Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Few Days Away from my Machine...

My husband and I are excited about attending his family reunion. Not only do I want to visit with family, but I'll be on the hunt for quilt shops to tour!

Happy quilting until I return to share my finds!

I accidentally removed a comment. so I am going to paste it here so that you may see it. Then in my reply I misspelled the name Meylonie. So sorry!!!


I don't know anything about blogging but had to respond to your post on Leah Day's blog. I've been quilting for 20 years and am absolutely amazed at your talent and courage! Lovely Lou is beautiful and your quilted feathers are wonderful! I can't believe you started your FMQ with feathers! And on a little featherweight no less! I too love my little featherweight but never thought to try FMQ on it. Who would have thought. Mine was made in the exact month and year I was born but unlike yours wasn't bought by my mother, although she was a very accomplished seamstress.

Anyway, Good for you and congratulations on your accomplishment. Keep up your good work.

I love Leah also!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Another interesting day at our home…

horny toad with a smiley face
Mark made friends with the strangest horny toad I have ever seen. His almost perfect smiley face looks painted. All natural smiles here!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What a fun way to quilt…and a question for Leah???

Free motion quilting has become an exceptional pleasure in my life. I absolutely love it! Leah Day is destined  to be (if not already) one of the greatest quilting teachers ever to be born! She is such a natural, down to earth individual who keeps budget in the forefront for quilters. She stresses that you don’t need the newest, greatest, latest long arm machine or notions to be a quilter.

By studying The Free Motion Project and much practicing on scraps first, I have had the confidence to complete a feather wreath in each of the 24 blocks on “Lovely Lou.” The stitching is not perfect, or course. Nor will it ever be, but I am seeing improvement. My plan for Lou is to better define the spine in each wreath, retrace each feather and then echo each wreath.  I have started with a simple echo. Then, I plan to use several of Leah's filler designs in each block, sashing, and border.

Drawing (pebbling around feather wreath)The setting triangles are still to be quilted and the picture at the left is my drawing of a half wreath with pebbling as a filler. My question for Leah and anyone else who cares to comment:  Will such a heavily quilted design be appropriate for the setting triangles? Would another lighter design fit better? Am I overdoing the feather thing? The quilt top is pictured above, obviously before any quilting has been completed.
Help! How should I, a real newbie, quilt this thing?  Perhaps, in the setting triangles, simple echoes around the motifs in the fabric? Larger scale pebbling around the motifs?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stencil Stitching...

Quilting by stencil is rather restricting and somewhat boring. However, according to many well known quilters, it is helping to reinforce my muscle memory for the shape of these feathers. I've completed 14 out of 24 wreaths, and I am ready to get these finished so that I can enjoy the freeform designs that I have learned from Leah Day on The Free Motion Quilting Project. For several months now I have been following Leah's excellent teaching.

Leah, I spent the last couple of years in my education career evaluating teachers. You have a remarkable gift which you are kind enough to share with the wide internet audience. Your relaxed style is conducive to learning a hands on skill. You have created a unique atmosphere that make your followers feel fearless and capable, resulting in confidence to try something new.  Your instructions are clear and easy to follow; your demonstrations, priceless! Evidence of a strong teacher is the ability to say the same thing several different ways so that everyone in the audience has an extended opportunity to understand what you mean. Not only do you say it in a variety of ways, you show it with fabulous videos, you write about it with great wit. And then, you are willing to answer all of the many questions sent your way. You do all of that exceptionally well!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Moving right along:

Stencil markingsI have now completed a feather wreath in 10 out of 24 blocks, and  let me tell you there are some ugly stitches, but not any toe catchers.  I decided that unless it was just unbearable I would not rip stitches and so far I have not removed any. My daughter is excited that I am learning this new skill of free motion on her quilt. She’ll be tolerate of my many mistakes, and it is will be fun later to know that she has my first project. I hope to look back and laugh at the stitches when I actually reach a respectable level of mastery.
I read some where to be sure to fill in the gaps after marking a stencil. I have tried it both ways, I actually think I do better without the lines completed. I am so concerned with staying on the lines that I cannot relax and just stitch. So today I am not completing the lines and hope to see improvement in my execution of these feather wreaths.
I know I have not participated in the quilt along, but I will catch up. Leal Day is generous to teach so much, and I have much to learn. So even though I am in the process of trying to complete this quilt, I do plan to do the tuts she has posted.
Free Motion Quilt Along

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father’s Day

Passion flower
  • Check out this beautiful passion flower growing in my yard. Hey Leah  , I see a cool quilting pattern. You do such  great flowers I thought you might enjoy this as inspiration for another center fill. 

No quilting today, just time with my husband. (That’s like recess in school.)  Thought these were really cool rocks that Mark found this week.
Lunar or solar eclipse rock
Sailboat rock
Spot rock

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Progress on Lovely Lou…

Center Four Blocks on Lovely Lou
So far I have quilted a feather wreath in four of the 24 blocks. I can see improvement with each one I’ve done. I am actually fairly pleased. My traveling skill is an area I am trying to improve. I know this is an ambitious pattern for a beginner in free motion quilting, but each stitch is done because I want to get better everyday.
I have been using a stencil with a water soluble marking pen . I have had no problem removing the markings. As soon as I finish for the day I lay out the quilt flat on my table and use a spray bottle with plain water to saturate the blocks that I have completed. By the next morning the quilt is dry, marks are gone and ready for the next block to be marked and quilted. So that is what I am going to do…

Quilted wreath #1        Quilted wreath #2      Quilted wreath #3       Quilted wreath #4

Adventure every day…

Donut rockLook at this cool rock!  We decided it might have been the first original wheel, but it really looks like a donut or a bagel.
Mark is the most interesting individual I have ever known. He has been making me laugh for 44 years!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Started “Lou”

According to Leah Day if you really want to learn a particular pattern, quilt a quilt with the pattern. Even though I am a newbie to free motion I want to learn to do beautiful feathers. Doesn’t everyone?  What better way to learn than doing it.  So I have decided to do a feather wreath in each block of this quilt. I think it will pull the great variety of fabrics together. Any opinions?
My stitches are not great yet, but everyday I see improvement. Thank you, Leah Day. You are responsible for my courage to start quilting this mammoth quilt before I feel like I have mastered the skills. My daughter is going to love the quilt even with missed stitches. I have put my heart and soul into this quilt. I took it completely apart two different times in the piecing process.

Quilted wreath
       Puddled King Bedspread Size Quilt    Hanging light  Suspended Quilt

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Practice, Practice, Practice…

Old Friends
This quilt was won through a raffle of the local home extension service. I joined their group when in my mid 30’s. Every other member was at least 30 years older than me, some were in their late eighties and nineties.  I had great fun with these ladies. The quilt is quilted by hand and is one that I use on our beds. Some of the stitches are already coming loose. So after practicing stippling on scrap pieces, I decided to practice on the sashing in this quilt, called “Old Friends.”

Here are a few of my stitches that I have played with a bit.
Stippling in the sashing           Close view of stippling          Wider view of sashing         Even wider view of the sashing       Sailboat boat block with my free motion quilting

Another helpful hint…


Mia ... flintnapping just like PawPaw   It is great to have a buddy spending time with me while I sew!

A Few Things Learned. . .

My workspace minus the table to the leftI believe my workspace is absolutely ideal, other than the fact that it is hotter than blue blazes in San Antonio, Texas. However, the heat is not enough to deter me from my sewing space. Having a huge table is such a luxury that I could only dream about just a couple of months ago.

Spending a lot of time reading Leah Days blog and a few others, plus the years of personal sewing (not quilting) experience, has taught me a few things that I believe are essentials for my space.


  • The step stool on the right provides perfect shelving for my laptop, my phone, my camera, an occasional Bud Light Lime and Beer Salt. Pandora is always a must, thus you see speakers on the back side of the table.
  • The acrylic extension table is without a doubt a useful tool and makes life more pleasant.
  • The Supreme Slider (as recommended by Leah) makes free motion so much easier.
  • Fans are essential to survival. We even found a screen door for a two car garage at Harbor Freight. No more mosquitos and other flying pests. Before the screen, I had to use an insect repellant several times everyday.
  • The comfy bar stool that you see is one of two that I found at a yard sale. What a terrific addition to my dream sewing space and for Mark to use for flint napping or working on his evening computer reports!
  • Even though my table has a great Formica top I have found that clear vinyl of medium gauge placed on the table top helps move my King size quilt much more easily. It works great to spray the table with just a light coat of water before placing the vinyl down, then use a hand towel to smooth out all the wrinkles. The water will help the vinyl to temporarily adhere to the table.

Spray water bottle



  • Since I find tape an essential tool, I have taken an old pair of scissors and every time I cut a piece of tape I just leave those scissors taped to the roll. No more looking for the end of the tape or taking a chance of using good scissors!
  • Recently I read on a quilting message board about a lady who was having trouble using the cone holder thread tray. I had the same issues. So I cut it down and keep my bobbins and scissors on it right next to my machine. Then I inserted a straw over my thread pole on my machine and have been extremely pleased with the result. No hopping thread spools!

cone holder tray             Straw over thread pole             Straw over thread pole

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Workspace

Import 5_2012 208
I was fortunate enough to be in one of the large retail fabric stores one day and this great cutting table was signed $100 for sale. I immediately paid the cashier and asked that a sold sign be put on the table. My husband brought it home for me, and now we share the space in the garage. The table is much too large (5' x 10') to fit through any doors in my home, but I simply could not pass it up.

My husband is an avid flint napper (makes arrowheads) and spends many hours out in the garage. We have always been best friends and love to spend time together. We just celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary last weekend.

My Go To Source of all things Free Motion Quilting...

Free Motion Quilting Project       Check out Leah's work. You will be hooked once you see that she is a generous, dynamic and talented young woman.

Lovely Lou

The quilt top above is for my daughter, Amanda. Amanda picked all the fabrics and pattern. The original pattern is by Nancy Rinks, called "Costa Del Sol." I added borders to enlarge the pattern to a king size bedspread. Never in a million years would I have ever put these particular fabrics together, but I love it.

I have been quilting only a short time and have completed one quilt. That particular quilt I quilted in the ditch on my Singer Featherweight and hated every minute of it. Then I found Leah Days' wonderful website and have been practicing free motion quilting like a crazy woman. Leah is a young woman with the ability to teach like no one I have ever seen. She is amazing and inspirational. Because of her I have learned to free motion and I am getting better every day. I now have Amanda's quilt sandwiched and ready to quilt, but I am still practicing on another older quilt that I treasure, but it was falling apart. Practicing on a king size quilt has helped me learn to move the bulk of my quilt. 
Though I have not been blogging, I have been studying Leah's website and it is awesome. She is so free with her knowledge and will be blessed for her giving attitude. Blogging is also new to me, so my learning curve has been quite steep for the last couple of months. All pure pleasure...