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Open Sew: December/January

Linda’s snowflake treeskirt!  She used a dresden ruler for the background and then appliqued the snowflakes.

Her back.  Perfect!!Martha Claire’s little tree skirt.  I want to make one of these for a tiny tree I have!This belongs to Kay and it is glorious.
Kay’s Giant Dresden.  Beautiful!Carole makes wonderful small quilts.   Here’s the BACK.And this is the beautiful front!This belongs to Carole……the back.She also made this great plus quilt.

Diana brought her plus quilt back in January!Carole finished this one!And made this bag for her friend.  I want to be her friend.  🙂Another beautiful creation by Kay.
Joan is not in my Open Sew but she sent me this photograph of her first La Pass rosette.  It is awesome!


Let’s end with this success story!  Lori just finished her SECOND quilt.Her beginner quilt from just several weeks ago!

What I Did in November/December

I started November with a week full of classes.  Not a bad problem to have.  I use my hall as a staging area.  This is what it looked like on Sunday.I finished a birthday gift for Margaret.

I posted a picture on Instagram and had several requests for a class so I made another one.  🙂  I am offering it as a introduction to beginner embroidery class this winter.  Come take it with me!

I started the Bari J Quilt A Long.  I’m actually keeping up!

Flying Geese

The remainder of the blocks.  I won’t get the log cabins pieced until January.

I finished this VERY OLD CrabApple Hill project.  It’s an embroidery folder.Tri-fold.The back.  I like it.Lots of Baby Jesus ornaments.
A brand new cross stitch sampler!  I’m going to post progress pictures on this one.  It’s worked on 32 count linen so it’s going to take a little while.

We had the best Christmas!  Here’s my DIL; she’s pretty awesome. I’m going to try to “keep Christmas” this year.  I hope you have a great New Year!


Rainbow Circle

My new Modern Rainbow circle quilt!  I have not attached the hanging sleeve or the binding yet.  It will probably be my first finish of 2018.  🙂  I found the pattern in Modern Rainbow.I cut 3″ squares from some solids and started working on a color progression.  I did lots of pondering!  I also realize I need to run a lint roller over my flannel boards!I needed 24 sets to make up the segments.  Three different fabrics in each set.   I did not have 72 solids so I did use some tonal prints.  I also used the reverse of a couple of fabrics.  This took a long time and the color progression has some issues but it was really kind of awesome to work this.

Here are my 3″ square leftovers.  I will use them for another quilt one day.

I started sewing the sections together and just loved it.  I paper pieced these for accuracy.  I was having a big time……until I got to the curves.I have NEVER been a master of the curve.  I have friends who ARE masters.  I KNOW it is doable, just not by me.

I tried again on another section.  Not good.  It was obvious this was not going to work.  I sewed the entire circle together (I am not going to show you a picture of THAT) and I took it to Theresa DeWalt, queen of the custom quilters.  She kindly suggested I applique just the pieced circle to a background.  I DO know how to applique.

So then it looked like this!  Theresa is a genius.

I saved my money and sent it to her to be quilted.  Oh my.

Now it looks like this.Fabulous circles and feathers.Geometric diamonds.Corner feathers.

It measures 42″ square.  It is one of my favorite quilts EVER.  I’m so happy I didn’t give up!!  Thank you Theresa.  Happy New Year everybody!


What I Did in October

So I decided to keep track of what I’m doing on my blog.  This is what I accomplished the last couple of weeks in October.I finished my baby rainbow star.  It measures about 40″ square.I used a variegated “Razzle” rayon #8 perle from Wonderfil to hand quilt it   Sue Spargo uses Razzle…yum.  It is very shiny and thick and kind of hard to work with but I loved the result.  It’s hanging at Village Fabric and I’ll teach the class again this winter.This is my very first commission quilt ever.  Rainbow bargello.  Karen Fridy quilted it for me.I kinda sorta made the binding match the piecing.  I just sewed binding strips together as I attached it.  Not as hard as it sounds.Here’s the label.  Bonnie Hunter has the directions on her website for that bias tape label.  I use it all the time.How sweet is this?  I am fortunate to be a member of a very special bee.  We make preemie quilts for the little babies at Brenner Children’s hospital.  Several of us are making this ornament this year for our bee members.  This is stitched on metallic Essex linen.  It’s shiny!This was definitely a trial and error ornament.  First I stitched it on a teal blue (the actual color is much darker than this) and one of my dear friends told me it looked like an Easter egg….  I am grateful for my honest friends.  I used a pencil to mark the design.

Then I tried a white background.  I was kind of stuck on using blue.  🙂  Not the look I wanted.

I used a gray and it just didn’t work.  I used a Frixion pen to mark this one.  I haven’t ironed it yet to remove the dark lines.

Fourth time is the charm!   I tried the metallic linen.  I loved the look but it was impossible to trace!    I normally use a fusible on the back of my work and I could not see to trace the design.  So I traced it on Sulky water soluble and stuck it on the linen.  Wow!  It was thick but I was doing just a simple back stitch so it really worked!

Here’s a finished baby before the soluble is removed.

I let it soak in warm water for about 15 minutes.  The soluble washed out and the ornament air dried.

Framed and backed with wool and ready for our bee members!

I finished this velvet and silk scarf for Margaret.  I took this picture outside because I wanted to remember how beautiful the two colors are…I almost QUIT sewing this several times.  Sewing the silk to the velvet was a slippery, impossible mess.  You can see the silk is wider than the velvet?Finally, I finished the end by hand stitching.  Not my best work but it is very soft and light and I’ll bet she loves it.I made my Bari J quiltalong block.  Check.And I started this for Margaret for Christmas.  She will love it.  Stitching outside in the November sunshine is awesome.

I won’t accomplish nearly as much in November!  Happy Thanksgiving!!



Open Sew October

It’s all about the Christmas tree skirt!!  This one belongs to Laura.Steph’s maze quilt.  She is aMAZEing.  HahahahaJennifer’s bargello.  I told her she couldn’t make it that way but she didn’t listen to me.  🙂  It is beautiful Jennifer.
Fowler’s state of South Carolina.Fowler has consumed the embroidery Kool-Aid.  She is using hand dyed silk floss and we are all envious.
Heres’s Carole’s latest.  This is framed over a canvas.  Maybe 24″ x 36″?  Very cool look.Meet Lola and Olive!!  This is so incredibly fabulous.  Carole has just finished it.  It’s probably 36″ wide for scale?It is a fabric collage and we were all in awe.  Here’s a close-up of her eye.She will layer and quilt it and we can’t wait!Katie joined us and showed off her latest creations.  Covered buttons.Insane piping and embroidery.Cutest little girl shorts ever.And the smocking…And last but not least, her headless cross stitch family.  🙂

Open Sew September

This needlepoint nutcracker belongs to Carole.  I am fascinated by this whole process.  She bought it at a needlework shop in Chapel Hill.  I was in Chapel Hill this week and ordered a Cam Newton Christmas ornament.  I guess I’m going to learn how to needlepoint!

Here’s Steph’s original design needlework.  Here’s her original design sashiko quilt.  Those white lines are 1/4″ finished.  Beautifully done.

Of course we made pumpkins in Open Sew…Here’s another pumpking grouping from Monday morning.  I love them all!!
Mindy’s insanely fabulous alphabet quilt for Stella, her daughter.

Stella is a beautiful little girl.

Liz made this alphabet quilt for her son, Peter.  LOVE the alphabet border.  She did the machine quilting; just so good!And then there’s Fowler’s fabulous embroidery.And her hand appliqued Christmas tree quilt.

Diana’s “Skip the Borders” polka dot quilt.  Love.Carole shared her 9/11 quilt.  She pieced it before that terrible day.

And finally there’s Steph A’s next quilt!  I taught her how to piece about a year ago.   My word, she makes beautiful quilts!!

Round Robin

Round Robin quilts.  Make a center block.  Pass it to the next person.  They add a border…my Wednesday evening Open Sew has taken the concept to another level.  Check this out.

Here are the orginal blocks made at last year’s retreat.  They taped them to a door and we took a picture.Jennifer added to Mindy’s top.Carrie added a border.

Steph turned it on point.Laura added the first border to Steph’s.Fowler, our resident appliquer, took a turn.Then Mindy added 1/2″ finished strips.Carrie started Jennifer’s off with some on-point mermaids.Steph’s turn for a chain of squares border.

Laura’s piano keys.
Jennifer added a  border to Fowler’s after Mindy added the triangles.Then Carrie’s border.Fowler added applique to Laura’s.Mindy followed with a pieced border.Jennifer’s turn.Steph added to Carrie’s.

Laura added some borders then Fowler had a turn at applique.

Pretty awesome aren’t they??  I’m sure I got something wrong in all of that (and I’m sure they will let me know) but I’m very proud of all of them!  Two more rotations…


I finished my La Pass!

I finished my La Passacaglia!  Here’s a picture of the last seam.  I joined the top half to the bottom half.  Time to fill in some spots and finish.

Here’s my upper left corner.  I made my La Pass a tiny bit bigger so I had to get creative on the corners.  ( I didn’t follow the directions.)


I know it looks tedious, but I was sort of nostalgic.  I knew I was finishing up…

Here it is trimmed and ready for Gina to quilt.

And here it is back home…her work was outstanding.

A close-up.So I entered it the 2017 Asheville show and it won a ribbon.  Yay!!  I got to hang out with Cheryl and see some beautiful quilts!

FYI, Joyce, Ginny and Beverly have finished their tops.  Joyce is working on borders.  Ginny’s is at the quilter’s and Beverly is appliqueing her top to a background.  I’ll share finished pictures.  So proud of them!!!


Boro Bags

Here are some pictures from my latest boro bag classes.  I use the time to teach “big stitch hand quilting.”   We quilt the blocks in the first class and assemble them in the second one.  The second class is optional; I supply the directions for finishing.

This belongs to Chris.  She used a couple of 12″ orphan blocks.  She used a vinyl laminate for the lining and plans to use it as a cosmetics bag.This beauty belongs to Sue.  Absolutely beautiful embellishment.  She’s so very good at handwork!Here’s the panel before she trimmed it.Here’s Linda’s second bag.  Yay!!  Check out the zipper tag.  She’s making these for Christmas gifts.

And another one.  Great quilting on a perfect fabric.
Kay’s “leftovers” from a block of the month.This just makes me smile.I had to sneak this guy in here.  Kay quilted these great Christmas panels.  She made some great pillows.  Of course I had to go home and do the same thing.

And here’s Laura’s bag!  Again, this is a “leftover” from a block of the month.  Look at that piecing.  (I taught her how to quilt.  🙂

I’m offering “boro bag” on October 2.  Come stitch with me!

La Pass Open House

Here are some pictures from last Saturday’s La Passacaglia Open House at Village Fabric Shop.  Absolutely beautiful work…

These rosettes belong to Chris.  She found a few new Amy Butler fat quarters to add to her collection.  🙂


Jennifer’s machine appliqued rosettes.  She uses a small zig zag with monofilament.  It works!


This fabulousness belongs to Joyce.  She needed to sew her middle seam together to finish.  I received an e-mail from her just a few minutes ago that she was DONE.  Yay Joyce!!  Now she is shopping for a border….and taking out lots of papers.  🙂

Joyce’s from another angle.  So many wonderful quilt memories.  We are going to get together to trim it…


Robin walked in with these beautiful rosettes.  Awesome!  I’m so proud of her!


Andrea’s rosettes.  Look at the way she placed her pentagons in the outer rings of the big rosette!


A close-up of Ann’s work.


And more Ann!  We are going to get together and make a plan so she can begin to add her stars.


Martha Claire’s first rosette.

She is using a jellyroll bundle of gray neutrals for her stars.  Such a good idea!


A Katie close-up.  All her stars will be the same.

Such a beautiful grouping Katie.


Theresa couldn’t be with us so she sent me this picture.  Oh my.  So right.  She is making great progress and her look is just great!  I love her neutral stars.


Ginny was out of town and sent me this picture to share.  So so close!!!


And here’s Beverly’s…  She said she has five more rosettes!!

Such beautiful work ladies!!  You inspire me!!

If this has inspired you, I teach a 4-hour workshop about twice a month at Village Fabric Shop.  Check out my class schedule page and come join me.