Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

Yesterday, I spent the day at a workshop run by the Merrimack Valley Quilters Guild.  The workshop was led by Timna Tarr. The project was improvisational piecing.

Improvisational piecing can be difficult, even scary for quilters.  We are accustom to precisely measuring and stitching our pieces together. With improvisational piecing, you don’t.  There is no measuring. No precision. It’s just cut and sew.

Timna gave us some piecing suggestions to start with.  Triangles, wonky log-cabin and nine patch blocks, curved piecing and strip piecing.  We made block sections, then arranged and assembled them.

To give the quilt top consistency, we started with 3 fabrics of the same colorway, a light, medium and dark. These fabrics should be solids or read as solids.  Always using a some of these fabrics in each of the blocks, then filling in between the blocks with more of the original fabrics, unifies the piece.

I was able to complete one  and a half quilt tops.  The second one just needs borders.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Timna’s suggested giving yourself a rule as a guide for choosing fabrics. This tip inspired me. The first one I used beige fabrics to start then added the green, then the brown.  The second was blue with orange.  As I was pulling orange scraps, some had bright pink so that color was incorporated.  Now to get them quilted.

Have you ever tried improvisational Piecing? Did you enjoy it?


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I won a Frivol

What’s a Frivol? It’s a precut kit from Moda fabrics to make a wall hanging.

I was at the Merrimack Valley Quilt guild show this weekend.  I usually don’t purchase any of the penny raffle tickets.  But this year, they had 2 Frivols.  So I purchased 2 sheets of tickets and put one sheet of tickets in each of the Frivols bag.  I won the Frivol #5.


Happy Me!


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Friday, Sept. 30: Picture this, you’ve been stopped on the street by the photographer of Humans of New York, and he asks, “What advice would you give to a large group of people?” Share a picture of yourself along with the advice.

Advice? I’m not sure.  I would have to say, don’t be afraid to try something new.  If I had, I wouldn’t be blogging.  I was never really fond of writing when I was in school.  This month has been tough, writing something for every day of the month.  I’m glad I did it.  I’m glad it’s

If I had not tried quilting, I would not have grown as a quilter and a sewer.

If I had not tried hiking, I would have never hiked the mountains of NH.

If I had not gotten that cute Brittany puppy, I would have never found the love for dogs I now have.

If I had not tried snowmobiling, I would have never gone to snowmobiling in Yellowstone.

If I had not joined a local quilt guild, I would not have the friends who understand my need for fabric.

Now there are things I don’t think I would ever do.  I don’t see myself ever ski diving, bungee jumping, or scuba diving.  But I will continue to try new things.

What new something have you tried lately?


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5 Blogs I Follow


Thursday, Sept. 29: Your Fab Five. Share your favorite bloggers/besties and tell us what you love about them! Share a link and give a shout out.

Abby Glassenberg blog, While She Naps, is one of the first blogs I started following. She had great tips on blogging and craft blogs. She is one of the founders of the Craft Industry Alliance.

Stephanie Woodson’s blog, Swoodsonsays, is a site for instilling creativity. She has a Try Something New Every Month challenge that I am participating in. It got me knitting again.

Carissa Knits is a knitting and refashioning blog. I love the things Carissa comes up with.  She is a very creative refashioner.

Confessions of a Refashionista is presently on hiatus.  She has made an international move.  But she has many tutorials you can view on her refashioning.   Hopefully, she will be back soon.

I have always loved Wil Wheaton ever since I saw him on Star Trek, The Next Generation.  He is very candid about his struggles with depression and anxiety.

Who else should I follow? Do you have any recommendations?


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Hi! I’m Carol, Cathy’s hiking buddy and guest blogger for the day.


Carol & Cathy on Mt Garfield.

Everybody needs a friend who encourages and supports you in your endeavors. Cathy is that friend. We first met at a quilt guild meeting where she got together a small group of people to meet monthly to work on a mystery quilt. In the conversations at these get-togethers she discovered that I like to hike and Cathy immediately inquired if that was something she and her dogs could do too. That was the start of our great adventure.

We started out doing local walks then graduated to hills and small mountains. Then Cathy discovered the 4000 footer group and things started to change. There are 48 mountains in NH that are over 4000 feet high and she decided we could climb them all. Our first was Mt Tecumseh at only 4003 ft, but the quest was on.


Sport & Maggie on Mt Tecumseh

Now, I am a person who likes being on mountains, but I don’t like drop-offs. I scare easily. Many of these mountains have trails that are challenging and some are downright scary. Cathy is much more adventurous and daring. Thanks to her encouragement, I have climbed trails that I had never thought possible and been places that I had only dreamed about. Cathy not only encourages me, she stretches my limits which now seem endless. I hope all of you are as fortunate to have such a friend.


Carol standing back from the ledges on Whiteface Mt.

Note from Cathy:  If if were not for our friendship, I would have never even been on a mountain hike. Carol has taught me everything I know about hiking.

Do you have a friend like this?

C & C

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Sunday, Sept. 25: Review something! A place, a book, a service, a product. Anything at all!

A few years ago, while taking a class given by Priscilla Bianchi at a major quilt show, I realized I forgot my cutting mat. I went out to the show floor to shop for a mat. I couldn’t believe the only vendor selling mats was Martelli. They are not cheap. Oh well, I needed one for class.  So I purchased the turntable mat.  I figured, I didn’t have a turntable mat and it would come in handy.martelli-cutting-mat

When I made my first pass on this mat I was amazed.  I know, I know, it’s just a mat.  But cutting on this mat is so smooth.  It has a completely different feel than any of the other mat’s I own. I have at least one mat made by most of the other manufacturers. The Martelli has an almost cushiony feel.

The turntable it very stable because it’s just a bit smaller than the actual mat. This keeps it from tipping.  The only problem I have is I keep forgetting I have it.  I’ll be in the middle of cutting something, where a turntable would make a different, and realize I should have used it.

Martelli has a variety of cutting solutions.  I’m always afraid of stopping at their booth at shows because I know I will probably buy something.

Note: Some of the links are affiliate links to amazon so you can purchase the products if you so choose.  I have not been asked by Martelli to promote their products.  This post was prompted by the Blog-tember challenge of the day.

Oh, and by the way, the class was great. It was on working with stripes.  I still haven’t completed the quilt I started that day.  I’ll have to finish it and post it soon.

Have you tried any of the Martelli products?  How did you like them?


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Tuesday, Sept. 20: Something you wish more people knew or believed.

It’s not difficult to be nice.  Something as simple as holding a door can make someone’s day.  We are all busy going through life, taking time do just be nice, can brighten your day as much as those around you.

I love the commercial, I believe it’s for insurance, where one person sees another doing something nice. It then inspires them to do something nice.  In my opinion, it takes a lot less effort to be nice than to be rude.

Did you do something nice for someone today? Tell me about it.



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