Design Wall Monday – Winter Blues

It’s Monday morning – time for Design Wall Monday. So let’s take a peek at my design wall – it’s something exciting! 111 six inch blocks, stitched in reproduction indigo blues and shirting prints. And it’s ready to sew together! It’s just the kind of winter blues that I like! And it’s a good thing it’s only 18 degrees in Kansas today because it would be bad news if someone came in and turned on the ceiling fan!

001 It’s taken a year to make these 6″ pieced blocks from the book, The Farmer’s Wife.It’s the store sample for a Block of the Month program at Quilting Bit’s and Pieces in Eudora, KS. Throughout the project I have used Marti Michell’s perfect patchwork templates along with the conversion charts  she created to go with the book. (If you are interested in the charts, go to Marti’s website and write to her through the contact page.) I’m a long time fan of Marti’s templates and especially loved using Set S for making the 5 patch blocks in this project.

The block of the month is ongoing and will continue until Jan 2015. The last time I checked there were still a few openings in this indigo version and several in the brights and white version. Check it out at the shop’s website by clicking here.

Judy Laquidara of The Patchwork Times, hosts Design Wall Monday so click here to see what others have on their design walls!

I’m hunkering down as we are expecting another big snowstorm tonight. Lack of milk or eggs isn’t a problem but I can’t be caught snowed in without the right color of thread!


Design Wall Monday – Off to Quilt Camp!

Awhile back, when I decided to join Design Wall Monday, I told myself that there was no pressure to absolutely, without fail, post something every Monday. I’ve been away and my design wall has been bare for two full weeks. But today I have something fun to show!

Oz overall quiltI don’t have attention deficit disorder but I am easily distracted and sometimes things just don’t get done in the order other people might expect them. Take for example my current project: A great big 95” x 95” Wizard of Oz quilt. Designed several years ago as a block of the month program by Sharon Vesecky at Quilter’s Paradise in Baldwin City, KS, it is whimsical and fun. I saw the finished quilt hanging in Sharon’s shop last fall and bought one of her last full kits with the idea that I would sew a block or two a month and finish it in due time. It was a great plan!

Inspired by a recent visit to The Wizard of Oz Museum, in Wamego, KS, (very fun, by the way!) I pulled my project out to assess my progress, or lack thereof.  

 The blocks sew up quickly – when one spends most of their sewing time doing hand applique’ any machine piecework seems fast!  But instead of slow and steady wins the race, I tend to go in spurts, cutting and stitching 3-4 months’ worth of blocks in a sitting. Then I might need the design wall for something else so I pull the current display off the wall and tuck it away for later. That’s pretty much my system – pinging from project to project. Please tell me I’m not the only one who works that way! Wizard of oz quilt in progress  Here is the upper left corner of the work in progress.

Technicolor film, a little dog, ruby red slippers, rainbow-bargello style, it's all here!

Technicolor film, a little dog, ruby red slippers, rainbow-bargello style, it’s all here!

Good Witch/Bad Witch Block

Good Witch/Bad Witch Block

I have three days of uninterrupted retreat sewing coming up and will be taking this with me along with 15 or so other projects in various stages of completion (I believe in having plenty to choose from depending on which way the wind is blowing!). But there is no pressure – I’ll sew what I feel like sewing and bring the rest home for another day.

What’s on your design wall? Check out what others are working on at The Patchwork Times.


Design Wall Monday – Eureka!

Native of California where the state motto is “Eureka! I have found it!”, and graduate of The College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California, it stands to reason that I might like just about anything that has the word Eureka in it! Today I’m heading out on another trip – this time to Eureka Springs, AR and The Writer’s Colony, where I will be staying for a week. While there I will be working primarily on my “pie project”. The plan is to write and bake pies – I’m booked in a special culinary suite where cookbook authors can recipe test while in residence as a writer. Amidst the pies and computer work I will enjoy one quilt-y day as I’ve been invited to present a workshop on back basting applique’ while “on location”. Click here to see more.

No matter how committed I am to writing and baking during the course of the week, I know myself well enough to know that I will need some handwork for down time. So, although my design wall is empty, my suitcase is packed – with a bed sized quilt in need of hand stitching on the binding, (I’ll sleep under it while away from home -even with an unfinished binding!) and I’m taking along this hand applique’ project:


It’s the center of “Tree of Life Medallion” by Reproduction Quilts. I started it way back in the 2005 or 2006; the tree was stitched with back basting applique’. Now I’m adding the cut out flowers with needle turned edges – they were already all basted in place when I re-discovered this project while cleaning up my sewing room. It was not exactly a Eureka! moment – it was more like an “Ugg, really? I never finished that?” moment.

While in Eureka Springs. I’ll be busy looking for a way to tie my pie story together. Check back later to find out if  “I found it!” in Eureka Springs!

In the meantime, click here to go to Judy Laquidara’s Patchwork Times and see what others have on their design walls (or in their suitcases!).


Design Wall Monday –

It’s a holiday weekend in the US as we celebrate Labor Day.

Some consider Labor Day the official end of summer but we continue sailing until it’s too cold to be on the water. So, I’m leaving a few works in progress on the design wall as we head out to the lake looking for enough wind for sailing.

I’ve been trying out Marti Michell’s Long/Skinny Sashing ruler to set these sampler blocks together. single block with long skinny sashingsSampler with long skinny sashings Wouldn’t you know it – I am 3 1/2″ short on my inner border fabric so I couldn’t get it finished yesterday! Quilt shop run on the schedule for Tues! These blocks were made using the Marti Michell templates featured over the past year in the Marti and Me Club that I lead at Quilting Bits and Pieces in Eudora, KS.

And here are some sweet little machine embroidered blocks stitched for me by my friend Sherry. (I begged.) Someday I will get them made into a little banner to hang in the cabin on our sailboat.054July emb block June embroidered block

When I cleaned up my sewing room to prepare for my guild’s tour of member’s sewing rooms, I made a list of 59 projects that I found scattered about the room in various stages of completion. I took a few of them with me on our “Quirky Kansas Tour” to have handwork to do in the car. I am happy to show you 4 finished projects. Don’t get too impressed though; that’s 4 down 55 to go!

Winter trees from a Karen Montgomery pattern

Winter trees from a Karen Montgomery pattern

I had to make this project because this is what I see in my yard during the winter months:from Barb 066

Churn Dash Doll Quilt - Reproduction fabrics. Machine quilted on my HQ Sweet 16.

Churn Dash Doll Quilt – Reproduction fabrics. Machine quilted. 5″ blocks

Hand appliqued from a Lori Smith, From my Heart to your Hands, design

Hand appliqued, designed by Lori Smith, From my Heart to your Hands.  16″x20″ machine quilted.


Crochet edge fleece - not a quilt but it was a project on the floor in the sewing room so it made the list!

Crochet edge fleece – not a quilt but it was a project on the floor in the sewing room so it made the list!

I’m linking to The Patchwork Times today. Visit Design Wall Monday to see what others are working on!








Design Wall Monday – An Ice Cream Cone sort of Summer

You know those quirky roadside attractions that we see and say someday we will stop? Well, we did it! We stopped. Last week my husband I took a three day trip across Kansas specifically to go to some of those curious attractions. I have stories to tell and pictures to show but today is Design Wall Monday so here’s what’s on my design wall – ice cream cones!

ice cream conesI’m participating in a row exchange with a group of ladies in my quilt guild. We are supposed to make 6 rows, each the same, and we’ll swap and get 6 rows, each different. The only guideline, besides the theme of summer, was that the rows must be 48″ finished. Here’s a little picture of my full row:

row of ice cream cones

That’s an 8″ block – I found the pattern on my EQ program. It was fun finding the right fabrics for the cones (printed basket weave to the rescue!) and deciding which 6 flavors of ice cream I would stitch. I ended up with Mocha, Strawberry/Blueberry Cheesecake, Butterscotch Ripple, Chocolate Mint Chip, Berry/Cherry Swirl, and French Vanilla. (Note: you will not find any of those flavors in my freezer – only on my design wall!)039

The Real Deal! Lemon Ice-box Ice Cream on a sugar cone.

Oh wait! I think I have flavor that  in fabric! I’ll never look at my stash the same way.

Check out what others are working on by clicking here. And check back soon for a post about our quirky roadside attraction tour.


Design Wall Monday – Rocking Chairs and Small Ships

Design Wall Monday, hosted by Judy at The Patchwork Times is a fun way to share with other like-minded individuals just what’s going on in the sewing room. Today my sewing room is all neat and tidy with pretties displayed on the design wall instead of works in progress. That’s because my quilt guild had a sewing room tour last Thurs and my room was one of four featured so I had to doll things up a bit. Read about getting ready for the tour and see before and after photos of my sewing room by clicking here.

So here’s a peek at what’s on my design wall:

Synchronized Swimming

from a Marti Michell pattern.

(Made with curved templates for the Marti and Me Club that I lead at Quilting Bits and Pieces in Eudora, KS)

 turtles cropped

And Rocking Chair clip art ideas for a row quilt exchange I am participating in.


And since I’m ready to mess up my sewing room again, I’m on a new mission. Quilters have been asking me about using back basting applique’ on different types of projects such as Baltimore Album quilts with tiny pieces and many layers, Mola quilts with many levels of reverse applique and other designs with many complicated shapes or tiny pieces. I am usually attracted to simpler designs, and don’t often work in the more complicated styles, but I think back basting will work for all of them  – it just requires thinking ahead and working a layer at a time. I’m setting out to prove to myself that it will work.

I went to the book shelf seeking the hardest applique’ patterns in my collection.   I selected three books containing patterns that I consider complicated applique’.

Here they are from Left to Right:

Wilflower Album, by Bea Oglesby; Little Brown Bird, by Margaret Docherty; and some of the designs in Beloved Baltimore Album Quilts, by Elly Sienkiewicz.


First up will be this lovely little sailing ship from Elly’s book. I’m going to stitch it on an 8″ finished block.


It can’t be any more challenging than cleaning my sewing room!


Design Wall Monday-Summer Thunderstorms

There is no greater excuse to stay indoors and sew during the summer than a heat wave followed by a thunderstorm!

My husband was away for the weekend and I planned to either garden or sew while home alone. Mother Nature helped me decide and I used excuse number 1 (heat advisory) the first day and excuse number 2 (thunder showers) on the second day and stayed in and stitched. The outside gardens remain neglected but lots of flowers have bloomed under my needle!

So here is what’s on my design wall today:ships and border 1 adjusted

The first border of my Ladies of the Sea plus the first four blocks that I finished earlier this year.

Here is a detail of the center section of the border:border 1 detail adjusted

This project is only overwhelming if you start it then barely sew on it for three months. Voice of experience? Yes, darn it!  But I still have three more borders to sew. I’m looking at that as three more opportunities to show that I have the power to overcome my own procrastinating!

That said, there will be no handwork this week as I have agreed to open my sewing room for my local quilt guild’s tour of member’s sewing spaces. Our program coordinator caught me at a weak moment and got me to agree to participate so now I have to clear a path so visitors can get in beyond the doorway. Maybe I will post some before and after pictures just for the fun of it!



Design Wall Monday – No sewing at the lake!

I like to take my hand sewing to our sailboat at Lake Perry. Lake Perry is one of the prettiest places in our area and although it is one of Kansas’ largest lakes, on Sunday afternoons it is nearly empty of boaters. When we have wind it is exhilarating to sail across the lake but without wind it can be hot and humid and quite miserable. So I take handwork along to take my mind off the weather.DSC00540

Yesterday I took my Ladies of the Sea border with me to the lake with great plans of stitching while waiting for wind. But I didn’t stitch. Instead we had awesome wind and spent an afternoon of brisk sailing. It’s hard to sew in the wind and besides I was busy taking a turn at the helm or manning the jib sheets. Hey, when you are a sailor, wind is wind – and at Lake Perry you take it when you can get it – the handwork will keep!

Here is a picture of  one third of my first border with a bit more stitching completed. border 1

In addition to my hand applique’ work I have a new project on my design wall. Today I received a package from my daughter. Inside were the final t-shirts she wants in her college T-Shirt quilt. I’m particular excited to get started on this project because it will free up a lot of space in my sewing room when I move all her t-shirts from a pile on my floor into her quilt then on to her own apartment!


So that’s what’s on my design wall! See what others are up to by visiting The Patchwork Times.


Design Wall Monday – Ladies of the Sea

When I started this website I dreamt of it being a collection point for stories about some of my favorite things. I wanted to write about teaching myself to bake pies, about growing up on a farm, the books I love and, of course, quilts. That said, I thought it was high time I posted something about quilts. Today I am linking to Judy Laquidara’s The Patchwork Times through her Design Wall Monday program. Each Monday she hosts a peek into quilter’s sewing rooms to see what others are working on. I have followed Design Wall Monday for a long time – two years, or more, but today is my first time to link my own design wall. So here we go!

I love appliqué. I have multiple appliqué projects in progress at any given time but generally focus on one as my primary project. Currently it is Ladies of the Sea, by Susan Garman of Quakertown Quilts. In Jan I started with great gusto and completed the first four blocks in record time.Ladies of the sea 1 2 and 3

block 4

Then I started a border and my motor stalled. I have been spinning my wheels on it for three months. Maybe, just maybe, by posting it here I will become energized to stay on task! Here is part of the first border:Border 1

I am using Back Basting Appliqué on this project. It is the subject of my new book, Back Basting Appliqué Step by Step, which just released last month. Check it out at shopMartingale.com or click on the author button over there on the right, up on top. My border has most of the first layer of motifs appliquéd and I have begun adding the stems.

Check out what others are working on at Judy’s website by clicking here. And come back to blog.barbsfavorites.com periodically to see what else I have found to distract me from finishing my border!