Under the Needle on Hobby Hill

It is day 55 of the 100 Days 100 Blocks Challenge.  Many of us are using the same block patterns from last year’s Kinship Fusion offered by Gnome Angel.  This year I’m doing two versions.  One is Sink or Swim using Dear Stella fabric and the other is a “vintage” Alexander Henry fabric.  It has adorable little baby animals going to bed.   The little piggy makes me smile.  But then again so do the birds and the bear with the fish.  I’m easily amused. 

Another project that I’ve had on my UFO list is Arabesque.  I had purchased a “layer cake” on sale several years ago and it was perfect for this project.  I cut the squares according to directions.  That all went along great.  Then it came to assembling the quilt.  The blocks are offset and there is a piece that moves from one block to another, but you don’t assemble the blocks first, the entire quilt is assembled row by row.  After several attempts I had to step back.  The directions, for this free pattern or my lack of understanding said directions were killing my mojo. So I decided that I could do something simpler, there was no specific plan for this quilt other than to finish it.  By moving forward with a simpler design I could experience a win, and move on.  Well, I’m moving forward.  These will be cheerful little pinwheel quilts!  And soon I will be onto something I really WANT to work on.

Working with abandoned or thrifted fabrics, has made me really happy the last few years.  I hope to do more of it.  While making samples for the Q^ retreat several years ago, we did a block exchange using Bonnie Hunters Delectable Mountains (you can find the block pattern here https://quiltville.com/delmtspf.html ).  I had many shirts left over from that and other thrift store finds, and have been cutting and sewing these blocks to build my own mountain range.  I think once the blocks start getting up on the design wall it will go quickly.

In the studio there was a bookcase fail.  You know those little thingies that hold the bookshelf into place.  Well, apparently the load was more than they could handle.  It was no surprise when I saw that they were plastic.  The first task (after picking up the books) was to replace those plastic “thingies” with metal ones. All of them, not just the failed ones.

Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t looked or touched some of those books in several years.  So in an effort to be responsible, and start a little “downsizing”, I’ve started going through all of my quilting books.  It there aren’t 3 projects in a book that I’m interested in tackling, the book doesn’t return to the shelf.  Most of these books are pristine.  So I’ve put them up for sale on Etsy.  The prices are seriously discounted.  You can find them at https://www.etsy.com/shop/vintagevacouple.  If you know of anyone that is new to quilting and trying to build their library feel free to share the shop information.  More books go up weekly.  And my WannaDo list gets longer.

Sew, what’s under your needle?

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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

Third Quarter FINISHALONG – The List


It’s all a balancing act.  So maybe this quarter I take a more “balanced” approach to what I can finish and what I want to finish.  I’ve noticed a trend that I have a lot to carry over from quarter to quarter of projects still unfinished as well projects that weren’t even on the list making progress.  What’s up with that?

Still, it’s fun.  I’m blessed to be able to do this.  Looking at something that I have made with my own hands makes me appreciate the gifts I’ve been given and the ability to recognize gifts in others.

This quarter I have two fast ones, Sharp Dressed Man and Aromatic Rings only need binding.  I’ve made the binding for both and it just needs to be stitched down.

Fretwork 3 needs to be quilted and bound.  I pieced the back, and will quilt it with simple straight lines from top to bottom (well straightish).  Then this quilt will be ready for binding and will go to the Christmas Mother Charity for distribution this winter.


Foundation piecing will continue on my “Haberdashery” Pineapple Blocks.  This is the same color story as “Kiss Me Once Again” and I will make as many blocks as I can with the remainder of brown taffeta.  My goal is to get all of the blocks done and assembled.


Stars Over the Outback is my Aussie inspired Table Runner that needs to be quilted and bound.


As far as the carryover stuff from Quarters One and Two there is plenty to choose from:

English Paper Pieced Hexi Table Cover   (Quarter 1)

Antique Pineapple Blocks Wall Hanging (Quarter 1)

Floral Wreath Wall Hanging (Quarter 1)

Arabesque Cake Mix Quilt (Quarter 2)

Diamond Jubilee (Quarter 2)

Now you might have noticed that I am easily distracted.  My guilty pleasure of following other makers is always present.  This was a minor diversion, and if you would like to make a little diversion and help a quilter out, check out what Shelly is doing.  She needs lots and lots of signature blocks for her quilt. IMG_E6795

Go to:  https://prairiemoonquilts.com/signature-block-tutorial/  I know she would appreciate it!  And it’s a simple block to get done while you are working on something else.





Posted in American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Finish-A-Long, Inspiration, table runners, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

“She had high hopes, high apple pie in the sky hopes”


I am willing to admit that my 2nd Quarter List was a bit hopeful.  Did I make as much progress as I had hoped?  No.  Did I stick to my plan?  No.  In my defense I did make some progress, and although there was some distraction with a new, wait, maybe two new projects it was a good quarter.

Kinship Fusion 100 Blocks 100 Days 2019 is done!  And just in time too as on July 1st, the 2020 challenge began and I’m totally smitten with the fabrics I chosen.  But I do get ahead of myself.  Here is the finish.


My Summer Harvest table runner is finished.  This is such a perfect piece for this season and it’s just adorable!


It felt good to finish the “Freedom” quilt too.  The binding is on and it sits beautifully on the guest bed for the moment.  I was inspired by one of the ladies at the Fauquier Quilt Group, Sue Brinkman.  Sue had read the book and made the quilt and hand quilted it using pearle cotton.  I had quilt lust and a darn good stash of plaids.  The first top went together quickly and easily.  I put it aside to hand quilt.  My dear stepmom Sylvia admired it too, so I cut a kit for her out of my stash.  This is a good reason to show your work as you never know who you will inspire!  Unfortunately Sylvia never got to the quilt.  I finished this in her honor.  The quilt will go into my Etsy store (vintagevacouple), and partial proceeds will go to     which was one of her favorite charities.IMG_6770


Another accomplishment, although not complete are my plaid strip sets.  There was a lot of plaid work this quarter.  I was able to get two quilt tops made from those strata’s that I put together nearly 20 years ago.  I even pieced the backings and made the bindings.   Now they will go off to the longarmer. IMG_6848

Arabesque blocks just got trimmed.  And there was zip, zero, nada progress on Diamond Jubilee.

Fretwork is still incomplete; however I did piece the back.  And that adorable English paper pieced hexagon table cover, I found a back and pin basted that, but alas, that too is not in the finished pile.

Hoping I can do as well in the next quarter.  It’s such a blessing to be able to do this, and share my joy with you.



Posted in American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Finish-A-Long, Ready Set Quilt 2020, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Work in Progress Wednesday

Let me begin by saying it’s been quite an exciting couple of weeks. I’ll explain.

As I was going into my sewing room about 2 weeks ago, I looked through the door and my ceiling fan and light were on the floor. We never heard a thing. It was held up on the ceiling in a plastic box. So my beloved took the others apart and down and called an electrician.


I did a fair amount of tidying up those next couple of days as things had gotten a bit out of hand, and there was a lot of fabric on the floor. In fact there were piles of stuff everywhere. The electrician has come and gone, the repairs are done and I can see more of the floor than I’ve been able to see in months. The room in no means is clean, however it is tidier than it was. Shelly from Prairie Moon Quilts (PrairieMoonQuilts.com) has monthly tasks and challenges herself to do something in her studio every month to make it more organized. I need to take a page out of her book so things don’t get so out of hand.

Speaking of books I went to put a book on the shelf. The bookshelf failed. Well I decided to go through all the books on that shelf and the one beneath it to make sure these were books that I was going to use or enjoy. If not, they had to find a new home. So I’m nearly through the task of looking through many of my books and deciding what projects I would like to complete. Let’s just say I hope to live a very long time.

I did make progress on trimming my Arabesque blocks. Now I just need to lay them out the way I want them placed in the quilt.


And I got my Heritage Blocks up on the quilt wall and made a decision on sashing and posts. I’m hoping the border I have will work out nicely, but we will have to wait and see until the blocks are together.


One of my guilty pleasures is checking out what other bloggers are doing, and I love what Deanna has been working on at Wedding Dress Blue. She has this wonderful quilt-a-long that I just could not resist. After all I did pick up lots of fabric off the floor and I’ve been really good about cutting up my scraps into usable squares. If you have bunches of squares to use up this works up nicely.  https://weddingdressblue.wordpress.com/star-kissed-quiltalong


The UFO from my plaid strip tease is coming together nicely. I had several strata’s hanging around for years (read decades) and was not sure what I was going to do with them. This is going to be delightful.  And it will look so good on the bunkbeds in my grandsons room.


So many wonderful projects to keep my hands busy and my heart joyful.

I need to get these done as 100 Blocks 100 Days starts SOON. If you would like to participate go over and sign up with Gnomeangel at https://gnomeangel.com/come-sew-with-me

Hoping to see you soon with some fabulous finishes!  In the meantime, piece and stay safe.

Posted in Finish-A-Long, Organization, Quilting, Scraps, simple, UFO's, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Finally a Finish!

Finally a finish!  Kinship Fusion, the 100 Blocks in 100 Days is done.   This was supposed to be my UFO challenge for February, however, there was illness and now it’s complete.

There was so much to learn through this process.

The first thing I learned and often it takes more than one lesson for the lesson to stick; “Prior planning prevents poor performance”.  We were given a coloring sheet prior to taking on the challenge, I didn’t use it.  However, I did pull from a few color families with a “look” that I thought I would like.

Working ahead made this task easier to keep up with on a daily basis, so it helped to be organized.  Now I will admit that if anyone was to walk into my sewing area during this period (or any other for that matter) “organization” would not be the first impression.  Can we agree that we are all “organized” in our own way?  I did keep this project in the front while I was working on it, and I allowed myself to work on other things as this project progressed.

Measure twice cut once.  This didn’t happen often, but when it did occur it was because I was rushing.

White shows EVERYTHING.  Like when points are dulled or things don’t match up exactly.

Practice makes better.  I did notice that as the blocks were stacking up, my piecing was improving.

Communicate with your Quilter.  I wanted the quilting to be angular, and it is, however I did not understand the scale of this particular design.  It turned out to be far larger than I anticipated.  And I had hoped for the quilting to be denser.


What I like about this quilt.  I LOVE the way it fits the bed.  I like a quilt to cover both the box spring and mattress.  For it to be larger than the sheet it covers.  This one does that nicely.


The Social Media component of this was great.  I got to see what other quilters were doing with their blocks and developed a following of my own.  The fussy cutting and use of color and theme truly was inspiring.  If you would like to see for yourself check out #kinshipfusionsampler on Instagram.

Would I do it again?  Oh YES!  And I probably will.  Angie from Gnome Angel is going to start a new 100 Day 100 Blocks on July 1.  For more information and patterns go to: https://www.gnomeangel.com/100day100blocks2020


Posted in Accomplishments, Finish-A-Long, Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Working It! FAL2020 Quarter 2 List

Decisions, decisions!  With so many projects to work on it’s difficult to decide how to work through them and avoid the desire to start something new.  Although it is probably inevitable, if I can maintain some semblence of focus, perhaps I’ll have more finishes than starts.

Because I like to piece I have Project #9 The Arabesque Cake Mix Quilt on the list.


I have all the fabric and the pattern and I’ve started pressing.  This will hopefully fulfill my piecing desires.  If it doesn’t there is also this.


Diamond Jubilee has been pulled and boxed for over 5 years.  I have all of my supplies, I just need to get it done.  It is #14 on my annual list.

Freedom Plaid needs to be trimmed and binding to be made then applied as well as a label.  (Well maybe, I’m not a stickler for labels).


This one really should be an easy finish!  This is #42 on my list.

100 Blocks 100 Days 2019 should move quickly also.  I  just need to finish making the binding (I made it too short) and apply it.  And there is that label thing.  This was fun to piece and I enjoyed the comraderie of all of the others doing the quilt-a-long last year.  Truly the inspiration I got just seeing what others did with their blocks was amazing.  I might even join in this year!  If interested check out Gnome Angel and the Kindred Fusion Quilt-A-Long.  This project is #44 on the Finish-A-Long list.


Fretwork 2 the big one is project #44 on my list.  It is a very generously sized baby quilt.  I finished a smaller one this year and showed it in my Book Work post.  Finishing this means quilting as well as making and applying the binding.

Holding project spot #66 on the list is Plaid Strip Sets – a pair of quilts is constructed using strip sets I put together about 20 years ago.  The two quilts will be gifted to my son for his boys bunkbeds.  My goal is to get them pieced and to the quilter.  IMG_6652

I’m carrying over my Summer Harvest Table Runner Project # 46.  Unfortunately this did not get any attention in the first quarter, and still needs to be quilted and bound.


But I did get some progress done on my EPP Hexi Table Topper – Not much but some!  I HAND APPLIQUED IT TO THE BASE!  Those that know me understand that applique is not my forte.  But after hand piecing all those sweet hexies, I really felt the need to hand stitch it to the foundation.  Now I need to hand quilt it.  Again, not my strong suit but the project begs for it.


Like so many of you, I have been making masks for medical personnel, as well as family and friends.  It is difficult to admit, that it is not my favorite task. Admitting this makes me feel selfish.  I’m slow and don’t put out as many as some of the gals do.  When I spoke to my son and told him what I was doing, he thanked me for doing my part.  It was then that I once again saw how truly blessed I am to even be able to do this.  My little bit of work might help someone stay safe or provide comfort.  I don’t have the talent or know how or bravery it takes to be on the front lines fighting this virus, but I can “do my part”.  Thank you son, for making this clear.

May your piecing bring you peace.







Posted in American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Finish-A-Long, Hexis, Quilting, Ready Set Quilt 2020, table runners, Terry Burris Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Finishalong Quarter One Finishes

Everybody sing, “She had High Hopes, she had high apple pie in the sky hopes!”

That being sung, (hahahaha – like what I did here).  In spite of going on a long vacation, I did get a few things moved forward and some completed.

I finished my sweet Patriot Hearts wall hanging that has been languishing for over 20 years.


Patriot Hearts

The piece travelled with me on vacation and I did most of the hand quilting during our down time.  It is quilted with double strands of Coats and Clark quilting thread from “back in the day”.


Quilting Detail

The quilting is a little primitive, as it’s been years since I quilted by hand, but I am satisfied with it.  I think a hoop might have improved things, but that being said, maybe not.

Another finish was Charmed.  I blogged about this piece earlier.


It needed binding a label and a sleeve.  All are done and it now is ready for the quilt show that is scheduled for October.

And then there is Free State Blue.  This is the second of my Free State Quilts.  Free State is the name of the block.  One of the quilts has a pretty green border and a toile back it is currently on the bed in my guest room.

Doesn’t it fit beautifully on the bed!  The second one is smaller, but there are things I love about it.

The backing and binding I just adore.  This one has a total of 49 blocks, where the green has 81. Terry Burris Quilting quilted both of these quilts.  The green one with a Baptist Fan allover and she did custom quilting on the blue.

There is one more of these with a mere 12 blocks, but that one is going to have to wait.  I really enjoyed making these blocks over the years (obviously if the number of blocks is any indication!).  Maybe the person I gifted the remaining cut pieces for another 30 or so blocks will have as much fun piecing them as I did.

Just a little progress was made on my English Paper Pieced Hexies.  But even a little progress is progress none the less.


This is a skill set I have yet to perfect.  Applique.  However, I did plod along and get the piece appliqued to the foundation.

There were three things on my list that I didn’t even touch.  They were the wall hanging with the antique pineapple blocks, the floral wreath wall hanging, and alas the Summer Harvest table runner.  I’ll decide if I am going to carry them over to Quarter 2, or set them aside AGAIN.

Stay safe out there, and take comfort in your craft.


Posted in Accomplishments, American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Finish-A-Long, Hexis, Quilting, Ready Set Quilt 2020, Terry Burris Quilting, UFO's, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments


It was not my intent to start another quilt.  My intent was to finish quilts and works in progress.  Lots of them.

While I was digging around for binding for my Free State Quilt(s), I made a bit of a mess.  I did find the fabric that I wanted for my bindings and did complete the quilts.  They are lovely, and I will share them in my next entry.  But what I left behind was chaos in the bin and on the floor, and things just didn’t go in the same way, and as I dug around a bit more I found this pattern:

If you follow Shari Flinn or Buffy Harris on FB or Instagram you have seen their beautiful work.   The precision of their piecing, and the way they put fabrics together is swoon worthy.  For those of you not familiar with their work  check them out shariflinn and buffythequiltslayer both are on instagram.  There is some serious inspiration and aspiration there.  After seeing all of the progress they have made on some gorgeous pieces of work, I thought I would just see if I could pull something together with these prints.  Any progress is progress right?

The pattern is not difficult and was originally offered by Benartex several years ago.  You can still get the pattern for free!  It can be found here:  https://bearcreekquiltingcompany.com/media/uploads/2014/12/18/files/Heritage_Quilt_Pattern_by_Benartex.pdf

Now, I say it wasn’t difficult, but I did have a wonderful little romance with my seam ripper.  On about one out of three blocks I would sew my points on the wrong way.

That being said though, I did finish my blocks.


I love them.  The pattern calls for 20 to make a quilt that finishes out at 52″ x 63″.  I made 37.  Some are duplicates.  My hope is to make the quilt a bit bigger and to make some pillow shams to match.  Now I need to find a piece large enough to get the sashing and borders.  But that will have to wait UFO’s are calling.  And shopping is going to have to wait until “isewlation” is over.

Where do you find inspiration?



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Don’t Fence Me In a.k.a. The Wooly Bully

Don’t Fence Me In, the wool quilt from the first quarter of my Finish-A-Long is done and sent to its forever home.  This quilt was inspired by a photo my daughter Meaghan had found in a Pottery Barn Catalog over ten years ago.  Although this quilt doesn’t come close to an exact replica of the photo she shared, the inspiration is there.

The quilt was created using several curated wools from G-Street and thrift shops.  Cutting the wool required a zig zag blade in my rotary cutter and I went through two of them.  Even with the pinked edges, there was a LOT of debris on my cutting surface, in my bobbin and until I got it all together, on me.  Originally the blocks were log cabins then mid-stream I started making H blocks.  The placement of the log cabin blocks remind me of neighborhoods.  When I figured out what I had and what I needed I ended up with the H blocks surrounding the log cabins.  I found a lovely piece of wool blend for the backing.

This pleased me but also called for a change of name.  Originally I was going to call this the Wooly Bully.  When the project grew, it was a beast to move about.  And it was heavy.  But I titled this one “Don’t Fence Me In” as the H blocks resembled fencing to me.  It might have also had something to do with what was going on in the news during my piecing.

Terry Burris Quilting did the quilting, using a wool batting.  I put on the binding and off it went to Meaghan in Maine, where it’s warmth would be appreciated.

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I am grateful for Meaghans inspiration as well as her gratitude and the PHOTO when she received it, as I totally forgot to take one prior to sending it out to her.  This quilt is a warm hug from me to her.

Although not on my “List”, I made a little update in my kitchen.


Lemons!  My new valance in the window.  The lemon yellow matches the wall perfectly and was just what I needed to feel that spring is right around the corner!

More projects are nearing the finish line in this first quarter of the Finish-A-Long, and I can’t wait to get them done to share with you!

Posted in Accomplishments, Finish-A-Long, Uncategorized, Wool | Tagged | 8 Comments