Thursday, December 27, 2012


Over the holidays, I felt like doing some applique.  I have more than one applique project that needs attention but I wanted to do something that was prepped and not too labor intensive.  I had "Fern Rose" blocks ready to go and sitting out on the sewing machine cabinet so that is what I grabbed.  I have five blocks done.  I thought I had six for a nice picture but actually only five completed.  The sixth is in the works.  The pattern uses twelve of these blocks.
The pattern is by Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs and is found in the book "Nuts and Berries".  I prefer not to stitch the same pattern over and over but with these blocks, I am using a variety of backgrounds and fabrics.  Watching television while working on them and trying not to focus too much on having to repeat those same leaf units over and over.

I made a cardinal pillow for my daughter's sofa.  I made her one last year from a different pattern and it has been well used.  She wanted a second one.  This time, I did a wool on cotton background applique.  I used navy fabric to finish off the pillow.  It really blends in with her sofa in the picture and hard to tell what color it is.
The pattern I used was in a Quilt Almanac.  I only have the pattern itself and not the magazine so I don't know when it was published.  The pattern was designed by Pamela Curo and is called "Cardinals and Blooms".  My daughter has a fascination with cardinals and collects items depicting them.  Instead of buying a new pillow form, I bought a nice sofa pillow at a thrift store and used it inside.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday.  We celebrated a day early so Christmas Day was quiet here.  I spent some time reading blogs, doing applique, and resting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


The "Spring Sampler" is complete!
The pattern I used is by Bonnie Sullivan of "All Through the Night".  It was designed to be a framed piece.  Instead, I added the two framing borders and hand quilted it.  The sampler is a combination of wool and some embroidery on cotton.  The alphabet was meant to be satin stitch embroidery which I am not very good at.  Instead, I used wool.  I scanned the alphabet into the computer, reversed them, traced to the paper side of Heat 'n Bond Lite (using a light table), and then fused it to dark brown wool.  I used small, sharp embroidery scissors to cut out the letters.  The cotton fabric was placed over the sampler pattern on the light table so that I had a guide for placement of all the parts.  I then slid a June Taylor pressing board under the fabric and fused the pieces as best as I could.  Anything that did not fuse well because of thickness, I used a dab or two of glue to hold in place.  I used cotton thread to stitch the edges of the wool pieces but floss could just as well be used.  I also used wool for the bees instead of satin stitching.  Bonnie has other patterns with wool and stitched words that I like but I think this is going to be the only one I do.

Back to my stitching.


Monday, December 10, 2012


In July of 2009, I finished the "Rudolph and Co." quilt top from a pattern in a Quiltmania magazine.  It was designed by Jan Patek.  I finally quilted it over the weekend.  Two and a half years in the making when it should have been quilted by Christmas of 2009.  I saw a picture of a finished one very recently and it reminded me of the one I had made that was in the UFO pile.
The quilt measures about 55 inches by 60 inches.  A nice sofa size.  The pattern suggests that you can trace a child's hands for the antlers but I did not have one available so I used the ones from the pattern.  I did hand applique except for the eyes.  Those are fused and machine stitched.  Had I been doing the applique now, I probably would have used wool.

Here is a close-up of one of the blocks so you can see the antlers better.
The pattern was also available in booklet form, if I remember correctly.

I still have Christmas quilts tops in the UFO pile but I don't know how many more I can get done this holiday season.
Enjoy your day!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I am on a roll finishing some UFO projects.  Quilts that were to the finished flimsy stage and awaiting machine quilting.  I finished "Christmas 101".  A Nativity design by Jan Patek.  I used most of the same fabrics that were used in the sample quilt.  They are from the Remembrance line.  I did not have all the same exact fabrics so I substituted where needed from stash.

I am working on machine quilting another Christmas quilt that has been to the flimsy stage for about two years.  I hope to finish it up tomorrow or the next day.

I attended a Christmas lunch today at a friend's home.  She is very much into prim style and it is such a treat to see all her Christmas decorations.  There were six of us.  All prim style lovers.  Besides me, there were two bloggers there that you might know.  Carol from Brown Quilts and Lynda Hall from Primitive Pieces by Lynda.  Carol took a photo.  Maybe she will put it on her blog.  We spent some time lamenting about how we have no local or even within a couple hours drive prim style quilt shops.  Or even ones that would have a row of prim style fabric.

Time to get some stitching done.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


I completed a new small wall quilt called "Love and Friendship".  I used a pattern by Cheri Saffiote-Payne.  I love her designs.  I used wool on cotton for the applique.  The quilt blocks are about 4 1/4" square.  Not hard to make but slower to stitch handling the small pieces.  I used several pieces of Jo Morton fabrics and other reproduction fabrics from stash.
It took me a while to decide on a quilting design.  The left border is wider than the right side.  And there are a variety of applique pieces in the border.  I finally decided just to outline the applique and then echo quilt over the whole piece.  I like the result.

I am working on finishing another Christmas design quilt.  Makes me happy to finally get a flimsy to the completed stage.

Friday, December 7, 2012


I posted a few days ago about the items I made for a gift exchange.  You can read about them here.  Nancy of Tom Miner Folk Art and Quilts was the recipient.  Now I have received my package in the mail.  I was very surprised to find out that Debbie of Woolen Sails had my name for the exchange.  She made a needlepunch prim pocket, two needlepunch snowmen ornies, and two embroidered ornies that are filled with balsam.  Debbie used a design by Bonnie Sullivan and turned it into these wonderful items.
The prim pocket has a cord handle attached with rusty jingle bells on the side.  The back part of the pocket is made from wool as well as the lining.  The needlepunch snowman have red wool backings.  Rusty jingle bells on the front. Wonderful that she could taken elements from the pattern and use her creative mind to make all of these items.

That was not all that was in the package.  She included a simple snowman face design for rug hooking and included wool strips.  I have a rug hooking frame, needles, and an instruction book by Tara Darr but have never attempted the technique.  Debbie is encouraging me to give it a try.  She included a needlepunch pattern plus a stitchery pattern and an embroidered necklace pouch pattern. And a fat quarter of fabric.

Thank you, Debbie.  I am still doing The Happy Dance.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I am digging in the UFO pile for Christmas quilts that need quilting.  I just finished putting the binding on "Winter Wishes".  The pattern designer is Paula Stoddard.   I am often asked where to find a pattern for a quilt I show on my blog.  This one was in the book "Seasons Stitchin's".  There are lots of good prim style designs in it.   Paula's selling website is here.
I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about a quilting design.  I outlined the applique basket and candy canes.  Then I decided to follow the lines created by the light center area.  I used the walking foot and it was done in a very short while.  A new Christmas quilt!

I have another quilt almost done.  Only the binding left to do.  Back to my stitching.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Gift Exchange

I am participating in a gift exchange in a Yahoo prim group I belong to.  We were to make a prim pocket/bag, one or two Christmas ornaments, add a Christmas fat quarter, and something we weren't using. I really enjoyed making the prim pocket and a prim angel.  So much so that I had a hard time parting with them.
First of all, I had to do a Google image search to understand what a prim pocket is.  I learned that it is usually something that hangs from a door knob or cabinet handle.  And they hold dried flowers, berry branches or whatever you would like to display in one.  I noted that many are made from wool.  Some with a wire handle.  I know my swap partner likes wool so that was an easy choice.  I just had to plan a design to applique onto it.  I looked and looked on the internet and then in my quilt books.  My attention was drawn to the Santa done in wools on a wall hanging size quilt I made last year.  I measured and decided it would be an appropriate size.  I made a paper pattern for a bag shape just guessing and cut out a back and front from wool and then a lining from a green stripe cotton.  I added a sheep and a star to the design.  The pine tree is embroidered.  The handles are made from wool too which I pinked the edges of.  Here is what I came up with.
Then the process of making a Christmas ornament or two.  So many ideas and patterns to choose from.  I ended up making an angel doll instead of an ornament.  I used a Country Threads pattern.  The doll has no arms.  The arms were to be silk greenery and more like wings.  I could not find anything silk at the craft store that suited me.  I did find some plastic type greenery and some that looked like branches from an artificial Christmas tree.  I found them too heavy when I tried to attach them to the quilt block dress that the doll wears.  The pieces just drooped.  I decided to create wings and selected a shape from a Jan Patek angel quilt pattern for them.  From the internet, an image search for vintage Christmas sheet music provided me with a song with "angel" in the verse.  I printed it onto computer printer ready fabric.  I only had one sheet and the wings are wide.  I was able to cut two pieces for the wing fronts and piece those together.  I used a cotton fabric for the back side of the wings.  Here she is.
The dress is a pine tree quilt block and it is quilted.  The pattern set of angels has one for each season with a different block design used for each.  I added some spritzes of the walnut spray to give an older look to the sheet music and sprayed the doll and dress a bit too.  The doll head has a wreath of pearl trim around it and some jute cord to hang it.

I added a fat quarter of red wool, a red cotton prim style Christmas print, a needle punch kit I was not using, and an Aunt Philly's toothbrush rug making tool and instruction book.  I think my partner liked her goodies as much as I enjoyed creating and pulling everything together.