Falling Leaves & Flying Geese

P4211084 (2)

This is the quilt that I use in my entry way during the month of September.  As with most quilts, there is a story behind it…….

Back in 1992, my youngest child started to school.  I celebrated by starting into a weight loss program that put a lot of focus on exercise….especially walking.  I was fairly new to the state of Georgia and not used to the beautiful autumn foliage display.  As I walked, I began watching the leaves fall and became enamored with the way they swirled and swooped to the ground.

At this point in my quilting career, I had mostly worked from patterns and had not done much that was designed “from my mind”.  The leaves were made first with the colors moving from the green of summer to the brown dead leaves of dead winter.  I also decided that I wanted the background sky to flow from the dark blue of summer to white wintery sky.

I cut out lots of 2 inch squares of blue and then started placing them on a flannel board on which I had drawn a 2 inch grid.  The morning that I started placing blues was also the meeting of the quilting bee at my house, so I enlisted the others to help me set the sky in place.  We all had so much fun arranging and re-arranging them.

As for the borders, I started with the idea of placing flying geese all the way around the piece, but realized that I didn’t want to make that many of them, so started looking for ways to group them.  I ended up being really pleased with the final arrangement and even quilted a few “ghost” geese in the blank border.

As I looked at the completed top, I realized that it didn’t have the movement that I wanted, so I added the leaf stems and allowed them to provide the “swirl”.  Even more movement was added with the “windswept” quilting.

In the final analysis, I really liked the quilt and it was a wonderful step into the world of designing quilts.

So, it’s September……..bring on the leaves!!!!!

Friendship Flowers


August is Sunflower month at my house and this is the quilt that hangs in the entryway….Friendship Flowers In 1988 I was active in a Quilting Bee that was part of my local guild.  We were called the “Friendly Starters”…..intimating that we started a lot but didn’t get much finished!!

After making several charity quilts as a group, we decided to make a Round-Robin quilt.  The rules were as follows……  each person would make one 12-inch  block in the style and theme that they wanted.  They would put it into a box, along with miscellaneous fabrics that fit with it.

The box then traveled to each person in the group and that person would make blocks that would fit with the desired theme.  These blocks had to be in multiples of 4-inches….ie 4 inch squares, 8 inch squares, 4 x 8 inch rectangles etc.  You could simply include a 4 inch piece of fabric.

When the box was returned, we each set out to make our quilt using the blocks that we had received, plus any others that we wanted to add.   We also included the rule that you didn’t have to use all of the received blocks and could even include them on the back if necessary.

FF Block 1



I started out with this block , and told my group that I wanted the theme to be “Sunflowers and Summer”.




FF Block 2



One of the blocks that I received was this sun




FF Block 3


I added it to the paper-pieced chickens and added a stem and 3-dimensional  leaves to make this section.




Block 8


These four patches were embellished with some bobbin threadwork


And I made these three dimensional flowers to fill in some spaces…..

FF Block 4 FF Block 5

FF Block 6

FF Block 9



The final part was to add this wonderful pieced flower garden




FF Back



The last of the fabric patches were added to the background and the label was made to dub this piece “Friendship Flowers”!! 


I have lost track of several of the ladies that added to this quilt and I am afraid that one has since passed away, but I think of them each time that I look at this Sunny and fun quilt.

Bells, Baths and Bidets

Several people have commented on the quilt that is shown on the right side of my blog so thought I would show you a larger photo and tell you the story….you know that every good quilt has a story that goes along with it…….

In 1998, our family spent 10 days in Italy, including 3 days in Rome. When we first walked into our hotel we heard a Church bell ringing LOUDLY, so Michael and the kids both ran to the window to look out…..

This is what they saw…….this tower was extremely close to the hotel and right on our level……

As any good tourist does, the next stop in the hotel room was to check out the bathroom. This one interested us in several ways……..

Michael noticed the curtainless shower, Brian and Jenny (then 12 and 11) noticed the Bidet (something they had not seen before) and I noticed the cool tile on the wall…..

Much to B&J’s shame, I whipped out my tracing paper and made a tracing of this wonderfully designed tile.

After I got home, I graphed out the design and tried to figure out how to piece it with mostly straight lines. Here is the graphic that I finally used……

And here is the final project…….
It is a fun reminder of a great trip to Rome.

On a comic note, I have since contacted the hotel to see if the tiles were still in place and, if so, could they take a better photo and send to me. Needless to say, I have had no response from them, although I am sure that they talk about the crazy American lady!!!! We are spending a month in Rome in 2010, and I am planning a trip back to Hotel Miami and check it out for myself!!!!

Happy Fourth of July!!!

This is a quilt that I made several years ago to celebrate the month of July.

I have a wall in my entry way that has a special place for 30-36 inch square quilts, and I try to change them each month. I also have pie safe (which holds many of my quilts) that was built especially for that area and I put various nick-knacks on top for each month. Here is a photo of what it looks like this month…..

This quilt was made from a pattern found in a now unknown book, but it was for a 66 inch square quilt, so I cut the dimensions in half to get my finished product.

My biggest memory of this quilt was that my sewing machine was acting up and I spent MUCH of my time re-piecing the areas where there were birds-nests on the back.

Starry-Night in Bethlehem

September, 1986……Continuing on my quilting journey, I now move into the realm of machine piecing. Up until now I had done most everything by hand, even though it had taken a lot of time. Then, I saw this little quilt pattern in a magazine and I really wanted to try it. However, in the pattern, the star only had the bottom half so I knew that I needed to make some adjustments to it. I was concerned that I would spend a week or more piecing it and then it wouldn’t work, so I decided to try my hand at machine piecing.

As with my first quilt, I did just about everything WRONG!!!! I prepared the templates and cut out the fabrics as if I was hand piecing. I drew the sewing lines on the fabrics and then pieced along the lines.

The upshot of this was that I had the top pieced in ONE DAY….not one week!!!

I quilted it by hand, using some very bad metallic threads, and even added a little padding to some of the houses to create a bit of texture.

I was very proud of it and still hang it at Christmas time.