“Finish me! Finish me!”

This block from Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” was staring at me from the design wall.  It was saying: “Finish me!  Finish me!”  So I did.

almost finished

I had not gotten around to adding the section to the front of the book.  I was afraid it was going to be a little… fiddly. (Definition of fiddly: requiring close attention to detail : fussy; especially : requiring an annoying amount of close attention).  It was!


Here is what I did.  I ironed a piece of freezer paper to the back of the fabric that I was going to write “Album” on.  I did this so the fabric would not slip around while I was writing on it.

album 2

Using my light box, I traced the word “Album” with a permanent marker.

album 3

I traced the finished line with a Frixion marker, so that line would eventually disappear.

album 4

Bruin likes to pay close attention to the details!

album 8

Next, I took the freezer paper template and ironed it to the back of the fabric with the writing on it.  I used the line I drew with the Frixion marker to place the freezer paper template in the correct spot.

album 6

album 7

Once that was all done, I prepped the piece as usual.

album 9

Next, I prepped the beige piece…

album 11

….and here we go…An Officially Finished Block!

finished album

Til next time…


How wrong was I??

Very wrong!  I had been wanting to start the next block of Sue Garman’s “Friend’s of Baltimore”.  Well!  I took one look at the block…and walked away!  It looked way too difficult.  Boy, was I wrong.

In fact, it was not difficult at all…almost a walk in the park!  Here is the freezer paper template. Yikes!

pattern 1

And here is the template ironed on to the wrong side of the fabric.  So far, so good!

pattern 2

I thought this is where it might get a bit dicey.  So instead of cutting out the entire design, I just cut a small portion and starched the seam allowance in place.

pattern 3

The next thing I knew, I was finished the inner part!

pattern 4

So I worked on the outer section until the whole piece was prepped!

pattern 6

I took a deep breath and removed the freezer paper…

pattern 7

And this tangled mess….

pattern 8

…turned in to this!

pattern 9

I would  like to thank the quilt gods for helping make this possible!!

Til next time…


Not so fast!

I was so excited!  My block was finally finished…or was it?  I must admit, all along I thought the vase was missing a little something.  And it was!  So…here is the “unfinished” block…

almost finished

….and here is the “finished” block!

officially finished

I thought I would take a break from the flowers, and leaves and vines.  The birds on the next block of the Civil War Bride Quilt were calling my name!

First, I started with some stems and beaks, and what I assume is some sort of fruit.  (So far I am not impressed!)


Next, I added some branches and leaves.  (Still not impressed!)

branches (1)

Okay, now I see it coming together!  All the birds need now are some tail feathers and they are ready for take-off!


Til next time…


How Crazy Am I?

As I work away on Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”, I keep asking myself…”How crazy am I?”  These teeny, weensy pieces are a little…..tiny!   This is the actual freezer paper pattern.

freezer paper 1

First I made the tiny outer blue circle.

blue outer circle

Then, the teeny, tiny yellow inner circle.

finished yellow circle

Here is the flower, before the centre is added.

flower before

And here is the finished flower!

flower after

This is what I have accomplished so far!

vase 3

I have been working very steadily on Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day”.  Here is another finished block…


…and here is what I have completed so far!  It is starting to have an “almost finished” look to it!


Til next time…

So darn excited!

I am really excited to be working on the next block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  When I finish this block, I will be able to stitch together another row, which I can then add to my first completed row!  I am going to start hyper-ventilating real soon!


First I started with the vase.  The dark brown piece at the top was the first one to be stitched in place, and then the pieces below it followed.

vase 1

Next, the remaining dark brown pieces were stitched in place.  The long edges will be covered by the light brown sections, so the edges do not need to be turned under.

vase 2

vase 3

And, finally, the last section is added.  The top edge looks odd, but will be covered with flowers and leaves.

vase 4

Next, the handles were added and some stems and leaves.  Please allow me to gush about these leaves! I fussy-cut  each leaf with the lighter green “veins” running lengthwise.  I am pleased as punch!

vase 7

Now that the berries are in place, I can start to fill the vase with many, many flowers!

vase 8

I can’t think of a better way to spend the cold winter evening than hand-quilting Sue Garman’s “Bouquets For A New Day”.  Here is another completed block!

bouquet for a new day

Til next time…


So Close to a Finish!

This block in Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”  is so close to being complete!  I am so excited!!  The only thing left is the Album that will sit in the empty space.

First, I made the spine of the Album…

book 1

…and then I prepped the red background of the Album.  I chose more of a burgundy red so the Album would stand out from the red flowers.

book 2

The skinny beige border is a full piece.  I think it is easier to work with a big piece rather than a skinny little piece!  And finally, the top red piece of fabric.

book 3

I added the spine…


…and I placed the Album in the basket……

almost finished - Copy

…and I topped it off with a flower and some leaves.  Voila!!

officially finished 6

Can’t wait to start the next block!  I am pre-washing the fabrics as we speak!!

pre-washing next block

Til next time…


One Flower at a Time!

It may be cold, but the sun is shining (!) and we are all basking in it!!


I am slowly filling my vase one flower at a time.  I added a few buds and a tulip…

a few more flowers

…and more flowers and leaves.

continuing along

I love these roses!

roses (2)

So here is the vase full of flowers!  Time to start the Album that will fill that empty space!

getting there

Til next time…


It’s the little things that amuse me!

Believe it or not, this is a freezer paper template!  Pretty tiny!

tiny piece 2 (2)

And this is the prepped piece.  Stop the madness!

tiny piece 2 (1)

Some of the pieces in the block are smaller than the scraps in my garbage container!


Here is where the itty bitty piece goes…

tiny piece 3

…and this is the rest of the flower!

tiny piece 4

It is a little slow-going, but it is starting to look like I am accomplishing something!

getting there

I have not done much hand-quilting since before the holidays.  It is time to get hand-quilting again!  Bruin joins me every evening as I sit and stitch the (very chilly) evening away!

bruin on couch

Til next time….


Slowly filling the vase.

Believe it or not, I am working pretty steady on this block from Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  First, I made a flower and some leaves.

1 (2)

And then I did it all over again!

2 (2)

Then came a few more leaves and a stem.  (Just between you and me, the leaf on top of the blue handle is supposed to be under the blue handle.  Mum’s the word!)

3 (2)

Finally! Some red berries!

4 (2)

Sometimes I trace the pattern onto the background fabric with a Clover wash-out marker.  I use this method when it is  a simple design, like this one.  And by “simple”, I mean it does not have a lot of pieces!

bird and leaves

The block I am currently working on is not complicated, there are just a lot(!) of pieces that must line up properly or the whole thing goes bad!  So for this block, I am using my light table.  Not only is it more accurate, I save tons of time not having to trace the design on the background fabric.

First I tape the pattern onto the light table.

light table

Next, I place a background square on top of the pattern.  I always cut my backgrounds a good 2″-3″ bigger to allow for shrinkage.  I mark my corners so that I can re-position my block when I remove it from the light box.  I like to glue a few pieces on the background fabric, then I stitch the pieces in place, so I do a lot of re-positioning!

corner marks

This rose was fun!  I like to build units off-block when I can.  I start with the very  “back” layer.


Then I add each layer…flower2



…until I have built a rose!!


And it goes right about here!


Til next time….


Itching to stitch!

I love New Year’s Day!  The tree is down.  The decorations have been packed away for another year.  And now it’s time to get the sewing machine out of hiding!  I spent most of New Year’s Day cutting out blocks from Barbara Brackman’s Grandmother’s Choice.

Here is #18.

grandmothers choice 1

And here is #15.

grandmothers choice 2

And, finally, #11.

grandmothers choice 3

I finished stitching the first block of a quilt I am designing for my Sunday Afternoon Applique Group.

batik block

Here is the paper pattern.  Bruin likes to chew on my paper patterns.  See him in action here.  (Actually, seeing that post made me realize I have a few UFO’s that need to be finished this year!!  Yikes!!)  My thoughts are still percolating over the curvy inner border…and which setting I will use…and how many blocks to make…and how big will the quilt be…and so on and so on!  Designing a quilt is definitely about the journey!

paper pattern

I have been just itching to start the next block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  I decided the vase would be a perfect place to start.

First I stitched down the light blue section.

light blue

Next I stitched the dark blue section on top.  You can see that the light blue section is just a skinny edging, but I used a full piece of fabric to give it more stability.

vase 2 (2)

Then I added a few more pieces.

vase 3

vase 4

And finally, an almost finished vase!

vase 5

Till next time…