Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Where does the time go?! To say it's been busy around here is an understatement, but it's mostly good stuff, so no complaints. 

Last Wednesday was the first class of Beyond First Time Quiltmaking. It went pretty well, though I'm getting some feedback that this quilt design is too much for eight class hours. However, several of the quilters have said they're enjoying it. So, I'm thinking that for next fall's class, I'll design a modified version of this one so students have two options. Each quilter likes to work at her own pace, so having two designs will hopefully fulfill that need. 
54" X 60" (not yet bound)
Over the weekend, I was able to finish quilting it with a combination of easy designs - channel lines, stippling and circles... 

 - and more challenging designs like feathers, 

and snail trails.

My intent was to show a variety of quilting designs to inspire students to quilt their own, at their own skill level.

I will also teach them my favorite binding method by demonstrating it, and providing a hand-out. I hope students feel like they've gotten their money's worth for the class, and not that I've loaded them with too much information. 

Over the weekend I pin-based a big, 78" square quilt top. For the first time, I layered two batts: on top of the backing fabric is Quilter's Dream polyester, and on top of the poly is Quilter's Dream wool. When interviewing winning quilters in Paducah, I learned that a number of them were double batting their quilts because quilt folds didn't show after being shipped and hung, and the extra dimension shows off the quilting. A few quilters said they used Hobbs 80/20 in place of the poly layer.

 In any case, I'm giving this a go. This is my test piece, a mini version of the big quilt.

It looks poofy, doesn't it?

I want to put some special quilting into this quilt, so I took a photo of it, used iPhoto to change the color photo into black and white, and printed out several copies. I'm using the pages to try out quilting designs. I haven't settled on anything yet, but it's going to be my road map for getting started.

I've resurrected a UFO. Well, truth be told, it isn't even my UFO! Back in 2011, Julia, who lives in Australia, offered a blog giveaway of these four 15" X 15" Kaffe Fasset fabric blocks made from the Piece 'O Cake book "Aunt Millie's Garden." Julia exquisitely hand-appliquéd the blocks herself, and I won them! After some Kaffe fabric shopping in Paducah, and a generous scrap donation sent from Elizabeth (she made the Lollypop Trees quilt seen here), I've got what I need to make a top. Julia didn't have any of the background fabric, nor even knew what it is (a teeny, aqua-colored microdot), so "lake" Architextures crosshatch fabric is what I'm going with. Of course, I wouldn't have enough of it in my stash, so now this project is stalled until a Hawthorne Threads fabric order arrives. 

In the meantime, I'm enjoying real flowers just outside my sewing room. Lovely yellow hibiscus, 

pretty yellow allamandas, 

and the next door neighbor's gorgeous crape myrtle. We couldn't grow any of these flowers in Iowa.

The rest of this week is be pretty laid-back, as Wednesday finds me having yet another catheterization procedure (my fourth visit to that lab since last December), to clean out plaque within the stent that's in my left femoral artery. After I thought I'd put all that annoying peripheral artery disease (PAD) behind me, I learned last week that the intense left leg ache I've been experiencing when line dancing or walking at a steady pace, is being caused by poor blood flow because plaque is pushing through the stent the doc inserted last December 13. Hopefully, after tomorrow's "roto-rooter" job, I'll be line dancing again without discomfort. Linda


  1. Good luck with your procedure. I love the quilting you are doing on the class quilt, and those applique blocks are just gorgeous. What fun!

  2. Great way to tryout,quilting designs. Must try it.
    And I love your next project. Can't wait to see what you do with those blocks.

  3. Your class example looks doable for an 8 hour class to me. I like how you are showing them various quilting designs too. Lucky you to receive such a beautiful giveaway. Those are gorgeous appliqued blocks. I know you will set them beautifully too.
    Sorry you have to have another procedure. Hopefully this will be the last one.

  4. I hope the procedure is a success. The sample looks perfect! Plenty of choices for any level quilter.

  5. Busy as always. And I'm really interested to see how the two "batted" quilting will go. It never occurred to me that people do it so the folds don't show up too much. I usually go for the thinnest batting so it's easier to move under the machine although the wool gives a nice puffy look as well. Good luck for tomorrow (or as it's Wednesday here already, today).

  6. wow - your class sounds really terrific! Those folks are learning alot!! Amazing what quilting you are doing and I'm interested in what you think of the double batt. Good luck with the procedure - hope it solves the problem!

  7. First of all, I'm praying and thinking of you today about the procedure. I always admire your quilting and confess that there is a small desire of mine to try it myself! Unfortunately, I find myself too busy with piecing or applique to jump in though. I'd like to hear about your experience with the double batting too.

  8. I'm thinking your sample quilt is actually good for an 8-hour class. I'm sure nobody thinks they're going to have a completed quilt in the sessions, but will have the skills needed to complete it. The pieces look large enough to be manageable. Time will tell. Those applique blocks are just gorgeous!! Can't wait to see what you do with them. I've heard double layers recommended for wool batting, too. Will await your results. All the best with your procedure!! Will say a prayer for you.

  9. Hi Linda. Teaching is so rewarding. I teach beginners too and it's fun. My class runs three full days and they come away with a lap quilt : )

  10. I like how the applique block quilt is coming along. Sorry I didn't get back to you right away but you made a great choice.

  11. I hope your procedure went well and you are feeling good today. The quilting looks great on the class quilt. I too can't wait to see how the double batt quilt works out! So lucky for you to get a generous donation of Kaffee scraps.

  12. I'll bet everyone just loved your class. What an awesome quilt to learn from!! And your FMQ, wow! It's just beautiful. Sorry you are still dealing with the PAD. You do so well not to get discouraged!


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