It’s a Two fer!

Last winter I made two quilt tops from a pattern called Trip for “2” To Boston, put out by Prairie Pieces.  The pattern makes both quilts at the same time and contains two copies so each quilter can make it together.  I have checked on the web and see that it is offered by another company as this pattern was put out in 2001.

I pieced both of the quilts and although it was incredibly fun, know it would have been better with a buddy.  Once your strips are cut, things become a bit compulsive.  I could see where it could get a bit competitive with two people working on the quilts.  This would be a good quilt for retreat.  It could be fun for getting a few charity quilts together in a weekend.

My biggest pet peeve though is the sizes.  The pattern indicates that a full/queen measures 85″ x 97″.  Personally I like my bed quilts, at the very least, to hang as long as the top sheet.  Flat sheets for a full size bed are 81″ x 96″ and for a queen 90″ x 102″ so I was a little disappointed in the coverage on a queen bed.  This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed that a pattern will group the full and queen size as one size.

Perhaps the best fix for this is to use 17 fabrics instead of 15 or to make the strips that make the strata 1/4 to 1/2 inch larger.  I’ll try it again after I’ve got a few more projects completed.



I did pull these about so they would not show the sheets.  Terry Burris and I dug deep into our stashes so no fabric had to be purchased.  I was pretty happy with the results.


I was especially pleased the way the mitered corners turned out on the borders.

There were enough bits and pieces left over to make some pillows to go along with the quilts.


Terry Burris Quilting did the quilting prior to gifting, but alas, I didn’t have an opportunity to get a photo of fabulous job she did.

Posted in Accomplishments, Fabric exchange, Quilting, simple, Terry Burris Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Storm at Sea Variation

Earlier this year I was busy putting together a very special quilt for a very special couple.  I didn’t want to just make any quilt, I wanted to put together something that would hold meaning specifically to them.  Their wedding was a beach wedding followed by a cruise.

The Storm at Sea Pattern seemed like a perfect match, but still, I wanted something a little more.  Scrolling through Craftsy I found the perfect pattern: Our Hearts Will Go On.  This was going to not only be manageable, but fun.  Because I NEED to work out of my stash, and I didn’t want the quilt to look like every other quilt out in the world using this pattern, I pulled most of the fabrics from my stash instead of buying the kit.  I will say that I got to go to one of my favorite local quilt shops for the backing and borders.  The staff at Chadwicks here in Richmond had me in and out in less than 20 minutes.

Did I say the pattern was fun?  I can’t emphasize that enough.  Each night I sat down and did a set of units that went together beautifully.

After pressing and trimming I would be anxious to begin the next set.  Before I knew it I was putting the pieces together on the design wall.


Once the top was fully constructed I added the borders and backing.  Initially I was not going to prewash those fabrics, but I did not want to short change this quilt so wash I did.IMG_8962

These are the Color Catchers from the wash load that had only the backing and borders.  Soooo glad I prewashed!

After construction I sent the quilt off to my sister Terry of Terry Burris Quilting to choose the perfect quilting design to make this piece complete.

Once all that was done, it was time to go to a wedding.  Well, I didn’t want to bring the quilt as I realized the bride and groom would have more than their fair share of luggage to deal with.  Then again, I didn’t want to go empty-handed.  IMG_8988

There was enough fabric left over for me to make these charming pillow cases.   Much easier on the luggage!

The day came and it was beautiful, “I do’s” were said, and their adventure begins!


Fast forward to last week.

The quilt was delivered by Terry.  She quilted a really pretty watermark design into the quilt that was the perfect choice.  We checked it out.IMG_9575

Special thanks to Terry Burris (top), and our sister and mother of the bride Jill Abbott for hanging the quilt so we could get a good picture.

I think she likes it.  The quilt looks fabulous in her home.

Posted in gifts, Quilting, simple, Terry Burris Quilting, Uncategorized, Wedding | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Fabric Collection Quilt

Although I can not find the pattern for this quilt, I can tell you it was in a magazine approximately 15 years ago.  The pattern is simple enough and what pulled me in was the potential to show off collections.  The first time I used the pattern I dug through my wax indigo prints and came up with this.  IMG_9500The indigos were fun to work with and the quilt has a clean, simple, modernist look to it.  Collecting these beautiful blue beauties was just the quest I needed when attending quilt shows and shops.  I will admit most were from shows as these are very special.  The koi is not a wax print, but I thought it added character!IMG_9501The featured image is a quilt my sister, Terry Burris and I made for our stepmother Sylvia several years ago for her birthday.  She loves butterflies and flowers.  The background fabric has sweet little butterflies all over it.IMG_9498

It took me a week to cull through my floral stash to choose just the right fabrics to play nicely with this particular green.  Every single floral came from my stash.  And every little bit of this background fabric was used.  There was not an inch to spare.


I even liked the fabric I found to use on the back.  Sweet yes!?  This pattern would lend itself nicely with juvenile fabrics for a very simple “eye spy”, color blocking, plaids…and the list goes on!


Terry Burris Quilting did a lovely floral panto on this quilt.  It just sort of fell together.

We lost our stepmother this spring, and in cleaning out her things I ran across this,


I had made this vest for her over 15 years ago.  If my memory serves me, I used a pattern called The Collectors Vest.  The yellow is from a fabric gradation that was offered at the time.  The color wash has always appealed to me and she really loved the impressionist feel to the piece.

If you look carefully you can find a pretty pink butterfly button, and a rainbow embroidered applique.  Other than the receiver, the vest was also inspired by the lining fabric.

As I look through my sewing room I see many other pieces I purchased to make with her in mind.  Hold fast to your loved ones.  You never know how long they will be here.

Sew on, and piece.



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In Honor of Earth Day

A few years ago Fauquier County Quilters had a Q^ Retreat (Quilt Up – elevating the ordinary).  The creative team made several projects and gathered ideas about how to reuse fabrics.  There were also challenges with prizes and the retreat brought out some of the best work I’ve seen in decades.

I have continued using some of those ideas.  I love working with shirts, denim, ties, and linens.

For a long time I’ve had the plans for this quilt on my “To Do” list, and I finally finished it and donated this special piece forward.

The quilt itself is a mock Cathedral Window pattern made with recycled jeans and juvenile prints.  When using denim jeans check your labels as 100% cotton works best and for several years now most of the jeans are made with 1% spandex.  Truly, that 1% makes a BIG difference.

The idea is not my original thought…there are simple to follow directions at  Sometimes the site doesn’t come up immediately, but if you put “Circle Blue Jeans Quilt” in your search it pops up right away.  If that doesn’t float your boat there is a print pattern available.


Seriously though, you can do this.  I used a coffee can lid as a template and cut my denim and then trimmed my juvenile prints to 4 1/2″ squares.

I did draw a 4 1/2″ square on the wrong side of my denim using a regular ball point pen (no one is going to see this).  The lines are for stitching the circles together.


Make sure you use a needle in your machine made to go through denim.  And remember it is not a race, enjoy the process.

I loved putting this together and used up a lot of my spools of thread that didn’t have a lot left to them.


Personally I think it is kind of cute from both sides.

This is the perfect project for a play quilt to throw on the floor or grass for baby to play on.



Posted in Accomplishments, Denim, Family, Quilting, recycling, simple, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Classwork and project completed

Last summer I took a class with my guild from a very talented woman, Christine Van Buskirk.  She had done a program for Hospitality, (a part of the Richmond Quilt Guild) and the class looked like something that I could accomplish within a reasonable amount of time.  Christine teaches classes in Richmond and in Northern Virginia for guilds and quilt shops.  She also works with Creative Grids rulers.  Her talents are many and she is truly a delight!

Another reason to take the class was to meet work with some quilters.  Being relatively new to the area, I was and am still looking for some quilt buddies.  If I immerse myself in the environment I’m bound to find some like-minded people.

The class was easy enough as Christine was clear in her directions, and by the time the class period had ended I had enough information and enthusiasm to go home and finish the project.  Did I really need another ruler or a class for this simple project – probably not, but I did learn some tips and tricks about how to use this ruler that I would not have gotten with on my own.  And I would not have had the opportunity to meet this talented teacher and the students.

With blocks in hand I went home.IMG_7897

I assembled more and pressed accordingly.



They started adding up and a quilt was taking shape.  Auditioning for borders, and I went with my initial instinct with the Kaffe birds.


Yes, that is rather sweet!  Off to the quilter it went.


The swirls are perfect for this quilt!  Special thanks to Terry Burris Quilting!


And I love the little orange dot that I used for the binding!

I can see a lot of potential for this pattern.  I’m thinking about umbrellas and beach balls.  In the meantime, I’ve got this one finished.

Sew on!


Posted in Classes, Creative Grids Rulers, Richmond Quilt Guild, Terry Burris Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Dresden Wonky Neighborhood at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

A few meetings ago at Guild I showed something I had made using neckties…I don’t even remember which piece it was.  Well, one of our program directors, showed a Dresden Wonky Neighborhood and asked for submissions for the show.  I really didn’t think much about it, but she looked at me and said “you could even make it using neckties”.  I kind of thought of it as a challenge.

The piece was due at the February meeting so, truly, I had plenty of time to complete one block.  I went online and purchased the pattern.  If you are interested in making a neighborhood of your own you will find the pattern here:  The designer is Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams, and she even has a Dresden Wonky Neighborhood Sew A Long.

I went through my ties, sort of found a theme, and then cut out, stabilized the pieces and put them together.


Then I talked with my Beloved.   One of the things that had to be done before creating the piece was to write an artist’s statement about what you were doing and the inspiration.  For me it is better if I do this after the piece is completed, but I did comply.  The name of my piece is “Corporate Cog”.

IMG_8814I could have gone on and on about Home Owner Associations, an era of cars being grey, silver, black or white, traffic going into the city and returning to the suburbs. I could have waxed poetic.  But truth be told, cogs get the work done.

Looking at what I had started with, my Beloved mentioned that I could make the neighborhood look “standardized”, like a cog.  I thought like a neighborhood in an HOA too!  So I scrapped my first  effort.


When I laid the block down on the grey background it look sad and lost.  There was an enormous amount of negative space. Being more of a piecer than a quilter I knew I had to fill that space up.  The negative space was dull!IMG_8718

My quilting would be really noticeable!  Generally, I quilt by check, but on some of these smaller pieces I have made a real effort to quilt myself, but I haven’t mastered that part of the process yet, so I need a distraction!  What to do what to do…

IMG_8712There was a solution, but it meant cutting more ties and hoping I had enough Heat N Bond to go around.  As it happened, I had just enough for the cogs on the front and one to go on the label on the back.



So I auditioned my cogs..


Adhered them to the surface so they connected and worked, and did my quilting.

One thing I did learn..IMG_8728

Be very careful what you use to mark your quilting lines.  If you have never used a product, test it on a sample of what you are going to use it on.  I used this with the yellow to mark my quilting lines.  Generally, I use painters tape, I was in a hurry, the deadline was near.  The markings were very stubborn, and did not want to come out.  I tried several different things to remove them, finally Magic Eraser got the lines out.  Again, if you have never used a product test it first.

Just making my deadline, I put on my label and handed the piece in.  I was and am satisfied with the end product.IMG_8813  In fact it has inspired me to take on an even bigger project.  More on that later…much later.

Other fabulous Neighborhoods from the Challenge:


This one was made with wool!


The house that Kaffe built.


Cat House (no really)!

The checkered background and the dots are fabulous!

I would strongly encourage you to participate in those challenges that come your way.  Take part in those quilt shows, read a new blog, try something different.

Until next time…





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Stepping Out of the Box

One of the groups I belong to is the Virginia Consortium of Quilters.  This group meets four times a year, each meeting at a different location throughout the state.  At each meeting there are minimally two classes to choose from.  If none of the classes suit your fancy there is an option to sew for charity or do your own thing.  The important thing is that you are meeting other quilters that share your passion for the craft.  This is a wonderful opportunity to see different parts of the state, visit local quilt shops along the way, learn something new, and be inspired by new friends.  I highly recommend if you are a Virginia quilter that you join in the fun.  I’m willing to bet they also like Maryland and West Virginia Quilters.

I participated in the November meeting, and stayed with a friend that lives locally.  The class I took was taught by Deborah Schupp of Gumbo Design Studios.  Unfortunately I had missed her lecture and trunk show at my “local” guild, but was delighted at the chance to take her Big Blue Modern Mini Class.  Deb is a delightful lady filled with Cajun charm and humor.  She is an easy-going teacher and makes everyone in the class feel at home and confident.  The project itself was easy enough and a nice way to try something modern, and succeed.  I learned several things about color, quilting, and finishing.  My quilt did not look like any of the others in the class.

Most of the ladies used blues (As in Big Blue) and reds on a blue background.  Progress was made and what I saw was stunning, as these ladies nailed it.  I had a little difficulty settling on a color story and finally took out my color wheel and chose my fabrics a couple of days before class.  The purple background is a little bold, but that orange makes me smile.


It was my first time doing a facing on a quilt instead of binding, and I like the way it finishes the piece.

And I actually made a label!


I’ll admit to needing to work on my labelling skills – maybe there will be a workshop on that in the future.

There are so many good reasons to continue your quilting education.   Looking forward to my next class!  What will you be learning next?

For more information about this class and Deborah visit

For more information about the Virginia Consortium of Quilters visit or check out their Facebook page.

Posted in Classes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments