Back to sewing

I was back in my sewing room this week getting back into a routine of doing something every day. I looked up the APQ UFO Challenge number for March (it’s 3, how ironic!!) and according to my sheet that means I need to finish the Jelly Roll Race top I made back in Feb 2020 (ah, right before covid changed the world :-s). This was not made with traditional jelly roll strips, rather I pulled out all my solid fat quarters and left overs and cut them into strips, then sewed them end to end to make one very long strip. Then I started the jelly roll race :-p

I searched my stash for backing fabric that would play nice with the top and after digging to the bottom of my bin I found a multi-color numbers print that was perfect! I made franken-batting from leftover sections of batting and got it basted!

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to quilt this so off to Pinterest I went to look up other jelly roll race quilts for ideas. I found several with ‘organic wavy lines’ and really liked the look so I was sold! I chose to use a bright yellow thread on top and black on the back then I got started quilting on it.

I finished the quilting late yesterday and I knew I wanted to use a solid black for binding but wasn’t sure I had any… once again I started digging through my bin. I found a piece of black fabric 20″ wide and I only needed 15″ to make binding – yay! I got the binding sewn to the back last night, I’ll finish it up today and share outdoor pics next week 😉


An update on my medical benefits as I move into retirement at the beginning of April. I had been feeling less than confident about wading through all my options on as well as choosing a medicare supplement for DH. I was reading an online article late last week and it mentioned a link to a website that listed certified insurance brokers that can help guide you through these choices – Yes please!! 😮 I clicked on that link and used the “find an agent” tool to find several in my area. Coincidentally, I had chatted online with a friend who recently used an agent to help him find insurance (as he is not 65 either), he shared his agent’s information but she was located about 40 mins away and when I talked to her we really didn’t ‘click’. I called one of the agents listed on the website in my area and I really liked her. The great thing about these agents is there is no cost to me for their service, they get their funding from the insurance companies. Since I had already been trying to do this on my own I was pretty familiar with everything she offered but I felt much better getting guidance from someone who does this on the daily!!! 10 out of 10 highly recommend!

I’ve signed up for a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan for the remainder of this calendar year and DH will be enrolled in an AARP supplement plan and a separate Rx plan. Now I just need to get Medicare/Social Security to speed up their part to get him enrolled in Part B!!! Ugh… why does this crap take so long!?!


I decided to do a little more baking yesterday… a friend posted one of those altered cake mix recipes on Facebook and since she tried it and liked it, I jumped on the bandwagon yesterday. I used box carrot cake mix and apple pie filling (plus 3 eggs). It was easy enough, dump everything in a bowl, mix, pour in the pan and bake – LOL! The recipe calls for 9×13 pan but I chose to make it in a 9×9 pan so the cake would be thicker. The cake turned out really nice, fluffy yet moist. I only had vanilla icing in the house so that’s what I used… but it’s a little too sweet so both hubby and I scraped that off after our first bite, Ha!


Lastly, I started researching prices for Aruba in Nov or Dec and boy did I get sticker shock. The prices for Dec are DOUBLE what they are for Nov… so if we go it will definitely be in Nov – LOL! We’ve racked up quite a stash of air miles over the last three years using our credit card for almost everything we purchase so we’ll definitely be using those to help offset some of the cost!


That’s all for now… have a great rest of your weekend!

I started!

I finally decided on a quilting design for the Double Wedding Ring quilt I’m finishing for a friend. I searched images online for far too many days but I found one that I think will work well. It’s a quilt I found on Etsy

This one is echo quilted inside and outside of the rings and it has a decorative flower in the large open space. I sent the link to my friend and she liked it too so… I got started basting. Whoo boy, what a feat! As a reminder this measures 90×114.

I pulled my oversized ironing board out into the living room and started basting the top side. Eeek, there are a lot of ripples and warped seams… I did my best to make it work. I basted the center 60″ on the front & back and then turned the quilt 90 degrees to baste the overhang on each side.

I’ll be doing FMQ for the echoing and the flower but I decided to make a template of the flower that I could outline with water soluble marker.

It’s just enough to give me guidance so the flowers will all look similar 😉 I may draw in a few extra dotted lines on the first couple, just until I get in a groove.

I plan to get started while I watch the Men’s French Open Final this morning. It’s Novak Djokovic vs. Stephanos Tsitsipas…in my mind it’s an even match that could go either way.


And now for a little bit of ‘awwww’… I captured this picture last week of two ducks resting in our front yard! There is no water anywhere near our yard so I can only imagine they were just tired!

Have a great rest of your weekend!!

Squared Up

I’ve been going into my sewing room for at least an hour almost every night this week. It’s amazing how much I’m getting accomplished just by committing to ‘do something quilty everyday’!

I had the urge to start a new project so I scrolled through Pinterest and found a simple square in square pattern I had saved a long time ago and decided now was the time. I had just received a fat quarter bundle with 12 fabrics which worked out perfectly for this pattern.

I worked on completing the top and got it glue basted over the next two nights.

And then I had a “squirrel” moment! I kept seeing posts on IG of people completing a paper-pieced block and I just had to give it a go!

These are the individual letters, I’ve since sewn them together but didn’t take a picture…now I don’t know what I’m going to do with it! LOL

I quilted and trimmed the Squared Up quilt last night and put the binding on this morning.

I love using this FMQ Daisy motif when I have square blocks! The quilt is getting a quick wash and then it will go in the ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with it’ pile! I seriously need to find a charity that wants all my quilty finishes!!


I went to my WW weigh in yesterday and as I expected I was up a pound. I’m going to try a different day for my next WW meeting, I’m not really enthused by the Saturday group…it’s very crowded and I’m just not connecting with the leader. I’m going to go Friday morning and see what happens… if I don’t like that one either I’ll probably make the decision to just change my membership to online only.


That’s all for now…have a great rest of your weekend!

Weekend in Charleston

Each year DH goes to a Corvette Car show in Charleston…he’s attended all 18 years!! Now that’s commitment, ha! I haven’t always gone with him but I did this year and the weather was just perfect for sitting in the middle of an asphalt parking lot – low 70’s, lots of sunshine and a slight breeze.

We drove down on Thursday to enjoy the scenery – these first two pictures were taken at Water’s Edge restaurant on Shem Creek, just over the BIG bridge in Mt Pleasant.

4.19.18 Charleston4.19.18 Charleston2



This picture is from the day before the show after he had wiped the car down several times. There were plenty of other Corvette owners at our hotel so he got to talk cars all day!


Here he is putting the finishing touches on before the judging begins.



Here are two shots of the car show on Saturday – there were over 350 Corvettes at the show – plenty to look at! There were some vendor booths selling various non-car related things so I got to do a little shopping, but nothing quilting related 😦


I finally finished off the wedding dress quilts but didn’t take very good pictures…and the owner has already picked them up so I can’t take more. I was so happy to be done with that project and I will never do another. The fabric is extremely difficult to work with and that’s after all the stress of actually cutting up someone’s wedding dress!!

This is the front & back of quilt #1


This is quilt #2 but I added more lace to the top and bottom edges after I took this picture – it just looked like it needed more.

I also made two garter’s from the dress fabric – a first for me – that project wasn’t so hard but it took a little extra time.

Regardless, it’s done and gone & I’m happy it’s over!!


Yesterday I finally basted the tshirt quilt that’s been in a holding pattern for more than a month. I’m sure that customer is wondering ‘what the heck is taking so long’! I started quilting on it last night BUT…I’m going to have to rip it all out!! Waaaah! I could tell the first bit of stitches didn’t look so great but I thought it was just because I was out of practice, I soon figured out I had the wrong needle it AND I forgot to drop my feed dogs – ACCCKKKK!!!

skipped stitchesripples

So today I’ll be frogging all those stitches and starting over – just as well because the backing also has a few ripples…Wow, I’m really out of practice 😦



Yoga & Quilting

I’m still in a holding pattern waiting for my next tshirt quilt project so I started working on a few things that have been languishing.

I pulled all my Honey Pot Bee blocks out and put them up on the wall to see if they played nicely together…yep, I’m still liking my fabric choice – Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis.

hpb 7.14.17

Once they were all up there I decided to make another block – the alternate for July. Each month two different patterns are offered and I’ve usually just made one of them but I really liked both this month.

hpb 1 more

I then went on a cleaning binge – not too crazy or anything, more like just tidying up and organizing…no pictures of that!

Yesterday while watching the Ladies final at Wimbledon I got my Learning Quilt back under the needle and made great progress. I quilted each block differently, sometimes playing with the piecing pattern and other times just winging it with a design I had never tried before – hey, it’s a ‘learning quilt’ so why not!


I finished quilting the sashing and borders today while watching the Gentleman’s final at Wimbledon (Yay, Roger!). All that’s left is the binding – I’ve chosen two shades of solid green because I see a lot of green in the blocks and there is a touch of green in the backing. Hopefully I can get that on tonight!



On the exercise front, I haven’t been doing much cardio but I have been doing Yoga almost every day. It’s a lot harder than it looks and I can really feel it in my legs, abs and back (clearly my posture is lacking!). I’ve found a 30 day series on YouTube from “Yoga with Adriene“, she’s really great at describing how you should be moving and positioning your body…and she’s pretty funny too!

That’s it for me…what are you working on these days?


Sewing and waiting…

Not much quilting this week – I’m waiting to start a new commissioned t-shirt project because they’re sending more shirts. I have already ‘deconstructed’ the ones I have but I don’t want to play with the layout until I see what else I get so…they’re just patiently waiting in a nice pile


I did finally pull out a very old UFO…when I first started quilting I followed a 12 month Block of the Month sew along that another ‘new to quilting’ blogger was following. These blocks were some of the first I ever made and looking at them now I can see I’ve learned so much in the past three years!! Back then I didn’t know to ‘trim the dog ears’ or ‘square up my HST’ or how to keep my points when piecing blocks…I’ve had quite a laugh looking at these blocks. For quite some time I’ve been meaning to put this together and call it my “Learning Quilt” but I never got around to it – until now.

I decided to add sashing and borders in Kona Snow; the size of the sashing varied depending on the size of the block – ahem, no they’re not all the same size! It doesn’t look bad from distance and I’m really not worried about it anyway – it’s not like I’m going to sell it or gift it – this one is all mine 😀


I pieced the backing out of remnants I had on hand and got it glue basted


I’m going to FMQ something different in each block – maybe following some of the piecing as suggestions and maybe not, lol. I got started on two blocks


But then my machine started making a funny sound – more specifically the feed dogs. I quickly realized there must be something wrong with the feed dog drop control because they won’t stay all the way down 😦 UGH! I’ve called the repair shop and I’m taking her in next week to see if they can fix it…I simply MUST be able to FMQ!!!

While I’m restricted from FMQ, I can still do straight stitching and piecing so that’s what I’m doing. I pulled out some blocks I made a last month and pieced them into a top. The pattern is called Triplicate from Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle book by Jeni Baker


I didn’t follow her layout exactly but it’s pretty close. Those ‘dots’ on the solid white squares are actually little gold pineapples – so cute!!

I have a few other projects I’m going to start before my machine goes in the shop – the good news is while she’s in the shop I’ll be in Myrtle Beach so I won’t have much time to miss her 😉

That’s about all for now…what’s going on where you are?

Have a Happy Memorial Day!

HST Sampler done!

I put the finishing touches on the binding this evening and I’m calling this done (save for the label)!

I made this quilt following along with Amanda at 3and3quarters who started the QAL back in October. This is my second quilt made with Amanda – I just love her designs and her teaching style is easy to follow, never intimidating.

I purchased a layer cake of Michael Miller Happy Dots from Missouri Quilt Co and used Kona White from my stash for the background. When I was almost done making all the blocks I bought the backing and the binding fabric from She offers good quality fabric at very reasonable prices (as the name states).

I’m just so tickled with how this turned out!! I did free motion stippling in the blocks and used a straight stitch on the sashing and borders to create a frame for each block (thanks for that suggestion Amanda!). I decided to cut the binding on the bias to add a bit of movement on the edges…this was quite nerve wracking as it was my first time cutting & sewing with bias binding but I think it worked out very well.





Now I just need to decide if I’m keeping this one or offering it for sale…either way this definitely gives me confidence to pull out one of my unfinished ‘sandwiches’ and do more free motion quilting…weeeeee!

ttfn and…G’night

Plugging away

Each night I’ve been working on the pumpkin table runner and I’m almost done. Last night I sewed the binding to the front and turned it to the back intending to stitch in the ditch on the front to secure it. But…I don’t like how much binding shows on the front versus the back.

I cut my strips 2 1/4″ and used 1/4″ seam to sew it to the front which leaves about 3/4″ on the back. I really wanted a little more binding to show on front so I’m going to go back over it tonight and add about 1/8″ stitching to the front and then hopefully when I turn it, it will be a little more even on the back & front.

Here’s a shot from last night before I went to bed:


And here’s a close up of the first pumpkin. I used my new Pfaff to do all the stitching and FMQ…wow, the FMQ was so much better on my new machine! Of course I need to get better at moving the fabric at the right pace without jerking…that should come with time 😉 And can I just say how great it is to have speed control when doing applique…#gamechanger!

Close up almost done

I’m really happy with the overall project and I learned a lot too, like:

  • Get all my fabrics together BEFORE starting the project. There were many stops & starts because I didn’t have enough of something…grrr!
  • I used the needle-turn method for the pumpkin, stem & leaf and wow, what a little starch will do to help get that fold! I really like that no raw edges are showing and they won’t unravel over the years with use.
  • Stitch the lines on the pumpkins BEFORE appliqueing the edges to prevent puckering at the bottom.
  • Write down all stitches used and the sizes so when I stop & start I don’t use the wrong stitch/size (I had to rip & re-do the applique zigzag on the first pumpkin because it was the wrong size).
  • I can replicate a finished item without a pattern…albeit with plenty of mistakes and lessons learned!

I’ll post more pics tonight after I finish…ttfn…

Instant Gratification…it’s a disease!

I just couldn’t wait until I went back for more fabric for the Patchwork Pumpkin table runner so I decided I would make a single pumpkin table mat with the fabric that I had…I have ‘instant gratification disease’!

Another reason for the single pumpkin – I realized I made my template in reverse after I cut out the first pumpkin. Its not really that big of a deal, I could just make the others the same way and no one would ever know. But I’ve been watching YouTube videos on needle turn applique, which I think is just a fancy way of saying the raw edges are turned under before being sewn to the background (please correct me if there is some other meaning!); and I think I want to do that on this table runner…hence the first pumpkin would be wasted.

So tonight I cut two 12 1/2″ squares and used Heat n Bond to set the edges of the first pumpkin on one of them. Then I ironed on the stem (I used some brown flower fabric that I thought wouldn’t work but it really does!) and then the leaf. I made a sandwich with the two squares and some batting, using spray to baste the layers. After debating with myself about whether I would ‘try’ FMQ on this square I decided WTH!

First I zigzagged around the pumpkin, stem and leaf and then did a few lines down the pumpkin to give it dimension. I had a little trouble with puckering at the bottom of the pumpkin…must figure that out before I do the rest of them.

I changed to my darning foot and set the machine for FMQ. I was quite nervous and my first few swirlies are a bit shaky but I tried to relax and just let it happen…soon it started to feel a bit more comfortable. I still wobbled several times but I have to say I’m pretty darn pleased with the outcome…yay!!

Here are way too many pictures of the finished product:

IMG_2619.2 IMG_2620  IMG_2626 IMG_2628

Mug rug

I was in the mood to start and finish a project today and I’ve been meaning to make a bigger mug rug for my night stand so that’s exactly what I did.

I pulled a few FQs (fat quarters) from my stash, some had already been used a little, and cut 5″ squares. I made two rows of three and then sewed the rows together – that was just the perfect size. I pulled another (not so favorite) FQ from the stash and used a 10×14 piece for the backing. I decided I was going to use some left over pieces of batting for this project so I pulled three strips and zigzag stitched them together. I wasn’t really sure how that would work out but they pieced together pretty easily and didn’t cause me any problems during quilting…yay!

I pulled another FQ and cut strips for the binding. I tried a new technique when sewing the binding to the mug rug: instead of sewing the beginning and ending pieces together on the diagonal, I created a diagonal crease at the beginning and then tucked the ending piece into it.

Lastly, I tried my hand at FMQ in the center…with my 50 year old machine! Clearly it’s not made for FMQ!! Or maybe I’m the one who’s not made for FMQ! LOL

Here are the results:

Top of completed mug rug
Top of completed mug rug

Close up of FMQ on front
Close up of FMQ on front

Back of mug rug
Back of mug rug

Close up of FMQ on back - LOL!
Close up of FMQ on back – LOL!

Binding join using new method. I don't really care for the bulky look.
Binding join using new method. I don’t really care for the bulky look.