Ugly Fabric Challenge

Last year at our quilt guild Holiday party, we were given an ugly fabic (“olively green”) and challenged to use it sometime in 2020 to be entered in a prize raffle. We could make whatever we wanted.

For my Holiday ugly fabric challenge, I made a small table topper for our sunroom hutch and used the Ugly Fabric quilt technique.
I added some of the teal colors that are now on our sunroom chairs.

The green (ugly) fabric does not look so ugly. I also used some of the fabric on the front and back (and I hope that’s not cheating).

I do love a challenge.

Happy Stitchin,


“Pizza Box” Quilting Bee Challenge

Our Quilting Bee “Bee Inspired” decided to do a “pizza box” challenge.   There are 5 quilters in our bee.

We all created a focus block (mine was the camera block) and then we put it in a box with whatever guidance/theme we wanted.   We also included some fabric (or each member could add their own) in the box.

My focus block.

Each month we took one of the boxes and made two 4.5″ blocks and one 8.5″ block.   Then we passed the box onto the next person.  This had an extra challenge in that it started in 2020 so we had to drop off our rotated boxes on the front porch for the next month’s rotation.   This month we got our boxes back and than did a layout and added to whatever we got back.

My theme was photography and I asked them to only used B&W fabric.   My focus block has color but I wanted the rest of the blocks to be B&W and then I would add some more color when I put it all together.

Here are a few of the amazing and creative blocks that I got back.  You can see more of them in the finished quilt.

I put all the blocks together and added some B&W charm squares.   Then I added some color into the top and bottom border.

My finished wall hanging.

“Ranger” approved!  He really like the scottie block.


Happy Stitchin,



Embroidery Projects in progress

Update on Mary’s bed quilt: I completed 22 more border quilt blocks this month.  So only 110 blocks left to complete the quilt. Yeh!   Our bee is doing a pizza box challenge.  Each member made a focus block and added some fabric to a box.  Each month the boxes are exchanged and another member adds 3 blocks (two 4″ x 4″ blocks and one 8″square block or equivalent size block) keeping the theme in mind and using some of the fabric in the pizza box or using fabric from their stash.  After all the rotations are completed, the owner of the box will put the blocks together to make a quilt – more blocks can be added at this time.  My theme is floral.  I found some floral designs from Sweet Pea machine embroidery designs.  So I made 3 flower designs plus I also found some cool hexagon embroidery designs so I tossed those in my box too along with some fabric.  I am currently having fun with one of the exchanged boxes and making 3 blocks.  I can’t wait to see what is in the next box that I get later this month.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Modern Cardinal wall hanging

Another bird painting finished.  This small wall hanging was for a guild challenge using one “Crayola color” plus black and white fabric. I painted the cardinal mostly red with two little accent colors for beak and legs.  The bird is fused on the fabric after painting.  I wanted a modern look to the piece so I fused the tree branch at an angle and cut it off so it looked like it was floating.  The leaves were from a printed fabric that I fussy cut and fused on the background.  I sectioned off the background for the free motion quilting designs.  I used some quilting motifs from Helen Godden’s Feathered Friends block of the month.  I added red faux piping to the binding for a pop of color around the edges.  Finished size is about 16″ square.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Sacred Threads quilt show’s “Eye Contact: creating a connection”

I received an email from Sacred Threads a few days ago with information about the Eye Contact exhibit’s deadline date for submission – May 31st.  Mary and I decided to do the challenge and we completed our pieces in 3 days.  Then we had to take a day off from quilting projects after we mailed our entries.

This special exhibit at the Sacred Threads quilt show in July is all about eyes. “The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter (quote from Cicero (106-43 B.C.).  So for the challenge quilts – The dimensions are 23″ wide x 5″ high- Any fiber/ mixed media technique and materials.  So Mary and I were off and running to complete these mini quilts by the deadline.

Donna’s piece

I started one quilt – made the background and the eyeglasses – then decided that I didn’t like it. So on day 2, I started again.

This time I used some of my leftover painted fabric from Gloria Loughman’s class for the background. I used a different color for the glasses and painted the hair with white fabric paint mixed with black acrylic paint.  It was a fun challenge to complete.  It is a challenge to make eyes.



I love a challenge so when Donna mention this one and since we are going to the Exhibit to see Donna’s piece that was accepted in it, I was game to do it.

Mary’s piece

For mine I started with some map fabric for my background and then worked on the eyes.  I traced the placement and shape of the eyes from a photo (of myself) and then exaggerated the lashes.    After I finished the eyes, I went online and looked at artwork with eyes and saw some that had painted colors around the eyes and then it hit me.  Sheers! I fused some blue silk organza on the piece and  then quilted it.

We had fun working on this project and look forward to seeing them on display with all the other faces at the Sacred Threads Exhibit.

Happy Stitchin,


Quilt Block(s) for Retreat

We are getting ready for our quild’s annual quilt retreat.   Donna and I are on the planning committee and this is our 4th year.   We all have been soooooooo successful in that we now have 2 sessions with ~40 people in the 1st session and ~35 in the second.

One of the activities is a quilt block raffle.   We all make a 12 1/2″ block in the designated colors and get one raffle ticket for each block you turn in.  We hang the block on cloths line in the main meeting room and  on our final night, we raffle off the blocks.

Last month’s block

For our session, the colors were pink and grey.   Last month I made one block but while shopping this week, I found a really fun pink fabric so I decide to made another block.

We have a really good book (recommended by a friend) that is full of 12 1/2″ blocks and we use it every year for making blocks.

I picked out a nice star block to make and last night I created this disaster.

Disaster block

Close-up of disaster block

Proof that I really can do a traditional blocks with perfect points.


Now I’m really more of an Art quilter, but I have made traditional quilts (like this quilt where all my points are perfect).

It’s been a while since I made traditional star block but I really created a disaster (and it only took me 1.5 hrs to create this messy masterpiece).

To compound things, our Bee’s 2019 project is all about Star blocks (more about that in a later post).


I was bummed.   Over some Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate (only the best for quilting disasters), Donna found another block in the book and said I needed to make it.  It’s called “HAPPY” and would make me happy again.  LOL.

Happy Block


So, this morning I was back at the cutting board and sewing machine to make me HAPPY.

Here is my “Happy” block.

Competed HAPPY block

Now I have two blocks to enter into the raffle.

The disaster block hit the trash bin after I photographed it.

HAPPY Stitchin’


12.5″ blocks for a quilt raffle

Mary’s block

Our quilt guild is having their annual retreat in January.  Each year we ask participants to make a 12.5″ block (finished size – 12″) for a raffle drawing on the last day of the retreat.  Last year the theme was black and white blocks.  We had enough blocks for 2 winners of 12 blocks each.  This year the theme is “sea glass” colors.  Mary and I are excited about this theme because we really love these colors – reminds us of the beach that we live near.  Last year it was hard to find 12″ finished block patterns on the internet that we liked.  Last month we were visiting with our 2 quilting friends and talked about block patterns.

Donna’s block

Carolyn loaned us a book with 1000 quilt blocks – all 12″ finished size.  What a great book.  The book has 4 different categories of blocks: appliqué, foundation pieced, mixed techniques, and pieced blocks).  There is a cd included with the patterns.  The book also includes setting ideas and yardage information.

Donna’s block

The book is published by Fons & Porter: “Quiltmakers 1000 blocks”.  This book is a great resource.  We plan to buy our own copy of the book.   So Mary and I completed 3 blocks so we have 3 chances to win.  Hope we are lucky at the retreat later this month.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna and Mary

Polaroid Challenge quilt

I have finished quilting and binding the Polaroid challenge quilt.  One of my quilting bees was celebrating its 20th anniversary.  So we decided to exchange 20 small fabric squares (novelty prints) that we could put into a square using white fabric to look like a polaroid picture.  The squares reminded me of an “I spy” quilt.  I used leftover fabric scraps of Kona solids to make wonky squares with my polaroid squares.  I still have more polaroid squares to put into another quilt project.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Guild Challenge – Winter Wonderland/Holiday postcard

Donna’s postcard

Our local quilt guild had a postcard challenge this month.  The postcard needed to be 4″ x 6″.  The theme was “holiday or winter”.  I used one of my previous quilts as inspiration for the postcard – a winter scene called “Christmas Morning”.  I used shades of purple for the background.  I made my design using Pellon Shir-Tailor, a fusible interfacing, as the base. After stitching the background, I fused the holiday trees to the background.  Then I used double sided fusible Pellon Peltex instead of quilt batting to make the postcard.  Using my hot glue gun, I added sequins to the trees to represent the tree lights.  I used a satin stitch to finish the edges of the postcard.  Quick and fun project – next I will have to tackle some of my UFO’s.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.    Donna


Here is my “Winter Wonderland / Holiday” postcard for our guild challenge.   I used the blue fabric as inspiration.

Mary’s postcard

First, I appliquéd on some snow (with 2 fabrics) and then I appliquéd a white winter tree (that I free cut) to mimic the blue background tree so it kinda looks like it is shadowed.  I also added a white star/sun and then colored it in with some colored pencils.  It needed something else for balance and I thought about adding a snowman, but it really didn’t look right.   So I cut out a tiny scottie dog and appliquéd it on.   Scotties make everything better (just saying).

Happy Stitchin,   Mary

Ps.  I also won 1st place in our guild challenge.   I think it was the scottie that clenched it!

January Scottie Block

Our Modern Quilt Guild had a calendar block challenge where you designed and make monthly calendar blocks.

I designed and made 12 calendar blocks but did not put them together.   Yes, sadly my calendar blocks, inspired by our scottie, Ranger, had turned into a UFO.

I did not want to them all together in a quilt (as I didn’t really winter-scottie-block-2need a scottie calendar quilt hanging) so I needed another idea.

I love the blocks and decided to finished them each off with a ribbon  border/binding and the put one up in our sewing room each month.

I covered stretcher frames (or you could us an art canvas) with burlap and then I put (non-sew) velcro on the burlap and on the block.   winter-scottie-block1

Now I can interchange them every month and they are sweetly displayed above our cutting table.   This block is one of my favorites.

Happy Stitchin’