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Posts tagged ‘Bernina 440’

Let’s Play Catch Up – It Has Been Way Too Long

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…




Even More Bright Stars Quilts 2014

Wow, I just realize it has been a long time since I’ve shared with you all.  May in fact.  I guess having a daughter about to graduate from high school takes priority.  We made it through graduation, summer and moving her to college.  That was the absolute hardest thing I have ever done.  Although we miss her terribly, she is flourishing and doing great on her own.  We are so very proud of her.  She is a member of the marching band at James Madison University–the Marching Royal Dukes.  We were able to see her perform for the first time last weekend at Family Weekend.  So proud.

"abby mrd photo"

That really isn’t my purpose for posting tonight, but I had to be a proud mom for a few minutes.  I have a huge list of projects to share with you, and hope I can get them posted in the near future.  Our quilt guild participates in Bright Star Quilt projects for a local preschool program.   It is so much fun making these quilts for the little ones who appreciate them so much.  Here are this year’s donations that I made.

"Bright Stars Quilt 1 2014""Bright Stars Quilt 2 2014"

Here are some close ups of the quilting.

"Bright Stars Quilt 1 Close Up""Bright Stars Quilt 2 Close Up"

Sorry this is short.  Just trying to get back into things.  I did free motion quilting on both of these, and played with some new designs I’ve learned in various forums and Craftsy.com classes.  Lots of things to come including a hallenge quilt from my guild, “Let the Good Times Roll”,  several more installments on my “bag of the month” project and some gifts I’ve made.  I have two friends having babies in the Winter, so will have those two quilts to share.  Also, I won some raffle blocks at our guild’s Springfest meeting and finally put them together last week.  Lots of fun projects.

Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting,


Happy Retirement Quilt

I had the opportunity to make another memory quilt to honor a friend’s retirement.  Our good friend and choir director retired after many years of service this past September.  I found some fun photos of her ministry at our church and printed them on fabric for the blocks.  I embroidered the center block and the quilt label.  I found some interesting music fabric.  Her favorite color is yellow, but gold was as close as I got.  I digitized our church logo for the center square.  I hope she will enjoy it and remember us fondly in her retirement.

"Retirement Quilt"

Close up of one of the blocks when we sang at our church’s talent show a few years back.  Andrews Sisters watch out….”Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” has never been sung like this!

"Retirement Quilt Block Close Up"

I have a quilt loaded on my Bernina Quilt Frame.  Tomorrow the 830 will make the journey down the stairs and get loaded up.  I hope all goes well.  The machine has been cleaned by me and oiled.  I’m hoping for the best.  I do need to purchase some thread for the back of the quilt.  Still trying to find that perfect thread that works well with the 830 and the quilt frame.  Hope all goes well.  I will try and keep you posted as to how things go.

Tomorrow I plan on posting my last experience from this past fall with the quilt frame which was not such a good experience.  Learned a lot and realized my 830 really needed to be serviced before trying again.

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting,


Candy Quilts Galore

OK, so I just realized (OK maybe I’ve known for a while), I’m a candy fabric-aholic.  Yep, that’s me.  I love candy fabric of all types.  It started when I first started quilting and I bought a kit to make a bubble gum machine quilt.  It morphed from the original quite a bit, but I finally finished this quilt in 2013.  It hangs above my computer in my home office.  The bright colors and candy make me smile (and want to snack). Here’s Bubble Gum Machine Madness.

"Bubble Gum Machine Madness Quilt"

My dearest quilting friend moved to the West coast quite a few years back.  She sent me a ton of 5″ squares of what else…candy fabric…you guessed it!  I finally got things together and made this quilt top.  I want to get it finished and find another place here in my office to hang it.  It was such fun to make and my daughter helped me layout all the blocks.  The sashing and outer borders are made from this cute candy kiss fabric I found at my local quilt shop, Cottonwood, in Charlottesville, VA.  Love this quilt!

"Candy Kisses Quilt"

My chapter of our local quilt guild started a block exchange this year.  We’ve had a lot of fun since August 2013 making the blocks that each member has requested.  I never thought it would be this much fun.  I am going to share all the blocks I’ve made for others in another post.  This is relevant to this post, because my exchange block month was December and guess what I had everybody make?  You guessed it.  I had been collecting Christmas candy fabric, so I gave everybody a nice size piece of Christmas candy fabric.  My only requirement was a 9″ finished block with the candy fabric being the primary focus.  Wow, I got some amazing blocks.  I’m still waiting on a couple, so once I get them they will get a post all to themselves.  I have some ideas for sashing and putting it all together, but don’t want to do that until I have all the blocks.  Can’t wait to share them with you.  We have some extremely talented ladies in our guild.

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting,



T-Shirt Quilt Number 2

Ok, so I’m a bit behind in letting you all know what’s been up with my sewing projects.  Time sure does get away from you.  I thought for sure when school was out things would settle down, but I was completely mistaken in that notion.  So to make up for lost time, here goes.  Back in May, I finished my second t-shirt quilt project with Chautauqua shirts from the 1990’s.  This was a completely different project than the first t-shirt quilt.  I found a pattern at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show this past February that I really liked.  It was so different from the other t-shirt patterns I’d seen.  It is “Quilted to a “T” by Little Black Dog Quilt Co.  I had to adapt several things to make it work for the set of shirts I had.  I had to make all the dimensions of the quilt larger so it ended up being another large quilt.  My goal was to finish it to give to my mom on Mother’s Day, and I just made that goal.  I was doing the last hand sewing on Friday night before we left on Saturday.

My home church has a Spring Women’s Banquet and this year’s theme was quilting.  I thought what better time to give the quilt to my mom.  She was already displaying the t-shirt quilt I made last year, so I thought its sister quilt would make a good addition.  The decor for this banquet was exquisite.  There were all sorts of quilts and some of them served as table cloths for the banquet tables (under heavy plastic of course).  I think my mom liked this new t-shirt quilt more than the last one.  I got to bring last year’s t-shirt quilt home to display and she kept the new one.

My favorite part of this t-shirt quilt pattern was the wonky settings of the t-shirt blocks.  The t-shirt preparation and block sewing was very similar to the first quilt I made.  I used 1/4″ Steam a Seam 2 to finish the borders on the blocks which would be appliqued to the main base of the quilt.  I learned several valuable lessons which I’ll share with you in case you ever make a project like this.  First I would take the fabric quilt base and tape it down to a table like I would when I baste the quilt.  Since I didn’t do that, the background had ripples in it from time to time.  Also instead of pinning the blocks to the “base”, I would use basting spray or something more permanent.  When I was quilting the project, some of the pins would come loose and the blocks would have to be pinned down again and some had ripples.  Also, I got a lot of pin sticks in my fingers.  I’d like to avoid that next time.  You really can’t see when looking at the finished quilt, but the quilter always knows.

Here’s the finished quilt.  It took me a while to find the fabrics I wanted to use, then decide which order I wanted them in.

"T-Shirt Quilt 2"

Here’s a close up of a couple of the blocks.

"T-Shirt Quilt 2 Close Up"

And last, here’s a photo of the sister t-shirt quilts on display at the banquet.

"Twin T-Shirt Quilts"

Here’s a teaser of things to come.  I have the January – July blocks finished for the 2013 Craftsy.com block of the month quilt.  I made a small purse from a kit I bought at a show last year, a baby quilt for a friend who is having a baby and one of the quilts I shared with you all a while back that needed to be finished.  I did free-motion quilting on my Bernina 440.  My 830 came back from the shop and seems to be OK, but it still doesn’t like BSR quilting.  The thread kept breaking.  I went back to my old standby 440.  I am hoping the two weeks my daughter has band camp this summer, to mount the 830 on the Bernina Quilt frame and tackle my huge box of pieced tops.  I hope that will happen.  If not, there’s always next time right?

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting!


My First Prayer Quilt

This was one of the most meaningful projects I’ve done in a long time.  I really loved how the quilt came out.  A dear friend at our church was diagnosed with cancer and we wanted to make a prayer quilt for her.  I browsed through Pinterest (have I said recently how much I LOVE Pinterest) for ideas.  Most of the prayer quilts used a basic square pattern.  The idea behind a prayer quilt is that ribbons or yarn or thread are attached to the blocks and when someone says a prayer for the quilt owner, they tie a knot in one of the ribbons.  I thought charm squares would be great for this project.  I probably have at least 20 charm square packs (love them, can’t resist buying them).  I had our choir director help me pick out which ones to use based on the recipients color likes.  The squares chosen were so wonderful…I love the colors.

Block Party Studios had the perfect printed fabric panel – Prayer Shawl Fabric Panel.  The verses were absolutely perfect for the quilt.  I gave the squares to my talented daughter and she came up with the perfect layout.  Our church was studying the book “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson which encourages you to pray circles around your needs.  She took the verses from the prayer shawl panel and made a large circle out of them…brilliant…why didn’t I think of that.

I just did ditch quilting to secure the blocks.  Many prayer quilts just rely on the yarn or ribbon to tie the quilt, but I wanted a little more stability.  It was an enjoyable project, but I needed to do it in a couple days so that was a little stressful.

Here’s the finished quilt.

"Prayer Quilt"

And here’s a photo with the ribbons.  A special thanks to a church friend and fellow choir member to sewed on all the ribbons.  I was so thankful she did that!!!

"Prayer Quilt with Ribbons"

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting,


Prom 2013 – The Dress

Last fall my daughter designed her own prom dress based on a cute violin purse my mother-in-law gave her.  We were in a fabric store and she found the perfect fabric.  That was months ago.  Prom was last night, so I’m allowed to post her story.  She started with a basic strapless bodice pattern and full gathered skirt.  I helped a little but she did most of the work.  It was her creation.  She made a prototype out of basic satin fabric that was about the same weight and feel of her fabric.  Since the test garment fit, she cut out the “real” dress.  After finishing the red strapless part of the dress and trying to get the perfect fit to the bodice, we made the black tulle over skirt and the black lace sash.  I think the dress turned out beautifully.  Here’s the dress on the form.

"Finished Prom Dress"

Then here’s my grown up daughter going to her first prom in a dress she designed and made.

"The Big Night"

Here’s the handsome couple.  Oh, I remember when she was little and I made us dresses to match.  The time sure does fly.  Wow, I couldn’t walk or drive in those shoes.  She rocks!

"Prom Night 2013"

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting,