Quilts for Katy Cares

Katy is an area of West Houston that will be having their grand opening in August for their 1st Women’s shelter in the area.   Plans are already underway for building more facilities.   Houston Modern Quilt Guild has been instrument…

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Gorgeous Red and Black

What a stunning quilt!   The red and black is so striking and then there is that backing fabric.  Wow. I think it looks fantastic.  Computer guided quilting with Auto Pilot using Bethanne Namesh’s Feather Grande.

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Pam’s Centennial Sampler Quilt

This is a wonderful assortment of 5″ blocks made in reproduction fabrics.   The pattern is Centennial Sampler by Judie Rothermel.   Some of the prints were sooo  cute!Simflex expanding tool used for marking equal spac…

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Stand Up Divas Challenge 2017 Piecing Challenge?

This year’s challenge seemed like a really fun idea!  Everyone that participates will create a block, finished at 18.5″ bound that would become a block in a “sampler” quilt with all our blocks pinned up on the design wall.  For unity, this used one focus fabric that Debbie supplied (Quilting Quarters in Conroe where we meet each month) and we were to use a white background.

Notice I say…. seemed like a fun idea LOL!  My first idea was to make a Compass /NY beauty block of some sort and have part of it missing  and finish off the design with quilting.   Well I was hitting the wall with the actual design and the 18.5″ block….   Then I thought I would do a simple HST type block and just quilt a beautiful feather design like I did on my Amish With a Twist 3.   Perfect.   Then I really looked at the focus fabric.   Oh my word this really was a longarm challenge!   No way in the world to EVER get any quilting to show on that fabric.  So then I started looking online for the proper sized blocks, NY beauty blocks etc.   I did not find ONE pattern sized out that size.  I did actually find lots of  patterns I wanted to make though LOL!  Focus fabric it the swirly almost black fabric used in the 2nd inside set of star points and also used as a sashing.

I finally chose the Bowie block.   The pattern for the paper piece block I used can be found HERE.   It only makes a 12″ block but I could see how to extend that next section at a 45* angle to get it to the size I needed.    When I printed my papers, each quadrant only measured 5 3/4″ inch finished but I did not deal with trying to enlarge the pattern.   I opted to just increase the amount I needed to add to the outer section to bring this up to 18.5″.  No problems   Next, I start pulling fabrics and I’m wanting to bring out my solids…. I double check the guidelines.   Nothing but Blue and White.  What?   How was I going to accomplish this… a scrappy quilter… and my love of solids which were perfect for this block?    I already knew that I needed only a slice of that busy focus fabric.  Perfect for an interior star point.   But the rest?   I wanted to make each section 2 toned like one example I had seen.  More defeat.  I could not add that many blues and keep it maybe blending with what others choose for blues.

So, once again this challenge turned into a PIECING challenge!  2014 was my first year and I really had fun changing the pattern into something that appealed more to my style of quilting and it even won a few awards at local shows including a Judges award for Design!   How cool is that?!  2015 found me very busy, I don’t even remember the pattern but maybe it did not appeal to me… not sure but mostly due to time constraints… I did not participate.   2016 almost found me not participating even though I had purchased fabric and backing to make the full size pattern as submitted to us!  I could not let that  happen though and took off  3 days.  I created a wallhanging using 3 blocks from the pattern and LOTS of negative space for quilting.   Now that one turned into a longarm challenge for me with oodles of quilting… also with a time limit of 3 days to piece quilt and bind.

This one, with the focus fabric and other fabrics that I felt blended with the focus fabric color… left me little area for detailed quilting.  I could not even find a remnant of wool batting in my stash and refused to cut a strip off the bolt for an 18″ block.   I used a layer of QD 70 /30 as a base and a layer of Hobbs 80/20 on top of that.   It worked OK.   I have texture.  It was a good experiement and I would do it again except ultimately I KNOW I would have loved wool so much more.


I did bring in another technique that I have seen Jamie Wallen use on straight lines to bring in more bold color.   You will see below that we can see texture but even using Royal Blue thread… it just disappears into that swirly fabric.   So….I tried my hand at thickening the line!   By golly I think it worked.  While not an heirloom or work or art… it’s just everyday quilting for me, I did utilize a new quilting technique, a different 2 layer batting combo for me that does work well and overall I do like the block!   Next problem…

Shrinkage!  I really have no idea how to plan for quilting shrinkage.   I contemplated leaving my unit larger (I did make larger so that I could square up exactly at 18.5″).   But then how exactly would I know where to place my star points?   I had my star points ending 1/2″ away from the raw edge so that they would not get stitched over with binding.   I could not wrap my brain around how to plan for shrinkage and quilt with this design.   So I trimmed at 18.5″.  Of course, it was smaller than that after quilting with 2 layers of batting…   I tried just misting with water and stretching out.  YIKES!   A neon yellow started showing through on my blue swirly fabric.  Glue stick.   Oh my gosh.   So I had to submerge the entire block.   With the end result being with blocking…. 17.5″   Now what.   I told you this was once again a PIECING challenge for me not a longarm challenge! Originally, I was going to bind with the focus fabric with a 1/4″ binding.  I decided I had enough batting to do a “quilt as you go” method of stitching down strips (I said forget it I’m not mitering these intersections), then trim up to desired sized.   I would face the back to cover the raw edges.   I wasn’t going to miter those corners either.  Well…. I could not figure out how to do it without mitering the facing LOL!    I had no clue how to make math work for me… so I layed out corner by corner and made each miter fit exactly that turn.   My gosh what an ordeal.    And I could have been working on my real quilt that I would like to have in a show!   SMH.

Anyway, she’s done.  I’ll just call her Bowie Blues.  Reveal is the 19th!   I can’t wait to see what everyone does.   I imagine a lot of white backgrounds in these blocks.   Mine may be different?!


After adding “sashing”
Going forward, I believe we are going to start doing every other year – to coincide with  show year challenges so that will be odd years only.   I’m thinking that will work out fine for me.   I find it difficult to carve out time for my projects and geesh I really think these challenges…. are challenging!

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We Got The Jazz – Myeloma and Lymphona Fund Raiser

Another successful fundraising event for my son in his efforts to raise money with his annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fundraiser in uptown Dallas!  Doesn’t she look pretty on this table!   Just the perfect size for disp…

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My Amish With a Twist 3

Nancy Rink has designed 3 versions with the same name for 1, 2 and 3.   I loved #1… never got around to making it.   I  really really loved #2.   Had the good fortune to quilt #2 for a client.   You can see photos of that gorgeous quilt HERE.   Then, I started seeing photos online of #3 and while attending a local show, The Quilt Room nearby was offering this kitted as a BOM.   I signed up. for them to mail to me each month.  I was not going to go for strike 3 on this one.   I made the quilt during my annual August retreat, put it on my schedule to quilt in December… but that didn’t happen.   Slid it into March of this year and it was a scramble getting that 108″ done… but I got it done and mostly stayed on schedule.   I had entered it in St Mary’s non-judged show for April and was sewing the last 3′ of binding while my husband drove me to the drop off location.  Whew… I cut it close!   Still not a proper photo shoot but it’s been 2 months… I need to post and move on.

This quilt is so large, it really creases hard at the center. 

I changed thread on those multi colored blocks.


In progress on the frame

Notice, the quilt is all dark, the batting is Hobbs Midnight Black 80/20.   I had issues right off starting with my tension test on the side.   I was getting white dots on the back.   From where??!!   It’s all dark.   Apparently, the lighter thread color from the backing… see below.

I will wash this and see if the white specks are less noticeable.

See those flecks.  I use titanium, FFG – light ball point needles as my main needle, I tried “R” which is a sharp… did not make a bit of difference.   I was already using a 16 and did not want to try a smaller size needle.    I had to resign myself to my quilting schedule and move on with this backing.  I would have lost a day to go shopping and reload the back.  It seems I have the worst luck with my quilts, rarely ever issues like this on a clients.    My last personal custom was my Gravity in January of 2016…. I had Sew Fine #408 shred and shred,  Even used 2 cones, they both would shred… but the 20 other colors I used had no problems.   I am resigned to the fact  that if it is my quilt… it’s going to give me fits.

Helper day.   Kadie is the black heap under the frame, Gizzy in his little diaper belt and Kricket with toys beside her.   Talk about trying to watch my step as I moved across the frame….   They don’t usually hang out like that with me but for some reason they were showing me some love that day.
In progress pictures.   I take photos so that when I get to the other side, I know what I stitched!

So… not only the white spots… but my navy bottom line bobbin thread created numerous snarls that had to be unpicked and re-stitched.   Ugh.   Why me??

Then, as I’m nearing the finish… I realize where the heck is my binding strips for this quilt?   I never did find it.   A good friend had the same quilt in her projects to be done and “loaned” me her binding and even cut it for me with her die cutter.

And a couple of pics from #2 that I quilted.

I think next time I choose a quilt pattern that I want to make so I can quilt it…. I want it to be about 60″  Whew this one is really too big to hang at our show @ 108″ wide.  I’m not going to put on our bed after all those hours of quilting.   I don’t remember the total and not pulling my notes.  I had budged 25 hours… but it took a lot longer than that.  There is just so much of this thing to quilt.   Done, off my bucket list.   Moving on!



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Summer Special 2017 for Edge to Edge Quilting

New or existing clients can receive 10% off my already low price of 2cents per square inch for edge to edge quilting.  Edge to Edge quilting is one design quilted over the entire body of the quilt without regard to the piecing.   Ma…

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Summer Special 2017 for Edge to Edge Quilting

New or existing clients can receive 10% off my already low price of 2cents per square inch for edge to edge quilting.  Edge to Edge quilting is one design quilted over the entire body of the quilt without regard to the piecing.   Ma…

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Alice’s Thankful Thanksgiving quilt

I’ve been saving this one because Alice wanted to wait until after a recent local show to post pictures.  She hand pieced most of the blocks using up her stash of novelty thanksgiving theme fabrics.  Fabrics left over went on the back!Alice r…

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Digital Computer Quilting – Sunflower Illusions

Isn’t this quilt gorgeous?!   I love those blues and the compass units really remind me of sunflowers.I have been curious for a while to try the digitized Quiltworx designs for some of her patterns.  So far I have done a Prisma…

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