Taking aim at a new quilt…

A couple of weeks ago in my newsletter I mentioned that I’m working on a new quilt, based on an antique bullseye design. The good news is that a pattern should be available in about a year. The bad news is that I can’t show it to you now. But I want you to know that it’s going to be fantastic!

Kauai Road — done!

This quilt began with a photograph of a road in Hanalei, Hawaii. If you’ve been there, you know the place. I used Photoshop to generate a drawing.

I made a placement overlay with the bones of the design. I didn’t use templates — I cut fabric by eye and built the quilt on my design wall.

Here it is, unquilted…


The quilting brings all the elements together; the quilting finishes the quilt.

I love this quilt, but Steve loves it more. It is hanging in our dining room on the wall he can see from his spot on the sofa. I suspect it’s going to stay on that wall for a long time.


When your ironing board needs a facelift…

I’ve had this ironing board from Reliable for many years and I love it, except for one minor thing. Well, two minor things. #1: The piece that slides onto the end of the board to square it up wants to come off when I fold it up and carry it to the closet (which rarely happens). I have trained myself not to grab it by it’s end. #2: The covers that go with the board do not want to stay on and they get dirty. (The getting dirty part is my fault.)


Yesterday I decided that I would re-cover the board in the easiest way I could think of. I left the old cover in place and cut 2 yards of a more neutral fabric and trimmed it about 8-10″ bigger than the board on all sides. (I didn’t measure, sigh.) I pressed a 3″ hem on each side and ran a length of nylon cord inside the hem, thinking that it was easier to sew it in place than it would be to insert it later. I made a cut in the casing at one narrow end for the cord ends to go through.

Once sewn, I ran the ends of the cord through a toggle, placed the fabric right side up on the ironing board, and cinched it down. I stood the board up on it’s end for easier access. As I looked at the bottom of the board, it occurred to me that I could wire the two parts of the ironing board together. Why didn’t I think of this years ago?


It turns out that I started with way too much fabric, but it works, but it did not fit the board tightly. The old cover has elastic bands that hold it tight and I borrowed that idea. I cut more elastic and used safety pins to hold it in place. Seriously, who besides me (and you) is going to know that I did it the easy way?


I had not realized until I made this change how distracting the blue cover was. This quieter color is much, much better.

And, in case you are wondering, I have made serious progress on the Kauai Road quilt, seen on the wall in the first photo. Here’s a snippet, quilted. I love this quilt!


A new look Thru Grandmother’s Window…

Linda has been busy updating our what was our very 1st block of the month, Thru Grandmother’s Window. Isn’t it beautiful!


Linda also made the original 12-block quilt in 1995, below.


Linda updated all 12 blocks for the pattern covers, even though she only used 9 of the blocks in her quilt.

11-pioneernights-100008-frtofvine-1000 02-twirltulips-1000

Each pattern includes new yardage, cutting, and border instructions. Color photos of both quilts are included in each pattern, along with a color photo of the new block.

The patterns are available individually or in a set of 12.  Click here to find Thru Grandmother’s Window Downloadable Patterns. I don’t have fabric kits but these colors are readily available in quilt shops and online. I encourage you to go on a fabric hunt.

You saw it here first! I’ll send a newsletter announcing the updated Thru Grandmother’s Window Downloadable Patterns tomorrow. Happy stitching!

Quilt Market 2016, update #2…

Here are a few more quilts from the show. I only took photos where permitted. The quilts below are followed by the information from the artists.

The landscape quilts below were hanging in the judged show.


After the Storm by Ruth Powers


Summer Storm by Peg Collins

Summer Storm by Peg Collins


The following quilt was on the cover of the Quilt Market guide. It was stunning.

Rosita by Cecilia Koppmann

Rosita by Cecilia Koppmann


Detail of Rosita by Cecilia Koppmann

Detail of Rosita by Cecilia Koppmann

Detail of Rosita by Cecilia Koppmann

Detail of Rosita by Cecilia Koppmann

The next quilt was hanging in an exhibit of Dear Jane quilts. It just made me happy!

Sea of Color, Field of Flowers by Wanda Cracknell

Sea of Color, Field of Flowers by Wanda Cracknell


Detail of Sea of Color, Field of Flowers by Wanda Cracknell

Detail of Sea of Color, Field of Flowers by Wanda Cracknell

Kauai Road, update…

In between life’s busy-ness, I squeezed in some sewing time on my Kauai Road quilt. Steve says that it looks just like the place which makes me very happy.


I am sewing the power lines now. The fence posts (that will be in the lower left) are still to come, and maybe some dark windows on the little house.

I leave for Quilt Market in Houston tomorrow. I don’t have time to stay for Festival, but that’s OK because I hope to fire up my BERNINA Q20 when I get home!

Why didn’t I think of that!?


The Hexie Garden Quilt pattern is made up of hexagonal blocks. Each block is made up of 6 wedges. You don’t want to cut the backgrounds into wedges until the applique is complete because of the bias edges. In the pattern, I tell you to cut a rectangle for each background. I did that for two reasons:

  1. In many of the blocks, I was matching stripes and other lines.
  2. I liked working on that size of background.

Char Kirscht has been working on her Hexie Quilt Garden quilt and she wrote to tell me that she handled her backgrounds in a different way. She cut strips 10″ x width of fabric (40″ or so). Then she drew 60° angles to simulate where where the blocks will be cut apart after they are appliqued. You could use either a 60° ruler or the block template to get the lines.


Please note that some fabrics may not be 40″ wide, especially after washing and drying.

I would still mark the vertical and horizontal centers of each block to match the overlay to during applique. You might be tempted to just use the 60° block outlines but if you do that, be very careful not to let the flowers shift or tilt.

Once the applique is done you can press the strip and cut the blocks apart and follow the remaining cutting directions in the pattern.

If you aren’t matching patterns or stripes in the background fabric, and if you like work on a long, narrow background, this is a good option. If I’d have thought of it, I’d have included it in the book. Thank you, Char, for making this very fine suggestion!