It’s all about learning something….

Someone asked me why I continue to do challenges and mystery quilts and my answer is the same…..”I ALWAYS learn something!!!”

I have now finished Angela Walters’ “Quilting with Rulers Challenge” and, as you might guess, I learned SO much!!

Here is the finished quilt…..

…..and here are a few things that I learned……

  • Rulers can be used in other ways that don’t match their intended purpose. In this case, I used an oval ruler to quilt some longer curves…..
  • Use a matching thread….especially if you don’t know exactly what you are doing…..
  • Plan and measure borders so that they turn the corner well….
  • Larger areas can be made smaller by dividing them into sections…..
  • Adding some non-ruler quilting can make a boring design pop……
  • IF you want it to be exact, there are tools that you can use…….
  • Finally, even though you can use a ruler to quilt a filler design, it is easier to freehand it!!!

I bought a few new rulers at Houston this past month and am already having fun playing with them and figuring out exactly how I can use them!!

And, will I do another challenge???

You-bet-ya!!! I have the top for Angela’s new “Feather” challenge and I cannot wait to get started!!! I am horrible at feathers and know that this will push me forward.

Do you need something to PUSH you to get better????

If so, think about signing up for my FREE 10-week Free-Motion Quilting Challenge called “MOVE IT!!!”

Each week you will receive an email with a few new designs to try and a video with instructions, encouragement, and sometimes even some commiseration!!!

If you are interested, sign up HERE

Let’s welcome the pineapple

For the last 8 months, I have been part of the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge from Patterns By Jen.

Here are the blocks that we have made so far…..

They are so much fun and will be exciting to put together at the end of the challenge!!

This month the inspiration comes from the glorious pineapple…..

One thing that I have enjoyed in this challenge is being able to really look at the inspirational fruit or vegetable. In this case, I studied the radial symmetry of the crown…..

….and the amazing structure and colors of the outside rind….

And then you cut it open…..

…and the whole room is filled with the sweet smell of goodness!! I know that you can smell it right now!!!

Just look at all of these luscious colors…..

When I started picking fabrics, I really wanted to include green but all of the other blocks are more monochromatic in nature so I decided to stick with the pale yellows….

The block was easy to piece, although some of the strips finished at 1/2-inch wide, so accurate piecing was mandatory!!! I ironed the two 1-inch strips together before I sewed them and that made a huge difference in the piecing as they stayed lined up while under the needle.

I got so excited about making this block that I forgot to take progress photos……OOPS!!!

The finished block is simple….

….yet echos the pineapple nicely!!!

When I think of pineapple, I think of two things….

  • The Big Pineapple in Queensland Australia…..

We visited there in 1982 when my parents joined us for a trip up and down the eastern Australian coast!!

Secondly, I remember one of my favorite desserts and one that is attributed to my Mom!!


2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 1 large can of crushed pineapple (including juice), 2 cups flour, and 2 teaspoons soda

Mix all together and pour into greased and floured sheet pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

For icing…..

8 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature), 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup butter (softened), 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1 cup pecans.

Combine all of the icing ingredients and ice cake while it is hot.

The cake is yummy and gooey and wonderful!!

We sure want to thank the sponsors for this quarter…..

If you want to see how other quilters interpreted this fun design, be sure to check out this month’s featured bloggers…

Jen Shafer

Kathy Bruckman

Lisa Ruble

Raylee Bielenberg

Andi Stanfield

Crystal Drummond

Ashli Montgomery

AND…one more reminder about MOVE IT!! This is a FREE 10-week course to encourage you to try new free-motion quilting designs.

Ninety-seven people have gone thru the course and many have said that it has helped them to feel more comfortable with FMQ. If you are interested and would like to join, just click HERE TO SIGN UP!

Enough reading….go eat some pineapple!!!

Color challenge….I’m caught up!!

Last weekend I posted the July block in the 2021 Color Challenge from Patterns By Jen, so today I am going to get COMPLETELY caught up….at least for a few days.

The August block is based on the lovely…..


It was easy to pick the two fabrics…..

…and the cutting out was the least complicated that we have had so far…..

First I had to make Flying Geese blocks using the no-waste method. I first tried this technique in the June block and posted full instructions HERE.

I found them to be fast and accurate and within a few minutes, I had the 4 Geese blocks ready to go…..

Seven more seams and the block was finished…..

Now came the fun part of trying to find a fanciful way to photograph it….

It is good to be caught up and I am already looking forward to next month!!!

Now let’s talk about cooking and eating mushrooms. In all honesty, I am not a huge mushroom fan. I enjoy them sauteed in butter, but can take them or leave them. However, we have spent a lot of time in Kunming China and Kunming is considered to be one of the mushroom capitals of the world!!

On our 2016 trip, one of Michael’s colleagues took us out to a restaurant that specialized in mushrooms and these were a few that we ate…..

The meal started out with a Mushroom hotpot…..

…which was actually very tasty!!! By the end of the evening, I had decided that mushrooms were pretty good after all!!!

I have taken a couple of photos of mushrooms in various markets and would love to turn this one into a thread painting someday…..

So….that’s it for mushrooms. Next up, the welcoming Pineapple!!!

“Blew” Two….

Yesterday, I posted about my entry in the “I’m so Blue” guild challenge.

Normally, I am finishing my challenges on the day that they are due, or maybe the day before if I am really organized, but, with this one, the idea came quickly and I was finished over a month before the due date…. UN-HEARD OF!!

Just after I finished it, I was talking to another guild member (Sue) and she said that she would make it different by using the other spelling/meaning of blue……ie BLEW!!

Just after our conversation, we made another trip to Kunming, China where I spied this wonderful bronze statue…..

I adored the look on the man’s face….

….not to mention the little boy at the back…..

Now THAT is a great example of “BLEW”!!

When we returned home, I called Sue and asked if she had ever acted on her inspiration. She said that she had not and that I was welcome to use the idea.

I started with the photo itself, tweaking it to enhance the color…..

I used the pinwheel as my inspiration and added a bunch of small pinwheels and two larger 3-D pinwheels….

….and added the beaded “stick” to meet the embellishment and blue requirements.

I made a couple of paper quilts to test out the quilting designs….

….but finally decided on wavy parallel lines in a metallic thread….

I love the final product…..

…particularly the way that the fabrics worked together.

And, as a plus, it is another fun “Travel Log Quilt” that reminds me of a trip to Kunming!!

As Blue Goes By….

Back in 2010 our guild proposed a challenge called “I’m So Blue”. It had to include the color blue and also have some form of fabric embellishment.

Unusually for me, I had my idea MONTHS before the due date, and it came from the British Sit-Com, “As time Goes By”. In that show there is a picture on the wall that has a dresser with a single flower in a vase and I had always been drawn to it.

I started out by pulling blue scraps and placing them around a piece of lightweight fusible interfacing…..

I did my usual internet research and came up with an interesting looking chest to use…..

….and also found this flower design…..

I added a vase and flipped the flower to one side….

After everything was cut out and fused down, it was time to add the embellishment. I wanted the chest to have an antique look so decided to sponge paint a bit of color…..

Since I was playing with paint, I also added a bit of stenciling (you can see it at the top of the above photo).

After adding a border and a few more details, I declared that “As Blue Goes By” was finished…..

But this was not the end to the “I’m So Blue” challenge…..come back tomorrow for the next entry!!!