Books on Monday – Quilts from the Heart II

As I promised last week, this week we are looking into Quilts from the Heart II by Karin Renaud, and, yes, that is once again an Amazon Associate link below.

This book is focused more on the quilts and the memories they evoke than on the specifics of making quilts for donation. Each quilt has a little information about what memories it brings to the author’s mind.  These quilts are also not rated by skill level, but they do appear a bit more complicated than those in Quilts from the Heart.

This book starts with an “Introduction” and then the “Quiltmaking Basics” section, once again a very thorough one. Then it is right to the 18 beautiful quilts. Yes, I marked almost all of them. And I can see me making them all. They are also scrappy, as in the first book.

If you can only buy one of these two books, this one is my favorite!

Quilt on!

You Say It’s Your Birthday

Not yours? Well, today is my hubby’s birthday! There’s a sense in which it is a big one for him so…

Back on July 1st while I was at DisneyWorld with our eldest daughter, he posted this as his Facebook status:

“A song for my out-of-town wife, Gretchen ************, on the first day of my birth month in which I will be 64 (sung to the tune of the Beatles’ “When I’m 64″): Now that I’m old (but…still have my hair), / many years alive, / will you still be giving me a valentine? / Birthday grrreatings? Coke will be fine! / Though I’ve been out past quarter to three / many times before, / will you still love me, / not be sick of me / when I’m 64? / You’ll – get – old – er, – too. / But, if the Lord allows, / I – will – stay – with – you! / Never been handy,( but) I’ve changed a fuse! / I was light and young! / You can knit and quilt, and it will will cause no strife. / Sunday morning, church is our life! / Doing the garden, digging the weeds, / I’ve learned to ignore! / will you adore me / (and) do tech stuff for me / when I’m 64? / Many summers we have been together, and we’ve both been white, / which is not too weird. / We – trust – Je – sus – saves! / Our children, you, and me, / We – don’t – fear – the – grave! / Send me an email, text would be fine / stating point of view. / Indicate precisely what you mean to say. / I’m still here, but you’re far away. / Give me your answer, say it with love, / mine forevermore! / Will you still kiss me? / Will you pray with me / when I’m 64?”

So, if Facebook will let me, I will be posting this on his wall today in answer:

A song for my husband who is 64 today! (Sung to the tune of the Beatles’ “When I’m 64”)

Now that you’re old, but still have your hair
Many years alive,
I’m still giving you a valentine
Birthday greetings
I’ll drink the wine
Though you’ve been out past quarter to three
Many times before
I will still love you
Not be sick of you
Now you’re 64
I am older too
And if the Lord allows
I will stay with you!

Don’t need to be handy,
Changing a fuse,
Not so light or young!
You can make me knit
And it will cause some strife!
All week long, our church is our life.
No one will garden.
No one will weed.
Won’t go to the shore.
I will adore you,
Still do tech stuff for you
Now you’re 64.

Many summers we have been together
And don’t really fight
And you’ve grown a beard.
We trust Jesus saves!
Our nuclear family,
We don’t fear the grave!
Reached you on Facebook,
Hope that is fine,
Here’s my point of view:
Yep, it’s precisely what I mean to say
I’m back home, I’m not far away.
Here is my answer, stated with love,
Yours forevermore,
I will still kiss you,
I’ll still pray with you,
Now you’re 64!

Back to quilting! And Books on Monday a bit later!

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Quilts from the Heart

This week I’m looking at Quilts from the Heart: Quick Projects for Generous Giving by Karin Renaud. The picture below is indeed an Amazon Associate link. Yes, if you click on it and buy using it, I will get a small kickback to help support this blog. Thank you if you do.

The purpose of this book is to provide scrap quilt patterns in a size that is perfect for donating to such charities as Project Linus. Another plus is that the Skill Level for most of these is Beginner or Advanced Beginner. There are a couple of Intermediate level quilts also, but nothing too terribly scary.

The book starts with a Preface which describes how the author found out about Project Linus and got involved in making quilts for that charity. This is followed by a section called “Making a Quilt to Donate” and a section called “About the Projects.” Next comes a very thorough section on “Quiltmaking Basics” followed by a section on “Altering the Size of the Quilt.”

Then come the twenty projects. I marked almost all of them. I did feel like many of them looked very similars, mostly squares and rectangles, but they are very attractive. And scrappy!

The book finishes with a page of “Charitable Organizations” and “Meet the Author.”

Come on back next week for the follow-up to this book!

Quilt on!

Catch Up time

I think it is time to play a little bit of catch up here! Remember the Books on Monday post that didn’t happen because of an impromtu visit to DisneyWorld with my eldest daughter? Well, here is a little bit of what happened since then.

We only spent two days in the parks – Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I’m not going to bore you with lots of pictures of what is in those parks, but I am going to just mention a couple of the places we ate. Since there were only two of us, we did a bit of splurging.

We had dinner on our day at the Magic Kingdom at Be Our Guest, the restaurant in the Beast’s castle. Reviews claim that it is the best food at DisneyWorld and I agree. (Reservations are a must! We felt fortunate to have scored some!

This is how the napkins are folded! Anyone know how to do this?


Here is a fairly dark picture of the dining hall:


And here is the view out the window next to me (apparently it is always winter at the Beast’s!):


At the Hollywood Studios, we ate at the Hollywood Brown Derby. The food was pretty good but I think we were both disappointed in our choice of sandwich. We were not disappointed in the dessert we shared though!


While walking around (19,449 steps according to my FitBit) the Magic Kingdom, I had a phone call from my longarmer. Falling Charms was ready to be picked up! When I got home, I picked up the quilt and it is seriously all I can do to keep from running downstairs, trimming it up and binding it.


Also, my prize (yes, I’m a winner) from Very Lazy Daisy arrived yesterday!


I think I need to practice free motion quilting a lot before I quilt this gorgeous top!

And, last but not least, a Wedding Quilt update! I have begun to quilt the borders!


This is good because their anniversary is the 20th and I promised! Also, the official moving date for moving into the home they have purchased is July 26th. I’ll be out of town but I’ve already been instructed to make sure that Daddy brings the quilt so that it’s there for their first night in their very own home.

You can picture me hand quilting my fingers to the bone!

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Dear Jane

Yes, I know this is an oldie, but it is new to me as it arrived while I was at Disneyworld. I have put off purchasing this one for a long time because I didn’t think I’d ever use it (and I still have my doubts) but a couple of Twilters started making some blocks and posting pictures on Twitter so I got sucked in.

Yes, this week’s book is Dear Jane: the Two Hundred Twenty-five Patterns from the 1863 Jane A. Stickle Quilt by  Brenda Manges Papadakis. (Yes, it is an Amazon Associate link.)

Ironically, this book is published by EZ Quilting by Simplicity. And I’m pretty sure this is not easy.

The bulk of this book is, of course, the drafted patterns of the square and triangle blocks. There is some information about Jane Stickle and the quilt itself also. Most pages are pictures of two blocks from the quilt and the drafted illustrations of each block. And some of those pieces look very small. And scary. (This from the person who likes piecing little fiddly bits!)

I found this book on Amazon, but it is apparently out of print right now. I guess that makes sense because this would not be everyone’s cup of tea! (I’m not sure it’s mine, but I’m also not sure that it isn’t so… However, if I’m doing little fiddly bits in the near future it will probably be The Gypsy Wife quilt.) It is not hard to find though, so don’t let its being out of print scare you away.

Quilt on!

Craftsy’s Pick Your Price Sale

Just a brief post here to mention the Craftsy sale going on right now. Click on the link below to check it out.

Pick your price! Choose from this tiered selection of popular online classes today and get better at what you love to do without breaking the bank! Enroll today to enjoy learning anytime, anywhere, forever. See what’s on sale: Pick Your Price Sale at Craftsy!

A few more details:

Offer: Pick Your Price Promotion!
Run Time: Sunday, 6/29 thru Monday 6/30 at 11:59PM MT
Details: Choose from the tiered selection of popular online classes today and get better at what you love to do without breaking the bank!


Quilt on!

Catching Up & a Tool Review

Hello, All!

I will give a bit of a tool review, but first a catch up with some pictures of what I’ve been working on (other than hand quilting the Wedding Quilt).

I made a binding for the Wedding Quilt. (Spoiler alert: that is the tool in the background.)


I did something I rarely do. I pieced a back for the Falling Charms quilt. I don’t usually piece backs because 1) If I’m hand quilting I don’t want the extra seams to quilt through and 2) By the time I get to the back, I’m anxious to get done. But I wanted to use up the rest of the Falling Charms blocks I had made and also the rest of the Cold Spring Dreams layer cake. IMG_1883

As I was pressing the Falling Charms top I found this mistake:IMG_1884

I disassembled the top at this point and corrected the problem. Now the Falling Charms quilt is at the longarmer’s awaiting quilting.

This is Block 4 of the 2011 Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM. I also cut out Block 4 of the 2012 to work on, but I didn’t take any pictures.IMG_1886

And I cut out Block 1 of the 2014 Designer Mystery BOM, and this is the leftover fabric from that block.IMG_1887Now on to the product review!

This is the Clearly Perfect Angles template by New Leaf. I am not sure I even remember where I saw something about this that made me want to try it, but it was convincing enough that I jumped online and ordered it from

Here’s what it looks like on my machine:


The initial installation went very smoothly. The directions and design of the tool and the availability of videos were a big help. Here’s one of the videos:

I wanted to try this mostly for the use during binding making. I hate having to draw a line and stitch along it. I’m lazy. I admit it. And I know it doesn’t go along with the whole liking to make intricate blocks thing.  This really speeds up the process of making binding! Just think what it would do to speed up making a Jelly Roll Race! (And, yes, I plan to make one and see how much more quickly that goes.) Here is how well the binding seams turn out:



This tool can also be used for making half square triangles without drawing any lines and adding the corners to snowball blocks without drawing lines. Here is the key from the tool to tell you how to do that:


Now for the disadvantages. First, the obvious one is that this has to come off my machine every time I change a bobbin. Not fun. It is easy to put back on, however, so that isn’t a big deal to me. The other problem is that once you line it up when you’re first putting it on, you have to cut a small rectangle so that your feed dogs can grab your fabrics and do their job. Once I had done that, one corner of the plastic kept grabbing my fabric and causing it to bunch up. I haven’t yet found a way to remedy that. I do try to remember to push that little piece down or guide the fabric past the catch.

Until sewing machine companies start engraving these lines on quilting machines (and why don’t they?), I will use this tool quite happily. I have loved the way I can speed through bindings and all those other angly things without drawing lines. Worth the price I paid!

Quilt on!

Quilty Resolutions Update

Sandy at Quilting for the Rest of Us helps us plan our Quilty Resolutions each year and checks back in with us quarterly. Her second quarter check in post is now available and I figured I’d check in now as I’m headed for DisneyWorld on Monday. My resolutions for her spreadsheet are a bit different than those on my sidebar. In this post I’ll discuss my progress on both.

First, Sandy had us pick three quilting monkeys we want to get off our back.

  1. The American Beauty BOM that I began in 2010. Still no progress other than looking at it. Well, that’s not exactly true. I did unbury some of the pieces.
  2. Fear of free motion quilting. I signed up for two free motion quilting classes at AQS Grand Rapids.
  3. My laziness and avoidance of learning to appliqué. I completed one Craftsy class on appliqué and signed up for Edyta Sitar’s Garden of Quilted Possibilities class. I also bought the fabrics for that class. I plan to start it once I finish the Wedding Quilt.

Now, on to my own Quilty Resolutions.

  1. Complete at least 2 of the 4 BOMs I have going. a. American Beauty BOM. b. 2009 Designer Mystery BOM No progress because I’m at the hand quilting stage. And any hand quilting is focused on number two! c. 2011 Designer Mystery BOM I have actually completed block 4. And I have a plan for getting more of it done. d. 2012 Designer Mystery BOM I have cut block 4 and have it in my take along bag for hand piecing.
  2. Complete the Wedding Quilt for my daughter and her husband before their first anniversary which is July 20. Making progress. Completed the super blocks and the large spaces between. I’m about 2/3 of the way around the outside of the center, quilting smaller wide open spaces. Binding is made.
  3. Do some free motion quilting on one small project. No progress other than signing up for classes.
  4. Complete the two Christmas tree skirts for my daughters before Thanksgiving. Have made some progress on the paper pieced skirt for my eldest daughter. Haven’t started the younger daughter’s (and son-in-law’s) tree skirt yet.
  5. Complete the studio (aka family room) reorganization. Have re-sorted fat quarters and am adding the fat quarters that are sitting around the room in various places.
  6. Complete the Falling Charms Quilt that is currently on the design wall. I completed the top, pieced the back and it is currently at the longarmer. Binding is also ready and waiting.
  7. Try some machine appliqué. This one was mentioned above.

And now you are all up to date. I hope I do better next quarter!

Quilt on!


Books on Monday – English Cottage Quilts

This may have been one of the first quilt books I bought since the copyright date is 2004 and that is the year I began quilting. You can still find it through third party sellers on Amazon if you are interested. The book I’m talking about is English Cottage Quilts: 10 Charming Projects by Pamela Mostek. (Amazon Affiliate or Associate or whatever it’s called link below!)

The photography in this book is gorgeous. Charming really is the appropriate description of the photography as well as the quilts. The styling of the photographs gives a very English cottage garden feel to the book.

True confession: I have not made a single one of these quilts yet. I am not sure why. Many of them are exactly my kind of quilt. A few even have the patchwork and appliqué combination I love so much. Perhaps I haven’t made any yet because the ones I liked best looked a bit daunting for a newbie quilter. Since I am no longer that, maybe sometime in the near future…

The book begins with “An English Cottage Welcome” and “A Walk Through the Village.” The pictures in these two sections have the quilts popping up in them so you get a bit acquainted with them before you even see the patterns. Next come the ten patterns, followed by a brief section on “Creating the Vintage Look” followed by the obligatory section on how to make a quilt. None of the quilts is huge; most are throw sized so easily doable.

Quilt on!