A Place to Share Sewing & Quilting Experiences

I just checked and I have not posted since April.  Oh boy, there’s been a lot going on.  My daughter just started her Junior year at JMU and I’ve become an ambassador with Plexus Worldwide.  We specialize in health supplements.  Hardly leaves time for quilting, or so you’d think.  My guild chapter started a UFO challenge back in January.  We each put a fat quarter in the pool and we get to put our name in the hat for a drawing at the end of the year for each UFO we finish and bring in for show and tell.  We meet twice a month, so my goal is 24 finished UFOs by December.  I just finished #20.  OK, that is for another post.  I still haven’t shared some of my quilts from 2014.  I need to get busy!

Here are the three baby quilts I completed as gifts.

yellow and gray baby quiltfairy baby quiltseal creatures baby quilt

And now for some Christmas Embroidery projects.  I just love the OESD Christmas Village designs.  I’m really behind on them, but the ones I do have finished take up an entire kitchen table.  Here’s the Town Hall and the Gingerbread House.

lace town hall lace gingerbread house

I made some Christmas wristlet bags on my embroidery machine (in-the-hoop designs) for Christmas presents and finished a Christmas Music Quilt.

christmas music quiltchristmas wristlet bags

The biggest news of 2014 was I got a new Bernina machine to add to my sewing studio.  It is a Bernina 750 and I absolutely love it.  Amazing for embroidery, free-motion quilting and so much more.

bernina 750

Last but not least, here’s the bunch of Embroidery Christmas ornaments I made for various “exchanges” and parties over the Christmas season.

ornament 1 ornament 2 christmasexchangeornament22015 ornament 3 ornament 4 ornament 5

I’m done.  Until next time, happy sewing & quilting!!!



This post is going to have a lot of different types of projects.  It has been so long since I’ve posted and many projects have come and gone.  Let’s rewind the clock back to August 2014.  I’m getting ready to send my one and only sweet daughter off to college and emotions are running high.  One of our co-workers was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months earlier.  We wanted to make her a comforting quilt to get her through the hard days ahead with surgery and treatments.  We made simple blocks with a place in the center for everyone in our company to sign well-wishes and prayers to her.  Here’s the quilt and a few close ups.

Pat Signature Quilt

Pat Signature Quilt Close UPPat Signature Quilt Border Close UP


Second project, before my daughter went off to college, she wanted to make a rug for her new dorm room to match her comforter set.  We went to our local Goodwill store and bought up a bunch of t-shirts.  She cut them into strips and rolled them up in balls.  Then she took three colors at a time and braided the rug.  My job was to sew together the braided rows into a circular rug.  It turned out really cute and she used it her first year of college in her dorm room.  Here’s the photo!

Abby Dorm Rug


Fast forward to the fall season.  My daughter and I had started a Halloween quilt together many years and due to crazy schedules, it got put on the shelf.  After she went to college, I wanted to finish it for her dorm bed for Halloween.  It was emotional dragging it back out, but I’m glad I did.  She enjoyed it during the Halloween season.  I also made a Halloween pillowcase/sham to go with it.

Halloween pillowcaseHalloween Quilt Close UPAbby Halloween Quilt

Another fun Halloween project was this machine embroidery free-standing lace coffin.  Lots of pieces, but way fun to put together and even more fun to decorate with!  This design was from OESD!

Free Standing Lace Coffin

For our annual Fall Fest meeting, I finished a quilt top of the raffle blocks I’d won at a previous full chapter meeting (I think it was the previous Spring Fest).  I may have already posted some of those blocks, but here’s the finished top.  It is on my “UFO to do List” that I plan on finishing this year.  I just need to decide if it needs a border to pull it all together and we’re off.

Raffle Block Close Up Raffle Block quilt

Prior to our Fall Fest our chapter got together to make pillowcases for charity (the chapter hosting the above Fall Fest event asked for these).  Our chapter made all these great pillowcases.  They took little time to make and were so much fun.  Plus it is always fun to have an excuse to get with your quilting friends and sew, sew, sew!

My pillowcases My pillowcases 2 Moonlighters Pillowcases More Moonlighters pillowcases

OK, enough for this time.  I’ll start up next time with the Christmas projects of that year.  Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting…



Have you heard about the Row by Row Experience?  I hadn’t until last year.  It is a major, country-wide (and Canada) shop hop.  You visit participating quilt shops and collect their rows and license plates.  You purchase the license plates and most shops have fabric kits available for their rows.  The bonus is the prizes offered.  If you visit 8 shops and make a finished quilt (which means, pieced, quilted and labelled), and turn in into one of the shops, you get a prize of 25 fat quarters.  You can imagine my excitement on learning of this contest.  Last year a small group of my quilting friends went to a lot of the shops in the Virginia row by row.  I even picked up a couple out of state plates after the event at quilt shows.  I have a nice collection of plates and patterns from last year.  This year the event started June 21st and I made it my mission to win the prize at my local quilt shop, Cottonwood in Charlottesville, VA.  This year’s row by row theme is Water.  Here’s the website if you’d like more information or a list of shops in your area.  The event goes through September 8th, so there is still plenty of time to get our there and shop hop.


I visited my hope shop, Cottonwood first and bought their kit.  I had so much fun making this one.  “Hooked on Fabric”

Cottonwood Row By Row 2015


The 2nd row I completed was from my hometown, Wytheville, VA – Batiks Etc.  Love this shop when I’m visiting my parents.  “Waterwheel”  I ended up making this block one of the outside borders, so I had to turn it sideways, but it worked.

Batiks Etc Row By Row

My daughter, who attends James Madison University was feeling like a trip to Harrisonburg, so she went with me to the three shops on the Row by Row there.  We also hit Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint for lunch which was amazing, and I made my first visit to the Virginia Quilt Museum.  Definitely a great trip.  Our first stop was at Ragtime Fabrics, and I completed their row next called “A Day in the Valley”.

Ragtime Fabrics Row by Row

Then we went to a shop in Harrisonburg that I’d never been to called Sew Classic Fabrics.  It was inside a farmer’s market off Rt. 11 in Harrisonburg, so there was an additional perk to visiting it.  This one is called “Seven Bends of the Shenandoah River”.

Sew Classic Fabrics Row by Row

Last, but definitely not the least in this area was Patchwork Plus in Dayton, VA which has always been one of my favorite shops.  Their take on water was quite unique.  Here’s “Southern Water”.  To top it off they had samples of their southern water, some really wonderful sweet tea.  I had to break out my hand sewing/embroidery techniques to hand stitch the lettering on the jars.

Patchwork Plus Row by Row

Next came the beautiful row by Quilter’s Corner in Midlothian, VA.  I absolutely fell in love with these beautiful batik turtles and had to purchase the kit.  If I hadn’t, I would still be cutting out the little turtle pieces and fusing them to the row.  The colors in this row are awesome.  Photo doesn’t do it justice.

Quilters Corner Row by Row

Last stop on the trip before visiting 8 shops was a trip to Culpeper and Fredericksburg VA.  First stop was 145 Design Studio – That Little Quilt Shop in Culpeper.  Downtown Culpeper is so charming and it is always a pleasure to visit this shop.  They have cute little beach umbrellas for this row called “Summer Fun”.  I also found some cute little buttons to embellish it with.

145 Design Studio Row by Row

Last row came from The Crazy Cousin in Fredericksburg, plus a trip to Texas Roadhouse for steak made the day just perfect.  Their row is absolutely adorable with these cute little duckies in their row-boat.  This row is called “Ducks in a Row”.

The Crazy Cousin Row by Row

After all 8 rows were done, it was back to Cottonwood to pick out the fabric to finish this big quilt.  When I picked out my fabric, I heard the ladies in the shop discussing that several people had called the shop to see if they had a winner yet.  Yikes, I was going to lose out if I didn’t kick my sewing into high gear.  I knew my group was going on a Row by Row trip to Northern Virginia on Thursday and this was Tuesday.  I didn’t have much time.  I went home and had two days of marathon sewing.  I took my finished quilt to Cottonwood on Wednesday afternoon about an hour before closing.  I’m so happy to report I won the prize for that shop.  I got to pick out 25 fat quarters of my choosing.  That was so fun.  I was so exhausted and tired of looking at fabric, I decided to go back on Friday and pick out my prize.  I don’t think I’d ever do this again.  I kept seeing on Facebook each of the quilt shops that I had sewn rows for get winners. I saw my chances dwindling.  It was very stressful.

Without further delay, here’s the finished quilt top and label.  I used the license plates for corner block fillers and designed a label that listed all the shops and locations of each row.

Finished Row by Row Quilt 2015


Row by Row 2015 Label


I’ve asked my quilting friends to stop me if I try to do this again next year.  It was fun, but very stressful.  There are some very fast quilters out there and they all want to win a prize.  It has been fun seeing all the finished quilts and rows from around the state.  I’m hoping to get some from out of the area this time, we’ll see.  We’re planning another Row by Row trip to the Richmond area in a couple of weeks.  There are 4 new shops I’ve never been to.  Can’t wait for that trip.

Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting,





Bible Verse Quilts

I made each of these Bible Verse quilts as gifts, so I had to wait until all three were delivered before I could share them with you.  The first one was made for our pastor and his family who left our area.  I love pairing fun colors with these Bible verse panels.  Here’s quilt #1.  It is the Prayer of St. Francis paired with colorful batik fabrics.

prayer of st francis quilt


Quilt #2 was made for one of our current pastor and his wife.  Our church had a “pounding” for them as they moved into their new home.  For those of you not familiar with a pounding, it is an old tradition where a couple was showered with a pound of things they might need for their pantry.  I decided instead of a pound of something a Bible verse quilt would fit the bill nicely.  This quilt is the “Love” chapter from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13.  Here’s quilt #2.  Yes, the border fabric is the same.  I believe in maximizing my fabric usage!

love is patient quilt

Quilt #3 was made for our missionary family serving in Madagascar.  I had the info that their living room colors were orange and yellow and she picked the verse – Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord”.  I really love the colors.  I tried every combination of batiks I could find in my local quilt shop until I found “The One”.

trust in the Lord quilt

I love making these small panel quilts.  They make great gifts and help me hone my free motion skills and bonding with my Bernina 750.

Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting!



Wow, the time has flown since my daughter graduated from high school.  I still have projects from that time that I haven’t posted yet, so shame on me.  Life has been a little crazy recently.  We just returned from a 8 day vacation to sunny (and yes very hot) Florida.  For our 25th wedding anniversary (June 16th), we decided to take a family trip to Disney World and Universal Studios.  We are big Harry Potter fans so we had to see the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios.  I had two misconceptions – #1 it will be nice weather in Florida in May.  Yikes, it was mid 90’s most of the trip.  #2 – It won’t be as crowded since school-aged children should still be in school.  Wrong again, Disney had tons of little kids too young for school and Universal Studios had tons of school groups.  Lots of crowds and very hot temperatures, but it was still a fun trip.  We walked our feet off.  We did 3 days at Disney and 3 days at Universal Studios without a break in between.  Yes, that was my ambitious scheduling.  Here’s a fun photo of me and the hubby having fun at Disney. Chip and Mel at Disney


At Disney we stayed in a Royal room at the Port Orleans Riverside resort.  That was a great place to stay and we had so much fun.  Here’s a photo of my daughter and her best friend in the princess-themed room.

Abby and Casey at Disney

We moved my daughter home from James Madison University where she completed her freshman year as a music education major just three days before leaving for our vacation.  The boxes are still all over the house.  Not sure where they will go until she moves back in August.  I’m so proud of her…she made the Dean’s List both semesters.  She’s going to be working at a local grocery store as a bakery-deli clerk and taking 7 credit hours at the local community college.

OK, now back to the business of sewing and quilting.  I have a lot of projects to catch you up on.  I had been having trouble with my Bernina 830 and broke down and took it in for an overhaul.  I’m happy to report after replacing a few small parts and a thorough take apart/cleaning my baby is doing very well.  I haven’t put her back on the quilt frame yet, but plan on doing that once the excitement of moving my daughter home from college and vacation wear off.  Can’t remember if I shared this or not, but in November 2014, I became the proud owner of a Bernina 750.  I absolutely love it!  I haven’t found anything it can’t do yet (except the dishes…darn!).  I traded in my work horse Bernina 440 which made me sad, but it was time to move on.

These projects are from last May, so here goes.  I did a Bernina retreat at my local quilt shop, Cottonwood called Sew-A-Palooza.  It was so much fun and we got an embroidery design to make these little in the hoop wristlet bags.  I have made close to if not more than 30 of them.  I used them as gifts for my guests at my daughter’s graduation party last May.  Here are some of the bags.  I finally start making some for myself and have made a bag for every month October through May (yes I really need to get started on my June one since it is coming very fast).  It is fun finding cool fabrics, ribbons, etc. to make these.  I also made two JMU ones for my daughter and her first year college roommate.

Wristlet In the Hoop BagsMore Writslet In the hoop bags Halloween wristlet bag

Last project for this post was a gift for my daughter’s best friend.  She loves to bake and always wears my Girl Scout Cookie apron I made a few years back when she bakes at my house.  I made her a similar one and embroidered her name on it for her graduation gift.  It was such a fun project and she really liked it.  Love that Girl Scout cookie fabric!

Casey apron close upCasey apronUntil next time (and hope it isn’t so long from now), happy sewing & quilting!



Bags, Bags and More Bags

I keep meaning to share another project with you, but life gets in the way.  There has been so much going on during the holidays and having my daughter home from college.  Her college marching band took a New Year’s trip to Rome, Italy so there was a lot of preparation for that in the days leading up to Christmas.  What an experience of a lifetime though.  My only regret is not getting to go with her.  Since I seem to be so slow in sharing, I’m going to combine a few items in this post.  Buckle your seat belts!

First was a purse that I had bought a kit for a few years back.  I kept getting the instructions out and then putting them back.  This year my goal was to sew up a lot of the purse/bag kits that I’ve bought at quilt shows over the years.  The first bag is the Manhattan bag made out of fun watermelon and strawberry fabrics.  This was a great purse to carry in those warm summer months we only dream about now in cold January.

Here are some photos.  Between the panels I did some decorative stitching with variegated thread which was a lot of fun.manhattan bagmanhattan bag 2manhattan bag 3


Next on the list was the “Mondo Bag” which was a fusible square kit.  This bag was really huge and I used half of a jelly roll to make all the squares for the bag.  This bag would make a good weekend or overnight bag.

mondo bag

Next bag kit to finish was this quilter’s tote.  The kit included pre-printed quilt related sayings.  I love this bag and use it to tote my projects and show n’tell to my quilt guild meetings.  Love the sewing theme fabric in this one.

quilters totequilters tote 2quilters tote 3

Last, but not least is another purse kit I bought on a quilt tour.  Love the purple colors of this bag and am using it now for fall and winter.

purple bagpurple bag inside

I’ll try not to go so long between posts next time, until then…

Happy sewing & quilting!


My chapter of our local quilt guild issued a challenge for our Springfest meeting back in May of this year.  I wasn’t going to participate because nothing came to me, but at the last minute (yes a week before the meeting) I got a good idea.  The theme was “Let the Good Times Roll”.  I wanted to incorporate Mardi Gras and something personal.  I came up with “My Favorite Things” and decided that is how I best could “let the good times roll”.  I took photos of many of my favorite things…my husband, my daughter, foods I like, sewing, knitting, quilting, horses and my two kitties plus a few more things and printed them out on fabric paper.  Then I made a collage of them on my background fabric.  It was a lot of fun and I love the purple, gold and green fabrics I found to coordinate.  I just did free motion quilting around the quilt and used ribbon embellishment to accent the embroidery design of the quilt name.  Now I just need to find a good place in my office/studio to hang up this quilt to keep me focused on the good things in life when the irritating and bad things come along.  Here are the photos.

myfavoritethings1"My Favorite Things"


"My Favorite Things Close up"

Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting,