November Minis and More

Hello everyone! Can you believe it’s already December? This year has flown by. I’ve been busy making some Christmas gifts which I won’t be able to share until after Christmas, but I do have November’s Minis and More finished.

It’s the Scrappy Patchwork Pillow Tutoria by Sherri of A Quilting Life.


 This is her original design.


This is what I did with it.

It’s a 16″ pillow top with an envelope back. The fabrics are all by Holly Taylor. The blues are from this year’s Town Square and the others are from past lines that I had in my stash.


I decided to do some embroidery for the center instead of the 16 patch block and the inner border, which is a 6″ block. The embroidery is two designs by Jacquelynne Steves from her new Art of Home Club and Everything Patterns Ebook. The snowman and tree are one pattern and the garland frame is another pattern. I reduced the garland pattern by 75% and the snowman by 57%. I like how adding a little applique to embroidery gives it just a little more dimension. I used a hand buttonhole stitch on the applique using one strand of floss. I also added french knots to the garland.


And because I was doing the handwork, I decided to quilt it using two strands of floss. I used multiple flosses: the red and brown are Aurifloss by Aurifil, the blue and green are DMC and the orange is a Valdani. This is the first time I’ve used the Aurifil and it is very nice to work with.

The pillow will probably reside on my foyer bench with some of the others that I have done in the past, just need to decide which ones to use. If it doesn’t go there, we will enjoy it in the family room. The other nice thing about this pillow is that I purposely used winter themed fabric instead of Christmas so it can stay out all winter.

Be sure to stop by and see what everyone else did at Sherri’s and Michele’s sites. Thanks for stopping by.


Posted in applique, Christmas Sewing, embroidery, Minis and More, Stitchery, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Maggie’s Giveaway

Just a reminder that you need to comment on Jacquelynne’s website in order to win the prizes.

I’ll be back tomorrow with November’s Minis and More project.


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Maggie’s First Dance BOM Grand Prize Giveaway!

Hello everyone! I wanted to let you know about the Grand Prize Giveaway for Maggie’s First Dance Free BOM! To win, you must visit Jacquelynne’s blog and enter your comment there. Look at all the wonderful things included:


There is also a second place prize:


a 2017 Moda Desk Calendar, Maggie’s First Dance Quilt Labels, and a set of Clearly Perfect Angles.

For your chance to win, you must go to Jacquelynne’s blog and leave a comment and answer her question there, not here. You have until December 4 at 11:59 EST to enter.

You can still sign up to get the patterns for free until December 15. After that, they will no longer be available.

It’s a beautiful pattern and the instructions are very easy to follow. There is also a sneak peak on Jacquelynne’s blog for next year’s free BOM.

Thanks for stopping by.


Posted in applique, embroidery, Maggie's First Dance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

Christmas Quilting



Hello Everyone! I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. We had a quiet, but nice and filling one. Now it’s time to think about decorating for Christmas. One of my favorite parts is displaying my Christmas quilts, wall hangings and table toppers.

I recently finished my Swirl Quilt that I started at my LQS’s Fall Retreat.


The pattern is by Applique elementz. The tree pieces were already cut with the fusible applied. I fused the pieces down, then added the borders. The size is approximately 25″ x 28″.


I waited to sew the applique pieces down as part of the free motion quilting. You could also use your walking foot to sew them down. I forgot to do the red berries and went back and did the circles with my walking foot.


The red border is an inch wide, so I used the walking foot to sew 1/4″ inside the seam lines then used a decorative stitch on my machine for the little swirl.


The quilting on the outside border was something new I wanted to try.  I used my free motion foot, but I marked the circles with an air erasable pen. I liked the way it turned out and will probably be using this design again.

I plan on hanging a small tree quilt in each of the bedrooms this year. Thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of your holiday.


Posted in applique, Christmas Sewing, FMQ, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Christmas Placemats Tutorial

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a good week. I was finally able to get outside and do a good cleanup of my flower beds. They needed it desperately. It’s been so warm this fall that some of my summer annuals were still going strong, but I ripped them out anyway. Soon it’s going to be time for some outdoor Christmas decorations. I’ve also been doing some Christmas sewing for the inside.

I wanted to show you how to make the very easy placemats that I made at last week’s quilting retreat. This is my own design and first tutorial. I hope you enjoy it.


The fabric is Juniper Berry by BasicGrey for Moda and I quilted it with Aurifil 50 wt thread. I used a few fat quarters and a layer cake and made the large square different in each placemat. I used the same 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ squares in each placemat and 2 different sets of bottom rectangles. This would also be be a great way to use up jelly roll strips or scraps.


Fabric requirements for 4 placemats:

  • 1/3 yd focus fabric or 4 different 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ squares
  • 10 assorted 2 1/2″ x 20″ strips
  • 1 yd for backing
  • 1 yd batting
  • 1/2 yd for 2 1/4″ binding,  5/8 yd for 2 1/2″ binding

We’ll use this diagram for fabric pieces and placement. (The dotted lines are the quilting lines)

Cutting for 4 placemats:

  • 4 – 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ squares from focus fabric
  • 1 – 2 1/2″ x  20″ strip from a, b, c, d, e, f , g and h
  • 4 – 2 1/2″ x 16 1/2″ strip from i and j
  • 4 – 14 1/2″ x 18 1/2″ rectangles for backing and batting
  • 7 – 2 1/4″ or 2 1/2″ x WOF for binding strips


  • Sew a to b
  • Sew c to d
  • Sew e to f
  • Sew g to h
  • Press to the dark side
  • Cut into 4- 4 1/2″ squares. You’ll have 4 sets of 4.


  • Sew ab to cd and ef to gh.
  • Press the center seam of abcd to the right and the center seam of efgh to the left so they are in opposite directions. This is the only seam that is nested.



  • Sew abcd to efgh. Press. You should have an 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ square.


  • Sew your focus square to your abcdefgh square. Press to the focus square
  • Sew to j. Press to the dark side.


  • Sew ij  to focus group. Press to ij.


Now you have 4 placemat tops just like that.

Next: Layer your backing, batting and top and baste using your favorite method. I usually spray baste, even on small projects, but because I was at the retreat, I pin basted.


First I quilted in the ditch using the triple stitch on my machine, then I went back and quilted at one inch intervals using the triple stitch.

For the binding, I sewed all the strips together first. Then I used what I needed for each placemat as I went along.

The placemats were very easy and quick to make. I cut the fabric before the retreat, but I made the top, binding and got them quilted in one day. I added the binding and finished them up this week.


You can see each of the focus fabrics that I used here. Juniper Berry is such a fun line. They are going to look great with my Christmas dishes during the holidays.


I hope you enjoyed my first tutorial and will send me pictures if you make your own set of fun placemats. Thanks for stopping by.



Posted in Christmas Sewing, Tutorials, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Fall Quilting Retreat

Hello Everyone! I’ve spent the last three days at a quilt retreat at Cottontail Quilts, one of our LQS. I met some new people and caught up with others from past retreats, had lots of fun, and started some new projects.

Before I show you what I made, I would like to thank everyone for their kind words about my quilts from Maggie’s First Dance Final Month. You have until tonight, November 14 at 11:59 to leave a comment in order to win the Clearly Perfect Angles Packet.

Since the retreat is local, we leave our things overnight and go home each day. That’s especially nice if you forget something.

img_2366Here I am, all packed and ready to go. I carry my machine, rulers and cutting boards in the sewing machine case. The large gray bag is my extension table for the machine. I take my own chair, cushion and platform (brown wood piece) for my feet. The snowman bag has all my tools and projects. It came home much fuller than when I left. The shop owner runs specials just for the retreaters. It’s hard to resist 15%-25% off flannels, Moda, batiks, Christmas… you get the idea. I was able to restock some Moda Grunge and Bella Solids and I picked up some flannel for a couple of quilt backs I plan to make soon.

I try to precut my fabric for projects before I get there so I can get more done. The first project I worked on were place mats for Christmas.



I only put the binding on one because I wanted to move on. The fabric is Juniper Berry by BasicGrey for Moda. This is my own design and I’ll be doing a tutorial later this week on how to make them. I used the triple stitch on my machine and Aurifil 50 wt to quilt them.


There were four of us working on projects with Juniper Berry. Julie made a Fold’n Stitch Wreath, Trish made a quilt from a kit the shop was selling and that’s me with my place mats. Diana was making the same quilt as Trish, but didn’t have her top finished when we took the picture. They were my table mates and we had lots of fun.

Next up for me was a swirly Christmas tree applique.


The pattern is by Applique elementz. The tree pieces came with the pattern and are precut with the fusible already applied. Just press into place on your background fabric, applique using your favorite method and quilt. I fused the tree, added my borders, batting and backing,then FMQ the edges of the tree pieces in matching thread. I started the quilting, but had one more project I wanted to complete so only did a little bit.


Next project is for November’s Minis and More. The free pattern is Scrappy Pillow Tutorial by Sherri from A Quilting Life. Instead of the scrappy center, I embroidered the center using a design by Jacquelynne Steves. The snowman is from her new Everything Patterns Ebook and the framing piece is from October’s Art of Home Club patterns. If you didn’t sign up for either one, you’ll have a chance to at the beginning of the new year. The fabrics are all from Holly Talyor, the current Town Square and some of her past lines.

The shop does a make and take everyday, too. I only took time to do one, but I hope it comes in “handy.”


It’s a pot handle cover. Sometimes you start cooking something on the stove top, but then need to pop it in the oven to finish it off. When you take the pan out of the oven, you can stick this cover on so you don’t forget the handle is hot and touch it. (Am I the only one who has done that?  I doubt it!) It has Insulbrite on the inside and took less than 30 minutes to make. Great little gadget.

I also started cutting out November’s Blocks on the Go for Quilts that Grow. Right now I’m caught up. All of October’s are finished.

They are Number 40, which isn’t pieced the same because I fussy cut the green and liked the design, Number 41, which I should have rotated differently for the picture, and Numbers 42 and 43. Only 9 left. Yeah! It’s been a fun project, but I probably spend about 5 hours on each block.

I hope you enjoyed my retreat projects. Thanks for stopping by!


Posted in applique, Blocks on the Go, for Quilts that Grow, Christmas Sewing, embroidery, FMQ, minis, Minis and More, Stitchery, The New Hexagon, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Maggie’s First Dance Final Month

Hello Everyone! It’s hard to believe that it’s the last month for Maggie’s First Dance Free BOM by Jacquelynne Steves. I’d like to thank Jacquelynne for giving me this opportunity to be a featured blogger. It’s been a great experience for me. I’ve really enjoyed making the quilts and I hope you have enjoyed making your version just as much as I have.

I’m also happy to announce that Jacquelynne has asked me to be a sample maker for “The Art of Home Club.” I’m very excited about it, so look for some new projects after the first of the year. I hope you all had the chance to sign up for the club or purchase her Everything Patterns Ebook. If not, there will be more opportunities soon.

If you have kept up, all you have to do this month is add the borders. Jacquelynne’s instructions are very easy and they won’t take long to complete. First though, I want to introduce this month’s sponsor: Kari from New Leaf Stitches. She is giving away Clearly Perfect Angles.


Do you draw a lot of lines for half square triangles? Well, the Clearly Perfect Angle allows you to sew without all of those lines. Read to the end to see how you can win your set and also get information about a Grand Prize Giveaway by Jacquelynne.

As you know, I made two versions of Maggie’s Dance, one embroidered and one appliqued from the kit I won from Jacquelynne for last year’s BOM. I have been busy quilting them for the past 3 weeks (with a short camping break to the mountains). I think I’ve listened to 6 books while I’ve been quilting. I have lots of pictures, so I hope you stick with me to the end.

First up is the embroidered version I’ve named Desert Dance.

IMG_2324 (3).JPG

Just to recap: the fabrics are Bright Sun by Sherri and Chelsi for Moda.  Sherri describes the fabric colors as reminiscent of a desert sunrise. For me, they definitely have a southwestern feel to them. I used DMC floss for all the embroidery and Aurifil 50 wt for all piecing and quilting. There are two layers of batting; Quilter’s Dream 80/20 on the bottom, then Quilter’s Dream Select on top. All quilting was done on my domestic machine, a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0. I used a Westalee mid-shank ruler foot and long arm rulers for parts of the quilting.

I do spray baste with Odif 505 Spray Adhesive. I rarely use pins unless it’s a very small piece. I have never had any problems with using it. Before I began the free motion quilting, I did stitch in the ditch (with my FMQ foot) with Superior Bottomline Thread. This was the first time I had used it and it did a good job of stabilizing the quilt.

I considered the fabrics in Desert Dance to be a little modern looking, so I went with what I think of as more modern free motion quilting.


I quilted three very close echo lines around the embroidery, then small paisleys and pebbles to make it puff and give it definition. I did ribbon candy in the blue dots of the setting blocks and used the ruler foot for the straight line quilting between the blocks. I used a straight template to stitch half inch spacing, then free hand quilted between the lines for quarter inch spacing.


I quilted continuous curves in all the pieced blocks. (I also see I missed quilting the lower left corner squares, I’ll have to go back and fix that).


I used an 8″ arc template to make the spiral where the corners of the blocks came together. I wanted to create movement with the quilting. I carried that quilting and the straight line quilting into the first inner border. If I had thought about it earlier, I might have appliqued the yellow fabric in the border to complete the square.


I used the same template to quilt the arcs on the outer border. I started at the center of the border and worked my way to the ends.  The yellow border is a single sided feather.


I used mostly Aurifil color 2110 on this, but did switch to the turquoise and pink when needed. This was all I had left from a full spool of the yellow.


The backing is also from Bright Sun. You can really see the quilting from the back. I love everything about it.

Now for the appliqued version. I love this one, too.


The fabrics in Maggie’s First Dance, selected by Jacquelynne, are Hometown Girl by Pat Sloan for Moda. I hand appliqued the block centers with Aurifil 50 wt in matching colors. The piecing and quilting were also done with Aurifil 50 wt. I used the same two layers of batting for this one also. All the quilting was done on my Pfaff.


To make the applique pop, I echoed the edge of the applique, then about a 1/8″ from the first echo. I also used a fusible wash away applique sheet (that I did not wash out) to create the applique pieces that also gives it a little bit of dimension. I wanted the quilting to be different than Desert Dance, so I quilted these little single swirls. I decided to carry them into the background of the blocks. That was a lot of quilting and it took me several days just to do that. I’m happy with it now, but while I was doing it, I kept asking myself, “What was I thinking”!

I quilted continuous curves in the pieced blocks again, but I wanted this quilt to have a more traditional feel to it, so that meant feathers and cross-hatching.


I used a 12″ arc template to make the curved cross-hatch and a straight template to make the diamonds in the setting blocks. I do mark points, lines and circles where necessary. I try to use an air erasable marker whenever possible.


I marked the circle for my feather wreath so I would have a chance at keeping it about the same diameter all the way around. At first, I didn’t quilt the little swirls, but decided it needed it after doing two of them.


I treated all the borders as one. I did free form feathers and feather flowers, filling in with swirls and pebbles. I have never quilted with this technique before. I loved doing it, but I did have to think about what was coming next and what to fill in with.



I used Aurifil color 2110 everywhere on this quilt. I had this much left from a full spool, but I did use color 2000 for the bobbins on the last two borders to make sure I had enough for the top.


The backing is Elementary by Sweetwater for Moda. Again, the quilting shows up so nicely on the back. I can see the appeal of whole cloth quilts.


Here they are together.  I love them both. They are the same and yet not the same. I hope you will post yours when you are finished at the following places:

Now to win the Clearly Perfect Angles giveaway, leave a comment by Sunday, November 13 at 11:59 PM and tell me what progress you have made on Maggie’s Dance. It’s okay if you haven’t started, I have plenty of things downloaded in that to do some day file, too.

Make sure you visit all the other bloggers and leave a comment for your chance to win and see all the creative goodness that is going on with Maggie’s First Dance.  (That’s me)


That brings me to Jacuqelynne’s grand prize giveaway.


She’s going to be giving it away sometime at the end of November, so check in with her to see when it’s going to be.

I would like to thank all of you who visited my blog during this BOM. I hope you keep checking in from time to time. I have all kinds of projects planned! Thanks for stopping by.


Posted in applique, embroidery, FMQ, Free Motion Ruler Work, Maggie's First Dance, Stitchery, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 109 Comments