12 Days of Christmas

12 Days of Christmas
Work in Progress

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


In a quilter's forum I have the pleasure of being a member, we are swapping Mug Rugs for Christmas.  This is my contribution.  

Mug Rugs are great for learning techniques.  I've been experimenting with fabric painting.  The cardinals are hand painted.   
  The star was done with Inklingo Diamond/Triangles/Square Collection (Free)  ...another process that I have been learning and thoroughly enjoying.    I used scraps from my fabric collection.  ...making do with what I have.  This mug rug is hand pieced, hand quilted, and hand embroidered.

Log Cabin Mug Rug and Friends

This is the second mug rug for the swap.  I experimented with my EQ7 and elongated a log cabin block.  It was foundation pieced and machine quilted with a bit of decorative stitch along the edge.   More scraps from my stash.

This picture is of the back.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


A few weeks ago, on one of my forums, up came a link to making fabric boxes.  What a great idea!  I've been making them ever since.  First I tried one or two.  I added machine embroidery to one of the boxes.  I pieced scraps together for the other to get rid of my bits and pieces.

Made from my scraps of fabric

Then I thought, why not use the boxes made of fabric to store my bits and pieces of scrap so that they would be easier to find.  I had already arranged these scraps in plastic zip bags but still they were not that easy to locate.  So I made more boxes and decided a larger size might be better suited to this project.  I kept on making more fabric boxes until all my scraps were organized and easily found.  Now I can easily find all my scraps arranged in Boxes by color.

Smaller box with Blue Scraps. 

Sizes are getting bigger

Larger boxes hold more scraps

Green Scraps Wrapped around half cut index cards and
set on end for better viewing

More Boxes

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Just today on one of the sites I frequent - a quilting fabric site - surprise.  The question was asked.  
If your family and friends had to describe you and your relationship to fabric, what would they say?

There is no doubt.
They would say that I’m a mess. I love my fabric. I keep every bit and every piece. I spend hours organizing, pressing, admiring. I use it like an art medium. The more I have, the more fun I have…..so I’m organized. Why then would my friends and family say I’m a mess ( and they frequently do say, ahem). 

Pookie aka Dudley aka The Pooks
I’m in my sewing room now? I lift my head from my sewing and look around me. I’m shocked. What happened to my sewing room? Intent on finishing this one simple block.. .one block mind you…I must have pulled out every piece of scrap I have. What a mess. Just look at this mess! Threads and bits of fabric everywhere. Pookie (that’s my Westie-um his real name is Dudley, but he’s just a Pooks to me) is just covered in bits and pieces of whatever. The floor below my sewing machine looks like a vacuum cleaner dump. ..And I’ve been in this room for hours.. yes hours. The dishes need doing, the beds need made (too late for that- almost time to sleep again), grass needs mowing…but since this is all such a mess anyway, I’ll just make one more block.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


 I was going through some blocks I made for the Grandmother's Choice: Votes for Women weekly sew along and came across two blocks that didn't fit the requirement of 8.5 inch square.  They both came out short.  I did the blocks again and my second attemps came out fine.  They are the blocks from week ten (Block No. 10) and week one (Block No. 1)

I used these first attempts (now orphan blocks) to make mug rugs. Mug rugs are a great way for me to practice my hand quilting and my binding.  My binding and  my quilting are improving with the practice.  

The teapot was a block a made in the 90's when I wanted to work on my broderie perse.  

For Broderie Perse, one cuts out motifs from a large print fabric and then appliques that motif to a background fabric.  Here I cut out this spray of flowers and leaves with a quarter inch all around and appliqued it (using needle turn) on to the teapot.  The pot was then appliqued onto the pale background which was in turn appliqued onto the beige.   Now this made a fine mug rug or perhaps a small table topper.  It was quick.  I used up an orphan block.  I practiced my skills.  I have a nice table topper/mug rug to either give as a gift or keep for myself.  It will find a use.

I continue to use up my stash of fabrics and continue to make do.  I would love to hear from any other quilters who are getting into their UFO's and stash and making do with what they have.   

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


 I'm working along with a Flickr group making blocks every 3 weeks.  The end will be a quilt top created by Sentimental Stitches.

I'm doing mine in all reds and greens with a background fabric that will tie it all together.  All from my stash.  I'm making do.


 I hope to be finished with this by the end of the year and then put it together.  I will quilt it myself but haven't decided how.

I've changed some of the blocks.  This one I've 4 patched the center and added a heart.
 This is the only applique block in the project.  My favorite.  I love applique and it comes easy to me.  Piecing does not.
 My baskets.  Reds and Greens from my stash.  I really need to explain what I mean by stash.  Those bits of red came from my scraps.  Some from the trash basket.  Waste not.
 This is a 12 inch block.  The center fabric was purchased at a local quilt shop in the late 1990's.  Just have a bit more of this left.  I can't imagine what ever possessed me to buy so much fabric that I never used.
 Most of the blocks that are pieced I have foundation pieced.  I duplicate the block with my EQ7 software, and then print foundation pieces.  Once a section is foundation pieced, I remove all paper before putting the sections together.  I find this to be an easier way of making sure it is correct.
 I foundation pieced the log cabins and the half square triangles, removed the papers and then put all together for this block section.

For this one I didn't remove the papers first and it's all wonky.  I'll do this one over, which is not too much of a problem.
This is the same block construction, with my papers removed.  Not as wonky.

So I continue with my projects, using up the fabric purchased ages ago.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Four Patch top finished.

4 patch from stash scraps



    I have an obsession.  I mean really.  I just can't, can't throw away my scraps.   I have another obsession...using up my considerable stash of fabric and fabric scraps.   So putting these two obsessions to work, I decided to make a 4 patch quilt.   Some time ago, (like over a year ago) I squared some of the bigger pieces into 4 inch squares. This year, I've committed myself to putting those patches into a quilt top.  I have so many UFO's...therefore the subject of this blog.  This was one of them. 


I've been working on this project all year, here and there.  This month, armed with my  Janome Jem Gold 660 Lightweight Sewing Machine, and having the luxury of Quilting Play Dates with friends, I finally finished.   


First, I joined the patches into 4 patch blocks.  Next, the four patches were joined into double 4 patches.  4 double 4 patches made a row.  I ended up with almost 6 rows.     In the end I had to make 3 more double 4 patches to finish it off evenly...so back to my scraps and cut 36 more patches and put these together into 3 more double 4 patches. 


Now this was fun.  No pattern to follow, just a random happening of patches of fabric.  For me a very enjoyable and satisfying project.  OK, any quilter's out there with scraps.  What can you do with yours.  I have so much more to work with.  I need to think of a new way to use them up...nothing mind boggling mind you...just a simple project.  


But first.  I need to get this top quilted.  I'm a hand quilter, but that does take some time.  I just might try my hand ...er.. machine at machine quilting.  Maybe something simple like straight line stitching. 



 My Jem Gold has a 5 piece quilting kit. 

I purchased it so I may as well use it.  I'll quilt this top at one of my next Quilter's Play Dates.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Just an update

I haven't been posting on this blog but have been working on finishing up my UFO's.   I'm now working on several finishes and put some in between.  I'm working on a 4 patch using up my scraps.  Actually using a sewing machine for this.  I've made several more mug rugs and working on an English Paper Pieced project.  Blocks are all done, now need to put on sashing and borders and quilt it.  The blocks are made with 30's reproduction fabrics.  



I purchase an Jem Gold Sewing machine to take with me when I go to classes or retreats or play/sew dates.

This is my Jem Gold.  A great little machine and easy to carry. 

I got the carrier for it too.

 So also trying to clear out items from my home office.  It's been a mess.  I've been scanning and shredding so there is not so much clutter.  Everything is now on thumb drives.

 Came across this picture of my hubby when we were first together.   I thought this was lost forever!  You see what you can find if you just organize and clean up.



That is Lake Erie in the background.  Not sure where we were.  Too long ago.  I've lived around this lake somewhere all my life. 

I'll return with pictures of my progress on my quilts hopefully soon.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013



In 2001 I took a class to learn the quilt as you go technique.  I made this little block and put it away.  When I was organizing my sewing room, I discovered this little project.  I decided to bind it and went into my stash of blue scraps.  I cut out strips and put them together and last night put the binding on.    I'm using it as a table topper for the end table next to my chair.  It fits perfectly and fits a mug a coffee as well as a few other items.


Appropriately it's the Courthouse Steps Block.  I've traveled up and down those steps for 35 years and last week for the last time.  My retirement is official.  Even though I will practice law and keep my license to practice, I'm not taking on any new clients. I may go up and down the Federal Court House steps once in a while but not on a regular basis.  


And in memorium to Judge Richard L. Speer who has recently passed away, you will be missed.




This wall hanging was started in 1999.  That year in January, the Applique Addicts started meeting at the Quilt Foundry in Maumee Ohio.  Some of us participated in a round robin.  Monthly the quilt would make it's way to the next person and they would create a block with the fabric and backing provided.  My group mates prepared some and I prepared the center, the squirrel, the grapes, the mice, the crow and put it all together.  I found this piece at the bottom of a UFO pile and began reconstruction in December of 2012.  Some of the applique had to be redone.  My grapes, for example, were the grapes of a new appliquer.  Not good.  I began the quilting process in January 2013.  It is all hand quilted.  I just finished it in March and put the binding on in April. 



At the time the round robin was going around, so was the label.  Each person who worked on the quilt, signed it.  I attached the label to the quilt on April 9, 2013 which happens to be my granddaughter Maddie's 10th birthday.  Happy Birthday Maddie. She wasn't even born when I started this quilt!  I have two granddaughters.  I will try to time a UFO in honor of Emma's Birthday in September.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sewing Room Organization

For the past 2 weeks or more, I have been organizing my fabrics - taking them out of storage boxes and moving them to shelves.  Each fabric is wrapped around Comic Book Boards and pinned.  This keeps them upright and stable and the pinning keeps them from unraveling.  The beauty of this is that now I know what I have and can easily go to the color or fabric I want and use it to finish up UFO's or start new projects.  My UFO's are now stored in Clear Containers and arranged and stacked on one side of the room in what used to be a closet.  Other items are also stored there such as notions.

Some of my  fabric arranged by color
More Fabric Color Arranged
And More Fabric
 To the right of the book case holding the fabric is a stack of storage bins holding notions and UFO's
The bottom box hold small pieces of fabric wound around a note card for stability and put in a plastic bag such as the yellows and oranges on the 2nd shelf from the top.

This is what one of the boxes used to look like.  OMG.  I could never find anything in that.
Cut and press table with rulers and scissors to the side
I revamped my cutting table and hung my most often used rulers on the side. 

Finally I'm finished.  There are some tweaks that need doing but now I can sew again.  Last night I finished a top I've been working on.  An English Paper Pieced Sampler.  This was done in Christmas Colors and has been waiting around for borders. 
Top for the English Paper Pieced Sampler
It was such a pleasure to sew this up in an organized area.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Another Mugrug

Another Mug Rug Gift for Daughter in Law

I really love making these MugRugs.  Made this one from my stash.  Hand Quilted, Hand Pieced.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Appliqued Hearts

Appliqued Hearts
I began this wall quilt with a class some time ago.  I finally finished the last bit of it, the binding.  It is hand appliqued, hand quilted. This is the first time I've used wool batting and I love the way it quilts up.  Another DONE project from the past. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Organizing My Bits of Fabric

Now in fabric boxes

Organizing My Small Pieces

A Few weeks ago, I found while wondering the internet, the idea of using Comic Book Backing Boards to organize my fabric.  I ordered the Backing Boards and started to wrap and organize, but then came upon these little bits that are just a jumbled mess. They aren't going to fit on those Backing Boards..

Jumbled Mess of Greens

 Each time I use these fabrics, I end up tossing them out to see what I want, messing up my sewing space, picking and choosing and then having to put them all back in again.  Time consuming!  So keeping in mind that I would really love to use these bits up I took some index cards and wrapped and organized.  It took me about a half hour.  I did the same with the reds and have begun the blues. 

Red Fabric Wrapped Around a 3 x 5 Index Card

Blue Fabric Wrapped Around a 5 x 7 Index Card
I put them back in the zipper bag, but I might find a better way.  Hey I can see what I have and can pull out whatever I need individually rather than dumping the whole thing out.  Pieces that would not fit on index cards were put in a small baggy.  I plan to use these bits and pieces to make my hexies.

Organized Reds

Organized Greens

Hexagon Mug Rug

Hexagon Mug Rug

Hexagon Mug Rug Back
Hexagons have lately become another minor digression from my task of finishing up my pile of UFO's.  But, this is not an excuse mind you for the diversion, but I'm using up my stash..those little bits and pieces that have no where to go.  The purpose of this journey I began a few years ago was to use what I had already accumulated in fabric.  

These bits and pieces to make the mug rug are very old and they were all in a jumble in a storage bag.  Which led me to another diversion..straightening my collection of bits and pieces into a usable (translation - findable) collection.  I find myself taking more time straightening up my quilt room than doing the actual sewing!  I'm looking for a solution to this conundrum.  

Back to the Mug Rug...it is hand pieced and then the flowers were hand appliqued to the background.  I hand quilted it.  

These little mug rugs I've been doing have been a great way to hone my skills.  I've never been able to put on a decent binding ...but now I think I can.  Not the best, mind you, but it's coming along.  I'm improving my hand quilting too.  Again, not the best, but I'm coming along.  And because the project is small, I'm not getting easily bored.  ...which is why I have so many UFO's in the first place.