Ran out of fabric…

I was progressing so nicely on my Feathered Star…then I ran out of the white background needed to make the borders.  It’s every quilters nightmare!  My local shop ordered in a bolt for me so I will pick it up today.  While I have been waiting for the fabric to arrive, I have been stitching away on Block 7 of Friends of Baltimore.  It is finally finished!!

There is a sashing of half-square triangles between each block so I am going to start making those soon.  Here is what I have done so far!! 

And, last but not least, I am slowly getting Amy’s wedding quilt hand-quilted.  Time is flying and the wedding is less than 2 months away!

Til next time…..



Possessed by a Feathered Star

Every now and then I get “possessed” by a quilt!

Like most quilters, I have a few quilts on the go. (Just don’t ask me what my definition of “a few” is!)  And I flit from quilt to quilt like a butterfly.  The trouble is, I never land on a quilt long enough to accomplish much.  However, I have been possessed by my Feathered Star quilt.  I have been working almost non-stop on it, so it feels kind of good to be seeing some progress!  The flowers and stems and the wavy border have all been stitched in place, but not the leaves.  I still have to add the yellow circles to all the flowers.

I was a bit stressed because I needed to find the exact shade of green for the leaves and stem, and thought that going fabric shopping would not only distract me, but delay my progress. Then I had a novel thought… I thought maybe I would check my stash….and I found 3 meters of the perfect green!  Who knew??

I am  previewing 2 different fabrics for the binding!  Which one will I choose?

Til next time……..


I think I can…..I think I can!!

I have worked non-stop on this block for the last couple of days and the end is finally in sight!  Just a few more grapes and 2 leaves to go.  Thank goodness I have lots of chocolate covered cranberries for motivation…stitch a bit, eat some chocolate…stitch a bit, eat some chocolate!!  It is amazing what you can get accomplished with the right motivation!

I must confess, it doesn’t take much to distract me.  I opened my closet to look for some green fabric I knew would be perfect for my Feathered Star and I noticed these quilts on the shelf.  They had slipped my mind (out of sight, out of mind!) and I thought I  would  share them.  All three wallhangings were made and entered in the Northcott Challenge, which is a yearly challenge sponsored by Northcott Fabrics. Only fabrics made by Northcott may be used and each wallhanging must measure a maximum of 40″ square.  I love challenges…both in quilting and in life!!

I hand appliqued and hand-quilted this wallhanging.  It is based on a Mary Sorenson pattern and I used it as a teaching sample for many years.

I love a Mariner’s Compass.  It is my favourite pieced design.  I added an appliqued wavy border and some dolphins for fun.  It is machine pieced and machine quilted.

This wallhanging is hand-appliqued and machine quilted.  I drew the background design and then added the loons from “A Day at the Lake” by Nancy Murty of Bee Creative Studios.

Til next time…

This is how I spent Sunday….

I have been staring at my Feathered Star quilt wondering how I can incorporate the floral fabric into the border.  A skinny inner border would not show the fabric properly.  A wide outer border would overpower the delicateness of the Feathered Stars.  So I thought: ” What if I cut the floral fabric into a curvy inner border and appliqued it onto a white outer border?  It might look like a garden.”  That appealed to me!   And then I thought “What if I added some appliqued flowers that “grew” out of the garden?”  That might be interesting!  Finally!  My quilt was speaking to me!!

 So I needed a curvy line to use as a pattern.  I used  Illustrator  to draw a curvy line the length of the quilt. The quilt is square so all four sides are the same measurement. I just had to figure out how to turn the corners so that the inner border would flow around the corners. I also had to decide how deep I wanted the curves to be.  Sometimes the hardest part of a quilt is the thinking part!!

So here is my pattern….and my cat chewing up the pattern!

Once I got it away from the cat, I traced the pattern onto freezer paper.  I ironed the freezer paper onto the wrong side of the fabric. Then I trimmed the seam allowance to 1/4″.

I applied some starch to the seam allowance and pressed it over the freezer paper using a stiletto and mini-iron.

Once the freezer paper is removed,  the edge is pressed over and ready to stitch!

I glue basted the curvy border onto the 12″ wide white border and pinned it on the design wall for an audition.  It is exactly how I pictured it!  Now it needs some flowers!

This is what the appliqued flowers should look like!

And now I have a plan!!

The bird is done…but the grapes are not!

This bird is taking on a life of its own!

So…here are the top feathers.

…and the back and head.

The side feathers are stitched on. I also added the band around his neck.  At this point I realized I forgot the beak.  I think I was just so darn excited about how the bird was starting to look..well..very bird-like!

…and finally the last piece of the bird is  stitched in place!

I un-stitched a small section of the head and tucked in the beak.  Now I can concentrate on stems and leaves and grapes!  Did I mention there are 98 grapes!

I am pre-washing the fabrics for the appliqued border on my Feathered Star.  I am not sure what pattern I am doing yet but I want the fabric to be ready when my idea hits me!!

This is why I pre-wash!!

I pre-wash all my fabric in really hot water and Synthrapol.  I just sleep better when I do!!

An honest day’s work!

It was going to be a great day!!   Our new counter tops were being installed by a company that required  someone over the age of 18 be home…for the whole day!!  An entire day devoted to applique!    I thought it would be a good opportunity to work on block 5 of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I had already stitched a few of the grapes in place and I was looking forward to sewing on the bird’s tail feathers.  Well!  Little did I know that before all the tail feathers could be stitched in place, the grapevine needed to be stitched down.  And before the grapevine could be stitched down, the stems and leaves needed to be stitched in place!  A lot of stitching needed to be done before I could get to the tail feathers!

Here are a few pictures of the very slow (but extremely rewarding) progress I made today!!  I know it doesn’t look like I accomplished much….but really I did!!

I stitched a few skinny stems down so I could add some leaves.

Then I started to add the tail feathers, one by one.

Before I could add the under-body of the bird, I needed to add some brown grapevines.

Then I could finally stitch  the bird’s  under-body and the very last tail feather!!

I am still working away on my Feathered Star.  I must confess, these blocks didn’t excite me too much when I made them 3 years ago….which is why they probably ended up somewhere in my closet.  Now that I have sewn the blocks together and added a sashing, I am delighted!   I thought I would add some appliqued flowers in the white spaces.  I am not sure about that now.  I think it looks fine without it.  What this quilt really needs is an appliqued border.  It’s a toss-up  between formal swags cut from the feature fabric or a nice curvey vine with some flowers.  (I am waiting for the quilt to tell me what it needs!!)

72 little circles later!

It took me a while but I finally stitched all 72 Perfect Circles on my Feathered Star blocks!

I spent some time playing around with a few different settings.  I have decided to  add a 1 1/2″  pink sashing between the blocks. It is the same pink fabric as the circles.  I do think the blocks could stand a little bit of applique.  I was thinking a tiny sprig of flowers coming out of where the sashing comes together.  We will see!! 

Here are a few of the other fabrics that I will add to this quilt.  The multi-colour stripe will definately be the binding!

Feathered Star Quilt

I had my day all planned….. I would sit by the window hand-quilting Amy’s quilt, sipping tea and listening to my new audiobook that I downloaded. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Well, Bruin had other plans for the quilt!  So I thought it was best to let sleeping kitties sleep! What else could I do?

I decided that I would dig out my Challenge blocks from a few years ago.  These blocks have been calling my name for a while and I cannot resist them any longer!  There are nine blocks in total and they are 18″ square.  My thought at the time was just to make the blocks and then see if they speak to me!!  (Believe it or not, some of my best conversations are between my quilts and I!!)  I sat and stared at them for a bit (while I sipped my tea!) and I have actually come up with a plan!!

I noticed that the yellow points of the stars do not show up like I thought they would.  My first thought was to  rip them out and replace them with blue points.  You know, I just didn’t see that happening!  My next thought was to applique a circle on to each of the yellow points.  So after auditioning a dark, medium and light pink circle, I decided I liked the subtleness of the light pink circles.  I am using Karen Kay Buckley’s “Perfect Circles”.

So I started to cut out 72 (yikes!) pink circles and I am now in the process of stitching them on to each yellow diamond.  So far I love it!

The next step will be to stitch the blocks together in three rows of three.

Once that is done, I will applique something pretty in the white spaces between the Feathered Stars.  And then, of course, it will need an appliqued border which I have percolating in my head!  And I do picture a scalloped outer border  with a stripey binding!!

But for now, I am appliqueing 72 (yikes!)  little circles!!

..a few more quilts on the go….

Four years ago, my friend Kathy (with a K!) and I started a yearly Quilt Challenge.  We buy a piece of  “inspiration”  fabric and split it in half.  We both take a piece of the fabric and design and stitch a quilt in complete secrecy…no hints allowed!!  We set a deadline (which we never meet!!) and then get together for the Big Reveal!!  This year we chose Lark by Amy Butler  .I have a few ideas percolating…I have chosen some solids to co-ordinate.  I am auditioning backgrounds…I think I will go for a white tone-on-tone.

This is the Challenge fabric from 2 years ago.  I have made 16 Feathered Star blocks.  I haven’t put the blocks together yet.  I am still trying to decide on a setting.  I would also like to add an appliqued border.  We will see!!