Here is the disappearing nine patch experiment. I guess I forgot to take a picture of it with the binding on, so imagine it with a purple binding the same color as those little blocks in the front. I gave this to Project Linus.



These are the ATC cards I got from the March swap — the topic was “Feet.” This was a challenging one for me and I am delighted with all the clever cards I got back.


Next is a panel that I quilted. It still is not bound, but when that is done I will give it to Ronald McDonald house.


Although this is an old qult, the new part of this is that finally — FINALLY —  I got this crazy quilt hung up on the wall. I think I finished it in 2003, so it has been waiting for a long time.


Here is  the 16th and final block for Pushing UP Spring. Now I need to work on the border and corner blocks before I can assemble this one. I am thinking of going over all the blocks and adding some hand embroidery before I assemble them. I think it would accentuate the big flowers and solid colors. It will probably take another year at my pace, but would be worth it.


Next is the a green stripey quilt I made at my first Onderful One Fabric quilts class. I have made three quilts in this same style but somehow this one got quilted last. I really like it though. As you probably know, these are made with border print fabric cut and sewn together to make it look like lots of intricate blocks. This is similar to a technique called Hidden Wells where you sew fabric into strips and then cut them the same way. I had about four yards of this striped fabric and ended up using nearly every bit of it. I think I had less than a 12″ square of it left.



Here is a chair we got at a yard sale that now resides in my studio.  Although it is in like-new condition, or maybe because it is, I have it covered with a throw to minimize the cat hairs that will inevitably attach themselves to it.


Check out this hexie pin cushion. I think the hexies are 1 1/4″ on a side and this size makes a very nice pin cushion. I filled it with crushed walnut shells.


I can mark off another one of my UFOs to finish this year. I allowed one month to get all these blocks assembled. I had all the smaller squares together and just needed to put the blue and grey flying geese around the sides. There are 49 blocks and I just finished them last week. Another month will go for sewing the blocks into a quilt top with borders.  I think I am a little ahead of schedule on UFOs this year. Hooray!


This was my April lotto block contribution – a wonky log cabin. I really like it and plan on making some for myself.


Finally, I signed up for a paper piecing class where we are making place mats for each of the four seasons. this is Autumn. I don’t have the faces on the scarecrows yet — that will be some hand embroidery. Oh, and of course I am making one for me and one for Raymond.


Well that finishes last month.  Ok, there are a couple other things, but I have to keep them secret till after guild meetings and such. Check back again to see what I get up to in May.



November Accomplishments

Well, it doesn’t seem like I got much done in November.  Here is the finished spiral hexie heart quilt:

Spiral Hexie Hearts

It measures about 30″ at the widest point. We are planning on hanging it on the wall as soon as we figure out how.  I have already started on another one with only three fabrics which should show the spiral and the hearts much better.

One I made a batch of mug rugs to give to some of my quilting friends. A mug rug is a little coaster that is big enough to set your cup or glass on one side and have room to put a cookie or little snack on the other side. Snacks are so important to quilters, you know!

I found a panel with a bunch of sayings about ‘friends’ and used them as the focal of the rugs. I spent a while trying to plan coordinating fabrics and finally settled on a bundle of 2.5″ strips that I got at the new quilt shop, Spool I knew they would all go together.  I marked a hexagonal shape around the sayings and then did some log cabin rounds till they were a good mug rug size.

Mug Rugs

I wrapped them and then randomly chose which one to give to which friend. It was a fun project, and I am sure I will make more.

I finished a pair of socks, I think this is the 20th or 21st pair. Wow!  These are more house slippers than socks because they are made with a worsted weight acrylic yarn which makes them heavier and thicker than socks. This brand is called ‘unforgettable.’ I gave them to my sister. There was almost enough left to make a second pair with short cuffs but I had to get another skein to finish them. I love these vivid colors. I gave this pair to my sister.

Rainbow Socks

I was telling a friend about the bibs I use to make for my grandmother and my mother-in-law out of dish towels, and decided to see if I could remember how before I tried to explain the pattern to her.  I use to call them ‘blouse savers’ when I made them for my mother in law. She liked to look her best all the time and these helped.


I am nearly done with ‘Pushing Up Spring,’ a block of the month I started two or three years ago. I love these bright colors too. There are sixteen blocks in all and this is block thirteen. Three more to go. Wow!

Pushing Up Spring 13

I worked on a few other things, but this is all that got finished.

PS: as you can see, I changed the look of my blog again. See that pesky little linky thing that shows up there on the left? I put that in a few years ago when I was in a block of the month and it only ever showed up half way and at the bottom of the page. Now I wan’t to remove it and can’t figure out how. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Happy Day!

What Happened to the Merry Month of May?

These first few pictures are from April. I finished the 12th Pushing Up Spring Block. Here it is:

2013-04-21 pushing up daisies block 12

and here are all the blocks to date:

2013-04-21 pushing up daisies four more to go

Only four more to go! I think I can see the light at the end of this tunnel.

At the Frogpond Retreat we had a day of shopping and I wandered into a rug store and bought this lovely rug. It fits perfectly on the landing and looks really nice.

2013-04-23 new rug

I also won one of the drawings at the retreat and brought all these beautiful fat quarters home.

2013-04-25 fat quarters

SOCKS Here is a new pair of socks. They are made with Lion brand “I Love this Yarn”  worsted weight yarn and are so soft and warm. I am sure they will keep my tosies toastie in cold weather.

2013-04-23 socks 17

PIZZA BOX CHALLENGE Here is the pizza box block I made for Cindye V. for April. She put in a lot of florals and wanted a garden theme and I thought this would work.  The key ingredient in this month’s block was to have a nine patch block. I made nine posies.

2013-04-27 cindyee v pizza box block

My first thougth for Cindye’s block was to make hexagon flowers with the different florals she had, but after starting a test block in my fabrics realized that it would take too long to be done in time.  So I switched to the above block and made one for each of us.  I finished the test hexie block so here is a picture of that followed by a picture of all my test blocks so far. I am enjoying this challenge quite a lot.

2013-05-10 pizza box blocks hexies

2013-05-10 pizza box blocks

With the hexie block, I have two blocks for myself this month.

I guess the next post will have to fill you in with happenings in May.

Catching Up Again

I don’t know where the time goes, but I find myself behind again. Here is a cuddle quilt I started at the February meeting of Chattanooga Quilt Guild.  I didn’t get it finished that day, but managed to turn it in at the March meeting.

2013-02-26 cuddle quilt


For no reason at all, my sister sent us this beautiful wall sculpture of ginkgo leaves. I have always loved ginkgos because the leaves are so unusual.  Doesn’t it look great above the TV?  I have the best sister in the world!

2013-03-05 ginko


I finished another pair of socks early this month — the fifteenth pair since I learned how to knit them. I think this is the fifth pair that is mostly pink. Hmmm, do I detect a trend?

2013-03-05 pink socks


I got another block done on Pushing Up Spring:

2013-03-05 pushing up spring 1-11

This is block  #11; only five more to go! This is going to be such a bright happy quilt.

2013-03-05 pushing up spring 11


Here are some pictures of a sewing caddy especially for applique projects. My friend, Vicky K., came up with the design and was kind enough to explain how she did it so I could make one of my own. It is very a very handy way to carry a project with you and have everything you need at hand.  Here it is all ready to go:

2013-03-07 applique caddy 1

Here it is out of the container and ready to stitch. There are pegs to hold eight spools of thread, a pin cushion to hold needles, and special spots to hold scissors and a needle threader so you don’t have to dig around to find them. I also like that I can put any scraps of thread or  fabric in the bottom of the container to dispose of at home so I won’t leave any mess behind. There is even room to store the folded up block inside the container either under or on top of the caddy.  I love this. Thanks Vicky!

2013-03-07 applique caddy 3


Here are my pizza box blocks for March. The red one is the practice one and the other one is for Denise H.  The requirement for this block was to have a four patch.

2013-03-08 pizza box blocks denise h


Here are Sandi S. and Sharon G.  at my house a couple weeks ago. We had a great visit as usual and shared a ton of ideas. I love having quilting friends over. This is actually the second time Sharon and Sandi came over since the studio moved downstairs, but I didn’t think to take a picture before now.  Vicky K. came over once too and we had a lovely time.

2013-03-12 Sandi & Sharon


In honor of the Irish holiday this month, I made some quilted mats to go on our TV trays. I used some of the crumb blocks that I made a while back and just sewed them together till they were the right size. Then I did a little straight line quilting and finished the edges.  My plan is to have different mats for the different seasons and holidays. The fabric on the back of these two is a snowy woodland scene that will be great for the winter months. For February, I used our Valentine place mats, but they are smaller that the tray tops. I like this size much better.

2013-03-12 scrappy table mats


More knitting ahead: After I finished the beige tweedy socks that I tried as an experiment with knitting worsted weight yarn, Raymond expressed an interest in having a pair like them. I searched around and found a pattern that I though might work on Ravelry.com called ‘sasquatch slipper socks.” They are made using two strands of worsted weight yarn together so you can imagine how thick and warm they are.  Since the yarn is so much bigger, these socks knitted up a lot faster, and Raymond is happy with the result. I took a picture of mine and his together so you can get an idea of the difference in size.

2013-03-14 big socks


Are you still with me?  What a long post this has become. Well, hang in for a little longer and I promise not to take up too much more of your time.


My chosen UFO to have finished for the March guild meeting is one I started several years ago and set aside and forgot.  I got the idea from Scraps by Judy Martin.  The quilt she made is called Newport Beach and is with lots of bright fabrics on a white background with a darker fabric that give the impression of dimension.  I decided to use up some of my brown fabrics. The basic blocks start with a three-inch square of brown fabric that look like this:

2013-03-17 shadow squares

In Judy’s quilt the different colors are scattered around randomly and my original idea was to do that too.  When I dug out the blocks to start working on them for the UFO finish, I decided that I might like it better if the same fabrics were set together, and decided to make nine patches of the smaller blocks with a narrow sashing between to emphasize the shadow. I got a lot of blocks done but not in time for the March meeting.  Since then though I have assembled twenty-five blocks. Here they are all together:

2013-03-21 shadow squares

Each shade of brown with its nine sections ends up around 14″ square. I haven’t sewn the larger blocks together yet. Pretty cool, eh?  The next idea I have is to separate the blocks with a 2″ sashing. Today, I made a few just to see how they look. I think the space between will add a nice contrast to the busy blocks.  Raymond likes them all scrunched together better, so I am giving some more thought to it before I decide which way to go.  My plan is to make this big enough for the master bed which is king sized, and I want us both to like it. Which do you prefer?

2013-03-25 shadow squares

I don’t think I will have this done in time for the April meeting either.


The other day, I dug out this map of the world panel and made a quick quilt out of it for Project Linus. I probably should have added borders, but then it would have been too  big for the bit of batting I had for it and I would have had to wait to get to the store for more.  It is big enough for a kid as it is, and ‘finished is better than perfect.’

2013-03-23 Linus quilt


Finally, I though I should show you the latest addition to my fancy desk. We added two shelves to the center part that provide a lot more space to store this and that.  I have still been sorting and re-arranging things, but this is the only new thing.

2013-03-25 desk

That’s all for now. Happy Day!

Mid February

Well, I let a couple of weeks go by without a note from me. That means this will be a busy post what with all the catching up. Here we go. . .

Easy Street

First up is step four of Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt Easy Street.  I skipped step three for the moment until I get around to getting a couple of special rulers to make those blocks.

2013-02-06 easy street

Modern Challenge

Here is a challenge block I made for the Modern Quilt Guild using Madrona Road fabrics. As you can probably tell it is supposed to be a variation on a log cabin block.  Well, this is a rather wonky log cabin, but I kind of like it anyway.

2013-02-07 modern challenge block

Pizza Box Challenge

We are doing a pizza box challenge at Chattanooga Quilt Guild this year. Each participant put six coordinating fabrics (1 yard each) in a pizza box that will be exchanged every month so that by the end of the year we will have enough blocks made by different people to put into a quit. Our challenge coordinator, Lauren, made up a clever murder mystery to go with the monthly exchange.  The clue for the first block  indicated that the block had to  include a square.

That seemed simple enough. I decided to make a practice block before cutting into anyone’s good fabric and since I had more of the fabrics I sent in my pizza box, I use that to make the first one. My fabrics are mostly red and green and I hope to have a Christmas quilt when the challenge is done. This is paper pieced and from Vol. 1 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. This block is called, “Happiness in a Block.” I like the name and was happy that it came out to the right size.  The block on the left is from my fabrics and the one on the right is the good one, and I think the second one has better contrast than the first, although I like both of them.

2013-01-30 L smaleys january pizza box block

We exchanged boxes again at the February meeting, so after next month’s meeting, I will show you the next one. We got to see all the blocks made before the exchange and it was very exciting. I love this challenge.

More Socks

If I am counting correctly, this is my fourteenth pair of socks since I learned how to knit them a couple of years ago. Wow! I can hardly believe that.  And I have started another pair already. There is something comforting about sitting and knitting, and it makes watching TV feel a little less wasteful.

2013-02-08 socks

Sweet Surprises

Week before last, Raymond came home with a couple very cool things and totally surprised me. He had been on his way home from the store and just happened to be driving by a house where they were taking things out to the side of the road. He stopped and talked with the couple and found out that they were moving and couldn’t take everything they had and were setting a few things out for people to take — for free! He had stopped when he saw this cute jewelry cabinet thinking that I could probably find something to put in it.  Wow! This is one of those things that I have secretly coveted for years.  Not particularly for jewelry, but gosh, can’t you just see all those little drawers filled with sewing things? I can. And it’s almost like new. The finish is beautiful, the drawers are lined with dusty rose velvety stuff. Wow!  What a wonderful husband he is.

2013-02-09 sewing cabinet 1

2013-02-09 sewing cabinet 2

While chatting with the couple about their upcoming move and all, he mentioned that the only thing that would make the surprise even more perfect was if they were also getting rid of a treadle sewing machine. He was not sure at all why he even said that, but it turns out they did and he got it!

2013-02-09 treadle 2

I have been talking about getting one of these for years. My friend Willa has started a treadle collection, and several quilters whose blogs I read love them. They like the  straight stitches they get with a treadle, and the idea that they work when the electricity is down is cool too.  This little  beauty has seen some use, but I think we can get it up and running with a little TLC. It belonged to the woman’s great-grandmother. It came with a belt and one extra foot that I think is some kind of  narrow hemmer. The hand crank turns smoothly, which is a good sign. According to the serial number this was probably made in  1914, which makes it 99 years old. How cool is that! Right after I got it, I sent an email to the Singer Company asking if they had any information on this one and today I got a message back from them. It is a model 127  and was manufactured on August 6, 1914 in Elizabeth, NJ., and I downloaded a free manual from their website. Isn’t that cool!

2013-02-09 treadle


On the studio re-do front, I got the file cabinet cleaned out (who needs all those tax return papers anyway) and slid under my desk.  I have some piles of files to go through and put back in the drawers, but there will be plenty of room for my quilting files too.  One day we may get around to painting it white to match everything else, but for now this is fine.

2013-02-11 desk

Cuddle Quilts

We had a cuddle quilt workshop at Chattanooga Quilt Guild last Wednesday. The plan was to use three coordinating fabrics to make three different quilts with a nine-patch technique.  I am not sure I like the fabrics I used, but here they are anyway. The print has different colored letter of the alphabet on it. These are just tops — I still have to quilt them.

2013-02-14 cuddle quilt 1

2013-02-15 cuddle quilt 2

2013-02-17 cuddle quilt  3

Birds of a Feather

I also made more progress on my Birds of a Feather quilt. I cut and sewed the borders on.  The next step is to applique some vines all around the center part and add  some leaves. The original quilt has more birds in the border, but I don’t know if I will do that with mine.  I am thinking of making the vine from one of my darker reds so the green leaves will contrast a little.  Seems to me that would look better than all green on the border.

2013-02-17 birds of a feather border

Pushing Up Spring

Here is a blast from the past – Pushing Up Spring – an online block of the month that I started working on a couple of years ago. I dug it out to look at the other day and decided to stitch on a few blocks.  I’ve finished three more just in the last few days.  If you remember, there are sixteen all together so the finish line is in sight. I love these bright colors.

2013-02-15 pushing up spring

Pot Holders

Finally, I also made a few more pot holders. These are lemon ones.  maybe I will end up with sets that I can use as gifts. I know I don’t need this many.

2013-02-17 pot holders

Hopefully, I will write to you again next week.  Happy stitching!

January Leftovers

I sure have been neglecting this blog lately. Sorry.  Here are a few things from January:

This is a journal I covered.  i happen to see this fabric in one of my bags of fabric and remembered how much I liked it so decided to put it on a journal. It is woven fabric, not printed. You don’t see that very often these days.  I added a strip of delicate lace to remind me which side was front. I don’t know how many times I have opened a journal and got it upside because I could not distinguish the front from the back.

This is the view of it opened. What pretty flowers.

Here are Max and Zeena enjoying their new play tower.  The outside light was so bright it made the inside look dark, but it wasn’t really that dark. In the mornings, they like to lay in the sun here. Later in the day, they enjoy the elevated view outside where they can watch the birds play in the birdbath.

This is the first block of the block-of-the-month that I am doing at Sew Bee It quilt shop. This year we are taking a departure from the Jan Patek Girl Gang blocks-of-the-month and making Birds of a Feather by Barb Adams and Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs. So far, it is fun.

This is block #seven of “pushing Up Spring” from Apple Blossom Quilts, a block-of the-month from 2009 that I have been working on for quite a while.  There are 16 blocks all together, so I am nearly half way there. Block #8 is prepped and glued down and I have started stitching on it. I love the bright colors of these blocks. Here is a picture of the whole quilt:

Now, I think we are up to date for January. I have a picture or two for February, but will wait a day or so to put them up.

Odds & Ends from June

Apologies for the big gap between posts. I seem to get things done in the studio in little bursts and then not get around to posting about them. This is a catch-up post.

I pieced quilted and turned in this little quilt for Project Linus. It started out as four big orphan nine-patch blocks. I did some slicing and dicing and rearranged them. With sashing and borders, they ended up like this:

It’s hard to see in the pic, but there is a wide white border and binding around the narrow red one.

This is another one made from orphan blocks that I got from Florence at Project Linus. It is a collection of drawings by childern.  I added sashing and borders and this one still needs quilted. I hope to finish it this month.

I finished appliqueing another “Pushing up Spring” block from Applewood Farms. This is number six or seven out of 16, so I have a while to go. The next block is prepped and ready to start stitching.

My friend Vicky gave me a quilt she had made a long time ago which is partially hand quilted. She lost interest in it, and since she knew I love red and hearts, she decided to give it to me. I love it and am looking forward to finishing it. It is a hanky quilt with lots of hearts on the hankies. I love it. The picture doesn’t do it justice. One of these days I will take another.

Fran Randolph has been collecting red/white.blue string blocks for a big quilts of valor sew in she will be attending in August. I cut up all my patriotic fabric and made some for her.

Finally, I finished appliqueing on this wall hanging that I have been working on for maybe 5 years. I only had about 8 little leaves to finish around the border, but it seemed to take me forever to get them done. Now it only needs quilted. I can really see a difference in my stitching over the years, but I still love this and hope to hang it somewhere in the house soon.