The Auction Quilts 2017

Tomorrow is the big day and I am ready! Well, almost ready…..not one of these quilts has a label on it! That’s my afternoon plan before we head out. But since the sun is shining and I had a helper (thank you, daughter💕), I got the pictures taken with time to spare.

So here are the quilts ~

Starting on the left with Grandmothers Flower Garden. I started this quilt almost two years ago, with a jelly roll and some yardage. The blocks went together very nicely, but the border stumped me, so I put it aside until a few weeks ago. Using the leftover squares was perfect. It’s free motion quilted with the Flower Meander, also called Posy Flower (by a lady at my LQS). The backing is a nice green gingham, like the binding. I am pretty happy with this quilt, hoping it goes to a nice home….for big bucks….AT THE AUCTION!

The Rainbow quilt with the peace sign border is one I completed this year entirely. A Kona jelly roll and some black fabric, wow, it really POPS, doesn’t it? A reminder of God’s promise to us, and a sign of pure beauty. Also free motion quilted with the Flower meander. The backing is black with hearts, and the binding is multi-colored, using the leftovers from the quilt center.

A little something for a baby boy, Homespun types of fabrics in a simple 5″ square quilt. This is backed with a cute doggie print and quilted 1/4″ from the seams, creating a nice simple grid. This is really going to soften up with washing. 

Next is a baby girl quilt in the same type of style with five inch squares. There are a few half square triangles in there too, just for fun. The fabrics are MOD and this one is free motion quilted with a Swirl Hook design. The binding (fabric around the edge) fabric was also used for the backing.

Next is the most Modern style of quilt I have ever done, so far. In quilting, Modern quilts usually have lots more solid colored background fabric than anything else. They are very linear and open, leaving much room for amazing free motion quilting. Well, this quilt has a ton of free motion quilting. It is far from perfect, but it’s definitely something different for me this year. There is a lot of texture on this quilt, kind of fun to touch. The colors are out of my comfort zone, and the amount of quilting really took about three days of many hours at the machine. I hope it becomes someone’s favorite. Also, the backing matches the binding…

The next quilt came from a Moda Scrap Bag I got on Amazon. I started out making a log cabin type of block then got tired of that. I slapped them together then added strips until it was a decent size for a baby or small child. This is also free motion quilted with the posy design. I think this may have been the first place I tried it. The backing again is the same as the binding, which actually adds some continuity to each quilt I’ve made here.

Finally, the last quilt is full of color too! Lots of fun polka dots and bright pops of color. I had considered saving this for a shower gift, but I decided to just finish it and put it in the auction too. It’s a little bigger than the other baby quilts and would work for a girl or boy. I used turquoise for the binding but the backing is a cute light bulb fabric that I’ve had for years. It just seemed to work. I quilted this with basic organic lines, also a feature of modern quilts. 

Finally, here’s a pic where the backings can all be seen.

I ❤️ the backing on that gray quilt. That touch of purple is just FUN!

So, if you are in the Valparaiso area tomorrow around 11:30 am, join us at the Shults Lewis Children’s Home and bid on these quilts! Bid HIGH and take it home with you! The auction has lots of fun stuff to bid on every year, so come on down!

This event is called Annual Day and they do it every year……duh…. There is a rummage sale, lots of great food and booths selling crafts, pie and other goodies. We have a blast every year and it’s FOR THE KIDS! 

If you can, join us.

Have a great weekend, friends!



He said I could keep it….

A year or two ago I put this top together, mostly because I wanted to try the pattern I had seen in a Missouri Star tutorial. After finishing it, it seemed rather bland. There is a lot of background here, people. Husband thought it was ugly (this was pre borders, it was kind of bleah), so I put it in the closet. (The closet is pretty much time-out for quilts.)

After fiddling around more lately with free motion quilting (big open spaces) I decided to put borders on and see what happens. Just adding the borders made me love it! I had to piece the backing with two different fabrics, but it didn’t bother me much at all.

Friends, I had SO MUCH FUN quilting this! I started with the organic lines, mostly to get all those pesky pins out.

Don’t you love these fabrics though? I started with a charm pack of Tim Holtz’s Eclectic Elements and then a simple plain background.

So once I started quilting the free motion stuff, I knew I didn’t want to quilt over the “Eclectic ” squares. I wanted them to kind of pop. I decided to quilt through the long rows of empty space. I also chose to try to do a different design each time. 

So I loved quilting this thing! The rows were just long enough to NOT get bored doing the designs. Look.

I did swirls in the first row, and they were fun to do. I couldn’t decide about putting that “hook” on the swirl, so it’s a little random. For the next row I attempted stippling. I hate stippling, I’ve gotten soooooo used to crossing over the lines, I just couldn’t get a good groove going. Next I did a simple tiny loop thing. It turned out okay, but I wasn’t real impressed with it. The top one (in the picture above) was my rendition of fire. Sideways fire. I know, but that’s how it looks. 

Onto the next section:

After “sideways fire” I quilted cursive L’s, which used to be my go-to design. It looks awfully squiggly to me now. Then I thought since the space is limited, I’d try the one Angela Walters calls Ribbon Candy. I am not thrilled with it either but it filled the space pretty quickly. Next I did the Flower Meander, which has recently become my go-to free motion of choice. I had been using it lately without worrying about running out of space. And even though space was limited between the organic lines, it looks wonderful in there! Love it!

After the meandering flowers, I decided to try the Swirl Hook. Needless to say, it was quite challenging in such a linear space. Next, the dreaded Pebbles. I kind of “went outside the lines” a little, but with limited space, I think it’s a keeper. 

I felt like it was time for something “straight” again, so I attempted to quilt some boxes….. Yes, moving on to leaves! These filled the space but just barely. I had used this design once before on a table topper that was quite small, but the fabrics were busy so it worked. In this plain, open space, well, it’s restful and I like it. Finally I was tired of thinking so I just did some echoed U’s. I don’t know what else to call it. This is the design I quilted all over my MIL’s birthday gift. It worked then, it works now.

So here it is!

It’s so crazy! I love it! I’m keeping it!

I quilted the flower meander in the top and bottom borders, mostly because I just love doing that design! Like I said, I had to piece the back, but I think it’s charming! Both fabrics are faves, so it works for me. I used the backing leftovers for binding, which is always fun because then there are fewer seams to deal with.

I had intended for this quilt to be for something else. Halfway through the quilting, I wondered if I could keep it. If I should…. I always feel a little attached to quilts I make for others, but I know receivers always appreciate and love them, so I CAN part with gifts. It’s what we do, right? 

But this quilt, in making it, it never had a specific recipient. It was very much an experiment for me, using so much background fabric, quilting so many different designs….. So I was feeling kind of wish washy about what to do.

This is when the husband rescues me every time. He said I could keep it!

Pretty much if he gives the go-ahead, I’m there!

I’m keepin’ it!


Busy, Busy, Busy

Oh my goodness, theses blocks are soooooo busy but I can’t seem to stop making them. A friend on Instagram suggested adding a solid, I’ve got to do that! Sometimes I make myself nuts.

I’ll need to see what I can find. 

These two aren’t too bad.

Hopefully I will find a nice solid that’ll work!

Have a good day, friends! 


“Color My World”

A wedding gift for a special couple. I’m assuming the groom is special, because I know the bride is awesome! I made this quilt earlier this year, to try a new pattern and use up some batiks. Honestly, I was not thrilled with it because I don’t like working with batik fabrics much. But! Oh my goodness!

Once I put a border on it and quilted it, oh I just love it. By this point I had decided (with her mama’s help) that it’d go to our sweet bride. I sent it off yesterday, before I decided to, you know, keep it. 

Once in a while I make something for someone else that is hard to let go of. This was one of those things, mostly because of the quilting. Here is a closer look at that.

Okay, it’s not perfect, but the overall texture is pretty awesome. Angela Walters says the stitches will get more consistent the more I practice. I’ve decided to believe her. 

The backing is a beautiful piece of fabric with its own texture. Pretty darn cool.

It was windy out when I took these pics but I was trying to get it done so I’d get to the PO by five. 

I hope the darling bride and groom have a perfect wedding and a wonderful life. They’re very special to us and we wish them every blessing.

Have a great weekend, friends.


How to FMQ Like a NINJA

Friends, in the past few days I have quilted two new (to me) designs, and they don’t look half bad. Here’s a pic of the first one I tried last Sunday afternoon.

After watching Angela Walters Paisley Feathers tutorial about a zillion times, I felt like I had the idea of what to do and how. So I grabbed this from my closet, layered and basted and jumped in! Now, some of the stitches are pretty long, but practice will deal with that in time. The shape is mostly right and it looks pretty good. I was pretty pleased with myself.

Yes, big stitches….

When I finished I noticed the lovely texture and admired what I had done. I wished I had used a less busy fabric on the back, so the design would really show. But I’ve always been of the mindset that using a busy backing disguises errors. This time it did that but it also disguised the good stuff. Oh well.

Seriously, what fun!

So today I decided to try Flower Meander also seen in a tutorial by Angela Walters. It was loads of fun and giggling was happening because it was working! 

Again, the stitches are long but that may change in time. And my flowers are larger, but they still are doing much the same thing. This time the lucky recipient is a baby sized quilt I made earlier this summer. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this quilting design. Wait til you see the back!

Yes, big long stitches, I know! But lookit! Even the daughter thought it was cool. I think I’ve found my new “in a pinch” design!

Now, to quilt like a ninja, I think these are the keys to success:

  • No fear! Just do it. If you have something small to start on, use it. If not, grab a fat quarter and get it ready and Go. To. Town!
  • Read books! Watch tutorials! Figure out the best way for YOU to learn a thing and make it happen! Draw!
  • Don’t worry about messing up! Everyone messes up when something is new. Give yourself a break!
  • Have the right tools! Machingers gloves help a lot. I mean A LOT! Know your sewing machine well. (Tension, thread preferences, open toe foot, feed dogs down, etc)
  • Practice. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” All practice will be of benefit. Make placemats, or baby quilts. Start small.
  • Enjoy what you’re doing. It really is a lot of fun.

Give it a try, friends. You won’t regret it!


“Deer One” 

Yesterday we had a baby shower for my sweet sister in law. The group was small, just seven of us, but it was lovely. One gramma, two aunts, three cousins and the baby mama! What a joyful time! We were told months ago that we were not to go overboard on the “pink.” “Some” is okay, but not like “you guys usually do.” 

Yes, friends, those were the words my brother and his lovely wife used. Anyone who knows us at all will appreciate the great restraint we used in all things for this event. Here are a few pictures of our table….

I know! Yellow gingham! And wood from the yard we grew up playing in! And a sweet little deer and flowers! It was pretty darn cute, even though it wasn’t pink! Nice food was eaten and yummy treats too, and some blessings for our baby and her sweet family. It was a fun day with family.

The quilt I gave this baby was started four years ago, when her brother was on his way. I started it with this great plan and then it just fizzled. I put it in the closet for a while (well, just shy of four years) and came across it after the announcement that he’d have a sister. I kept looking at it, thinking it needed something. 

Then I’d put it away again. Finally when I was shopping for ideas for the shower, I found the most adorable little stuffed deer…which then set the theme for the shower. And the quilt. If I could find a silhouette of a deer, I could appliqué (what? Who am I anyway?!) it near the tree. Yes, I fused a tree and leaves on there back in the day, they were trying to peel….. Anyway, I did and I did. It’s not perfect, that is always my disclaimer when giving a gift, but mama and daddy loved it.

This was very much a made up pattern. I set the squares and blocks on point, I was really into that four years ago, because I thought it added to the design. The pinwheel blocks are supposed to be either flowers or part of the sun’s rays. I had planned originally to quilt grass sticking up, and swirly wind and sunshine rays, but I didn’t. I just wasn’t feeling it, you know? So I quilted the organic lines, which has become my fall-back quilting choice. After quilting the entire top, about two inches apart, I asked a friend if that was “enough”. This is the same friend I told “more organic lines is always better!” when she asked me. Yes, she reminded me of this, and I did end up adding more. And it was the right thing to do! I’d even say, the better thing to do!  

Of course, being, well, me, I wanted to make something else for the baby, with just a “little bit of pink.” I decided to try to make a round quilt using Dresden “blades.” I cut them long, using fat quarters I’d had for a while. The quilt ended up about 54 inches across. I chose a backing and used leftovers cut on the bias, of course, for the binding. For all the mitered corners I skipped making a round quilt, I made up for it on the “Deer One.” ( Yes, take a look at those corners, all of them. 🙄)

Goodness, please excuse my messy sewing room floor! It’s all full of strings and loose threads, I KNOW your sewing space isn’t anything like that! 

I quilted something different in each “blade” which was not as clever as it sounds. I tried to alternate between something curvy and something pointy. Like swirls and zig zag lines. After about 15 I was looking up things to do. Thank you, Leah Day! I don’t have any in progress pics of either of these quilts, sorry about that. But here are a few of the quilting on “Circle of Life.”

Yes, I tried to do a flower in the center. It’s not horrible so I’m happy enough with it. The baby will love it and spit on it and drool so I think it’ll do. 

Here’s a shot of the binding and you can also see the back! It’s a very happy quilt, with “just a little bit of pink.”

Today I wanted to try the Paisley Feather quilting design. Angela Walters put a tutorial up on YouTube a week or so ago and I’ve been watching it over and over, trying to wrap my mind around how to do it. So I found something I had pieced some time ago and layered it and sat down to give it a try.

Oh. My. Goodness. I did it! Lookit.

Ok, it’s not perfect, but it’s not horrible either!

I think if I practice some more I can do this on a real quilt! Like a bigger one! 

Here’s the back.

I KNOW! Even my tension isn’t bad! So I would definitely recommend watching the tutorial over and over and over and then try it! It’s so fun! Even my daughter said it was “cool.” 

Isn’t it wonderful to learn a new thing? It really is.

Learn something new this week, friends. Even if it’s something simple.

You never know what you can do until you try.


“Bee Inspired” Every Day

Wow, it has been a LONG time since I last blogged! I have been sewing some, so at least I’ve got a thing or two to share. 

I don’t really have any “in progress” pics of this quilt, which is a gift. It’s on it’s way to the birthday girl, but I’m going to share anyway.  Shortly after our trip to Shipshewana in April, the husband asked me about starting on the gift for his mom. He had picked out a jelly roll, Bee Inspired by Deb Strain for this purpose. I found a pattern that I loved! Angela Walters used this pattern on one of the Spring episodes of The Midnight Quilt Show. I knew it’d be a good fit! It’s called On Point.

I was determined NOT to have to buy a background fabric, using what I had on hand. The pattern said 3 1/2 yards, I think, which limits my selection at home. Especially finding something to go with these colors! Weirdly enough I did have over four yards of the background, so that was destined for this quilt, I think. Husband approved too.

It was a wonderfully slow process, making this quilt. Lots of putting fabrics together, sewing long strips and not too difficult cutting. Each block reminded me of flying geese blocks, so the layout was fun, as I’ve never made a FG quilt before. I know! I’m going to have to change that one of these days.

Here are a few close ups of the quilting. I tried to make little arches and then echo them. They are not perfect but I enjoyed the process. I also used an entire spool just for the quilting! Plus part of another to finish it up.

Some of those stitches are really huge, aren’t they? Let’s say my camera is really, really close!

The texture is pretty neat. We chose a less busy backing, but I think it’s a good choice. Not too dark, not super light. Just right. 

I had some block halves left so I used one for the label. Being less original in naming the quilt this time, I went with the name of the line of fabric. It’s actually very appropriate for my MIL. I think she’ll like this quilt a lot. She loves butterflies! I think the bees are the stars of this line, so it’s a good mix.

This is something else I’ve been fiddling around with. I haven’t put a border on it yet, but I will at some point. I love the color!

For now, that’s about all I’ve got to share. We’ve got a few events coming up that will require some sewing. A baby girl will be joining our family (my brother and his sweet wife), finishing a wedding quilt, two more baby girls and a couple auction quilts. Yes, I’ve got a few things to do!

Bee 🐝 inspired! Quilt something fun this weekend!