My First Quilt Retreat

Hello Everyone! I went on my first overnight quilt retreat last week, Wednesday through Sunday, and had a great time and got a lot done.


Every year, my guild goes on a 5 day, 4 night retreat to the Red Rooster Retreat Center in Crane Hill, AL. The center is set up for quilters, crafters and other groups up to 23 people.

I’ve done local retreats, but still had to go home and cook. It was nice to be able to get up from your sewing machine, eat in this lovely dining room, then leave all the dishes for someone else to do. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, too.


The Red Rooster is on Smith Lake. This is the view from the upstairs landing. I was able to grab a table by a window so I could look out and see the lake when my eyes needed a break.


There is a nice pool, where I swam laps one morning, and this is another view of the lake from the top of the steps to the pool.


We each had our own table to spread out all our many projects on.

IMG_7420.1This was my corner for the week. The empty chair and messy table is mine. I was working on several things at a time and had them all spread out.


There was also a corner seating area to watch football and do handwork if you got tired of sitting at your machine. There were so many beautiful quilts completed during the week, too.




I took my Quilting Life BOM from 2017 to add the borders, too. It was the only quilt I completely finished, but I still accomplished a lot more.

IMG_7403.1I finished three more Swoon blocks. Now I have 12, only 8 more to go!

IMG_7426.1I worked on the Cheddar and Indigo blocks and had enough to lay them out to get a feel of what the quilt will look like. I think I’m going to like this a lot!


And finally, I almost finished sewing the blocks together for my Swell quilt.  Before I left on Sunday, I was able to get all the blocks sewn into rows then got 4 rows sewn together. I finished sewing all the rows together yesterday! I am now waiting for border fabric to get here to finish the quilt top.

Retreat Group

This is the group of great ladies I had the privilege to get to know better and learn things from during the retreat. I hope to return next year.

If you have a chance to go on a retreat yourself, I hope you do. It was a very fun and productive experience. Thanks for stopping by!


Posted in Christmas Sewing, Quilting Life BOM, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

October Minis and More

Hello Everyone! It’s time for October’s Minis and More Parade, hosted by Sherri and Michele. If you are looking for Save The Bees Block 3, scroll through this post or go here. Make sure you leave a comment on that post for your chance to win a small box of Aurifil Thread.


This month’s mini is Endless Summer by Sherri McConnel of A Quilting Life. I want to thank Sherri for giving the pattern to all the September parade participants. I made mine into a Christmas table runner using mostly Vintage Christmas fabrics by Bonnie and Camille for Moda. The gray outside corners are from a Bunny Hill collection for Moda, the inner red border is a Henry Glass fabric, and  the background for the outer blocks, sashing and borders are Moda Grunge. The binding is from The Good Life collection by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.
endless summer miniThis is Sherri’s original Endless Summer pattern in her new collection of Walkabout fabrics, available in early winter.


I found the perfect place for it on this chest in my upstairs landing.

Only 84 more days until Christmas! ( I looked it up). After Thanksgiving, I’ll put the table runner out for the season.

I had fun quilting this one. I quilt on my Pfaff QE 4.0 domestic machine. When doing ruler work, I use a Westalee ruler foot.


I thought it would be fun to have radiating lines coming out from the “sun”. I also quilted a curved cross-hatch in the center.


I used the Handi-Quilter Versa Ruler to quilt the straight lines. I eyeballed the lines instead of marking them on this runner, so they aren’t all exactly in the same place, but they are close enough. I quilted free motion loops on the inner background triangle.
IMG_7375.1For the circles in the sashing and inner border, I marked the circles using an air erasable pen and this circle template. My circles aren’t perfect, but since I marked them, I had a guide for the placement.

IMG_7372.1On the outside border, I used “Squiggy”, a new ruler from Creative Grids designed by Angela Walters. I marked the starting and ending point of each curve in the border, then started quilting at each end and worked towards the middle, working in the curves in at the center.
IMG_7361.1For the back, I used old Kate Spain 10″ layer cake squares that I’ve had for a long time. This is a good way to use up those leftovers.

Be sure to check out the rest of the parade with Sherri and Michele. I am off in a couple of days for my first overnight quilt retreat. I’m looking forward to getting a lot accomplished and spending time with fellow guild members.

Thanks for stopping by!


Posted in FMQ, Free Motion Ruler Work, minis, Minis and More, Rulerfoot Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Save The Bees, Block 3

Hello Everyone! Welcome to Month 3 of the Save the Bees free BOM by Jacquelynne Steves. Block 3 is a cute hexie block. Do you think honeycomb when you see it?


And guess who our sponsor is this month? Aurifil Thread!

Save the Bees BOM Giveaway October 2018- Jacquelynne StevesRead to the bottom of this post to find out how you can win a similar box of thread from Aurifil. I use Aurifil for all my piecing, quilting, embroidery and for this block, I used Aurifil 80 wt. thread to piece my hexies together.


It’s a very fine, but strong cotton thread and is perfect for English Paper Piecing (EPP) and hand applique. I’ve also used it for invisible machine applique.

For those making the mini version, I’ve added the revised measurements for mini Block 3 on my Save the Bees Mini Revisions Page. Remember, you need to follow Jaquelynne’s instructions for making the block. The size of the reduced Hexie is about 7/8”. Reduce the hexie template from the pattern to 50% if using your own template. I used hexie pre-cut papers to make mine and made a few 1” hexies and 3/4” hexies and found the 3/4” worked best in the block.

I spent a year piecing this quilt and became quite proficient at EPP. This is one of my all time favorite quilts.

This was a BOW in 2016 called Blocks on the Go, for Quilts on the Grow by Katya Merak based on blocks in her book The New Hexagon. I learned what I liked and didn’t like about EPP.

  • I don’t like hand stitching my hexies to the paper. Instead I use Elmer’s Purple Glue Sticks to attach the fabric to the paper. I started using the more expensive quilting glue sticks, but these work just as well. Just use a touch of glue along each side of the hexie and fold the fabric over.
  • I don’t like my stitches to show! In the Blocks on the Go quilt, I used Aurifil 50 wt cotton in colors that matched my pieces. If I sewed a darker color to a lighter color, I used a neutral color thread. I also found this method for sewing them together by Anjeanette Klinder. If you’re a knitter, it’s almost like a ladder stitch.
  • Instead of pinning my hexie pieces to the background fabric, I use basting glue to hold them down.


These are the things I use to make the hexies; pre-cut hexie papers (3/4″, 1″ and 1 1/2″ shown), purple school glue, Roxanne’s basting glue, Aurifil thread in either 50 or 80 wt., and Clover clips to hold the pieces together while stitching. I cut the fabric about 1/4″ to 3/8″ larger than the hexie paper.

For this block, I  sewed all the hexies together, then glue basted them to the background. To center the hexie piece, I folded my fabric in half lengthwise and widthwise, then centered the piece on top. I then hand appliqued the piece to the background using the 80 wt. Aurifil thread. I’ve also seen some fun machine appliqueing of the hexies on Instagram.


The finished block!


And with the first two blocks. Just a note, that’s the back of the Blocks on the Go quilt.

I have accumulated quite the collection of Aurifil thread. The top left are the large spools of 50 wt. cotton thread in three of my favorite colors. I use the mint (2800) and yellow (2110) all the time for quilting.  They seem to blend with everything. The thread next to it is 2000, which I use for most of my piecing. The green spool is 40 wt. 2000 which I’ve used for making clothes. I have not used it for quilting yet, but I need to try.  The one in the middle is the 80 wt. that I used for this block. On the bottom left is Aurifloss, which is a six strand cotton floss. I used the Aurifloss for the embroidery in my first two blocks. I am slowly adding these threads to my collection. I have lots of DMC from years of cross-stitching, but I prefer the Aurifloss for embroidery. I have not used it in any cross-stitch projects yet, but I haven’t done any new ones in several years either. I also have the 50 wt. cotton in the smaller spools in lots of colors to use for hand and machine applique. I used these in blocks 1 and 2 for my needle turn applique.

Now for the giveaway:

In the comments below, tell me if you have done any English Paper Piecing before. Leave a comment by the end of day, Sunday, October 7 for your chance to win.

To enter a comment, find the Leave a Reply box.  You must keep scrolling to the bottom of all the comments on the page to find the box. If the comments are not shown below the post (which will happen if you are scrolling from or linking from a different post) find “Comments” in the Tags line at the bottom of the post. Click on “Comments” and that will open the comments, then scroll to the bottom of the page to find the Leave a Reply box. I hope this helps.
Save the Bees BOM Giveaway October 2018- Jacquelynne StevesAgain, Aurifil is going to give away a box of the small 50 wt. cotton thread. It may be different than the one that is shown.

  • The giveaway is open to everyone, US and International readers.
  • There is ONE prize per person per month.
  • Make sure that you leave your email so I can contact you if you win.
  • You have until the end of day on Sunday, October 7 to leave your comment.
  • Once I contact the winner for your information, you have 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Be sure you visit the other bloggers for 7 more chances to win and to see how everyone finished their Block 3.

Post your finished blocks on social media using:

#SaveTheBeesQuilt and #SaveTheBeesBOM

You can also post pictures on the Sew Quilty Friends FB group at

I hope you enjoy making your hexies this month! Thanks for stopping by!


Posted in applique, Blocks on the Go, for Quilts that Grow, English Paper Piecing, minis, Save the Bees BOM, The New Hexagon, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 220 Comments

New Travel Bags and Camping

Hello Everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. I’ve been catching up from our camping trip last week. We were supposed to go to Bryson City, NC, but because of the hurricane, we changed our plans and went to Fort Mountain State Park in North Georgia instead. The weather was perfect. The park is on top of a mountain which made the day temperatures perfect, high 70’s – low 80’s with night temperatures in the low 60’s.


Sunrise view of the lake during our coffee walk around the lake on the third morning.

We have to store the new Rpod travel trailer off-site because it won’t fit in the garage like our pop-up did, so I needed a way to carry our clothes and didn’t want to use a suitcase because of the size. I decided to make us each a Hand Crafter’s Carry-All Basket.


The white one is mine and the brown one is for my husband. The camping fabric was given to me by my friend Joyce, from the Lap App Store, that she picked up at the Sisters Quilt Show a few years ago. The other fabrics are Moda Grunge.


For mine, I added this embroidered front pocket designed by Sherri K. Falls of This and That.


They were perfect to fit our clothes in and toiletry bags on top.


My husband was concerned that our stuff would be too heavy for the bags, but it has a firm bottom made with flat painters canvas panels, so no problems at all.

IMG_7230.1The camper has a nice closet to store the clothes. Instead of using hangers, we bought this storage unit which fits inside the closet with a little room in the back and on the bottom for extras. Even with winter clothes, the bags will still fit everything we need to carry for a 3 or 4 day trip.


I also have this Carry-All Basket that I keep all my handwork, books and other things in. My 15″ laptop is under everything at the bottom of the basket.

The Hand Crafter’s Carry-All Basket is very versatile and can be used for more than just carrying your quilting and crafting things in. If you are interested in making your own, I have the pattern for the Basket and the Quilter’s Carry-All Bag on sale in my shop through September 30.

Now, back to our trip!

We left last Monday and were still concerned about Hurricane Florence affecting our first day. I took this picture as we passed the overlook near the top of the mountain on our way to the park. We are looking towards the south, southeast here. Very clear under the clouds. The park had just gotten a shower before we arrived, but that was the end of the rain for us!

IMG_7232.1Here we are, all set up and the sun is just starting to come out.

IMG_7240.1We had a pull through site and very private. In fact, the park was only about a third full and very pleasant during the week.

On Tuesday, we took our coffee and drank it down by the lake.

lake 5 x 7 print.1

I took this beautiful picture as the sun was rising. You could tell it was going to be a spectacular day!

We did our usual Ft. Mountain Hike that morning, which takes us to the Stone Wall, the tower, the west overlook and around the North Face Loop Trail of the mountain.

IMG_7270.1Since we were here last (6 years ago), they refurbished the CCC Stone Fire Tower. There was no wooden structure on top of it then. Now they have it open on the weekends to get to the top. Do you see how blue the sky is? I didn’t do anything to this picture except to sharpen the focus a little and it was taken with my phone. The next few pictures were taken from the West Overlook with my Sony Cyber Shot camera.


The day was just so clear, no haze at all. You could see a long way. In this picture, you are looking at the town of Chatsworth in the foreground, but that last ridge is Lookout Mountain that runs from Chattanooga, through the corner of Georgia and into Alabama. I looked it up and it’s about 55 miles away.


I used the zoom on my camera and was able to capture the northern end of Lookout Mountain at Chattanooga. We have never been here when the views have been so far.

DSC00816.1This picture was taken from the Cool Springs Overlook on the east side of the mountain. We are looking out into the Cahutta Wilderness and probably into the North Carolina Mountains.

After our hike, we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon back at the camp site.

On Wednesday, we visited the town of Ellijay, on the eastern side of the mountain. We had lunch, then did a wine tasting at Engelheim Vineyards.

IMG_0300-300x200I forgot to take pictures while were there, so I got these pictures from the Engelheim websites gallery.


We were the only ones there early in the afternoon and our wine tasting server did an excellent job.  We sat on their porch with this view and enjoyed a glass of wine after the tasting. The owner also talked with us for a few minutes and told us about the grapes and wine. We hope to go back on a weekend this fall when they have live entertainment.

On Thursday, we hung out at the camp site and I was able to work on some embroidery.

IMG_7301.1I took a few things to work on. I finished the Save the Bees quilt and took some pictures of it while we were there and also did a little knitting. It’s very relaxing to be able to sit outside and enjoy a little handwork.

That afternoon, we rented a kayak and paddled around the lake for a little while. I didn’t take my phone or camera just in case I got wet, but all was good.

IMG_7285.1The leaves were just starting to change on a few of the trees, too.

Fort Mountain is one of our favorite state parks. This was our 6th trip over the past 11 years. Overall, Georgia does a fantastic job at their parks. Campground hosts keep the bath houses and camp sites clean, most of the camp sites are not too close together, and they are located in great places. In October, we are going to FDR State Park in Pine Mountain, GA. We are looking forward to another great trip.

I hope you enjoy reading about our travels. This is a great way for me to record what we do, too. If you are interested in the bags, please visit my shop for more details. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.




Posted in Bags and Tote Bags, Camping, embroidery, Hand Crafter's Carry-All Basket, Hiking, Rpod, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This and That

Hello Everyone! I hope you had a nice weekend. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Florence. I hope any damage is minimal and that you’ll be back to normal soon. We were planning on camping in Bryson City, NC this week, but decided we better cancel those plans.

Last week I finished quilting Save The Bees BOM by Jacquelynne Steves. I just need to hand sew my binding. This is the first time I’ve finished one the BOM’s way before the last month! It’s a nice feeling. You can still sign up to get these free patterns.


Also, Jacquelynne is opening The Art of Home Club this week if you would like to become a member. The cost is $9.95 a month and you get embroidery, applique and quilt patterns every month centered around a specific theme. You can check out my Art of Home category on the side bar to see some of my projects.

Last week I also made two The Hand Crafter’s Carry-All Baskets for us to use when we camp. I plan on getting pictures using them on our next camping trip. You can find them in my shop here.

In one of my recent posts, I told you I’ve been in a planning mood. Well, I’m still planning and purchased these patterns by Sherri of A Quilting Life and her daughter Chelsi, @Chelsistratton.IMG_7202.1










Actually, Sherri sent me the Endless Summer Mini for participating in last month’s Minis and More Parade (which is this month’s mini), and I bought the other two. The fabrics are from their new collection Walkabout, which will be available next year. I’m waiting for a bundle of their current fabric Clover Hallow, which should be in stores now unless you are here in Atlanta. No one local carries these beautiful fabrics and I’m not sure why.

Another new pattern I got is County Fair by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree and Co.


I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a long time. The fabrics on the right are Christmas Figs that I purchased earlier this summer. I thought I might do the Christmas Figs BOM with these, but decided not too. I think these will be perfect for County Fair. I may need to get a little more of one of the reds to use in the sashing and that’s it. This will probably be a project for next year.

In a few weeks, I’m going to my first overnight quilt retreat. I’m looking forward to it, but I need to get some projects prepped before I go.


I’m going to cut out this layer cake and use it with my own design. I made this same quilt 9 or 10 years ago as a wall hanging.

This will be nice and simple and will sew up fast. You can tell that I hadn’t done much free motion quilting at the time. I’m sure the new one will have lots more quilting on it!

I’m sure I will also be continuing to work on the Cheddar and Indigo quilt, too.


I’ve got my first group of blocks ready to sew together. Because of all the trimming required for the half square triangles and geese units, I’m breaking the sewing up into groups of 10 blocks. Hopefully I can keep them organized that way, too, and not sew the wrong piece to the wrong block.

For the retreat, we need to bring a little something for everyone. I’ve always wanted to make the Petit Four Basket byAnnie. I used this video tutorial from Fat Quarter Shop to get started.


I used leftover layer cake squares for the baskets.


I’ve got them in piles so I don’t forget which lining goes with each basket.


I have one mostly finished just to see what they are going to be like. Aren’t they cute. They are working up pretty quickly, too. I still need to sew the lining up and stitch around the edge and it will be done, then 20 more to go!

Lots going on here, but I like the variety! I hope you have a great week and thanks for stopping by.


Posted in Christmas Sewing, Planning, Save the Bees BOM, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

August Progress Update

Hello Everyone! It’s time for the August progress update. I didn’t get too many things done on my list, but I added a couple of things during the month that weren’t on it.

I did a lot of pattern revisions for the Needles projects for Jacquelynne Steves Art of Home Club.Needles Collection 20- The Art of Home Club

I also wrote the mini pattern revisions for the Save the Bees free BOM by Jacquelynne.


Save the Bees, Block 1 and 2

So, I spent a lot of time at the computer in August.

I did make the Trip Around the World Mini

and this quilt for my friend Lydia for her birthday and new house…

Bike quilt 1

I’ll have a whole post on this one soon. I still need to get pictures of it. Lydia saw it half quilted, but I had to take it back to finish it!

I also did some slow stitching in August and finished these embroidery pieces. The Sewing Circle and “B” are Jenny of Elefantz designs and the Happy Camper is a Sherri K. Falls design. The only one I know what I’m doing with for sure is the Happy Camper, it’s going on the outside pocket of another Hand Crafter’s Carry-All Basket I’m making to carry clothes when we camp.


This is my September list. I have some quilting to do this month. I’ve started the Save The Bees quilting and am about half finished. I really want to finish the Moda Blockheads quilting, too. I also have a good start on the Cheddar and Indigo quilt,

and am looking forward to making this month’s mini,

endless summer miniEndless Summer Mini by Sherri McConnell.

We are also going camping for a week in Bryson City, NC later this month assuming hurricanes don’t get in the way. I’ll need to get some hand work prepared to take with me for that.

So another month’s worth of fun projects to look forward to working on. I do like to keep things fresh by working on “several” things at a time!

Thanks for stopping by,



Posted in 2018 Plans and Goals, embroidery, minis, Minis and More, Planning, Save the Bees BOM, Stitchery, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

September Minis and More

Hello Everyone! Today is Minis and More Parade Day. Be sure to visit Michele and Sherri to see the rest of the parade. If you are looking for Block 2 of Save the Bees, scroll to the bottom of this post or go here to find Block 2. For the Block 2 giveaway, make sure you leave your comment on that post, not this one.

I had lots of fun playing with fabrics from my stash to make this Trip Around the World Mini. Samantha, from Aqua Paisley Studio, wrote this tutorial for making the mini using Bonnie Hunter’s tube technique. Her directions called for using fat quarters or fat eighths (21″ length). I really wanted to use the black and white fabrics from 10″ squares I had from Bonnie and Camille’s Handmade. The orange and white flower fabric is also a Bonnie and Camille from a 10″ square. So I had to do some rethinking and math.

Trip Around the World Layout
To get started with the Trip Around the World, a set of strips need to be sewn together. After they are sewn together, the strip sets need to be recut into 32 – 1 1/2″ strips plus some additional 1 1/2″ squares. I determined that if I cut the 10″ square like the diagram above, I could get the strips sets I needed. This meant cutting the other fabric to the same lengths. too. So instead of having 4 strip sets, I had 6. Then, I cut the total amount needed, 32 strips.

So what’s the point of all this? If you want to use a fabric, but it’s not the same cut as the pattern calls for, spend a few minutes to see if you can use it anyway.

IMG_7107.1I quilted this just like Samantha did hers. Just a simple cross-hatch through the center of the squares. I used my walking foot and eyeballed it. No marking! The squares are only 1″ so not too hard to sew straight. I did use my open toe foot to make viewing easier.

IMG_7109.1I used this cream and black dot from my stash for the backing. I had half a yard of it so I had to piece it a little to make it fit.

All the fabrics are from my stash and the theme I was going for is “modern vintage Halloween”, vintage block with modern black, orange, and white fabric with the gray thrown in for Halloween.

IMG_7126.1It will look great on my table with Halloween decorations…


or fall decorations…


or everyday decorations!

This was a fun mini to work on and it was challenging for me to pull the fabrics and place them in a pleasing manner, but I love the final result. Thanks to Sherri and Michele for choosing this project because I may never have made a Trip Around the World quilt.

The mini for this upcoming month is going to be one of Sherri’s new patterns, Endless Summer Mini. You can find it in her shop here.

endless summer miniWhy don’t you think about joining in this month?

Thanks for stopping by!


Posted in minis, Minis and More, Uncategorized, Walking Foot Quilting | Tagged , , | 3 Comments