Mar 29 2020

Ready for Halloween

Last year one of the vendors at the Denver Quilting Expo had a small flag stand with a holiday banner which was really cute and I wanted one. So this year when I saw the flag holders at Jo-Ann’s, I knew it was time to get busy on this project. Jo-Ann’s didn’t carry the stand base, however I located exactly what I needed on Amazon. All that was left was the banner.

Years ago I had picked up the quilt book Motif by Jeri Kelly that contains 14 patterns for 12″ x 16″ banners. Now it was time to make one. I picked the Halloween banner because it had the fewest applique pieces and the cat is so dang cute.

Be Safe, Be Healthy and Happy Quilting


Mar 17 2020

Two More Finishes

Batik Sampler 44 1/2″ x 60 1/2″
Autumn Card Tricks 47″ x 55″

Yeah! – two more finished quilts. The Batik Sampler is a birthday gift and the Autumn Card Tricks is a charity quilt.

Isn’t it fun to look back at earlier quilts and see how far you have progressed in the quilting craft? If I was making the Autumn Card Tricks today, I would use smaller blocks, explore different settings and maybe add a pieced border. However every journey has a starting point and this quilt is part of my beginning.


Feb 27 2020

Oldest Quilt Tops

I started quilting in the fall of 2001 when my youngest went off to college. The first 5 or 6 years were spent trying out different techniques, designers and fabric combinations to discover what made a Marlene quilt. It wasn’t until sometime in 2007 that I realized that I didn’t know what was where, so I started numbering my quilt tops and keeping a list.

The first quilt top completed in 2008 has the number 2008-1, but how were the quilt tops made between 2001 and 2007 be identified? Going the easy route, they are numbered U-1, U-2, etc.

The goal this year is to machine quilt the remaining 5 U-tops, so it seemed appropriate to have a lineup of the remaining members of the U-tops gang.

U-01 Batik Sampler Quilt

I don’t remember what book or pattern originally inspired this quit, however I do remember substituting a couple of different blocks for the ones in the pattern. The sleeve needs to be hand-stitched down, then U-1 will be a completed quilt.

U-02 Autumn Card Tricks Pattern by Eleanor Burns

Autumn Card Tricks was machined quilted last weekend and is waiting for the binding and sleeve. This top was also on my 2020 UFO list since it had been a quilt sandwich for several years. My definition – quilt tops are not UFO’s, but quilt sandwiches are.

U-05 Shadow Box

Shadow Box was a quilt kit that was purchased (I believe) from Holly’s Quilt Cabin. The fabric designer – Jason Yenter – has been a favorite of mine since this quilt. I like the layering effect that is a trademark of his fabric designs.


Other than U-09, this quilt does not have a name. Maybe I can find one on the list of Colorado ghost towns.

U-09 was the project of an online quilting class from Quilt University – the only online quilting class I have taken.

U-15 African Courthouse Steps Pattern by Eleanor Burns

As you can see, there were at least 15 quilt tops before I started my current numbering system. I think it is time that these pre-2007 become finished quilts, don’t you? The bottom three are all bigger than my new quilting frame, so I will be getting experience in machine quilting larger tops.

Next post I will have a new project and a finished quilt to share.

Happy Quilting,


Feb 16 2020

Goldfield & the Rocky Mtn Bear Claw Wallhanging

As promised, here is Goldfield quilted with the panto-graph Ajoure and

Rocky Mtn Bear Claw quilted with the panto-graph Sweep.

I can’t have my quilting machine sitting around naked, so on Saturday this sampler quilt was loaded on the frame.

This batik sampler has been promised to my middle daughter since the top was made sometime before 2007. I think she has been waiting long enough for it, don’t you?

There are only four more pre-2007 quilt tops left and the goal is to have them quilted & bound by the end of the year. Two of the tops are larger than my frame which will provide me with a whole new learning experience.

Happy Quilting,


Feb 09 2020

A Table Runner and a Quilt Top

The Rocky Mtn Bear Claw table runner is officially finished. The original plan was to machine quilt this table runner on Super Bowl Sunday, however things went awry. To be honest, the spacing of the panto-graph went awry which then involved unstitching 1 1/2 rows.

I believe that the laser light was bumped which caused the issue of the gap between rows. Thank goodness for zippered leaders which assisted with the removing and reattaching of the quilt sandwich. I was concerned that it would be difficult to realign the panto-graph once the quilt was reloaded on the frame, however that did not turn out to be the case.

Although a lot of machine quilting has been happening, there has been some time spent on piecing. The outer borders were sewn on a quilt top yesterday morning. The pattern is Once Upon A Dream by Patricia Pepe in her book Once Upon A Time in X-Blocks Land. There is something so dramatic about a red, white and black quilt.

To help me name my quilts, I googled a list of ghost towns in Colorado and picked the name Coalmont for this quilt. I had several pictures showing the progress, however they are lost somewhere in time and space.

There have also been two other quilt finishes this year, but their pictures have ridden off into the sunset along with the progress pictures from above. The good news is that I still have both quilts, so new pictures will be forthcoming. What would life be without a few challenges?


Jan 10 2020

First Finish of 2020

Echo is now ready to hang on the wall. It was machine quilted on New Year’s Day with pantograph Fang from Urban Elementz.

Echo was quilted with Superior Threads’ Bottom Line which is the first time that I have used this thread. It took almost as long to get the tension set as it did to actually machine quilt this little project. However I made a note of the settings, so any future project using this brand will be easy to set up. I really like how the thread gives texture without contrast.

Now that Echo was completed, I turned my attention to the remaining 13 medallions. My first plan was to have the X in the X-block cut from the corresponding stripe, however I could not find any background in my stash that played well with the background in the medallions. Therefore I reversed my thinking and used the background as the X with the stripe as the triangles.

This is the only block where the triangles top-bottom & left-right mirror, the rest were just random.

I named this quilt Goldfield (45 1/2″ square) for a ghost town in Colorado and is finished without borders. Goldfield will be my next quilting project since the machine is still setup from Echo.

Have a wonderful weekend,


Jan 05 2020

Out with 2019 – In with 2020

My 2019 end-of-year post is a bit late, but here it is. The binding on the Baby Bear Quilt was finished last Thursday, but I am counting this as my final 2019 finish.

Baby Bear was machine quilted with a pantograph from Urban Elementz named Parchment. I am very pleased with the end result and smile every time I look at it.

However the last couple of years has increased (head hanging in shame inserted here) my UFOs, so the plan is to decrease the number in 2020. So in an effort to begin that goal, I pulled Bin #10 from the shelf. It contained these fussy cut medallions that have been patiently waiting for inspiration for several years.

There were 16 medallions which is an odd number to set in a quilt, so I decided to put 13 in this setting with an alternate block and the remaining 3 in a wallhanging. After consideration, the 3 blocks were cut into quarters and reassembled as shown below.

The border came from the pattern Melbourne Medallions by Jean Boyd and is named Echo (22″ x 27″).

As the final picture for 2019 – my empty spools! Not as many as some years, but still proof that some quilting was accomplished in 2019.

May 2020 be filled with quilt inspiration, quilty time and many finished items.


Dec 25 2019

Charlotte’s Baskets

Yeah – another finish! I am averaging one quilt finish a week with the new quilting machine and love it. This quilt top (50″ x 50″) is wider than my frame, so my plan was to use a pantograph in the center of the quilt, then free motion quilt the inner & outer border. This plan mostly worked – the biggest issue was stopping the pantograph before stitching into the inner border. I will need to give this some more thought before trying it again.

The next quilt top on the machine was Autumn Card Tricks. Several years ago I had purchased the Top Anchor Baptist Fans ruler, but never had the courage to attempt it with the sit-down machine. Now that I had a quilting machine on a frame it was time to give it a try.

For the most part I was happy with the fans and I knew the more I used the ruler the better they would look. However that came to an abrupt end Friday evening.

As you can see, the ruler broke. I was finishing the third row when this happened, so everything came to a standstill while I reevaluated my options.

It was a clean break, so the two ends could be glued back together to finish the quilt or I could take out the Baptist Fans stitching and redo with a new quilting motif. I decided on the second option since I did not trust the ruler would perform properly until the quilt top was finished.

Now that Autumn Card Tricks is in the “unsewing” stage, I will need to decide which quilt top will be loaded on the frame next.

Merry Christmas,


Dec 20 2019

Mini-Metro and Ballerina Girl

It’s official – my brother is in charge of naming my quilts.

I recently finished this quilt top from the pattern Zig Zag Zoom by Mary Ann Altendorf. The name given to this quilt is Mini-Metro because it reminded my brother of a video game. Mini-Metro was made from recycled shirts including some of the pockets & tags.

I can just imagine gifting a small boy this quilt with several Matchbox cars hidden in the pockets. The quilt features “streets” and would provide hours of entertainment with cars zooming around.

The last Christmas gift was completed last weekend – Ballerina Girl pattern by Carrie Payne.

Instead of making a wallhanging, I framed this small quilt (12″ x 12″). Even though I am not entirely confident of this technique, I am happy with the final result. The best part is seeing my granddaughter’s face when she unwraps the package.

Happy Holidays,


Dec 14 2019

Another Quilt Finish

The Spiral Lone Star quilt is finished.

It looks better than I expected, especially with all the fullness in the quilt top. Below is proof of the tucks and pleats, however I think that the curvy quilt motif along with washing & blocking the quilt help disguise them.

The pantograph used is Caliente by Urban Elementz which can be found as a free self-print design on their website.

While hand-stitching the binding on Spiral Lone Star, Charlotte’s Baskets was loaded and machine quilted. Since it is larger than my frame, I tried something different. I used a pantograph in the center of the quilt, free motion quilted a design in the inner border and quilted straight lines on the outer border. Right now the binding is being machine sewn on before the hand-stitching starts.

And of course, the next quilt top has been selected and the winner is –

Autumn Card Tricks (pattern by Eleanor Burns and pieced between 2002 – 2007). I plan to quilt Baptist Fans with a gold thread on this top. It feels great to get some quilt finishes at the end of the year.

Season’s Greetings,