2 Fall-Themed Projects

As busy as I was today, I finished 2 projects for the fall.

Over a year ago I had made this kaleidoscope table runner using Bethany Reynolds Stack N Whack technique. I had Michelle quilt it months ago and today I finally put the binding on it. I now have it on the dining table.

I embroidered these potholders over a week ago. I got them quilted and the binding sewn on this evening. 

I tried a new quilt pattern and will use it more often. I think with practice, I will get the lines straighter. A big benefit is I don't use as much thread. 

Thank you for visiting. Be sure to get the free designer patterns from The Road Home Row Along this week and next. Here is the final line up:

September 29
October 04
October 06
On October 11, visit Seams To Be Sew to see the Show and Tell of projects
the designers have made by combining many of the rows.


BOO Wall Hanging

Halloween is on its way. 
It is our oldest daughter's favorite season. 
And what better gift to give to her as she returns home 
to the West Coast today than a cute wall hanging! 

I sewed it up last evening. It is 8" x 23".
I wanted to use the Deco Foil somewhere, and "BOO" seemed appropriate.
I am getting better each time I try the Deco Foil. 
I finally have the pressing time figured out for the adhesive. 

On the back I sewed corner fast fold triangles for the hanger. This was a trick I learned from Ami Simms (but I can't seem to find it on her website any longer). These were 3" squares, folded diagonally and pressed. I baste them in place before the binding is put on. I then put a small dowel (or in this case, a shortened skewer) in the two corner triangles and am able to hang the piece with one nail in the wall.
I like the fabric on the back.

Do you have a Halloween project in the works? 

A reminder to check out my blog from yesterday listing the last few days of The Road Home Row Along


Fall Table Topper Finished

Two things to share today:
My Island Batik Ambassdaor Project is done.

We were to make a table topper of any size for the Fall season, 
using fabrics from our allotment. 
I chose leftover colors that I associate with Fall in Michigan. 
I had an easy time cutting out the pieces using my Acccuquilt GO! 
Sewing was quick since the pieces aligned accurately. 
The hardest part was deciding how to quilt it. 
I had read a few posts from Christa Watson which gave me a better perspective 
(no pun intended) on how to quilt the foreground and background. 
So here it is on our coffee table and ready for Fall:
 and some close-ups. Please keep in mind, 
I am a confident beginner when quilting on my domestic sewing machine. 

and NEXT 

The Road Home Row Along is nearing its end. 
I want to thank all of the people who stopped by my blog to read about Michigan,
download my pattern 
(which is available until October 31), 
and left such nice comments. 

If you haven't visited all the sites for the free designer patterns, check them out HERE
Below are the links to the final 4 days of free patterns. Make sure to enter the giveaways!

September 27
September 29
October 04
October 06
On October 11, visit Seams To Be Sew to see the Show and Tell of projects
the designers have made by combining many of the rows.

This coming weekend I am going on a quilting retreat at Tustin, MI, again, with The Mitten State Quilters. It is a great group of Michigan quilters and a fun retreat. Looking forward to some Fall weather and many finished projects that I will post when I return. 


My Road Home Quilt Row

I am happy to be able to reveal my row for The Road Home Row Along

What an undertaking! Marian of Seams To Be Sew and Amy of Sew Incredibly Crazy worked for many months organizing and scheduling the designers and then gathering sponsors. 40 designers, from all over the world, creating quilt rows representing HOME to each of them. Thanks and more thanks to both of you. And a big thank you to the many sponsors who have supplied the giveaways for the duration of this Row Along. The giveaways can be found below.

The link to my free row pattern is HERE. Read a little more to learn why I choose these representations for my Road Home.  

I have lived in Michigan my entire life. I was born, raised and attended college on the east side of the state, a very large metropolitan area. I moved to a rural area on the west side of Michigan, about 30 miles from the shores of Lake Michigan, when I began teaching. I have traveled throughout Michigan and have enjoyed making memories of the places I have gone. What I have especially appreciated is the flora and fauna that can be seen around the state. I chose to create appliques that represent some (I had to limit what I chose) of the wildlife I have seen as I travel to and from "home."

My row has appliques of a white-tailed deer, a green darner dragonfly, apple blossoms, a robin and dwarf lake iris--these are just some of the "state symbols" for Michigan. We see deer in our own backyard and are watchful when driving as they can run into or across the roads at any time. (Twice in my driving, I have had cars damaged when a deer jumped in front of me.) 

I live near and travel through The Ridge, the area where all kinds of fruits and vegetables are grown, especially apples (my favorite) so, I included the apple blossom, our state flower. 

Our state bird, the robin, migrates north and announces Spring's arrival as they eat and hop on lawns and build nests. I included the green darner dragonfly because they are found along and near much of Michigan's waterways darting about eating insects. 

The official state wildflower is the dwarf lake iris, which I have seen when traveling during the summer in the Upper Peninsula. It is a small, rare flower, that grows in low wet spots near beaches, not on them. It is "found only on the coastlines of northern Lake Michigan and northern and easter Lake Huron, a small site on the southern shore of Lake Superior, and a few isolated islands of the Great Lakes." 

The state motto is: if you are seeking a pleasant peninsula, look around you. The native Ojibwa people called this area mishigamaa  which means, "large water" or "large lake."The French named it MichiganMichigan is surrounded by 4 of the 5 Great Lakes: Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie. Michigan is two peninsulas; one is shaped like a mitten.  In fact, when we show someone where we live, we point to a place on our hand. 

We can also show the upper and lower peninsulas with both our hands. When I was a kid, the car license plates were green and white and said, "Water Winter Wonderland" on them.

I have learned to appreciate all we have in Michigan and try my best to insure these wondeful flora and fauna are here for future generations. 

Thank you for visiting today. I hope you find a way to incorporate these appliques in one of your next quilting projects. I will respond to comments left (if you leave an email address) as soon as I can. I know there can be many.

Below are the Rafflecopter entries for the giveaways. And below those, the links to the other designers posting today and the following weeks. 


Quilt Projects

I have been working on so many things lately, I have had little time to post.

Tomorrow is my reveal day for The Road Home Row Along. I worked on tidying up my free pattern and the post itself. I am ready for tomorrow. I hope you will be, too. There will be other designers with free patterns and giveaways.

I finished the binding on another 1, 2, 3 Sew Easy quilt on Monday evening. Michelle did the longarm quilting in such short order! This was made with some of the Island Batik Coral Reef fabric collection I had in my IB Box. The colors are splendid, although the photo was taken in the evening.

I am working on some items for consignment.

Our oldest daughter is visiting. She wanted to make some pouches to store their playing cards. I helped work out a pattern. This is a photo of the prototype. She wants a button or snap closure.

Quilting is powerful. It relaxes, relieves anxiety and improves creative thinking. That's what I'm going for, what about you? Happy sewing.


Quilt Backing Technique

Oh, what to do when you need to back a quilt and you don't seem to have enough fabric for the backing? I ran into this today. I made a quilt with my 1,2, 3 Sew Easy pattern using Island Batik Coral Reef fabrics.

I had the 43" x 43" top sewn. I looked for a fabric on my shelves that would work with the batiks for a backing. The only one I found was this colorful floral, but it was 44" wide and I had only 2 yds! My longarm quilter would need an extra 4" on all side in order to quilt it. I could have cut and sewn and pieced it to fit, but Yuck! That just looks sloppy to me. 

A few times in the past, I used a technique with a mathematical formula. John Flynn presented it on Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson many years ago. He explained his technique (and formula) for making a diagonal seamed backing. I believed I would have enough fabric to do this. But, I had forgotten the formula.

I searched "John Flynn quilt backing" and up came a number of links. The first link actually took me to a calculator for this method (HERE) All I had to do was enter the dimensions and the extra fabric for the longarm quilter and I was told how much fabric I needed. I had enough and didn't have to work out an algebra problem! 

The directions for cutting the backing were shown on the site. So this is how I did it. 

I used the entire 2 yards--to be sure I had enough. My hubby is kind enough to let me use the pool table if I have the large cutting mat on it. I layed the fabric on the pool table. I pinned the corners to the tablecover I made for the pool table. I folded the fabric diagonally.

I could have used my scisssors to cut the folded edge, but I decided I would get a straighter cut if I used my ruler and rotary cutter. I cut about 1/16" off the folded edge. 

I had 2 triangles that I moved away from each other like this:

I put the quilt top on it to see if I had enough overhang for the quilter. I had more than enough. 

I was all set. I pinned the cut edges. When I sew the seam, the pins will help keep the bias edges from stretching out of shape. 

I squared up the backing piece and double checked that it was large enough. Yes! It is ready for the quilter!

I found this Signature Purple Ombre varigated thread that looks great with the colors of the top. I will ask the quilter to use this. 

Don't forget today is another day of FREE patterns for The Road Home Row Along. 
Here are the designers posting today. Be sure to visit and enter for the great giveaways.

If you missed any of the prior 3 days of patterns click HERE for the line up.

September 15
bdieges design
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Cloth and Paper Studio
Patti's Patchwork
Seacoast Quilter


The Road Home Row Along Continues

Today is the 3rd posting day for 
I have not been able to start working on any of the free patterns I gathered last week from the first two posts, but I have them saved in a computer file. I will get to them when things settle around here. 

I will be visiting the designers today to download their free patterns. You will want to visit these designer posts and enter the giveaways at each site. 

September 13
Tweety Loves Quilting
Seams To Be Sew
Pine Valley

If you missed last week's posts I have listed them below. You can still get the free patterns, but those giveaways have ended. 

September 6
Allie-Oops Sweet Happy Life
Cynthia's Creating Ark
Kissed Quilts
Renee's Quilting Addiction

September 8
Sew Incredibly Crazy
Just Let Me Quilt
Quilt in Piece
3 Patch Crafts

If you want to learn more about this Row Along, visit Seams To Be Sew.


The Road Home Row Along Day 2

The Row Along designs on September 6 were wonderful. Each a different style and the stories behind the designs really added to their appeal. 

Here is today's line up of designers. 

September 8
Sew Incredibly Crazy
Just Let Me Quilt
Quilt in Piece
3 Patch Crafts

And what do you think of all the great giveaways? Amazing.

For all the details about this Row Along, visit
Seams To Be Sew.


Charm Pack Table Runner Tutorial

I used this technique to make the construction of our guild quilt project easier and quicker.

I have made 3 table runner flimsies from this technique and will go through the steps here. This post is filled with photos to help explain.

You will need

  • 5-inch fabric squares (or a charm pack) of your choice. (Once you see how this technique works, you can change the size of the squares the next go around.) Your chosen runner length will determine how many pieces you need. 
  • Light-weight fusible interfacing 17" wide by your determined runner length. Most interfacing I buy is 17" wide. (The diagonal measurement of a 5-inch square is approximately 7.25 inches. When sewing, you will loose 1" of the diagonal measurement on each square. I found that fusible cut 36" was 31" after sewing. Use 7.25 inches to figure the runner length.)
  • Temporary glue stick
  • Ruler (6" x 24") 
  • Permanent Marker 
  • Large sheet of white paper, or a white or light tabletop (but marker might bleed through interfacing)
  • Iron 

Lay the interfacing on the white paper (or tabletop) with bumps down. Lay the 45 degree line of the ruler along the long edge of the interfacing.

Draw a line along the long edge of the ruler onto the interfacing.

You will have to slide the ruler to draw the line to the opposite edge. Sliding the ruler keeps the interfacing flat.

Then slide the ruler 5 inches in one direction (see thin blue 5" line). Keep the 45 degree line alinged with the edge of the interfacing. The marker line needs to show INSIDE of the 5" line (arrow) to keep the spacing correct.

Continue drawing lines 5 inches apart like this so the lines in this direction fill the length of the interfacing. 

Now align the ruler perpendicular to the lines previously drawn, as shown below. Begin drawing lines 5 inches apart in this direction. The diagonal lines previously drawn should align with 5 inch marks on the ruler. 

This is what it looks like when lines are all drawn. 

Trim the edge so the interfacing squares create a symmetrical pattern. 

Flip the bumpy side of the interfacing UP. Layout the fabric squares on the bumpy side of the interfacing in a pleasing way. I actually changed a few around after I saw them in my camera. 

The edge pieces will have to be cut in half. I used both halves in the table runner. 

Use a temporary glue stick to put a dab of glue under the center of each piece. This holds it in place when transferring it to the ironing board to adhere the fabrics to the interfacing. 

Transfer the entire piece to the ironing board. I carry it on the white paper. Press according to manufacturer's directions. Once fused, the pieces will stay on.


Fold on one line, right sides of fabrics together, sew with a 1/4" seam. 

Sew all the seams that run parallel to the first one sewn. 

Clip the lines that run perpendicular to the seams just sewn. DO NOT clip past the seam line, just up to it. 

The clipped seam will open in opposite directions. 

Press each column in the opposite directions. 

Fold the edge with a clipped seam so the fabrics are right sides together. The clipped seams will go in opposite directions. Sew a 1/4 inch seam (shown with red line). Continue with all the seams.

The table runner flimsy will be finished now. 

The points of the squares are aligned with no pinning, no stretching.  

Finally, trim the little seam points hanging out. Add a border if you want. 
Layer with batting and backing for quilting. 
I made a watercolor quilt with this technique and it has the softest feel. It is not stiff.

I hope this is a technique you will try.