Getting close to the end

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I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel on the Trapunto work on my whole cloth quilt.   I will be working on it exclusively until I finish.

Once it get it done I will go back to the Red thread  big stitch whole cloth

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And then on to a Christmas quilt.

I have it all planned and will be using a vintage table-cloth

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I will add borders to it and then hand quilt with gold thread.

I did get out to the garden yesterday and took a few pictures. Click pictures to enlarge.

The Toad lily is starting to bloom (it is pretty late this year)

The Beauty Berry is loaded with beautiful purple berries

Ferns, Zinnias and Celocia and fuchsia still looking good

I cut a bunch of hydrangea to dry for use in Christmas designs later in the year

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Now back to work on trapunto


Happy Quilting


Driveway paved with AQS winnings

I was honored to win the Best hand workmanship award at AQS Quilt week in Grand Rapids. (you can see the quilt here Today the November issue of  American Quilter Magazine arrived in the mail.  My quilt is on page 63. It is very exciting to see one of my quilts in a magazine!

I decided to use the winnings from the quilt to pave my driveway.

If you remember it was a rutted gravel drive.

Driveway soon to be paved using my winnings from AQS!

Driveway soon to be paved using my winnings from AQS!

Now it looks great….I almost look forward to shoveling snow….OK I’m over it

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here is the parking area in the back

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There are still a few flowers in the garden, but the season is winding down.  (click pictures to enlarge)

Today Teddy felt like having his picture taken…he jumped up in his chair and posed

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I need to get back to work on my whole cloth quilt!

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Happy Quilting


Trapunto progress

I wish I didnt have a seam in the top

I am now working on the trapunto in the whole cloth quilt.  It really makes a difference in the definition of the design.

Here are some progress photos. (click to enlarge)

Yesterday I got a new camera, I am still figuring it out so I tried a few outdoor shots of the garden, some quilt close-ups, and of course Teddy had to pose (click to enlarge)

Happy Quilting


Plans and Garden

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I have been stitching away on my whole cloth quilt. Hand quilting gives me a lot of time to think….and I have been trying to plan what I am going to do with the fabrics I recently purchased.

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I have changed my mind a million times…here are a few of my first thoughts

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but what about these…..

The Flower Ring Round the Twist Blazing Star CONSTELLATION

I could drive myself crazy trying to make up my mind.  I think I will just keep thinking about it until I finish the one I am working on….and plan another few dozen options.  I will know what to do when I am ready to start.  Part of the process for me is to spend a lot of time thinking about it and not rush or be influenced by what others think….it needs to feel right to me or I just can’t get into it.

Here are some more Garden pictures (click to enlarge)


Happy Quilting


Garden Pictures

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I am teaching a floral design class this evening and I cut some flowers from the garden to use.

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While I was out there I decided to take some garden pictures.  Click pictures to enlarge.

Happy Gardening


Back to the fan quilt and more garden pictures

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I started back to work on the vintage fan block quilt.  I have 5 of the 9 blocks finished.  Here are some pictures of the quilt front and back so you can see the quilting.

Click pictures to enlarge

And here are some garden pictures from this morning….rain is on the way again, click to enlarge

Happy Quilting and Gardening


Garden Pictures

Front Garden

In  a break from the rain this afternoon I got some pictures of the garden.

Click on the pictures to enlarge

Happy Gardening


A new look at an old block

I recently posted about some wedding ring blocks and pieces that I plan to finish up.

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When we think of the Double wedding ring pattern we generally think of it like this.  A scrappy variety of fabrics in the rings and white background fabrics.  I quilted one like this as my second quilt.  Here it is


Less common combinations are not unheard of. I have a few in my collection. (click pictures to enlarge)  Here is a vintage top that was done with only 2 colors in the rings.


This one has a green background and the pieces in the rings are less random.


Here is one with yellow background and much narrower pieces (Some publications are now calling this Pattern “Pickle Dish” but that is an incorrect name)


This one uses shirting fabric with small print as the background


This one in Green and Tan is one of my favorites.


I have been really enjoying bright colors lately as you can see in the ring quilt I recently finished

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I have been thinking about how I might do a Double Wedding Ring today…not from a vintage top.


If I did it like this, with half assorted colors and half solids and did a red background and light blue in the centers of the “melons”  it would look like this


I know I don’t need any more projects but I might need to try this one.  I think it is a new way to look at an old block.

And for the gardening fans here are more garden pictures (click to enlarge)

Happy Quilting/Gardening


The Washing Machine…not always your friend

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The washing machine is not always your friend.   I buy a lot of vintage quilt tops and quilt blocks on eBay.  I have made the mistake a few times of buying one that the seller has washed in the washing machine.  Why is that a mistake?  You might think that it is because washing antique fabric fades the color.  That can happen  but the real problem is that machine washing an un-quilted quilt top or block causes the fabric to fray like crazy around the seam allowances.  The fraying can be so bad that the seams totally come apart and there is not enough solid fabric left to sew it back together without totally distorting the piece. I have 2 Beautiful quilt tops that are only good for using as patching material because of this. If I need to wash a piece prior to use I do it gently by hand.  After the quilting is done I do wash in the machine, but after the quilting is done all the seams are protected from fraying, the seams are backed by the batting and sewn in with the quilting and the entire quilt is much more strong and stable. If you feel you must wash in the machine before quilting  put the item in a mesh bag and wash on a delicate cycle.

The reason that I mention this today is that I just got a bunch of vintage blocks in the mail today.  They had a Buy it now price and As soon as I saw them on eBay I jumped right in a bought them.  I loved the pattern and fabrics….I should have looked more closely at the pictures and asked the seller to see a picture of the back of the blocks.  If you look at the back you can see the fraying and know that they have been washed.

Here is one of the pictures from the eBay listing


I should have known they were washed by how badly they need pressing.

Today when they arrived I realized my mistake.  The seller did not misrepresent them. It was my mistake but I still love them and I can make it work.  They need a really good pressing.  here is a before picture of the back.  The fraying is not nearly as bad as it could be.

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and the front

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Here is is after pressing

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I had to saturate it with water and press it dry and flat….it takes almost 20 min per block.  Fortunately the fraying is not beyond repair because the seam allowances were fairly large.

Here is another before

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and after

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It will still be a pretty quilt some day but it would have been so much easier and better to do the washing AFTER the quilting.

We had LOTS of rain on Wednesday night and Thursday which had a bit of a flattening effect on the garden But on major damage except to the peony.  Here are some pictures (click to enlarge)

Happy Quilting/Gardening


Sunday Gardening


I am taking advantage of the beautiful weather today to get some more gardening work done.

Since the city has dug up the area between the street and the sidewalk 3 times in the last few years it has been driving me crazy!….each time the way they “fix” it is to dump more soil on top and then seed over it….it has become a mountain with the grass many inches higher than the sidewalk so I am digging it up, removing the extra soil and putting the grass back.  This is a lot of work for a  bit of property that actually belongs to the city, but it will be so much better to have it done.

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The robin looks like she is getting ready for her second brood of the season.

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Things continue to grow and new flowers bloom. (click pictures to enlarge)

Back to work for me

Happy Gardening