What do I do with these?

Many years back my church was meeting in a school gymnasium and we desperately wanted something to add a bit of softness to the stage, so I made a series of “quilt-like” banners.

None of them had batting or quilting. Basically, they were a quilt top attached to a heavy upholstery fabric to help them hang straight.

This was the first one. There were actually two just alike….

I used an idea from a book that I had at the time and didn’t have a pattern. It was so much fun to figure out the piecing layout.

This was the last set that I made…..

But this post is about the second set…..

I loved the stained-glass look of these two banners!!

When the church no longer needed them, I was asked if I wanted the banners back….

Of course!!!

The first set has now been gifted to another church in Boston and the 3rd set has been used in the children’s area of our church.

BUT…..what should I do with these last two????

I have some ideas but would love to hear what you think……



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Mug Rug Thank You

This week I have been talking about the Modern Quilt Guild Mini Swap.

My swap partner, Christine, and I have been helped along the way by our “Swap Fairy” named Kaela!! She did a marvelous job of keeping us on track and checking in to see how we were doing.

After I had finished Christine’s quilt I decided to make a little something for Kaela too. And, since I had a bunch of Split-Rectangle blocks left, I decided to play with them!!

The problem is that I couldn’t make up my mind!!

I tried several different arrangements…..

Finally, I decided to make it square…..

….and add a small border to it.

I wanted to use the same fabric that I had used in the bigger quilt, but I honestly couldn’t figure out which shelf I put it on!!!

I finally opted for a completely different color!!!!

I decided to do a “pillow case” finishing technique so that I wouldn’t have to bind it!!

It was quick and easy gift….

….to tell Kaela how much we appreciated her help!!

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An Anniversary Quilt

My Mom and Dad….Lois and Buddy…. got married on this day in 1939!!!

Here is what my Mom once wrote about their courtship and marriage…..

A friend named Curtis told me about the Swinson family who were moving to an adjoining farm.  He said they had a son named Buddy and he wanted me to meet him.  He said Buddy was 18 and so smart he could just do anything.  He was good looking and strong too.  Everyday he told me how great Buddy was.  About a week later, I was on the bus heading to school and Buddy rode a horse right up to the window of our bus and looked in.  Curtis stood up and pointed to me and said “There she is Buddy!”.  He then looked at me and said “that’s Buddy!”.  Buddy told me later that he looked at me in my little red coat with a fur collar and long brown hair and decided that Curtis was right and that he had to meet me.  The following Saturday night Curtis gave a party and invited everyone.  Mama, Daddy and all us kids walked to the party.  The kids played games while the older ones visited.  When the party was over, Buddy and his sister walked in our direction.  Buddy walked up beside me and caught hold of my hand.  I started to move it but then I thought “that’s a nice feeling” so I left it there.  We dated from that night on.  We were always together on weekends and several nights during the week he and his sister would come over and play dominoes. 

After we had been dating for about 9 months, he asked me to marry him.  Before I could mention this to my parents I heard Mama say that she hoped her girls had better sense than to marry farmers.  That fixed it.  I decided if she was against it, I just wouldn’t tell her.  We would elope.

In 1939, when school turned out for the Christmas holidays, I stacked my books in my desk for the last time.  After Christmas, I went to stay a few days with Sister.  Buddy came up after me and on the 28th, we went to preacher Will Cox and asked him to marry us.  Even though he had preached for us for years, he told us that he couldn’t marry us because he was not an ordained minister.  We went back to Sister’s house and found that they had already gone to bed.  Rather than wake them, we sat up all night and talked.  The next morning on the 29th, Sister went with us to the little town of May.  Buddy went to the domino parlor and pulled the Reverend Dill out of a domino game.  We went back to the parsonage and were married.

Memories of Lois Swinson

When they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary back in 1989, I was very new in my quilting career but I wanted to make them a quilt to commemorate their years together.

Since Cross-Stitch had been my “previous” craft, I started out with a Cross-stitched block for the center of the quilt…

As I thought about their life, I added these blocks…..

This scrap basket for my Mom’s love of quilts and hand-made things.

My Dad served in World War II so this block was for him…..

They had a 100-acre farm that they LOVED…..

…and Dad put in a HUGE garden every summer so a “Corn & Beans” block was a necessity…..

Mom and Dad loved to play domino games (especially “Forty-Two”) so “Hand’s All Around” was another choice…..

Dad was an amazing Handy Man and could fix ANYTHING!!! Many of my fondest memories of him were working in the garage with him on his latest project!!

So….the “Handy Andy” block became “Handy Buddy”…..

Finally, I was the only child so there needed to be a Baby Block for me……

When this quilt was made, I had discovered the joy of Machine Quilting but hadn’t learned the Free-motion part of it. Consequently, this quilt was sparsely quilted and all designs (even the curves) were done with a Walking Foot and Monofilament thread…..

Here is the finished quilt…..

It hung in my parent’s living room until I took it down in 2013 when we closed Mom’s house.

On this day I always think about Buddy and Lois and their 60 years together and how thankful I am for them!!

Thanks for letting me share those memories with you too!!!

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Marble Fabric must go!!

Back in the early 1990’s, I participated in a workshop where we marbled fabric. It was SO much fun!!

Now, back then I didn’t have a lot of money for quilting so some of the fabric was not great quality…..it was what I could afford at the time!!

Regardless, I came away with an amazing array of fabrics.

Then, 15 years later, one of my friends moved and gifted me with all of HER marbled fabrics too.

The bottom line is that I have a box FULL of marbled fabrics that are at least 30 years old….


There is a good range of fabrics and colors……

….and I needed a design that could handle all of those differences!!

Several months ago I posted a photo of a wall from the “Tower of London”….

…and in my “Marbles Must Go” delirium, I decided to go with this idea for the marbled fabrics.

I started out by cutting my marbled fabrics into 5-1/2-inch strips and adding a 1-inch navy strip to one side……

I then sub-cut the strips into 3-inch bricks and I quickly had a good set to play with…..

This is what I am thinking……

Make three (or more) panels of these pieces with wide blue borders in between.

I am hoping that the navy fabric will help to tame all of the different patterns and colors from the marbled fabrics.

What do you think?? Will it work???

Do Your Square’s Dance??

I posted a short time ago about my boring Square-in-a-square quilt and the way that I found to make it less boring……

I enjoyed making this quilt and realized that it would make a simple pattern…..

……so I wrote it!!

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Once I finished this quilt, I wanted to play further so, after I made the Square-In-A-Square blocks, I decided to change the straight square blocks a bit.

I started with a 2.5-inch square and added a border on two sides of the square……

….and then a border on the opposite sides……

After that, I treated them as normal squares, adding the background strips to each side and then alternating them with the “S-I-A-S” blocks.

I like how the design turned out……

The additional light blue border adds a bit more sparkle to the quilt!!

I wouldn’t mind playing further with the design to see if I can make those squares go “WILD AND CRAZY”!!!

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