Setting Goals

I like to set weekly quilting goals.  Goal #1:  To finish the tablecloth block. (Done!)

block 7

Goal #2:  Stitch a row together. (Done!)

row 2

Goal #3:  Stitch all three rows together. (Done!)

rows 1

Til next time….


Til next time..



Setting the Table

For some reason, this block seemed to be taking a long time!  Finally, it’s finished!

The first thing I did was change the carpet.  I wanted the tablecloth to be the focus of this block.  The first fabric I used for the carpet fought with the fabric for the tablecloth, so I changed it.  Maybe it’s because they both read as “mediums” or maybe it’s because they are both “busy”.  Either way, it just wasn’t working!   I prefer to audition a few (or more!) fabrics until I find the one that screams “I am the one!”

Out with the old…


…in with the new!

table 2 (2)

Next, I  added the bottom layer of the tablecloth.  I did not need to make another template, I just used the one from the original tablecloth.  Of course, it didn’t have to be the full size, so I just used what I needed.

same pattern

Then, I added the vase, some vines and a couple of apple stems.  The fabric for the vase is from a line called “Maid of Honor” by Bonnie Sullivan and Maywood Studios.  It actually looks like cracked pottery!

table 4 (2)

Lots of leaves followed, along with a couple of apples. Or are they peaches?

table 4 (1)

This morning I embroidered the cherry stems…

table 6 (2)

…and yippee!  This block has just had a bubble bath and is resting comfortably!!

block 7

Til next time…


I See Table Legs!

Every quilter looks at fabric differently.  Some see color, some see patten and some see possibilities!

When I started thinking about choosing fabrics for the next block of Civil War Bride, I wanted to do something really special for the table legs.  I searched high and low through my stash and this is what I found!  Do you see the table legs?


First, I measured the width of the stripe I wanted to use.

measure 3

Then I measured the pattern.  Pretty close!

measure 2

So I cut the freezer paper templates out and placed them very carefully on the wrong side of the fabric.


Since I will be using one of Karen Kay Buckley’s “Perfect Circles” for the round part, I am just cutting straight pieces for the legs.


Here are the legs.


Moving right along to the table cloth!  This is how I traced the tablecloth.  First I traced just half of the pattern on the freezer paper.


I folded it in half and cut along the line.  Call me crazy, but I like when both halves of a pattern are exactly the same!


Next, I ironed the pattern on the back of the fabric making sure that the pattern was centered.  I wanted the red stripes to be at each end of the table.


…and here we go!  There is still a piece that goes under the tablecloth, I just have to choose a matching fabric!


Til next time….


Another block…another nest!

Time to start another block of Civil War Bride.  I almost(!) have enough blocks to sew another row together!!  And you know how excited I get when I can stitch another row together.  So here we go…

First I prepped the branches and stitched them in place.  I used a brown fabric with shocking pink little flowers on it just to give the block a bit of oomph!  (Definition of oomph…An extra push. An ingredient or a factor that will make something better or perfect.)


Next, came the leaves and the nest.  Do you recognize the nest?  You may have seen it here.


So, keep this tip in mind if you are making this quilt.  You can make a couple of nests, audition them both, and use both!  Waste not, want not and all that jazz!

Then, I placed a bird in the branches.


I really like to use Ultra-Suede for the feet and the beaks.  First, I cut 2 triangles for the beaks.  You don’t have to include a seam allowance, except for the part that goes under the body.


I glued  half of the beak in place then trimmed a tiny bit of the corner off.


Then I glued the other half of the beak in place.  I trimmed  a bit of the corner off, also, so that the triangles  would not overlap.  Ultra-Suede is rather thick!  Finally, I put the bird fabric back in place and stitched it in place,  stitching right through Ultra-Suede, and into the background.


On to the feet!  I ironed the freezer paper templates onto the Ultra-Suede.  I am not really sure if there is a wrong side or a right side. They both look good to me!


So I cut the feet out and  placed them under the body.  At this point, the entire body has not been stitched in place yet. When I stitch the Ultra-Suede in place I try to match the color of the thread as closely as I can.  I take just a tiny “bite” of the Ultra Suede and (very important) I don’t pull the thread too tight.  If I do, then the Ultra-Suede looks dimpled along the sewn edge.


Since I wanted this to be a male bird, I added a golden brown wing and tail.  Very manly!


I wanted the second bird to be female, so I chose a pretty fabric for her body and a nice red feather and tail.  I added the eggs to the nest and…Voila!


Til next time…


Parallel and Perpendicular

I was raring to go!  I finished another 4 blocks of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”, which meant I was ready to stitch together another row!  But first I had to add the embroidery to the schooner.

Before the embroidery…

schooner 1

…and after the embroidery!

schooner 2

Once all the ropes were stitched in place, I started to “square up” my blocks.  When I say “square up” I mean any straight lines are running parallel and perpendicular to the edges of the block.  Here are a few (hopefully!) helpful hints…

First of all, if you have ever wallpapered, you know that before you start, you have to use a plumb line to make sure you begin with a straight line.  The same holds true for squaring-up a block.  First you have to find a straight line somewhere in the block.  It sounds easy, but there are no straight lines on this block!

block 1

So…using the schooner block as an example…here are my thoughts!

Luckily, there are some pretty obvious straight lines in this block.  The masts!  So, I want the masts to be parallel to the edge of the block.

trim 1

Next,  I placed my window template on the block.  You can read more about that here.

So, I measured the distance from the bottom of the mast to the template.

trim 2

Then I measured the distance from the top of the mast to the template.  Both of those measurements need to be the same!

trim 3

Then, I took my 6″ ruler and made sure that there was an equal distance from the applique to the template on both sides..

trim 4

trim 6

…and top and bottom.

trim 8

trim 7

When I was sure the block was square and centered..(and I mean really sure!)  I marked  along the inside of the template with a marking pen and then I cut on the line with my rotary cutter and ruler.  Easy peasy!

So, once the blocks were trimmed, I started to sew the row together.

rows 1

And, finally, 3 rows sewn together!

rows 2

Til next time…


New legs for a peacock!

If  you have some time on your hands on Saturday, June 15 at 10 am, come on down to Elite Quilting in Barrie, Ontario where I will be doing a demo of the starch and freezer paper method of hand-applique.  The cost is $10.00.   Colleen will also have all the supplies on hand for you purchase so you can go home and practice this method.  Hope to see you there!

Back to the block!  I must admit, I was a little alarmed how freakishly out of proportion the birds legs looks!  So I gave the peacock some new legs.  I like to use Ultra-Suede for the birds legs and beaks when they are just too darn tiny to applique!


Once the legs were stitched in place, I used a Micron marker on the edge of the Ultra-Suede to hide the stitches and add a bit of definition.

legs 2

Once I felt better about his legs, I added the stems.


Next, some leaves and a bud.

stems leaves and bud

And, finally, the rest of the leaves and the flowers!  Spiffy!

finished block

I finished hand-quilting another block from Sue Garman’s “Bouquets for a New Day”.  (Only 3 more blocks to go!  Yippee!)  The vase was very baggy!

baggy vase

So, just like the vase in the last block, I needed to add some quilting to the vase to make it…un-baggy!  After much debate, I decided to do the same cross-hatching as in the background of the block, except I did the stitching in red thread.  Voila!

cross-hatched vase

Til next time…


Inspiration….gotta love it!!

Last Sunday, my Sunday Afternoon Applique Group met to chat, stitch and eat. The best part about getting together with other appliquers is that we feed off each others creativity and, best of all, we inspire each other.  This month we were super- inspired by Lynne.  Lynne started “Flower Garden” by Kim McLean last September and brought it this month for Show and Tell.  Awesome!

lynne quilt

Since my sewing machine was out (and I had already taken over the dining room table!) I thought it would be a good idea to do a few more blocks of Barbara Brackman’s Grandmother’s Choice.  This block of the week is a great stash-buster!  I am starting to think about which settings I will use to put the blocks together.  So many choices!  Even if you aren’t making the blocks, I recommend reading the stories that accompany each block.  You will realize how far we have come, baby!

This block is called Nonsense.


This is called Endless Stairs.


This is called Art Square.


And, this is called Nameless Star.


Moving right along, I started to work on the next block of Civil War Bride.  This block has the peacock in it and I wanted it to stand out in a very regal way!  I went searching in my stash and just couldn’t find anything that said “peacock” to me.  I went searching in my friends’ stash and this is what I found!  Oh…the possibilities!


First I started with the body.


Then I added the tail section.


And now comes the fun part!  I love fabrics that beg to be fussy cut!  I thought these medallions would make awesome feather details.


I used Perfect Circles by Karen Kay Buckley to make the circles.  You can read more about Perfect Circles here.


So I stitched on a few circles and liked the effect…


…so I  added some more!


Next, I added some legs and a place for the peacock to stand!


Til next time…