Author Archives: Marlene

Party of Nine & Midnight

Thirty days into the new year and no fabric bought.  I wonder how long this streak will last especially with online fabric stores tempting me with sales & new fabric lines.

The last two mini projects on my January goal list are completed tops.  I made design changes from the original pattern for Party of Nine and Midnight.

This is the Party of Nine wall-hanging as designed by Kim Diehl

Tenth Simple Whatnots Miniature Club Month Seven | Party of Nine Quilt Kit

and this is my version.  I am very pleased with my changes.

The center strips dividing the 9-patches are narrower, I added an inner border and changed the border layout.    Surprisingly my version (30″ x 32″) is very close in size to the original pattern (30 1/2″ x 31 3/4″).

The biggest change I made to the MIdnight pattern is to the gray stars in the triangle units.  The directions said to make four gray stars and then attach the 2 HST to make a flying geese (as shown below).   It seemed like a lot of work for the star points to be cut off on two sides.

MIDNIGHT GRACE & GRATITUDE Simple Whatnots Club 10 Quilt Kit image 1

My first thought was to make the center only without the star points, however that idea didn’t quite work out.

Now it was on to Plan B – was it Plan D or E? – which was much better.

Even though the center of the stars is on-point and the center of the gray squares is straight, the whole top is much more pleasing.

January goal was met, so now it is time to start thinking about February’s baby quilts.

Stay warm and happy quilting


January Minis

It is January 21st and I haven’t bought any fabric this year.  LOL

I have been sewing like crazy and have four out of six wall-hanging tops finished.  That’s right – I added two to my list.

  1. Traffic Jam is a 2021 Whatnots Club pattern by Kim Diehl and measures 21 1/2″ square.  The border blocks have some very skinny strings which were a bit of a pain.

2.  Playing Checkers (18 1/2″ x 20 1/2″) from the Simple Whatnots book by Kim Diehl.  I used the leftover strips from Traffic Jam to construct the center of this wall-hanging.

3.  Little Quilt Delights (18 1/2″ x 23″) was a UFO, but is now a finished top.  The three flower blocks are wool applique that were completed years ago, however three is not an easy number to work into a quilt and that is exactly why it remained an UFO for so long.  In the original pattern the wool blocks were made into pincushions, but I wanted a wall-hanging.

After finding the perfect oriental fabric in my stash, I came up with this layout.  The colors are not the typical wool colors which is why it caught my attention.

4. The Patchwork Basket kit by Edyta Sitar jumped into my online cart in December 2021.  It is a different style of basket and I liked how open and airy it is.

5.  Party of Nine is another Whatnots Club quilt designed by Kim Diehl.  This bin contains 50 tiny 9-patch blocks, so now I am ready to start sewing the center together.

6. And the last wall-hanging goal for January is Midnight (2021 Month Six Whatnots Club pattern).  I signed up for the 2022 Whatnots Club, so the biggest goal this month was to finish up some of the 2021 kits.

Not a lot of progess has been made on my hand-work project.  Here is a rough layout to help me distribute the light/dark colors through out the top.  Next up will be finding a background fabric for the triangles that will connect all the hexagons.

It has been snowing here, so I will wish everyone a safe, warm weekend.


Goodbye 2021 – Hello 2022

Looking back at my 2021 quilting goals, I had mixed results.  Several quilts with curves were completed – good, however I strayed from that goal and never circled back around to it – bad.  Even though it wasn’t a goal, a few old “self-kits” (fabric & pattern) were completed along with four UFOs which is a win in my book.

The goal that I most wanted to accomplish was using 100 yards of fabric, but my 2021 total was 86.81.  The biggest reason I think for the 100 yard goal failure was the 2 month wait for the new quilting frame.  This will be a goal for 2022 and will – hopefully – be met.

Okay, so the totals for 2021

  1.  Pieced tops – 22
  2. Completed quilts – 28
  3. UFOs finished – 4
  4. Yardage used – 86.81 yards

Enough looking back, time to look forward.  This year I decided to do something a little different for my goals.  Instead of a yearly goals, I am going to have monthly goals.

Since I had so much fun the the 2021 Whatnots Club by Kim Diehl, I signed up for the 2022 subscription.  I still have five 2021 Whatnots kits, so my January 2022 goal is to finish 3 – 5 wallhanging tops.  Yesterday I started Traffic Jam and have all the middle blocks completed.

Tenth Simple Whatnots Miniature Club Month Eight | Traffic Jam Quilt Kit

And why have only one project in the works, when you can have 2 or 3 or 5?

Dashing has not been loaded on the quilting frame and Michigan still has only one border appliqued, so what did I do?  Why start a new piecing project, of course!  This one is Libby Smith‘s fault – no, not really.

On her December 28th post, she mentioned a quilt from the book Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth.  That got me interested and I knew I had a Nickel Quilts book, so I grabbed my copy to take a look.  However the book I have is More Nickel Quilts, so I couldn’t check out the pattern that Libby intends to make.  I did come across a quilt pattern that I have always liked, but have never made – Dawn to Dusk.  When reading the directions I realized that it would be so easy to make these blocks with a jelly roll.  Before the end of 2021, I had 72 blocks cut out and half sewn together.

It is going to be so much fun to play with the layout and design a border.

For my 5th project, I pulled out the February 2021 Quilty Box EPP UFO  Starry Aurora.  When it is finished it will measure 20 3/4″ x 21″, so it is a good fit with Mini-January.  It is my watching TV handwork project.

Happy Quilty New Year,


Happy Holidays

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas filled with family, good food and maybe a little quilting time.

Yesterday I finished the final truck wallhanging – Fire Truck.

I really did not want this last truck wallhanging to roll over into 2022, so it moved up on my “got-to-get-it-done” list.

Dashing is now a completed quilt top.  I like how the secondary design forms around the churn dash blocks.  Hopefully I will find time soon to load this on the frame.

One applique border has been completed on the LBQ’s 2021 mystery – Michigan.  I really wanted to have this done by the end of December, but it is just not going to happen.

The applique is going slow since it is not my favorite thing, however I love how it finishes the quilt.  This is one of my favorite quits and will definitely be living at my house.


December Stars & Christmas Gift

Tessellating Star is now a finished quilt.  My biggest challenge was the fabric/color change of the binding at the corners.

I think that it looks pretty good for a first attempt.  I used the instructions in Mim Dietrich’s book Happy Endings for this binding technique.  Of course right after the binding was sewn down, I found this Shabby Fabrics tutorial on You-tube.  If a future quilt needs this sort of binding, I think I will try the Shabby Fabrics way.

Since there is a seam in the corner to change colors for both methods, it is a bit bulky.  I probably should have made a sample first, but – as usual – I dived straight in.

Here is a close-up of one of the corners.

I promised a grandson that the quilt Swing Your Partner would be his Christmas gift this year.  Recycled shirt quilts are a favorite with the grandsons.

After loading the quilt and machine stitching 4 rows, I discovered that the bottom tension was bad – really, really bad.   Sorry, no pictures of the horrible tension – I was in “get this done by Christmas mode”.

I spent several nights after work ripping it out and trying to figure out what had gone wrong.  I think that the batik backing was the issue, so a trip to JoAnn’s for new backing happened.  The new backing quilted much better, the binding is on and it will be headed to its new home tomorrow.

Happy Holidays,


Juggling Quilting Projects

There are so many quilting projects that I am trying to get finished by the end of the year, sometimes I don’t know up from down.  However some small progress has been made – the quilt top Avignon has been machine quilted and gifted, so one down.

This quilt top was made in 2013 and measures 64″ square.  My usual choice of batting is Hobbs 80/20, however for Avignon I tested out Pellon 80/20.  It seems to me that it is a bit thicker than the Hobbs which gives it a wonderful texture from the machine quilting.

My second finish is Dump Truck – the third in the truck series.

As the other truck wallhangings, Dump Truck is 12 1/2″ square and the pattern is from The Whole Country Caboodle.  I had enough gravel fabric for the binding – isn’t that perfect?

The Tessellating Star top was loaded on the machine and quilted.

I plan to do a binding with a mitered color change at the two corners which will be a first for me.  The binding is a goal for this Thanksgiving weekend.  Wish me success!

Juggling ball one – the applique for the border of my Michigan (LBQ mystery) is ready to be attached.

I was surprised at how much fabric was actually needed to get all the applique shapes.  This is – hopefully- another goal for this four day weekend.

There was enough scraps from the mystery quilt to make the blocks for Dashing.

The pattern for Dashing is in the July/August 2017 edition of Quiltmania and designed by Corey Yoder.  I like the way the two blocks flow into each other.

Do you like my quilter’s shorthand to show what colors will be made into which block?  I all makes sense to me, so that is good enough.  Of course once all the blocks are completed, it will be time to play “block/color swap” for the final layout.

The big ball – and project for this weekend – is to get this monster top quilted as a Christmas gift.

Swing Your Partner is my second largest quilt top – missing the top billing by 1/2″.  This is a Bonnie Hunter pattern and measures 83 1/2″ x 83 1/2″.  I have backing fabric and thread, the only big decision left is the panto-graph.  There isn’t much time to decide, so I had better get busy.

Happy Thanksgiving,


Black, White & Gold Finish

Yeah! Another finish – Black, White & Gold quilt coming off the frame.

The Black, White & Gold quilt top was completed in 2016.  I can remember being surprised at how many packages of rick-rack I needed to buy and how much they cost even with a coupon.  However that little detail adds interest to the quilt, so it was worth the time and money.

it took me awhile to decide on the panto-graph pattern, but Daydream was the winner.  The open airy design gives great tecxture to the quilt.

Daydream - Pantograph

And the completed quilt –

Black, White & Gold will be going to a new home this Saturday – it feels good to have it finished ahead of time instead of rushing at the last minute.

Which top should I machine quilt next?  Hmmm

Have a good day,


LBQS Mystery – Michigan

I haven’t posted about the LBQS Mystery quilt Michigan recently, however progress has been made.

Even with the “holes”, the design of the quilt is emerging.

The top rows have been sewn together – I am really liking this quilt!

Almost finished piecing – only three borders remaining.

My plan is to attach the borders this weekend, then work on the applique similiar to the picture below.  

In the Quiltmania March/April 2015 magazine I found the pattern Homestead by Edyta Sitar that has the same applique templates that she used on her Michigan quilt.  I wonder how long it will take me to draw all the shapes on fusible web, cut them out and applique them on the quilt.  Hmm – better get busy.

Happy Halloween,


Off the Frame Reveal – Multi-Print Strata

The red carpet reveal of Mult-Print Strata –

The panto-graph used was Duet by Urban Elementz.  I wanted something fairly dense to hold all those seams together and this worked great.

Duet - Pantograph

I found a piece of black/gray stripe for the binding which finished the edge nicely.

It isn’t a fancy quilt, however it did clear out my 1 1/2″ multi-print bin, so I am taking that as a win.

For the backing I used this fabric that I found in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby. I thought it added a fun element to the quilt.

Have a quilty Saturday,


Baby Quilt, Growth Chart & Unicorns

The end of September/beginning of October are the busiest time at work, however I did manage to get the baby quilt & growth chart completed and mailed.

I didn’t have quite enough length of fabric for the growth chart, so I added some coordinating fabric and appliqued a couple of alphabet animals from scraps.  Isn’t it cute?

The growth chart pattern is from the Quiltmaker’s All Time Favorite Patterns 2005.

My youngest granddaughter is unicorn crazy and a couple of weeks during a sleepover, she drew me a picture.

In school she learned that periods come after words which is why there is a period after the word unicorns and her name.  And in case there is any doubt, the arrow lets everone know that the picture is of a unicorn.  We had so much fun together.

The end of the year is coming fast, so I had better make good use of my time between now and then to get some projects completed.  Next up is machine quilting Mult-Color Strata which will be a charity quilt.

What will you be working on this week?