Progress on vase with flower applique

Before decorative stitching

I have been making progress on the 20″ x 20″ square in my 5 color art quilt design challenge. Last week I decided to use some of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine to add details to the flower circles. First I stitched the centers of the flowers plus I free motioned spirals in a couple of the flower centers.  For the “flower petals” I used decorative stitches and combinations of different decorative stitches.  I used a quilt sandwich to practice the stitches and combinations. I had fun playing with the decorative stitches. I also did thread painting on the bird.  The piece is not done yet. I still have leaves to add and I plan to needle felt some yarn for a bird nest. Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna


Sewing and Embroidery weekend

I had a busy weekend with some embroidery and sewing projects. I set up my embroidery module and got to work. I used two hand dyed napkins from the thrift store for the sky blue background for 3 embroidery designs: tomatoes, eggplant, and blackbird.


Then I used a brown batik for the background of carrots, garlic, onion, and a beet. I am going to use these embroidery designs for an art quilt challenge. I am still working on ideas for the collage quilt.

imageI also made a quilt label for black, white and red lasagna quilt.

For my last project I used machine decorative stitches and free motion quilting to add details to the flowers in the vase and bird.
More information later when this project is complete. I still have leaves to add to the piece.  And there was a great sunset on Saturday that I saw from my sewing room window.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.   Donna.

January 2018 “UFO project” (Rainbow Star Quilt) completed

2017 quilt top

I started this quilt last January and completed the top and then put the quilt top in my UFO box.  Earlier this month I decided to practice some free motion quilting so I pulled out the quilt.  The Rainbow Star quilt pattern is free on Leah Day’s website (  When you cut out this quilt pattern, you have enough to make 2 quilt tops.  On Leah Day’s website, you will find the directions to make this quilt and also information about how to quilt the top using free motion quilting and straight line quilting with a walking foot.  She has great videos on her website for free motion quilting designs.  These are the quilting designs that I used: pink – modern weave, purple – chain of pearls, blue – Poseidon’s eye, teal – flowing feathers leaves, green – fern and stem, yellow – lemonade, orange – snake paisley, and red – ocean currents.  For the square corners and triangle sections, I used ideas from Angela Walters’ book: Shape by Shape free motion quilting.

2018 – completed quilt

I had fun with the free motion quilting designs.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Five Color art quilt collage challenge

Dancing Grid (left) and Grid (right)

I started a creative journey using Deborah Boschert’s book – Art Quilt Collage.  I started with the chapter on the Design Process.  The book has 8 design guides to help with the creative process of possibilities.  The 8 design guides are: landscape, grid, third plus, symmetrical, magic three, one amazing line, dancing grid, and modular.  I decided to try using 5 colors using Kona cotton (purple, orange, yellow, green, and stone).

Symmetrical (top) and Modular (bottom)

Third Plus (left) and Landscape (right)

I tried to challenge myself by limiting the colors that I used so I could focus on the design process.  Two of the blocks I made a second time because I didn’t like my composition and color choices.  I tried to use different techniques with each block.  On one of the blocks, I used a fabric gel pen to write on the purple fabric.  I like fabric with handwriting so it was fun to create my own.  It was easy and fun to do.  I did hand stitching with embroidery floss on the yellow block (one amazing line design).  I added a bird to one block (third plus design) – the bird was printed on card stock so I just cut it out and stitched around the edges to attach it.

Magic Three (left) and One Amazing Line (left)

I really had fun with the project and wanted to think of a way to put the blocks together in a quilt.  So I have started a larger block (21″ x 21″) to add to the quilt.  More details in another post when it is finished. Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Vegetable Patch embroidery designs from Hatched in Africa

I am starting a new fabric collage quilt using vegetables.  I have a few ideas in mind but not sure how the quilt will look when it is finished.  It is all about the process.  Sometimes it is hard to imagine what the finished quilt will look like so I just start making parts/blocks.  I usually have a finished size and shape in mind.  So I am starting with the inspiration piece which is a dyed batik rectangle (about 4″ x 6″) of a vegetable patch.  I have always wanted to make a fruit/ vegetable wall hanging.  Mary and I found the 3 different inspiration pieces at the Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck, NY  in October while visiting with our brother and his wife.  We each picked one of the small batik pieces and then gave one to an art quilter friend.  So our quilt challenge is to use the small batik piece as inspiration to make a quilted wall hanging. I like to use different techniques in my fabric collage quilts.   So I looked at the Vegetable Patch embroidery designs from Hatched in Africa and picked 4 vegetable designs to embroider: beet, garlic, mushroom, and carrots. I chose carrots and a beet since these 2 vegetables are in the inspiration piece.  Last summer Mary and I dyed some linen napkins from a thrift store.  So I used 4 different dyed linen napkins for the backgrounds of the vegetable embroidery designs. These small vegetables were super quick to embroider.  I may need to embroider more vegetables depending on the finished size and design for the the wall hanging.   Now I have a start on the project – just have to wait for more ideas to inspire me.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

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

Art birds wallhanging

I made this little art birds wallhanging (15″ x 19″) a couple of years ago but I hadn’t quilted the piece.  So I was looking through my UFOs and decided to complete this small project.  I used burlap, wool, felt, cheesecloth and cotton fabrics to create this little scene with the 2 birds.  It was a fun project to play with different fabrics.  So I echo quilted some of the piece and then used  free motion quilting for the rest of the piece.  I used a fun fabric for the border and the binding and now it’s done. Sometimes I need a break from large projects and just have to work on a small piece.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna