I have about 3/4 of the first block done in the Antique Applique quilt


So if it takes 3 days for one block…..20 blocks = 60 days and then there is the border which is equivalent to the area of the 20 blocks so another 60 days…so 120 days then I might add trapunto….several more days….and I will be working on other quilts at the same time…I can’t only work on one quilt for that long, I need to take a break and work on other things to keep fresh.   Anyway the message is that this is going to be a long-term project.

When I finish this block I plan to play with piecing a few vintage blocks for a change of pace.

The forecast for the next few days is for thunderstorms.   I got some yard work done today  and took some pictures again so here they are (click on picture to enlarge)

Happy Quilting/Gardening!


More Flowers


The sun has been hidden by clouds off and on today.  I took these pictures while the sun was shining…here is the back garden (click pictures to enlarge)


And here is the front garden


Happy Gardening!


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I am on the home stretch on the New York beauty Quilt.  I hope to have pictures of the finished quilt next time.


The garden continues to grow….here are some more pictures.  Last time I listed them all with their Latin names so today I decided to go with common names  (click on pictures to enlarge)

Happy Gardening


Vintage quiilt top…needs some TLC


I presented my Lecture/trunk show last night at the Black Swamp Quilt Guild in Bowling Green Ohio last night.  What a great group!!  Thanks to everyone in the guild for such a great reception!!

This top is one that I showed at the meeting.


The Pattern is a simple one (although not simple to piece)  just 2 pieces, a square and an elongated hexagon.   There are a lot of names for the pattern…..Five Crosses, Lattice Block, Church Windows, Ogden Corners, Kansas Dugout, Old Fashioned Quilt, Ozark Tile Pattern..to name a few.  So what should I call it?    I have absolutely no idea what the maker of the top called it or which pattern was used, or if she drafted it herself based on one she saw.  I can’t pretend to know  but since people like to assign names to things I will use the one that I think most people are familiar with…”Kansas Dugout”.   If I use that name this is the piecing that comes to mind for most people so it does the job.

It is so interesting to me how the piecing was done.   All the hexagon pieces were sewn together first and then the squares were set in.  You can see that the maker set in all the orange squares and then either ran out of orange, or ran out of time. (the brown you see is the floor…there is no brown fabric just empty space)

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It looks really funny when you hold it up….in pictures you see the floor through the holes and it doesn’t show the holes nearly as much.

it has some interesting fabrics

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And Teddy likes it

I will never be able to get an exact match for that orange…..I can come close but it wont ever be perfect so I plan to use a different color for all the remaining squares,   I think red will work well.

I have a top in this pattern  from the same era where all the hexagons are different fabrics and all the squares are red


I love old quilt tops…

Now for a garden update

Happy Gardening and quilting!


Ready for more garden pictures? and a few quilts?

I don’t have any new quilting to show today.  I am working on packing up several for a lecture on Ohio on Thursday…here are a few of them.

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I spent some time in the garden….the weeds seem to be faster growing this year than ever before!!

I took some pictures of course…so here they are

Happy Quilting/gardening


Show and Tell … Garden and Quilts


Today I have some progress pictures and some new antique tops and as usual in the summer some more garden pictures

First the basket quilt I have been working on.  Hand quilting circles with 12 weight Aurifil thread, and I am now using Big Stitch Needles by Pepper Corey for Colonial Needle…they are great!


Big stitch quilting goes pretty fast…I am doing about 6 or 7 stitches per inch….which for big stitch is actually rather small….I would say that the stitches can be 1/4″ with about 1/8″ between stitches….it really depends on the desired look.

Here is what I have done so far


The back shows the quilting better


I have also been working on the Basket of Lilies (Carolina Lily)


I am pretty close to finishing…I do need to guilt several of the sashing pieces and one basket and a few more of the setting triangles…but the end is in sight


I got a few new antique quilt tops….This string pieced top is very interesting because as of now I am unable to find a pattern source for it.  The top is from about 1900 and the published patterns I can find for similar designs are from much later


It is interesting to look at these old tops and imagine what they looked like when new.  In this case when it was new the sashing would have been red.  Dyes at the time often had the problem of fading to this rather odd peachy tan.  This happened on it own…this top was never washed buit the dye faded anyway.

The fading is often irregular…this picture shows an area where more of the red remains


and this shows a much more faded area


The block have a nice variety of fabrics, some more worn than others, since the top has never been washed I have to assume the make used some fabrics from old clothing along with some scraps of unused fabrics to make the top.

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The next top is an Eastern Star, designed  by Home Art Studios in Des Moines, Iowa, 1932-33.  It’s No. 4001 in the Barbara Brackman Encyclopedia of pieced quilt patterns. 


It is far from flat….the star in the center is made in a circle and then has pieces added to the corners….notice all the bulging around that circle.  It will need to be re worked to make it quiltable.  I imagine that is why it was never quilted.

The emblem of the female Masonic organization, the Order of the Eastern Star. The symbol is a complex one, and is said to represent the Star of Bethlehem, symbolizing the descent of spirit into matter- the divine in man, or even the presence of God on earth.

According to symboldictionary.net The book and pillar in the center of the star represent the Masonic Lodge’s “volume of sacred law” which is placed in the east.  


The five implements typically pictured represent the five biblical women and their respective representation of Masonic virtues:

The sword and veil represent Adah, and the virtue of “obedience to duty”


A sheaf of barley represents Ruth, whose virtue is adherence to religious principles.


The crown and scepter represents Esther, who embodies the virtue of loyalty.


The broken column represents Martha, and the virtue of “endurance in trial.”


The “golden cup” represents Electa, and the virtue “endurance of persecution.”


I find the top very interesting, mainly because it is the first one of this design I have seen other than the picture of the pattern.

Last We have Teddy to show you his garden


Welcome to my garden  Click pictures to enlarge


Happy Quilting/Gardening

Hand Quilting and More Garden Pictures


I started hand quilting the liberated baskets quilt top  here is the top before quilting.

I used Mountain Mist Cream Rose batting and unbleached muslin for the backing.

The top is very linear with the exception of the basket handles so I thought the quilting should contrast with that.  I am quilting circles in a free form design.  I am not marking the circles I am doing it by eye.  I didn’t want them to be perfectly measured and even because that is not in keeping with the free form piecing in the top.

I am using 12 weight Aurifil thread and a size 5 embroidery needle for the quilting.

Here are some pictures …I took these in the house at night so the colors aren’t so good but you can get the idea.

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It goes pretty fast so I hope to be done in a few weeks.  I have so many other projects that i am working on that I told myself I would wait to quilt this one……but I couldn’t resist.

Meanwhile the garden continues to develop more every day!  Here are a bunch more pictures (click pictures to enlarge)

The weeds grow as fast as the flowers so I need to get to work

Happy Gardening and Happy Quilting


Late summer garden, and an interview

I took some pictures of the garden today.  I  seem to begin to overlook it at this time of year, but it is still full of blooms….and bees!

Click pictures to enlarge

and here are some pictures of demos from floral design class…the first 3 designs are by Cindy Ching

And when I was at AQS in Grand Rapids I was interviewed by Bonnie Browning…here is the interview

Happy Quilting and happy Gardening



Corduroy quilt

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I have a wide range of interests when it comes to quilt styles.   I like them all, for different reasons.  For me the common factor is hand quilting.  If I can hand quilt it I like it.

A few weeks ago I posted  pictures of a vintage Corduroy quilt top (click pictures to enlarge)

Lots of people thought I was crazy.  But I started hand quilting it anyway!  Tell me something will be difficult and it becomes a challenge for me to prove that it is not.

So to make it even more of a challenge I bought corduroy fabric for the backing

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I tacked it down to the floor.

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then layered that batting (this is 80/20 cotton) and top.

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Pin basted it.

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And I am hand quilting it with various colors of perle cotton thread and an embroidery needle….Big Stitches

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Here is the back

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I can’t lie…it is not easy…..but It is going to be a really heavy warm quilt!

Since I have shown you a zillion pictures of the garden I decided to try a different approach.  I took these pictures through the windows.  They aren’t the clearest but you can get an Idea of the view out of the second floor. (click pictures to enlarge)

Friday I spend the Day teaching floral design….I didn’t get any pictures but a friend took a few

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Thursday Night was a Gala celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the MSU Horticulture Gardens.  I made the centerpieces.  (hard to tell from the pictures but they were beautiful)

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Back to work

Happy Quilting


Sunny Saturday

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Another sunny day…..last night I had high hopes for rain, (the forecast was for thunderstorms) but the rain passed by with less than 10 drops.  Looks like I will need to water some more.  At least the temperature is lower and the heat index warning has expired.   Here are a few garden pictures (click to enlarge)

I taught the students to make bouquets in class on Thursday

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And I got back to work on one of the many hand quilting projects then are in line to be finished

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Have a great Weekend