Category Archives: quilts

Kisses and Hugs Kid Quilt

Another county fair has come to a close.  The ferris wheel, flying elephants and merry-go-rounds have been broken down, loaded up and driven out of town.

All three grandchildren rode the rides, checked out the exhibits, ate the junk food and saw the ribbons on Robert and Laurel’s entries.

7 year-old Robert very sweetly humored 3 year-old Alastair by joining him on the flying elephant.

Big winners were Robert’s blue ribbon chocolate chip pumpkin bread and Laurel’s Best in Class Kisses and Hugs quilt.  While they learned new skills and had fun, I savored each minute of quality Nana-time as they prepared entries. They were so proud of their accomplishments.

Robert’s hocky game, Santa pillowcase, stuffed in-the-hoop dinosaur, football tote and Gator tie tee shirt–Laure’s Girl Scout tote bag and monogrammed handkerchief

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Sewing at Nana Camp

We’re having a big time with granddaughter Laurel, 8, who is here for the week.  While brother Robert is at basketball day camp, she is here at sleepover Nana Camp, where there’s a lot going on.

This is Laurel’s new sewing area.  She has finished more than half of the 9-patch blocks and 4 oval yo-yo’s.  The blue painter’s tape helps her maintain the required 1/4″ seam allowance.

A new sewing station has been set up for her in my sewing room.  From here, where my cutting table, iron and all my equipment is located, to the dining room where she has sewn before, it’s a  three day trip.   Her new spot is much more convenient. This is a permanent set up so she won’t have to put her sewing away at dinner time.

The antique sewing table where her little Brother machine is perched was a birthday present from my dear husband several years ago.  See the “yard stick” printed on the table top? Continue reading

Luke’s Quilt

Luke’s twin size quilt–shown on queen size bed

It is so easy to come up with sewing projects for daughters and granddaughters.  But finding things for the boys, especially as they grow older, is a real challenge.

My dear friend, Suzanne Sawko, has always made fabulous things for her four grandsons. Now, she is on a quilting binge and the boys are quite pleased with their birthday gifts.  This one was made for 11 year-old Luke. Continue reading

USA Mini Quilt

I am always moved by Independence Day celebrations and they start early this year due to the 4th falling in the middle of the week.  But I’m busily working on an entredeux tutorial so this patriotic mini quilt post is being re-run.

I hope you are all enjoying picnics and fireworks and celebrating this wonderful nation in which we live.  God bless America!


We can’t all be Washingtons, but we all can be patriots. Charles F.  Browne

Don’t you just love 4th of July?  Flag waving at the parade, fireworks, picnics, and  proud Americans, clad in red, white and blue, professing their patriotism on their backs.

The bell is rung every morning before we begin our homeschool day.  One of the reasons I love homeschooling my grandchildren is that it gives an extra opportunity to teach them about patriotism.  The bell ringing is followed by a time honored educational ritual no longer practiced in most public schools, the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of God Bless America.   My little students currently are learning the Star Spangled Banner.  In fact, 7 year old Laurel was just selected to sing our national anthem with a group of other children at a special Florida Symphony performance. Continue reading

Estate Sale~Shop Now!

NOTE: If you see something you want, let me know ASAP so I can snap it up for you Friday morning.  Leave a comment or e-mail

crochet 80 x 84" ~~$40

In an earlier post there was information about an upcoming HUGE estate sale.  Check that post for prices on the items shown there.

one textile pile before being sorted

If you are in the area, you will want to be there.  The sale date is Friday, June 9, 8:00 or 8:30 a.m.  I’ll find out for sure sometime today (Wednesday).  The address is 812 W. Highland, DeLand, Florida.  Because the street is just one block long, this location can be hard to find so check your GPS, google maps or some other map source.  It is in the southwest corner of DeLand.  Tip:  The house directly across the street is a charming cottage with a yard full of flowers.  The front walk is lined with pots of red geraniums.    The estate sale house is a gray/blue two story. Continue reading

Delicious Doll Bedding

In light of the interest in the free fil tire’ heart design for machine embroidery,   I thought a rerun of this earlier post might be of interest. ~~~

“Nothing’s as mean as giving a little child something useful for Christmas.” ~Kin Hubbard



No one can accuse a doll bed of being useful. This was a Christmas gift for my granddaughter, Laurel.

The top sheet and pillow case are made from combed cotton batiste and trimmed with bias scalloped pink batiste, English lace edging, feather stitching and machine embroidery.  If embellishments were made of sugar, these bed linens would qualify as a dessert.  I think the bed looks delicious.




Laurel will receive the American Girls doll of my era, Molly.  Thus, the “M” monogram, from my favorite alphabet in Brother’s PE-Design. The fil tire’ heart and floral spray  which brackets the monogram are from  two of the Fil Tire’ and Fancywork machine embroidery collections by Suzanne Sawko and me.



pillowcase embroidery and bias scallop trim

The bias scallop trim is one of my favorite techniques. It is worked with a blind hem stitch and thread matching the color of the fabric.



This photo shows the stitches in black so you can see how the stitch works. In order to get best results, you must use a bias strip of fine (thin, not necessarily expensive)  fabric and practice a bit before getting the effect you desire.

The tiny 1/4″ English lace is another of my favorites. It has holes in the header that look so much like entredeux that the effect of that expensive and time consuming feature was achieved by simply tiny zig zagging this lace to a finished edge. For added detail, I have woven pink embroidery floss through the holes.

Polar fleece is a fabulous, sturdy, versatile textile. I wanted the effect of a whole cloth quilt and sought to achieve that look with the fleece. The biggest challenge was transferring the quilting design to the fleece. After much experimentation, I had success by tracing the design onto tissue paper. The fleece was very lightly sprayed with adhesive and the tissue quilting pattern patted in place on the fleece.

Using the walking foot for straight lines in the cross hatching and free motion for the curved, feathered hearts, my beloved Brother ULT was threaded with pink 80 wt. Madeira Cotton thread in both the needle and the bobbin. After quilting, the tissue is pulled away.  The spray adhesive makes it difficult to remove all tissue, but gentle laundering removes the remaining bits.

The edges of the fleece were finished with the same blind hem stitch that created the bias scallop trim.  The unusual fleece weave allowed the raw edges to scallop satisfactorily, but not as nicely as the bias cut cotton.

When using tissue in this and similar projects, I first wad up the paper tightly and then iron it flat again. This breaks down the stiffness and makes it easier to tear away after stitching. When the 8″ Stitch N’Ditch is wide enough, I use that.

One of the neatest features of this set is a technique I developed out of necessity when my daughter went off to college and was assigned to the top bunk. Like Rebecca’s bedding, Laurel’s doll bed linen has at the foot of the sheet, buttonholes which are partnered with small buttons sewn to the underside of the fleece “quilt.” With these two elements of the bedding joined in this manner, a little housekeeper or chambermaid can make the bed with ease and some degree of respectability.

The rope bed came with no mattress, so I covered a piece of 1″ foam with pink candy stripe polished cotton, to suggest ticking.  Laurel and I have talked about how beds used to be made and then looked at a few old feather pillows I have that are made of standard blue ticking.

I doubt the educational use of the bed makes it “useful.”   Instead,  I think it looks delicious, just the kind of bed on which I would like to rest my weary head.

O bed! O bed! delicious bed!
That heaven upon earth to the weary head.
Thomas Hood, Miss Kilmansegg – Her Dream

Cabin Visit and Friendship Quilt


We’re still in North Carolina enjoying some R&R.  When we arrived the weather was miserable, cold and snowy.  What a difference a day makes! We didn’t see much snow but we did see four deer traipsing across the mountain behind the cabin. Can you see the one who posed for the camera?



Look closely at the center of the picture. There were four deer behind the cabin, but this is the only one who lingered long enough for this photo.


Even though we came to relax, there are always chores to be done.  Bob cleaned out the gutters and climbed the extension ladder to take down some quilts that needed de-dusting and then fixed the damper.  I spent time putting up  Christmas decorations, brushed the wall quilts, and scrubbed the stone face of the fireplace which had some soot accumulation.  I’d like to know who made this mess by forgetting to open the damper!




The  souvenir quilt hangs above the hot tub in the cabin. The country colors and down home style fit perfectly in there.

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Come See~~2nd Annual AG Tea Party


Laurel’s Second Annual American Girls Tea Party is history.  After all the preparations, as expected, it was a huge success.  Last year the guest list was much smaller, but the past school year has brought a lot of new friends into my seven year-old granddaughter’s social circle.




All the girls are enthusiastic owners of one or more American Girls dolls, all of whom were, of course, also invited to the festivities.   As is so often the case, sewing projects played a part in this special event. Continue reading

Antique Crazy Patch Quilt

In the crazy quilt of life, I’m glad you’re in my block of friends. Author Unknown

old quilt

We don’t come to our cabin in North Carolina as frequently as we did before the grandchildren were born.  After a lengthy absence from my favorite getaway, seeing the old treasures I placed  there is a little like seeing old friends. This quilt is an old favorite that brings back fond memories of estate sale-ing with my friend Suzanne.  One of those sales is where I found this oldie.

I love antique textiles–good, bad and mediocre.  In the eyes of an expert  appraiser, this old crazy patch quilt is charming at best and crude at worst.  But I love it for its character, idiosyncrasies and history, about which I can only speculate.

This beauty is more representative of the classic crazy patch style.  It is obvious Quilt1that the cabin quilt is extremely primitive in comparison.

Crazy patch quilting, you might know, became the needlework rage in America between 1870 and 1880, though historically its origins go back as far as 1160.  A brief overview of its history and progress as a legitimate form of needlework can be read here.

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3-Generation Memory Quilt


Our cabin quilt hangs on the back of the couch, ready to be snuggled under.



Fergusons’ Carolina Cabin 1996


We are in North Carolina at our mountain cabin in the High Country, between Boone and Banner Elk, the source of inspiration for this quilt.  As usual, one of the first things we did was check the quilt to see if it had suffered any noticeable wear and tear from our guests.  As usual, the quilt was fine and we took a quick stroll down memory lane as we examined it.  Continue reading