Tender Hearts

Talk about being out of the loop! Anything I may have sewn in the last seven weeks have been gifts that I couldn’t share until they were given! But today I can finally share one of them!

About two weeks ago the husband informed me that a very special couple was moving on to another place to care for children, and could I make them a quilt? Seeing that they are two of my favorite people, who have always been kind and supportive to me, of course I’d make them a quilt! The very next day I saw the Kira pattern, by GE Designs (of Iceland!!!!) and knew it’d be fun for them. And as it happens, husband accidentally bought me two of the same layer cake for Christmas so I had enough to make this for tall people!

This is before I added another row to one side and the bottom. Isn’t it cool? I used Moda’s Spectrum line, which is actually WAY out of my traditional comfort zone, but I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! The fabrics are bright and cheerful, and lookit my cute slippers!

Anyway, I wanted to quilt this in a unique, fun way and I did. But it surely isn’t perfect! But that’s okay, I hear I’ll get better with practice. (Thanks, Leah Day and Angela Walters.) I tried to do some “dot to dot” quilting, but I’m pretty sure my squares were just too big so the lines are pretty wobbly.

Here are a couple of pics of quilting that wasn’t half bad.

I used a Tim Holtz fabric for the backing and a green that matched the blocks for the binding.

How about those pebbles! Not perfect but you can tell they’re pebble-ly. I did not quilt on the many triangles as I wanted them to pop out. In the close up pics you really can’t tell, but in this one…..

POP! What terrible lighting, huh? This was taken in a basement on a cloudy day, what can ya do? And like I said, not perfect. But finished, and delivered, so I can share.

So, on a personal note, for those of you who want to be in the know…..we have a new doggy in the house. #meetbo

He joined us in November and has quickly captured our hearts. He hilarious and a lotta energy, so we’re teaching him to be a little more lazy while he teaches us to move it!

Early in December I got sick with an ear issue, which became a cold, which became pink eye, which made the cold worse, which caused a sore throat and cough that wouldn’t quit! I am finally much closer to normal, even though the cough persists.

Christmas was fun for us, with almost all the family together. And like I said, husband worked off my list which included one creative grids ruler, one jelly roll, two layer cakes, a fave puzzle and some lovely earrings. He always comes thru in a big way. New Year’s Eve was a bummer, as I was still dealing with illness. It is what it is.

Finally, a gift a can only share this much because it hasn’t been given yet…

And right now I’m working on this, which is also a gift.

It’s nice to be back to sewing some. I’ve missed it.

I hope 2018 is good to you, friends.



A-B-C, Easy as 1, 2, 3

Last week the husband asked if I had a quilt I could finish for a baby shower at his work. I told him if it’s a girl, I do. If a boy, it’d take longer. So he found out and ta da, I finished it yesterday. We were out of town over the weekend, otherwise it would have been done sooner. 

I think this is the VERY last of this line of fabric. I’ve made several things using it, so it’s had a good run. The border fabric isn’t part of the line, but I thought it worked well. I love red and pink together.

Such a messy floor! The tumblers started as 10” squares. I cut the edges off so I could add the border instead of it being weirdly shaped and a binding nightmare. The 5” border made this quilt about 45” square. I love square baby quilts!

I quilted that awesome meandering flower allover design. I just love it so much. 

I thought about using the backing fabric for the binding, but I really like the consistency of matching the border. I have a 2” mini strip of the alphabet fabric left.

I’m almost out of the backing fabric too. The quilting doesn’t show a whole lot but that’s ok. It should crinkle nicely when it’s washed. 

Finally, we stopped in Shipshewana on our way home. We were there for only 90 minutes but it was fun. Got a little cheese, a little fabric and had lunch. Time well spent in a place that just gives me peace. 

I hope you all have a good weekend, friends. I’ll have a surprise to share next week!


Graffiti Quilting

I’ve been wanting to give Graffiti Quilting a try so I prepped a small quilt on Saturday and got to it. I used white thread and went through 5 bobbins on this 27” square quilt!

Surprisingly, I had just enough left of the border fabric for the binding, so that was awesome.  It took me many hours to complete the quilting, much of the afternoon, really. 

Graffiti quilting is described as “compounding complex designs and colors for a stunning finished look.” I didn’t use multiple colors, but maybe one of these times I will. 

This first corner has a few different things going on; swirls, some viney things and crazy eights. The stitch length is actually not as consistent as I’d like, but with more practice, I think it’ll improve.

In the pic below there are pebbles, swirls (they’re easy and versatile), some boxes and the meandering flower.

I attempted some McTavishing too. I think with practice, this could become a design I’d really enjoy quilting. There are many tutorials online to see how to do it. I watched the Leah Day tutorial more than once.

Below is a paisley feather and some triangles.

Ok, this next corner has a filled shell. It’s far from perfect but the texture is really pretty cool.

The next pictures are of the back. It’s a little easier to see the quilting on the less busy background. 

This fall marks 20 years of quilt making for me. In the beginning I only quilted in the ditch. It seemed like the easiest, most efficient way to get things done. The actual “quilting” was not as important to me as the piecing. I saw it as a way to just keep the layers together, which it is, but decorative stitching just didn’t interest me. Now I can’t get enough! 

I tried stippling, which made me crazy with the “not crossing over the lines!” So I changed it and made lots and lots of cursive L’s for years. This was a short step to swirls, which is a favorite still. I worked on writing words with thread, like baby’s names on quilts. So much fun. Next I tried outlining the designs on the fabric. Flowers, vines, animals, etc. Sometimes it was easier than others.

Free motion quilting has become a huge part of the joy of quilt making for me. It’s an added personal touch. It’s not as hard as I thought, way back when…. I seldom stitch in the ditch anymore. Organic lines are more my thing. FMQ is just plain fun. It can be open and fresh, it can be tight and planned. It brings life to an awesome quilt.

The quilting on this table topper is very VERY dense. I wouldn’t do it on a bed quilt, it’d be so stiff and not drapey at all. But I plan to keep practicing on smaller things like this. It really is lots of fun.

Have a good week, friends.


It’s not easy being Green

After hoarding a couple of Jolly Bars from the Fat Quarter Shop, I decided to give the Migration pattern a try. Instead of a light background, I used green. It seemed like a good idea at the time…..but uuuugggggghhhhhh, there is SO MUCH GREEN! 

Sure, it looks great like this ⬆️, but man, oh man, what a lotta green.

Here are the first blocks that I made. I had two different layouts in mind, once I noticed the points of those geese get lopped right off! I sewed them into pairs then played around with placement. I followed the pattern for the most part in the end.

Second thought…..

Yeah, I didn’t go with that. The pattern suggestion is what I used.

I also considered a different sashing fabric but it didn’t seem to work. At all. I may use it on the back.

Ok, so I finally got the body of the quilt together. From a distance, it doesn’t look too bad…..I guess. The light backgrounds in the one block is a throw to modern designs. I didn’t want to use green on green, so I did this. It’s probably my favorite block.

My intention was to make something else with the leftover half square triangles, but when I put them on the design board as a border, well, I think it’s pretty cool.

I’m not sure which way I’ll put them, but see the design they create? Kinda neat. I like the corner on the last picture. 

And I see that I have the green outer border to add on still. Oops. I have big plans for the quilting on this one. I’ve been watching tutorials and I have a couple books coming to refer to. I want to use a light thread on that green, like cream, but I’m kinda chicken. Hoping to be at that point on Saturday.

So, have a good weekend, friends.


I Forget How Striking Blue is….

Until I make a blue quilt. Seriously, I like the color blue okay. It’s not a favorite but I don’t dislike it. But then a blue quilt request comes along and I see what all the “blue love” is about. 

Quilters LOVE blue. I am no different. Now.

I made this quilt for my brother in law, Dan, who is dealing with cancer treatments. His wife requested it for him about two weeks ago, when I was in finish the auction quilts mode. I finished it over this past weekend and sent it out the other day. It should be delivered to him today, so I thought it’d be safe to share.

I used the Kissing Coins pattern by Missouri Star Quilt Company. I actually put the blocks together wrong so instead of un-sewing, I deleted the two outer rows of white. I like it and the blue was the main color going on anyway. 

I quilted swirl hooks in the blue and the border, which is also blue and simple wavy lines in the white areas. In the squares that are created by the blocks coming together I tried something new (to me). 

It’s not perfect, but it looks nice. On some of the blue fabrics the quilting doesn’t even show up, the thread blends in so well. That’s okay too, besides being decorative, the thread does have a job to do! (Don’t you love batting fuzz!🙄)

I used a very cool Tim Holtz fabric for the back. It’s pretty forgiving of the imperfections in my quilting, but it also looks manly and it’s super soft besides.

I used the coolest dark blue batik for the binding. There’s also some in the quilt body too. I’m not crazy about batiks but when I love one, I use it only for special projects. I’ve got just under a yard left of this one and I know I’ll be hoarding it for a while. 

I was honored to make this quilt for Dan. He’s a very sweet man dealing with a hard situation in a way that shows his character and strength. Kim, my SIL has got to be the strongest woman I know. She has overcome so much and I respect her greatly. If you are a prayerful person, please remember them when you pray.

I’ve started on another project, something for fun. Remember fun? Yes, so it’s coming along nicely but I can’t share it right now. In a few months though, I will.

Have a good day friends. It’s finally cooled off in the Midwest, so I am ready to ditch the sleeveless tops and find my sweaters.


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!