Cherry Churn Dash Surprise — a {mostly} finished quilt!

The quality of the light is a little funky, and red is impossible to photograph, so these pictures don’t quite do this justice, but I can’t not share!

I thought I had the afternoon off, but then the fog rolled in, and the morning exploratory classes got cancelled, so….bonus! An entire day off.

When I’ve posted sneak peeks of this quilt, I’ve tried very hard not to spoil the surprise.


When this was up on the design wall, Mark and I would have conversations that went something like:

Mark: There’s a green block there.

Suzanne: Yep.

Mark: But it’s green.

Suzanne: Yep.

Mark: And the rest are red.

Suzanne: Yep.

Mark: I think you need to call that quilt “Don’t Drink and Quilt”

Suzanne: (A) I don’t drink and (B) I was thinking more along the lines of “How to Drive Your Engineer Husband Crazy Through Quilting”


I love this quilt so much. Churn Dash is my very favorite block, and I love experimenting and using it in different ways.


It’s no surprise that red is my favorite color, and by now I’ve lost count of the different ways I’ve used cherry fabrics in quilts. Although, I think this is the first time I’ve every actually quilted cherries!


Everything was done freehand, with just some ruler lines drawn in to guide me for spacing. The quilting in the piano key border got a little out of hand — more intricate than I intended, and don’t look too close, I didn’t draw guidelines, I just went for it, so it’s very “perfectly imperfect.”


Thread is Superior Threads, So fine in the top, Bottom Line prewound bobbins on the bottom. Warm and Natural white batting.

Now that the quilting is done, I really need to stop and bind a couple quilts. Ok. I need to bind more than a couple. Like 4.

Fine. I think I have 6 quilts to bind right now. Don’t judge me.



Cherry Limeaid and Blueberry Pie


I started this quilt in 2014. It’s been pieced for awhile now, but I struggled with how to quilt it — spent a fair bit of time over the Christmas holidays ripping out a bunch, and then I went to town. I was really sick of it by the time I finished it up Thursday night.


It’s a big quilt, 103 by 103. It was mostly pieced, at least to start, on my Featherweight. It’s not perfect, my quilts never are, but it’s now finished. Well, almost. Needs a binding, but in my lizard brain, when the quilting is done, that’s pretty much it.


You can’t really see anything on the back, it’s a pretty busy fabric.


Honestly, the whole thing is so busy, it’s a little hard to get a good picture of the quilting.


The quilting is all freehand. I was not 100% happy with how it went, I had to think pretty hard about where I was going with those big swirled spines, and wasn’t always happy with how they ended up. I would have probably been smart to have marked those as I went along. I got better as I went, though.


The thread is a lavender, it’s Arc poly. Very shiny, very pretty. Lavender Bottom Line in the bobbin. I ran out of the top thread with just the bottom 10 inches to go. I substituted a lighter lavender to finish it up. I thought it looked extremely obvious, but once it’s washed, I’m sure I’m the only one that will know. Well, and everyone else that’s reading this post, I guess…..


The batting is….miscellaneous bits of what I think is all 80/20 cotton/poly. I had one large piece and then just laid in new pieces to fill it out. I think there’s enough quilting to hold it all together.

I’m going to go back and tag all of the posts about the piecing of this with the name, so that those of you interested in that sort of thing can see the progression from a stack of fabric to a finished quilt. As I was looking through, I was reminded of when I went to the fabric store to buy some stuff to supplement my stash. Another lady was buying the same colors as I, and made some comment about making a quilt called “cherry limeaid” for her granddaughter. It was very clear that she wasn’t crazy about the color combo, which I thought was funny at the time, since I was actually wearing lime green and bright pink and had all of those colors in my cart, too.

(Link to all of the posts)

Thus, the name of the quilt: Cherry Limeaid and Blueberry Pie. I couldn’t just call it Cherry Limeaid, so I went looking for names of drinks that are blue…….and liked the sound of something called Blueberry Pie (a blue cocktail made from blueberry schnapps, vanilla liqueur, blue curacao and half-and-half, and served in a chilled cocktail glass.)

Now, to decide whether I’m going to (a) put the binding on this quilt, (b) get ready to quilt something else, or (c) take a nap.

Welcome to my sweat shop

I have been so productive, that I have hesitated to speak about the productivity, lest I jinx it.

I am taking a break from the sewing marathon I’ve been immersed in for the last 2 days to share a few pics of what I’ve accomplished.  Last week, I made this fleece throw for one of my nieces.

Orange is her favorite color, and this is the leftover fleece from those hats I made at the beginning of the month.  I used the orange fleece, a blue cotton for the “top” and a wool batting, making for a very snuggly lap-sized blanket.

I’ve already documented the Lone Star Quilt that I got quilted, plus I quilted this one:

The pattern is Peppermint Swirls by Fig Tree Quilts.  The pictures are terrible:  we haven’t seen the sun in DAYS, and this one is hard to photograph in this nasty light.

The blocks and outer border designs are by Donna Kleinke and are called Winterberry Holly (I think?)  I purchased them from Digitech Designs.  They stitched out beautifully!  I did the cream border and the green and cream stitch in the ditch freehand.  The stitch in the ditch around the cross hatching, as well as the cross hatching itself, and the orange peel in the print fabric were done on the IQ.

After quilting that wonky Lone Star, it such a pleasure to quilt a nice flat quilt.

I have also finished the binding on a grand total of FOUR quilts.  One is packed and ready to be mailed to its new owner, one has been claimed by my husband, and the other two are waiting for a home, they’ll probably be QOVs.

All were shop samples that had been quilted but never bound.  One of the quilts has been sitting around waiting for me to hand finish the binding.  I picked it up two days ago and thought, gee, a machine binding would look a lot better than the mythical hand binding and 30 minutes later:  done.  The other 3?  That’s a weird story:  some months ago I went on a finishing spree and had sewn the binding to the front, but I had never sewn the ends together, so they were sitting in a pile waiting for…something…the binding fairy, maybe?

I knocked those out the other day as well, although I was texting with my sister while I was working on them and managed to cut one of the bindings WRONG and had to piece in another section.

In knitting news, I finished a scarf I was making for myself, but it needs to be blocked, so I’m going to do that before taking any pictures of it.

ANd finally (phew!) I started piecing a new quilt.  I am so beyond thrilled with how it is turning out, I can’t wait to show it off, but I’m only going to give you a sneak peek of a corner:

I haven’t been on a sewing marathon like this in MONTHS.  I haven’t wanted to piece like this in months, actually.  I pieced and pieced and pieced yesterday and this morning, and I’m going to have a finished 70 by 70 quilt top some time later tonight or tomorrow and it is so awesome, I can’t stand it.

I’d better get back to it — it’s a good thing we don’t have any big New Year’s Eve party plans:  it’s foggy, foggy, foggy and has been raining (the freezing kind of rain) and slick and gross.

I hope that wherever you are, you are warm and safe and enjoying a celebration as we head towards a new year.  2011 had better be great, that’s all I’m saying…

One less WTQ

Technically, I suppose this is still a UFO, but it’s no longer Waiting To be Quilted (WTQ), so, in my playbook that means it’s really pretty much finished.  Plus, I don’t actually have binding for it.

I have some customer quilts that need to be done, but it’s Christmas Break, so I’m sort of taking a vacation, but not really.  In between doing some bookkeeping and website stuff, I’m working on some of my own quilts, and this is one that’s been waiting for awhile.

When Mark asked who it belonged to, he gave me the patented “OMG, My Wife is Crazy” look when I replied that I bought the quilt top.

See, at the time, the Machine Quilter’s Showcase Bread and Butter category included Lone Star quilts, and when I found this top, I thought it would be perfect:  I wouldn’t have to piece a Lone Star — and look — it’s my colors!

That was something like 3 years ago.

One of my issues with the quilts was that the blue is a really odd shade of blue, and I just could NOT figure out what thread color to use on it.  Plus, I knew I wanted to do a “custom” job, rather than just sticking an allover on it.

I decided that this quilt’s number was up and it was getting done no matter what.

I knew it was wonky, but I didn’t appreciate how wonky it was until I got it on the frame.  It was so wonky that I really should have taken all 4 borders off, and maybe even taken out the setting squares and triangles.  As it was, I ended up taking off the top and bottom borders, which is why those actually lay flat:  they were approximately 3 inches longer than they needed to be.  Ugh.

I used the IQ for nearly everything, I’m trying to learn how to use it for custom work.  It was awesome for the continuous curve in the star itself, and it stitched the motifs and border designs out beautifully, however, I wish I had made a different design decision.  The designs I chose are from a design set by Anne Bright called Butterfly Garden — they are very pretty, and on the wool batting, they gave the quilt some really nice texture, but unfortunately, I think they ended up emphasizing the wonkiness of the quilt — because they were all designed to fill the squares and triangles up completely, it made it really obvious that the squares and triangles weren’t actually, you know, square

Which is not to say that the quilt is a disaster or ruined or even ugly, it’s actually quite sweet, I think.

What might I have done differently?  I think I should have gone with something like a feathered wreath that didn’t fill the square/triangle/border completely — that needed to have a background fill done around it:  something that didn’t draw my attention to the seam lines.

I know, you are looking at the pictures, thinking “But Suzanne, it looks fine, I don’t see what you are seeing, get over yourself.” (Yes, I can read minds, didn’t you know?)

Trust me.  It’s wonky.  I’m just not showing you HOW wonky.  I have some pride.

Not much.  But some.

Project Details

  • Name: Lone Star Quilt
  • Pieced by:  Unknown (star was hand pieced, borders and setting squares/triangles were machine pieced)
  • Size:  66 by 81
  • Quilting Thread: Would you believe I ended up using a cream colored thread!  On the blue!  It’s Sew Fine, Bottom Line in the bobbin
  • Quilting Designs:  Butterfly Garden Little Sister Set by Anne Bright
  • Batting:  Hobbs Wool

I’m still alive

Well, apparently I dramatically exaggerated my potential early death from the crud because (a) I’m still alive and (b) I don’t actually have the crud, which is weird, since I was sneezing so much.  Maybe I scared the cold away.

Or maybe it really was rogue ragweed?

I can finally show off these quilts I’ve been working on, these are gifts for their teachers.  You’ll note that they are fraternal twins, just like the boys.

The pattern is from the Terry Atkinson book Happy Hour.  Super simple, but very effective.  I had the penguin fabric at the shop in the two colorways, I debated between something Christmas-y like this, or just plain everyday fabric, and the boys had no opinion — so I made Mark decide.  He liked the penguins, so away I went.  I didn’t have enough of any one red to do the blue quilt with just 2 fabrics, and I didn’t have enough different greens to make the green and red quilt scrappy-ish, and I wasn’t going to go BUY anymore fabric…

I took these pictures in a  hurry this morning before delivering them, so there aren’t that many pictures, and they don’t look that great, but there’s not much to see.  I used a computerized pattern from Anne Bright called Christmas Snow.  It is VERY dense, but the snowflakes are gorgeous.  I used Hobbs wool, and washed the quilts, which is why they are both so crinkly already:

If I had a longer throat on my longarm, I would have done this pattern even bigger, but I ran out of room.

For those who are wondering, yes, I have made quilts for the boys’ teachers every year since kindergarten.  That’s it, though.  I’ve always said I was only doing them through elementary, so this is the last Christmas when I’ll be scurrying at the last minute, even though I’ve known for a year that I’ll need another pair of quilts for teachers…

Now, to finish a lap quilt for one of my niece’s before Friday (piece of cake) and to try to finish Mark’s scarf by Saturday (mmmm….I have at least 12 more inches to go, but I stayed up until 1 AM and got 8 inches done last night, so I’m thinking it might be possible…)

Of course, I could always still get the crud, and he’s been complaining about a stomach bug, which he’d better not share, so I’m not going to get too overly confident on this one.

I may have to wrap up a scarf with the needle and ball of yarn still attached, but that would be par for the course around here…