A Year of Hope – part 4

I am enjoying the process of making these small quilt squares and trying new techniques.

Block #10 – Pink Balloons – I liked the look of the building in this card with the balloons.  So I tried out a new quilting design from Leah Day’s book – 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs.  First I used the “Cubing” design #47 because it looked like a brick wall on gray fabric.  But the gray color was not “upbeat” enough so I switched to a light purple/pink background and quilted the square again.  I tried a couple of window designs before the final design. I added a sheer fabric over the window to give the illusion of glass.  I used decorative stitches on the window frame and window sill (stitch # 750 and #637) to add some details.  I hand stitched on the yarn “strings” before fusing the balloons to the piece.  Using free motion quilting, I added a spiral design to the balloons.

Block #11 Curved Weaving – I have done fabric weaving before using straight strips of fabric so curved weaving was new to me.   I followed the directions for weaving fabric in the book ” Fabric Embellishing – The Basics & Beyond”.  The pictures and directions were easy to follow. The fabric has fusible web on the back so you can iron the fabric in place after the weaving.  I will definitely use this technique in the future.  I used a small satin stitch to stitch along the weaving lines.  Using free motion quilting, I quilted the fused leaves and branches and other details in the background – circles and another branch with leaves.




Block #12 Tree with hearts: I received this cute card with a teal tree with hearts instead of leaves. I found a package of different size heart buttons and small multi-colored buttons at a craft store.  After quilting the background, I fused on the teal tree and free motion quilted the tree to the background.  Then I started stitching on buttons.  I think I got carried away because I stitched on 84 buttons.  LOL.  Then I trimmed down the block.  I decided to baste the edges of the block on the machine.  Oops.  Some of the buttons were now too close to the edge.  So I have to remove about 15 buttons and re-stitch them further away from the edge.  The block that keeps on giving.


Keep having fun sewing and quilting.   Donna


Quilts for Hurricane victims in NC

Hurricane Florence Has Gone, but Challenges for the Carolinas Have Just Begun

We live in the Wilmington, NC area and have personally seen and have friends that were devastated by Hurricane Florence.   While it is no longer in the national news, people are still struggling in NC.    Housing is a huge issue.  More than 600,000 homes received some type of wind or water damage, and 2,600 commercial buildings were submerged in at least one foot of water.   Some families are living in small tents on their property.   American Red Cross said more than 200 people are still living in Red Cross shelters in the state.

More than 129,000 people have registered for individual assistance and more than $105 million in individual assistance has been approved for homeowners and renters.

Schools in Pender County were closed for 5 weeks.   Children who’s homes were destroyed lost everything (school supplies, clothing, toys, books, beds, and security).   “There are close to 900 kids who are sleeping in cars or sleeping in tents in their yards because the insurance checks haven’t come back yet.”

Many of the stories are heart wrenching while others are uplifting as they help restore your faith in humanity and in the kindness on others.   Neighbors helping neighbors.   This will be a long recovery and we feel blessed to have had little damage (personally).


Oct 31, 2018   “Six weeks ago, Hurricane Florence’s powerful storm surges, winds and rains brought unprecedented devastation to our state, causing an estimated $17 billion in damage,” Gov. Cooper said.   Compared to previous storms in North Carolina, damage from

Hurricane Florence is historic. Hurricane Matthew caused $4.8 billion in damages and when adjusted for inflation, Hurricane Floyd caused between $7 and $9.4 billion in damages, meaning that Florence has caused more damage than Matthew and Floyd combined.


I saw a post on From My Carolina Home website and just wanted to share it.

This is a wonderful idea and I hope it will be a huge success.

Mary & Donna


A Year of Hope – part 3

I have been on a roll with this wallhanging project.  I have a total of 11 squares completed and I am working on 2 more this weekend.  I have  so many ideas for these little squares of Hope that I am not sure they will all make the “cut” for the wallhanging.  I want to make at least 20 squares so I have some options with colors for the layout.

Block #6


Block #6Flower Pot.  I wanted to use some of the design guides and elements from Deborah Boschert’s book – Art Quilt Design.  She uses personal symbols in her little collages.


Looking at the card, I decided to use the 5 flowers and then have fun with collage.  I quilted the background with the running stitch (#4) and changed the stitch length to about (3.0) and width (3.0).  I also used odd numbers for my design (5 flowers, 1 pot, 3 squares, 3 straight lines).

It was fun playing around with the different shapes and colors to come up with my design.


Block #7 – Nepal – My daughter in law is from Nepal and she has been cheering me on during this cancer journey.


Block #7

For this square, I stitched on a card from Nepal onto fabric that she bought in Nepal for me while visiting her family.  I added some other collage elements to the quilt square.


Block # 8

Block #8 – “Playing with sheers” – I used the “Third Plus” design from Deborah Boschert’s book.

I wrote on the background fabric using a black fabric gel pen. (First I ironed a piece of freezer paper to the back side to help stabilize the fabric before writing on the fabric).  I wrote some inspirational phrases on the background.

I added one of the flowers from the card and a sheer ribbon to the quilt square.

Using free-motion quilting and black thread, I made the outline of a pot over a piece of sheer fabric.






Block #9 – “Hope” – I wanted to try adding a word to a quilt square just using free motion quilting.

Using a Frixion pen I drew the letters on the fabric.  First I stitched around the letters and then small stippling around the letters.

I tried 6 different fabric background before picking the background for this square.   

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.   Donna

A Year of Hope – part 2

I am having fun making the mini-quilt blocks using all the cards of encouragement that I received this year from family and friends. I am trying out some new techniques and materials in the quilt blocks which is fun.  I am planning to use shades of pink in all the blocks with accents in purple, green, teal, orange, and white.

Block # 3: Ilathera Duck (Colonial Williamsburg card) – I folded a color catcher that was tinted blue in the laundry for the water and stitched it to the edges of the quilt square.  I quilted the background sky fabric with a wavy stitch using the walking foot.

I changed the colors of the card so that I would use more pinks and purples – purple rock and pink flowers.  For the purple duck, I added details with free motion quilting and used colored pencils for shading.

Block #4: Cherry Blossoms – Using a solid pink for the background, I quilted the square with a decorative stitch (#206) of flowers and leaves before attaching the appliqué pieces.

I used scraps of suede for the flower buds and fabric for the branches (attached to the quilt square using a triple stitch).  I stitched on felt buttons for the flowers.

Block #5 Flower – This card had a single flower.

I decided to remove the paper flower to use on my quilt square.  I added an orange/purple center to the flower and stitched it to the square.  I was inspired by some ideas in a book by Gina Perkes (“Appli-Quilting”).  The leaves, circles and stem are fused to the background. Then I used free motion quilting instead of the blanket stitch around the fused pieces.  The background is free motion stippling.  I couched yarn using a zig-zag stitch and #21 couching foot.


Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Fall (Aboriginal) Art quit

Last Fall, we went to a Sheep & Wool festival in NY on our way to visit our brother.   One of the things I bought was a few small batik scenes and our little Art Quilt group decided to each use one as the inspiration for an Art Quilt.

This is the one that I got. IMG_5021

Now, I love Australian Aboriginal fabrics and have been collecting them for awhile (storing them in a draw, waiting for that special project).     This little inspiration piece, to me, just screamed Australian Aboriginal fabric and beading.

I grabbed my favorite fabric and some other fabric from our stash and just played.


My finished piece.

The base (before quilting and embellishments) went together pretty fast.  I think I work better if I don’t overthink it and just “play”.

I fussy cut the tree trunks from some birch tree fabric that we had and collaged some bold tree tops.

Here are some close-ups.

After I quilted it, I started embellishing it with hand embroidery, couching of decorative threads/ribbons/yarns.   I decided not to add beading as I thought it already had enough embellishment on it and couldn’t find bead that I liked for the piece.

Finally I added a variegated  yarn-couched binding.



My piece is a bit bolder, in color, than the inspiration piece.

I had a blast working on this piece.

Inspiration is everywhere.


Happy Stitchin’



A Year of Hope wallhanging

I wanted to do a wallhanging using pink fabrics to celebrate this year of surviving the cancer treatments.  I decided to use the many beautiful cards of hope and encouragement that I have received this year as inspiration for the individual quilt blocks.  Each block is about 6.5″ but I will probably trim the blocks down to about 6″ when I finish all the blocks.  Not sure yet how many blocks I will make.   So I have made 2 blocks so far. I can’t wait to make the next block. Thank you to everyone who send me words of encouragement during the year.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.   Donna

Block #1 – I cut out 1/2″ x 1.5″ rectangles from fabric selvages and arranged the rectangles in the quilt pattern like the card.  I used fabric glue to attach the rectangles once I liked the arrangement.  Using a walking foot, I machine quilted the block using straight line quilting in 2 different directions.

Block #2 – I made a mini fabric collage using lace and fused fabric birds.  I attached a fabric strip and the lace to the background using 2 different decorative stitches (#439 and #630 on my machine) and dark pink thread.  Using black thread, I free -motion quilted a design on the background.  I fused the birds and “enjoy” fabric on the piece and then used black thread to quilt those pieces.

Sunflower Wallhanging

I created this wallhanging with sunflowers and a blackbird to give as a gift.  The quilt is about 16″ x 19″ and I will mount it on a canvas stretcher frame so it will be easy to mount on the wall.  I sketched several ideas for the quilt until I decided to put the bird on a fence.

I found 2 pieces of sky fabric in my fabric stash that I liked but they were not long enough for the sky background. Using a curved piecing technique, I pieced strips of the 2 pieces of sky fabric until the background was long enough. Then I quilted the sky to the batting and backing using a walking foot and straight stitching.

I machine appliquéd the sunflowers using the blanket-stitch on the sky fabric first.  Next I fused the grass fabric and used free motion quilting to quilt the grass to the background.  I fused and quilted the fence posts.  Then I added the bird using some fun black and white fabrics.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna