Monday, August 30, 2010


How lovely is a simply 9-patch block...this one was, purposely, done a little off center...
I simply fashioned a 9 -patch block and used a square ruler - placed at an angle - to recut and give this little ditty a bit of whimsy!

This windmill, also, got the same treatment...all liberated!  The old, old chair in the picture was made by hand by my is about 100 years old.  My grandfather was Scotch-Irish from Appalachia...I have a particular fondness for the Appalachian parts of our country and the culture.  We love old-timey music at our blends the Irish and the American parts.  My grandfather's people settled in south-eastern Kentucky.  The chair is still in good shape, but I don't let anyone sit on it.  I love the patina....doesn't the weaving look like a quilt pattern?   I think so!

  This is a quilt from my family....I am not sure how old it is exactly, but it is rather tattered.  This section was replaced at some time...I love that it has this one very red block!
We have two big family events happening this weekend.  My sister's daughter is getting married and my husband's side of the family is having their annual reunion.  It is a big Irish shindig that lasts all weekend long!  It begins at the Irish Social Club - I guess they need the space for the Dugan, Murnane, King, and Murphy Clan! Yikes!  Then it continues as a smaller affair...just the Dugan's for the remainder of the weekend.  It should be fun!
Need to get busy on this house, though, we have g-ma spending the weekend!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Yesterday, I had some good friends join me to share a little of this...
And lots of Quilty-Goodness!

 Amazing quilts!  And amazing friends!  Thanks for sharing :)

Last night I tinkered with a little patchwork change purse....kind of cute....I think

Hopefully, today I will be able to get back to work on some of my zig-zaggy quilting...

But, perhaps, after a quick trip with my sis to Anthropologie...whoo-hoo!
Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cathedral Window

Chain piecing always seems so satisfying...I feel like I have accomplished so much in such a little amount of time.
Chain piecing the squares that will hold the windows....
Adding the bright little window squares...

I must use this clear 1/4 inch foot for most of my sewing.  I sew on a Janome MC6600 and this foot comes with a guide for the 1/4 inch seam as well as a guide for "stitch in the ditch".  I always use it without the guides, but the markings are very evident and the clear foot makes for easier visibility
This will become a pillow....and my middle daughter, Maggie, has already claimed it!

Molly....worked on a dresser scarf for g-ma...

Today I received a lovely email from a student who had just finished the final touches on her daughter's quilt.  She sent along pictures of the beautiful quilt she made and a list of insights....things she discovered beyond the stitches while making this quilt.  She was so kind to allow me to share them in the blog...
::take it one stitch at a time (the task seems overwhelming if looking too far ahead)::

::i am a picker, not a rocker::

::best-press = best friend::

::hand-quilting is meditative::

::hand-quilting brings out some emotions (i had lots of time to think while quilting...did some soul-searching, both crying and smiling)::

::in each stitch is an intention, a hope, a wish, and dream for the recipient::

::respect for the pioneer woman that had to quilt for warmth, not just for fun::

::i heart pearl cotton:: ( i love the artsy style it adds to the mother-in-law asked if they were basting stitches...some people get it and others never will!)

::an overwhelming sense of accomplishment::

::hand-made is always better::

::an amazing teacher can teach her student anything::

Beautiful sentiments and so well put.....thanks, Ev!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Starts and Finishes...

I feel so relieved today - I have been able to finish a couple of projects and work on others that deserve my attention.

This one is hand quilted with perle cotton, bound and ready to go into the shoppe....

And the quilt for the wedding couple is finished and ready for a pretty ribbon.  This one is machine quilted at 1/2 inch intervals and pick-stitched with perle cotton....

Flanders wanted to be in the picture-taking fun!
And finally, I have started preparing for a quilting demostration.  A sample of the Cathedral Window block with the adorable Laurie Wisbrun - Urban Circus elephants!  Love it!

Time to take "The Flanders" for a walk.....

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Tutorial: French Binding...Ooh,la,la!

There are many options when adding binding to your quilt....I have had a lot of success using a French Binding and here is the method I use.

To begin I measure the perimeter of my quilt top and add 10 inches to that measurement...that will be the amount of binding I will need to cover the quilt top.

I cut my strips 2.5 inches (from selvedge edge to selvedge edge)... 
Sew the strips together by placing two strips perpendicular to each other and right sides facing...draw a line from the top left corner to the lower right corner.
Stitch on the drawn line....and trim away the excess fabric....

Stitch all strips end to end in the same manner.
Once all the strips are stitched together - press lengthwise wrong sides together....

Open the strip up and...
Take the top right hand corner of your binding strip and bring the corner down to meet the bottom of the strip...
Fold the strip together again...this will become a pocket a little later.  You will begin and end stitching at this point.
I usually begin adding the binding to the quilt top about 1/3rd. of the way in on one side of the quilt.  Place the raw edge of the binding strip to the raw edge of the quilt top...
Begin sewing (1/4 inch seam allowance) with the binding open.  Mark with a pin 1 inch past where the bottom of the folded corner meets the binding strip.  Stitch from the top of the binding to the pin - which is marking the 1 inch mark.
Now fold the binding together again and begin stitching again at the point where you ended stitching at the 1 inch mark....
Now you have created the pocket where the end of the quilt will be tucked in!
Continue stitching until you are a 1/4 inch from the corner of the quilt...then stop and take the quilt out of the machine.  Fold the binding straight up....
Then fold the binding back down.  Start stitching again a scant 1/4 inch from the corner.  Now the binding will be added to the next side of the quilt.
Repeat this for all four corners of the quilt.
Once the 4th corner is complete....and you are nearing the pocket ( beginning of the binding)...line the remainder of the binding up with the point where you began stitching the binding (both layers of binding)....
Cut the excess tail of binding to this slip the tail into the pocket...
Stitch from the where you stopped to the point where the binding is stitched together with both layers....fold the binding over to the back of the quilt and stitch by hand.
I hope this is clear...and helpful....just drop me a line if you have any questions :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hand Quilting

There will be a lot of hand quilting going on here today...two quilts that need to be finished very soon.  Plenty of hand quilting with perle cotton.  I love the vibrant colors and the texture and weight of the thread.  It adds so much to a quilt...