Back from Quilt Guild Retreat – part 2

imageOne of the things that we do at retreat is to ask everyone (if they like) to make one 12 1/2″ block and the last night we raffle them on.

We sting them up in the main meeting room and they always look great!

This year we did B&W blocks and got 40 blocks so we had 4 raffle drawing and the winners each got 10 blocks.

No…. neither of us won.   Maybe next year.



One of the ladies in our group makes beautiful fabric collaged cards and did a little workshop on how to make them.    Here is the one that I made.






I don’t like to take projects to retreat that make me concentrate.  Too many people to visit with.  So I brought a charity quilt project.   A lasagna quilt.   You’ve all seen them.   Here it is (before I cut it up.lasanga1



Donna’s layout

Now, if I had left it that way and added borders, I’d be done.   But I got to thinking about Ricky Tims and how he cuts up things and then puts them back together.   Why not try it with a lasagna quilt?   One of my friend said YES and with that encouragement I cut it up.     First I separated it into two square pieces and then I cut it on the diagonal from corner to corner.   A few of us took the pieces to the design wall and played with it.   Nothing looked good, until Donna walked over and arranged them.   lasanga2

I sewed them back together and now I have 2 quilts (that both need borders).    What do you think?

I don’t think that I’d do it again as it took too much time and I could’ve  finished it if I’d left it as your basic lasagna quilt.  Oh well, it was fun experiementing.   Ya don’t know until you try something new.


Another project was to do a paper pieced block for our guild’s 2018 raffles quilt.   This was my contribution to the quilt.image


The “Big Block” 36″ x 36″



Lastly, worked on a Big block for my southwest Modern Sampler quilt.

It’s a 36″ x 36″ block.   I’ll do a separate post on that whole quilt.  Here is just one Big block from the quilt.   It combines lots of different block sizes and this is the biggest one in the quilt.

Happy Stitchin’




Celtic Zodiac Quilt Square (Designs by Nikki Foley)

When we traveled to Ireland in 2012 with Carolyn and Barb, we bought a few Irish quilting magazines.  During our January retreat, the four of us (the Galway Girls) decided to make an Irish quilt square to remember our trip to Ireland.  We each made a quilt square of an animal that represented a Celtic Zodiac sign from the “Irish Quilting” magazine.  We didn’t pick our own zodiac signs but we chose an animal that we liked.  imageBarb and I picked the “Salmon” – August 5 to September 1st.  Mary chose the “Swan” – September 2 – 29.  Carolyn chose the “Cat” – January 21 – 17 February. I used fusible web and a blanket stitch for the appliqué pieces.  I plan to put my completed quilt square on a stretcher frame to hang in the house.  I added a border so that I would have fabric to wrap around the frame.  Finished size with border is about 22″ square.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Back from our quilt guild’s retreat – part 1

Mary and I went to our quilt guild’s annual retreat last week (3 night retreat along the NC coast) with 40 quilters.  We had great weather considering that it is February.  I worked on some projects that I had started at our quilting retreat in January. image I finished quilting and binding a baby charity quilt and the mittens (Herky Jerky) wall hanging. imageimage I continued working on making squares using selvages in red and blue for a border on a Quilt of Valor. image Here is a website with 25 sewing projects using selvages: image I also continued working on a modern Disappearing 9 patch using patriotic fabrics – the selvage squares will be the border to this quilt.  Mary and I also made  paper piecing log cabin blocks for the next year’s raffle quilt. Here is my block. image Several members of a quilt bee bought paper piecing patterns and batik scraps for retreat members to make some blocks.  About 20 blocks were made during retreat.  There was a demo on making a fabric collage greeting card.image  I made a card with a beach scene but I still need to add stitching and embellishments to the card.  We played games on two nights.  One game was called ” Right, Left, Center”  I won one of the games and the prize was 33 assorted 10″ squares.  imageIt was fun to play the games but also fun to win the fabric too – especially a bird print that I really liked. Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Cocoa or Coffee? Make it your own.

coffeecup1Woohoo!   I finished one of my projects from our Tabor City quilt retreat.

We picked up this pattern & kit, ages ago, someplace and it was in our UFO pile.


I decided that I really didn’t care for the hot cocoa look and the fabrics, but I loved, loved, loved the hanger.

So, I decided to turn it into a coffee mug and use my own fabrics with colors that worked in our house (blues/greens)

coffee-cup4Yes…. I had to fussy cut a scottie dog to add to the cup (since I do own a collection of scottie dog mugs).


This little piece now hangs in our kitchen, near the coffee machine.

Happy Stitch’n


May Calendar wall quilt (pattern by Kim Schaefer)

imageDuring the grey days of winter, it is fun to work on a project with bright spring flowers.   I worked on this project during the quilt retreat last week.  Another UFO finished.  I made a few changes and added embellishments to this wall hanging. The top picture shows the quilt top after working at the retreat.  I did use a single piece of yellow polka dot fabric for the background.  I did not add the green appliqué squares on the border.  I free motion quilted a flower design on the background before adding the appliqué pieces.  When I got home from the retreat, I looked at the flowers. image I did not like the flower with the huge center so I took off the center.  I added another layer of petals and a smaller center.   I like that flower now.  I also added a larger orange center to the large purple flower. image I used thread scraps and black tulle to embellish the center of the pink flower.  For the orange flower, I free motion quilted a pebble design with gold thread.  I wanted to use buttons for the center of the purple flowers. imageSo I took a couple of pictures to decide what buttons I wanted to use before sewing the buttons on.  I didn’t like these first 2 designs.  I saw a picture in a Quilting Arts magazine that showed a quilt that used lots of different size buttons to fill in an area on the quilt.  So I tried this design.  imageI liked it.  Next – how to sew on the buttons without using the design that I liked.  A glue stick didn’t work so I used a hot glue gun (no sewing involved).  Then I used a piece of light purple tulle to cover the buttons – I used a zipper foot and straight stitch to stitch on the tulle and then trim close to the stitching line.  imageIt was fun playing with different embellishments. I added white tulle to the bee’s wings.  I used a Micron 05 black marker to add spots to the butterfly.image Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

March Calendar wall quilt (pattern by Kim Schaefer)

I have completed 5 calendar wall quilts from Kim Schaefer’s Calendar Quilts (12 months of Fun, Fusible Projects). I do not plan to complete the fall or winter wall quilts because I have lots of fall and Christmas wall quilts. image I made a few changes to the March quilt.  I used one piece of fabric for the light blue background instead of a pieced background of 5″ squares.  I did not add the beige appliqué squares to the border of the quilt.  I free motion quilted the background with a leaf design before adding the appliqué pieces.  I used a combination of  free motion quilting and the blanket stitch to attach the appliqué pieces.  imageCan’t wait to hang up my new wall hanging. Guess I will have to wait a couple of months.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Quilting Retreat with Friends

We just got back from a quilting retreat at Carolina Charm in Tabor City, NC.   We went with 2 other quilting friends (Barb and Carolyn) and had a wonderful time.   We call our little group “The Galway Girls” ever since we traveled to Ireland together. The workspace was excellent and the historic home was lovely.   Unfortunately, we’ll both have to go back on our diets now, after gaining 4 lbs.

After 2 1/2 days of quilting, here are some pics of our projects.


Mary was working on her Southwest inspired quilt (one of many UFOs).    She was expanding 12″ blocks to 18″ blocks (under the direction of the group).


Just a few of the works on Donna’s design wall.


Carolyn finished a dinosaur baby quilt top.   She also cranked out 100 nine-patches for another quilt.  Yes…. 100 nine-patches.



Barb did a lots of strip blocks (like the one on the left), finished 100+ sets of segments for her Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt and finished one complete block of the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt (right).


Donna, Mary and Carolyn worked on their celtic zodiac blocks (in honor of our Ireland trip). Barb’s fabric for this project was unfortunately left at home. Donna got these patterns from a quilting magazine that she bought while we were in Ireland.


Mary’s design wall also included a small coffee cup wall hanging (appliqué). 


Donna’s design wall included these appliquéd mittens with a jittery free motion technique  (that she learned from Barb).  It gives a blurred edge effect.


Donna also finished this rainbow star and a bunch of red-white-blue strip blocks that she will eventually use in a Quilt of Valor.













Someone from the Whiteville, NC press also interviewed/photographed us for an articles she was doing on the Quilt Retreat facility.   We tried to put our best stitch forward.

Quilting with friends is always fun (full of laughs) and we are fortunate to have such talented ladies as quilting friends.

Thank you Joanne and Frank (and Linda) for hosting us.

Mary & Donna