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: https://kimlapacek.com/2022/01/13.2-in-silhoutte, 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 https://kimlapacek.com/2022/01/13-1-all-the-colors-challenge-1 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 Lapacek.com.

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 https://diaryofaquiltershop.com/collections.downloadable-pdf-patterns 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

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) https://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/scrappy-mountain-majesties.html. 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: https://fabshophop.com/free-pattern-whimsical-quilt.asp. 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 (etsy.com) 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