Category Archives: Uncategorized

Modern Log Cabins – first, some history…


Most quilters are familiar with the traditional log cabin block – it is the most recognized block and its origins are often associated with the American Pioneers.  However similar designs have been found on ancient mummies and in English quilts predating 1830.


Strips of fabric were hand pieced around a central square, usually with one half dark strips and one half light.

A red centre symbolized the hearth of the home; yellow, a welcoming light in the window; and a black centre in a quilt hanging on a clothesline is believed to have meant a stop for the Underground Railroad.

How has this block become “Modern”?

see my next post: Modern Log Cabins – the process.


Sample this…


Finished this up today from a workshop I took in February.  Sometimes you only learn one or 2 things but this was a little smorgasbord of techniques!

What it promised:

  • how to use some decorative stitches on your sewing machine
  • the functions of a twin needle and wing needle (had them but had no idea what to do with them)
  • the quilt-as-you-go technique

What I got in addition:

  • how to make circles without the use of a $50 attachment
  • how to make a monogram without an embroidery machine
  • how to use 1 inch strips of batting (which might normally be thrown away) and strips of fabric to make a basket weave block

This is not Modern Quilting – looks more like an heirloom piece to me –  but I love it!


Thank you, Susan Gatewood, wherever you are.

Celtic Love


Being part Irish, I am attracted to Celtic knots so it was no surprise that I signed up for a class recently in No Mark Celtic Interlaces with Linda J. Hahn.  Check her patterns out at

I learned a wonderful new FAST AND EASY way to machine applique them to a quilt – the last one I did by hand took a year and a half.  Do not like doing the handwork…

Linda had put these together in a 4 patch setting but I was short on one of the fabrics I wanted to use as a border, so I decided to make 2 pieces with different borders.

Which one do you like better and why?

100_3523 100_3524

Take a Chance…


About 2 weeks ago I was at the Vermont Quilt Festival.  I usually take classes in things that I like but also in techniques that don’t appeal to me (which most people don’t understand).  I like a challenge LOL and sometimes I wind up making beautiful discoveries.

So the class that did not interest me was Landscape Using Woven Fabric with Nancy DiDonato.  I like making landscape quilts but the woven fabric backgrounds?   Not so sure….

It was a very small class and we learned a lot.  Aside from the technique she taught us, which I loved, she also shared some of her art.  What I really liked about her was that she used very innovative ideas in the creation of her quilts.  Thrift shop finds or bark from the forest – she uses what she feels will work for the concept she has in mind.  The “Only 100% Quilting Cotton Fabric Police” would not understand…

Her work is outstanding and innovative: check her out at

Meantime, have a look at what she helped me make:

GetAttachment.aspxThanks, Nancy!

Take a chance, people – you might learn and love something new!

Etoile de Provence


Why is it …that sometimes when you just throw something together, it turns out better than something that you plan and plan???

That’s what happened today with this little quilt:  I just picked up some scraps of fabric I didn’t really like and,  as an experiment, made this Giant Star Block.

I just loved how it turned out – reminds me of France.

giant star block

Bubble Tea Anyone?


I decided to work some circles into a simple patchwork layout this weekend, just to challenge myself.  It really didn’t appeal to me.

The fabric choices came easily:  I picked out some fabric with polka dots and pieced them all together.  The lime green, yellow and coral seemed made for each other!

One big circle in embroidery stitches, a few little coral circles and some free motion work to highlight the circles: voila!

First choice for a name was Bubblicious but my little sis suggested Bubble Tea and I love the Bubble Tea so..

sweet shades of lime and coral

I don’t do “random”…


I’m following a blog called Christa Quilts – and she’s doing a quilt-along right now – so in an effort to use up some of my fabric, I joined it. (BTW according to my poll, I am a perfectly normal quilter, not a hoarder – so there!)

Here’s what I had to do this morning: take 40 pieces of fabric, cut them in half and match them up in pairs. So for the mathematically challenged, that’s matching up 80 pieces of fabric.

I placed half of them on my ironing board and table and tried to do it randomly:  my fingers kept putting pairs together… and my brain kept saying “oh no, that doesn’t go”, forcing my fingers to move them around until they matched.

Then I sewed the strips together, pressed them & cut them into blocks and finally lay them out in neat orderly piles of coloured blocks – much happier camper now!

strips matched up and ready to be sewn

nice orderly piles of coloured blocks

And according to one poll I did recently, 86% of my readers prefer to work in a logical orderly fashion, so I am not alone 🙂

Better Late Than Never


One of the best pieces of advice I ever got about quilting was that you should have a glass of wine before attempting Free Motion Quilting.  It helps to relax your shoulders and make the process more enjoyable. (Doesn’t wine do that for everything??)

Today I was working on a project,  and realized my shoulders were up around my ears.  Uh oh. I instantly realized the problem:  I had forgotten the wine.  And  I was almost finished the Free Motion Quilting…but…

better late than never!