Barbara Brackman’s BOM update

Well, I spent the day working on one Block.  I do not care for paper piecing and I guess one pays for holding out.  I used templates for this block on the large star points.  I have some issues with the outer points, but hoping that it will be OK.  If not, there is always time to remake the block.  But for now, it is done and I am caught up on my BOMs.

I am thinking that I may start on Lucy Boston Crosses next.  But then there is always Woodlands (some log cabin blocks) or that beautiful Prairie Rose quilt or if my Quiltmania magazines arrive I might start the Di Ford Mystery.   Or I may just sit outside and enjoy the sunshine tomorrow.

Barbara Brackmans Block 3 of Threads of Memory – Colors are a darker beige, large star is a blue, and the 8 point star is a Mauve.

Catching Up on 2014 Goals

Greetings from sunny South Texas where it is 87 degrees and 26% humidity – Nice pre-summer day!

Welcome to my new Blog Site.  I love Word Press, now that I have learned how to set up a Blog.  The quilt shown above is a quilt that I designed called Jacobean in Batiks.  It was inspired by Pat Campbell and different Embroidery Patterns.  It is needle turn applique and has embroidery around each piece and hand quilted.  I am considering entering this quilt and 3 others in the Austin, Texas Quilt Show in September.

I have been working on playing the “catch up” game with my 2014 goals and projects.  I have been inspired by all the projects that Rosemary Youngs has been working on this year.  I met Rosemary when I ordered her CD’s that support her Civil War Books.   I have learned so much by following her Blog.  She has been so inspiring and helpful in guiding me through the world of Reproduction Quilts and introduced me to Di Ford’s work an Australian Quilter, Barbara Brackman’s Blog and her BOM and BOW for 2014, Country Threads, Jo Morton’s fabrics and the Quilted Moose Prairie Rose pattern, and Lucy Boston by Linda Franz.   Di Ford’s book Primarily Quilts Book is absolutely a must for serious quilters to have in their library.  I was at a crossroads in my quilting journey and I knew I needed inspiration to move to something different.  Rosemary has introduced me to so many new avenues it is unbelievable.

I was able to acquire a pattern of Prairie Rose and was lucky to be able to find the fabrics that are used in this quilt at the Fat Quarter Shop.  I hope to start on this soon. Di Ford has a Mystery Quilt in the Quiltmania magazine and I have subscribed to the magazine for the year through Homestead Hearth.  I can hardly wait for the first 2 issues to get here!  Friday I spent all day trying to find the  fabrics for this quilt. Thanks to Reproduction Fabrics in Montana and Happiness Is Quilting in McKinney, Texas and Fat Quarter Shop.  What great online shops and customer support!  It will be a more time-consuming quilt, but oh so pretty.  Di Ford has 2 other quilts in her book that I would like to also work on this year or next.

As I have stated in previous posts, I am now what I call an Organized Quilter!  All fabric in its’ place and a great book that has all the patterns and information for my Just Take 2,  Barbara Brackman BOM – Threads of Memory and the new one coming up – Austen Family Album BOW.  I switched to Pat Sloan’s 2014 Mystery BOM from Country Threads.  This is a great way to hone my quilting skills.  I am using my EQ7 software by taking the patterns and inputting them into EQ7.  Fun Fun Fun.

I am still working on my BAS blocks for the BAS auction in October.  I need to begin pushing on these as they are due 8 Aug!  I have made another friend through this project.  What a great year I am having.   How I wished I had been quilting when I lived in the DC area in the mid-1990’s. Espeically since I love to hand applique – I could have been involved with Baltimore Applique Society (BAS) in person, rather than from afar.

I find that I am learning how to really add movement through color to my quilts.  This has been a goal of mine since 2010 when I realized I need to work on color and movement of color with my fabric.  I have always been afraid to jump into scrappy quilts, but now I am beginning to feel more comfortable in using the beautiful stash I have.  I will admit…. I have broken my promise to not purchase any fabric this year….Justification:  I do not have that many reproduction fabrics….

OK – Now on to where I am in my Project Book.

Pat’s Mystery BOM is called Globetrotting and is based on places that she has visited.  Pat is from the Washington DC area so it is appropriate that she designed the quilt around a block that represents that area.  I am a visual person and she provides great visuals for this free BOM.

Globetrotting BOM Fabrics
This is my fabric selection. I have always wanted to make a blue quilt so I pulled the fabrics from my stash – I have had them quite awhile and glad to finally use them up!
Washington DC Block 1
Washington DC Block 1. This is the Center Medallion for the BOM. It measures 24 1/2″ x 24 1/2″ Unfinished
Venice Block 2
Venice Block 2. This was a fun block to make. It measures 10 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ Unfinished


Chicago Block 3 2
Chicago Block 3. I was going to use the same fabric (the light) in the middle of the block, but decided to step out of my box and try something different. I love it! The block is 10 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ unfinished.

Tomorrow I will work on Block 3 for Barbara Brackman BOM and probably wash my fabric for Woodlands and Prairie Rose.  I received my pattern yesterday and this will also be a fun quilt to make.

Until next time, have a great time quilting!



Welcome to the New Blog Site

I have learned so much about how to set up and manage a Blog in the last month.  What an experience.  I have moved my original Blog to this site because there were issues on the previous site with followers receiving updates as soon as they were posted, or they were not receiving them at all.  Word Press releases updates immediately after posting providing you have signed up to be a Follower.  If you have not signed up as a Follower and would like to,  please click on the button to the right, “follow this Blog” or enter you email address to follow me on this fun trip into the Blog world!


Have a wonderful day.  It rained for 2 hours today.  Pretty sure it was at least an inch or more!



Quilting Projects – One Done, One Deleted, and One Added

Most of the time when I start on a project I finish it.  I can remember starting a BOM about 3 years ago and the outcome was horrible. That was my fault.  I did not pre-select fabrics that would blend throughout the quilt, so it did not turn out well.  I started on one of my projects, but long story short – it bombed.  The fabric selection for the Country Threads did not work out due to working with small pieces and fabric that frayed.

In previous years I would have kept pushing myself until the block was perfect, driving myself nuts while doing so, but this time I decided I would  not do that, (another goal for 2014).   So I quietly disposed of some of the parts, kept the usable ones, put the fabric back in the stash box, and decided to move on.

I decided to look for another project to replace Country Threads.   I happened to find Globetrotting by Pat Sloan.  I signed up for her blog  The instructions are great, good visuals, and provides 2 color choices, along with how the quilt setting looks.  So now back to fabric selection for this one.  I am thinking I will go with batiks, OR I have some blues and might make a 2 blue quilt.   The pattern is not difficult and will be a fun project.

I did finish Linda’s grandson’s quilt yesterday.  If you ever wondered why it is so expensive to have a professional quilter quilt your quilts, let me share with you the hours spent in quilting this quilt.  I sewed the back together which took about an hour.  Then it takes about 2 hours to load the quilt.  Care had to be taken to make sure the top was centered correctly since she used a print and solids side panels on the quilt back.  It took me about 7 hours to quilt the quilt and trim it.  I do mostly free motion meandering and really need to work on learning how to do pantograms as it would be time saving for me. Now most of the  professional quilters have the machines that are computerized and all they do is input the design, turn on the computer and machine, and go bake a cake.  I am still in the dark ages as mine is not computer driven.  It is Nanette driven!

I am glad I pushed to get it finished as I am now through with my commitments (except for the BAS projects) and can really start having some fun.

Here are some pictures of the finished work:

Until next time, have a wonderful day – make a quilt!

Country Threads Sampler for 2014

Happy Saturday, a Spring Humid Day in Texas.  Now tomorrow will be Fall.  Isn’t this fun?

Today I have all my block patterns ready to cut out for my Country Threads 2014 BOM.  I am trying to get back on track for my 2014 projects, so this morning I decided I would pull fabrics for this project.  I am going to try to use up some of my scraps and fabric left over from other projects.  Moda had a line of fabric a few years back by Joanna Figueroa from Fig Tree Quilts and I finally made the House quilt – is it put together, NO.  Maybe sometime this year.  I was not pleased with the outcome as there were problems with the pattern, of course.

OK, I have digressed.  Here is a picture of the fabrics I will be using for this 2014 BOM.  I have added some Moda Marbles, and old Marble Mates that were popular about 8 years ago (I think).  Anyway, I am hoping it turns out – should be interesting.  I usually tend to gravitate to the darker shades of the colors, but this will be fun to try something different.

Have a great week-end!

Why Quilters Give Up on Projects

Greetings, it is Spring Time in Texas, at least for a few days!

How many times have you started a project and ended up either putting the unfinished project it in a drawer, giving it away, use the fabric for scraps, or just throwing it away.  I started piecing in 2004 and it is 10 years later and I now understand exactly why this happens.  I have just completed my 2 blocks for Barbara Brackman’s 2014 BOM.  She does not provide cutting instructions for the blocks,  so I used my EQ Software to reproduce the block.

I used my EQ print out for rotary cutting and soon found out that the software is programmed to follow the “standard” rule in rotary cutting.  So I made a sample block from scraps to identify problems:   Here is a picture of the Center Star.  To achieve perfection, I had to add 1/4″ to the star points (flying geese) strips.  I tested it without and did not have enough fabric to trim them.  My points would have been cut off when sewn to the rest of the block.
Here is a picture of the finished sample block.  As you can see, there are issues with the Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs).    I did not increase the cutting size that EQ7 provided as to identify any problems I might encounter when using my best fabric.  As you can see the secondary brown triangles around the Center Star do not line up together. 
Here are the finished blocks for January and February.  The lesson I learned in this project is that EQ allows the Quilter to input the desired seam allowance size, but it uses the standard rotary cutting rule that all Designers use.  So if a Quilter cuts according to the pattern instructions, it is best to use a “scant” quarter inch when sewing the block together.  Or, the alternative is to add at least 1/4″ when cutting strips and use 50 weight thread when sewing the project.  Might make things a little less frustrating.  

Tomorrow I plan on working on my Country Threads BOM.  The other 2 monthly projects are applique and I think I might have to wait to start them as I am still working on my BAS projects.  

Organizing My Quilt World

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

In 2009 when we doubled the size of our “play” Studio, we had a great indoor carpet laid by one of the best companies available.  Each year it appeared that there were problems with the installation.  The carpet  in one of the rooms appeared to have bubbles in it.  Long story short – the company came out and advised us that they would rip up the existing carpet and re-install new carpet (and at no charge to us – just move everything out of the room).   Wouldn’t you know that the room just happened to be where I keep the majority of my fabric for quilting and my computer area.  I really dreaded having to just move the fabric from one room to the other because I knew that would be a chore in itself.  But, my 2014 promise was to get organized, so I decided that there might be a better way to put the fabric back on the shelves.  I took each piece of fabric that I have (1 to 10 yard pieces) and folded them into flats.  It was a good idea, but the entire process took over 4 days to complete.   Hubby was the real unlucky one – he had to tear down the computer desk and put it back together.  This was not his favorite part of the party and I do not blame him.

 Here is a picture of what the stash looked like before:

Here is the “After” picture:

This fabric is on the opposite wall in the same room.  I decided that I just had to refold all of this fabric into flats to make better use of my space.  It worked (so did I):

Here is a picture of my computer area.  Hubby made this from cabinets and a counter top from Home Depot years ago.  I love it.  He customized it for me this weekend – see the little shelf above my CPU on the left?  He built that for me to put my external hard drives and help remove clutter from the desktop!  He also built the pull out shelve for the keyboard.   Clever guy!

Here are some pictures of my sewing room.  See the plastic bins?  I emptied 5 of them.  It is always nice to have a quilting friend who can use the scraps and fabric that I know I would never use.

This is my Handi-Quilter.  The table was one that they sold in 2005 when I purchased the machine.  Terrible engineering.  Hubby remade it for me and it works great.

When I first started quilting I used a regular ironing board, and we all know how much fun it is to iron a 2 yard piece of fabric on one.  When we added this room I purchased the Elfa cabinets and Hubby cut a piece of Mahogany for me and I covered it with muslin.  Wonderful ironing board.

This corner has two wonderful windows where I can watch the birds and squirrels when I am working on a quilt.

As I was refolding all the fabric, I kept asking myself, “What have I been doing”?  All of this fabric and I still purchase more?  Well, today I am no longer subscribing to some quilt stores – Yup, need to start using this fabric and quit collecting it.  I still have some in the house that I purchased while in Arizona and Oklahoma this winter.  Almost nowhere to put it.  So now that I am so totally organized, and rested from this ordeal, I am going to start working on my 2014 projects.  
I have completed all the preparation work for the BAS blocks, just need to start working on them.  Time now to go play and work on my Threads of Memory, Benjamin Biggs, and Country Threads.  The Austen Family Album quilt BOW is starting in April……….Yikes!
Have a great day.  

The Baltimore Album Society Donation Quilts – The Process

It is a nice day today here in Texas.  We are hoping for rain this weekend.  I have been working on the preparation work for the 2 Small Quilts for the Baltimore Album Society Internet Auction.  

I have traced all pieces for each block and now I am ready for fabric selection.  I have not decided whether or not to do them in batiks, reproductions, or other fabrics.  There are approximately 100 pieces in each block.  The Hervey Quilt block will be the easiest to applique, but the Lady of Victory Block will take a little more time.  My goal is to have the fabric selected, freezer paper pieces pressed and marked and ready for applique by Monday.  I will need to have them appliqued and quilted and ready to go no later than the 8th of August.

The preparation work is usually the most difficult.  Selecting the colors and fabric are fun, especially as I applique the pieces onto the background fabric.  It always amazes me when the project is complete!

Here is a picture of the background fabric I have selected.  One might barely see that I have traced the pattern onto the fabric.   I am using Michael Miller Krystals number 1008-D.

Below is the pattern for the Hervey Block.  A few pieces to work on.

Below is the pattern for the Lady of Victory Block.  A few more pieces to work on.  I have not worked on a Horn of Plenty block before, should be fun.

Next week I will start quilting Linda’s quilt for her Grandson.  Linda and I try to get together twice a month and quilt.  She did a great job on this quilt.  
My goal is to have it quilted by the 21st of March, probably sooner.  Linda was able to find some matching fabric for the back. 
.Have a great day.  

My Dutch Triangles – Quilted

I do not know how I did this today, but it is quilted.  Of course, in my quilting life nothing really goes easy.  The stitch regulator on my Handi-Quilter decided to act up, and when I got to the last row to quilt, I realized that the backing was even with the top and no extra wiggle room.  Now this is a nightmare for a long arm quilter.  The rule is to add 4″ to the quilt back on all sides so there is plenty of fabric to “float” the quilt top. I figured that it seemed to go well with this quilt – probably a payback for letting it sit for almost 14 months.   After I took it off the frame I realized that I had squeaked on this one.  It came out just right – do not know how this happened, but as I said before, my quilting life is not all that perfect.

The quilt measures 88″ x 100″ – WOW.  I did free motion meandering and I used a gold thread.  Well, I am now half blind and have eye strain and I think my back will be sore.  I had to almost lay on the quilt in order to see where I was going (LOL).  Anyway, I will never leave a quilt in the frame as long as I did this.  2013 was not the best year – do not think it was a good one for anyone – I am just glad to have finished the project.  Now for the binding.

I really love all aspects of the quilting, but somehow we quilters feel that we have “finished” a quilt when the top is complete, but lo…… there is one step left – making the sandwich and quilting it, then the joy of binding it!  I just love making tops, not sure about all the work that goes into either machine or hand quilted quilts, and the binding on a large quilt like this is just not fun to do.

Have a great evening.  Next project – finish the preparation work on my 2 Baltimore Album quilt blocks for the BAS Auction.   The quilt is so large it is difficult to get a good picture, but I am pleased with them.

Organized – At Last

I have finally become an organized Quilter!  Wonder how long this will last.
I have cleaned out tons of downloaded patterns from 2000 that will never be made, or used for that matter. The trash man loved me yesterday!  We were in the Spring mode this last week-end – now we are back to Winter, with a little rain.  So as we all do in Spring, it was time to clean things out.  Time to move new things in.

I have finally started quilting the Dutch Triangles, the poor quilt that had been loaded in the frame since January 2013!  I found the pattern on the back of a 2007 Quilter’s Newsletter magazine.  The original quilt maker is unknown.  I chose fabrics that I had purchased in Branson, Missouri in 2002.  They were probably some of the first reproduction fabrics.  When I decided to make the quilt, I had realized that pinks were really not my favorite colors, but since I had purchased the fabric line, I shut my eyes and made the most of selecting the fabrics.  This quilt was also my first attempt at making a scrappy quilt.  I made the blocks up but a friend come over and helped me with placement.  Here is a picture of the quilt that was in the magazine:

A picture of the quilt loaded and some quilting that I was able to do late Sunday afternoon.  Yesterday was not the day for quilting – it was an errand day.  So today I am headed off to quilt.  I hope I can finish it today. This will be a “utility” quilt so I am doing free motion meandering.  

Now this was not a “planned” picture, I just happened to catch the famous Oscar Picture Tweet – Interesting.

This is my Handi-Quilter (of 2005) and the now infamous table that did not stay on the market very long – Hubby had to re-engineer the table because of its’ instability.

Until next time, relax, have fun, and enjoy quilting.

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