Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Story Behind The Quilt: Chapter #9 ~ Solar Wind & Solar Flare

Now that I have learned a way to piece a wall hanging with a curve (look at last blog post # 8), I designed this beautiful original quilt called Solar Wind using this method. The finished quilt is seen below.

Solar Wind

Solar Wind

I wanted to do a smaller version recently using different fabrics. I always keep all my patterns so if I want I can go back make some changes or make a different size of the quilt.

Below is the pattern being copied onto freezer paper. All intersections are marked and registration marks are added also. Each piece is then cut out and ironed onto a piece of fabric on the wrong side. I then cut out each piece of fabric with at least 1/4 of an inch or bigger around the outer edges. Then I take a small scissor and clip around the edge going up to about 1/8 of in inch to the freezer paper. I then take a small paint brush and dip it in starch and  get my seam allowance wet. I gently fold back my seam allowance away from the top to the back. Try not to fold the freezer paper. Using a light box I butt the two pieces together and pin a lot! **One piece has the seam allowance folded under the other does not.

Design on freezer paperColor choices

Design on freezer paper
Color choice

Once pinned I then use a small zig zag stitch with monofilament thread to stitch in place. It is like a puzzle.

Sewing the pieces together

Sewing the pieces together

After all of it is pieced I carefully remove the freezer paper and press the top. It is ready to quilt!

Solar Flare before quilting!

Solar Flare before quilting!

Solar Flare is Finished! With some embellishments added!

#254 Solar Flare



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#7 WIP Wednesday ~ The Words Within

You might say I have an obsession with words. You might be right. When I got my little stamp ink pad out again and letters I decided to do a bunch of words onto fabric. Small strips of fabric. I think I did about 30 one afternoon. Then I went to bed and woke up with a plan.

stamping different words on strips of fabric

stamping different words on strips of fabric

The plan was to free form words within blocks just using scraps that I have and all neutral colors or what  I consider neutral. So the words are hidden within. That is what my new series is called, “The Words Within”!

One group quilted!

One group quilted!

Once I started I realized that I wanted to divide the group of words into a couple of different quilts. So I laid them out and put them into piles of words that I liked together.

I have three completed. The one I just finished is about how to get over different life struggles.  I wanted to put the words in order and when I did I realized I didn’t want them all straight because there is always hurdles to get over before you can move on in life.

Words are courage, hope, believe, heal, live!

Words are courage, hope, believe, heal, live!


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The Story Behind The Quilt ~ Chapter 8: Soaring Compliments & Night Galaxy Quilt

Who is your favorite Quilter? As far back as I can remember the first time I saw a Caryl Bryer Fallert quilt I was hooked. If you check out her website and look at her Gallery you will understand why.

After years of trying to be in the same area she was offering classes or at a  quilt show she was teaching at, the classes were always full. I finally decided on my journey of learning new things that I was just going to have to do something about that. The next best thing! I looked at her web site and she was offering CD’s on some of her workshops. What better way to learn if I couldn’t be there in person then to order some and learn how to do all those beautiful flying geese on curves. I also get to watch it over and over again. I love the free flow motion of  curved pieces of art.

I went and ordered her pattern “Soaring Compliments” and  her disk on machine quilting. Even though I had been free motion quilting for a lot of years you can always learn something new from everyone who teaches. After completing her “Soaring Compliment” quilt I thought that I finally mastered it.

Soaring ComplimentsCaryl Bryer Fallert Design

Soaring Compliments
Caryl Bryer Fallert Design

I went to work on a large wall hanging where I designed and drafted it all out. I happen to love Mariner’s compasses so I had to incorporate some of those in my piece. Color, I was all for lots of color!! When I went to piece it that summer was one of the hottest we had here in Maine and the humidity was high so I had to put it away till the fall and when I pulled it out I knew I had to take a couple of weeks to complete it and not work on anything else.

Night GalaxyMy Design

Night Galaxy
My Design

It now hangs in my parents house on loan for the 60th anniversary. They said, “We don’t want anything for our anniversary!”, so I sent this as a loan for a year for them to enjoy. Not a gift but a loan!


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#6 WIP Wednesday : Art Quilt Birds

Well I was busy trying to find the right fabric and I don’t think I am going to make the dead line for the Quilt Show that I wanted to enter this in. Sometimes you just can’t rush creativity!  I was pondering and looking too long to find the right fabrics. When I did, it took a week for the store to tell me it was back ordered. S0 I searched some more for other fabric. Sometimes these things work out for the best.

I have my birds drafted out and enlarged so I can set about cutting up my fabric. Oh did I tell you? I am doing a large set of love birds!

Paper love birds!

Template Paper love birds!

I found the perfect fabric to use  for the border as well as parts of the birds bodies. They are hand dyed pieces that I found on Etsy. The artist Vicki Welsh has some beautiful fabrics. Please check out her shop at

The background is pieced and I’m testing out some branches in this photo.

Testing out where to put the branches!

I am further along but didn’t have time for the photo update so your just going to have to wait a little bit longer for the finished quilt top.


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Chapter 7: National Quilting Day ~ Block Exchanges

Celebrate National Quilting Day on March 16th with Quilting Friends.

Start a block exchange! What are block exchanges? When a group of quilters get together to swap or exchange blocks. First ~ you have to decide how many quilting friends you want in your exchange. Two ~ have a meeting and discuss colors and size of the blocks you want to exchange. Three ~ decided how long you want it to last and how much time in between block exchanges. Usually one month works out great. Everyone has so many things going on in their lives so there could be some leeway if someone is a little late.

Example: Six quilting friends get together and decide they want to make 6 inch quilt blocks for everyone in the group. So you make 6 of the exact same block. One for yourself and the other five go to members of the group!

You mail or meet once a month and exchange your finished blocks for that month.   You also want to decide how long you want to do this or how many blocks you want. If you did this for six months  at the end of that time you will have 36 different blocks.

Last you put together all your new beautiful blocks anyway you want. You design your own creation!! Then meet when everyone is finished and look at how different everyones beautiful quilt came out!

One Group Project:

With this group we did 6 inch squares (unfinished 6 1/2 square). Need to choose any pattern block you want to make. Make it antique or civil war colors with off white background in your blocks.

I added a couple of more blocks to work out the design I came up with! First photo mine. Second a friends.

#081 Men's group Project

swap blocks c

Second Group Project:

Pick out the ugliest fabric that you can find in the quilt store and use one piece of it in a 6 inch block. I worked in the quilt store and this was done by those of us who worked there to see if we could do something with this fabric! The border was the fabric we chose. Even some of the fabrics that you don’t like work out in small pieces!

#133 Loves2Quilt Sampler

Third Group Project:

We all went to a shop and decided on one fabric we liked. Then we decided to challenge ourselves and make any size block we wanted for the month to swap. All we had to do is add coordinating colors. Everyone sees colors differently! Ended up with a wide arrangement of blocks. Here is three of ours finished the way we wanted! Some of us added some special blocks to our own to make the quilt bigger to fit on a bed.

First photo is mine. I went a little crazy on this, I did a couple of thousand 1 inch blocks to separate the blocks. Crazy I know but I loved the effect! The other two are from two different members of the group finished!

patty swap

#112 A Sallys Summer Quilt

Pat's Summer Quilt

This is a great way to get to know each other and even stretch you abilities when piecing a block you never thought you could do.


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#5 WIP Wednesday: Mini Word Quilts

I was trying to think of a smaller version of my inspirational word quilts. I went to do some retail therapy at an art supply store and came across these little letters. I thought maybe I can just stamp them onto fabric because the area would be small for what I wanted to do. It worked!

New Letter Stamps!

New Letter Stamps!

I pulled out some of my flower fabrics and found some smaller buds and flowers to cut out for the middle. I then needed to decided what the background would be. I decided on this left over tan striped fabric because it had enough contrast but yet still soft. White I thought was a little to harsh for these.

borders around flowers

borders around flowers

Finished and listed them. I think I might try to figure a better way to bind them since they are so small but really wanted a little border to go around the edges to finish it off and frame them.

Three mini's finished!

Three mini’s finished!


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Chapter 6 : Something Old, Something New

Did you ever go to a flea market, Good Will or a quilt show and find pieced or appliquéd blocks grouped together but not in a quilt. They always seem so lost to me. Well for years I have been drawn to these poor unfinished blocks and really wanted to do something someday with some that I would purchase.

A couple of years ago I went back to Virginia to visit friends and attend the Williamsburg Quilt Show. I used to live there so it was like going home. I decided to drive because I knew I would be there for a week and I knew I would be sewing with my quilting friends. I picked up another quilting buddy on the way down and we had the car packed. We left some room in the car knowing we would be  attending the quilt show. Always good to bring an extra empty suitcase just in case. LOL

Set of 24 Appliqued Blocks!

Set of 24 Applique Blocks!

At the show I spotted these appliqué blocks. They were grouped together in a set of 24. Not often do you find a group with that many together and all the same block. One, I do not appliqué very well so I can appreciate when someone else does it. Two, they were my favorite color purple. Three, they were older blocks. I spotted these the third day of the show. I didn’t buy them. We went back to my friends house and sewed late into the night. I thought about those blocks all night. The next day we decided to skip the show and just sew on some lap quilts for charity. The following morning we were leaving to head back home. I never made it back to the show for those blocks.

A couple of days later when I was home I received a package in the mail. Guess what? It was my blocks. Yes I can say that now, my blocks. A friend saw me looking at them and bought them for me. I hate to see anything unfinished so this was my project for the next two weeks. Come up with something to put them in. With any older blocks you have a few stain spots on them. I was able to cut the blocks back to 10 1/2 inches with very little stain showing. I decided I needed a summer quilt and my design would be a simple Irish Chain pattern

#214-something old something new b

I went to the store and found some Indonesia Batik fabrics that I thought went pretty well with my 30’s blocks! I wanted to try something new. You are probably saying or thinking to yourself is she crazy to try something new with these beautiful hand appliqué blocks? To make it summer weight instead of using batting (even a low loft) I wanted a coverlet feel, so I used flannel in between my layers of fabric. Never having done something like this, it was a challenge. The flannel didn’t really stick to the cotton so I had to double my usage of pin basting. You see I don’t have a large overall machine, I was quilting this on my domestic machine. It came out pretty good. Only one little pinch in the back which I was able to fix.

applique quilt d

In the appliqué blocks I also wanted to outline the petals of each section and do a little swirl in the center. Now if this was hand quilted in the 30’s it would be just straight lines and outline the appliqué blocks. So I added something new. The name of this quilt as you can probably guess is  “Something Old, Something New”!

Irish Chain with Applique Blocks

“Something Old, Something New”


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