Inspiring Visitor

It had been over two years since we had been together at the same place at the same time. And at that time we were going through one of the most difficult challenges in our lives. Yes we chatted and face timed since then, but it just doesn’t hit the same spot as when you get to hug and giggle and share a meal and inspiration. I was blessed this past week by a visit from my sister Terry of Terry Burris Quilting.

We filled our days with walks in the neighborhood and at the James River. We went to not one but three different local quilt shops, and one of those we actually visited twice. And we enjoyed the beauty that we shared at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Center here in Richmond. Seriously, there was a lot to be inspired by with the generous blossoms so full of color and the picture perfect day. Truly, it was a creative way to get in great walk in a gorgeous setting.

Terry came with suitcases of pretties. And quilts ready for me to bind. I couldn’t have been happier.

I’ve loved this pattern for a long time. It is Scrappy Mountains Majesty (Delectable Mountains) and can be found on Bonnie Hunters Quiltville Blog as a free PDF (seriously lots of cool stuff found there) I pieced this using thrifted mens shirts. The shirts are a joy to work with. They behave just like the quilting cotton I am accustomed to using. And the blocks were fun to piece. Terry used and edge to edge quilting pattern called mist by Keryn Emmerson. Yesterday I shared photos of these pictures in the Upcycled Cloth Collectcive Group on Facebook. Imagine my surprise when I was over 1600 responses, 122 comments and 27 shares. I never imagined it would garnish that much attention. Needless to say I am overwhelmed and grateful and inspired to create even more. It would not be complete however if it wasn’t for my sister and her quilting skills. For which I am incredibly grateful.

And check this out

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE how fabulous this Whimsical Quilt finished! Thrifted denim as well as upholstery and drapery samples were employed to built this simple but gorgeous piece. The free pattern is available here: I had a piece of flannel in my stash that was big enough and related well enough to the front to use on the back. And lets talk about the perfect quilting design. This edge to edge design is called Hickory Dickory and I can’t thank Terry enough for suggesting it! Seriously though, if you are in a pinch and looking for a simple quilt that goes together in a flash – this pattern is for you!

So, Terry has moved on to her next visit with promises to return. I am totally inspired by her stay and all the work we completed on our individual and collaborative projects while we were together and can’t wait to do it again.

I hope you all have a dear family member or friend that you can share your passion with, that inspires and encourages you.


Posted in Accomplishments, Denim, Family, Quilting, recycling, simple, Terry Burris Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Etsy, I Heart This

And it’s finished! Adorable Nine-Patch Heart Quilts. This has been on my list for a little while now. I’ve been beefing up my “Nine Patch The Humble Workhorse” presentation and wanted to recreate the Nine Patch heart quilt I did several years ago. I looked here and there and just could not locate the original pattern that I used.

But low and behold, Megan Collins started a QAL using her newly designed Heart & Stitches pattern. The pattern had everything I needed to recreate my quilt from decades ago. Now I do have a disclaimer, the Heart & Stitches Pattern does NOT include a Nine-Patch. However, there is a nice square space to perfectly fit a Nine-Patch in. If you are interested in the Heart & Stitches pattern check it out here: creative quilt design by MeganCollinsQuilts on Etsy

Love & Stitches Pattern available from Megan Collins

This is a great pattern for beginners and intermediates alike. It is a nice introduction into curved piecing and Megan makes it easy.

I pulled out my fabrics and saw on my friend Annie Morgans Etsy NineMileQuilts ( site that she had some of the prints that were from the same family my chosen fabrics. The fabrics were priced affordably, I ordered them and they arrived very quickly. Talk about “Happy Mail”!

A word about Etsy. There are some wonderful creatives out there with beautiful patterns, used books and fabric to offer. If you are looking for something special, give Etsy a try.

A few weeks ago they had their debut so now I can show them

Hearts to Share

Hearts to Share is now part of my Nine-Patch Humble Workhorse inventory. I love how it came together. Terry Burris Quilting did the Edge to Edge Quilting on this piece. Although tempted to do a keyboard border I opted for a scrappy border instead. You can see how perfectly that Nine-Patch fits into the Hearts & Stitches block.

And one to give

This quilt contains all of the extra blocks I made and will go to one of the charity groups here in Richmond for a wee one to play on or cuddle in. Quilting on this was done by Cheryl Maddern. I just love the scrappy binding on this one, it makes my heart smile.

Keep cool and share the love.

Posted in Accomplishments, Etsy, Nine Patch, Quilting, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

In Honor of Earth Day

What do you recycle?

Those that know me, know that sometimes I have a difficult time just disposing of things. I’m often thinking that there is more life to some of the things we discard. (Not quite a hoarder depending on who you ask)

For YEARS I have saves wine foils. Those things that are on the necks of wine bottles. Now sometimes those foils are plastic and they aren’t very good to work with. However the true foils are wonderful.

Foil on a wine bottle

Initially, I was making foil chains. Like garland to go on a Christmas tree. It is a little labor intensive, but not difficult. Do you remember making chains out of gum wrappers when you were in your early teens? I do, and the method is similar.

So instead of folding the foils like we did the gum wrappers, I cut them into strips.

Wine foil strips

After I had strips to work with I would fold them and create the chain.

Wine foil chain growing

As I stated this isn’t difficult, but a bit time consuming and not very exciting. The chains are also somewhat fragile because some wine foils are not as good as others. I will finish these as they look wicked cute on a holiday tree.

So I was ready to find something different to do with the foils. I make ornaments using fabric and they are quite nice, and I thought why not try using the foils.

And this is what I came up with.

Wine Cones

There are some colors that are more popular than others. And every foil is silver on the reverse.

These “rainbow” ones are fun to look at. I’m tactile, and just love the way they feel in my hands. I’m just needing to figure out how to “top” them, so the design for hanging them isn’t intrusive or looking like it was just an add on.

But just think, these foils did not end up in the land fill!

If I’m going to make very many of these, I’m going to have to drink faster.

Posted in recycling, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Not a Great Start – falq1finish falq2list

So close yet so not done. It’s all good though because it will just make the next quarter finishes that much sweeter.

Mountains Majesty saw some real progress with all of the blocks constructed, put into rows and the rows into a top. When I layed it out though, it isn’t as wide as I want it. For bed quilts I like the quilt to cover the flat sheet or at least all of the mattress. My fix for this is to add a 3 1/2 in border all around. I’m good with that, it will be off to the quilter before the month ends.

Fretwork. Heavy sigh, I just have a few more inches to quilt, and then I need to make a binding and apply it. There is a reason I send my quilting out. This too will be done before the beginning of May.

My third piece was Karen’s Sunflowers. I need to get more pearle cotton for the knots and quilting. I will have to dedicate time to this daily once the thread comes in.

Onto Quarter 2! My blue and brown pineapple quilt made with neckties is in the queue. There are about a dozen blocks completed and I need about 4 dozen more. Then they will be sewn together and sent off to the longarmer.

More blue and brown necktie work. These are little squares to go together to make pillow tops. They are little things about 3″ each and go together quickly. About 100 of them make a pair of pillows. I’m going to see how far I get with the ridiculous amount of tie scrap I have.

This poor thing has been hanging on the back of my powder room door awaiting attention. My intent is to make about 60 more blocks put them together have it quilted and donate it to charity. Many of these fabrics came from a facebook scrap exchange from over 10 years ago. It’s time this project got done.

My studio organizing has not been very successful either. I better invite my sister down, that will motivate me. Don’t want to have her see my mess!

Hoping for good weather, everyone to stay healthy, maybe an opportunity to safely sewcialize by the end of the next quarter.

Stay Safe


Posted in Accomplishments, American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Challenges, Charity Quilts, Fabric exchange, Finish-A-Long, Quilting, recycling, Scraps, simple, Terry Burris Quilting, Ties, UFO's, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

February Flannel Finishes

There is nothing cozier than flannel! Warm and comforting, soft and snuggly. And to finish these pieces during flannel season is truly a win!

Two of these log cabin quilts were started “several” years ago. The fabrics called to me and I made one and gifted it, then started the other two. When I stumbled across the bag and saw how far I had gotten with them I just had to finish them.

The Log Cabin centers are an adorable house fabric where the houses look cross stitched.

One of the quilts has a cabbage rose border fabric and the other a sweet brown and green floral print flannel. Both are backed with flannel as well and the batting in these is a warm wonderful wool. Terry Burris Quilting did a superb job longarming these beauties. Those posies on the back of the cabbage rose quilt are very pretty.

But that wasn’t all! While I had the flannel yardage box out I decided I would start yet another quilt that I had had my eyes on for many years. It came from the book Quilts From Aunt Amy put out by Country Threads and the quilt is called 21st Century Bullseye. I really wanted to get this done for my daughter as she is living “up north” where there really is a winter season. Well I got it done! And delivered in time for winter use!

Meaghans Bullseye Quilt made from cozy flannel.

As you can see it is an easy quilt without looking plain or simple. And as it ages and gets washed (cold water gentle cycle), the circles will fray and it will look even cozier!

To add to the warmth, there is a warm and wonderful wool batting. Terry Burris Quilting did the longarming on this one. I just adore the quilting on this!

In order not to be distracted by the flannel to do yet another log cabin (I had done another prior to these two), you will find all of my scraps for the log cabin quilt (24 two inch strips as well as over 2 yards in pieces, more than 225″ in binding and a whole bunch of usable scrap) in the vintagevacouple shop on Etsy.

Also if you are more interested in a finished flannel quilt, you can find them at vintagevacouple@etsy too.

Posted in Accomplishments, American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Flannel, Scraps, simple, Terry Burris Quilting, Uncategorized, Wool | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Do you want to join the fun?

As I was going through my UFO lists, I thought I might share my thoughts.

It’s been a productive year.  The lists have helped keep me on track.  And as a byproduct of living during a pandemic, I was provided with a way to turn my thoughts to more pleasant things. 

Participating in the American Patchwork quilting UFO Challenge has provided a bit of social media comradery.  These folks cheer each other along, offer suggestions and tips when asked and can really provide some inspiration as you watch them finish their creations. 

I had 12 projects on my American Patchwork and Quilting UFO Challenge list and I completed 10 of them.  Yes, that’s 10 quilts from that list.  The other two just didn’t happen. 

Now I also had my FINISHALONG list.  They were not as active this year because it was a challenge getting sponsors.  Still, many of us created lists posted our challenges and our finishes.  This list had over 80 projects on it (the 12 projects from APQ were also on this list).  So that was 18 finishes off of that list.

This year I finished 19 quilts completely – one of these was not on any list.  It just creeped in there.  And I have 5 quilts at the longarmers (two of these weren’t on any list) and 2 others ready to go (these were new work also).  Now that IS progress.  Because we get distracted and new work always looks so much more interesting than a UFO, you have to expect to fall off the tracks once in a while!

How can I do this? Well, being retired helps. I go into my sewing room most mornings and come out for lunch. I might go back in for a couple of hours in the afternoon. This year with travel and visiting being minimal, I spent a lot of time in there. It is my happy place.

If you are interested in creating your list for next year – please do!  I’ll cheer you along!  Go to: and read all about it.  Download your PDF and create your list.  There were also monthly and organization challenges that I did not take advantage of last year.  After walking through my sewing room, I’m thinking this might need to be a priority for 2021.  Join the Facebook Group, show your work! 

I’ll share the information when it comes out about the Finishalong. 

And here is the list for 2021!

Posted in Accomplishments, American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Challenges, Finish-A-Long, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Sunday Dinner Good

Sometimes you stumble on a dish that is just so good that it elevates a weeknight. I call that “Sunday Dinner Good”. It’s the kind of dish you would be proud to serve a guest.

Now, I will confess, I’ve never been a squash lover. But this, this is just so good. Not only is it delicious, it is beautiful to look at!

Acorn Squash with Fruit and Nuts

It takes about 15 minutes to prep and cooks for about an hour depending on how big your squash is.

If you are interested in the recipe you can find it here: ORGANIC ALLSPICE ACORN SQUASH WITH FRUIT & NUTS recipe |

After making this a few times I’ve made a couple of changes to the recipe.

I use a cookie sheet covered with foil for easy clean up.

I use what apples I have available, if I have 2 Granny Smiths, that’s what I use. If I have two Honeycrisp that’s what I use. If I have one of each – GREAT.

I don’t add the salt.

Pecans make a great substitute for the walnuts.

It really doesn’t need the poppy seeds.

In my humble opinion, maple syrup makes a better garnish than the honey.

Seriously, this is “GET IN MY BELLY!” GOOD.

I would be delighted to hear if you try this, and what you think.

Posted in Food, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Fabulous Friday Finishes

Yup, I’m bragging a bit.  Tooting my horn and Terry’s too!  I got this back and bound and it’s hanging in my bedroom.

Sharp Dressed Man was pieced last year.  The circles are made from neckties that have been sewn to a foundation and then pieced into the backgrounds.  Those backgrounds are shirts.  There are over 216 ties that were used in this quilt.  Each of the circles has 24 pieces.  Of course you will see smaller pieces of the same ties in another project in the works.  “Waste not want not”.  I also bound it with neckties.  Terry Burris quilted this for me and I couldn’t be more smitten.

My Smart Dressed Hubby making sure My Smart Dressed Man is hanging straight. Photo to the right is block detail. If you think you might like to make your own and need some neckties, I have bags of them for sale at VintageVaCouple on Etsy.

Aromatic is a quilt from a book I bought from Nancy’s Notions after watching an episode one Sunday morning.  It’s a lovely book and you will probably see at least one more quilt from this book in the future.   The book is Rainbow Quilts For Scrap Lovers by Judy Gauthier.  A few months ago I made Fretwork from this book.  What I loved about this pattern was the simple construction, the scrappiness without being chaotic and how generously sized each block is.  The backing is from American Quilters Society and it is perfect for this project (so perfect I wish I had bought more).  The quilting Terry Burris did on this is gorgeous without being intrusive.  I adore this quilt. 

These were not on my UFO or Finishalong list but I just had to make them.  These adorable Holiday Stars are wonderful for the tree, packages, and to decorate a wreath.  And they are not just for Christmas, think wreaths, package add ons. I’ve seen a few with some fabulous machine embroidery and they are pretty fancy. See more at Poorhouse Designs on Facebook.  If you can’t find the pattern at your local quilt shop give a shout out to Kris Poorhouse.

That’s all the progress I have for now.

What’s under your needle?

Posted in Accomplishments, American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Finish-A-Long, Quilting, recycling, Scraps, Terry Burris Quilting, UFO's, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Book Work

Some people iron as they need something to wear, I iron on Sunday morning.  And I sit while I’m pressing away with the television on.  Most Sundays I am entertained by Jane Pauley as I watch Sunday Morning.  This has been my habit for at least a decade.  Maybe two.  But if there is more pressing time than Jane time I’ll watch Sewing With Nancy or Quilting Arts.

Sewing With Nancy is entertaining and provides some simple approachable lessons, and there are retail opportunities to purchase the products that the program is focused on from Nancy’s Notions.  Of course, if your are a good note taker you don’t have to purchase, but again, the opportunity is there.  Much earlier this year I was watching and this creative quilter, Judy Gauthier, was Nancy’s guest.  She showed this adorable quilt called Packages, Boxes, and Bows.  Very colorful and a great use of scraps.  So was her Color Brick Road and Rectangles Squared quilts.  But she got me with Fretwork.

I enjoyed working on this so much that I made two tops and cut a third.  This will be a wonderful charity quilt!  This is my smaller version.


The instructions are for a baby quilt that finishes at 60 1/2 x 75 1/2 which I find huge for a baby quilt.  When I finished the first top I decided that for my purposes it doesn’t need to be that big.  Mine is 45 1/2 x 60 1/2 and plenty big enough for me to quilt.  It’s also a great size to have in the vehicle or for a toddler to drag around.

You’ve got to love the simplicity of a nine patch!


The “pieced” blocks are done reverse applique, and we are instructed not to overthink the process and allow the blocks to be wonky to add more whimsy and visual interest.

What I liked was I had everything I needed.  I didn’t have to go to the store as the pieces are small 5 1/2″ squares and 4 1/2″ squares.  What made me a little uncomfortable was the chance that there might be some raw edges in the corners if I didn’t pay close enough attention to that pressing.  Then again, these are not meant to be heirloom pieces, just working quilts.

And look what I had in my stash for the back!


Was this perfect!?!  I’m over the moon that it’s done.

The name of the book is Rainbow Quilts for Scrap Lovers by Judy Gauthier.  You can get it at Nancy’s Notions, as well as other retailers.  The book was released in 2017 so it might even be at your local quilt shop.

There will be others to show from this book in the next couple of years.

Oh, and have a Happy New Year!


Posted in Accomplishments, Charity Quilts, Fabric exchange, Nine Patch, Quilting, simple, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 8 Comments

There was progress in August!

One thing that got done was my one monthly goal with Quilters Corner. I quilted and put the binding on the double four patch baby quilt!

Double four patch baby quilt

This simple block is a standard beginner block and it was a joy to put together. The quilting is done in diagonal straight lines using a standard weight thread alternating red with yellow. Generally it takes me a few evenings in front of the television to get a binding finished. Looking at this, it looked like I could stitch it down by machine. And I did. Seriously, why hadn’t I thought of this earlier. Instead of taking a few evenings it took less than an hour and no one is going to notice. This is a charity quilt that I’m hoping will be well used and laundered and dragged around. Although not very babyish, it measures 36″ x 47″ and it does have color.

Well that wasn’t the only thing I got done. There was mad progress on my Kinship Fusion quilt a long!

100 blocks 100 days Kinship Fusion Quilt-a-long

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with this one. It has been a blast to participate and such an inspiration to see how other quilters have interpreted the blocks in fabric. I’ve used what I have on hand and I’ve dubbed this “selective scrap”. The color story reminds me a bit of Froot Loops. If you would like to take a peek at how others are working their blocks out, go to Instagram and check out #100blocks100days2019. There are over 3900 posts! There are many people participating from all over the world! Check out Gnome Angel at for more inspiration about this project and others.

But wait there’s more! I finished a “two-fer”! This was a piece from several years ago that I finally sent off to Terry Burris Quilting. Well it’s back and I put a binding on it and it to is now complete!

When you flip the Paper Lanterns quilt over you get a more serene look. The panel is beautifully framed by the Asian inspired prints.

The lantern block was very simple to construct and made good use of the prints I had collected over the years.

Paper Lantern Block

Although I don’t recall exactly where I found the block pattern, I suspect it was a magazine from about 10 to 12 years ago.

I also had a wonderful time with my friend Susan who came down and we had quilt camp. She was working on her pizza box project. I kind of got involved in that too.

First Audition of Susans Pizza Box Quilt

This may not be how she assembles it, but it sure did give me ideas on what to do with some of my 2 1/2″ squares. I was totally smitten!

Hope your bobbins are full and you too are making progress!

Posted in Accomplishments, Challenges, Charity Quilts, Quilting, simple, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Just DO IT… Changing Direction

This week is the final challenge of Project Quilting Season 13. The prompt was “Flying Geese”.

First, I looked for some foundations I had purchased a couple of years ago from Alison Glass. They were nowhere to be found in my studio, which started a mass reorganizing event that will be ongoing for at least several weeks. More on that later. Then while looking for those foundations I did find a wearable vest pattern that I have been wanting to do for a long time.

Victory Garden Vest Circa 1995 But would I finish it on time.

Then I found a foundation pattern that I had printed off from Piece by Number called “A Circle of Geese”. ( or Although it didn’t seem like a very original or inventive idea, at least I might finish the project.

Off I went pulling out some of the same fabrics I’ve used for my other challenges. Hmm, a theme seems to have developed. The piecing began and was finished, and low and behold…

Seriously! Well fine then. Just going in a different direction. This from a gal that could get lost in a paper bag. Changing Direction is what I’m going to call this one. It is important when doing something directional or circular with paper piecing foundations that you pick up the right foundations. I picked one from the wrong pile.

And roll with it I did. I got braver with my quilting, although it’s still straight lines, there are more of them.

Initially I was going to use a grey on the geese and change out each color to outline the geese on the grey. Then I found a wonderful variegated thread that I’ve had and the colors worked well with the project.

And I’m going to make the deadline.

It’s been a great season, filled with inspiration and growth for this quilter. A shout out to Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams and Trish of Quiltchicken for their time, talent, organization and all around awesomeness for providing so many of us with these challenges and for everything that goes on behind the scenes. I am already looking forward to next year.

To see how others interpreted the challenge go to and scroll to the bottom. So far there are over 140 projects done, and one hour to go.

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Rhythm & Repetition is a Wrap

How’s that for alliteration!

Sunday I was waiting for the challenge to drop and when it did…well the only thing I could come up with was “wash rinse repeat”. I read some the articles provided with the challenge and that was helpful. Then I went to google for a visual search and found a few things I could work with. Needless to say this weeks challenge is not very “original”.

As Kim says, “Done is better than perfect”.

One of the things I like about Project Quilting is you can’t obsess over decisions. There are seven days to come up with the idea and create a plan and follow through. I work slow so it can’t be too elaborate, but I also want to create something “useful”. I can overthink or elaborate the plans that I make through the challenges later.

So back to my google search. I put in the appropriate prompts and came up with this.

I like google search because of the option of an image search as well as articles. This was one of the images used as an example of rhythm and repetition in art.

The symmetry and simplicity of the shapes in the image appealed to me. And I was confident that it was a project I could finish in the time allowed.

Within hours I had my fabric pulled and was cutting out shapes from fusible web.

This was a great opportunity to use my Charm Templates and some scraps!

I adhered the shapes to a background and then stitched around them for good measure.

Because this is a fast challenge, needle turn applique is out of the question. However, I really like to make sure my pieces are secure.

Then there was the quilting. I used various threads the approximate colors of the shapes and stitched horizontal quilting lines across the piece. After I put a back on the piece, I stuffed a pillow in it and the piece was complete!

A modern vibe for my couch!

If you would like to see other interpretations of the challenge visit and scroll down to the submissions. If you click onto some of the pictures, you get to visit blog spaces or Facebook posts or Instagram to tell you about the artist’s process.

Posted in Accomplishments, Challenges, Project Quilting, Scraps, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Dazzling Diamonds

This girl was late to the party. But what an exciting entrance!

The inspiration for this weeks Project Quilting was diamonds. As in the shape of a diamond, or as hard as a diamond or…well there was plenty to work with as far as coming up with a way to execute a design using the inspiration.

Initially, I was not going to participate because the chances of me finishing timely was less than good. I had a wonderful planned visit to my friend Sandie, and my grandson Logan was coming to visit for the weekend so this was not my first priority. Still, once the idea hit me I wanted to participate. And I did finish, but not before the deadline. It was a fun project as well as one that I am pleased with the outcome.

A few years back I had participated in the Trinkets sewalong. I remembered that there was a foundation for diamonds in the pattern and ran off my foundations. I have found that newsprint paper tears much easier than standard office paper so that is my “go to”. The price is generally lower too. Then I dug through some stash, deciding on my color story, settling on a multi-color overall, with black and white backgrounds.

The blocks came together. At first I had decided there would be four, but that was really too small for anything useful, so then added five more for my nine.

The blocks coming together.

Once I finished the additional blocks I found something to use as the sashing that was the perfect size and color without digging too deep. Then there was the backing that was as close as I could get to a diamond in black and white. Honestly, the only thing that could have made this come together easier is if it had just put itself together. I LOVE the way these blocks work up and finish out.

Dahling it’s time for your closeup…

Project Quilting 13.4 Diamonds

A big thank you to Kim of Persimon Dreams and Trish from QuiltChicken for the inspiration and fun.

Hmm, maybe I should tidy up some of this creative chaos and do some laundry before the next challenge drops.

Posted in Accomplishments, Challenges, Paper foundations, Project Quilting, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Kitchen Influence PQ13.3

This week on Project Quilting the prompt was “Kitchen Influence”. I love this as there is so much to do with the kitchen that is inspiring from food as art to food as ingredients to flavor profiles, to…and the beat goes on. And then there is the project itself. I could go as small as a mug rug or as large as a table covering.

But I knew the moment I saw the prompt exactly what my inspiration was and how I wanted to express it. A few weeks ago we got an advertisement for a wine sale. I just loved the visual that was used, and immediately began pondering how I could make this into a wall hanging.

The visual for the advertisement was the tiny little piece you see in the center of the first photo. So I enlisted the technical help of my husband to enlarge it, and enlarge it again, and again until we came up with a size that was useable.

Love this tool – the lightbox

After enlarging the pieces, I used the lightbox my sister gave me to trace the basic shapes on fusible web to build my glasses and bottles. The components were cut and adhered to a background, and I sewed around the pieces with black thread.

Once the blocks were completed, I put them together found a suitable backing and did simple vertical quilting lines the full length of the piece. The quilting isn’t straight or even, but it looks sort of organic.

Hubby holding up piece.

I opted for a facing instead of binding so the quilt would have more of a mid-century modern, Andy Warhol, art gallery feel.

Yes, I cook with wine

I’m calling this one “Yes, I cook with Wine”. Although not perfect or a “quality” piece, I love it.

Thank you Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams and Trisha Frankland of Quiltchicken for the inspiring challenges and opportunity to see what we can accomplish with these wonderful prompts.

Posted in Accomplishments, Challenges, Inspiration, Project Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments


Sunday the challenge was revealed for this week and it is “In Silhoutte”. There was encouragement and a few wonderful examples and definitions of “Silhoutte”.

This is when I wished I had had my children, or even my grandchildren done in silhoutte. Wouldn’t that be lovely? But no, and honestly honing that skill in a week just wasn’t going to happen. I hemmed and hawed and came up with one idea and was really sold on it, and then thought “no that really isn’t very original”. Then I came up with another idea and loved it but thought, one week, that would be cutting it really close, even for me. All this hemming and hawing wasn’t getting anything created, so I went with the original, not so original idea.

What I worked through was this:

PQ13.2-Silhoutte Fly Away Home

I started with the background, sewing strips together to give the impression of either sunrise or sunset.

Generally, I “quilt by check”. I’m not very good at the quilting part myself, but for straight lines and small projects, I really need to get through it and do it myself. It was my intent to give the illusion of moving air or a soft wind, just stitching random wavy lines from one side of the background to the other.

My attempt at making air movement

Then I went to Pinterest and Google to see if I could capture some geese. I found some that were not too detailed, enlarged them, printed them off and traced them on some fusible web. I played around with positioning until I was satisfied and pressed them down. I then went over them with matching thread so they would not escape.

I’m really delighted with the finish and glad I took up the challenge. It may not be perfect but it is lovely, even peaceful. The challenges make me think and follow through. They make me work on projects that I might not have chosen to do if not for the challenge. Also, it makes me work on my quilting skills, and improvisation.

If you would like to see how other quilters interpreted this challenge check them out at the bottom of this post:, or check out the #pqseason13 on Instagram.

Til next time…


Posted in Accomplishments, Challenges, Project Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

#pqSeason 13!

One of my quilty pleasures at the beginning of each year is Project Quilting. Project Quilting is the brainchild of Kim Lapacek of the Persimon Dreams blog. Every two weeks a challenge is dropped and quilters have exactly one week to come up with a plan and execute that plan into a finished quilt product. ONE week, seven days. The response is amazing as is the creativity. But it is a fast turnaround.

This weeks challenge was “All the Colors”. The challenge sat in my head for a day, and then it occurred to me that I didn’t have to make an entire quilt, but I could make a pillow.

I dug through my 2 1/2″ shirt squares and pulled the light and medium blues for my foundation.

Once that was done, I cut some “leaf” disks from heat and bond and then dug through my neckties for some color.

I fussed and moved them about on the foundation I created until I was satisfied with the composition.

I did sew the leaves down and did some simple straightline quilting. Then I found a shirt back big enough to make the pillow back and some velcro so the piece can easily be removed from the pillow form.

I’m pretty happy with the results.

If you want to flex your creative muscles I would highly recommend following and even participating in these challenges. For more information check out or just type Project Quilting Season 13 into your search engine. Also there is a Facebook page “Project Quilting” and if you like to look at all the pictures check out on Instagram using #pqSeason13 and #projectquilting

Posted in Accomplishments, Pillows, Project Quilting, Quilting, recycling, Scraps, Ties, Uncategorized, upcycle | 3 Comments

The Lists

I’m a list person. They help keep me focused. I’ve made lists for 30 years.

Annually, just before or right around New Years I’ve begun making lists of what I would like to accomplish over the year. Not a resolution but a declaration. These lists are pages long, especially those that include my creative stuff.

My Finish-A-Long list includes over 84 quilting projects that need to be finished as well as 13 craft projects that have been craving my attention, and some of the things I just want to do. There was a time in my life where these lists were much shorter. I know I am a very lucky girl to have had the opportunity to cultivate my craft and curate my collection of materials over the years.

But even those that are more than the “creative stuff” are helpful for me to progress in my person, to start or break a habit, to tune up those finances, to organize or improve my space, and to plan for the future.

Because I always feel there is always immense room for improvement, my list is massive (8 pages worth). I don’t want to forget anything and I want to plan. A old friend of mine would say, “Prior planning prevents poor performance.”

One of the tools that has helped me create these lists is a book my daughter suggested many years ago: “Your Best Year Yet”, by Jinny S. Ditzler. If I remember correctly she saw her on Oprah. I would still highly recommend the book despite the fact that it was published over 30 years ago. It helps me organize my thoughts and process the why’s and how’s of what I would like to accomplish. It helps me be thorough.

This book is a great tool to help you compile your list.

Do I accomplish everything on my list? I wish but Nope. But if it’s on the list I might make some progress. For example, I’ve had a weight goal – although I did not hit that magic number, I did make progress. I have goals for finances and every year I get closer to the goal. Even in though my age says I’m “mature”, I still want to learn and develop good habits.

I think of these lists as tools. But here is the rub: a tool doesn’t work unless you work it. So this year I will visit my lists more often and work them.

Happy New Years to all of you and may 2022 be your Best Year Yet!

Posted in Accomplishments, Challenges, Finish-A-Long, Lists, Organization, planning, UFO's, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Round Up

When I first looked back upon this 2021 to see what I accomplished, my initial reaction was “underwhelmed”. There were not many pieces highlighted on my UFO Challenge or my Finish-A-Long list. And because there was so little progress on the lists – there didn’t seem like there was much to report.

Then I dug a little deeper. True, I didn’t knock it out of the park checking things off my lists, but things were made.

Inspiration struck a few times in the last year and it was more like “list, what list”. I got into a quilt a long and could not decide what fabric to use so I started not one but three renditions of the same quilt. And although those projects will go on this years list, I do see them getting completed. And all of the fabrics came from my stash. Lightening struck again with Rhonda Dort and her Vintage Linens Quilt-A-Longs. I started strong and again, planned many and completed exactly none. This year I hope to breathe new life into these pieces.

In August came the Shimmering Triangles Class. I was truly focused on that project because I knew in my heart that if I did not finish that piece, it would never get finished. To say I was thrilled with the outcome would be an understatement.

Patriotic Quilts got put into the mix because I saw something at a quilt shop that I just had to replicate. And that led to the flag quilts. They were so easy to piece and fell together beautifully.

What a joy it was to have my sister Terry come visit, not once but twice! She is an inspiration and is amazingly organized. We thoroughly enjoyed our trips out to the local quilt shops. It’s fun to have someone to come play with and help push the envelope. I love her enthusiasm and envy her efficiency. She moves quickly and has amazing focus on the task at hand. She is fabulous company. And together we added yet another UFO (or Two) for next years list.

Charity Quilts did get done. There were at least four of them that were finished and donated.

And then there were the ornaments

Instead of dwelling on the 80 projects that didn’t get finished. I will focus on the 647 blocks I did complete this year, and the 12 pieces I finished from my lists as well as the addistional 5 quilts that were completed and NOT on any list. And I was delighted to finish 5 holiday stockings (on time and filled) for Team Ivas.

So I will take this year as a win!

Oh just a little reminder – Season 13 of Project Quilting starts Sunday January 2! So if you like a challenge, some to participate in others to cheer on check out Kim

Posted in Accomplishments, American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Charity Quilts, Finish-A-Long, Holiday Quilting, Nine Patch, Project Quilting, Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Shimmering Triangles Class

In August I took a Zoom class with my friend Sandy.  We both belong to the Virginia Consortium of Quilters which in times other than COVID has meetings all over the state four times a year and offers classes during the meetings.  When COVID arrived they pivoted to a remote model which has served them well. 

Sandy and I were familiar with the instructor, Julia Graves, as she did a wonderful presentation of her “Quilting Journey” in September of 2019 for the Hospitality Chapter of the Richmond Quilt Guild, as well as a Gemstones Piecing workshop.  She is thorough and knowledgeable and we thought it might be a nice diversion and an opportunity to use up some of those fabrics we have been collecting. 

The pattern was easy to come by as the designer, Jenny Bowker has a shop on Etsy under her name (JennyBowker) and it is an instant PDF download. 

I won’t lie; one of the hardest parts of this class was picking out the fabrics.  This class is based on contrast which, although it should be a no brainer, is not easy for me.  I thought it would be a great project to use some of those lovely florals that I’ve been (hoarding) collecting over the years.  And so it went.

The fabrics were set out and shuffled and moved and turned into black and white.  This is one of the best lessons I learned, the fact that the little device that I use daily and take pictures with can help me with my quilting and color placement.  Did you know that on most of your phones you can turn those color pictures into black and white – mind blown.  Well, ok, I was impressed. 

It was kind of fun being able to use ALL these florals.
Black and White simplifies the process

Truth be told I didn’t dare take this off the design wall until it was totally pieced.  I feared once I took it down I would never remember which way it went and it would be relegated to the UFO pile which is supposed to be shrinking (it isn’t because I keep find these other projects!).

I would have never thought to put some of these fabrics right next to one another.

Although I didn’t nail the “contrast” lesson with each block pairing, I did hit it well in a few places.

Once the top was done I found the absolute perfect backing – a Hoffman from 2017 and if I can find more of it I will buy it again!  Seriously, isn’t it fabulous!

I brought this to Deanne Davis of Creative Quilting Company here in Richmond and together we found the right design and thread for this project.  And what a wonderful job she did. 

Although I won’t be hurrying to start another one of these any time soon, I am thrilled with the outcome.  It may not be perfect, but it is perfectly fine.  My vision of a field of flowers in the soft breeze has been achieved. And in some places we have “shimmer” and in others we have “impressionism”.

Just in time for holiday sewing…

Posted in Accomplishments, Classes, Kaffe Fassett Fabric, Quilting, Richmond Quilt Guild, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Here Here For the Red White and Blue!

I’ve been cutting and sewing and cutting some more. It has been fabulous. So, in June or July I found this pattern for flag blocks. It was simple and fun and it presented really well. The pattern is Flying Flags from Amy Smart and can be found here and it’s priced affordably at $3.00.

For this one I used my “clearer” reds. And isn’t that border just the perfect frame!?! I have my sister Terry Burris to thank for that as well as for the quilting on this quilt. Oh and this one. Because I wanted to see how the quilt would look using my “older” reds the “turkey reds” that aren’t as brilliant.

Those “turkey” reds look just as bright as my bright reds. The stars and stripes border was great for this one and I truly love the backing I used.

While collecting a few more fabrics for these quilts, one of my quilt buddies and I went to a lovely little destination shop here in Virginia. They had a quilt there that just called to me. I had to reproduce it. There really isn’t much to it other than putting in the time and some simple straightforward sewing. But I loved it and I thought it might be a softer more comforting look for our female veterans. Often I think when we think of veterans we think of men. Our military has been co-ed for decades now, but still, I often think of “veterans” as men.

My Patriotic Quilt Crush!!

Although this does not work up as quickly as the Flag Quilts, it uses up alot of the scraps and is a feast for the eyes! So here is my not so masculine take on a Veterans quilt. This one will be donated and I truly hope that some brave soul finds comfort and healing.

For those of you that might be looking for a quilt for your favorite veteran you can find the Flag quilts in the vintagevacouple shop on etsy. If you are looking for additional fabrics to help create one of these quilts I have put some of those up for sale (priced to move) at the shop also.


Posted in Charity Quilts, Etsy, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments