Baskets for Pat!!

Back in the early 1990’s, my Sister-In-Law commissioned me to make a quilt. I was excited about doing it, with thoughts of fun pieced quilts going thru my head.

When I pushed her as to what she wanted in a quilt, she said “Well, I love baskets”!!!

My heart sank. I was NOT a fan of basket quilts and couldn’t imagine making a Queen-sized one!!

But, if she wanted baskets, I was determined to make a set of baskets with each one being different!!

Even now, 30 years later, I can remember finding one border print fabric and deciding that I was going to base the quilt around it!!

I decided to make a medallion-style quilt and started with the center block……

…featuring a pieced basket and applique flowers.

I search high and low for basket patterns and made each one in a different style.

I was excited about the finished quilt…..

…but before I presented it to her, I entered it into our guild quilt show….the first one that we had ever held!!

Since we were just getting started, the guild decided not to award ribbons but to have guild members select their favorite quilt.

And guess what…..


Instead of a ribbon, I was presented with a wonderful collection of quilting supplies….a much-needed gift since we had little money to purchase these things!!

I guess that the moral of this story is…..

…… might be surprised!!!

Perfection will win every time!!

It is time for…..

Do you like winning ribbons??

That is a silly question….of COURSE you do!!!

Our guild started having quilt shows back in 1993 and has continued to have one every two years (with the exception of the COVID year)!!

Initially our shows were not judged, but after a few years, we decided that it would be good to have a certified judge comment on our quilts, knowing that the comments could help us to get better!!

For the next two shows, I watched as people won ribbon after ribbon after ribbon. And, let’s be honest, I coveted a ribbon….especially a blue one!!!

So, in 2000, I set out to make a ribbon worthy quilt!!! Yep….there was no other purpose for the quilt except win a ribbon!!

The quilt was a bowtie design with lots of cute calico prints….YIKES!!

The centers of each “circle” were quilted with daisy-type flowers and the free-motion quilting was done with a monofilament thread….

I entered the quilt and anxiously awaited the results!!

And, guess what… won a BLUE RIBBON!!!

The judge’s comment was amazing….. “Perfection will win every time”.

Now, I think that she exagerrated a LOT when she called it perfect, but her comment did so much for my confidence and propeled me along in my quilting journey.

And, for even more of a throwback, here I am standing happily with my quilt….

Sadly, I still have that jacket!!!!

Mug rugs or Art??

My sweet D-I-L, Amber, is a wonderful gift-giver. She always thinks carefully about what the receiver would want and then selects THE BEST present!!

This past summer she attended a week-long art camp at the Shakerag Workshop in Tennessee. While there, she met a textile artist named Linda Warschoff (@oneofakindtextiles) and she purchased two amazing mug rugs for my Christmas present…..

The first one…..

….is too fun to actually use, so it has been given a spot on the wall……

The second one…..

….is the PERFECT size to hold my drink on the machine table…..

Thank you Amber for finding the perfect gifts for me!!!

The plot, like my gravy, thickens

One of my favorite scenes from “The Big Bang Theory”…..

And yes, the plot is thickening in the December installment of the Macaron Mystery from Meadow Mist Designs.

She kept the December clue easy and, since I didn’t get around to it until January, that was probably a good thing.

This month we were making a Square-in-a-Square block.

The first step was to cut one set of squares in half on the diagonal and I got confused by this and wondered if I really wanted to do it!! I HATE working with bias seams!!! I finally cut two squares in half and made one of the blocks. When I felt more certain of what I was doing, I cut the rest…..

Next step was to sew one triangle on two alternate sides of the square…..

You didn’t have to trim the corners but I did anyway….

Then, you add triangles to the two opposite sides…..

Now it was time to trim this block to 3.5-inches. I find this hard to do and still keep all of the inside corners 1/4-inch away from the outside. There is almost too much to look for!!

THEN, I remembered the ruler that I bought at Houston….

Deb Tucker’s Square Squared!!

You can use this ruler for the entire process of making a Square-In-A-Square block, but in this case, I just needed the right-hand section for the final trim.

It works like this….

You line up the inside 3-inch square with the dashed lines on the ruler

Trim it….

Then line the trimmed edge up to the 3.5-inch lines…..

Note that the inside square still matches the dashed line square drawn on the ruler.

The result was that I have 12 (well actually 13 but they don’t photograph as well) perfect Square-In-A-Square blocks…..

…and I learned how to use another new ruler…..

A Win-Win……

But there are SO many lines….

Do you ever find it confusing when you are looking for the correct line on a rotary ruler?

And, some of the rulers have SO MANY lines!!

In the past, I have used a water-soluble marker to remind myself where to cut but I worry about getting the marker on my project.

Instead, I have now started using painter’s masking tape.

It is easy to position, it comes off without leaving a residue and you can’t miss that bright blue color!!!

If I am cutting a 4-inch square, I might place the tape directly on the measuring line…..

….or just behind the line if I am cutting a 1/8th inch increment (3-5/8 in this photo)…..

I still have to do some adjusting to make sure that the ruler is properly lined up but at least I know the general area that I am headed for!!

What tricks do you employ to make your cutting easier???