Mid Michigan Quilters’ Guild

Last night I was honored to present a lecture and trunk show  at the Mid Michigan Quilters’ Guild in Mt. Pleasant MI.   It was so much fun to share what I do with such a great group!

Thanks to everyone for such a great evening! ( and delicious treats!….I was particularly fond of the rhubarb!) I hope to see you all again. I have 200-300 more quilt tops to finish so It will be a new show in a year.

Back to work on this one


Happy Quilting


Garden pictures


It has been quite a while since I have had any garden pictures to post, I still don’t have much , but lots of things are starting. In a few weeks i should have some more actual flowers but here is what the garden looked like this morning.  (click pictures to enlarge)

I will have some more garden pictures when there are flowers….back to quilting for now


Spiderweb quilt top


Today’s vintage quilt top is a String pieced Spiderweb that arrived today.


It is an interesting pattern.  It looks like hexagons with yellow sashing.  The actual piecing is done with diamonds.

Here is another from my collection that needs to be finished



Here you can see some of the individual diamonds.



With 6 diamonds together you get a star.

2012_0125string-star-foundati0008 2012_0125string-star-foundati0009

These were pieced on a muslin foundation.  The “strings” in this one are straight and uniform sizes from block to block.

The strings in the new one are random and it changes to look of the spiderwebs.

These were not foundation pieced as you can see from the back.



The yellow print is consistent through the whole top.  There is a wide range of fabrics used, dating from about 1870 for the earliest, and 1930′s for the later. Here are close up pictures of some of the blocks (click to enlarge)

It might be a while before I get these tops quilted but they are fun to look at just as they are.

Back to work for me….

Happy quilting


Happy Easter


Happy Easter from the Teddy Easter Schnauzer!

I had a fun day today!  Gwen Marston was in Lansing with the Capitol City Quilt Guild and I was a student in her class on liberated baskets.


DSCN1528 DSCN1527 DSCN1526

Gwen is so talented and such a good teacher. It was great to finally meet her after all the good things I have heard…she lives up to her reputation.  Thanks for a great class Gwen!
I will post pictures of my liberated basket quilt when I get it a little further along.

Meanwhile I have one row of blocks done on the New Your Beauty Variation.


2 more full rows and One 1/2 row and I will be done….

Here are some pictures (click to enlarge)

Happy quilting and Happy Easter!



New York Beauty Quilting


I started the quilting on the New York Beauty variation.


This quilt top is beautiful but it is not beautifully made.  The person who made it back in the 30′s did not paper piece it the way a quilter of today would likely do it.  Accuracy in piecing was not what it could be so the overall design is a bit wavy and the “off”.  The result is actually quite pleasing to me.  There is a trend in quilting today for making “liberated” quilts such as this log cabin as seen on craftsy



The blocks are all a bit askew and so are the lines in the New York Beauty quilt so we could call this a liberated New York Beauty.

Given the quality of the piecing I didn’t think very fine stitching would work for the quilting.  That is not to say I want to do a messy job of it.  What I want to do is hand quilt it in a way that looks like the quilting and top were done by the same person and of the period.  If I do it right it will not be obvious that it was quilted by a different person many years after the top was made.

I am using a heavier weight thread and large needle so I get larger stitches which I feel fit the top .  6 stitches per inch is about what I am doing.  I am not marking the quilt I am simply quilting it by eye. Here it is so far.


Here are a few more pictures (click to enlarge)

The Quilting shows better on the back in pictures.

So far I really like the way it looks…I still have a way to go but it wont take long

Happy quilting



Vintage Lone Star


Today’s Treasure is a vintage Lone Star quilt top.

I would date it to 1900 or there about.  It is well made and should be easy to quilt!  Often this pattern is a chore to get quilted because it bulges out in the center….here is an example of another one in my collection that lost the battle of the bulge.


This is a rather extreme example of what can happen when you don’t keep accurate seam allowances when piecing.  I will need to totally re-make this or do some drastic cutting to get it flat.

Fortunately this new one is ready to go!  Here are some pictures (click to enlarge)

It might seem like I drive myself crazy with too many ideas going on in my head at once and too many quilts going all at once but I have long since decided that it is the only way I can work.  If I get the urge to start something I need to do it or I wont be able to focus on anything!

With that in mind here is what I started last night.


My quilting friend Pepper Corey sent me some thread to try out.  It is Presencia 40 weight thread (website here http://www.presenciaamerica.com/ ) and while it is not labeled as hand quilting thread it does the job.  It is different from the other hand quilting threads in that it does not have a glace finish so I find that using a thread conditioner like thread heaven (the little blue box in the picture) makes it work for me.  It is available in a lot of colors and hand quilting thread is not easy to find in more than just a few colors.  I will be buying more and I think it will also be perfect for hand piecing…it is a good strong thread.

I used the blue thread to test because a contrasting thread color really shows the stitches.  The real coincidence is that Just a few days ago I was at my local quilt store, Country Stitches,  and purchased a stencil.  I thought it was beautiful but didn’t know what I would do with it. But I had to buy it!

I read the label after I had this started this and it was designed by none other than Pepper Corey!  small world we quilters live in!

The stencil is called Elizabeth’s Star and it is #PCW 147  Ask for it at your favorite quilt store.

This is in an 18″ hoop and using a piece of fabric I had on hand, so shall we call it an 18″ whole cloth quilt?  Eventually I will make it into a pillow.  Now that I have played with the stencil and thread I plan to use them both in future quilting.

but for now back to work on some of the many already started projects

Happy quilting


Prep for hand quilting


I said i was going to finish the Basket of Lilies quilt before I started work on the next one….well I lied…I couldn’t wait.  Last night I spent 3 hours pressing the New York Beauty variation.

This is the quilt I wrote about here http://timquilts.com/2014/04/03/the-next-challenge/


It is a top that I really like but it has some real issues with construction.  It is not square, or flat, and it has at some point in its life been machine washed which is never a good idea for an un-quilted top.  Washing causes frayed edges and it causes distortion as it twists around in the machine.

Pressing was a long process and I found that starch was a big help in getting it to cooperate.

I did the pressing from the back so I could try to get the seam allowances to lay the correct direction.  Most quilters follow the 1/4″ rule.  all seams are 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric.   This quilt was anything but that!  in some areas it was over an inch.


My first inclination was to trim off all the extra fabric.  If I leave it I will have to quilt through it so in some areas I will need to be quilting through several layers of fabric.

I didn’t cut it off.  This is hand pieced and if I cut off that fabric I will also cut off the knot at the end of the seam and weaken the whole thing.   I decided it was better to leave it as is and deal with the extra rather than have the entire thing fall apart.

My goal is to finish it not re-make it.  I want it to still look like the original maker envisioned it.

After I got it all pressed I moved on to basting it.  I got the muslin backing down and the cotton batting and laid down the top

DSCN1499 DSCN1500

and then I pinned it

DSCN1502 DSCN1501

I am torn about the quilting.  I had planned a Baptist Fan quilting but I think I can do better.  A different quilting design might do better to flatten it out.  I am undecided so I need to think about for a day or so before I start.

Meanwhile I hung up one of the new vintage tops to get a picture…here it is


Needs a good pressing but I think it will make a nice little quilt.

back to work for me

Happy Quilting