Quilting Hack – Thread Tip

Do you use the large cones of thread? Do you have a fancy thread holder or need to purchase one? Here’s a great tip!

 Turn your cone over, find a small spool of thread that fits snugly inside – Voila! Your cone of thread can now fit on your spindle. Save your next empty spool and always have it on hand. No more need to have an extra piece of paraphernalia on your sewing table. This makes it easier for traveling to classes, sew-ins and retreats. And, it costs nothing extra!

Large cone on sewing machine spindle!

Large cone on sewing machine spindle!

Big Road Trip & Hostess Gifts

Joyce at Falls (Large)bags 2 (Large)

First big retirement road trip complete! We drove 1,976 miles with 38 hours driving time. We visited Niagara Falls, Canada and family in Spencerport, New York (just outside Rochester, NY). There I enjoyed a big family picnic with my sister, nephews and nieces and their children – 20 adults and 15 children. They are all great “kids” and it was a great time. From there we went on to Wallkill, NY in the Hudson Valley where my cousin has a B & B. Peaceful best describes that visit. Then it was on to some scary driving – through NYC on to Long Island! I lived there until I was 14 years old and I went to see my childhood home and neighborhood. Funny, it all seemed so much bigger then! Visited a cousin in Oceanside and got a tour of Long Beach. Continued on memory lane as we went to Jones Beach – it was just as I remembered! We finished at Chincoteague Island, Virginia to see a quilting bud who retired there. What a treat – I sure do miss her and her talents!

bags 3 (Large)  bags 1 (Large)

Before we went, I knew I wanted to gift our hosts with something I made. Knowing how much I like my shopping totes for groceries, I made each of our host homes a pair of totes. They were not only pretty, but useful. I used coordinating home-dec fabrics that I had on hand. Each bag is lined, and reversible. Number 4 didn’t get a pic because it was made last minute (happy travel changes).  I think these gifts let our family and friends know just how much we appreciated their generosity in hosting us in their homes and showing us around their “hoods.” I think we craftsmen and artists are so blessed to be able to create something for someone to show our appreciation. If you have a special hostess gift you give on occasion, I would love to hear about it. I never tire of new ideas!

Winning is F-u-n!

Houses (Large)I entered five quilts in our guild’s recent quilt show and was tickled to receive a First place and Third place ribbon. The third place was for my “Tweet Village.”  Our guild had a workshop with Ellen Guerrant and used her pattern “Tartan Town.” It was such fun grabbing scraps from each others’ scrap piles! I named it because there is a bird with each house – even one owl. Someone special to me rather fancy’s this quilt, so I’ve already set chosen fabrics in a project box and hope to get to it in the next year.

NZ flower (Large)

My first place was the “Pohutukawa” (New Zealand Christmas Tree) that gave me fits in the process, but am so glad I persevered, finished and entered it!

NZ flower with me (Large)

One of our members made our winning ribbons. Wish I had gotten a pic of all the different ones – each place was so unique! Along with our ribbons to pin on our quilts, we get a corresponding little yo-yo ribbon to pin to our name tags – Don’t we just love bragging rights! Two years ’til the next show – WHEW!!

Planning my Hexie Quilt

This is now my third hexie quilt. My first one was out of flannel and I joined the hexies directly to each other sewing Y seams. My second hexie quilt was made by cutting the hexies in half and sewing rows (not yet posted). For this my third hexie quilt, I am using the star pattern. I planned the size of the filler triangles by drawing my hexie on paper and then drawing a line from two sides to a point (forming a triangle). I was then able to determine the size of the strip to cut. I allowed for seam allowances and added 1/4″.  I did not want to cut triangles and sew those to the hexie sides – lots more work and more inaccuracy potential.

Drawing (Large)Using scrap fabric, I made a test piece so I could see how the points would match. This will not be fast sewing for me! I also marked my seam to make sure I had 1/4″ seams.Practice (Large)

I then cut the strips from my solid and strip sewed one side of the hexies to it.  Next, I pressed the seams open, trimmed and repeated the process for the opposite side of the hexie.

Hexie Strip

I am now putting all the sewn pieces (hexies with triangles on two sides) on the design board. I have about four of each fabric pattern and want to be sure they are all spread out before sewing together. I also want to be sure I have enough hexies cut to make the size I want. And no, I did not figure that out mathematically ahead of time. Sometimes I just tend to roll from the seat of my pants. I’m not recommending that, but I just enjoy the process more if I don’t need to do a bunch of math!

Wall (Large)

Note that the hexies look skewed on the design wall – that is because two of the sides have seams sewn and the others do not. There probably won’t be a lot of progress on this any time soon as I have lots of other things I need to work on first, but it’s ready to go whenever the mood strikes.  I hope for those of you who would like to do one of these that this info helps. Is there yet another method of putting hexies together other than appliqueing them?  I’d love to know!

Sail Into Quilting!

The Lake Norman Quilt Guild presents Sail Into Quilting 2015 quilt show this Friday and Saturday, August 14 and 15, 9 AM to 5 PM at the Talbert Recreation Center, Talbert Road, Mooresville, NC.


Come see 200 quilts! I am always amazed and impressed by the high quality of work the members of this guild produce. You will not be disappointed. And there is a style for everyone: Contemporary, Art, and Traditional and a Log Cabin challenge display.. There will also be a gift shop with hand made creations, books and too many goodies to list.  Vendors will also be at the show so that you may get all your creative shopping done! Bringing a significant other and don’t want him/her to get bored?  A Girl Scout troop will host a café with beverages and snacks. What better way to spend a day!

LOTS of Cutting

Finally, my “finish” pile is gone. Oh, I still have many works in progress – the finish pile was those quilts that were at the very end: a binding, backing, quilting, label… I have had two project boxes empty for about two weeks (out of 14 boxes.) Guess I just couldn’t stand it so I began cutting.  I love to cut! I like laying out the fabrics, petting the fabrics and yes, even cutting the fabrics.The first project I cut for is for a hexagon and triangle quilt. When sewn together they form a star and there are no Y seams. I’m using all the metallic fabrics I’ve collected for a few years now and a solid gold for the triangles. This is a quilt that is sure to glisten!

Hexies (Large)

Dieh fabric (Large)

The second project is for a Kim Diehl pattern. This is so out of my area – much more traditional than I have ever done. As I laid out each of the fabrics (30 fat quarters) I realized how much I liked them, but what a far cry they were from the more vibrant fabrics I usually choose. The pattern also has quite a bit of appliqué. Hand appliqué is one of my goals for the coming year. It entertained me that when I had gone to Mary Jo’s Fabric Store (a huge fabric store) to get the additional fabrics I needed, I could not believe it when I found myself in the Civil War fabric aisle! I’ll consider this a real growth spurt for me!

Diel triangles (Large)

project boxes (Large)

Some work was done on each project at a two day sew-in with friends this past week, but it will be quite some time before any more progress is seen on these two projects. They are tucked away all safe and sound in their respective boxes, and will probably be carried off to a sewing weekend some time down the road, or pulled out here when the desire to work on one hits me.

Stacked, Full and Waiting!

Stacked, Full and Waiting!

Do other quilters do this – work on several or more projects at once? Or are you a start and complete one project at a time quilter?

Let’s Picnic!

I’ve been working on quilts for each of my brother’s five children and have been giving them to each one by one. My nephew and his wife and four children came for a visit today, visiting from NY state. It was a joy to see them and I had never even met my one grand niece and nephew. It was fun to give them their quilt in person. I was tickled when the oldest said, “Oh – we can put it over us when we watch TV!” I make some quilts to be displayed on the wall, but mostly I want my quilts to give comfort, warmth and joy. I cuddle under quilts all the time.

Lets Picnic on bench (Large)

Lets Picnic closeup (Large)

I first saw this quilt pattern on a blog and I even happened to have the same fabric collection it was shown in (Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow.) I changed it up a bit not wanting to use white. I used a light pattern fabric from the collection instead. It’s all half-square triangles. Not particularly challenging, but a lot of squaring up! I loved how it came together and I really hope the family enjoys it! Three have been delivered – only 2 to go!!

nick Family (Large)


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