Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

I entered 2 of my quilts in the wall hanging competition.  I was excited that both quilts were accepted.  All About Birds was a collage quilt  which was lots of fun to make the individual blocks and then put them together.  Grandpa’s Garden was an original design with purple flowers on a trellis. I also took 2 classes at the show.  I took a half day class with Bobbie Bergquist using Tsukineko inks.  We played with the inks on small pieces of fabric – marbling using shaving cream, using stencils, and using aloe to paint with the inks.  The instructor gave us a CD with 20 ways to use Tsukineko inks and pens.  I am looking forward to trying some of those other techniques.  I also took a class with Mary using Dye-Na-Flow paints.  Ashley Nichols was a great instructor – very organized and a great hand out.  We didn’t have to use prepared for dye fabrics.  We used an iron to heat set the paint designs.  I look forward to paying with these techniques more in the future.  I really had fun using black thread to do free motion quilting designs.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Back from Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival – Workshops

We had a GREAT time at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.   Donna and I took in the show, spent way too much money at the vendor booths and we both took two workshops.

I first took a 1/2 day workshop with Joyce Teng on Fabric Inking 101.


Tsukineko inks


We used Tsukineko inks played with various methods of applying them on fabric.   This included using dabbers, brushes, spray bottles and TSC stencils.


Here is the stenciled tree that I did with the inks.

I was a fun class but it was only 1/2 day and we all wanted more time.


I then took and All day workshop with Ashley Nickels: Watercolor Quilting: Colorful Explorations in Free motion Quilting.   Ashley Nickels is Sue Nickels daughter (some of you may know her work).

dye-na-flow-inksIn Ashley’s class we spent the morning painting on fabric squares with Dye-na-Flow fabric paint to make watercolor like images.

It was a blast!


My painted pieces.   Two of them in this pic have been thread sketched (free motion) with black thread.

After lunch we got out our machines and used black thread to free motion sketch our painted image.


My free form painted flower after it was thread sketched with black ink.


Close-up of my flower.

I’ve always loved watercolors and thread sketching.  This technique gave me both.

It was a GREAT class and we’ll definitely do more fabric painting.

Happy Stitchin’


Celtic Zodiac Quilt Square – the Swan

Another UFO done!

When we traveled to Ireland in 2012 with a couple of our quilting friends, we all agreed to make one of these Zodiac Celtic quilt squares.   Here is mine.



celtic-swan-instructionsThe pattern (Designs by Nikki Foley) was published in a magazine that Donna bought while we were there and I chose the Swan.  Nothing to do with my birth month, but we used to have 2 swans that graced the canal behind our house.  The male swan was not fond of Ranger (our scottie dog) and would give him a mean look whenever he glided by.   Ranger never barked at him, just stared him down.

Well,  both swans passed away last year so I picked the swan zodiac square to honor them.  And….. to be honest, I didn’t really like the scary looking Goat that was my birth month sign.

I plan to mount it on a stretcher frame for display purposes.

Happy Stitchin’


Another landscape quilt using a background fabric

I was watching the Quilt Show (https://thequiltshow.com) recently and saw an episode with Ricky Tims making a quick landscape quilt. image He used a piece of hand dyed fabric for the background and then started adding different landscape elements.  He used a rotary cutter to make fabric “confetti” for the leaves on his landscape which he glued to the background.  I wanted to try out the technique.  So I looked through my fabric stash and found a piece of fabric that was multi-colored and might make a background.  I added strips of brown fabric to cover up some of the purple in the lower half of the quilt background.  I used a glue stick to add the confetti leaves.  Next time I will use pre-fused fabric so that I can iron the leaves down. image It was a challenge to free motion quilt the leaves that were “glued” down – my leaves kept popping off the quilt.  But it was a fun and quick way to make a little landscape piece.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Irish Landscape (Dingle Peninsula) quilted wall hanging

dscn4811Mary and I went to Ireland with 2 quilting friends on a quilt tour about 4 years ago.  I wanted to make a quilted wall hanging based on one of the photographs that I took in Ireland.  The photograph was taken along the Dingle Peninsula (SW Ireland) with foxglove flowers.  imageI used pre-fused fabric strips to make the background.  I sorted the strips into piles based on value – light, medium and dark.  I cut a piece of pellon interfacing 910 (about 13″ x 18″) to build the landscape and drew lines for the sky, water, and grass.  I started building the landscape from the top (sky) by making curved cuts with my rotary cutter.  imageOnce I was happy with the fabric for the sky, I ironed the strips in place. I cut a 1/2″ strip of dark blue fabric to use for the horizon line where the water meets the sky.  Then I started with my darker strips for the water and added lighter strips closer to the grass section. image Last, I worked on the grass strips, sorted by value, cut curvy strips, placed on grass area and then ironed the strips.  Once the background was completed, I added some of the cliffs in the water section.  Then I quilted the background (made a quilt sandwich first).  Next, I used the triple stitch on my sewing machine to make the wire between the fence posts then I added the fence posts.  Last, I added the flower stems and then the leaves and flowers.  I used free motion quilting for the flowers and leaves – small circular shapes.  For the border, I used 3 strands of yarn on the back and then the front of the fabric.  imageSee a video of this technique: http://thequiltshow.com/learn/bernina/video/latest/alternative-edge-treatments.   I used variegated yarn for the binding (purple/green).  I think that I want to make another Irish landscape quilt of a thatched cottage.   This was a fun project.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

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