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

Over 100 Days, But Under a Year!

Longarm Quilters all over the world probably have been working steadily over the last year. Those quilters with a reputation and stong customer base have been quoting dates up to 90 days out and beyond. With so many of us home and occupying our time with our crafts it’s been a productive time for many.

I was delighted to get all of these quilts back from the longarmer in record time under any circumstances. A very special thank you to Deanne Davis of Creative Quilting Company for a job beautifully done. Deanne is part of the Hospitality Chapter of the Richmond Quilters Guild.

Last July I started 100 Days 100 Blocks. Because I had some wicked cute fabric, I did two renditions. Days turned into weeks and months, and by day 85 the thrill was gone. But I could see the light at the end of the tunnel – there were only 15 days left of course I could do that! And I did.

May I present Sink or Swim

Sink or Swim – 100 Days 100 Blocks – Kinship Fusion Pattern
It fits nicely on a queen sized bed.

And without further ado, here is Sweet Dreams

And then there were three: Rise and Shine!

Isn’t it amazing how three quilts created using the same blocks can look so different.

Will I do it again this year?

So many patterns so little time.

Posted in Accomplishments, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 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

Inspiration is Everywhere and Resistance is Futile!

I almost missed it! Project Quilting has begun! Although I do not participate in all of the challenges, some of them just pull me in. That “I can do this”, kicks in and the next thing I know is I’ve gone down the “rabbit hole”. It’s all good though. The way it works is there are 6 challenges in 12 weeks. You have 7 days to complete the challenge and link your project. Needless to say, with only 7 days from start to finish these are not queen size quilts! But even if you don’t participate in a challenge you can be inspired by those that do. For more information check out Kim Lapaceks blog and her project quilting site at Also check out her blog. This lady is amazingly creative and productive. She has several scrap block challenges and is the designer of the Wonky Dresden Neighborhood. You can find her blog here: This first challenge was “Illuminating & Ultimate Gray” – the second challenge is “Fussy Cuts” – oh sew tempting!

In November I signed up for the 1914 Boehm House Vintage Linens Retreat being held on Facebook. The retreat started January 1. It’s free, and if you have been collecting vintage linens you will want to check this out. There are over 700 participants and I can assure you that the inspiration is mind blowing. I’ve culled through my collection of linens and ladies vintage hankies and am delighted to have the opportunity to use them. If you are interested in working with vintage linens you can check out Rhonda Dorts blog at shares a wealth of information on laundering, and using all or parts of those special linens that may or may not be in the best condition. Or join the Facebook group 1914 Boehm House Vintage Linens Retreat.

And then, Shelly from Prairie Moon Quilts had some year end studio challenges that I thought I needed to take part in. The first one posted on December 29 was to “Clear Off Your Main Work Surface”. Well, that was tricky. What’s my main work surface? The cutting table, the sewing table, the ironing board? Well, I decided it was the cutting table initially, and that was fine until I really got into it and then lot’s of that stuff ended up on the ironing board, and I took a good look at my sewing table. Yikes! Well, there were several participants that got this done in 1 day. I took every second to the January 7 deadline.



I am excited to report that my block count for 2020 was 636! That’s a lot of blocks! Obviously not all of them are complicated. The 100 Blocks in 100 Days challenge was the bulk of these as I did over two sets, and those blocks are now flimsy’s getting ready to go to the longarmer.

And then there are these:

I was going to participate in the Love and Stitches Quilt-A-Long, but just didn’t feel it. Well I’m feeling it now. I found some fabric that I purchased from Nine Mile Quilts on Etsy (my friend Annie Morgan) and a few other pieces to mix in and I can just see this sweet quilt coming together. The Love and Stitches Pattern is available on etsy also at MeganCollinsQuilts. There was one adaptation that I did with the pattern and instead of using one piece as the body of the heart, I made 9 patches. These hearts are bigger than any of the blocks I’ve made over the last year measuring in at a whooping 12″.

Hoping you are feeling the love and that your mojo is brewing.

Posted in Accomplishments, antiquing, Classes, Inspiration, Nine Patch, Organization, Project Quilting, Quilting, recycling, Scraps, Sewalong, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments

I Do Declare!

One of the Finish Alongs I participate in asks for a “Declaration of Intent”. This statement shares what I intend to finish during the first round of the year. The round started January 1 and ends on March 31.

The oldest project I am working on this quarter is Karens Sunflowers.

This has been hanging around for a long time. Really long time. My intent is to get the patched squares tied off and the floral squares quilted (long stitch style). Then I’m going to bind and give it to Karen who has been waiting for this…a long long time.

Then there is “Fretwork”.

I’ve made a couple of these. They are fun, but this may be the last one for a while. After all there are lots of quilts out there begging to be done. For this one, I’m going to machine quilt it with somewhat straight lines in white or grey thread approximately 3/8 to 1/2″ apart. Then I’m going to bind it.

This next project I have been looking forward to for a while. I call it Mountains Majesty, but the traditional pattern name is Delectable Mountains. This came from a Bonnie Hunter pattern and I’ve been just itching to get to it.

For this quilt I am constructing the blocks from thrifted and gifted mens shirts. I have most of the blocks completed, I just need to put them together. I have the backing for this one and I will have it quilted by a longarmer. I hadn’t noticed that the mirror in my little suitcase caught the reflection of my “graceful” foot. (I’m chuckling here!). That’s about the only part of me that has an appearance of some grace right now.

For more information about these finish-a-longs check out on the web and on instagram #ssqfal2021 and #finishalong2021. On Facebook you can find them at The Sunflower Garden and Finish-A-Long.

Now the January finish for American Patchwork and Quilting is #7. That happens to be one that I didn’t finish last year – obviously right.

This is my Crazy Patchwork Tablerunner that was made with neckties. I need to do some fancy stitching on the seams as well as quilting and binding the piece.

Well, that’s what I’m sharing for now. I do have a couple of other things to share later this month!

Keep your bobbins filled and piece!

Posted in Accomplishments, Finish-A-Long, Quilting, UFO's, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Giving Tuesday

I am fortunate to have been able to retire, early. Life, for me, is good. I have a home where I can stay and be safe. My husband and I are in good health. That is such a blessing. I have a desire to help, to serve, to do good. My skills and strengths are not suitable for many types of charity, but I can sew. I love to serve through quilting.

Like you we get a phenomenal amount of mail requesting donations to several charities. It is difficult to know who has the best formula for feeding the hungry, or curing the ill, or housing the homeless. But we make our best decisions and go through our box of requests and give what we can.

The quilt guild I belong to has several charity organizations that request quilts. I love doing this. I do it cheerfully and I do my very best to create something for someone I may never meet, to bring them comfort. Truth be told, I find this far more fun than wading through the myriad of solicitations for donations. But I do digress.

This month one of the charities we are collecting for Doorways. Doorways is similar to a Ronald McDonald House for families of children (or adults) that are getting medical care from VCU Medical. Sometimes these families come from hundreds of miles away to receive special services from VCU. These procedures and services can take days. Doorways provides a place to stay for patients and their family or caretaker while they are receiving the health care they need. Many of these patients are children. With that in mind I made this.

Lap size quilt for Doorways

The yellow is so cheerful. There are two of them, this one is larger, and there is a baby quilt as well. The initial plan for this was a totally different quilt, but this is perfect.

I love the way my points came together. That had to be divine intervention. And I had the perfect fabric to make the binding sitting in my stash just waiting for an opportunity.

Sometimes I find comfort in very simple sewing. A task where my mind can wander, and I can still stay on task. The quilt I made for Christmas Mother is simple sewing.

Simple Quilt

I have no idea what to call this. It is made with scraps, yet it is cohesive. there are two simple blocks, and depending on how you orient them, you can get a collection of different quilt designs.

Basically, you start with 2 1/2″ squares, sew them together in four patches. Then you surround the four patches with a background. The alternate block reverses the process. You start with a background piece 4 1/2″ square, and surround it with 2 1/2″ squares of the scraps.

I love the way this turned out and I would be happy to have this in my home. I truly hope the recipient enjoys it. I can see several more of this in different compilations being made with love to give.

So this year, when we have been quarantined and socially distancing and missing our loved ones, let’s remember how good we really do have it, and how we can do what we can for others.

Peace. Stay safe.

Posted in Charity Quilts, Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged | 4 Comments