My account


Source: Bing clip art

Sometimes things need to be said. You have all been there. At the moment, I am really thinking about certain types of people that quilters need to avoid.

And yes, I am mainly telling myself this, but what the heck! You may want a reminder too.


The simplest way to explain it is to say they either are not good for your mental health, or they waste your time. As quilters, we need good mental health and lots of time to make quilts, right?

Who are the people that quilters need to avoid?

  • Negative Nellies
  • Time Wasting Tillies
  • Depressing Dillies

Negative Nellies

Source: Bing images

Negative Nellies are those people who no matter what always have something to say about your current quilt project or idea that is negative.

They always know which colors go together better. Their seams always match. They have a better pattern for you to use. Negative Nellies always could have made that quilt faster. Blah, blah, blah…

They destroy your self-confidence and get you questioning your own decisions for the quilt that you are currently working on. You might even cry or get angry (or both) because of their negative comments.

Worse, that wonderful quilt may never get finished because you put it away and do not work on it again.

Time Wasting Tillies

Take control of your time
Source: Bing images

Time Wasting Tillies do exactly that. They come up with all kinds of small and large ways to waste your precious quilting time.

It may be as simple as not being ready to go for an agreed on time to meet for fabric shopping. Or it may involve wanting to spend a lot of time on social media quilt sites instead of actually doing anything quilting. And expecting you to sit there while he/she scrolls around these sites.

Or call you and then become offended because your phone is on speaker while you do things while listening to her talk.

My personal favorite (no, not really) are the ones who are offended because I can visit and hand applique at the same time. Or visit and hand quilt at the same time.

In my opinion, Time Wasting Tillies are very easily offended by other quilters who have better time management skills than they do. My time is precious to me, and I am not wasting it by just sitting. Or by having no self control on the internet or phone.

Depressing Dillies

Source: Bing images

This type of quilter is all about how bad his/her quilting skills, quilting experience, or quilting feedback is. No matter what, they are sad and depressed about something – quilting or not.

They make no effort to improve their outlook, mental health, or attitude. All they want is someone to sit with them, listen, and agree that their (fill in the blank) is awful.

After two minutes of this you and I are sad. Five minutes later we are depressed. Thirty minutes later we are seriously considering suicide for ourselves, or murder for them. Either way, it would not be as depressing.

Here is my solution:

Rope pulling apart
Source: Bing images

Negative Nellies, Time Wasting Tillies, and Depressing Dillies will not improve your life. They will not improve your quilting skills.

Believe me, it is hard and even heart-breaking, but these types of people can be eliminated from your life. Yes, this is my opinion and there is certainly nothing that says you need to follow my unsolicited advice.

Unfriend them from your social media, block their phone numbers, and just don’t get sucked into conversations with them. Tell them kindly and firmly why you are doing this before doing it.

Yes, they may be family members or even friends. However, if these folks are upsetting you, or making you angry, or depressing you something needs to be done.

What if you are one of these people??

Don’t be surprised when other quilters avoid you.

Source: Bing clip art

All of us have said or done very thoughtless things that we had to apologize for later. However, when these three types of people are always like this it is not thoughtless or accidental.

Many years ago, I had to break off a relationship with another quilter. I considered her my best friend for years, and was very hurt when I finally woke up and had to stop our friendship. The longer we were “friends” the more negative she became.

She criticized every quilt project I did. Then there was the criticism about the amount of time I spent on projects. And along with this, she was always depressed about something in her life. The point came I could no longer ignore the profound and constant negative impact she had on my life as a whole.

My own attitude became very negative. I got depressed and I was not the mom, wife, or co-worker I should have been. That is a time in my life I am not proud of.

My Point:

Love life, your quilts, your family, and yourself (put in the order that suits you). Have self respect. And give respect to those in your life who have earned it.

Do not allow yourself and your quilting creativity to be sucked out of you by people that quilters need to avoid. Be the encourager to other quilters and people around you.

people that quilters need to avoid
Source: Bing clip art


My Blueberry Days quilt photographed at Colonial Pemaquid, Maine

In August 2020 I gathered together all kinds of blue and white scraps. I wanted to make a blue and white “snowball” quilt. I just put the last stitch into the binding. My blueberry days quilt is complete!

Prepping The pieces

I used this pattern for size and cutting instructions. I put my top together in rows instead of blocks of four snowballs.

According to my notes, I cut 224 (6.5″) blue blocks, and 896 (2.5″) white squares for a total of 224 snowballs.

I sorted and cut all the needed supplies here in Aug. and early Sept. of 2020 to take to Maine with me. All the fabric was scraps from my overflowing scrap bins.

Blue and white fabrics from the scrap bin
Blue and white fabrics from the scrap bin

Marking the diagonal line on the white squares was easy. Use a sharp pencil and small ruler. For the ruler I used a 4″ square for rotary cutting. I marked these while watching old movies over several evenings.

Sewing in Maine

We set up sewing at CL’s house in 2020. My first project was to sew the corners on all the 224 blue squares. After that, I trimmed the white portion and ironed the blocks. I love not dealing with the bias on triangles and have gone to using this method when possible.


Once the ironing was done, it was time to sew the snowballs together. There are 16 rows of 14 snowballs.

Top is complete except for outer border
Top is complete except for outer border

The white inner border was cut 2″ wide. The outer border was cut 6″ wide. The outer border is a blueberry fabric I purchased on a previous trip to Maine.

I had to add the outer border once back home in Indiana since I did not pack it for the trip.

My Blueberry Day quilt  with borders
My Blueberry Day quilt with borders

The finished size is: 94″ x 112″.

My Blueberry Days quilt was machine quilted in January 2021 by RLM. The design is stippling.

I finally finished the blue binding last week. It was not on the list you saw of projects I wanted to finish before the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt starts next month. However, I only had about three foot of it left to hand sew down. And it was on the top of the UFO pile.

Another project done!


My Thoughts:

Find a UFO and complete it. For an uplifting feeling of “yippee”, pick something that is almost complete and finish it. We all need the good feeling that comes from a completed job well done.

If you are looking for an easy project that could be made into a table runner, or any size quilt then this is the pattern for you. It looks great planned or scrap.

Wishing my readers a great week.

Happy quilting.

Source: Bing clip art


Source: Bing clip art

Can I confess? The last few weeks, I am very much feeling overwhelmed by quilting UFOs.

I left my sewing room in a total disarray when I left for vacation. You know, all that digging around looking for projects to work on, and the perfect fabrics to complete the projects.

But I can’t blame it all on vacation prep. I have been given or purchased a lot of fabric this year. The fabric has been piling up in boxes instead of being put neatly on shelves. Plus months of not really being able to cut due to an injured shoulder and then wrist.

Truly, the thought of anyone seeing this mess is super embarrassing. And yes, you guessed it – a fellow quilter was over this past week to trade some of her great scraps for mine. I wanted to cry over the whole mess. She took it in stride – hey, I have seen her sewing room look this bad too.

Source: Bing clip art

So, I took several hours yesterday to put away fabric and supplies. Then I tackled the 2 piles of quilting UFOs. Before neatening those, I grabbed paper and pencil to start a list of what I want to do in this area in the next 4 – 6 months.

Source: Bing clip art

Here is a partial list:

  • Really clean and straighten the room
  • Finish the Nine Patch top I started on vacation
  • Put unwanted and/or unneeded books and supplies on ebay or etsy
  • Bind the 2020 Grassy Creek mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter
  • Finish the scrap Flying Geese quilt I started on vacation
  • Complete the scrap Snowball quilt that is in pieces in a plastic bin (um…maybe 5 years now)
  • The Christmas placemats set (started 2 years ago) needs done
  • Complete the hand quilting on the medallion quilt that is in the frame (there is 6″ on one side left)
  • Continue organizing the quilt photos into files on the computer
  • Get back to working on the quilt scrapbook (I am three years behind)

The mess is very distracting and slowing down my speed and productivity in getting quilt and related items done. I am feeling very overwhelmed!!

Then I looked at the calendar. In about five weeks, Bonnie Hunter will have the 2021 mystery quilt directions available every week. According to the last few sentences of this post, the yardage and colors will be out at Halloween. Ugh….this mess has to be better before I take on that project.

Set a goal of 3 finished projects:

Being overwhelmed by quilting UFOs means I need to choose three projects that I can reasonably get done by Black Friday when the mystery quilt directions come out. Drum roll please… are the projects I chose to have done by then.

  • Deep clean and straighten the sewing room
  • Continue organizing the quilt photos into files on the computer
  • Complete the Nine Patch top that I started on vacation
  • And a bonus project is to finish the Christmas placemats (they are small and will be useful at Christmas)

Readers, take small steps to become less overwhelmed

For me, making a list helps eliminate feeling overwhelmed. It might be a simple way to help you as well.

So go through a cupboard, closet, or pile of supplies and UFOs. Make a list and be realistic and honest with yourself. Set a goal to complete the list, or an item or two on the list.

Get it done.
Source: Bing clip art

Breathe. The world will not end if each item on the list is not completed. But it is a joyful pat on the back when each project is complete. Mark it off the list. Give yourself a prize for working hard.

Give yourself a prize
Source: Bing clip art

All of us have schedules, jobs, responsibilities, etc. and hobbies tend to get left far behind on the daily “to do” list. However, it is good for us mentally and physically to have a hobby we enjoy. We live in a crazy world, and need to do something fun.

Turn off the depressing and/or stressful news while cleaning and sewing. Instead, put in an audio book, or listen to music or a favorite movie. Keep it fun and lighthearted.

And yes, I am already feeling less overwhelmed by quilting UFOs in my life.

Make today amazing.
Source: Bing Clip art


My last post was about the quilting projects I worked on during vacation in Maine. However, I also visited several used books stores. I found some wonderful used quilting books. In my mind, Maine & used quilting books go together.

Maybe because of the long snowy winters in Maine, there are many wonderful used books stores to visit. This year I concentrated on finding some used books on quilting.

My personal favorites are: Stone Soup Books in Camden, Rockland Library Book Stop, and Two Brothers Books in Freeport. There are many more in the area and you would probably find others that you like.

Two Brothers Books
Right side of photo is all the “crafty” books at Two Brothers Books
Two Brothers Book Store – children books on the left side

Quilting Book Treasures I Found:

Seven books cost me $30. An exciting treasure trove that will be enjoyed again and again.

"Classic Quilt Blocks"
"Big Book of Quilt Blocks"
Interesting articles about quilts and quilting in British Isles
"New England Quilt Museum Quilts"
"Quilting" by Dorothy Osler

I encourage you:

New books are expensive. I like books, and read many genres. A personal library is fun. If you are wanting to expand your quilting library then check out the used book stores in your area.

If you are headed to or live in Maine, check out the stores I listed above. Who knows what treasures you will find. Most of all, enjoy the search.

Make today amazing.
Source: Bing clip art

Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books

09/2021 Perkins Cove, ME - Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
09/2021 Perkins Cove, ME

People ask me what I do while in Maine each year on vacation. Well truthfully – not a lot. When the kids were home, vacations involved activities and places the kids would enjoy. However, now that vacation is solo, my vacation is about quilting, relaxation, and used books.

Before the question comes up “why do you vacation solo?”, let me answer it. Hubby does not like to travel anymore, and I still do. So he enjoys the quiet time at home to work on his own projects while I go on vacation. It works well for both of us, and gives us both much needed quiet time.

Quilting Projects during vacation:

This year has been a bust when it comes to quilting projects. The first six months were spent recouping from a shoulder injury. Then in July I injured my wrist and was in a brace for several weeks. Injuries like this seriously interfere with anything quilting, especially when it is the dominate arm.

So this vacation I packed fabrics for a few simple wall hangings, and already cut pieces to work on components of other quilts. Actually, I feel like the time was well spent.

Four Freedoms by Norman Rockwell
9/2021 – The size now is 29.5″. The four center blocks is a panel of painting by Norman Rockwell named “Four Freedoms”
Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
9/2021 – Another fabric panel with borders I added. Size: 31″ x 50″.
This fun spool fabric looks a lot like my spool drawer at home.
9/2021 – This fun spool fabric looks a lot like my spool drawer at home. Size: 41.5″ square.

Component parts for other quilts:

This bag of several hundred 3″ squares turned into a pile of 100 nine patch blocks.

Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
9/2021: 3″ squares from scraps
100 nine patch blocks
100 nine patch blocks

An uncounted pile of “fallish” looking HST turned into many Flying Geese.

Completed Flying Geese
Completed Flying Geese
Finished size: 4.5" x 8.5"
Finished size: 4.5″ x 8.5″

These red, white, and blue HST and squares will eventually become small Friendship Stars.

Red and white HST
Red and white HST
Blue and white HST and squares
Blue and white HST and squares
Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
More parts for Friendships Stars

And 2 other projects:

Pumpkin Spice has been in the works for several years. It has become one of my more ignored projects. I like to applique, but it is time consuming to prep for. However, I got three plus part of another pumpkin hand appliqued over vacation. I may or may not decide to add some leaves.

Pumpkin Spice wall hanging
Pumpkin Spice wall hanging

I love to do counted cross stitch, but it is time consuming which hinders me from doing much of it. Plus I have to work totally uninterrupted so I don’t loose count. But my evenings in the hotel on the coast were perfect for this.

Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
Maine sampler

Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books

My vacations would not be complete without spending time (and $$) getting used books. Or reading and enjoying time by the ocean and lighthouses. After all, my vacation is all about quilting, relaxation, and used books.

Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
9/2021 – Riding the ferry away from Isleboro
Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
9/2021 – One small area of Two Brothers Books, Freeport, ME

I work hard for 50 weeks a year to have two weeks to relax, and just enjoy a slower and no stress time. Maybe my vacation does not appeal to many others, that is ok. But I really do think some down time in our busy, stressful world is good for all of us.

And yes, I did hit several used books stores this year. I ended up mailing home two boxes of books. Mailing books is cheap, and why should I hassle around with the weight and space constraints? It is less stress to just send them.

Quilters, please take some time to just do quilting and relaxing. And if you happen to see me in a used book store, hopefully we will be finding some fun quilting (and other topic books) that appeal to us.

Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
Source: Bing clip art


Source: Bing clip art

The years have slid by so fast. However, the years of using quilting to teach basic math and life skills to my kids was so worth it. Quilting and homeschooling can go together amazingly well if thought out and planned correctly.

Our kids, both male and female, learned housekeeping and life skills. These skills included: sewing, cooking, changing tires and oil, cleaning, laundry, and gardening.

Math was taught by cooking and sewing. The nice thing about homeschooling is that learning can be taught in ways that make sense to the teacher and student(s).

However, since quilting and homeschooling is the topic of this post, below I have some simple suggestions:

For young ones:

Spools of thread are great for teaching colors and counting. They also work well for doing simple addition and subtraction.

Wooden spools of thread
Source: Bing clip art

Fabrics can be used to teach colors.

The various shapes used in quilt blocks can be used to teach shapes: squares, triangles, rectangles, circles, hexagons, etc.

Simple shapes worksheet
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The kids used to lay out fabrics and/or cut pieces on the floor and make their own quilt designs. They were learning critical thinking skills and having fun while doing it.

For Early Elementry Grades:

Following simple written instructions, such as a magazine, book, or website.

Source: Bing clip art

Measuring and fractions are easy when using rulers or measuring tapes. Here in the US, the kids should learn inches, feet, and yards.

Measuring tape
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Multiplication and division using the “how many blocks ___ size do we need to make a quilt ____ size?” question.

Multiplication and division
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Learn to use the Table of Contents or Index of a book to find quilt block photos and directions. The same skill can be used on websites like Quilter’s Cache.

Encourage creativity. Kid’s have a great imagination and come up with some neat projects.

For Junior High Grades

Safe ironing, and cutting skills. If the kids have not learned by now, this is the time to teach using sewing scissors and rotary cutters.

Workmanship by learning to sew even and correct size seams. Accurate cutting also falls into this.

Geometry by making their own basic quilt block patterns.

Source: Bing clip art

Algebra by teaching them to figure out how to change the size of patterns.

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Currently as adults:

Homeschooling was hard work for me. Quilting encouraged me and allowed me to create a quiet place within all the chaotic daily grind.

But the legacy of homeschooling and all the hard work that went with it is that my adult kids have good research skills, critical thinking skills, and so many life skills. They can and do have real conversations with others of any age. All have college degrees and hold down jobs they have chosen for themselves.

They know how to think for themselves, and why they believe what they believe. All are productive members of their communities.

And yes, they still sew and quilt.

The real and life skills they learned via basic sewing and quilting is an ingrained part of their lives.

3 quilts hanging on a wash line.
Source: Bing clip art


Four quilts on a wooden fence

Quilters love to show off quilts to anyone who will stop long enough to look – we are just like that. Yep, we are show-offs, at least when it comes to our quilts. I thought that starting off this week by showing off quilts would be a great way to deal with Monday.

A sampler quilt
A sampler quilt

All these photos were taken in June 1995 in Montana. A co-worker allowed me to “borrow” the old barn and wooden fence on her family farm for a personal quilt show.

Dresden Plate made from my Grandma's real feed sacking
Dresden Plate made from my Grandma’s real feed sacking

I like doing my own outside personal quilt shows. It is fun to see them hanging outside in natural light. Plus the different surroundings make them look very different from being on a bed or wall.

Hand quilted fabric panel
Hand quilted fabric panel

Supplies to do this are minimal:

  • Permission if private property
  • Some sort of rope or thick string
  • Clothespins
  • Tacks
  • Small hammer
  • Pliers to pull out tacks
  • Dry weather that is partly sunny seems to be the best for lighting
Basket quilt

When people tell me they do not have time to quilt, I nod. However, in my head I am saying “really?”. In 1995 when these photos were taken, I had:

  • children under 12
  • was homeschooling said children
  • working 30 hours a week in town
  • being a loving wife and mom
  • raising a large vegie garden
  • getting 4 – 5 hours of sleep nightly
Quilts on the side of an old barn
Quilts on the side of an old barn

Honestly, we make time for what is important to us. And what is important probably changes over time.

Another scrap triangle quilt with lots of small triangles

I make no claims at being “Super Woman”, but I do like to make my time count. At the end of the day, I need to know that something good was accomplished. I work because I have bills to pay and groceries to buy. But creating is how I feed my soul. Quilting gives me joy.

Christmas Sampler, Ocean Wave, and 9 Patch Basket Weave quilts
Christmas Sampler, Ocean Wave, and 9 Patch Basket Weave quilts

Just Do It

If quilting is what makes me happy and “fulfilled” I will make time in my crazy schedule somehow. Even if some days there is only 15 minutes crammed in before I go to work, I will make it fit.

Flying Geese, and Friendship Star
Flying Geese, and Friendship Star

My totally unsolicited opinion is to please look at your own daily schedule. Make a list, and see where changes can be made so there is more time to quilt.

  • Can daily “chores” be moved around for better time management?
  • What can be gotten rid of completely?
  • Are there items that suck time from your day with no visible benefit?
  • Activities that absolutely have to be done?
  • Can you utilize some time saving gadgets or techniques to gain a few more minutes as you go through the day?
  • Is multi-tasking of “chores” possible?
  • What could or should be done by someone else in the home?
  • How can you stop phone or other interruptions?
Dutchman’s Puzzle

I felt guilty, or allowed others to make me feel guilty, because I “selfishly” took time out of my crazy days to do something that I enjoyed. Then my grandma reminded me that if I am happy I will make a happy home.

And I wanted, and want a happy home. Not perfect, but happy.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones” Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)

Dutchman's Puzzle, Tumbler, Sampler
Dutchman’s Puzzle, Tumbler, Sampler

So embrace your quilting. Let it bring joy into your life. And when you get a chance, show off those quilts.

Just for fun

Here is a real outdoors quilt show in Montana. Lots of beautiful quilts made by wonderful quilters. So inspiring to be able to see all these quilts and the mountains at the same time.

Source: Bing clip art

Quilting, Social Media, and Privacy

Quilting, Social Media, and Privacy
Source: Pinterest

I was recently reminded that there is a need to tread with care when quilting, social media, and privacy are involved.

I was recently contacted by another quilter who wanted to know if anyone had ever shown up at my home and asked to see the quilts I show off on the blog here.

Unwanted visitor

This other quilter (I will call her “Sue”) has a quilt blog. She posts photos of her house, her pets, grandkids, garden, quilts, and basically her life. “Sue” has also not been careful over the years when it comes to quilting, social media, and privacy.

Woman knocking on door
Source: Bing clip art

Hence, she recently heard a knock on her front door. The person knocking was unknown to “Sue”. The “visitor” wanted to come in and see the quilts she has been posting on her FB account and blog. This other woman said she had been driving around the town looking for the house that was pictured on her blog and FB account.

“Sue” told me that she was shocked. Never once in all of her posting had she ever thought about privacy to protect herself from this very occurrence. Then came the questions of why this “visitor” just assumed she could stop? Or that “Sue” would open her door and home to a complete stranger?

We live in a world that we need to lock our physical doors. Personal safety in and out of our home is very important. I think “Sue” just thought that no one would ever just show up at her house because of what she posted on-line.

My own story about privacy

More than 10 years ago, I had a similar occurrence due to my own naivety about how social media and/or blogging are not really private.

I had taken photos of several quilts and flower beds. I then put some on the old blog (this was before I realized that other people were reading my old quilt blog too). The photos clearly showed the front of my home and the house number.

Someone with more time on their hands than I do took the time to do research and found my home. This person brought several friends and drove here from another state. They just showed up to see the quilts.

Quilting, Social Media, and Privacy
Source: Bing clip art

I do not now, and did not then, just open my door to anyone who shows up. Especially not several someones I have never seen before and do not know.

My schedule is and was busy. Each day has a list to accomplish, and in general I am organized and get it done. And I do not like drop in guests – it interrupts my work and/or projects. I do not make excuses for my attitude.

When I looked thru the window of the front door and saw several someones standing there I did not open the door. Speaking loudly, I asked what they wanted. The response was they had come miles to see my quilts.

My response was I had no idea who they were and was not letting them in. The speaker pulled out her driver’s license to identify herself. She acted like it was normal to drive hours and show up unannounced at a stranger’s home, and expect to be let in.

Be careful

Long story short is that we had an argument through the door. They finally left yelling nasty words and threatening to destroy me on social media because I would not allow them in to see the quilts they wanted to.

Personally, I do not think this is normal behavior. At the least, it is rude. I don’t think I know anyone who thinks it is ok to drive miles expecting a stranger to just open the door. Or welcome complete strangers into their home.

I immediately called the police with the license number and the ID name just so they were aware. I next called my husband at work to let him know. Finally, I called my boss and took a couple days off work.

During those couple days, I went back through every post and photo. I fixed the writing that was not private about my location. I took photos down from the blog, or trimmed them up so little background was visible.

A reminder to all of us

We live in world that is very sloppy about personal privacy. The sloppiness could be laziness or just not knowing there is a problem.

Source: Bing clip art

Use caution when you post on other blogs or social media. You have no idea who is looking at your posts. You need to think about the safety of yourself and family.

Photo cropping software is easy to get and use. Mine also has tools to blur faces or writing (like signs). I learned to use the software, and continue to use it.

If you use your phone to take photos, make sure the location feature is off so that does not show up embedded in the photos. I found these directions. To get more specific instructions, google your own phone type.

Quilting, Social Media, and Privacy
Source: Bing clip art

None of us think that some stranger will just show up at our home expecting to be let in. But the world of today is full of ways to invade your personal space and privacy.

When it comes to quilting, social media, and privacy we as quilters like for others to see our quilts. We want them to be liked, complimented on, and seen by others. But do we want those other to invade our homes?

Be vigilant on-line.

I am very careful what I do on FB, which is not much as I am not a fan of the platform. Twitter and Instagram are not my thing at all. My Linked In account was deleted some time ago. Even my Pinterest account is not really personal except for quilts themselves.

We live in a world that utilizes computers. Use the computer wisely, and guard your personal privacy on-line and off.

Besides, it is much more fun to quilt, then sit on the computer all day. Happy quilting.

Make today amazing.
Source: Bing clip art




Sometimes it is fun to walk through the memory lane of quilts and old projects. I recently found my photos of this one, “The Fussy Cut Barnyard Quilt” and thought I would share.

Can you say baa, oink, or moo? When I made this quilt back in 1996-97, I still had a small child at home who thought making animal sounds was great fun.

Some day I will show off my quilt scrapbooks here, but for now let me just say it has been fun to look at them and remember. With my wrist still in a brace, my hand quilting has been a non-happening thing lately. Thankfully therapy is helping, but there is a long way to go.

The Fussy Cut Barnyard Quilt…..

Once upon a time I had a yard of fabric that had primitive farm animals printed on it. You know – horses, cows, pigs, and sheep. They were spaced far enough apart that I could fussy cut them out.

One fine spring day my young daughter ran around the house and yard making farm animal sounds at the top of her lungs. Her brother tried to interest her in quieter, calmer things but she was not going for it.

I had been “playing” with several fabrics to try out fussy cutting. On this day, I was inspired to involve my noisy daughter into “helping” me make this piece of fabric into a quilt.

I measured and cut, daughter gathered the pieces up and laid them out on the floor of the living room. She made the correct animal noise for each block as she went along.

Her brother picked out the fabrics to frame each animal. I sewed, he ironed, and she finally fell asleep on the floor under the table with the sewing machine on it.

Brother and I got the top together during the nap of a now quiet little sister. She woke up just as the last rows of blocks were being sewn together. I decided that no border was necessary. Top was done.

Now to hand quilt it…

I should have just machine quilted this and been done, but I thought it would be fun to hand quilt. Why you ask? I can honestly say I have no idea.

Somehow, I came to the decision that the “Baptist Fan” would look great on this. The design looked great when complete, but marking it was awful. It seemed like every area of the quilt needed some different color of marking pencil.

The joy of putting in the last quilting stitch on this quilt !

The finished size was 31″ x 47″.

No wool batting for this quilt. Instead I used what was on hand – a left-over section of polyester batting. The binding was just a plain black cotton solid fabric.

By now, daughter had lost interest in farm animals and the sounds they make.


I entered it in the local fair that summer. The quilt got second place with many comments about how “original” it was.

The Barnyard quilt made rare appearances at other quilt shows, and on my walls at home.

The quilt guild I belonged to was raffling quilted items off in 2002 to help a local organization. This fun quilt still looked new, and I added it to the pile of items that were being raffled. It was time for the quilt to go live at another home that would appreciate it.

Barnyard quilt completed.

Thoughts on donating…

As you read through this blog and my old one, you will discover that I truly believe quilts and quilting can be helpful in our own corner of the world. There are so many people who can use quilts.

The donated quilts do not need to be beautiful, or even bed size. They should be well made. Many people associate quilts with comfort, happy memories, or family.

For veterans, babies, or children, quilts are especially appreciated. Check around your own community: homeless shelters, veterans clinics, adoption agencies, crisis pregnancy centers, kindergartens, etc.

Donated quilts can be simple designs. Generally machine quilting or tied with yarn is acceptable.

If you prefer to make something more time consuming or involved, then an organization that is doing an auction or raffle may be the place to donate.

Most quilters I know say they have too many quilts, or too much fabric to use themselves. This is the way to give back.

Any day spent sewing....


Source: Bing clip art

Do you live in an area where the weather turns bad in the winter? You know – snow, ice, or just plain cold. If so, please do your prepping for winter quilting now. Planning now will make you a happier quilter later.

WhY preP for winter quilting?

Prepping for winter is different than just normal day to day quilting. For some quilters, when they run out of some item (say sewing machine needles) they just run to town or the nearest fabric store. But what happens during winter when the roads are icy, or the temps are cold, or the power is out?

Here in central Indiana, some of the leaves are starting to change at the tops of the trees. This is even with 90 degree days. It certainly appears that winter may come sooner than normal.

Fall maple leaf
First autumn leaf on the ground in my yard 08/07/2021

In an average year here there is at least 1 – 2 days each winter that it is recommended we stay home due to the roads. In other words, the ice and/or snow is not cleared off the road. Or the power may be out in various places so traffic lights do not work (usually stores are not open either).

On days like these, in my opinion, I would just rather hibernate at home. Power or no power, I can find a quilting project to work on.

PrepPING for Winter Quilting:

Do a basic inventory of quilting and sewing supplies you have on hand now. Then it will be easy to figure out what you need to get through those winter days you cannot shop, or simply want to hibernate at home.

The list may include these items:

  • Sewing machine needles
  • Sewing machine light bulbs
  • Bobbins
  • Sewing thread in basic or specific colors based on your projects
  • Rotary cutting blades
  • Iron that works properly
  • Batting for hand and/or machine quilting
  • Any needed fabric in order to continue or finish a project
  • Hand needles for said projects
  • Quilting pins
  • Sewing gadgets that are specific to your needs

The first item on my personal prepping list is to make sure my sewing machine is clean, oiled, and in complete working order. In other words, it has had its’ annual “tune-up”.

I usually have my machine “tuned-up” in the summer since that is the time it is used the least due to spending my evenings in my flower beds. My machine was done in early July and is working great.

My machine all clean and tuned up. It is ready for winter sewing.

“Quilty” things that can be done ahead of winter:

We live in an area that our power goes off randomly all year round. However, the high winds and ice of winter tend to make it a more common event. So I keep several things in a pile that I can work on while the power is out. This solves the need to work on something quilt related.

Some items that I have ready for the possibility of no power, or necessary hibernation:

  • 2 quilts that are waiting on the binding to be completed. In other words, the binding is machine sewn on, but the hand sewing to finish is not. This is a fairly easy project even in candle light.
  • Applique or hand piecing that is ready. All the pieces are cut and in a container with the directions so they can be pulled out and worked on.
  • Hand quilting.
  • Tying (with yarn) three baby quilts that are to be donated.
  • If you have fabric that is ironed and have good light (such as at a window) cutting can be safely done. I have scraps that were ironed in the spring and put on hangers in the closet. They are ready to be cut when I have time.
  • A box of hexies that are already basted to paper that I can make designs with.

No doubt, you can think of quilt parts or entire projects you can work on if the prep is done while you have power.

A thought on other supplies for DURING POWER OUTAGES:

Everyone will have some non-quilting items that you should have on hand for your specific needs. It may be medications, food, snow boots, pet supplies, etc. Think of entertainment items too such as books, cards, or board games. Little people may be content to color with crayons, or play with toys.

A hand crank radio is a good investment for the minimum of listening to the weather reports.

We have a wood stove that we can (and do) heat with or cook on if necessary. But if this not an option for you, what will you need to stay warm and have warm food? Now is the time to think about this and prep so you are happy and comfortable when needed.

For me, the first thing I think of is lamp oil and/or candles. Believe me, I truly appreciate electric lights, especially when the power goes off in the middle of machine sewing. However, by lighting several candles or oil lamps, I can see well enough to work on a hand project.

Candles for light.
Source: Bing clip art

Another quilter’s fun and not so fun observations of not really being prepared for power outages.