Books quilts and sewing

Remember you're unique!! Just like everyone else.

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

Thistleberry Quilt Block 1

Starting a new block-of-the-month courtesy of Joann Fabrics.  The newest one out of the gate is Thistleberry.  This pattern is again from quiltblocks© and I have to say they have another hit in my opinion.  The finished quilt will measure 76 ½” x 93 ½” and has the setting kit, binding, and backing kit available as well as the 12 monthly blocks for purchase.DSC_0096


The patterns are very unique and the color scheme is fantastic.  I’ve already put the first block together and it looks great.IMG_0165

The difficulty level of this quilt on a scale from 1 to 5 would have to be a two.  The patterns are beautiful and the colors reminiscent of Easter.  I’ve passed on the last three patterns put out for Joann Fabrics and am pleased to say I’ll be putting this one together.


I think we’ve all felt this was at one time or another, but it’s like Melissa we continue on, rip out what we’ve done and try it again that makes us better quilters and people.

Crafting My Life Away...

I am an utter and complete failure.  While making the quilts for kids quilt, I’ve totally screwed it up, and I’ve taken out lines upon lines of quilting, only to make it worse.  If that isn’t bad enough,  this is week four, and they asked that they be returned in three to four weeks.  Now I am trying to get it finished, but it isn’t quality enough to send back…  I don’t know what to do.  Do I just send   them some money?  Do I make some quilt tops and send them in with backing and batting for someone else to make nicer quilts with?  I suck.

So yeah, that’s where I am today.  It’s hot, I have no will to work, and I’m worried about the quilt that I’ve mussed up pretty badly.  *sigh*

View original post

Another Give-a-Way

I’ve posted up another give-a-way under free stuff!! At the top of my page…  I had a late start this morning and didn’t get anything done last night.  I’m excited today anyway!!  I get two of my quilts back today from the long-arm quilter.  My Arbor Lane and Sage Garden quilts.  That means that I’ll be sewing binding all weekend which is actually one of my favorite things to do.


I’ll update with the pictures of the actual quilting this weekend, until next time… keep quilting!!

Time to move the sewing out of the dining room

We have decided to get rid of the guest bedroom and furniture in favor of a sewing room/media room.  I’m not looking forward to the move, as I don’t look forward to a move of any kind.  I am excited about the result however.  We are replacing our sofas and dining set with a nicer one.  This means we’ll be moving the old table into the guest bedroom until we can replace it with a sewing table for two.

It’s musical furniture this memorial  day weekend, I’ll try to post some pics for the new sewing room once we’re done.

Thimbles and Batting

Have you ever wanted to know which product to use only to go through the process of searching and only have a headache and more confusion for your trouble??  When I first started quilting and figured out how to piece my quilt together through trial and error I was finally ready to put the sandwich together.  Which batting to use?  I went down to the store to find myself inundated with cotton, polyester, cotton/poly, and wool.  Which would be best?  I couldn’t find an answer, not even after I searched extensively online.  No one just came out and said, “this is my favorite!”.  So for anyone searching out there, here’s my opinion for what it’s worth…

Warm and Natural 100% cotton batting is the ONLY batting I have used on any of my quilts.  Another look into what constitutes GOOD batting makes my head spin.  Bearding, loft, composition, and drape… for me it couldn’t be more confusing.  When I start to search this topic through numerous hops on the web, after 2 – 3 pages of information the final answer I read about is they don’t have a straight answer.  Well, polyester is used for some wall-hangings, but is harder with a higher loft to quilt…  blah, blah, blah…

Warm and Natural 100% Cotton

Usually if someone has asked a question or does a web search, they have a specific need in mind.  The bulk of what I make are quilts ranging in size from 12” x 12” up to a King size  of 100” x 120”.  When I ask what batting should I use I not looking for a discourse in batting or a run-thru on the thermal-dynamics of polyester vs. cotton vs. cotton/poly blend.  I’m asking about a personal preference, what would you use if this was a quilt you were making for a family member and why would you select that particular batting.

Microsafe Traditional Loft Polyester

I have noticed that there is far fluffier (read “more loft”) batting out there, but MY personal preference is warm and natural 100% cotton because of the weight and feel of it and it may be kind of goofy, but it says natural (no dyes).  I’ve made enough quilts now that I am relatively sure it will survive my grandchildren tussling and still keep them warm and that’s good enough for me.

Mountain Mist Traditional Loft Polyester

Now on to thimbles…

I have to qualify my remarks first.  I’m a guy and my hands are on the large size, so when picking out a thimble I’m only trying out large ones.  So far I’ve tried out thimbles from Dritz, Clover, and Pons & Foster.  I’ll give you my impression of each one.

I started out using Fons & Porter brass thimble for my hand quilting and after a while was very pleased with the result.  The third day of use however, left me with a green thumb… which is great for gardening, but not so nice when dealing with fabric.

I looked around for an equivalent thimble that kept my finger its natural color and came across the Dritz thimble.  This thimble was fantastic and I did a lot of work with it on my Amish swap quilt.  Alas… after so much use it was cutting into my cuticle on the back side.  I’m not sure if this was due to bad technique, sizing of the thimble, or combination of both.  There was enough pain though to prompt my searching for another.

Enter the Clover thimble, soft supple leather and a steel coin to protect the finger.  This is the MOST comfortable thimble that I’ve used and still use when I want to give my finger a break from the Drizt, but it had a couple of disadvantages for me.  The coin is located on the front of the finger and when I’m using the rocking motion for quilting, I can get more stitches per inch if it’s on the top of my finger.  The other issue is that at times the needle head will get wedged between the leather and the coin.  That can be real annoying when you are on a roll.

The last thimble I’ve purchased seamed like a good idea, it just didn’t work for me though.  The top is solid and the body is elastic.  It stays glued to my finger without any issue and protect it as well… but without the stiffness of the solid thimble I, once again, had trouble with not enough stitches at a time.

So for now i use a combination of the two thimbles, the dritz with its solid performance until my finger hurts, then the soft leather clover to ease the pain.

That is all I have to say on the subjects of batting and thimbles.  I would LOVE to hear everybody’s preferences and opinions.

Book Review for 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts

101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts

Before I went out to purchase this book, I had read a few reviews on it. “If you can’t find a dozen quilts to make from this book right away, you just haven’t opened the cover” was the review that made the decision for me.

At 272 pages this book goes into enough depth that a beginner can crack it open and start quilting and an experienced quilter can find new designs and ideas as well. A section of the book goes over finishing quilts. I couldn’t go over everything this book covers without rewriting it. Color wheel, paper piecing, rotary techniques.. it has something to say about all of that.

The quilts are well detailed and illustrated with a grade by skill level. The real test came after the book arrived and my daughter came down to visit. We were able to talk about which one she should try based upon what she liked and the skill level it gave.  The quilt I posted about earlier that she is working on and almost finished came out of this book. Of course there were some questions she needed answers to about the best way to do something, but I was impressed by how far she was able to get with her first quilt from following the simple-to-use directions from the book.

That is the best review I could give a book, 5 stars out of 5.

My Cat the Quilter

I set my cat to wake me up at 7am this past Saturday and he went off at 5:30am…  I think he’s broken.  Today he deleted everything I was writing… okay, maybe just the blog that I was writing.  Since I was fairly deep into my thoughts at that point and it has been erased I’ll assume that he wanted at least one blog as an ode to him.  He likes to give me subtle hints like that when he wants something.  I’d like everyone to meet Oliver, my alarm clock, nuisance, conscience, pal, and pest.

Oliver is not type of cat to play with string, he’s way too sophisticated for that.  A full bobbin or two batted around the house is more his style just to let you know that he’s the true quilter.  When you’re good to him and give his treats on time, he’ll console himself with an empty spool or two though just to prove he’s still a cat and not the devil’s imp.

He’s the one that checks over my work and either gives me a congratulatory meow, or walks over my creation (his way of telling me that it needs to be redone).  When I’ve done really well Oliver curls up on top of the quilt and claims it for himself.

If I’m walking back and forth from sewing machine to ironing board, he positions himself directly in the middle of the two to ensure that I receive extra exercise.  Of course setting the quilt top out wouldn’t be complete unless just before he jumped on the bed and got under the quilt to be in the way to inspect the underside.

Honestly, Oliver has become so good at quilting and instructing me how to quilt properly that I’ve entered him into a contest.  I could not resist as this is so funny because it’s so true.

Do you have any funny stories about your quilting cat?

Great Book

I originally got this link from and it’s about a book that she suggested and I did end up ordering. If you’re interested in Amish quilts and the history behind them then this book is fantastic.

Under the Weather/Radar

ImageImageImageI spent most of the weekend working on the Schoolhouse quilt and getting it almost finished, but Sunday I turned my attention back to the Sampler Quilt my wife and I are working on together.  I finished the last two blocks and then sewed the panels together.  Even though I did a lot of work, I kind of felt out of sorts Sunday and here it is Monday and I’m definitely feeling under the weather.

Today will be spent relaxing and taking it easy, though I might try to finish the binding on the Christmas quilt that I spent so much time hand quilting.  That project took so long and it is time to have that completed.  When you feel under the weather, do you continue to do projects or just try and relax?











On another note, my daughter finished sewing her blocks together and will finish sewing the panels together this morning.  Let her know what you think…  This is going to be her very first quilt, she chose the pattern, fabrics, and colors all by herself.


Joann Fabric’s Persian Plum Block of the Month

Time to review Joann’s newest Block of the Month, “Persian Plum”. This to me is one of their most striking quilts to date. Plum is the theme throughout this quilt and the visually stunning blocks are at once delicate in color and design and yet seamlessly placed throughout the quilt which when finished measures roughly 82” x 99”.

Each of the 12 blocks carries a different design like; Double Sawtooth Star, Dutchman’s Puzzle, etc. If you’re of a mind to learn some of these different squares, then this BOTM Quilt is for you. I will be starting the quilt this month and posting each block as I finish it. Here’s a preview of some of the colors.


Here is the front of the package.  You can see all the different types of blocks used here!!


This is the color pallet used for the quilt.


I really love the patterns and colors in this kit and hope I can keep myself from trying to piece this together before the year is out!!  But the anticipation is killing me…  I want to see the finished quilt already.  Let me know what you think, should I do this as a monthly block, or throw caution to the wind and finish it this Summer?

Post Navigation