Faithful Circle Quilters 2016 Show: Quilting with Friends

April 23, 2016

The Faithful Circle Quilters of Columbia, MD guild puts on one of the best guild shows in the DMV (DC-MD-VA). Our show is during the even numbered years. Milltown Quilters has their show in the odd years in the same location. A lot of people think it’s the same guild every year because it is in the same location.

FCQ 2016 Show 001

A couple of weeks ago one of our members had the idea to hang little quilts the size of a block around the railings at the entry to the church where we have our show. Members jumped in and we quickly had a multitude of little quilts to hang. They were so popular with visitors that there were traffic jams on the ramp caused by people taking time to look at all the little bits. There were enough to hang some out by the highway to attract passers-by. Fortunately, we had no inclement weather during the show.

FCQ 2016 Show 184

Our raffle quilt doesn’t photograph well. The light blue background always washes out for some reason. The flower blocks are machine embroidery made by deceased member, Joyce Schneider. Her husband donated the blocks and remaining background fabric to the guild. Margo Cramer designed the quilt and border and wrangled it to completion. Maria O’Haver did the quilting. I neglected to take a picture of the quilting. It was won by a guild member.

These are some of my favorite quilts from the show and, of course, my quilts. I hope the artist statements are readable.

This quilt won Viewer’s Choice for large quilts.

In My Garden is one of my quilts.

This was Viewer’s Choice for small quilts.

I love this hexagon heart quilt by Margaret Minton. Dawn’s quilting is gorgeous.

Farmer’s Market 20/20 is another of my quilts. It has another 20 fabrics on the back.

I love this Sunbonnet Sue doing all manner of quilting activities. In the row below, she buys the fabric in the first block, sews it in the second block, then wears the finished apron in the third block.

FCQ 2016 Show 073

Another one of my quilts. This one won Viewer’s Choice for medium size quilts! Detailed post for 2001: A Calendar Odyssey.

This one was made by my friend, Genie, for the Cuddly Critters Linus challenge. I just love it. It’s much prettier in person than in the photo. Every year or two, Stephanie bags up fabrics in brown bags and issues a challenge for Linus quilts. One year a member had to downsize and donated tons of flamingo fabrics for the Linus quilts. Our members rise to the challenge and make wonderful quilts. We had an entire room plus the hallway lined with the Cuddly Critter quilts.

Mother Goose and Friends is another of my quilts. It was a joy to make despite the half-inch sashing and cornerstones, the small sawtooth stars and the prairie points.

Joyce Ritter’s butterfly mobile won Viewer’s Choice in the Other category.

Some of the silent auction area. It’s hard to get photos because of the cramped space.

FCQ 2016 Show 179

Peddler’s table where guild members sell their excess items. This is an extremely popular area. On Thursday morning when the show opened, the first thing attendees wanted to know was “where are you selling the members’ stuff?” I heard there was a line of people waiting to get into the room. This picture was taken on Saturday afternoon after 2.5 days of selling.

One of the things our show is known for is the decorative vignettes scattered around the show. Member bring items in and Sandy McDonald and her team work their magic. Some, like this one, are themed to the quilts. These decorations add a special touch to the show.

FCQ 2016 Show 183

A popular section we added in our 2014 show is the $10 and under boutique. Members make items to be sold here. I scored 3 bibs for my mother so now I don’t have to make them. I was able to get one before the show and took it home to Illinois with me last week. It was a big hit in the dining room of the facility. I’ll have to draw off a pattern before sending the other two off. Now Dad wants one so Mom will have to share.

FCQ 2016 Show 190

Drawing winners for the raffle baskets and quilt. I neglected to take photos of the 7 baskets. There were 2 that each contained 200 fat quarters – that’s 50 yards each, folks. One woman bought some tickets and gave them to her granddaughter to disperse with the instruction, “Don’t put any in the ones with all the fabric!” Many of us felt that way. I didn’t win any of the raffles. In the upper right hand corner, the woman in the pink jacket is looking at a 2 week old kitten being cared for by a member. He wasn’t happy to be so popular.

It’s all over now until 2018 which will get here sooner than any of us are ready for.

2001: A Calendar Odyssey

April 23, 2016
QHOF 122

2001: A Calendar Odyssey

I thought we started this project in 2001 but Mimi says we started it in 2002. I had already named it so let’s believe it was started in 2001, OK? The picture above was taken when the quilt was hanging in the Quilter’s Hall of Fame exhibition for Mimi Dietrich’s installation in 2015.

This block of the month, Folk Art Fancies, was designed by Lisa DeBee Schiller. I can’t find any website for her.

Where possible I try to do something I’ve never done before on our grad school projects. For this one it was my first log cabin and first fused applique with hand buttonhole stitch.

Each block has a star in the background because of Lisa’s Texas background. One night at the Baltimore Applique Society meeting, Kathy Siuta, Anita (whose last name escapes me right now) and I were talking about the project. Kathy said, “I’m not from Texas. I don’t want stars in my blocks. I’m from Maryland – I’m going to put a crab on mine.” (I don’t think she actually did that.) I said, “I’m from Illinois. What would I put, Abe Lincoln’s head?” Anita said I should put a log cabin. She meant an appliqued, actual log cabin house because she does not piece. Her comment sparked the idea of a log cabin background. As soon as I got home, I started playing around with the graph paper. I attempted to echo the star idea with the placement of the light and dark of the log cabins. I think it would be more visible had I done the center blocks with all dark logs instead of the pinwheel. Hindsight is 20/20.

The logs are .5″ finished width. The applique is fused with hand buttonhole stitch. I don’t recommend doing this. I had trouble with the fusible sticking to the background over all the seams. Of course, it could be that some of the fusible was too old. I used whatever I had – Heat and Bond, Steam a Seam II, and who knows what else. Some of it was picked up at the guild freebie table so was of unknown vintage and brand.

I was too lazy to figure out all the log lengths so didn’t cut the logs to size. I just took a strip, sewed it on and cut it off at the end. DON’T DO THAT! You end up with bowed logs that make a not-square block. I wish it showed more in one of the pictures so you could see how bad it is to do that. I decided to consider it a design decision – just as the logs in a log cabin aren’t straight, neither are the logs in my log cabin blocks. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Maria O’Haver did the quilting. Thank heavens she takes whatever we throw at her in stride. I’m sure a lot of long-arm quilters would have refused to quilt this one because of all the layered fused applique and log cabin seams and the embellishment that I had to add before the quilting was done. Maria just shrugs and gets on with what needs to be done.

Last week the quilt was displayed in the Faithful Circle Quilters guild show. Our show hasn’t been judged since 1998 or 2000. We do have Viewer’s Choice awards. This quilt won Viewer’s Choice for medium size quilts. Quite unexpected and exciting. It never even crossed my mind that this quilt might be that popular because there are so many talented quilters in our guild. There is stiff competition in all categories.

FCQ 2016 Show 191

Margo Cramer has been making the Viewer’s Choice awards for many years. If I remember correctly, they are different every show and each is one-of-a-kind. The pansy is hand applique. Margo does stunning, museum quality applique. She matched the color of the pansy to the color of the details card for the category. Medium size was pink.

QHOF 123

My January. I switched the December and January blocks in the pattern because I thought they made more sense this way.

QHOF 124

February. I couldn’t resist using the 2 heart prints for the hearts.

QHOF 125

March. I fussy cut the fabric that says “Happy St. Patirck’s Day”.

QHOF 126

April showers bring May flowers

QHOF 127

May flowers with the Maypole

QHOF 128


QHOF 129


QHOF 130


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September. Many apples for the teachers.

QHOF 132

October. I don’t remember who came up with the idea of ruching the flowers on this block. The cat is made from a Mr. B’s Cats print from Benartex. I wish they’d do this print again in more colors.

QHOF 134

My December. Beth Rice gave me the ultra suede for the moose. I borrowed the idea of the light string around the antlers from Marylou McDonald. I had to put them on before it was quilted because they go under the applique but Maria was able to work around them. I found the little heart button for the nose at a shop in Lancaster, PA during the 2014 Row by Row Experience.

QHOF 135

The center wreath contains elements from the surrounding 12 blocks. I have a patriotic fabric with bears on it so I cut one out and added it to the wreath because it was so cute. Detail shots of the wreath are shown below.

Anita’s log cabin made it onto the label. The backing is a Jinny Beyer Y2K print.


Mimi made labels for us to document our quilts hanging at the Quilters’ Hall of Fame celebration. I still need to sew this onto the quilt. It is in a safe place and I actually remember where it is! Oops, I just noticed that Mimi made a typo. I wonder if she knows? I’m sure not going to tell her. The pretty border is on the card that came with the label – the label has plain edges.



Mid-April Status Update

April 22, 2016

The first two weeks of April were very busy. On Monday April 4th, we had Mimi’s Grad School class during the day and guild meeting in the evening. On Tues I packed and Wed drove to Chicago. Friday I went to the big quilt show in Rosemont. I didn’t take many photos. Guess I’m just jaded by having gone to too many shows. I think the really good quilts were going to Paducah. On Sat I drove down to my parents home and spent a couple of days with them. Tues came back to Maryland. Wed was turn in day for my guild’s quilt show. Thurs through Sat I worked at the show. Sun was tax prep day. Whew!

I got a little sewing in last week and more this week. Still just making blocks. Got quilt a few done due to changing up the way I’m working. I was doing one block at a time with leader/enders which used lots of leader/ender pieces. I decided to try doing two blocks at once, using one block as the leader/ender for the other. Then, using a true leader/ender when the second block was complete. I can make four blocks in an hour this way.

I’ve kept to the idea of working with the scrap strings during the news except for nights when I have guild or Baltimore Applique Society. Here’s what I’ve done the last couple of weeks.

And last but not least, the leader/ender blocks. Beth gave me a nice little box with charm squares for my birthday. I filled it up with block kits for leader/ender spools.


Saturday Status Report

April 2, 2016

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written dozens of posts in my head but they never made it to the computer. Did you enjoy them? Of course, not, unless you’re psychic. If you are, please let me know – I could use some winning lottery numbers. I also found myself reluctant to post about quilts until they were complete. As slow as I am at finishing things, that makes for posts that are few and far between. I decided to try semi-weekly reports showing what I’ve done since the last report. It probably won’t be every week – like the next two weeks which will be very busy so there won’t be any sewing happening here. There are two or three events that should generate their own posts.

The last couple of days I’ve felt like Penelope, Odysseus’ wife, who unpicked her work every night before going to bed. I’ve been doing a lot of unsewing and practice sewing (no bobbin thread). Sigh.


We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

In the last post I showed some of my scrap containers and committed to sewing scraps during the evening news. I should have specified that’s evening news on weekdays.


This is one of my string bins. It weighs 7.4 pounds according to my hand-held luggage scale. I don’t know how accurate that is but let’s stick with that. At 4 yards per pound, that’s about 30 yards of fabric. I want it gone because I prefer to use pretty containers and I already have a string container which is overflowing. I also have a string bin that travels to sew-ins. I worked out of that one one afternoon a month for 2 years without a noticeable reduction in contents.

Shall we play a guessing game? How many quilts will that sack produce? How long will it take me to empty it? I’m guessing it will be quite a while before we have answers to those questions.

This week I  made 25 6″ blocks from that sack. I still have reach the point where I can stir up the contents without getting them all over the floor.

I worked on the Dutch 9-patch or double 9-patch, if you prefer.

That’s 30 blocks. I made one more but it needs some discussion.


Do you spot what’s “wrong” with this block? I put wrong in quotes because, technically, there is nothing wrong with this block. But, I reversed the positions of the large squares in the outer 9-patch. The coloring above is how the block is shown in Barbara Brackman’s book and Jinny Beyer’s book. I didn’t find the coloring I’m using (that I saw on a blog mentioned in my last post) in either book. I thought for a while that I would keep this one like this and just mix it in. After reflection, I decided to fix it because what attracted me to the block was the way the 4 squares of the center 9-patch stood out in the field made by the other fabric. That didn’t stop me from making 4 more of them the “wrong” way – I had to fix them also. Here are the two versions side by side.

The “wrong” one is on the left and the “right” one is on the right. The one thing I don’t like about the coloring I’m using is putting the blocks side by side with the florals touching each other and the go-withs touching. I’ll have to come up with different ways to set the blocks when I get to that point. It’s going to be a while before I have to worry about that. Here’s the bin of block kits after the 34 blocks I’ve made so far. As you can see, I’ve barely scratched the surface.


Want to play more guessing games? How many blocks will this bin produce? How many quilts will it make? Again, it’s going to be a while before we know the answers. This will get set aside for a time. After the quilt show in two weeks, I have 4 baby quilts to quilt and bind – two sets of twins. Not to mention all the UFOs that deserve to be worked on.

I would get very confused and screw up more blocks than I have if I tried to sew more than one of these Dutch 9-patch blocks at a time. That makes for lots of leader/ender sewing.

That’s 24 rows of tumblers. I only have enough variety to finish the row that is under the needle right now so I’m going to have to devote some time to cutting spool kits for leader/enders. The 3″ spools were Bonnie Hunter’s leader/ender challenge from several years ago. They are so fun to make. I think of them as quilter’s candy.

Oops. I did it again!

March 27, 2016

I couldn’t help myself – I started another project. I read this post showing the Dutch 9-patch and started envisioning the blocks with florals and go-withs. She did a 12″ block which makes for some odd measurements for the center 9-patch. I drafted it as a 9″ block which makes for more pleasant cutting – 3.5″ and 1.5″. I finished the cutting yesterday. I don’t know what word to use to describe how I feel when I see a box like this full of block kits ready for sewing. It gives me a thrill.


I have no idea how many block kits there are and I don’t really care. I’ll probably pick my favorite blocks for a quilt for me and the rest will make quilts that will eventually live with other people. Patty thought it was rash of me to cut all the fabric without sewing a test block. I told her that I have faith that math works.

For the most part I cut a 3.5″ strip from each fabric, then subcut it to get the squares. What do you get when you do this? Scraps, lots of scraps. I was already drowning in scraps.

The left picture is 3.5″ strips left from cutting fabrics that were full width. The fabrics on top of the bin in the center are the crumbs left from cutting a 1.5″ square from a floral 1.5″ x 3.5″ strip. They’ll be good for more Wild and Goosey blocks. The mound above the top of the tub on the right is the remainder of strips from fat quarters and less than full width fabrics.

I got my sewing machine back from the Bernina hospital a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t want to set it up until the stop in the cabinet was moved so it sits flat. I still can’t budge the nut. Barbara L volunteered her son to help so I’ll have to take her up on that but not until after our guild’s quilt show. I went ahead and set up the machine so I could sew some blocks to see how they look. It felt really good to sew again.

While tidying up a while back I found some more leader/ender spool block kits. These were done while doing the above blocks.


What am I going to do about the scraps? I think I have a plan. My friend, Clara, has a unique way of getting her hand applique done. One day at Mimi’s Grad School class she was showing a quilt and said, “This is my Dr. Phil quilt.” We asked for an explanation. She has one project she allocates to work on while watching Dr. Phil and another for Jeopardy/Wheel of Fortune. So, what if I work on sewing scraps while watching the evening news instead of sitting upstairs playing games on the computer? Do you think if I do this I can use the scraps faster than I make new ones? Check back in a few months and we’ll see how it’s going.

I started tonight with the tail ends of the 3.5″ strips. I decided they should be strips like Chinese coins. I got 2 longish strips sewn. The rest of the pieces should get sewn tomorrow night since we have no guild meeting because it’s Easter Monday and the church is closed.

I really have to get sleeves made and sewn onto the last 3 quilts entered in the show. Someone in guild said one of the local stores had the ready-made sleeves but I forgot which store it was. What are the chances they’ll still have some?

Rescue Mission

February 29, 2016

Took a long walk the other week when we had a nice, warm day. I was surprised to see ice on the pond given how warm, relatively speaking, the winter has been. I thought the shadows of the branches made interesting patterns.


I’ve been in a slump since coming home after Christmas. Some days I don’t even go down to the sewing room at all. Am I hibernating because it’s cold? Or am I avoiding the sewing room because there are too many have-to-dos before I can return to want-to-dos?

What are my have-to-dos?

  1. Allietare – I want to get the top done so I don’t add another UFO to the pile. I’m at the bordering point. The back is designed and partially completed. Can’t continue with the back until the front is done.
  2. Bindings and labels and sleeves, oh my! – My guild’s quilt show is in April. I have to bind, label and sleeve my entries. My quilter returned five quilts to me last year that I was saving for binding until winter. Three of the bindings are finished. One side is left for the fourth quilt. One quilt for the show has a sleeve. Part of the problem with sleeves is that I don’t know how many of my entries will get into the show. Too many large quilts are being entered and we only have so much room for large quilts. I don’t want to sleeve the quilts that aren’t going into the show.
  3. Twin quilts #1 – I never got into the position where I was expected to gift quilts to every co-worker for whatever occasion like some people I know. Only one of my direct co-workers got a quilt because she is special. The co-worker who had twins is also special to me so when I heard he was having twins, I immediately picked a pattern and fabric. The twins for these quilts turned two in November. The quilts have been sitting waiting for the quilting. Time for me to get on it so I can give them.
  4. Twin quilts #2 – I used Jo Kramer’s Pinky Swear pattern to use the bonus triangles from Bonnie Hunter’s 2014 mystery, Grand Illusion. I had two colorways of triangles so made two quilts – pink and brown and blue and brown. When I showed the tops at guild, I said it was too bad I didn’t know anyone having boy and girl twins. A few weeks later I got a Christmas card from my oldest friend with the news that her daughter was expecting boy and girl twins. The grandmother-to-be bought the backing fabric for the quilts and now I need to quilt them.
  5. Mimi’s grad school BOM. I want to keep up this year. My January block bird still needs an eye and feet. I’ve got a week to get February’s block done.
  6. Jinny Beyer BOM – I’ve got the border fabric and the background but haven’t made any blocks yet. I’d like to keep up with this one also.
  7. 365 block challenge – This is a free block of the day. So far I’m only collecting the patterns. Can’t decide what color to do. Today’s choice is rust and orange. This is more of a want-to-do than a have-to-do.
  8. Town and Country block a day – This is a purchased pattern. Haven’t started it either. Linda and I were going to work on it together. She’s mostly been out of town since Thanksgiving dealing with family issues. I don’t expect her to be back home for good until summer. I’m holding off until she gets back. It’s also more of a want-to-do.

Last week while I was working on the one sleeve I’ve done, I broke my Bernina 1230. The sleeve was all sewn except for the basting for the ease. I tried to use the long stitch and the basting stitch on the Bernina but it just stitched normal stitch. I tried all the things like pressing the clear button and turning the machine off and on with same results. I wondered what would happen if I changed the stitch length. When I did that I heard a clunk and the needle didn’t move any longer. The take-up lever moved, the feed dogs fed but the needle didn’t go up and down.

Packed it up to go to the repair shop. Took off the next day after guild, not knowing that the shop is closed on Thursdays. It’s an hour or more drive depending on traffic. Sigh. Decided to wait until Patty could go with me. We went up last Friday. Having a companion makes the ride seem shorter. I talked to a technician the day before. His analysis of the problem is that the needle bullet is stuck. What is a needle bullet, you ask? The way I understand his explanation, there’s a piece that moves in and out of a hole to keep the needle up to skip stitches to make the long and basting stitches – the difference between the two stitches is the number of stitches to skip. The bullet wasn’t moving during my first trials so it stitched normally. When I changed the stitch length the bullet moved but got stuck so kept the needle from moving to make stitches. If that’s what’s wrong, it’s a $5 fix.

She’s overdue for regular maintenance – like a horse that’s been “rode hard and put away wet” as the saying goes – which is probably why the bullet got stuck. So she’s going to get her checkup and some new light bulbs and probably a new light switch. I didn’t even know there was a light switch on the back of the machine. Perhaps I knew when I first bought the machine but forgot. The lights come on when I turn on the machine and they go off when I turn it off so who needs a switch. The technician said that on this machine that switch has to be changed out periodically. Who knew? He also said that the bulbs rarely burn out, they just get dimmer over time. They’re so dim right now they’re pretty much useless.

Patty and I came home via Patches in Mt. Airy, MD. I finally found my gift card which is why I wanted to go there. I had no intention of buying a bunch of fabric because I’ve got more than plenty at home. As we walked in the door, we saw the sign for a sale where you get 20% off anything you could fit in your bag. We turned around and went back to the car to get bags. I’m sure you can figure out what’s coming. I had to rescue a few things from the store.

I promise I wouldn’t have succumbed if it weren’t for the magic word, “SALE”. I couldn’t resist. What is it about that word that dissolves all self-restraint? I picked up a few fat quarters of bird fabrics to add to the ones I already have for the back of the grad school BOM. I didn’t find any fat quarters of them in the bin but the cutter offered to cut them. Nice!


I had to get a half yard of the pirate parrots to have some for the back and some for stash. If I ever need a P novelty for alphabet or name quilts I’ll have it. I won’t be able to find it but I’ll have it. Also got some male and female cardinals.


The color and feel of this flannel grabbed me. I kept going back to pet it so finally agreed to get enough for a back. There was a paisley in the same color next to it from a different company but it didn’t feel anywhere near as nice. I left the paisley on the shelf. The color doesn’t show very well in the photo.


I love making quilts where you stack a bunch of fabrics, cut them up, shuffle them, sew them together then trim the resulting blocks. This book of holiday designs from the now defunct Buggy Barn has several that appeal to me.


The gift card has been a problem since it was purchased. I received it in a class where we each brought something to give to another member of the class. I got a call that there was some problem with the system when the card was bought. I called back and it was supposed to have been fixed. I wanted to use the card when I was at the shop in November but I couldn’t find it. They were too busy to look it up at the time. I found the card recently so gave it to Jackie as part of my payment. She looked at me and said, “There’s nothing on this.” I told her it had never been used and reminded her of the problem when it was bought. She grumbled about people not following through but took off the $10 that was supposed to be on the card and said she’d figure it out later. Thank you, Jackie.

The real rescue mission was at guild on Thursday. I’ve been doing pretty well at avoiding picking up fabric from the freebie table. No one wanted this box of homespuns. The powers that be were going to throw them out if no one took them. Well, we can’t have that. Homespuns for me are like civil war fabrics – I like the resulting quilts but I don’t often buy the fabrics off the bolt which makes it hard to make the quilts. Just before we left Margaret M. said she was glad I took them because if I hadn’t, she’d have had to take them and she didn’t need them.


I’ve washed and dried the homespuns and folded them. I always try to wash fabrics from a non-store source as soon as I bring them home because I never know what kind of conditions they’ve been stored in. They need ironing but I won’t do that until I’m ready to cut them.

After I got them all folded, I trimmed the edges on the fifth quilt waiting to be bound. I could set up my Janome Gem Gold but I think I’ll wait until the Bernina returns. I’ve got enough hand work and prep work to do before then to keep me busy.

State of the Stash 2016

February 6, 2016

Today is my 65th birthday. My mother had to take to her bed, horrified at the thought that she is old enough to have a child my age. I belong to the Yahoo! group Stashbuster. Every year during our birthday month, we’re encouraged to write about the state of our stash.

The last two years I claimed that I was going to start tracking yardage in and out but that didn’t last long. I’m going to make another stab at it this year, hoping the third time is the charm.

I’ve definitely bought less fabric locally since my home quilt shop closed in 2014. I have monthly meetings at two area quilt shops but hardly ever visit the very small shop a couple of miles from my house. But, the Row by Row experience made up for less local shopping. In 2015 the Row by Row frenzy found me visiting at least 53 shops in 7 states. Of course I had to buy something at each shop to support them. I wish I could say that I haven’t bought any fabric so far in 2016 but that would be a lie.

I fell off the wagon pretty quickly and bought these Doctor Who prints online from Missouri Star Quilt Company. That’s 2.5 yards plus a panel. JoAnn’s had some different prints. I don’t often buy fabric from JoAnn’s any more but the Doctor Who prints are enticing. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.


I bought 4 yards of background fabric for the Jinny Beyer 2016 BOM. Nothing in my stash went with the focus border print I’m using so Jinny picked out this pale green print to go with it.


My team bought 7 yards of fabric to make kits for our bird for Mimi’s grad school BOM but since that most of that doesn’t go into my stash, it doesn’t count. Yeah!

On the outgoing side, I’ve been more prolific since I retired than before. My quilter returned 5 quilts last year. Although I didn’t get around to binding them until this year, I’m not counting them as outgoing stash for this year. I suppose I could count the bindings that hadn’t already been made as being used this year. Then there are labels and hanging sleeves to make.

That’s why I have so much trouble accounting for things. What counts, what doesn’t, how do you count it, etc. If I weigh it, what conversion equivalent should I use – 4 yards per pound, 3 yards per pound, split the difference? It’s hard to believe that a 5 pound bag of trimmings that fits in a plastic grocery bag is 20 yards of fabric. What about kits that I’ve added fabric to? It’s very easy to forget to include the stuff off the freebie table at guild.

I hope to complete more projects this year. I’ve been spinning my wheels. Is it because it’s winter or because I have things I have to work on instead of the things I want to work on?

Allietare: Clue 6, part 1

January 26, 2016

Updated 2/3 to add link to Bonnie’s mystery link page.

Before I show you where I am on Allietare, I need to get the required Snowmagedon pictures out of the way. The official total for my town is 28.8 inches. By the time I got out to measure in the backyard, there had already been some melting and compacting. The yardstick says about 22.5. The picture on the right is a bench.


The left picture below is from my front door. I know the steps and sidewalk are under there somewhere. The right picture shows my car across the street, just right of the center of the picture. It looks like less snow than there is because I’m looking down on it from an elevation. My house sits up on a little hill.

My car after I shoveled and before the plow came. On the right I’m trying to show the snow pile next to the cars. What you can’t tell is that it is almost as tall as I am.

Here you can see a person emerging from behind the snow pile just to the left of center. On the right is a picture looking down the court from my house. There are driveways where those cars are.

Linda claims this is the first big storm in decades. How could she forget Snowmageddon 2010 that brought 2.5 feet of snow for my birthday? Not to mention the other two storms that winter that also brought us 2 feet of snow each. Maybe she doesn’t remember it because she doesn’t have to shovel it.

This was the first time in years that neighbors pitched in to help me shovel. The help was gratefully accepted. Next week is my Medicare birthday so I really shouldn’t be shoveling at all. Enough already with the snow. On to quilting.

You’d think I’d get a lot done while being snowed in but I didn’t. I did get all the blocks and setting triangles finished.

I laid out a few blocks at guild last week to see how they looked. Some of my neutrals and golds don’t have enough contrast from a distance but that isn’t much of a problem since no one will be looking at this from a distance other than during show and tell sessions. With the X-rated fabric, I probably can’t enter this in my guild show in 2018 because that would surely offend someone if they looked at it closely enough to identify that print.


Maria had her finished top there. It took me a while to figure out why the design looked so different. It has to do with the values of the fabrics she chose. Her 4-patches are close in value so from a distance look like a lozenge.


Maria’s top


My Allietare blocks laid out on my design bed.

Maybe I’ll get back to sewing on Allietare next week or maybe the week after. Yesterday, I sewed a binding on one of the three quilts waiting for that. I’d like to get the other two done while the machine area is set up to deal with that.

See where others are on the mystery.

I need to select fabrics for my class on Saturday. I have to finish my block for Mimi’s Grad School class on Monday. My bird is currently blind and crippled (no eye and no feet). I’ll try to write more about that project next week with show and tell from the class. I also need to get started on the Jinny Beyer BOM.


Allietare: Clue 5

January 5, 2016

Yup. Still a week behind. I always get depressed about the mystery when Bonnie releases the reveal on New Year’s Day or does a fast finish like she did with Easy Street. I’m always at least 2 clues behind by that point because of holiday travel.

I finished clues 4 and 5 on Saturday.


Clue 4


Clue 5

Haven’t had a chance to work on it since Saturday. Sunday was Sew and Tell, Monday was Mimi’s Grad School and guild and today was the heat pump guy for the winter maintenance. I though I’d be able to do some work today but I spent the day moving things out of piles and closer to where they belong. We won’t discuss how long some of those piles have existed.

One of the things I found today was a bag from Row by Row. In it were these fat quarters that I bought to use in the mystery. Crap. Well, I guess I can use them on the back.


Oh, just realized I can use the gold and coral in as centers for 2 of the blocks. Now I feel better.

See how far everyone else has gotten at this week’s link-up.

Mimi Dietrich’s Grad School Surprise

January 1, 2016

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a member of Mimi Dietrich’s grad school class. We meet once a month at Bears Paw Fabrics in Towson, MD. In December we had a potluck along with our normal show and tell.

After lunch I returned to my seat to find a dowel next to my stuff. I thought, “Who put this stick here?” Then I noticed that there were sticks at other seats, also. I wasn’t the only one wondering what was up. After I saw that everyone had one, I figured it was part of the surprise Mimi said she had for us.

Mimi uses grad school members as stunt quilters for her books when she needs more sewing done than she can accomplish in time by herself. In 2004, she asked us to work on pieces for Easy Applique Samplers. Mimi designed each piece, selected the fabrics and, for some, specified techniques.

The surprise was that she decided to give them to those of us in grad school! Rather than keep them stuck in a cupboard until she dies and expecting her sons to do something with them, she wanted to let them go out into the world.

I received the one I worked on. I did the applique (fused with hand blanket stitch) and embroidery. Barbara Laskowski quilted it. Mimi did the binding, sleeve and label.


Linda is away dealing with a death in the family, so missed the meeting. Because she needs some sunshine in her life right now, Mimi felt this one should go to Linda. I don’t know who did the work on this one.



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