Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hobbling but not tied down

The latest in foot fashion!
I had foot surgery last week. All is going well but it does restrict my independence. I'm using a walker and hopping on my good foot. All should be mended in 6 weeks and another 6 weeks of being careful. 

In the mean time I have finished embroidering the countries we have visited onto the border of the quilt, "AROUND THE WORLD". With my quilting friends here today, I managed to sew on the border. Now to decide on the backing. I have a panel of vintage cruise ships and luggage tags to incorporate. The designing should be fun.


Friday, April 26, 2013

FANCY DISH finished, Wedding quilt #4

This quilt is for my grandniece, Vanessa for her wedding day. She is only 12, so I'm planning ahead. Who knows if I can still make these king size quilts when the time comes.

I knew that the binding on this scallop and point edge would be a challenge but I didn't realize how much of a learning curve it would be.

I have put a tutorial together to help those who would like to attempt this. On the first side I was tacking each fold before stitching down the binding. By the second side I had mastered the fold as I was stitching the binding but it was still difficult. By the third and fourth sides I had figured out how to pin each fold with small embroidery pins. 

HINT: I cut my bias binding 2" wide, planning a quarter inch seam. I also basted the binding on the seam line prior to machine sewing.



1.  Stay stitch (I tacked the point with 3 stitches) and clip to the quarter inch seam line.

2. Pin binding in place, stretching the clip open and straight. 

Ease in the curves. This will prevent the bias from pulling and cause the curve to fold under. 

The points are folded just like the square corners of a rectangular quilt even though they are acute angles rather than a 45 angle.

3.  Baste and sew. Be sure to sew exactly through the clipped point. (I missed about 1/3 of the points and had to rip and resew.)

4.  On the front, tuck back a fold that lines up with the points. Pin only the front half of the fold.

5.  Turn to the back, pull the binding to the sewing line, allowing the tuck to remain at the fold.

6. Pin the point at the seam line. Hand sew the binding. Tack the folds as you sew.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


A friend of mine found this pattern in a book (Fancy to Frugal), by Kay Connors and Karen Earlywine) and showed it to our teacher. She was able to contact the designer and was given permission to reproduce just this part of the book. Instead of costing $28 each, we only paid $5 and Mount San Antonio College printed, laminated and spiral bound this pattern.

More than 25 students purchased this pattern. The wedges and points are machine pieced and then hand appliquéd along with the center football pieces. I chose to make it king size so I increased the number of dishes from 16 to 25.

I have made great progress over the past year. I just finished hand quilting the main surface including 25 dishes. 

I'm ready to quilt the border and finish the edge. With all those curves and points, the binding will be quite a challenge. I believe I will be the first to finish. Two of my friends are ready to start the hand quilting.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Surprise House Guest

We discovered this hummingbird nest earlier this week. She sits on her 2 eggs right outside our window, hence the glare in the photo.

Yesterday, one egg hatched and then the other. The little birds are barely visible. 

The mother periodically leaves the nest to feed. We have observed her feeding them just once. It's so amazing and fun to watch.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Boon or bust, Favorite travel destinations

I've been asked which travels were my favorites and which ones didn't measure up to our expectations

1. SOUTH AFRICA for its amazing varied experiences. We saw thousands of animals (and I'm not exaggerating), learned about aparte, visited Victoria Falls and brought school supplies and clothing to school children.

2. My personal favorite was up the coast of NORWAY all the way to the North Ice Cap. Norway is a very expensive country so cruising makes it more affordable besides viewing the beautiful scenery from a great vantage point. I was surprised with the variety in landscape and cities' architecture.

3. WASHINGTON D.C. was our first extensive trip together and the place where we discovered our joint love for exploring and travel. We have returned many times over 30 years and discover something new to visit every time.

4. Cruising across the Atlantic stopping at GREENLAND and ICELAND is only available twice each year. The landscape is so unique and it is the only place to view icebergs up close.

Whether traveling within the states or abroad, either by land or sea, there is not one place we haven't enjoyed exploring. Travel with an open mind, experience new cultures and don't expect the same foods or comforts of home.


1. Years ago we took one cruise with Carnival because of the itinerary and we have never traveled with them again. The places we visited were great but the ship was like a floating Las Vegas with constant announcements to gamble, drink and spend your money. Princess, Holland America, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity are all quality lines with no one being better than another..

2. Last year we wanted to try the largest ship afloat, the Allure of the Seas. The public areas were impressive but you constantly had to pay for "extras". We also had to make show and dinner reservations months in advance to get in. Its more like a floating hotel with no feeling of being on a ship. The size of the ship made it difficult for our handicapped friends to maneuver

Friday, April 5, 2013


Jack and I have visited 85 countries with 2 new ones coming up this September. It has been our passion and joint adventure to travel the world. I laid out the fabrics I've collected plus prints that represent those places last March. I added some more from 2 more trips and designed some appliqués to represent some other countries. It's been a challenge and fun to put this quilt together. Now the border is ready to embroider the names of those countries on our next cruise. I'm not sure how I will handle machine quilting of this king size quilt myself but I really want to personalize each area.

Sunday, March 31, 2013


 This quilt started as a class challenge. We exchanged 60 5" squares for a variety of prints. The original design called for black background but I wanted a lighter, youthful feel for my granddaughter, Grace, on her first birthday. Pictured here is our grandson, Benjamin (6yr), finding all the insects, candy, animals, etc.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


I guess I didn't give Holly enough time. As soon as I posted "Another Wedding Gift", the thank you note came! I'm just thrilled to know that they received the gift and are happy with the results. My apologies for being impatient.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Another Wedding Gift

 Another of my cousin's daughters was getting married so a quilt was in order. I selected fabrics from my stash to audition with her mother and they met with approval. Next I selected a pattern that I had done before, a "stack & whack". 

 This pattern comes from Stack a New Deck by Karla Alexander. I have used this book for several different quilt ideas (Red Onion and Cottage Quarters). Her instructions are clear and allow for your own creativity and variation.

I'm still awaiting a thank you note but I'm hopeful that they liked it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

WEDDING RING Finished, Wedding Quilt #3

 I finished quilting and binding this quilt for my granddaughter, Grace, just after her 1st birthday. I know that I'm a bit early but who knows what's ahead. I want her to have a special memory of her Grandmother.

Since there were no suggested quilting patterns, I selected two patterns to repeat in the open areas. I outlined each wedge within the arcs and shadowed the white shapes.

 I was concerned that the pencil lines would not wash out. I sprayed with a prewash stain remover and threw it in the washer and dryer (removing it while still damp) and all was good. It did press out the major wrinkles so the quilting would show better.

  • Someone suggested folding quilts on the basis to avoid fold lines. I opened the quilt to photograph it just before this post and still found some creases but in the long term, this may be less permanent.