Holly and Mistletoe, Mostly Finished

I have a bad habit of calling a quilt finished when the quilting is done. It is not, in fact, completely done until the binding is all attached, but here I am again, telling you about a quilt that I’ve just “finished.”

I posted last weekend about it, whining about how I just a little bit of the border to finish quilting. It took me all of about an hour yesterday, and then I got started on the scalloped binding.

Like we all do, I Googled for help, and found a great post here. If ever I do scallops again, I think I’ll consider doing as she did on the quilt in that post, and just doing them on two sides. Love the look that gave her quilt.

I got through sewing all of the binding on this morning and posed my quilt outside for some photos for you. It will now be added to the stack of quilts that have their binding attached to the front, but still need to be turned and stitched to the back. Depending on the quilt and it’s future use, I may or may not stitch by machine. This one will be done by hand, and it might be awhile before I get to. Considering the fact the quilt was started in January 2010, I’m doing pretty well, I’d say. I figure I have until January 2020 before I should get really embarrassed about how long it took to finish.

{That’s a joke. I have numerous other quilts that are unfinished and at least as old. I’m not embarrassed at all. Well, except for that one quilt that was supposed to be a baby gift for a kid that’s like, in junior high, or something now…}

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Pattern is “Holly and Mistletoe” designed by Blackbird Designs from their book “When the Cold Wind Blows”.

Machine applique, hand-guided machine quilting.

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With this one off the frame, I’ve got that itchy feeling that I’m allowed to start something new.

Or maybe I should go look at that pile of partially finished quilts again………

“This quilt is taking forever” — a pathetic story, by Suzanne

This is the quilt I wanted to finish over the weekend, but ignored in favor of apples.  I feel like it’s taking forever, because it is. I think the original post about starting it is buried in the blog archives here, somewhere around 2010 (ish?). The machine quilting got started around the first of the year (2015).

I foolishly decided that this straight line quilting would look awesome in the border, and, while that is a true statement, it’s also the bane of my existence. It doesn’t really take that long, but I have this mental block telling me that it does. Brains are weird.

I really only have two more side border sections to do, plus a corner, but here I am, posting a stupid blog post about it, instead of turning the machine on and getting it done.

I’m all about looking for sympathy, I guess.

Just wait until I whine about doing the curved binding this thing is going to need after I cut the border into scallops.

Snow day, January 2015 Edition

Oh, Iowa Weather. You are so ridiculous.2015-01-06 21.59.48

We’ve been on winter break since December 24th, scheduled to go back to school today, and…it snowed last night. And is going to be bitterly cold tomorrow, so…a two day extension on the winter break. Again. I know I posted yesterday about planning a red and white quilt, but I decided not to let myself go off on any wild tangents with new projects. I have plenty in progress, and after spending some time on a knitting project:

IMG_2759-0.JPGI spent some time working on an existing applique project. And in between bouts of working on the applique (of the border pieces, the body of the quilt is done, and HAS been done for some time), I worked on cleaning up my studio.


Evidence of which can be seen in the laundry baskets in the photo, but no other pictures of my progress, yet. I took a bunch of before pictures, and I am not going to show my shame until I can also post after pictures. The really annoying thing is that I actually made a ton of progress today, and it didn’t take nearly as long as I suspected it would. Why do I have to keep learning that lesson? I’m generally fairly clever, but sometimes I can be awfully stupid.

With another day off tomorrow, I guess I’ll have lots more time to work on both the clean up and the applique. With any luck, the applique will actually get finished tomorrow! I’ve only been working on this quilt since January 2010. I have others that have been marinating even longer. Maybe by the time I finish them, they’ll be back in style again.

Planning a red and white quilt


It’s no secret that Red is my favorite color. Last year, I was shocked to realize that I have only ever made me ONE red and white quilt. I’ve quilted several, but only one that I made myself. Oh, sure, every other quilt I’ve made has red IN it, but it’s always with other colors — red and white and blue, or red and white and green or black or…you get the picture! Not to mention all of the in progress quilts that I have with varying amounts of red and other colors.

Or, as I look through some pictures looking for other things, some other stuff I haven’t even ever posted about:



Last winter, I decided I wanted to make something that was all red and white, but deciding to do it was about as far as I got. It makes perfect sense, then, that I’ve spent the last little while contemplating ideas. And Pinning said ideas.

Because, why not.

Follow Suzanne Earley’s board Quilts on Pinterest.

The tricky part is trying to decide between a quilt that would be super easy to piece, thus providing a canvas for fancy quilting….or do I want to get involved in piecing a Feathered Star quilt of my own, like the Radiant Star I made several years ago as a commissioned quilt….

Radiant Star, full quilt

but red….and will I be able to resist the temptation to throw in some other colors…and should it be scrappy reds and whites, or just two fabrics?

So many choices and ideas! Not enough time!

Have any of you made red and white quilts that you really love? Or have a picture or link to share, to add to my inspiration files? Let me know in the comments!

Neutrals Sampler Quilt — Finished!

I started working on this beautiful sampler LAST Christmas Break, but life got away from me. Luckily, my customer is VERY patient, but I had put this off long enough.

She has made many samplers (she trades blocks with several other quilters), and I always try to do something a little different. My idea with this one was to break out of the “block” and split the space up a little differently. I spent some time on the Green Fairy Quilts website looking for inspiration.

The quilt is a little hard to photograph with my current lighting conditions (i.e. the light is TERRIBLE, thanks for nothing Iowa winter…), but hopefully you can tell that I basically ignored the blocks themselves, creating my own “blocks” on a diagonal, adding in my own divisions. I’m particularly proud of the border design!

The main blocks were done continuously. The alternating blocks, with the extra “border” had some extra starts and stops. The thread is Superior Threads So Fine in the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin. No pics of the back, they don’t really show anything you can’t tell from the pictures I’ve shared here.

It’s all freehand (well, with ruler for the straight lines.) I’ve pulled out a few photos to highlight, but then have a slideshow with several more below.


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Here’s the slideshow with the rest of the pictures. You can scroll through, but if you click on any of the images, it’ll take you to the picture’s Flickr page, and you can view it full sized.