of the trees with wavy lines of quilting. You may be able to see the quilting lines if you expand the photo below.

In the snowmen I quilted spirals. The backing photo below shows more of the quilting.

I love when the quilting on the front of the quilt almost “disappears” but REALLY shows up on the back! Which is exactly what happened with this next quilt.

This quilt, Color Splash quilt, is huge at 101 x 101 inches!!! It is so big, that I could get only half of the quilt over my clothesline to get photos! The photo below is only about one fourth of the quilt! I’m not sure if you can see the quilting from the front of the quilt. I used silver HSP thread and quilted free hand feathers and swirls as an all over design in the body of the quilt.

In the outer border I quilted my “straight edge” feathers and the inner border has my “more bang for the buck” feather! You can see the quilting a bit better in the dark border. (For an online class on how to quilt these feathers Click Here)The batting is Warm & Natural.

But the back looks spectacular! The backing fabric is a dark,  black on black print, but in the photo it is showing up as gray. Trust me, it is DARK black fabric! And since I use the same thread on the top and the bobbin, the silver HSP thread really sparkles on the back of the quilt.

On the left edge and lower left corner, you can see the border feathers. ALL the feathers are done free hand – and I LOVE quilting free hand feathers!!!

I am planning on posting more quilt photos in the not too distant future.



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Every New Years Day, for the last 10 years, I have hosted a New Year’s Day Mystery Quilting Event and it is SO much fun!

The class project is titled Medallion Mania and (hint, hint) the quilting is mainly feathered wreaths! Generally, no hints about the quilting are given, but this time I made an exception.

This is how this Mystery Quilting Event works – when you sign up for the class you will receive the piecing instructions. Choose the class project size you want to make – this year there is a Wall quilt, Twin size quilt and Queen size quilt – piece the quilt top and have it on your quilting machine, ready for quilting on January 1, 2018. On that day, about 8 am Pacific time (usually a little earlier) the first “Part” of the QUILTING will be activated on the website. Then, about every 1-1/2 – 2 hours throughout the day, other Parts of the class will be activated. By the end of the day you will have all the Parts to the class and (maybe) have the quilting done on your own class project!

If you are busy on New Year’s Day, don’t worry, you have 60 days of 24/7 access to the online class AND at no additional charge, a DVD of the class and all printed material will be sent to you!

Here is a photo of the Wall size quilt, 60 x 60 inches, BEFORE quilting! Click on the photos for a larger view.

And here is the Queen size quilt, 96 x 96 inches, which is the quilt I am quilting in the class video.

As you can see, the piecing is super simple. But the quilting – for that you have to attend the class on New Year’s Day!

Note – the quilt blocks are 34 inches! That is a LOT of room for quilting!!!!

If you have a small throat quilting machine or you quilt with your home sewing machine, YOU can attend this class! I am showing several different ways to quilt the feathered wreaths, including using stencils and how to quilt on a smaller throat / sit down machine.

For more details on the Medallion Mania online class Click Here 

I hope to “see” you in class on New Year’s Day!!!

PS For more information about past New Year’s Day Quilting Events Click Here 

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Happy Halloween!!!



Women are Angels
And when someone breaks our wings….
we simply continue to fly……….
on a broomstick…
We are flexible….



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A few days ago I posted photos of my Patriotic Star quilt block and I have had several requests for the instructions on how to make this block. I have written out the instructions for both the Patriotic Star quilt block and the instructions on how to make the table runner.

You can view and save these instructions as a pdf file by clicking on the highlighted text Patriotic-Stars-Pattern

I have also put together a photo tutorial on how to construct this block. Note: These instructions are photo intensive and I have the photos at a small size so more can fit on the screen. Click on any photo for a larger view.


1 Fat Quarter or equivalent of the fabrics listed below will make 1 Patriotic Star block, plus a few more!

Blue Star fabric, Red Star fabric, Red and White striped fabric, OR solid red and solid white fabric to make your own striped fabric.
Background fabric – 1 Fat Quarter or equivalent

Refer to the PDF file (see above) for the cutting dimensions.

The piecing instructions for the Star Points are written (and illustrated below) so that you don’t have to use any special piecing rulers.

NOTE: For a great red / white wavy striped fabric, I recommend visiting the Quilted Dragon  website.  (www.quilteddragon.com) She is a quilting friend and has great fabric Click on the link to go directly to the fabric  Red & White Striped Fabric 


If you would prefer use special piecing rulers to make the elongated triangles that are used in the Patriotic Star Block, I recommend the following:

Peaky & Spike Templates by Marti Michelle

Tri-Recs Tool from EZ Quilting

These template sets should be available at your local quilt shop.

Star Center – Pieced Strips

Take the 1 inch x 2-1/2 inch pieces of the Solid Red and Solid White fabrics and stitch them together along the long edges. Press to one side.




Take the 1 inch x 4-1/2 inch pieces of the Solid Red and Solid White fabrics and stitch them together along the long edges. Press to one side.



Take the 2-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch piece of the Blue Star fabric and the two (sewn) striped pieces and place them EXACTLY as shown.

Stitch these pieces together like a 4-Patch and press as desired.



The completed Star Center block is shown. This piece should measure 4-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches square, including seam allowances.

Make 1 Star Center for each block you are making.




Star Center – Striped Fabric

If you are using Red and White striped fabric, place the pieces a shown in the photo at the far left. Stitch together like a 4-Patch to form the Star Center. Press as desired.  This piece should measure 4-1/2 x 4-1/2 inches square, including seam allowances.

Make 1 Star Center for each block you are making.


Star Points – Using Templates/Rulers

If you are using piecing templates/rulers, follow the directions to make the following 4-1/2 inch square Star Point blocks.

For EACH Patriotic Star Block you will need the following –

1 – Star Point with Blue fabric on the left and Red fabric on the right. (See upper left)

1 – Star Point with Red fabric on the left and Blue fabric on the right. (See upper right)

2 – Star Points with Red fabric on the left and Red fabric on the right. (See bottom left and right)

If you are NOT using piecing templates/rulers, go to the next section.


Star Points – without rulers

On a padded surface, WRONG sides up, pin OPPOSITE corners of 2 – 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch Star Point fabric EXACTLY as shown in the photo.

Note: – I like to use a padded and gridded ironing pad or a folded terry towel on top of my ironing board. Yes, I know that my ironing mat is a little (??) grubby. I use it quite a lot with my piecing!

Start with the Red Star fabric to make the Star Points.


Take the “flaps” that were to the inside, and fold them out as shown at the right. Make sure that the fold that is being created is along a long straight line. The RIGHT side of the fabric is on the top.

Press to make a crease line along the fold line. You now have right and left leaning long triangle pieces.

Your Star Points should look EXACTLY like the photos at the left.


Remove the pins and re-position the (new) long triangles as shown at the right.




Take a light 4-1/2 inch fabric square and position ONE Star Point as show at the right. Make sure that the lower (straight) corner of the triangle matches the same corner of the background square.




Carefully open the Star Point and place a pin or two on the “under flap” of fabric.

Instead of pins, use fabric glue stick or similar product to hold in place

Stitch just inside of the fold line.


Fold the Star Point back into position and make sure it is lined up properly. When satisfied with the placement of the triangle, trim the excess under flap and background fabric to 1/4 inch from the seam.

If desired, press the diagonal seam OPEN!

The “open” seam make quilting MUCH easier!


Place the remaining Star Point on the 4-1/2 inch background square exactly as shown in the photo. Make sure that the lower (straight) corner of the triangle matches the same corner of the background square.




Carefully open the Star Point and place a pin or two on the “under flap” of fabric.

Instead of pins, use fabric glue stick or similar product to hold in place

Stitch just inside of the fold line.



Fold the Star Point back into position and make sure it is lined up properly. When satisfied with the placement of the triangle, trim the excess under flap and background fabric to 1/4 inch from the seam.

If desired, press the diagonal seam OPEN!



The Red Star fabric Star Point Unit is now completed! When finished, the Star Point Unit should measure 4-1/2 inches square, which includes seam allowances.

Make a total of 2 Red Star fabric Star Point Units for each block.



Then make –

1 – Star Point with Blue fabric on the left and Red fabric on the right.

1 – Star Point with Red fabric on the left and Blue fabric on the right.



Putting the Patriotic Star Block Together

Place the Star Center, the 4-1/2 inch square Background Corner pieces and the Star Points EXACTLY as shown in the photo to form the Patriotic Star Block.

Stitch the block together and press as desired.



The completed Patriotic Star Block should measure 12-1/2 inches square, including seam allowances.

Here are two blocks, the one at the left has the pieced stripes in the Star Center and the block on the right has the striped (printed) fabric in the Star Center.








I hope you enjoy making the Patriotic Star Quilt Block and use it in your projects.

Here is the link to the PDF file for the Patriotic Star Table Runner Patriotic-Stars-Pattern  which includes the instructions on how to piece the Star Points without templates or special rulers.

Please feel free to leave a comment.


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Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends. If you are traveling, travel safe, if you are staying home, enjoy the day!

I was doing some traveling last month – I taught longarm quilting classes in way South Texas, and then went to visit my daughter Heather, and her family in Savannah, GA. I had a GREAT time in both places!

While I was traveling, of course I had to stop in a few fabric shops, where I picked up some great patriotic fabrics. I also did a little bit of Internet shopping for patriotic fabrics. Here is a little bit of what I got – click on any photo for a larger view.

With all this great fabric laying around,  of course, I had to stitch at least some of the fabric into something! So I designed a Patriotic Star pattern!

It is a 12 inch block, using three different fabrics to form a “sort of” American Flag design. To make the elongated Star Points I used the Tri-Rec’s piecing template/ruler and the center is a 4 Patch variation.

Then I made a few more of these blocks and put them together to make a table runner.

I took the photos later in the day and it looks like the background fabric is light blue, but it really is solid white, bleached muslin, that was pre-washed. I off set the stars a bit to give the pattern more “movement”.

Here is a close up of the stars in the table runner. Again, the background fabric looks light blue, but it really is solid white!

No, it is not quilted yet, but it will be soon! I will be quilting it with a new (quilting) template I have been working on. When I get it quilted and the template is ready, I’ll let you know.

If you have some time and want to do some quilting or piecing for a great organization, I recommend American Hero Quilts. This is an organization that makes and gives quilts to wounded service men and women. To visit the American Hero Quilts website Click Here 

Have a wonderful Independence Day – or 4th of July – holiday.


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Comforting Quilts

I have been busy lately with piecing and, of course, quilting! Here are some photos of my recent projects.

My customer Connie contacted me about quilting this quilt for her. She does volunteer work and, as part of a Volunteer Thank You Event, there was going to be a drawing for this quilt. This quilt was impeccably pieced and it was a joy to quilt. Since I didn’t know if the quilt was going to a male or female and I got a more “modern” feel for the piecing, I kept the quilting simple with wavy lines. Click on the photo for a larger view.

I love the texture of this quilt and the wavy lines remind me of  mountains and maybe ripples on water. I used Soft & Bright batting and Signature 100% cotton thread.

The Comfort of Psalms Quilt

My sister asked if I could make this quilt for her and of course, I said I would make it for her. She had purchased the pattern and fabric as a kit a while ago and was going to give it to a pastor at her church who was leaving.  The piecing pattern is from Block Party Quilt Studio  and it’s called The Comfort of Psalms pattern. (For information about this pattern Click Here)

This photo is the whole quilt hanging up on the clothesline. Click on any photo for a larger view.

Here is a close up of the quilting and the printed text panels.

And here is the back of the quilt. The light is coming through from the front of the quilt so you can see where the piecing is!

I am putting this quilt in the mail to my sister today. I can’t wait for her to see it in person!

Shadow Quilts

I have been intrigued with Shadow Quilts for a while – I really like the almost 3-D look you can get with simple piecing. I have had some scraps that were cut for a simple quilt a LOOOONG time ago and after looking online and doing some thinking, I asked myself – why couldn’t I use the scraps to make a Shadow Quilt? And I did! It was so easy and it looks so good!

Is this one quilted yet? Noooo! But it will be – someday! Actually, I am thinking of donating it to Project Linus Quilts when it is quilted.

These quilts are addictive! I was looking through my fabric stash and found a cute dinosaur print and decided to make another Shadow Quilt! Because I didn’t put a border around the blocks, and the blocks are a single piece of fabric, this quilt was even easier and faster to make then the other quilt!

This quilt is finished and quilted with the wavy lines (like in the first quilt). This quilt has been given to a 2 year old little boy who LOVES it!

I have some “girly” fabric in my stash and I think I may make another Shadow Quilt and donate that one too!



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Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and I will be at an all day meeting and I decided (yesterday) that I was going to make something for everyone at the meeting. Fortunately it isn’t a big meeting! I wanted something quick, relatively easy, of course quilted and usable. So I decided that I was going to make Mug Rugs or Coasters!

b-val-01aI took photos of the process to show you how I did it and I hope that you can use these instructions to make some Mug Rugs for yourself or for others. They make GREAT gifts and in an afternoon you can make a bunch of them and save them for future events and gifts.

The photo at the left shows both the circle and square Mug Rugs that I made.

Note: This is a photo intense post. The photos are shown in a small format. Please click on any photo for a larger view.

I started out with a half yard of backing fabric and a half yard of washed, white muslin and put them on the quilting machine with a thin-ish batting. The batting was a left over piece of (I think) Quilters Dream Poly.  I put the selvage edges of the fabrics to the leaders.

Square Mug Rugs

I b-val-01drew horizontal and vertical lines to make 4-1/2 inch squares along the top of my fabric. I used a Crayola Washable Marker  (CWM -my favorite marking tool) but later on realized I could have used a permanent marker. These markings are the cutting lines and will be cut apart or under the binding when the Mug Rug is finished. Note: My first square is only 4 inches wide. That’s all right, it will work out.

b-val-02Now take a marker (CWM) and draw lines 1/2 inch from the first drawn lines. These lines indicate where I want the edges of my feathers to be. If I take my feathers out to the “edges” of the square, they will be covered by the binding – which I don’t want.  After these lines are drawn, stitch a wavy line close to the first drawn lines. These wavy  lines of stitching will hold the layers togehter when the Mug Rugs are cut apart and you put the binding on. Notice that I stitched one line across the top of the blocks. Then I stitched another line starting at the top left, going down the left side, across the bottom , up along the drawn cutting line and then down again. This line of stitching starts at the left edge and goes all the way to the right edge!

b-val-03Divide these spaces in half both horizontally and vertically and mark the lines. If desired, use another color of marker. On the intersections of these lines, draw the heart shape as shown.

To make the heart shape, Click on the highlighted text for a pdf file of the mug-rug-shapes need for this project. Print out this page, trace the shapes onto piecing template plastic and cut out. Position the shape where indicate and draw around.

b-val-04Now you are ready for quilting the feathered heart!

Start at the bottom point of the heart and stitch along one side of the drawn heart shape and make a swirl at the top of the heart.  Come back to the bottom of the heart along the previous line of stitching. Don’t worry if you are not exactly on the first line of stitching. This is called a double spine line and, I feel, this is gives more “character” to your quilting. Do the same thing for the other half of the heart. See photo at the left.


b-val-05At the top of the heart and along the center line, stitch a loop up to the drawn line. From here, begin making feathers along one side of the heart down towards the bottom point of the heart. Keep the tops of your feathers even with the drawn lines of the square. Follow along the fist line of stitching and get back to the top of the heart.  See the photo at the left.  Your feathers don’t have to be “perfect.” Just do the best you can!



b-val-07Now begin making feathers on the other side of the heart until the outer area is filled with feathers! When you are at the bottom of the heart, make another “double swirl” heart in the bottom of the inside of the heart shape.

See the photo at the left of the completed feathered heart!

I want my quilting to show and I used a red variegated  cotton thread for the quilting.

b-val-09   b-val-09a





For those who are a little bold and daring, draw the center lines in the block on the diagonal and position the heart shape on the diagonal. Then quilt the feathered heart on the diagonal! This is the same design but it looks different!

Circle Mug Rugs

val-13Refer to the pdf file (above) and cut out the 4-1/2 and 3-1/2 diameter circles from piecing template plastic. Note: If you have circle templates you may be able to find the sizes needed.



Draw the 4-1/2 diameter circles, then center the 3-1/2 circles inside. Draw the center lines, position the heart shape and draw around it.

b-val-15aSquiggle stitch close to the outer line. This will keep the layers together when you finish the edges.

Quilt the feathered heart in the same way you quilted the square one, keeping the tops of the feathers even with the 3-1/2 inch diameter drawn line.


Make as many of the square and /or circle Mug Rugs on your fabric as you want. Because I used the Crayola Washable Markers, I had to wash my finished “quilt” in warm water with detergent – to remove the marker –  before cutting the Mug Rugs apart and finishing them.

b-val-01aI finished the edges of the circle Mug Rugs with a Satin Stitch and then trimmed the excess fabric close to the Satin Stitching. If you have some, you might want to put some water soluble or tear away embroidery stabilizer under the circle Mug Rug before Satin Stitching. This sometimes helps keep the curved (bias) edges from stretching. I also ran a line of Fray Check along the edge of the Satin Stitching. This will keep the fabrics from fraying and will keep the Satin Stitching from coming apart.

On one circle Mug Rug I experimented with putting a turned “facing” on the back. If you want to do this, that is fine. I felt it was a little too “fiddly” for me.

I put “regular” quilt binding on the square Mug Rugs and stitched everything in place with my home sewing machine.

val-23  b-val-24When I got finished quilting my square and circle Mug Rugs, I realized that I had a bunch of un-quilted fabric, especially around the circle shapes. So I did some quilting in this area with a Ribbon Stipple.

In the un-quilted area at the bottom of my fabrics, I did  Spiral Squares. I’m not quite sure what I am going to do with this new quilted fabric, but I’m sure I will think of something! More Mug Rugs maybe???

I hope you have fun making some of these Mug Rugs for Valentine’s Day, or any holiday or special occasion.

If you make any Mug Rugs, please send some photos and I’ll post them here.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!






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