Thread Talk From My Sewing Machine #70


Happy Friday, Friends!  I feel like this week has gone by so quickly.  I promised you I would share with you a secret or two about my way of machine quilting earlier this week based on my recently completed Thread Journey quilt. Click here if you would like to see more pictures of the quilted finished product.


So, you know how sometimes chefs keep things simple by using simple ingredients in their cooking, but they learn to use those ingredients well?  My quilting philosophy is kind of like that too.  I generally do not use more than three quilting elements within a section when I quilt.  Hopefully you will see what I mean by the pictures I am showing you…

In the quilt center – feathers + pebbles for background (2 elements):



… and very occasionally, a bean sprout or two (so 2 1/2 elements) – you can see the bean sprouts sticking out amongst the pebbles in the top portion of the picture below.


Next, we have feathers + pebbles + sprouts in the Ohio Star inner border (3 elements):



Gray Sashing: feathers + pebbles (2 elements):



Outer border: feathers (with occasional variations of sprout or pebbled spines) + echoing (2 elements):




I keep my motifs simple and few in dense quilting because:

#1.  It is easier for the viewers to concentrate on certain elements of the quilting, then a whole bunch of motifs.

#2.  It affords me the opportunity to keep quilting the same thing, and thus able to work in the practice I need to master different motifs.  I don’t ever do practice pieces – because I always practice better on the real deal.

#3.  When a large expanse of quilting area is limited to 2-3 motifs, that also allows me to slip in trying out new ideas without being too noticeable.  That way, I can decide whether I like those new motifs or not. :)  There are quite a few moments of trying out new things in Thread Journey that I can’t even tell existed because how the major motifs I have selected have dominated the quilting area.

So basically,  I have quilted the entire Thread Journey quilt with feathers, echoing and pebbles, and nothing else that’s fancy. :)  See what I mean? Keep it simple, and use the simple to your advantage!!

I hope my sharing has helped you… it’s not just using the simple motifs, but rather it is a matter of using the simple well.

Have a great weekend – till next time!

Maribel FQ Bundle Winner!

Hello Friends, thank you for your kind words on my Thread Journey quilt!  I will be sharing a couple of secrets on quilting that quilt tomorrow.  For now, I want to also thank you for playing along in the Windham Fabrics’ Maribel giveaway, and we have a winner!  #47 — Patty H!  Congrats – an email was sent to you asking for your shipping information. :)


Incidentally, you may now purchase patterns and kits of my Maribel designs from Craft of Quilting.

Click here for Smokey and Friends Kit.

Click here for just the pattern.


image source: Craft of Quilting

Click here for Our Block Kit.

Click here for the pattern only.

High Res_Design 2b_71.5 x 71.5

It’s been fun for me to read your comments.  So keep them coming.  That’s all for now.  I have to tend to quite a few urgent things for Quilt Market next month.  I just booked my ticket too!  Hope to see some of you there. :)

Thread Journey: Done!!!


Friends, my Aurifil Thread Journey quilt is finished!!!!  I shall again let the pictures do most of the talking today. First we had the un-quilted, but constructed many week ago…


After about 52 hours of just quilting alone at the machine, we have the finished product!







I quilted the entire quilt with colors from my Aurifil’s Subtle Strings collection.  You may read more about the collection here, and exactly why those shades are chosen.  You may also order the thread collection from heresubtle1-1


And you will see how the Subtle Strings colors meet in the following close-up pictures.








And here is a quick look at what the back looks like.


That’s it for my Thread Journey 2.0!  It’s been such a fun journey for me being able to quilt to my little heart’s content on this one.  You may find the instructions on how to construct the quilt, as well as quilting suggestions here.

Come back tomorrow for the announcement of the giveaway winner of Windham’s Maribel FQ bundle.  Have a lovely rest of your week!

Final Post: Quilting Treasures Harmony Mystery Summer Sew-Along Quilt

… Except it’s not a mystery any longer! :)  Friends, it’s been so fun sewing along with  this past summer!!  I hope for those who have followed this sew-along program at a quilt shop, you have made great friends…. like this group from Nimble Thimble Quilt Shop in California!  Remember to support your local quilt shops whenever possible! Linda noted, “Our group so enjoyed not only the quilt, but the experience of meeting once a week for coffee/donuts and a really good chat. It is especially fulfilling when a group clicks and you can appreciate the old fashioned companionship that is synonymous with quilting.”  I was told this group of ladies had a dinner together for the finishing portion of the quilt – how absolutely SWEET! [By the way, feel free to contact Nimble Thimble and Rossville Quilts (Indiana) for kits — you can STILL make this quilt! :o)]


Looking back, we started with a jelly roll back in July…

Harmony Mystery





After seam upon seam, the mystery became a reality…


Thank you to some of you who sent in pictures of your completed quilt top to enter the Completion Celebration Giveaway!!! Well done, EVERYONE!  Notice some of the creative ways you can use up the scraps.  You can certainly sew up four-patch blocks for a smaller quilt or matching pillows!

From Debra,


From Elizabeth,


From Joyce,


From Judy,


From Linda,


From Marian,


From Michelle,


From Paula,


From Suzi,


And I am happy to announce the winner of the Completion Celebration Giveaway… it is DEBRA (selected by Random Generator).  Congratulations to Debra – an email is sent asking for your mailing address.  Thank you all, for playing along!!!


And here is MY own quilt — quilted and bound!!!


In so many ways, I feel like my own life is a mystery quilt in progress with God being the quilt designer.  I am confident in the end the quilt will be completed (Philippians 1:6), and all I can do is to follow each and every step the Great Designer has laid out for me — day by day, moment by moment.

THANK YOU all, for a fun sewing summer.  Maybe (just maybe), we will meet again in another mystery sew-along in the future! :)

Happy Monday, and a GIVEAWAY!

Happy Monday, Friends.  I hope you are well.  I am still adjusting to my new normal…. and working lots!  If I have been scarce, please forgive me – it’s entirely me, and not you!

I am really excited about Windham’s Maribel fabrics shipping to shops!!!  Click here to view the fabrics.

I designed two quilts patterns using this line that are available for sale (hopefully) at your local quilt shop.  If not, you might ask them to contact Windham for details.  Alternatively, you may contact The Patchwork Co to purchase the patterns.

Our Block

High Res_Design 2b_71.5 x 71.5

Smokey & Friends (in honor of Windham’s mascot Smokey the Cat).  Click here if you haven’t read about Smokey being Miss Baby’s “pet by proxy”. :o)

High Res_1b_56 x 64_lap

Here are the blocks I have made for the quilt — it will be a present for Miss Baby.


Giveaway:  To celebrate the launch, Windham Fabrics has generously sponsored another giveaway of a FQ bundle of Maribel fabrics to a US address!  Leave a comment on this thread between now and next Tuesday and answer the question: cat, dog, or neither.  Winner will be announced next week!


Thanks for playing along.  I hope you have a lovely week!!!  Hugs to you all.

Aurifil Thread Journey: Wrapping up – almost!

Happy Thursday, Friends!  To be honest, I am not ready for this week to end because I have quite a few things I would like to check off my list before the weekend is upon us… be that as it may, Aurifil’s blog (click here) is updated with another Thread Journey post!  You will see my notes on the following pictures…




My daughter’s violin teacher always admonishes her to not play sloppy — and I have challenged myself to not quilt sloppy on my Thread Journey quilt.  I have learned much through making this quilt…. it’s been therapeutic in many ways!  Anyway, click here to read up on Thread Journey’s latest!  If you have followed along the journey, you know I have sunk A LOT of thread into it… :)


Thank you for stopping by.  I will leave you with a Miss Baby quote when she was a little miffed from not getting any sympathy from me regarding a gnat that’s been flying around… (what I can say, I grew up in the tropics!).

Miss B:  When I have a husband and kids, I am going to have 14 fly swatters lying about!!!

Gearing up for Quilting Treasures Harmony COMPLETED Mystery Quilt Giveaway!


Hello Friends, here it is September 7th. As mentioned in our last installment of the Harmony Mystery Summer Sew-Along Quilt, you have till September 9th to email me a picture of your completed Quilting Treasures Harmony Quilt to be entered into the giveaway to celebrate YOU completing the quilt top!  Click here to read the last installment if you had missed it.


#1.  This giveaway is open to participating quilters who complete the quilt top of this Summer Mystery Quilt Along.

#2.  The winning prize (only one winner to US address) includes 2 FQ Bundles and 1 FQ Box from Quilting Treasures, my two books, the latest Fons and Porter Quilting Quickly magazine, a throw sized Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting (my favorite!) and some threads.

And here are all the goodies going to the lucky winner: FABRICS, fabrics AND fabrics, my two books, threads, the latest issue of Fons and Porter’s Quilting Quickly, and a throw-sized Hobbs silk batting (my favorite)!


I know, I know… you want to take a better look at the fabrics.  :)  Here they are… there are a total of 106 FQ’s — 36 Harmony Bright FQ’s, 20 Leola and 50 Temptations.  The Leolo and Temptations are what I had used to make the cover quilt of my Creative New Quilts & Projects book!



A huge shout-out to Quilting Treasures for their generosity.  If you were one of the quilters who were missing the Harmony Strips Set strips, you experienced their generosity.  SO, come back on Sept 14th for our giveaway reveal post, and the final post on our Mystery Quilt.  We will have a bit of fun strolling down the memory lane, and I will have a couple of ideas for you to use up the scraps if you haven’t already used them in creative ways! Till then, my friends…. meanwhile, send me pictures of your completed quilt top!  You have two more days.

p.s.  Meanwhile, it doesn’t mean you can’t make the quilt.  You absolutely can despite possibly not being entered in the giveaway.  Rossville Quilts has the kits here.

Announcements & Catching Up

Hello Friends,  I hope you have been well.  We are settled back in our school routine.  Miss Baby is really bummed out she only has a limited amount of time after school before she heads to bed at 7:45pm!  And between the time she gets home from school and 7:45pm, she has to squeeze in snack, dinner, bath, homework from school, homework from Mom, music practices etc.  “But what about my stitching, my paper art, my reading, my marble game, my daydreaming…. my…..?”  Can you tell we sort of had a dose of rude awakening at our house?! :o)  Don’t worry, the rude awakening was tempered by a big ol’ Back to School cake – our family’s back to school tradition! :)  Cake definitely sweetens the deal of having to go back to school!



Before I forget, please head on to Sew in Love {with Fabric} and find out about the cover I made for my day planner using Lemon Squeezy fabrics from Benartex.  There is a giveaway over there for some Lemon Squeezy fabrics!!!  Chance to enter ends tonight at 11:59EST.




Meanwhile, I am SOOOO happy to receive pictures of your finished Quilting Treasures Harmony Summer Mystery Sew-Along quilt tops!  Some of you are being very creative in customizing your quilt with the leftover fabrics!  I was told I will receive by the end of this week a total of 3 FQ bundles from Quilting Treasures to go as part of the giveaway prizes.  As soon as I receive them, I will take a picture of the final giveaway prize!!! :)

Keep the pictures coming.  You have till Sept 9th to send me a picture of your completed quilt top.  My quilt is now quilted by my dear friend Darlene of Sew Graceful Quilting, and now I just have to bind it!!!  :)  Click here if you are unclear about the details of this giveaway.



And here is a sneaky peek of one of the upcoming quilts… made with Windham’s Atlas fabrics.


That’s all for now, Friends.  I shall check in with you tomorrow.  Have a lovely rest of your week!

Aurifil Thread Journey Quilt Along – Quilting Still!


Happy Thursday, Friends!  I honestly don’t know where this week has gone.  But here we are, looking at another weekend! :)

I received the following picture from Jody showing her quilting in her Thread Journey quilt center.  I think it’s absolutely beautiful.  Jody is quilting her quilt with a wool batt and loving it — and you can see how her feathers poof up!!!


And the newest post on the Journey is up on Aurifil’s blog today.  Check out how I quilted the next border by clicking here – shown with schematics, and additional options for quilting on borders that you can use in any quilt.



That’s all for now, Friends!  I hope you have a lovely rest of your day.

FREE PATTERNS & KITS using Windham’s Rosewater …. and GIVEAWAY!

Hello Friends, end of summer is imminent at our end.  Miss Baby starts school again this Thursday.  She told me yesterday she couldn’t believe she has gone through “three hard years of schooling” already!  Hard years of schooling indeed – I have to confess I rolled my eyes above her head! :o)  I have had fun having Miss Baby home this summer. We have had lots of reading, stitching, learning, lounging, daydreaming and Paddington Bear audio books!


There’s always lots going on over here besides school starting — all will be shared in due time!  For today, I have a few free-to-use designs to share with you using Windham’s Rosewater fabric line!  I know many of you love florals — and these florals are definitely floral-icious!

Click here to view the fabrics.


#1.  Medallion Star:

Download pattern instructions here.

Purchase quilt kits for a limited time here and here.

High Res_Design 2f_61 x 76

#2. Birds and Stars:  Oh yes, we’ve got to somehow incorporate the Sawtooth Star blocks. :o)

Download pattern instructions here.

High Res_Design 5b_63.5 x 75.5

#3.  Maple Leaf Chain

Download pattern instructions here.

Purchase quilt kits (no border) for a limited time here.

High Res_Design 4b_66.5 x 86.5

High Res_Design 4c_56 x 76

Windham is very generously sponsoring a giveaway of a Rosewater FQ Bundle to a US address! Leave a comment between now and next Tuesday (August 30th), and tell me what quilts or projects you have completed this summer to be entered in the giveaway. Winner will be on August 31st.  The more details about your projects the better — because I am nosy!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a lovely rest of your week.


My 2016 Line-up

Note:  You may click here for the exhaustive list of my published work.

Editorial Features:

American Patchwork & Quilting 2016 Calendar: In Your Corner

Australian Quilters Companion (Issue 79): Little House on the Hill

Australian Quilters Companion (Issue 80): My Heart At Home

Fons and Porter Love of Quilting (March/April 2016): Constellation of Stars

Fons and Porter Love of Quilting (September/October 2016): Highland Stars

Fons and Porter Easy Quilts (Summer 2016): Estelle

Fons and Porter Easy Quilts (Fall 2016): Rainbow

Fons and Porter Scrap Quilts (Summer 2016): Pinwheel Parade

McCall’s Quick Quilts (December 2015/January 2016): Rows of Roses

McCall’s Quick Quilts (February/March 2016): Early Birds

McCall’s Quilting (January/February 2016): Sherbet Stars

Quiltmaker (May/June 2016): Lavender Love

Quiltmaker (July/August 2016): Dawnstar

Quilters Newsletter (April/May 2016): Tartan Links

Quilts and More (Summer 2016): Tutu Cute


Free-to-use Designs:

January: Heads Up Crib Quilt & Playmat (Quilting Treasures)

January: Big Love using Go Big or Go Home (Windham Fabrics)

January: Star Dust using Brittany (Benartex)

January: Wish You Were Here (Hoffman Fabrics)

January: Farfalle using Whisper (Windham Fabrics)

January: Tulips Quilt using Flower Pedals (Windham Fabrics)

Quilting Treasures “Harmony” Summer Mystery Sew-Along / Part 6

BEFORE WE GET STARTED, YOU WILL WANT TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S INSTRUCTIONS IN PDF FORMAT TO FOLLOW ALONG HERE. [Please note that this file is the MOST updated version! Always check the postings on this site for the most updated versions of instructions.]  Instructions will be available on this site through Oct 31, 2016.


If you are new joining in, and would like to access previous posts, click:

HERE for introductory details

HERE for Installment #1

HERE for Installment #2

HERE for Installment #3

HERE for Installment #4

HERE for Installment #5

mystery harmony

Hello Friends, this is it!  Today is the day!!!  We will have our big reveal today, and the quilt will be a mystery quilt NO MORE!

Harmony Mystery

Are you ready?!

Mystery Reveal

I hope you have enjoyed making all the blocks.  I received this really sweet note about our Mystery Quilt Along last week that really made me smile.  And the smile stayed with me all day. :)  Thank you so much to the anonymous quilter who took the time to leave the sweet comment!

“I’m creating the Harmony mystery quilt. I got so excited to make trees today. I loved it so much that I made them all today. I also loved making the stars. I’m new to quilting so I’m learning so much and can hardly wait for a new lesson.”

And today, we will be sewing the blocks together into rows, and then rows into quilt center and then outer border, as shown below.  NOW, you may choose to play with the layout as you wish if you would like to have a different final look to your quilt —  as long as you sew together 5 rows of 4 blocks.

Mystery Reveal Schematic

I hope you liked what you saw.  Now I can share with you the back story behind the design.  The basic premise of the Quilt Along is to just make a fun quilt using very basic pieced units in quilting.  And since it was summer, I thought it would be fun to make a few units a week.  And if kept up, quilters will end up with a nice sized throw quilt, finishing at 46″ x 65″.  The colors make the quilt useable all year round.  And once completed, you will have a quilt top ready to be quilted to be used later this year, or given as a gift for Christmas!

I want to thank you again for sewing along with me!  It’s been soooo fun for me.  So curious mind wants to know if you would like to do another mystery sew-along, perhaps in Spring 2017!

Thanks SO much for being my sewing friend these last few weeks.  I have liked hearing from many of you!  Have a lovely rest of your Saturday.



#1.  This giveaway is open to participating quilters who complete the quilt top of this Summer Mystery Quilt Along.

#2.  The winning prize (only one winner) includes 3 FQ Bundles from Quilting Treasures – 2 bundles are what were used to make the cover quilt of my “Creative Quilt & Projects using Precuts or Stash” book, a copy of my “Precuts” book, a package of Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting and some threads.



#3.  To enter, you MUST complete your quilt top.  Please take a picture of your completed quilt top, and email to me by September 9th.  I will then post pictures of all your computed quilt tops, and announce the winner on September 14th.  I hope you will all play along!


Here is a picture of my finished quilt top — I should have the quilt quilted and bound by the time I showcase your quilts on September 14th!


Thread Journey Part 5 — We are still quilting!


Hello Friends, we are still quilting!  I will again let the pictures tell the story today.  So far, I have logged 30 hours quilting this quilt… sounds crazy, doesn’t it? :)









These colors from my Subtle Strings collection were used to quilt the Ohio Star border.  Click here to read more about Subtle Strings.


Click here to find out how to quilt the motifs I have quilted on the Ohio Star border, as well as other options you could try to quilt your own Thread Journey Quilt!

That’s all for now – another busy day over here.  I’ve got to run for now!  Take care, and have a lovely rest of your day. Hugs to you all!

p.s.  By the way, did you know today is National Mail Order Catalog Day?!  Perfect time to order something from your favorite quilting catalog!!! :o)