Fixing the Burn

Tarts: burn detail
Tarts: burn detail

After finishing the quilting on the Tarts Come to Tea, I realized that I still needed to fix the burn. Ever since I wrote about it, I have been very careful not to burn any other parts of the quilt. The center of the burn, however, did not get any better. Crispy bits of fabric and batting fell out until I had a hole I could see through.

As I worked, I also thought about how to fix it. I finally settled on some machine applique.

Tarts: Patching the Back
Tarts: Patching the Back

First, I patched the back. To make the patch the correct size, I made a template out of tracing paper by doing a rubbing of the satin stitching. The satin stitching is more 3D than other parts of the quilt so my method worked pretty well.

Then I cut a piece of fabric that wouldn’t stand out. I didn’t have (or couldn’t find) any more of that coffee novelty print so I matched the background with a solid. It isn’t a perfect match, but looks ok.

Tarts: Back Patch
Tarts: Back Patch

Then I machine appliqued the piece on to the back.

It isn’t perfect, but I think it looks acceptable.  It is so annoying and disappointing that this burn is in the center of the quilt. In the picture of the cup (above), you can see the blue fabric through the quilt. That is the patch on the back.

I needed to take more care with the front of the quilt. I had two competing feelings while I did the work. First, I just wanted it done. Second, I didn’t want it to stand out so much after a quick glance that people would notice it immediately.

Tarts: 3 Cups, Patched
Tarts: 3 Cups, Patched

I am pretty happy with the patch on the front. It doesn’t scream out that there was a problem, though you can see it if you look closely. Hopefully people will enjoy the overall look of the quilt and not focus too much on the details.

Tarts Quilting Finished

After an amazingly long time with many stops and starts, I have finished quilting the last quilt I ever intend to quilt.* The first post I have on this quilt is from 2007. I wasn’t as diligent then about documenting my process, so the post is surprisingly spare on details. However there is an even older post on my old site (which still lives despite my efforts to eradicate it), from April 2003, that shows the bones of the quilt in existence at that time and says that I started the quilt in May 2002. Assuming that is true, this partial finish is a true accomplishment. This quilt has been in progress for 20 years. Crazy!

Tarts Come to Tea: quilting finished
Tarts Come to Tea: quilting finished

One of the reasons I don’t like to quilt is that I am obsessive about the lines being very close together to get my quilt flat as a pancake. If you look at the larger version of this photo you will see how close together my quilting ended up.

He Tried to Make it Up to Her
He Tried to Make it Up to Her

I think the piece looks pretty good, if a bit dated. Working on it has inspired me to to maybe sew a second/recreation of “He Tried to Make it Up to Her”. I have one block I can use and I think I have the templates for the others. Also, I really like the idea of using Philip Jacobs flowers for the basket of flowers in the bottom center. I don’t enjoy the thought of all the satin stitching required, but maybe I can do one block at a time.

Look for another post about the quilting. I plan to milk all that work, trust me!












*I don’t like quilting – I like quiltmaking – so I don’t intend to ever start quilting a quilt again. However, ‘never’ and ‘ever’ are a long time and you never know what is going to happen so I reserve the right to change my mind.



Friend Julie posted about her Wunderlabels. I received mine as well. I bought a small number to see if I use them. I have been lazy about using the labels I print out. Maybe these will be easier to use.


I am pretty pleased with the quality. There isn’t much one can include in the little space, but I decided that simplicity was key.

Putting the blog on them will help researchers and historians in the future when they want to identify my bags and smaller projects. LOL!!!


I also like the quality. They look pretty well made. I’ll have to sew one into a bag soon, so see what I think for real.

Pies & Points Quilted

Pies & Points top quilted
Pies & Points top quilted

I went and got Pies & Points back from Colleen. I also dropped off quilts and projects off for her to quilt.

Pies & Points looks great. I didn’t give specific instructions about the quilting design and she went with a breeze/wind/sky theme. My little niece will like it, I hope.

Quilt designs always improve after I haven’t seen them for awhile. LOL!

Pies & Points wheel motif quilted
Pies & Points wheel motif quilted

I do think the elements of this pattern have possibilities in other quilts. The wheel is a motif I have wanted to play with. I was tempted by Barbara Brackman’s Southern Spin project, but didn’t do it. Yet? I don’t know. It is pretty far down the list at the moment.

Anyway, I kind of like the wheel motif. There is a little view of the overall quilting and the clouds motifs as well.

Pies & Points circular flags motif quilted
Pies & Points circular flags motif quilted

The circular flags got spirals quilted into them. The spirals might be too big; they look a little odd to me. However, there is a ton of background in the quilt and I think that makes for a challenging quilted design. I haven’t made a quilt with this much background in a long time.

Pies & Points flags motif quilted
Pies & Points flags motif quilted

I do like the overall effect of the quilt. I like the sense that the flags are fluttering in the wind or against the sky. I think it looks different from most of my other recent quilts.

On to binding.

Diagonal Nine Patch Returns

Diagonal Nine Patch - front detail
Diagonal Nine Patch – front detail

Colleen sent the Diagonal Nine Patch back. It will definitely be ready in time to head to the baby shower.

I like the quilting she did. The swirls in colored variegated thread look happy. Colleen does a great job and I am really happy to be getting some quilts back in the finishing loop.

Diagonal Nine Patch - back detail
Diagonal Nine Patch – back detail

The quilting is more obvious on the back despite the active prints I used.

I also think that the striped binding looks great. I have some time to sew it down while I wait for La Pass Month 13 to arrive.

I want to use this pattern again with 2.5 inch squares, but also one with larger squares such as 5 inch squares.

Last Minute Sleeve

I finished Frolic! a long time ago, or what seems like a long time ago. Then, I entered it in the Fair. THEN I realized it didn’t have a sleeve! YIKES! I needed to make one fast in order to have enough time to sew the sleeve on. I often fight with sleeve making despite the great instructions in Free Expression** by Robbi Joy Eklow.

Frolic! Sleeve
Frolic! Sleeve

I was able to make and sew the sleeve on in, what felt like, record time. It may only need a sleeve one time. I am happy that it is ready to go.









**Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops. However, I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Tutorial: Mitered Borders


Why Miter?

  • You can sew 2 or more borders together first then put them on your quilt top and miter them
  • Blends prints well
  • Lines up linear designs such as stripes
  • Add some pizzazz to a block that needs something extra, especially if you have to add coping strips

How to Miter:

Cut borders
Cut borders
  1. Cut top and bottom border strips to the quilt top side lengths, plus an additional 2x the border width plus 1″. The 2x the border width gives you enough space to make the 45 degree angle. The extra 1″ is added for insurance. You can always add more “insurance”.
    1. Formula: quilt top side lengths plus (2x the border width) plus 1“
    2. Example: When the top of the quilt is 45”l and you want the side borders to be 5”w: 45 + (2×5”=10)=55”+ 1” =56
  2. Sew the top border to the quilt top, starting and stopping ¼” away from the ends of the quilt, backstitching at each end.
  3. Repeat for the other 3 borders. The corners will be flapping around.
  4. Fold the quilt top in half diagonally, right sides together, creating a triangle.
  5. Line up two adjacent borders; for example, the top border and the right-side border.
  6. Fold quilt in half diagonally
    Fold quilt in half diagonally

    Place the ruler along the 45-degree line.

  7. Draw a line
    Draw a line

    When lined up, draw a line using a pencil and a ruler along that 45 degree angle and extend it over the borders.

  8. Pin firmly in place.
  9. Locate the stitch line you made when you sewed the border to the quilt top and begin sewing there.
  10. Sew from the stitch line out toward the end of the border, directly on the pencil line.
  11. Backstitch at the beginning and end
  12. Sew and open to reduce bulk
    Sew and open to reduce bulk

    Open up the quilt top to check the miter. The corner where the three seams meet should lie flat when viewed from the front. There should be no tucks or gaps. The borders should also be square.

  13. When the corner is perfect (or at a point that you’re happy with it!), refold the top to reveal that 45 degree stitching
  14. Trim the seam (the extra border length) to 1/4″.
  15. Press open to decrease the bulk of fabric at the seam corner.
  16. Repeat these steps with the other three corners



How and Why to Miter – Quilting Hub tutorial

Two Quilts Ready for Binding

Colleen sent these two quilts back to me last week. Both are gifts. I have to bind them, which is a problem since I have about 2,000 hours of handwork to do and not enough time to do it. My normal handwork time is taken up now with a 6,000 piece puzzle. I am working on the sky – no clouds, no airplanes – just flat blue sky. It is taking forever. I need to get them done in the next month, so perhaps at Craft Night? At least neither needs a sleeve.

Under the Sea Pillow

Under the Sea ready to bind
Under the Sea ready to bind

I wanted to finish Under the Sea by now, but I had to backtrack and do some repairs, so finishing will take longer.

I made the piece into a pillow. To do that I used up the polyfil I had leftover from the dolls I made for my little niece. I didn’t have enough, so I cleared out my batting scraps and used bits of batting for the rest of the stuffing. I would have preferred all polyfil, but as a lot of this project was from reclaimed materials, I thought the batting scraps were fitting.

Under the Sea back - Michael Miller print
Under the Sea back – Michael Miller print

I wanted to control where the stitching went, so I didn’t plan on sewing right sides together and turning the piece. I sewed wrong sides together, then left an opening I could use to fill the pillow.

The backing fabric is from the Michael Miller London Portfolio collection. This particular print is called Anjou Pour Vous. I don’t know why it would be called that if the collection is called London Portfolio, but I am sure the designer has a reason. I have a number of these prints and will have to use one for a backing.

I also wanted to put a black binding on. I did that to cover the raw edges, then machine sewed the back down. I ran into problems with the black thread catching some of the pillow top and also showing in the corners where it didn’t quite match up with the top binding. Again, I ripped and replaced the bobbin with Aurifil monofilament and restitched the binding so the mismatched binding front wouldn’t have a black line around the corners on the actual top.

Also  the larger glass beads are coming off. For some reason, my French knots are not strong enough to hold them with the stress of handling. Again, I am using Aurifil monofilament to secure the beads and not disturb my overall design. The Aurifil monofilament is a hassle to use, so that is also a thankless task.

I will be so glad not to see this project on my to do list when I am finished. I know I will like it again, but right now I don’t.


Binding the Quiltlet

Sealife Quilt-let binding
Sealife Quilt-let binding

I started binding the Sealife quilt-let the other day. I made a couple of bindings on a Saturday a week or so ago, so they were ready to go. After finishing off the Christmas mat, I got busy on the quilt-let.

It is going pretty well. I can’t remember the last time I bound a quilt that had flannel as its backing. I like it. The threads sink right into it. It is a little difficult to get the needle in, but not terribly so. Once that is accomplished the stitching goes easily.

I think I forgot to put a label on this one, so I will have to do some hand stitching. It’s been awhile.

En Provence Quilt Finished

En Provence Finished
En Provence Finished

Yes, amazingly enough, I finally finished En Provence a week or so ago. I am so pleased with the finished product. I am sad that I will give it away, but it will go to a good home who will love it very well.

One thing I like about this pattern is that the edges are finished. By that I mean my hard sewn units are not cut off as you see in many quilts with weird edges. I like it that my stars have all of their points.

Also, I want to make another one. 😉 I am not sure when, but I do plan to make another one. If I select a color scheme I can start any time and use leaders and enders to get all of the units made. I haven’t done any sewing yet, as I haven’t selected a color scheme. I really like this color scheme, but want to do something different. How would it be if I reversed the darks and lights?

En Provence back
En Provence back

The back turned out to be very funny. Birds and lobsters? What was I thinking? It is definitely a good conversation starter, that is for sure.

I started this on January 10, 2017. You can see all the posts by clicking on the tag. 14ish months isn’t bad, especially when I know I took a long hiatus somewhere in the middle. Also, made most of this quilt using the leaders and enders technique.

Revisiting the BAMaQG IRR

BAMaQG IRR, in 2018
BAMaQG IRR, in 2018

After the Big Stitch class, I started thinking about the BAMaQG IRR project. This is one of the projects on the 26 Projects list that I had low hopes of getting done. Now I feel better about the project’s completion because I think that it would be a good venue for Big Stitch.

I talked with Julie about my idea at dinner the other night. I need to square it up, then make a back. My thought is that I will do some minimal machine quilting and then use Big Stitch to stitch the rest together. Alternatively, I will just Big Stitch the whole thing and skip the machine quilting. I’ll get it into the hoop a lot faster if I skip the machine quilting piece.  I will have to baste, which is a trial any way you look at it. I could use a big hand project like this right about now, so stay tuned.

The last time I thought about this project was in June of 2016! I think it is good to attend a class and have it stay on your mind after the class ends.


Stars Return

You might remember me talking about the first star donation top. I don’t always get to see the finished product, but last week at the BAM meeting, I got to see it finished.

Star Donation Quilt
Star Donation Quilt

Erin quilted it. She doesn’t make a lot of her own quilts, so she quilts a massive number of charity quilts.

The setting looks pretty boring compared to Stars #2 and Stars #3, but I had to make it in order to get to those two. Erin’s quilting makes it look a lot better!

I was thrilled to collaborate with Erin and look forward to seeing what she does next.

Finished: Down the Drain

Down the Drain: Finished
Down the Drain: Finished

I finally finished Down the Drain on Friday night. Completely finished: quilting done, binding on, sleeve sewn down. Done.

First, as I mentioned, I finished the quilting. Of course I could have stopped any time, but was clearly on a mission. I kept quilting minutely almost every single open space.

I finished hand sewing the binding on earlier this week. Normally, the combination of tightly woven fabric (an AGF solid) and Aurifil make for slow going, but the combination worked great! My needle went through the fabric with no problem and I sewed the binding in only about 4 hours.

I stitched the sleeve down in only about 2 hours. The whole process of making this quilting was so relatively painless. The experience was not and continues not to be painless. The actual process of making the quilt went so smoothly. I guess it was meant to be.

Posts about Down the Drain

  1. I Have a Secret – 8/6/2017
  2. Art Quilt Start: Background – 8/8/2017
  3. Art Quilt: River of Sorrow – 8/10/2017
  4. Art Quilt: Border 1 – 8/13/2017
  5. Art Quilt: Quilting Finished – 9/17/2017