Join me as I discover and share new quilting techniques

Monday, January 18, 2010


Just some first thoughts this morning. Bless Dr. King for opening our eyes to injustice. May he rest in peace. I send a quiet and tearful prayer to all Haitians who are suffering through these terrible days, and most especially the Haitian children.

A few months ago, I visited a wonderful small quilt shop that has opened here in town. The owner has very limited space, but she has stocked her shelves with very nice quality quilting fabrics! I bought two Moda "charm packs" which are precut 5" squares of coordinated fabrics. I finally opened the packages, laid them all across the dining room table, and started matching the squares up in pairs.

Some of the pairs I have sewn into "half-square triangles".... with the help of that most magical gadget, the Fons and Porter quarter inch ruler.....just for the fun of what patterns I can think up. These charms may become a table runner.... not sure yet.

Aren't these cheerful? I love the retro cherry print.... maybe it should go in my kitchen as a wall hanging.

I fell in love with the color combinations in these prints. They are all happy hues!

Turquoise and red cherry print. I love this color combination.
When I took the quilting class in the fall, my teacher said these charm packs can just be sewn together for a beautiful small quilt. She also warned us that charm packs are addictive!! I believe her now....I love the fact that there is NO cutting, NO measuring, just sewing and designing. For those of us who work full time, this is the ultimate instant quilting gratification. Now that I see how easy they are to use, I'm sure I will be using them quite alot. I am still completely fascinated with needle-turned applique and all its creative implications. I think that charm squares, in muted background fabrics, will be a quick way to piece a four-patch or other patchwork design for an applique foundation. Happy Quilting from the Carousel Quilter!

Monday, January 4, 2010

My first day back at work after a TWO WEEK break... I need a bumper sticker that reads "I'd rather be quilting!" But it wasn't so bad... so thankful to have a job in this economy. The break was a great time to "practice for retirement" and understand how much fun I'm going to have when my schedule (someday) becomes my very own. The new washing machine is washing away tonight and I see empty laundry baskets in my future... the joy!!

The applique of "Spring Snowflake" is done! Not layered and quilted yet but the applique by hand was a great learning experience and I really enjoyed working on it while I watched TV (re-runs of The Tudors on Showtime started last night...the BEST)!! My plan is to quilt and finish just this one 12" block and frame it in a scrapbook frame. The new magazine I bought last week "100 Quilt Blocks" featured this pattern and suggested that any of the 12" blocks will fit a scrapbook frame. What a quick project for some new art work!!

Here's a little applique practice I worked on last week.... one white snowflake against the red fabric. This one is also done by hand - practicing my (almost) invisible stitches. I have some other snowflake templates that I will probably add to this piece.
Another churn dash block ... I call this one "Farm Town".... the details include cute little canned jellies and a hen..... the back of this is green polka-dot. I hand quilted this one but it still needs its binding completed...another rainy day project! One of many rainy day projects in my quilting corner. The picture below is a little close-up of one of the details that made me love this fabric... it was a fat quarter set from the Wal-Mart and cute as pie, I thought! It occured to me last night that I need to start NOW on Christmas quilt projects for December. I have some ideas brewing.....
See you again soon and thanks for stopping by!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The washing machine died yesterday (motor burned out) so I spent today shopping for the new washer. It is scheduled to arrive on Sunday morning thank goodness. Still working on the "Spring Snowflake" project tonight (applique tulips) and staying warm against this bitter cold weather and wind. I hope to post more photos tomorrow! Happy Quilting and counting my blessings for the resources to buy the new washing machine!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Works in Progress

Happy New Year 2010! I will definitely learn more this year about quilting and practice, practice, practice! I just bought the "Quilting Answer Book" which will stay by my side through all my quarter inch adventures! After my traditional (and wonderful) southern New Year's Day lunch of collards and black-eyed peas and a long afternoon nap, I will be back to my quilting tonight. Applique is now beginning to intrigue me...
My first needle-turned applique attempt...still in progress. The pattern is called "Spring Snowflake" and I will be adding pink tulips to the other five "stems". I just loved the name of the pattern and thought it would be an uplifting project for long and cold winter days. I'll post it again when it's all done and quilted!

This is what I learned to make in my quilting class last September - the churn dash block. I did it in Christmas fabrics and used it for a table topper during Christmas. I had a really wonderful teacher.... she was really patient with all of us beginners. I learned to make a template, use an accurate 1/4" seam, and do a hand quilting stitch.

This was my first attempt at machine quilting on my home machine. I loved the variegated thread for all the many colors going on in this twin-sized contemporary quilt. It is still a "UFO" (unfinished object) in my quilting corner. Machine quilting is ALOT more work than I ever imagined. I'm not sure this quilt will ever be the gift it was intended to be.... but I learned alot and had fun! Isn't that why we quilt?

Here's a quilt block with the top folded to show the bright yellow backing fabric which was the same bright yellow fabric as the center square. Had lots of fun making this one... all hand quilted. Still needs its binding. Practice makes perfect! All the graphics were done with red thread so I could really see the imperfection of my stitches but loved the results anyway!

A little of the red thread hand quilting.... keep on shining!!