Saturday, June 28, 2008

Quilting Tutural

Good Morning all,
I've been reading blogs about quilting this morning and came across this great tutural by Lynne at the Patchery Menagerie. It sound like fun. Check out her link to the flicker photos of the doll quilt swap she's in. There are some fabulous quilts being made. I think lots of them would make great baby quilts or wall art.

Friday, June 27, 2008


I needed some fabric for a couple of baby quilts and the borders on a floral patchwork quilt I'm making as a gift. I also wanted a pattern to make a fabric handbag or tote. Since most of my stash is packed in preparation for my move I thought a trip to the local quilt shop was in order.
I always have a great time shopping for quilting fabric, patterns and tools, but today was an exceptionally good time.
I shopped at Emma's Quilt Cupboard in Franklin, MA. From the outside it looks like a tiny shop, but inside it's packed with fabric, patterns, tools, notions and books.

Hung all over the shop were beautiful quilts showcasing the classes being held and patterns that they sell. As soon as I walked in a Piece of Cake design, "Stars in my Garden" caught my eye. I've wanted to make that applique pattern for years, but had forgotten all about it. Maybe I will dust off my book when I get settled into my new house...... we'll see
I thought that the two ladies who were working were the best sales clerks I've ever met. They were very friendly, knowledgeable and knew when to help me and when to leave me alone to browse. I took up a lot of their time, asking for this and that and they both made me feel as if they were really enjoying helping me. Now that's a rare experience in the retail world.
I got everything I needed and then some. I splurged a little (it's my birthday after all) and got the EQ6 upgrade. I found some very nice fabric for backings for $3.33 a yard, that's a real bargain for quilt shop quality fabrics. Emma's sends everyone who signs up for their e-mail birthday gift, a discount coupon good for a % off your total order. So I'm trying to justify buying all this quilting stuff because it was a good buy!
I highly recommend Emma's Quilt Cupboard
The shop has a great selection, great service, great classes and reasonable prices. Well worth the trip.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Carolina Crossroads Mystery Quilt

My all time favorite quilting site is Bonnie Hunter's :

She is a very talented, generous and prolific quilter. I've used her patterns many times. I don't always use the exact "recipe", but her directions are easy to customize so you can avoid that cookie cutter look.

When she announced her Carolina Crossroads Mystery Quilt, I was eager to join in the fun. I don't make mystery quilts anymore because I've been disappointed with the results too many times.But I knew if Bonnie had designed it, the quilt would be well worth making.

Well, I looked thru my stash of pre-cut strips but didn't have enough pre-cut 1 1/2 "inch strips, but had a draw full of 2 in strips so decided to use those. I knew I could figure out how to convert any of the other measurements if it became necessary, which it did.
Lots and lots of stitching later, (and more cutting), I've solved the mystery and am very happy with it. I just have to cut and sew the borders on and quilt it.
That will have to wait until I get into my new house. Right now I'm waiting for a closing date on my new home and my current one is full of boxes. I thought I was going to be moving on June 1st, but the attorney ran into a glitch and I'm still waiting.
The only reason I'm able to sew at all right now is because a friend has very generously let me set up a temporary swing room in his spare room
Enough about me.
If you'd like to try your hand at a mystery quilt check out Quiltsville's latest mystery "Orange Crush". Get right over there before it disappears.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How to save money on QUILTING for long time quilters

Saving money on quilting boils down to three things, use what you have, buy only what you need and pinch your pennies when you do buy. Here’s a list of ways to do just that.

1. Use your scraps. For ideas on how to organize your scraps read this post by Bonnie Hunter.

2. Use those ugly and “what was I thinking of” fabrics for backings.

3. Make a challenging quilt. It will take longer to make the quilt so you fabrics will last longer and you will have fun learning something new and stretching yourself.

4. Don’t buy a new magazine until you’ve used a pattern from an old one.

5. Don’t buy a new pattern until you’ve used one you already have.

6. Join a quilting guild if you haven’t already, you’ll have lots of quilting fun for very little money.

7. If your quilting guild has an auction,donate, attend and bid. The members of my quilting guild donate their unwanted items and most of them are sold for under retail. If your guild doesn’t have an auction, suggest having one. It’s a great fund-raiser and lots of fun.

8. Check out Quilter’s Flea Market, it’s a great place to sell unwanted quilting items and buy some new-to-you things for a less than new price.

9. Shop your stash - see Stashbusters online group for lots of great ideas to use your stash.

10. Finish your UFO’s and WIP’s. Unfinished projects are a BIG money waster. Remember, it’s not a quilt until it’s quilted!

Please leave a comment with your favorite way(s) to stretch your quilting dollars, we all will appreciate it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Quilting has become an expensive hobby. If you make a large quilt you are probably going to use 15-20 yards of fabric, a batting, thread and needles. Then there are the non-consumable supplies that you need to have, the rotary cutter and mat, pins, books and patterns.
I’ve been quilting for a long time so I have lots of tools, some of which I’ve never used…ouch, and LOTS of fabric. I have a huge stash of quilting fabrics and I’m glad I have them now because as gas and food prices rise my budget for non-necessities is shrinking.

I recently read a blog post on how to save money quilting written by a non-quilter. While I agree with some of her ideas I don’t agree with all of them, and I think that her list is more relevant to the new quilter than the person who’s been quilting for a long time. If you’d like to read it this is the link:

The things I, as an established quilter do to save money on quilting will be different than the person just starting out.

So I’m going to write a couple of posts on money saving ideas for quilters. The first will be for those of us who have a “stash”, the second will be for the new quilter.
If you have any money saving ideas please post a comment and share your idea with the rest of us. I think we’ll all have to learn to be more frugal if we are going to be able to continue to pursue our hobbies as the price of gas continues to rise and takes a bite out of our budgets.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


This has nothing to do with quilting, but I'm so proud of myself for growing this Clematis I have to show it off.

I bought it three years ago from my friend Stephanie who has a plant stand on Rte 18 in Lakeville, MA. It was just a single, scrawny stick and now look at it! Stephanie said it would grow and she was right. Thank you Stephanie!

New Day, New Block

Still not feeling motivated enough to tackle the borders on the Carolina Crossroads Mystery quilt. I really need to get that one finished. It's a gift for a special friend who's done so much for me that he really deserves a quilt.

Here are the blocks I made for the September BOM for my quilting guild, the Bayside Quilters. As most of you know the BOM is a favorite and almost universal activity of every quilting guild. If you don't know how this works, each month we get pattern. Each member who makes a block puts it in the "kitty" and gets a chance to win all of the blocks.
I made three this time, one to keep and two to swap. I'm hoping that having two blocks will increase my chances to win.

A few years ago I was incredibly lucky and one several times. I used those blocks to make fours quilts as gifts. Having a ready made stash of blocks sure made my gift giving easy that year.

Quilter's Block

I'm still not ready to tackle any large projects, so today I finished a paper pieced star from Carol Doak's book "Fifty Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars". I started making this block two years ago, but I really don't like to paper piece so I set it aside. I like the colors (still) but don't know what I'll do with it, I'm not sure I want to make any more right now.
I think I need something easy and quick to finish. I just finished a king size quilt and I have 2 more king size quilts that I'm working on, but I'm at a standstill right now. They are both ALMOST done but I just don't feel like working on them. I guess I have Quilter's Block. Do you every get that? What do you do to get by it?
The Carolina Crossroads Mystery quilt just needs the borders sewn on, then the machine quilting, the scrappy one patch needs the last 3 rows put together, the border and the quilting. I love the machine quilting part, but hate sewing long seams, so I always have a hard time motivating myself to get the borders on. When I can get away with it, I don't use a border, but both these quilts are so busy they need a plain border so the eye has a resting place. Guess I will just keep working on little projects until I'm more motivated.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Latest quilting projects

Today I'm feeling tired and lazy, but not so lazy that I don't want to play with my fabrics. I'm not up to anything challenging so I decided to make the September community quilt BOM for my quilting guild.
It's a very simple scrappy string quilt.
Here is a picture of four blocks put together.
These look great when they're made up. I made one a couple of years ago on a muslin foundation using red as the center strip. It's one of my favorite quilts. One of these days I'll make another one .