What Motivates You?

Working on a large quilt can sometimes be overwhelming.  The key to success in quilting (and in life!) is to stay motivated by setting long-term and short-term goals for ourselves.  And, of course, when we reach those goals, we need to reward ourselves…with chocolate!

When I have more that just a few circles to make, I need to stay motivated.  I reach for my Perfect Circles by Karen Kay Buckley, I make a cup of coffee, I crank up the music and I have some chocolate handy!  How much chocolate I have depends on how many circles I need to make…..lots of circles means lots of chocolate!

Before I know it,  the circles are finished and I am ready to move on to the next step of the block.

Wonderful….more circles!

I am prepping the 4th block of The Civil War Bride Quilt.  It also has more than a few circles on it!  It  has some interesting loopy tendrils made from bias strips.  Here is a little tip I use for making really curvy bias pieces. I used the same technique for making the handles on this basket.  So easy!

First, I make the bias strip using bias bars.  Here are a few tips for using bias bars.

Next, I put the paper pattern on a padded surface, like an ironing board.  Then I place  the bias strip on the pattern and put a few pins where I want to start.

I dampen the bias strip with starch and then use the mini-iron to “mold” the bias strip into place.

Once it is dry,  the bias strip will actually hold its shape.  You can pick it up and toss it around!

Glue in place and you are ready to stitch!

Til next time……



A Solution for Every Problem!

My eye doctor is a saint!   He understands that I need more than one pair of glasses.  In fact, I need three!  One for distance, one for medium close and one for extremely close!  When I quilt,  I spend a lot of time looking for my glasses,  only to find them under a pile of fabric.   So here is the solution!


Block #2 of  Barbara Brackman’s Grandmother’s Choice  has set-in seams.  So, of course, I have been avoiding it.  After seeing yesterday’s block, I decided I better get a move on!!

One of my goals is to  hand-quilt Sue Garman’s Bouquets For a New Day this winter.   I am making steady progress on the second last (!) block.

My Sunday Afternoon Applique Group met last Sunday after taking a break for the summer.   This year we are all playing “catch-up” instead of starting a new project.  This is one of my Roseville blocks that I am working on this year.  I was sooo excited to find this yummy selection of hand-quilting thread by Amy Butler.  I am using it as my inspiration for color.

Gee, Bruin, I wonder why my fabric has so much cat hair on it??

Til next time……


Roseville….moving right along!

I have finished another block of Roseville!

These blocks are going together soooo quickly!!   The pattern pieces are fairly big and not at all complicated.  Although I am a huge fan of needleturn applique, I am using the freezer paper and starch method for this quilt.  I first saw Pearl Pereira of P3 Designs demonstrating this technique at The Applique Academy three years ago.   Pearl made this technique look very easy so I gave it a try.  The following year, I took a 3-day class with Pearl at The Applique Academy and I have never looked back.  I love being able to glue  the entire block in place before stitching.  So…when I say these blocks are finished, they aren’t exactly “finished”!  The blocks are glued in place and are just waiting to be stitched in place.  No edges to turn under because they are already turned under!  Just remember, everyone has their favourite “right” way of doing things.  Take the time to try different techniques of applique and find the one that works for you!

The fabric I am using for this quilt is “Summer House” by Lily Ashbury.  Some of the prints lend themselves to fussy cutting.  I fussy cut the circles for the vase from this fabric.

Here is a close-up of the circles on the vase.

Four blocks of Roseville completed!

Well!  I am thrilled with the way these blocks are turning out!  I am having way too much fun choosing fabrics for each of the blocks.  The fabric is “Summer House” by Lily Ashbury for Moda.  When I bought the fat quarter bundle last summer, I was not sure what I would ever do with.  All I knew was that I loved it and had to have it!!  I pre-washed the fat quarters and put it in my closet with the rest of my fabric.  When I was stumped by my first attempt at Roseville, I went through my closet looking for some inspiration.  My eye was immediately drawn to the bright, cheerful fabrics and I knew right away that this fabric was going to work!

Here are four of the blocks:

4 Blocks of Roseville

Not in love…with my quilt blocks!

Every now and then I am faced with a quilting dilemna.  You  know what I am talking about. I have chosen a pattern that I love. (Roseville by Kim McLean).  I have chosen fabrics that I love.   (Amelia by Me & My Sisters).  I have eagerly stitched a few blocks anticipating what the full size quilt will look like.   But, as I stitched the last block, I started to get this sinking feeling. You know the feeling!  It’s just not coming together like I thought it would.  I am not loving my quilt blocks anymore!   I still don’t know what went wrong!  I still love the fabric and I will save it for another project.  I still love the pattern.  So…after much thought, I have decided to start this quilt again, this time with a different line of fabric.  (Summer House by Moda).  Here is the first block:


This is not the first time I abandoned my blocks. A couple of years ago I was working on Spring Garden Sampler by The Rabbit Factory.  It was time to find a backing for it.  I searched through my stash and found a whole pile of appliqued blocks that I had forgotten about.  I decided to include the forgotten blocks in the backing.  So… my abandoned quilt blocks always make it into a quilt…just not always on the front!!


These are the abandoned blocks that will some day grace the back of a quilt!