Louisiana Traveling Quilt … Coming Home

Our guild, NELA Modern Quilt Guild, has run a 10 month/ 10 member traveling quilt bee that is now coming to a close.  It has been such fun and more challenging than I expected.  Many of us were at a standstill as we tried to get started on blocks for the quilts of the other members.  We really had to get out of our comfort zone and try new things.

Some of us set themes, or color schemes, and some were ‘anything goes’.  Mine was a Louisiana theme and my quilt top made it home just this past weekend.

Ramona La Traveling Quilt


Starting at the top left corner, you can see St Louis Cemetery (New Orleans), piano keys (think jazz),  Who Dat Owl for LSU (because who doesn’t know LSU football?!), raindrops (and I love the rain!  :-D), there is a paper pieced crawfish and alligator, a turtle, farms and catfish ponds, Louisiana state block (flying pinwheels), an oil rig and in the center the very first block, a map of New Orleans!   And the quilt is so much prettier in person.  The colors are brighter.  There’s Essex Linen in some of the squares that look awesome.  It is such a fun quilt and I’m so proud to have it home.

IMG_0732Kelly started my quilt with the map of New Orleans and included these cards for everyone to write a note.  This was awesome!  They included notes or backstories on why certain blocks were created which just made them more special.  They also included my name and address.  That helped everyone remember whose quilt they were working on.  Very helpful!  I definitely want to include that idea for next quilt bee we do.

A huge thank you to everyone in this bee.  It has been so much fun to watch everyone’s quilt come together.  And it has definitely made me exercise my creative muscles.

If you would like to see the other quilts as they are completed, go to our Pinterest board.  I’m loving the quilts coming in!



Snapshots Quilt Along

Have you seen the Snapshots Quilt Along sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop in 2015?  It’s been popping up over the last couple of months, teasing our interest.  It appears it’s about to go live.  I just received notice the introductory video is going up today.  Just in case you’re interested.  ;-D

Honestly, I’ve told myself I’m not picking up new projects for the first half of this year.  I’ve got a lot of unfinished projects still in the works and I have at least two projects planned and prepped.  I SO do not need another project!!

But I’ve caved.  The blocks in this quilt are precious and, while I love the colorway in the mockup, I will probably choose to go more retro and low volume.. we’ll see.   In all honesty, these patterns may be stockpiled for a project later in the year, or next year, or whenever.

What really pushed me over the edge on this one was the opportunity to donate to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital. And to sweeten the pot, FQS and Moda Fabrics have committed to match all donations up to $10,000 that are made through this project.  See the donation page for details.

I’ve known more than one person who’s been treated through St Judes’s, but my earliest and dearest was a childhood friend battling leukemia.  She fought hard and eventually lost the battle.  I remember Beverly as being so kind and generous, one of those truly good souls.  We weren’t from an affluent neighborhood and I know her family would have been bankrupt from the treatments if not for St Jude’s.  I’m forever grateful for all St Jude’s does for these children and their parents.

My donation is made in honor of my three, healthy, beautiful girls…Jamie, Katie and Betsy.  I’m always grateful for the blessings God has given me, but for you three, I’m most grateful of all.

A big thank you to Fat Quarter Shop and to Moda Fabrics for sponsoring this event and matching donations!  What a wonderful gift.

Constellation Quilt in the Making

Basted and ready to quiltThis is a quilt in progress… actually perhaps in prep stage may be more accurate.  I have absolutely no business working on this right now because there are far too many projects ahead of it, not to mention the Christmas projects I should be working on.  But I couldn’t help myself, I had to at least get it ready to go.

This is inspired by a quilt at Haptic Labs.   If you follow that link, you will see a New Orleans map that is calling my name.  My daughter mentioned that her better half would really like the constellation quilt.  Of course, I thought it needed more detail (because I’m stupid that way) which initiated a search on the internet for another image.   I like that this one has the center and outer circle, the blue ‘grid’ lines (that remind me of parish/county lines), as well as the constellations themselves.

I then changed the image size to approx 30″ x 30″, saved the image to a PDF file and printed as a tiled image.   The print settings would be “Poster”, “Tiled”, and check “cut marks” to allow for easy match ups.  I wanted a thin paper I could quilt through and tear away once complete.  I bought tracing paper (the most transparent block shown in the image), a lightweight vellum, and the inexpensive lined 3-ring binder paper (the lightweight almost newsprint version, not the crisp white version).  The vellum felt too stiff in comparison, and the tracing paper had the most blurred image.  The loose-leaf lined paper printed well and should tear away relatively easily so that is what I went with.

  • I spray basted this quilt which was new to me.  This is approximately 44″ x 44″. and spray basting worked well.  I’m using Kona cotton in Nightfall top and bottom, with Quilter’s Dream cotton batting.
  • Next, starting at the center, I laid out the constellation map matching the ‘cut marks’.  I pinned these with straight pins as I went.
  • Once all pieces were in place, I loaded water soluble thread in the top of my machine and a cotton bobbin thread in a color contrasting to the fabric.  I quilted in a grid where the pages met using a long stitch length.

Ursa Minor Polaris shows paper joinsMy plan is to dissolve that top thread once all quilting is done.  The bottom thread should come loose except where quilting crosses.   It’s hard to tell by this photo, but those intersections aren’t as many as you would expect.

You can see a few of the paper joins here.  It will be interesting to see how well this process works and I bet I will come back with a lot of ‘what not to do’ warnings!  We’ll see how it goes.  I keep telling myself this is an after Christmas project.  (I SO want to start it now!)  It is now rolled away so I can’t look at it.

A friend of mine started the world map by Haptic Labs and you can see a photo of the template laid out on her fabric here.  I am really interested to see how it comes out.  She is hand quilting which I think is so pretty on this type of quilt.  Not to mention, she does a truly lovely job on everything she attempts.

I have another map quilt in the works as well which is inspired by Shwin and Shwin, but that will have to wait for another day.

I certainly hope you are being more productive than I am with regards to Christmas presents.  There are so many on my sewing list!  Do you have any good ideas?  What are your favorite Christmas gifts to make??    I need to find some quick and easy, “wow, I love that!” gifts.  Not asking for much, yeah?

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!




Quilty Bucket List

Stacey at The Tilted Quilt put together a Quilty Bucket List Blog hop.  

It’s a fun and easy blog hop that is just a wish list.  We aren’t required to make these in a time frame and there’s no due date.  Great for me right now.  

I found it interesting to think about what might be on my to do list.  One thing that occurred to me during this process is that the fabrics and the colors are a huge influence in my favorites, as much or more than the patterns.  

Primary colors and jewel tones really draw my eye.  A few of the quilts below have been done in very traditional fabrics, bright modern patterns, solids and neutrals.  For me the patterns totally change with the fabrics.  

If I had a quilty bucket list (and, honestly, don’t we all?  It may only be in the back of our mind, but it’s there.), this would be it.

Dear Jane / Farmer’s Wife samplers:

Instead of using the Dear Jane or other pattern groups, I plan to use a selection of patterns from BlockBase and basically create my own sampler.  I’m loving the colors in this sampler.

Economy Block:

I have been drawn to the Economy Block quilt lately.  

Triangle Quilt:

For a couple years now, I have wanted to make a triangle quilt.   I really would like to get some fabric together and make this happen.  Here are a couple of my favorites.

Wholecloth Quilt:

Top on my list is a whole cloth quilt.  There are a couple ideas for this one.  I’ve played with a design here:


And I’ve also created a larger version of Tula Pink‘s owl from Full Moon Forrest.  I fell in love with Tula Pink when I found this line..and of course it was already out of print.  I would love to use this owl as a center piece of a whole cloth quilt.  I would have to figure out a border and filler that would compliment this sweet owl.

Owl, by Tula Pink. Click photo to see source post.


So there’s my quilty bucket list.   And we haven’t even talked about my sewing bucket list.  I really need more hours in the day!!

If you want some inspiration, you should check out the posts so far.    Start here at The Tilted Quilt and go from there.

Have fun,


New Year’s Resolution …. fail

This is why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions ….

In my attempt to make the resolutions attainable, I went for two this year:

  1. Spending Freeze – No new fabric.  I have to sew from my stash and can only buy if I absolutely cannot finish a project from the stash.  I’m in the process of taking inventory so that I can monitor my progress.
  2. No UFO’s.  I read a blog (and can’t remember which one now!) where a sewist doesn’t begin a project until she finishes the current project.  I know I will not get THAT good, but I would like to keep it down to two or three at a time.  The numbers are a little intimidating right now.  I’m in the process of listing my WIP’s so that I can start marking them off.


As I said, THIS is why I don’t make resolutions:

DSC_0200_1201This was only week two!  I had made a trip to Stitch n Frame in Vicksburg, MS, to take a look at the Gammill Charm I won (yeah, I’m still bragging about it!).  The sale rack was calling my name.  I am SO ashamed of my lack of control.

DSC_0199_1200I also bought other supplies, but the wasn’t on my spending freeze list.  Honestly!  Fabric Only.  (What’s the emoticon for guilt and shame?)


So now I’m hitting ‘RESET’ and starting over.  Determination!  Conviction!  No More Fabric!  (Am I the only one crying here?)

Resolution Two is still intact, but only by the barest thread.  I am on a wholecloth quilt craze right now.  I just broke down and bought Cindy Needham‘s Wholecloth Quilts workbook, and wow, what a lot of information!  That same week Craftsy announced a new class by Cindy on Machine Quilting Wholecloth Quilts.  Just feeding my obsession!

WholeclothQuiltScottishThistleI already have a design I am working on and constantly editing.  I’ve already changed the corner motifs.  And I need to learn how to operate better in Adobe Illustrator.  I’m using graphics instead of line drawings and the overlay is cutting off the design in places.  Not a real problem because I only need 1/4 of the final design to trace onto the fabric.

If you’re wondering, I take the final PDF to a copy shop and have them run it on 36″ wide paper they have on rolls.  I’m creating one full size in 36″ square.  If I like it and want to go larger, I will have them print 1/2 of the design on 36″ wide, so that the final quilt will be closer to 70″.  But that’s being ambitious.  Patience, Patience, Patience.

BUT!  I can’t start the wholecloth quilt until I finish a couple other items on my list.  (I know I can’t wait till I have all my WIP’s done, so really, why be unrealistic?!)

In the meantime, I have been good on one front.  I’ve been working all week on my Little French Jacket and have made good headway.   Will be posting photos soon.

I hope your resolutions are going stronger than mine and that we all remember we can always re-commit when we stumble (or take a full out nose dive!).

Of course if anyone else is as bad as I am about resolutions, I would love to hear it.  Misery loves company, or so I’ve been told.  ;-D


Leah Day has a new project for 2014…Check it out!

Leah Day has a new project for 2014…Check it out!

Leah Day has just released a Building Blocks quilt pattern that talks about piecing AND quilting (and more, I’m sure).  In 2014 she will also be releasing videos to go along with this project.  Sounds like a great learning tool.  And it’s on sale through the end of the month.

Check it out!  Click on photo or link above to go to Leah’s site.


Another Simply Solid Block

Nov.Finished BlockMy month for the Gamboge Simply Solid Bee is November and I’ve already chosen my block.   It is inspired by a quilt by Amy Friend that can be seen here.

Spinning Wheel, by Amy Friend, is a paper pieced pattern that can be found in American Quilter.

I tried to get my hand on a copy, but it seems to be a magazine for members of the American Quilters.  I love how Amy’s version shows both the stars and the alternate square pattern.  (Amy commented below.  This magazine is now in stores.  She found hers at JoAnne’s.  While we don’t have a JoAnne’s, I bet Hobby Lobby, Hancock’s, or Books A Million may carry it.)

I want a scrappy version for my blocks and made up paper pieces and gave them a try.  I’m not trying for the stars effect and may actually have more of a kaleidoscope effect.  PDF can be found here.

When sewing these, notice that the small center square meets the pieced block where the pieced strips come together.  The pattern piece is marked to show placement.

  • NovBlockCollageAttach the small square to one pieced block.  The pattern piece is marked to show placement (see 2nd photo at right).  Sew half way through the small square.  (3rd photo at right shows a purple mark at stopping point.)
  • Iron the seam only at the sewn edge.   (This is the only seam I iron towards the small square.  Not ironing through the whole sewn seam will make it a little easier to join that last seam.)
  • Attach next pieced block by matching the small square to the corner where strips come together as marked on pattern piece.  (see center photo at right.)
  • Iron seams toward pieced block.
  • Repeat for all pieced blocks.
  • The last seam begins where the first seam stopped.  (Next to last photo.)
  • Iron block and trim to 12″.  (Note for Simply Solid Bee ….  I made a couple blocks that were a bit short of the 12″.  If yours is short, don’t worry about it.  Just don’t trim and I will trim all received blocks to the same size.)

And that’s it.  Writing tutorials is not my strong point, so if you have any issues with this block, please let me know!

Have fun!


Make It Right Challenge – Follow Up

Textures Make It Right Front 1Textures Make It Right Back 1 A while ago I submitted this quilt for the Make It Right Challenge.  The idea was to use Angela Walter’s Textures panel and Art Gallery solids to create an original design.  The winners were announced here.  You should visit if only to see the first place winner.  It was pretty darn awesome!

My quilt shown here was chosen for Best Use of Color!  I was seriously excited.  There were some wonderful projects submitted so it was an honor to place in this group.

Last week I came home to a box by the front door.  There were some seriously wonderful goodies inside. Take a look.

TexturesChallengeWinnings2Included is Quilter’s Dream batting which is what I have been using lately.  It truly is a dream to quilt with.  I have a piece of their wool batting that I will be trying in the near future.

The ‘pink’ fabrics are Art Gallery Nature Elements and there are fat quarters of Angela Walter’s Textures.  I’m actually working on a medallion quilt using Textures, cranberry tones, and other coordinating fabrics.  These are going to come in handy.

There’s a signed copy of In The Studio by Angela Walters.  Sweet!  I have both of her books already.  They are my go-to when trying to decide on quilting designs or just to play.  I highly recommend them to anyone wanting to play with free motion quilting.  My copy, which isn’t signed, is going to my niece who is just learning FMQ.  The signed copy I’m keeping!  I got to meet Angela at Quilt Con when I took two of her workshops and she is not only extremely talented, but a total sweetheart.

TexturesChallengeAurifilThen there is a Bari J Splendor Aurifil set.  Love it!  I’ve been wanting to try both the 28 weight and the new embroidery floss Aurifil just came out with.  This set is the 28 weight thread in some gorgeous colors.  I started doodling with it and they are great to work with.




Lighter than DMC embroidery floss, but it shows up really well in embroidery designs.  I can definitely see how this would be fun to hand quilt when you want the thread to show.   There was no tangling and it laid on the fabric beautifully.


Not shown above is the coupon included for a free Craftsy class.  I’m a huge Craftsy fan.  I have taken loads of quilting and sewing classes from them and have found them to be a fantastic value.  I’ve been wanting to take the Tilton’s t-shirt class for a while and took advantage with this coupon I received.

So that was my early Christmas present.  😀

So much fun!



Star Surround Update


In an effort to lighten my fabric stash, I’ve taken a part in the Star Surround Quilt-Along hosted by Melissa of Happy Quilting.

This week’s task was flying geese…. a LOT of flying geese.  I have sixteen (16) colors and twelve (12) geese per color.  That would be 192 geese, thank you very much!

Done!  8:30 Sunday night, but done all the same.

At this pace, Melissa is going to have us finish this baby in record time.




Simply Solid Bee

I’ve been participating in the Simply Solids Bee and having a blast.

This month has been an interesting block for Amanda of Fabric Engineer.

August Puce Sample Simply SolidMy first tries were a little off.  I didn’t remember all the directions…as in the color strips were to be 1.5″ wide, so the strips were all over the place for the first block.  The second block was much better and I was so proud…then I measured… .5″ too short.  I took the trim from my first block and used it as a center strip and pieced the two together.  I like it!  This is my keeper I will use in my sample quilt when we finish this year’s blocks.  I’ve got blocks from most of the months we’ve done so far and I’m eager to see how they come together.

August Puce Blocks Simply SolidSo after all that practicing, I got started on Amanda’s blocks and this is what I came up with.  Amanda, I hope you like it.  It was a fun block.



Simply Solid.Puce.JulyPuce July 2Simply SolidThis is July’s block.  I did a scrappy version and a simpler version.  The Queen Bee of the month chose the scrappy version.

Puce July Simply SolidI loved it so much I made another for my Simply Solid sample quilt.

I may still like the original best.  Fun colors.