Laundry Basket Quilts 2012 Mystery – Michigan

Edyta had an interesting method for presenting the different blocks.  All the cutting directions were on her blog, however all the assembly directions were on You-tube.

Sunday morning I finished the 5th (out of 12) part of the Michigan mystery.

Yesterday afternoon part 6 & half of part 7 were completed.  My design wall is filling in fast.

My goal is to have the center completed over Labor Day weekend.  Edyta presented several options for the borders.  Although I am tempted by the applique border, I won’t make a decision until the center is done.

Have a good week,


My Flower Garden & Smokey River

I finished the hand-quilting on My Flower Garden – isn’t it cute?

There is still a bit of lumpiness, however it isn’t that obvious when looking at it straight on.  I am very happy with this little wall-hanging, especially with all the new techniques learned.

I just realized that I didn’t post any progress pictures of Smokey River (Whirligig Designs).  Well, too late now since the quilt top was completed last weekend.  In fact this was the only thing I did last weekend.

The pattern was copyrighted in 2010, so I am guessing that this UFO dates back to 2010/2011.  It is not my oldest UFO, but definitely a goldie oldie.  I need to start thinking about quilting designs since – YEAH – it will fit on my new frame when it arrives.

That is all the quilty news from last weekend, so what have I been working on this weekend?  The second in the truck series – Market Truck – was completed today.

The truck wall-hangings are 12 1/2″ square which makes for a fast quick finish.  The applique pieces were button-holed stitched down yesterday morning while the afternoon was spent machine stitching the straight lines.  This morning the binding was completed and Market Truck was done.

While I was working on Market Truck, I was also deciding on my next piecing project.  I say piecing because I can’t say machine quilting since the new frame has not yet arrived.  Grrr

Anyway the next project is the 2021 Laundry Basket Quilt Mystery Michigan with this fat quarter bundle and background.  I am so excited to begin a new project.

Wishing you the happiness of beginnings and endings,


Big Stitch Handquilting & a Farm Truck

I started My Flower Garden (Red Button Quilt Co -16″x19″) a couple of week ago with the plan to big stitch quilting it.

One of the interesting things about the pattern is that the embroidery, wool applique & buttons are worked through both the top and the batting – not through the backing.

Thinking that it would be easier to stitch through, I used wool batting.  It worked very well for the embroidery & applique, however not so much for the handquilting.
The buttons really transform the wall-hanging, don’t they?

This is one of the most interesting thing about this project – my subconsious fabric choices.  I just knew that the background fabric was perfect and discovered the reason while I was doing the handwork.

Do you see how the red wool flowers with button centers are reflected on the background fabric?  Also one of the red batik fabrics has rings and polka dots to continue the same theme.

On to the handquilting – I watched several You-tube tutorials on big stitch handquilting and then did my own thing.  It feels more like I am doing a running embroidery stitch than hand-quilting, but that is okay by me.

I tried using a quilting hoop, but found it to be ackward and unweilding so the hoop went into the Goodwill bin.

This is the part where I am second-guessing the use of wool batting.  To me it looks lumpy & bumpy, but that could just be because not all of the handquilting has been completed.

Right now there are no plans to handquilt a larger quilt, only small wall-hangings.  Hopefully I will have this one done during the coming week.

The Farm Truck appliqued wall-hanging (12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″) was completed as a gift to my brother. 

There are three other trucks in the series – Dump Truck, Market Truck & Fire Truck – which will be completed in the next couple of months.

Time to get back to my big stitch handquilting.

Have a good week


Behind – Again

Well I am behind – again – in my posting, so there is a lot of stuff to get caught up on.  First up is the Honey Bee top is now a finished quilt.  The top was completed in August 2017.

The first thing that I did was remove the bottom row to balance the quilt before machine quilting the top.  The pantograph Daydream by Urban Elementz contained elements that highlighted the block design and was fun to machine quilt.

Daydream - Pantograph

Those blocks from the bottom row – they ended up on the back of the quilt.

And now a look at the front of the quilt –

I think that the black & white striped binding was the perfect finishing touch and I am so happy with the final result.

The next project was a birthday quilt that needed to move from top to finished quilt quickly.  I had been procrastinating because of the size – 72″ x 78″ – but there was a deadline so I needed to get busy.  After making the quilt sandwich, I stitched in the ditch around the blocks and the borders on my Bernina.  Then I hooped the top on my frame, machine quilted on the long arm and then attached the binding by machine.  From sandwich to finished top, it took me 4 1/2 days – good thing that I had take the week off work.

However it was all worth it because granddaughter loved it.  The end result of this story is that a Studio 2 frame was ordered so that I can machine quilt my larger tops without all the hassle.  My plan is to set it up as an 8′ frame which will handle an 84″ quilt.  My largest unquilted top is 84″ – isn’t that just perfect?

It is so satisfying to look through my patterns, look at the size and think to myself “I will be able to finish that quilt with no problems”.  Right now I am just waiting on a call from the store letting me know that it has arrived.

Have a quilty weekend,


A Week of Finishes and a New Start

I don’t think that I have ever had three finishes in one week, but that is what happened this last week.

First up – Batik Mexican Star (41″ x 41″), a wall-hanging from a Sew Batik kit.  This is the first Mexican Star that I made.

Just for fun I used cat fabric for the sleeve, although being stared at me while stitching was a bit creepy.

The second and third finishes are months 4 & 5 of the Whatnots Club by Kim Diehl.

Laugh Yourself Silly (15″ x 18″)

and Kick the Can (18 1/2″ x 18 1/2″)

It was great to get these two completed since yesterday I received an email that the month 6 kit has shipped.

My Bernina was calling to me, so I pulled out UFO bin #2 that contains parts for Smokey River and spent some time just pushing fabric through the machine.

Sometime in 2011 or 2012 I cut these pieces from a jelly roll and made 4 blocks.  Everything was then stuffed in a bin and it has been sitting on the shelf ever since.  It is time to piece this quilt top.

Have a good quilty week,


Simon the Hedgehog

This last week has been a mess – everything I touched on Monday & Tuesday went wrong and then Wednesday & Thursday was spent fixing all the messes.  Thank goodness that is history and now I can take a deep breath and move forward.

But before everything went crazy, I finished a small gift pillow featuring Simon the Hedgehog.

The hedgehog & flower is a laser cut applique kit from The Whole Country Caboodle.  The pillow was personalized with the name Simon to honor a beloved pet.

The Whatnots Club Month 5 – Laugh Yourself Silly – was received and quickly became a mini quilt top.

I have really enjoyed receiving the kits and making these mini wall-hanging.  Three have been completed out of five kits received, so I guess I had better get busy on the other two.

My leader & enders project has been growing slowly – extremely slowly.

The layout plan is for a 5 x 6 layout, so I am just over half done.  I like how the black diagonal lines through the blocks adds an additional layer of interest.

I was having tension issues with the long-arm, but finally figured out the issue.  After changing needles, rethreading the machine and fussing with both the upper and lower tension multiple times, I discover it was the bobbin.  To be technically accurate, it wasn’t the actual bobbin but how the thread was wound on the bobbin.  After putting in a prewound bobbin, the tension was perfect and Batik Mexican Star was quickly machine quilted.  Here it is coming off the machine.

Can you see Laugh Yourself Silly hanging in the background?  It will be the next one loaded on the frame.

The quilting-to-do list for this weekend include binding Batik Mexican Star, machine quilting/binding Laugh Yourself Silly and several other small applique wall-hangings.

Have a great quilty weekend,


Jurassic Park Quilt Part 2

Now that the pineapple border blocks are completed, it is time for the setting triangles.

The pattern directions called for squares cut diagonally twice which works great except for striped fabric.  Using this method with stripes, you get two triangles with vertical stripes and two triangles with horizontal stripes.  However I wanted all my stripes to flow to the center, so I needed to cut the triangles from strips instead of squares.

Also I wanted the stripes to wrap around the corners, so I cut QST for the corner triangles.  That was the easy part – now on to the center setting triangles.

As I mentioned in my last post, I did not have as much focus fabric as the pattern called for and my fabric is directional.  The first solution was to cut the triangles from strips instead of squares and the second was to add an inner border.  I sewed a 1 1/2″ green strip to the top and bottom of a vertical & horizontal focus fabric strip so that I could cut the top/bottom and left/right side setting triangles.

I used a stripe triangle as a guide to cut the inner setting triangles, being very careful not to cut into the strip fabric.  Once the first inner triangles was cut, I flipped the fabric over to cut the second setting triangle.  The strip set shown above provided both top and bottom triangles. 

I was very careful when placing the triangles to verify that the dinosaurs were roaming the quilt right side up.

The four borders were pieced and sewn to the center, leaving the corner units to be added last.

And the finished quilt top!  I am leaving the trimming of the outer border until the quilting is completed.  The binding will be the same green fabric as the inner border.

I was right though – the scale of the focus fabric should have been larger, however I am pleased with the final result.  It is colorful & bold and FINALLY a quilt top.

Next up is a small pillow for a gift and the next Whatsnot wall-hanging kit that just arrived.

Have a good quilty week,













Jurassic Park Quilt Part 1

My current project isn’t technically an UFO by my definition – no cutting & no sewing – but it feels as if it is due to the length of time it has been packed away.  I have pulled this out multiple times over the years and always just shoved it right back in the bin.

There were three main reasons that this project never got out of the starting gate.

  1.  I was short on the focus fabric according to the pattern requirements.
  2.  Previously my pineapple blocks were not as accurate as I wanted.
  3.  The design on the focus fabric was smaller scale than the pattern picture.

But now I was ready to conquer this quilt top.  The pattern is Provence in the Positively Pineapple quilt book by Lynda Mulligan & Nancy Smith.  It is a solid center cut of fabric surrounded by pineapple borders.

I am using this dinosaur print for my focus fabric, even though the design scale is smaller.

After some research, I bought the large Square in a Square ruler set from Studio 180.  Deb Tucker has a good You-tube video for modifications on the ruler to assist in the precision pineapple blocks.

The ruler covers the whole block and has 6 – 10 reference points for accurate trimming.  After making two test blocks, I chain pieced the remaining 16 blocks.

It didn’t take too long before the blocks were completed.  I am so pleased with the new ruler and the finished blocks.

To be continued – the borders


Woven Ribbons

Woven Ribbons quilt top was sitting in a project bin with a note that said “fix this”.  Really??  What the heck does that mean?  Note to self – add more information before packing up a project.

Woven Ribbons was pieced in 2010 from the pattern Sunset by Julie Popa of Sunflower Hills Designs.  The biggest thing I remember was how fustrating the pattern directions were.  Either they were incorrect or I wasn’t understanding correctly, however I know I did have major problems getting the block pieces to fit and the the blocks to match together to form the interlocking design.

My solution to the “fix it” problem was to cut 2″ off the outer border (from 6″ to 4″) and machine quilt it.

Time and distance reveals that this quilt is not the mess expected with a “fix this” note, however the frustrating struggle to piece this top lingers and the quilt was gifted as soon as it was completed.  One project bin empty and a new home for Woven Ribbons.  win-win


Whatnots Club and Mexican Star V-2

Mexican Star V-2 wall-hanging is finished.  The top was pieced in 2009, so it only took me 12 years to get it quilted.

I used the circular panto-graph Solar Eclipse from Urban Elementz on this top.

Solar Eclipse - Pantograph

In between quilting rows on Mexican Star, I pieced together the next mini-quilt in the Whatnots Club.  The pattern name is Kick the Can and it is Month 4.   

Kick the Can will be machine quilted as soon as I finish quilting the original version of Mexican Stars.  However at the moment I am fighting with tension issues which sucks away my quilting mojo.  Grr – I will conquer the blasted tension and have some more completed tops soon.

Have a tension-free sew Friday,