Maybe this month…

So I didn’t get my goal met for November, so maybe this month I can get my challenge quilt finished, still needs the label and binding to be completed.  I didn’t decide until December 1st how I want to do the label.  So a better chance this time, even though it will be another week before I will get to work on it again.  But I do intend on getting it done!


If you go to Elm Street Quilts or #onemonthlygoal, you can see what others are working on this month.

I did get a quilt top completed in November, that I had started the previous November.  It was the Secret Santa sew along from Temecula Quilt Company, back in 2018.  But I am glad to have the top finished and maybe I can hand quilt it over the winter, at least that’s the plan.


I do like how it turned out – it looks much better in person.  🙂

One Monthly Goal

While reading other blogs, I recently found One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts.  What a great idea to keep you motivated!  This month I am going to try and join in.  Only one needs to be listed and I decided to focus on finishing the challenge quilt.

Jeanette has finished the quilting, over a month ago, and I just need to bind it – that has been cut and pieced already also.  It’s the labeling that stalls me.  I try to remind myself that I don’t need to write a novel, just stick to the facts.  So let’s hope I can get it done!

Follow the link and check out other projects in the works as well!

The Farm

img_3070This is the farm where I grew up.  My Mother moved here when she was 10 and we bought it from my grandparents when I was 4.  It has seen many changes over the years.  In the late ’50’s, indoor plumbing and an addition was added to the house.  In the ’70’s the hog barn was taken down and the feeding floor was put in, which you can’t see for ALL THE TREES! The machine shed was added and the grainery  has been taken down.  The bins were sold and removed and at the beginning of this month, the barn and silos were taken down.  There have been several aerial photos taken over the years.  The first one was really big, taken in the 70’s.  You can actually see my Grandpa in it testing the fence.  In this one, I think taken around 2008, my Mom and I are in the garden.

The pictures are nice, but my favorite rendition was made by my cousin, Susan.


I am not sure when she made it.  But I love all the details she included.  It hangs at my aunt’s house and I admire it every time I visit.  It is so true to my grandparents farm.  The weeping willow tree south of the house – my cousin, David, hid in it during a night time game of Kick the Can.  We raised Guernsey cows, except for two Holsteins named Black and Decker.  Grandma always had a big garden opposite the house, across the driveway.

She was able to use one of Grandpa’s shirts for him on the tractor.  I love the milk cans too.  Grandpa delivered milk when our parents were young.  The fencing around the yard and the calf barn, the straight furrows (quilting) of the fields, the tool shed in the middle of the circle… I love all the details!  She did such a great job!  I could not begin to make such a beautiful tribute to our heritage.

Challenge quilt

At my Litchfield quilt guild, I am on the planning committee. Towards the end of summer I challenged the others to create something based on a childrens Golden Book of their choice. We were to have it done by April so that we could show them at the meeting and encourage the members to participate in a guild challenge. I chose the book Old MacDonald, the song every child learned in grade school. I had ideas of making a center barn and a fence type border and appliqués of different farm animals. But time got away and it didn’t happen. I found fabric with all different animal sounds printed on it and thought I was on the right track. At a sew Saturday, we found a farm panel that wouldn’t work for pillow cases but matched my theme!

  • And that is what I ended up using. Finished in a hurry. Very lightly machine quilted. But it was finished. I showed mine first because knowing the other ladies, mine would be the least impressive.
  • I cut the alphabet panel apart and sewed colored squares in between. The letters are cute “B” is for Barn, “C” is for Cow and so on. Used the farm panel top and bottom, the animal sounds fabric for a border and simple outline quilting.
  • Presentation was a success! And I was right, the others did a great job! Mary Alice had 101 Dalmations and made a bag using polka dot fabric representing the dogs, ombre fabric for the pocket for Cruella, flowewd lining for the meadow. It was great! Michele had Pup in the Pumpkin patch and made a pillow! A beautiful pumpkin on the front in squares of well blended oranges, puppy buttons for embellishment, and a pocket on the back to put the story book! Barb’s book was about Pussywillows. She made a framed 12″ block of frogs and pussywillows that was adorable. RaeAnn made a lap quilt wih a panel as well from The Jungle book.
  • Our next challenge for the guild is easier. Everyone drew from a bag a candybar! We have util August to make our projects. I am so excited I already have my fabric!
  • Can’t wait to see what everyone makes!
  • Dazzled is going to California

    Dazzled, a Gathering Friends pattern.


    About 10 years ago, I was ready to make a quilt for myself.  I had a pattern picked out, and DeAnn, from my local quilt shop, DeAnn’s Country Village Shoppe, helped me pick out fabric.  A lot of fabric.  The quilt measures 93″ by 114″.  It went together rather quickly, I think I made it over a spring break.  I left it with my friend Jeanette to machine quilt it.

    I love the custom quilting she put into it.  She knows I love swirls and fans and feathers.

    She even incorporated a design from a ring I have.  She did a great job!

    I do love this quilt, but did I mention how big it is?  Even on my queen size bed, it was rather large, then a year and a half ago, I down sized.  Including my bed, now a double.  So it is folded over a quilt rack that I can see a small part of as I walk by.


    This summer, there were horrible fires in California.  Lori, form Humble Quilts blog, wrote about it here  I mailed supplies to Lori to deliver to California and shared her story with my local quilt guild planning committee.  Another member shared that her brother lived in the Malibu area and also lost everything in a fast moving fire.  For a long time, it has truly made me realize how blessed I am.  I have so much.  I did a lot of down sizing when I moved, still kept more than I need.  I have wonderful family support.  I am confident I will stay warm in the coming polar vortex coming down on Minnesota.  I have so much.  How can I keep a quilt that is too big for my bed when another person would love and appreciate it.  Since my quilt guild is going to make a quilt for our member’s sibling, Dazzled will be going to someone in Paradise to enjoy.  I hope they love it as much as I do.

    Stepping back to the Beginning

    The first quilt I made was the Santa wall hanging pictured on the front of the Debbie Mumm pattern.  I still have it somewhere, in a box.  I keep it to show myself how far I have come.  Quilting is math.  The pattern, for the Santa border in this case, calls for a certain number of squares, that you sew together with a quarter inch seam, that will equal the length of the body of the quilt.  That first quilt is a fine example of the different things that can happen to not make the two measurements equal.  Like poor pressing, too big a seam, etc.  But it also taught me to enjoy the process and see the beauty of the big picture.

    The second quilt I made was for my Dad, for Fathers Day.  It is called Birdhouse Row by Lynette Jensen, from the book on the left.  Dad loved birds, trees, animals, gardening, etc.  Basically the outdoors.  We often went for walks together when I would come home.


    Turns out this is the only quilt I made for Dad.  He has been gone for thirteen years now.  Still miss being able to talk to him and make him laugh.  Dad was one of the few people I could talk to about anything.  Now I have the quilt and I bring it out every spring/summer.


    Charity Quilts

    There are many reasons to make quilts – special occasions, family, friends, your own personal enjoyment, etc.  But sometimes there are people and organizations that are deserving of quilts as well.  Here are a few quilts I have made for that purpose.

    The picture on the left is from, if I remember correctly.  The nursing home where mom lived had a family day in the summer and part of that was a silent auction.  People contributed baskets of items for people to bid on and I believe it benefitted the activities department.  I donated the table runners above.  The quilt on the right was from 101 Fabulous Small Quilts.  I gave a copy to Kim one year and marked all the pages that I thought we should both do – it was a lot of pages!  Americana Nine Patch, by Karen Costello Soltys.  I really need to get back to some of these small quilts.  Kim and I exchanged ‘kits’ one year, which she of course has completed and I have not.  I think that will be my goal for next year, finish the projects I already have on the shelf!


    Another worthy group are Quilts of Valor.  I have made two, but can only find a picture of one of them.  I love patriotic quilts and I have one going for myself for a change too, once I get all my gift quilts made…


    The pattern is for a runner from Pieces from my Heart called Pride and Glory.  I appliqued little stars and added more stripes.  It’s only math.  🙂

    The Hands of Friendship Guild in Litchfield has also made Quilts for Beds.  The local Rotary Club builds twin size beds for kids in the county that don’t have one and we donate quilts.  Kim & I made one over a spring break, but again I don’t have a picture… This is the second one that I have made.  Jeanette quilted it for me and I need to get a picture of the quilting from her.  She did a great job!

    The pattern is Rail Fence, just three strips next to another block of three strips placed perpendicular.  This quilt was featured in an American Patchwork & Quilting magazine in fall of ’17 under the feature Charity Quilts. Went together in a day.  Very easy, yet the black gives it a cool shadow look.

    Bundles of Love is another organization I like to support with my time & quilts. I saw the block on Pintrest and thought it would be a fun one to play with and see what kind of secondary pattern the eye sees. Fabrics were all from my stash & a simple machine in-the-ditch quilting and it was complete. Win-win. A little one gets a quilt, and my stash is down a smidge.

    A couple Special Baby Quilts

    A few years ago my SIL gave me an Elizabeth Hartman pattern, Fancy Forest.  Wasn’t sure when I was going to make it but it is just as the name says, things you would find in the forest.  Then I heard my cousin and his wife were having a baby!  They love living up north and Sam’s wife, Larissa, was studying to teach biology.  Perfect fit!  It was a lot of fun to make, but I chose to use minky for all the black places – nose and eyes.  Thought it would be a great texture change as you felt the top of the quilt.  Never again.  It worked great that way.  But what a mess to work with.  Black fuzz everywhere.

    I think the owls were my favorite.  Those eyes!  But the Butterflies turned out gorgeous as well.  The fox and rabbit – adorable.  Even the thistles are pretty.

    Penny, from Gone To Pieces quilt shop, did the quilting for me.  Kind of a wood grain look that fit the theme.  Love how it turned out.  Larissa took Anders picture with it every month his first year.  Makes me happy when I know a quilt is loved and appreciated.

    When I heard they were having a second child.  I knew just what I wanted to make.  Her next pattern was called Awesome Ocean and by now Larisa was working at the aquarium!  Again it felt like the perfect fit.

    As I finished a block, I often sent a picture to Phyllis, the excited grandmother.

    Love the Manatee – and the Seahorse!  But how cute is the Octopus!  And the Whale!  The Puffy fish – adorable.  This time Jeanette did the quilting.  Love how the air bubbles come up from the fish and the wavy motion makes the kelp sway.


    This year, Greta gets the monthly quilt picture!  These were fun quilts to make.  This year for my birthday I got the next pattern, Delightful Desert.  Not sure who will get that one.  Might have to make a mixture of my favorite animals.  That would be fun, but could be tricky getting all the blocks to mesh.


    Little Quilts

    One of the blogs that I started following early on was Humble Quilts.  For the past few years, in April, she has hosted a doll quilt exchange.  This is the first doll quilt I made.

    I agonized over it.  It was 2015 and Mom had just died and I thought this would be a great distraction for me.  But of course when I am stressed, I tend to over think things.  There are few requirements, size and civil war era fabric.  But I hadn’t done much with civil war era fabrics yet at this time so how do I know if a certain fabric qualifies?  Especially when I only wanted a fat quarter of it, but the salvage didn’t have a label.  And those that did, didn’t always give an indication of time period.  Stress.  Also, I am making this for someone else, that I don’t know, so I want it to be perfect.  I found a block that would have been fitting for the time period and started making basket blocks.  Didn’t use a pattern so then had to figure out setting triangles, hand or machine quilt (I did hand quilting) and continued to agonize over its worthiness.  In the end, I was very happy with how it turned out.  Happy enough that I signed up to do it again the next year.


    I love bowties!!  This was a joy to make and wish I had made one for myself at the same time.  No worries, again hand quilted, done on time, and had fun playing with colors, placement, and every step of the process.  So once again, I signed up to participate the next year.


    2017 was a busier spring so was a little more stressful and had a few more issues getting it all put together and in the mail on time.  Still happy with the end result, but I think I want to go back to bowties.  I believe the exchange has become so popular that in 2018, by the time I got to Lori’s blog to sign up, her roster was full and I couldn’t participate in her exchange.  So Kim Allen and I decided to do our own exchange, a little later…


    This is part of a Kim Diehl pattern.  This time I actually made myself one at the same time!  Although mine has yet to be quilted… Many thanks to Lori for hosting such a wonderful quilt exchange.  There are so many gracious, talented quilters that participate.  I’m glad I have had the opportunity to participate.

    Dog Gone Cute

    Quite a while ago, I asked Donna her thoughts on a really cute quilt pattern I thought of making for my nieces, her granddaughters.  She gave a thumbs up and I ordered the pattern from Sew Fresh Quilts.

    Before my trip to Portland, I cut out all the blocks hoping that there would be a free day that Donna and I could work on them together.

    Aren’t they adorable!  We got half of them done!  They are all a little different.  I used the same fabric on two of them and another two have a similar color.

    This week I was able to finish it.  Jeanette will quilt it this fall and then I will just have to remember to get it in the mail on time.  I think that is kind of the most exciting part.  I have a Christmas gift almost done and it is August 1st!!  That is not normal in my life!