December 13, 2009

The Simple Joys of Christmas

Our beautiful Christmas tree!

November 25, 2009

Machine Quilting - How It's Done!

Have you ever wondered what happens during the consultation when you bring your quilt to a longarm quilter? Have you ever wondered what the actual quilting process entails? Visit my website and find out!

November 20, 2009

To Wash or Not To Wash

Do you prewash your fabrics before you use them in a quilt? Here are a few examples of why all of my fabric is washed before it is placed into my stash! Some colors have more excess dye than others. Red is bad...
But blue is often worse!I soak similar colors of fabric together in the sink with a little Tide. I continue to change the water until the excess dye is out. Sometimes I leave it to soak overnight. I rinse it by hand, then I toss it in the washer for one final rinse and spin, and into the dryer it goes! I do it in batches of about 8 yards or less, and remove it promptly to reduce wrinkles. I fold it neatly, and put it in my stash, ready to be made into a quilt!

November 18, 2009

Winter is Coming...

This is a photo of the acorns in our shrub bed. The entire wooded area looks like this, thousands of acorns! The squirrels have been busy... is this an indication of a harsh winter to come? Wouldn't this be a fabulous design printed on fabric? :-)

October 19, 2009

Shoreline Quilters Guild - Quilt Show 2009

It takes a lot of work to put on a quilt show.
Setting up the quilt show, the vendors are unloading their stuff and the quilt frames have arrived.

The quilt frames are being set up.

Quilts have been checked in and are waiting to be hung up.

Vendors are getting ready. It's starting to look like a quilt show!

Quilts are displayed.

More beautiful quilts.

A view down the aisle. The show is on! There were over 200 quilts on display, and I quilted more than 30 of them!

One of my quilts in the show. I named this one "Oreo Ice Cream with Raspberries on Top". I must have been hungry :-)

Another one of my quilts. I named this one "Sound of Music".

I quilted this beautiful Dresden Plate quilt for a customer.

A closeup of my quilting. The quilt has been washed so it has a wonderful antique look to it.

Here I am in my vendor booth, promoting my machine quilting business. The quilt show was a success! It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. I really enjoyed talking with all of the quilters who stopped by to see me. I also saw a few old friends that I had not seen in many years!

October 4, 2009

Quilt Show!

The Shoreline Quilters Guild presents
"A Harvest of Quilts"
Quilt Show 2009

Saturday, October 17th, 10am-5pm
Sunday, October 18th, 10am-4pm

East Haven High School
East Haven, CT

I will have quilts in the show and
a booth in the vendor area.

Please come say Hello!

August 25, 2009

Stash or Collection?

Is it a "stash" or a "collection" A stash is meant to be made into quilts, a collection is meant to be loved and enjoyed. Which one do you have?

July 4, 2009

A Beautiful Day for a Parade

July 4, 2009. Happy Birthday America!

June 24, 2009

Twisted Log Cabin Quilt

Remember Alex Anderson's TV show "Simply Quilts"? I miss that show, I learned a lot of new quilting techniques from watching it! At the beginning of every episode they showed a Twisted Log Cabin quilt. About 4 years ago I decided to design and piece one of my own, from the concepts presented in Barbara Kaempter's book Log Cabin with a Twist. Mine is still a UFO, I never did figure out what I wanted to do for a six sided border, let alone the quilting. So, here it is, as is, about 30" across.
When I designed this quilt, I created it full size on paper with all the colors. There are 24 triangles in the quilt, and every one is a different color combination! I really enjoyed the paper piecing, but this one has so many little pieces, so the foundation paper is staying on the back!RaNae Merrill wrote a book, Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts. Her book takes the twisted log cabin to a new level by creating spirals in 4, 5, and 6+ sided shapes. She is in the process of writing yet another book based on spirals, and I am lucky to be part of her "Quilt Lab". I am designing a quilt, and will piece it and quilt it, and hopefully it will be in her next book! I am not allowed to explain the details of the book, but stay tuned, it should be another beautiful book that you will want in your quilt library!

June 15, 2009

Are You a Fabric-aholic?

I love fabric! And like many of you, I have a pretty substantial stash :-) Of course when I make a quilt I never have exactly what I need, so I end up buying more. I collect cat fabrics, heart fabrics (after all, it's Valentine Quiltworks!), bright colored fabrics, pretty fabrics, and any fabric that I like. The main reason I am writing about fabric is because I want to share my two favorite online fabric websites. The first one is They get new fabric every few days, and they have good prices, and free shipping if you spend over $35 (that never seems to be a problem!). The other website I like is Everything is about $4/yard, and who cares if it is last season's fabric? It is all name brand, quilt shop quality, and they also get new fabric every week or so. Both sites tell you how much they have in stock too. I must add that I do like to support my local quilt shops, especially if I need something specific or need to match colors, but occasionally I like to support my stash habit late at night, so the internet is handy for that!

"Friends are like fabric, you can never have enough!"

April 23, 2009

Machine Quilters Expo

Last week I spent 4 days at MQX in Manchester, NH. It is an annual event for machine quilters, and I have now attended four times! I took several classes and learned many new things, including design techniques, technical Statler stuff, and business related. I enjoyed the beautiful quilts on exhibit, and made many new friends! I came home with lots of inspiration, and I already made my reservation for next year, when MQX moves to Providence, RI.

April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day 2009

Celebrate Earth Day every day! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Conserve energy, turn down the thermostat and snuggle up under a quilt!

April 7, 2009

One Hundred Forty Two...

I have 142 different cat fabrics! I love to buy quilting fabric, but I don't just buy any fabric. My favorites are bright colored fabrics in rainbow colors, Valentine fabrics, trains, and cats. This is the quilt I recently made for my Dad for his birthday, because he loves cats! I used the Turning Twenty pattern, and there are 72 different cat fabrics on the front, and 4 on the back!Here are a few closeup pictures.
Can you find the one that is NOT cats? ;-)
This is the back of the quilt. The fabric in the middle is called Kitty Chronicles.
It is a fabric newspaper with cute cat stories.
I quilted it on my Statler Stitcher, with a design called Here Kitty. If you look closely you can see one of the quilted cat designs.
And last, but not least, this is my helper. She thought the quilt was for her... that is a very logical conclusion, don't you think?

April 6, 2009

Tomorrow is Another Day

Red Sox Opening Day home game at Fenway was rained out today, so they will try again tomorrow. My father in law was Joe Wood Jr. and his father was Smoky Joe Wood. They were both Red Sox pitchers, so that is why I am a Red Sox fan. Go Red Sox!

February 24, 2009

Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt

Here it is! My collection of black and white fabrics is now a Disappearing 9 Patch quilt! To tell you the truth, I wasn't crazy about the black and white color scheme, it just isn't me. But I wanted to use colors outside my comfort zone, and I really like how it turned out! My favorite part of the quilting process is taking the finished quilt off my longarm machine because it has become a quilt. That is when I decided I really like this one. I was going to sell it, but it is definitely growing on me!
(Editor's Note: The Disappearing Nine Patch quilt design is not my own, and I do not intend to imply anything more than insight into the fabrics I chose, and how I made it for my own personal use. I did some research before I posted the quilt, and there are several different names, including "9 to 4", "Tossed Nine Patch", and others. Just like many other common quilt designs, there are tutorials and photos of the design on many quilting websites and blogs. This blog is not intended to be downloaded or copied in any way, it is for your personal enjoyment only.)

Now I am going to show you how I made this Disappearing 9 Patch quilt. It looks complicated but it is really easy!! I used darks (black), lights (white), and an accent fabric (red). This quilt is about 62"x84", it is 4 blocks wide and 6 blocks long, for a total of 24 blocks. For each block I used 4 dark squares, 4 light squares, and 1 accent square. I cut my fabric into squares 4-1/2" x 4-1/2". I used a total of 96 dark squares, 96 light squares, and 24 accent squares. Here is a pile of my 4-1/2" black and white squares.
The next step is to sew the 9 Patch block. I made 24 blocks that look like this, with the dark squares in the corners and the accent square in the middle. I didn't worry about what fabric goes where, other than light, dark, and accent, because as you will see it doesn't matter!
And my finished blocks look like this. I made make 24 of these.
This is a traditional 9 Patch block! The next step is to cut each 9 Patch into 4 equal pieces with one horizontal cut and one vertical cut, like this.Now here is where the 9 Patch disappears! I turned two of the blocks, so it looks like this.I sewed the 4 small squares together into a finished block. I ended up with 24 of these blocks. I then sewed them together in rows, 4 blocks wide and 6 blocks long. The blue line shows one block.
Below is what the quilt looks like when the blocks are all sewn together.
As the saying goes, "It's not a quilt until it's quilted!"
This is my Statler Stitcher at work. I chose a quilting design called "Too Much Bubbly". It is a design with lots of little circles, I thought the quilt was busy enough and needed something fairly simple with curves and repetition. I chose red thread to compliment the red accent squares.
I like to put a narrow accent border to frame the quilt, and then a wide border to finish it off. It is like putting a double mat on a picture.
Here is a picture of the back, you can see the quilting design. It is the same fabric that I used for the accent blocks and narrow border on the front, even though Photo Shop changed the color a little ;-) Rather than using black and white on the back, I think it is fun to use a fabric that creates a little bit of a surprise!
Now you know how I made this Disappearing 9 Patch quilt! Here is the finished quilt one more time...