Tag Archives: quilt blog

Mid November Quilty Fun

I feel we are heading straight into the holidays now and I’m super excited for it! Christmas is my favorite and we already have one tree up in the house. I do host Thanksgiving and I consider that our holiday kick-off! Of course there’s a fair amount of cleaning and prep work to be done in addition to working every day with students and on customer quilts. This year I tried to narrow the deep clean down to 5 areas in my home that REALLY needed the most attention. By only choosing five (believe me, there are more than five that are crying out) I am taking the pressure off myself to have a spotless house and perfect holiday that is never going to happen. Instead, I’m going to be satisfied with what I’ve completed, enjoy my family, and continue to work which brings me great joy. That’s not to say I don’t have panic quelling up here and there but I’m going to try my best to not worry about it and journey on. What are your holiday plans and how do you deal with all the stress of preparation?

This week I finished up the blue and white quilt. I adore this fabric line by Gerri Robinson called Charming. It is perfect for this quilt pattern which my mom also made and several of my students are about to take on as well. It’s a fun pattern that my mom found in an older magazine.









I have Nancy’s quilt on the long arm and about 3/4 of the way finished…I finally purchased the plastic overlays to place over the pantograph so that I can use a wet erase marker to mark my guidelines. I ordered these from APQS and I love them.









My students have all been busy too! They are all quite prolific in their quilt making which makes me so happy. Sharyn just finished up this neat wall hanging that she made with a panel. It’s just perfect for the holidays with that snowy window look.









Next she’ll be taking on this pretty purple and green quilt…and my mom might be taking this one on as well. The best part of having talented students is that we all get to share the great ideas with one another!








Gail finished up this adorable Minnie Mouse quilt and I’ll be putting it on the long arm soon. Aren’t the polka dots darling?








Gail didn’t stop there though, she also whipped up this awesome 1930’s Christmas jelly roll race quilt!








We chose this cute holly and berry pantograph with green thread for the long arming (or ‘larming’ as Amanda calls it).









What are you all working on this week? I’d love to hear about it. I’d also love to know what’s on your quilty wish list for Christmas this year?


Birthdays, Sculptures and Mermaid Tails

We are wrapping up February vacation here this afternoon. It’s been a busy and fun week and now I’m ready to get the house in order and prepare for the week ahead! Over the past week we’ve celebrated my birthday, gone shopping, visited a sculpture park, had friends over and took care of banking business for Lindsey who is headed to Paris on a school trip in April.

I received so many nice gifts in honor of turning 46! One of which was a new bread making machine. My old machine was 22 years old and beginning to have more fails than successes. I guess it was time for updating. I have my first loaf of basic white bread in the machine now.








Another of my lovely gifts was Zappy Dots magnetic quilt jewelry. The dots fit right inside the necklace and I love that the chain is 24″ long. It lands in just right the spot. Several quilty celebrities have designed the dots and I love that they even have a bunny one!









Another of my favorite gifts is this book, Artful Improv. It has great lessons on color theory and I can’t wait to use the tips and building blocks to create an improv piece that will lend itself to the long arm nicely.









Wednesday was my actual birthday and I headed to a yarn store a few towns over that I had never been to. I picked up two skeins of beautiful sock yarn to use on the loom but I forgot to upload the photo. I’ll post it next time. We had a nice dinner out with the girls and I broke my diet for birthday cake!









In one of my last posts I wrote about having trouble with making Lindsey’s crochet mermaid tail blanket. I officially gave up and ordered her one online! It arrived Friday! She’s happy and I’m super relieved not to have to worry about it anymore! LOL! It was worth the $20 something bucks to get that monkey off my back. The main problem was that I kept thinking the top part was too narrow and I was doing it wrong but it turns out the top is narrow and the one I purchased is just as narrow. Maybe another time I’ll try again and finish it. That time is totally not now!









On Thursday we visited DeCordova Museum and Sculpture park with my mom. It was an interesting place with several nice sculptures around the grounds. I think it would be fun to go back again in the summer although it was 60 something degrees the day we went. Here are a few pictures from that day trip…



















And finally, yesterday I managed to sneak into the sewing room to work on the Hawaiian flower quilt. That sashing is royal pain but it looks good. My points are definitely not perfect on it but the quilt is for me so I’m not worried about it. I do love the Hawaiian prints so much. This was a kit I purchased at Vicky’s Quilt Shop on Kauai the summer before last.









What are you all working on this weekend?


A Good Iron

So I’ve been through quite a few irons over the last 16 years. Some I started out loving only to be disillusioned a short time later when the iron started spitting water, or wouldn’t heat any longer, or refused to do its job.

Finding a perfect iron is frustrating because I’m pretty sure, the perfect one doesn’t exist in this universe at all. That being said, I have found one that I like a lot. Before I jump into telling you all about it, I’ll first tell you about the ones I’ve already owned.

I have had 2 Rowentas ($100 each), a few cheap Black & Deckers ($20 each), a Panasonic ($40), and a Continental Dry Iron ($22) which I still own, use, and enjoy. It is a dry iron so it does not have a steam function and also does not have auto shut off. This is a blessing and a curse. I love it for fusible applique because it gets hot…really hot…and stays that way which makes it dangerous if left on by accident.

The Rowentas both leaked shortly after I purchased them. I loved the steam they produced but didn’t love the brown water they spewed on my projects.

The cheap Black & Deckers were well, cheap. I got what I paid for and that wasn’t much. I never felt the irons actually got the wrinkles out of anything.

The Panasonic was ok until the retractable cord broke and it also didn’t really get the job of getting wrinkles out enough for my satisfaction.

So this brings me to my current iron which is the Black & Decker Digital Advantage. This comes in at the slightly under $50 range and is a dang good iron! I’ve had it for about a year, maybe longer. It does not have a retractable cord but it does have auto shut off.









The iron has a decent heft to it without being overly heavy. This is important if you have a lot of ironing to do at one time.

It has a digital display which beeps when the correct temperature setting has been achieved.

It has not leaked.

Let me repeat, it has not leaked!!!! Yipppeeeeee!!!!

And the best part….it actually does its job. It gets the wrinkles out of my clothing and fabric.

I purchased my Digital Advantage at Target but they can be found on Amazon and also at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

The price point is important to me because I’m tired of paying big bucks for an iron that ends up leaky. I have not tried an Oliso for that reason because several reviews have mentioned a leaking problem and the problem of those little legs breaking. I’m not willing to risk it even though it looks cool.

The price range of the Digital Advantage makes it a great buy for a really decent iron. I highly recommend this one and have in fact recommended it to my students. My lovely student, Priscilla, has purchased this iron at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a coupon and is very happy with it.

I just got off the phone with my mom and after telling her I was writing this review, she asked if this was the iron she uses at my house and I replied yes. She immediately said, “I like that iron”. So there you have it!

Go forth and iron everyone!

*this post contains affiliate links


Fabric, Projects & A Special Quilt

Saturday I headed to a fabric shop with my mom that neither of us have ever visited. It was my mom’s 75th birthday and what better way to spend it than doing some quilty shopping? We headed to Fabric Corner in Arlington, MA and we each found fabric to come home with! I also came home with a shirt pattern. I’m itching to do some garment sewing as I used to enjoy it quite a bit. I made the kids lots of dresses, skirts, and ponchos when they were young and would happily wear whatever I had sewn for them. Nowadays, they’ll really only wear pajama shorts/bottoms if I make them.

So here is what I picked up at the shop…the bunny fabric is to make the girls each a pillow case and the sewing machine fabric is for a pillow case for myself. I saw this neat tailor’s chalk and I like that it is thin and triangular. We’ll give that a try. And the pattern is for the shirt. Now I need to get myself some ballpoint needles and knit fabric.







Last week I met with all three of my lovely students. Gail and I worked on her log cabin. Priscilla and I basted this beautiful Yellow Brick Road baby quilt…







And Nancy and I spent some time planning her next quilt and taking a look at this lovely heirloom. This quilt was made by Nancy’s great grandmother and handed down to her grandmother and then to Nancy. It’s stunning with its feedsack fabrics and hand stitches. The quilt does not have a label and is a good reminder of why labels are important. Although Nancy has most of the facts about the quilt, it’s always nice to have the full story. I absolutely love the blue sashing and the hand ties. What a treasure! Here is Nancy and the quilt…










This is the last week of school for us and I know the counter will be full of papers and binders any minute now. I wrote a blog article over on my other blog about how to organize all those papers! You can read it by clicking here.

how to org school papers