Solstice Dream top

I finished Solstice Dream. I added more leaves, berries, bees and caterpillar to the border.
Solstice Dream Top
The top is currently 36 1/2" by 42 1/2". I was really happy to cross off a wool appliqué wool project off my To Do List. Solstice Dream was a fun project, I learned a few new stitches and new techniques.
I am getting ready to mail the quilt top to be machine quilted.

A Lillie update. Lillie is growing and learning new things each day. She is now 5 months old, over 30 pounds and 20" at the shoulder. A few weeks ago, I was able to get a few not blurred pictures of Lillie and Molly.
LillieMolly and Lillie (1)
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Houston Quilt Festival

I attended the Houston International Quilt Festival last week. I flew to Houston on Wednesday, November 1st, I arrived just in time to attend preview night and flew back to Phoenix on Sunday night. The George R. Brown Convention Center is huge, a total of 547,730 square feet on the first floor which equals about 10 football fields. Pictures of the 2017 Houston winning quilts.

There were over 1000 vendors at Festival, lots of beads, buttons, patterns and notions to covet. I am afraid that I coveted and bought too much this year.

Beads buttons thread Houston. Buttons and beads

Fabrics HoustonBeautiful linen fabrics and trims

Patterns and books Houston
Sue Spargo's second edition of Creative stitching pus some patterns I just could not pass up.

Notions HoustonA few notions I needed.

I promised myself that I would not buy any quilt kits this year. Oops, I fell in love with Jacqueline de Jonge's La Vie set Belle quilt. Not only did I buy the fabric, I also purchased the Swarovski crystal to embellish the quilt. I am now trying to formulate a plan to make sure I finish this beautiful quilt in the next year.

La Vie est Belle Houston

Another fun time at the Houston Quilt Festival, always great to spend time with Sandy, my quilting buddy, Monica plus an opportunity to meet new quilting friends.
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Solstice Dream blocks

These last 10 days, I have been concentrating on finishing all the blocks for Solstice Dream. Last night, I finished the Curvy Caterpillar block.

Curvy Caterpillar

I rather enjoyed stitching the tiny caterpillar and I am thinking I may add some caterpillars and bees to the borders.
This afternoon, I stitched all my Solstice Dream blocks together. The quilt is now 24 1/2" by 30 1/2".
I really like all the blocks but I think my 3 favorites are Pretty in Pink, Curvy Caterpillar and the Marsh blocks.

Solstice Dream Blocks

I have the top border prepped and really to appliqué and embellish. I am beginning to think I might be able to finish the quilt by November 1st.
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Solstice Dream - Nest Building and Big Bloom

I took a week off from stitching September Fresh Cut BOM, I was able to finished blocks 9 and 10 of Solstice Dream.
Nest Building
Nest Building
I always go a bit crazy stitching drizzle stitches, I love to just pack them in.

Big Bloom
I fell in love with the colors of Morning on the Seine silken pearl which was used to stitch the cast on bullions and crested chain around the cotton appliqués on the petals.

Blocks 9 and 10Blocks 1 - 10

Just had to post latest picture of Lillie. She is getting bigger everyday. Lillie is 17 weeks old and now about 25 pounds. She is getting too big for a small dog bed but she did manage to curl up small enough to fit this morning.

Lillie on the small bed (1)
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Solistice Dream - Woven Petals and Pollen Gathering

I have been stitching quite a bit lately, I have more projects started than normal and I want to finish Solstice Dream before the end of 2017. I finished stitching Woven Petals and Pollen Gathering. I now have more than half of the blocks are completed.
Solstice Dream blocks 7 and 8

The woven petal block has feathered chain stitch in the leaves which adds an interesting look to the leaves. I sewed blocks one through eight together, these blocks are 18" by 24".
Solstice Dream blocks 1 - 8

Solistice Dream - Thorn Birds and Bees

Trying to stay on track, finished block 6 of Solstice Dream quilt. The block is 12' by 12" finished size.
Thorn Birds and Bees block
This blocks used a variety of threads which always adds interest to the finished block. Rousseau Ric Rac is appliquéd in place then thorns, pistil stitches, were stitched with Painter's Rousseau pearl cotton. Painter's Kadnisky shimmer floss adds a beautiful shimmer to the bird wings and tail. New to me was the Feathered Chain stitch on the 4 larger leaves, adding a small in the chain really added a lovely touch to the leaves.

Turkey work is never my favorite stitch, I did preserve and stitched the 4 bee bodies using Thread Gathers Sheep's Silk. I used a Bunka brush to fluff up the cut stitches. The Bunka brush is a notion for turkey work which makes the fluff so much easier.


Cactus Collage update

I attended the second class for the cactus collage today. I spent many hours this past week trying to finish 9 of the cactus.
Cactus collage 9 cactus
Thursday night, I bonded the 9 cacti to the background. I also traced and bonded over 30 pads for the prickly pear which will be the full length of the right side of the quilt. Today, at class I cut out all the prickly pear pads an a few more flowers for embellishment. This weekend, I am hoping to get the prickly pear cactus bonded to the background. The left side of the quilt has a large saguaro cactus so I still have quite a bit of work to complete.

Cactus Collage

Friday, I attended a Cactus Collage class at the Bernina Connection.
collage cactus This is the quilt made by our teacher, Mary Lewkowitz.

The class is using the pattern Collage Cactus Sampler by Laura Heine. Before class I pieced the background for the cactus collage. The background is abut 46" by 63".

Phyl Cactus background

Laura's collage technique is a bit different, she uses Steam A Seam 2 which I dislike. I last used Steam A Seam about 6 years ago, I stopped using Steam A Seam because I thought it gummed up my needle plus I think it makes wool appliqué difficult to needle. I can say that my opinion of Steam A Seam has not changed, in fact I found the new improved Steam A Seam awful. Since I purchased 10 yards of Steam A Seam, I will continue using it for this pattern. The new Steam A Seam is more gummy and IMHO more difficult to work with.

The first step was to trace each cactus onto Pattern Ease which is a non-woven material. An appliqué pressing sheet is placed over the cactus tracing, then the Individual pieces are cut out and placed according to the pattern. After the entire cactus is built up on the appliqué pressing sheet, it is pressed to make one complete unit. The completed cactus unit is then placed on some parchment paper. After all cactus units are completed, they will be pressed to the background.

This weekend I was able to complete 5 cactus units which is good start but still leaves a lot of work yet to do.
Phyl Cactus blocks


Solstice Dream - Marsh

I really enjoyed stitching the Marsh block, the fifth block in Solstice Dream Quilt. The block is 6" finished.
Solstice Dream Marsh
I was a bit worried about stitching the dragon fly tail and frog, I was worried the bullion knots would not be round and plump. The frog and the periwinkle bullion knots of the dragon fly tail were stitched with Thread Gathers silken pearl. Silken pearl is a 100% silk thread with a tight Cordonnet twist that is about a size 5 pearl thread. The tight twist of the silken pearl creates firm stitches with a gorgeous sheen. The dragon fly wings were cut from a sheer, organza-type ribbon and stitched down with Painter's Metallic Braid thread.

Solstice Dream blocks 1 - 5 The stitched the five block together.

Marcie's Neighborhood

I started this quilt 12 months ago, I finished the stitching and then waited 6 months to get the quilt machine quilted. I am so excited to have this quilt almost complete, I just need a hanging pocket and label to the back of the quilt.
Marcie's neighborhood
This is my version of Sue Spargo's Tootin' Along quilt. I changed the generic auto with VW Bugs which are loved by myself and my daughter, Marcie. We have always driven blue Bugs, my first VW was a dark blue 1969 VW Bug with a flowered vinyl roof. Two years ago, someone made a left turn in front of my daughter and her lovely blue bug was totaled. I could only find a yellow VW Bug to replace the blue VW, hence the lone yellow VW on the lower left of the quilt. The quilt was machine quilted by Gina Perkes. The quilt is 23 1/2" by 37".

Marcie is also a dog lover, so I added some wooden dog buttons I found in Houston a few years ago. There is a poodle on the upper right of the quilt. Emmie is Marcie's miniature poodle.
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Solstice Dream - Burst

I finished the fourth block for Solstice Dream quilt. The block size is 6" finished.
Solstice Dream Burst
The center stem is stitched with Shimmer Floss using a Palestrina knot stitch. The horizontal stitch of the Palestrina extends the full width of the 1/4" stem which gives the stitch a different look.

I am stitching on too many large wool projects at the same time, so I am not sure when I will start stitching the fifth block of Solstice Dream. Most of the blocks are 6", the stitching is not as intense as stitching on Fresh Cut, Sue Spargo 2017 BOM, so I do find stitching on Solstice Dream a pleasant break between my Sue Spargo projects.
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Solistice Dream

I have been having some trouble publishing my blog so I have not been writing lately. Today, I decided I would try publishing and see what would happen.
I saw a new wool appliqué quilt pattern in February and it was love at first sight.
Solistice Dream
Solstice Dream was designed by Kerry Green of kerry stitch designs. The quilt is 36" x 42".

I decided to use hand dyed wool from Wooly Lady, I chose turquoise wool as my background. The butterfly is the first block I stitched, I really love stitching with the hand dyed silken pearl by Thread Gatherers. The finished size of the block is 6" x 12"

Block 1 butterfly

Folk Tails Quilt

It has been quite awhile since my last post, life got a bit complicated.  After Christmas, I sewed the binding on Folk-Tails and today I hung the finished quilt. 
Folk-Tails Quilt
Folk-Tails is a wool quilt was designed by Sue Spargo and was introduced as her 2015 block of the month.  Folk-Tails was a creative journey for Sue as she was born and Zambia so designing the African animals, birds and vegetation brought back many childhood memories.  January through October 2014, I received 3 blocks to appliqué and embellish plus each month Sue would write a story about African folklore such as "How the Zebra got his stripes" and "Why Warthog is so ugly".  The beautiful machine quilting was done by Jessica Jones Gamez .  The finished quilt is 37" x 43". Close up of quilting on the giraffe and stork Folk-Tails Stork and Giraffe
The outer edges of the road were couched with bullion knots over two strands of #3 pearl cotton.
Folk-Tails quilting
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Hocus Pocus

Sometimes it pays not to be the fastest student in a machine embroidery class. In January, I took a machine embroidery class with Claudia Dinnell of Claudia's Creations. I stayed after the end of the class so I could finish my Christmas "Boot'iful Bouquets. Claudia had some unfinished class project that she want to give away and I was lucky enough to get one of Claudia's halloween quilt.
Hocus Pocus
My biggest challenge was sewing binding for an angle greater than 90 degrees. I did a google search and found a YouTube video by Marci Baker which had excellent directions for mitered binding angles, greater than 90 degrees.

Jessica Jones Gamez, Jessica Quilting Studio, did the beautiful machine quilting. The finished quilt is 18" by 54".
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Sunflower Cowboy Boot

Sunflower Cowboy Boot is now quilted and bound. Beautiful machine quilting was done by Jessica Jones Gamez. Finished quilt is 20" x 25".
Sunflower Cowboy Boot (1)

"Boot"iful Bouquets are machine embroidery designs by Claudia Dinnell. Claudia has an unique method for preparing fabric before doing the embroidery. The background fabric is stabilized with Shape Flex SF101 by Pellon, then a polymesh cutaway stabilizer is sprayed with Webbond by Mettler to adhere it to the back of the background fabric. After the background fabric is hooped, a piece of tear-away stabilizer is floated under the embroidery design. Hooping is easier with the polymesh stabilizer since it is softer and more flexible than medium weight tear-away stabilizer.
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New York Garden Trellis

What to do with all the blue and yellow fabrics after making a traditional kaleidoscope king size quilt in 2013. The quilt has 144 7” blocks using over 50 different blue and yellow fabrics so I really had a lot of fabric left over.

Kaleidoscope Quilt

Pam, my cousin who lives near Batavia New York, lives in a house built circa 1840. In 2015, she finally did a full remodel of the second floor so she now has beautiful new master bedroom with new closets, windows, flooring and the room is painted a lovely yellow with white baseboards. Yes, a blue and yellow quilt would be just the what this room needs.

New York Garden Trellis

New York Garden Trellis has 195 4 1/2" blocks sashed with white on white fabric with blue cornerstones. I did have to buy more fabric for the back but the rest of the fabric did come from my stash. The finished quilt is 82" x 92" and was machine quilted by Jessica Jones Gamez. I used Quilter's Dream Wool batting which is now my favorite batting to use in bed quilt. I love that Quilter's Dream Wool batt can washed and dried in a dryer.
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Christmas is for Cowboys

It is summer in Phoenix, I was thinking about the cooler weather to come in December while I was binding the Christmas is for Cowboys quilt. I actually do not mind summers in Phoenix but I am thankful for air conditioning.
Christmas is for Cowboys

I took a machine embroidery class with Claudia Dinnell of Claudia's Creations in January. Claudia designed a new rework style design for machine embroidery call "Boot"iful Bouquets which has 3 boot types and 3 different bouquets to choose from, "Boot"iful Bouquets is the ultimate pick and chose machine embroidery design. The boot types are a cowboy boot, an ice skate or a Victorian boot and the bouquets choices are toys, sunflower or instruments. I used my Bernina 790 and the maxi hoop to complete the embroidery. The maxi hoop has a 8 1/4" x 15 3/4" embroidery field which reduced the number of necessary re-hoopings. Claudia has an excellent method for perfect placement and alignment so everything lined up perfectly. I was able to complete the Christmas boot with only one re-hoop.

I will be donating this quilt to Quilt for a Cause, their mission : To use the art and business of quilting to pursue advances in breast and/or gynecologic cancers by raising funds for research, by continuing the education of medical professionals, and by supporting clinical organizations that raise awareness, offer detection and provide treatment for all women.

Jessica Jones Gamez did the beautiful machine quilting. The quilt is 21 1/2" x 25".
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Tropical Forest

Another quilt made from my stash!
Tropical Vine Quilt
It is always satisfying to finish a binding a quilt. It is doubly satisfying to finish a quilt that is made completely from fabric in my stash! I found an opened Bali Pop, a collection of 40 different 2.5" x 44" strips of batik fabric from Hoffman Fabrics. A Bali Pop is basically a batik fabric version of a jelly roll. I cut a few more batik strips from fabric in my stash and made a quilt. I again made the Andouille Quilt from the book Jelly Roll Jambalaya Quilts by Jean Ann Wright. Jessica Jones Gamez did the machine quilting with a leaf design. I named the quilt, Tropical Forest, because of the quilting motif and the colors of the quilt. The finished quilt is 52" x 67"
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Flower Pot

120 piano keys later, I finished the border for my newest wool appliqué quilt.
Flower pot

This quilt is just one block from Kim McLean's appliqué quilt called Flower Pot, the block I used is on the right side of the quilt. Kim's quilt is huge, 78" X 90" and the individual blocks are quilt large. I took the Kim's original pattern to a printing shop to reduce the block size to 75% of the original size. The interior block 15" X 35".
Kim McLean quilt
Kim McLean's Flower Pot quilt

My quilt is a combination of wool and cotton fabrics. I used Cherrywood Hand Dyed fabric for the background, Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the piano key border and some of the appliqué shapes. I used a variety of embellishing threads, silken pearl, sashiko threads, razzle thread by Wonderfil and Oriental Linen thread. I used Painter's single loop embellishment on the lower left turquoise shape which I must admit was quilt a challenge to appliqué.

The quilt is about 23" X 43".
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Today, Sue Spargo has started a 4 day countdown to the release of her new book, Folk-Tails. Today, we are allowed to share pictures of our completed Folk-Tails 2015 BOM quilts.
Folk Tails Quilt Phyl
This is my Folk-Tails quilt top, it measures about 37" by 43". My quilt is awaiting machine quilting by Jessica Jones Gamez, I can hardly wait to get it back.
Sue picked Alexander Henry fabric for the backing which is just perfect for the quilt's theme.
Alexander Henry Zoo fabric
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VW - Tootin' Along

I know better, I should never look at Sue Spargo's web site on Friday afternoon. Every Friday afternoon, Sue sends out her newsletter and she always seems to showcase a new patterns, fabrics or threads. A few weeks ago, Sue published a new pattern called Tootin' Along and of course I loved the quilt as did Marcie.
tootin along quilt

I immediately decided to change the generic blue cars to VW Bugs since I have long been a VW bug aficionado! Today, I drew a VW bug and decided I really should test the design before going ahead with appliquéing the VW bugs to the quilt. This block is about 4" by 6".
VW test
Today, I also prepared the background for my quilt. I decided to use a cotton fabric instead of wool for my road. There is about 120" of road that I must appliqué before I can start preparing all the wool VW, houses and trees. The finished quilt will be about 24" by 37".
Background Tootin' Along
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Serendipity Quilt top

Honestly, I have had problems completing this quilt, I was so dissatisfied with Erica Kaprow's Summertime sampler pattern. I felt the blocks were poorly designed and I was struggling to redraw the blocks. In March, I had 9 blocks completed and managed to complete 3 more blocks. A few weeks ago, I decided to get serious about trying to complete this quilt. Bottom line, I hated any arrangement of the 12 blocks on my design wall.

Now my focus became trying to make lemonade out of lemons. I decided that I only liked 6 of the completed blocks, so I decided use only 6 blocks in my quilt. 6 blocks would be a small quilt so added some sashing to the blocks.
Serendipity Quilt

I appliquéd some fabric rectangles to the wool border, then I stitched around each rectangle with size 8 pearl cotton. The quilt top is 28" by 38".

These are the 6 blocks which I decided not to use in the quilt.

Serendipity extra blocks
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Marcie's Bunny and Birds

Patiently waiting 10 months for a quilt to be machine quilted is hard to do but so worth the wait. Jessica Jones Gamez did the gorgeous quilting my wool quilt. She used wool and cotton batting which gives the appliqué a trapunto effect.
Marcie's Bunny and Birds quilt

The wool appliqué were designed by Bonnie Sullivan. I added some embellishing stitches, notably the buttonhole scallops on the baby chick wings and bullion knots for the bird legs. The piano key border was made with 100% Italian linen fabric I purchased at the 2014 Houston Quilt Festival.

The back of the quilt is 100% linen fabric which I purchased from Sue Spargo a few years ago. Using linen on the back, definitely made the machine quilting more challenging for Jessica.
Back Marcie's Bunny and Birds

I will be giving this quilt to my daughter Marcie. The quilt is 31" by 37".

Black and White and Read All Over

I have a personal rule, I don't buy fabric without a plan to use the fabric in the immediate future. In other words, I don't want to buy fabric to add to my stash. In October, I went Modern Quilting just to check out the newest quilt store in Phoenix. I saw a newspaper fabric that I just loved but I really did not have any plan for using this fabric. I walked around the store but I kept going back to the newspaper fabric so I looked at books for a quilt idea. I found the book, Jelly Roll Jambalaya Quilts by Jean Ann Wright and I liked one quilt called Andouille. So with a quilt in mind, I purchased a jelly roll (a first for me) and enough newsprint fabric to use for the quilt back.

Newspaper quilt back
The fabric is modern background paper by zen chic for Moda. As I am sewing the quilt, I am remembering the old riddle - What is black and white and read all over? The answer is a newspaper because of the identical pronunciation of read and red. Wow, I now have a name for my new quilt, Black and White and Read All Over and an idea for the machine quilting. Jessica Jones Gamez did the beautiful machine quilting with red thread.
Black and White and Read All Over
I used a striped fabric for the binding which I cut on the bias. The quilt is 62" by 47".
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Peanuts Christmas Quilt

Charles Schultz's Peanuts characters, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucie and Marcie, have always been a favorite of mine. I have a lot of Peanut character Christmas ornaments which always bring a smile to my face. When I saw the Peanuts Christmas fabrics in 2012, I just had to buy enough fabric to make a quilt. It took me a few years to decide on a quilt pattern. My ideas always were rather complex and so I kept putting off making the quilt. This year, I decided to just keep it simple and decided to just make shadow box frames for each block. Jessica Jones Gamez did the machine quilting, she chose a perfect overall christmas light pattern. The quilt is about 47' by 47".
Peanuts Christmas Quilt
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Another fun time in Houston

Sunday evening, I arrived home from Houston and today I unpacked and had a chance to reflect back on my time in Houston. I flew to Houston on Wednesday, arriving in time to attend preview night. Sandy and I were sharing a room and we met up with 5 friends from Phoenix. Preview night, 5pm to 7pm is reserved for class enrollees, Sandy and I of course hit the vendor aisles first. Oh my goodness, the first few aisles were slow going because of the wonderful hand dyed wool and thread I saw. This year there were certainly many more vendors with hand dyed wools and threads to tempt me. At 9:30pm, we had only seen about 75% of the vendors but Sandy and I were exhausted and decided to head back to the hotel. Thursday was another shopping day, it is not easy to be a quilter but somehow we preserved. Friday, we spent the entire day looking at the gorgeous quilts.
I saw Spirit of Sedona which was quilted by a group of very talented Phoenix quilters
Spirit of Sedona quiltSpirit of Sedona

2015 Houston quilt winners can be see at

Saturday, after braving a short walk in pouring rain, we finished looking at all the quilts and did a little shopping. After 3 1/2 days of quilt festival, Sunday is a short day, making sure we had not missed seeing any of the quilts or vendors.

Just a few pictures of some of the wonderful things I purchased at the 2015 Houston Quilt Festival. Honestly, there were very few frivolous purchases, I really did need everything I bought.

Thread buttons needles Houston 2015Fabric Wool Houston 2015Notions Houston 2015

Enchanted Pumpkin

I took a class with Claudia Dinnell in August and I saw the Enchanted Pumpkin pattern. I decided that stitching the Enchanted Pumpkin would be a good way to practice the multiple hooping skills I learned in the Tis the Season class. The pumpkin requires 12 separate hoopings and I chose to stitch the entire pumpkin on a solid background. Before starting the machine embroidery., I fused Pellon SF-201 interfacing to the background and then I fused Pellon fleece This is the first time I used Pellon fleece, the biggest advantage was I did not have to use any tear away stabilizer. Another first for me, I used Havel's 5 3/4" double curved appliqué scissors. Sandy, my quilting buddy, had an extra pair of the Havel scissors and graciously gave me the scissors. Previously, I have used Gingher duck billed appliqué scissors but I found the blunt rounded tips of the Havel scissors were much easier to use. I used my Bernina Maxi hoop with the Master-Hooper which stabilizes the outer hoop allowing easier alignment of the inner hoop/hoop grid. The quilt is 18" by 22".
Enchanter Pumpkin
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I finished sewing the binding on Rhonda, the rhinoceros. Rhonda was designed by Barbara Jones of bjdesigns. I added piping between the quilt and the border which adds just a bit of color and pizzazz. Jessica Jones Gamez did the beautiful custom machine quilting. The quilt is 27 1/2" by 39 1/2".

Rhonda Quilt

Ellie is another quilt designed by Barbara Jones of bjdesigns which I completed in 2013. Jessica Jones Gamez also did the custom machine quilting on Ellie.

Ellie quilt
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Tis the Season top

After much thought, I have decided not to do the machine embroidered borders on my Tis the Season quilt top. I really liked the Claudia Dinnell's Tis the Season quilt but I simply did not have an ideal spot to hang a 60" by 60" quilt. I really wanted to hang the quilt above my fireplace and the stone facing is only 50" wide. So I found a wonderful stripe fabric which I can use for the binding which I think will give a wonderful finish to the quilt. The quilt will be about 40" by 40". My quilt top was delivered to Andrea Woolsey who will do the custom machine quilting and I can't wait to get the quilt back.

Tis the Season binding
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Tis the Season - Noel unit

I was in my sewing room Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday and I now have all the blocks embroidered. I have most of the seminole piecing done too. I was anxious to sew 2 blocks together with the light grey sashing. Even though I was tired, I squared up two blocks and then sewed on the sashing. I am pleased with the fabric I chose for the sashing and really pleased with the overall look of the 2 blocks.
Noel block
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Tis the Season blocks

This week, Sandy, my quilting buddy from Henderson Nevada, came for a short visit. Sandy and I took a 2 day machine embroidery class with Claudia Dinnell held at the Bernina Connection. The class project was Claudia's beautiful Christmas redwork style quilt called Tis the Season. I am not very experienced with machine embroidery and I was excited to learn Claudia's perfect placement multi-hooping technique.

Tuesday, I stitched the Teddy Bear block which is 25 1/2" by 13 1/2" and required 3 hoopings with the Bernina Maxi hoop to complete the design.

Teddy Bear block
Wednesday, I stitched the Ornament block which is 15 1/2" by 24 1/2" and required 5 hoopings with the Bernina Maxi hoop to complete the design. What a great feeling to have all the stitched designs align perfectly which is a testament to Claudia's excellent perfect placement instructions.

Ornament block

I have 4 more blocks to embroider plus 5 word sashing blocks to embroider. I am planning to embroider at least one large block today so I can reinforce the multi-hooping techniques that I learned in class.

I would definitely recommend taking a class with Claudia Dinnell.
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In Full Bloom Quilt

I finished stitching In Full Bloom December 30, 2014 and I have patiently been waiting for the custom machine quilting to be completed by Jessica Jones Gamez. Turn around time for custom quilting is 6 months and sometimes it is hard to wait patiently. In Full Bloom was recently published by Sue Spargo, so I am now able to post a picture of my finished quilt. In Full Bloom was Sue Spargo's tenth BOM and this was my second Sue Spargo BOM. Quilt is 36" x 43 1/2".
In Full Bloom Quilt
In Full Bloom label
In Full Bloom Quilt Label
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Bali Wedding Star Quilt

February 2011, I traveled to Tucson to take a 3 day Bali Wedding Star class with Judy Niemeyer. The plan was to make a king size 116" by 116" quilt which required about 27 yards of Bali batiks for the top. I got a good start sewing the arcs and melons during the 3 day class. After returning home, I continued to sew arcs and melons but a remodeling of my sewing room forced me to pack up the Bali wedding star quilt. As happens so often when a projected gets packed away, it is hard to get started again which is what happened. Last week, I was looking for a new quilting project and I unpacked the Bali wedding star quilt. Again, as so often happens, I could not remember my organizational construction logic. What to do? Luckily, I found a Judy Niemeyer Club with certified instructor Kelly Grant which meets the first Tuesday of each month at Arizona Quilts.

Today, I attended the Judy Niemeyer Club and Kelly helped me to get sewn arcs and melon reorganized. I think I need 348 arcs and I have 124 arcs sewn so I still have a lot of arcs yet to sew. I did have a few blocks sewn together and some of the blocks I pinned together. This afternoon, I put the completed blocks on my design wall so I could take a picture.
Bali Wedding Ring
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The Girls

The Girls is now quilted, bound and hanging on a wall, it always feels like quite an accomplishment to have another quilt totally finished. I selected the poodle, schnauzer and the golden retriever in honor of the breeds of dogs I have owned from Mixed Mutts, a machine embroidery pattern designed by Angie Stevenson. I refer to Katie and Molly as The Girls, so I decided to title my quilt, The Girls. Machine quilting was done by Jessica Jones Gamez. The quilt is 25 1/2" by 32 1/2".
You can see pictures of Katie and Molly my standard poodles plus pictures of my dearly departed dogs at Waiting at the Bridge.
The Girls
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Serendipity blocks

I started another wool appliqué project. A few weeks ago, I saw Summertime Sampler, a wool appliqué quilt designed by Erica Kaprow. I was drawn by the bright colors and the whimsical nature of the designs. I was able to find other wool appliqué quilts designed by Erica Kaprow but the quilts all had different sized blocks. It was quite a challenge to determine a finished block size for my quilt and pick 20 blocks for my quilt. My blocks will finish to 8 1/4”.

Serendipity means the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.  I decided to name my quilt Serendipity because serendipity describes how I found and decided to stitch this quilt.

I have 2 of the blocks ready to stitch.
Serendipity 2 blocks

Marcie's Bunny and Birds

I took a break from working on Folk-Tails, Sue Spargo's 2015 BOM, to stitch Bertie's Spring by Bonnie Sullivan. I added some embellishing stitches, notably the buttonhole scallops on the baby chick wings and bullion knots for the bird legs. I decided to eliminated the half square triangle sashing and border on Bonnie's pattern and I was really undecided on borders for the wool appliqué. I thought about designing a wool appliqué border but then I saw some linen fabric I purchased at the 2014 Houston Quilt Festival in my sewing room. There were 7 15" by 15" of beautiful 100% Italian linen. After some careful calculations, I determined I would have enough linen fabric to make a piano key linen border. Linen is more loosely woven than regular quilting cotton and tends to shift and fray easily so I starched each piece of linen with Mary Ellen's Best Press which made cutting the 1 1/2" strips much easier. After machine quilting, I will be giving the quilt to my daughter. The quilt is about 32" by 38".
Marcie's Bunny and Birds
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Rhonda, the rhinoceros, is now awaiting machine quilting with Jessica Jones Gamez. Rhonda was designed by Barbara Jones of bjdesigns. I almost had all the necessary fabrics and supplies in my stash, I only had to buy the background fabric. After machine quilted, Rhonda will hang over my daughter's bed. The top is approximately 29" by 42".
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Arizona Centennial Kaleidoscope

Arizona Centennial Kaleidoscope quilt is finished including the label and hanging sleeve. The kaleidoscope blocks were constructed using the Stack-n-Whack 45 degree Triangle tool designed by Bethany Reynolds and the Arizona Centennial fabric designed by Jason Yenter of In the Beginning fabric. The quilt is 29" by 41".

Arizona Centennial Kaleidoscope quiltArizona Centennial fabric

I inserted mini piping using a companion Arizona Centennial fabric which I also used for the back of the quilt.

Centennial fabric
I will be donating this quilt to Quilt for a Cause which auctions and sells handmade quilts and quilt patterns to support breast and gynecological cancer research. Since 2003, Quilt For a Cause has raised over $750,000 and donated 99% of the proceeds to Tucson area organizations in support of research, training and assistance for uninsured and underinsured women.
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Strolling at Lake Havasu

In January 2015, I attended Quilting at the Lake, a quilting retreat held in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Linda Hibbert of Silver Linings Originals, designed Strolling at Lake Havasu specifically for this class. Even though I have done a lot of paper piecing, Linda's paper piecing patterns are quite challenging. I enjoyed learning some of Linda's techniques for paper piecing. Jessica Jones Gamez did the gorgeous machine quilting. The top is about 16" by 36".
Strolling at Lake Havasu quilt

Close up of some of the machine quilting
Strolling at Lake Havasu quilting
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Quilts of Valor

Finally finished and delivered. I belong to Carol Doak's on-line Yahoo group, Carol generously designs blocks specifically for the on-line group. In 2007, I started making the free block designs in patriotic fabrics so I could donate a quilt to Quilts of Valor. I made 16 12" blocks, enough for one quilt but not 2. I received 8 more blocks and I was able to make 2 quilts. After the quilts were machine quilted, my sister, Lucie, had a relapse of cancer and after her death, the quilts got put into a drawer and forgotten. A few weeks ago, I discovered the quilts and took the time to bind both quilts. The quilts are 56" by 68". The Bernina Connection, my local quilt store, sponsors sewing days to support the Quilts of Valor project. Today I delivered the 2 quilts to the Bernina Connection so they can finally be sent to the Quilts of Valor Project.
Quilts of Valor Quilts of Valor 2

Starburst and Kaleidoscope Quilts

Quilt top was finished in February. Machine quilting was finished March 10th. I finished sewing the binding the end of March. I embroidered the quilt label the beginning of April and today I took a picture of the quilt. 2 years ago, I purchased the Judy Niemeyer Starburst pattern at my guild's yearly tag sale and I actually started piecing the top. At some point, I stopped working on Starburst. In January, Marcie moved into a new home which has lovely blue walls and I became inspired to finish Starburst for Marcie's birthday. The quilt is 94" by 112" and I used Quilter's Dream wool batting.

Starburst QuiltStarburst Label

While I had the quilt stand up in my living room, I took some pictures of large quilts which I had previously finished and check off another item off of my to do list.
I started collecting blue and yellow fabric in March 2007 after seeing Robin Strobel’s quilt Spring Fling in her book, Quilter’s Bounty. The quilt is made with a traditional kaleidoscope block. I drew the kaleidoscope block in Electric Quilt and paper pieced 144 7” blocks. Machine quilted by Jessica Jones Gamez. I finished the quilt in March 2013. Finished quilt is 104” by 104”.

Kaleidoscope QuiltKaleidoscope Label
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I discovered a few quilts which did not have labels and decided I could not procrastinate any longer. In 2013, I had 2 linen hand embroidered table cloths machine quilted by Jessica Jones Gamez. I hand embroidered the linen table clothes in the late 1950s and it seemed rather sad to have these vintage tea cloth languishing unused in my linen closet. Fuchsia Cross stitch needed a label and hanging pocket while Purple Daisy only needed a label. It was rather nice to cross a few things off my to do list.

Fuchsia Cross Stitch QuiltFuchsia Cross Stitch label

Purple Daisy QuiltPurple Daisy label

I then decided to hang 2 quilts and a cross stitch picture behind my bed. The cross stitch picture was hand embroidered by my sister, Lucie Protz, circa 1978 when she was living in Lake Jackson Texas.

Above bed
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Strolling at Lake Havasu

Last week, I finished paper piecing all the Gambel quail, well almost finished. 10:30 pm last Thursday night, I realized I did not have enough of one batik to finish the male quail block. I need a strip 2" by 11". Luckily, my quilting buddy, Sandy had a small piece left from her kit and was kind enough to mail me the fabric I needed. Today I was able to finish the male quail block, piece the blocks together and add some borders. Although there were many tiny pieces, I actually found piecing the quail easier than I expected. The top is about 16 1/2" by 37". Tomorrow, I will be taking the quilt to Jessica Jones Gamez for machine quilting.
Strolling at Lake Havasu
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Magic Carpet

I just returned from a 3 day Magic Carpet class held at Quilting in the Desert. Ginny Goodbar taught liberated quilting techniques to construct strata which were then combined to create a "magic carpet". The finished top is then layered with batting and backing. The top will be quilted with couched threads, beads and decorative stitching. My magic carpet top is now ready to quilt, but I have a few other projects to complete before I can start embellishing my top. The top is 30 inches by 42 inches.
Magic Carpet top
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Quilting at the Lake

Back home after a great few days with quilting friends. We attended Quilting at the Lake in Lake Havasu City Arizona. I drove up on Friday with with a quilting buddy Perri. We then had a great lunch with Sandy and Joann who had just driven in from Henderson Nevada. After a wonderful lunch and visit to 2 great quilt stores we were back to the hotel to rest up for our quilting class on Saturday.

We had a little bit of rain on Saturday morning but that did not dampen the fun we had in class with Linda Hibbert, Silver Linings Originals, who designed an intricate paper pieced quilt for the class. Linda titled the quilt "Strolling at the Lake Havasu" which featured Gambel quail. It was a great class, learned some great paper piecing techniques.

This is Linda Hibbert's finished quilt
Strolling at the Lake Havasu quilt

I was able to finish 2 of the chicks on Saturday. Can't wait to to finish the third chick plus the other Gambel quail.
Quail chicks

After an intense day of class, our entire group when out for a wonderful dinner at Shugrue's
After dinner, we decided to take a group picture with the London Bridge as a background.

Group at Lake Havasu
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The Girls

I spent a few days with my quilting buddy working on a embroidery machine appliqué project from the pattern Mixed Mutts. The quilt top is now complete and Jessica Gamez will be doing the machine quilting. I chose the poodle, schnauzer and the golden retriever in honor of the breeds of dogs I have owned. My web page Waiting at the Bridge has pictures of my dearly departed dogs, you can also click on web pages for Katie and Molly my standard poodles. I often refer to Katie and Molly as The Girls so I chose to title my quilt, The Girls. You can see Sandy's finished quilt at

The Girls top
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Destination Creativity

Friday and Saturday, Sandy, my quilting buddy from Henderson Nevada, attended Destination Creativity. The 2 day event, hosted by the Bernina Connection, included four 3 hour classes. All the class kits and supplies were provided as well as the Bernina machine. Friday morning I made a small bag using the Bernina 1150 MDA overlocker. The bag was constructed entirely with the overlocker.
Front  of bagBack of bag

Friday afternoon I learned curved piecing while piecing blocks for a table runner.

Saturday morning, I made a large project bag.
Project bag

The last class was machine embroidery taught by Claudia Dinnell. Claudia was a fabulous teacher and I really learned some great new machine embroidery techniques. The class project was a double eyeglass case which is almost finished, I just have to sew on the binding.

Double Eyeglass Case by Claudia’s Creations

Kaleidoscope blocks

Saturday, I want to a kaleidoscope clinic at Quitz, a local quilt store. In 2007, I had took a class with Bethany Reynolds, but I need a refresher on the stack and whack technique. I purchased the Arizona centennial fabric in 2011 with the intention of making kaleidoscope blocks from the fabric. Saturday, using the Stack-n-Whack 45 degree Triangle tool, I cut out wedges from the Arizona centennial fabric. Today, I began sewing the wedges into kaleidoscope blocks. I was able to sew 20 of the 24 blocks I wanted for the quilt. I pinned the blocks on some black fabric that I think I will be using for the sashing and borders for the quilt.
This is a picture of the completed blocks a small piece of the centennial fabric.

Arizona Kaleidoscope blocks and fabric
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Sliced Nine Patch quilt and label

This quilt was inspired by Right Slice quilt published in Quiltmaker Magazine, November/December 2013. I used 3 batik fabrics, 2 batiks for the nine patch blocks and the remaining batik was inserted into the slashed nice patch blocks. Machine quilted by Jessica Jones Gamez. Finished quilt is 96" by 96". The label was designed using Floriani Total Control U software, the machine embroidery was done on my Bernina 780.
Sliced Nine Patch quiltPhil's label

Pillow Shams

I finally finished the pillow shams for Lucie's Pineapple Star Quilt, only took me 8 years since I finished the quilt. I put the quilt on the guest room bed but covering the pillows made the overhang too short on the end of the bed. Something jogged in my memory, I think something was made for pillow shams. Amazing, I was able to find the quilts and extra fabric in a drawer in my sewing room. Constructing the pillow shams was really quite easy, not sure why it took me 8 years to get them done. I also realized that I never made a quilt label, drat, another thing to put on my To Do list.
Pillow shams
I also spent the morning working on my web site. August 2013, I completely redid my web site using RapidWeaver software. My house remodel and knee replacement sort of hindered my actually finishing the transfer of all the quilts to my new web site. This morning I just stopped all the procrastination and did it.
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Mixed Mutts appliqué

I just got back from Henderson Nevada, I spent a few days with my quilting buddy. We decided to work on an embroidery machine appliqué project from the pattern Mixed Mutts. 10 dog are available in the pattern but I decided to do just 3 of the adorable dogs. I chose a poodle, a schnauzer and a golden retriever in honor of the breeds of dogs I have owned. My web page Waiting at the Bridge has pictures of my dearly departed dogs, you can also click on web pages for Katie and Molly my standard poodles. The pattern also includes embroidered designs for woof and paw prints which I will embroider as filler blocks after I decide the placement the 3 dog appliqué blocks on the quilt. You can see the 3 dog blocks Sandy made at
Poodle appliqueSchnauzer appliquéGolden retriever applique
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Sliced Nine Patch Quilt

I love a challenge. Last week I decided to make a queen size quilt for a friend. I needed a fast and easy quilt and I picked The Right Slice quilt published in Quiltmaker Magazine, November/December 2013. The quilt in the magazine was constructed using assorted red and green 5 inch squares. I decided to make my quilt using just 3 batik fabrics, 2 batiks for the nine patch blocks and the remaining batik was inserted into the slashed nice patch blocks. The queen size quilt requires 36 blocks. I want to finished the quilt top by Tuesday so I can take the top to be quilted by Jessica Jones Gamez. It is going to be close, but I think I will finish the quilt top by Tuesday afternoon. I now have 24 blocks finished and sewn together, plus I have the remaining 12 blocks started. I took a picture of part of the quilt hanging on my design wall.
Sliced nine patch

Quilt ladder

Finally, my quilt ladder is set up in my office area, it only took 6 months! I ordered my quilt ladder from DWR Custom Woodworking when I was at the Houston Quilt Show in November 2013. At that time, I was not in a hurry to receive the ladder. The extremely cold winter weather in Pennsylvania delay the shipping of my ladder but it finally was delivered the end of March. So why is it May and I am just getting my ladder set up? Long story short, the ladder is much easier to put together if 2 people are doing it. Last week, my electrician came to install receptacle strips to my desk and I persuaded him to put the quilt ladder together.

Quilt ladder


I attended the Arizona Quilters Guild quilt show on Friday March 28th and bought the pattern, Ellie the Elephant designed by Barbara Jones.
I loved the whimsical patchwork elephant. I decided to make Ellie and challenged myself to only use batik fabrics from my stash and I was able to complete Ellie in just 2 days. Ellie is constructed using raw edged appliqué, I used a dense satin stitch to appliqué each piece to the background. Ellie was given to Jessica Jones Gamez on Tuesday April 1 to be machine quilted.

Ellie Elephant 1

Fiesta Mexico

AQS, American Quilter's Society, held their first show in Phoenix this year and my quilting buddy from Henderson Nevada traveled to Phoenix to attend the AQS show February. We alway have a great time when we attend quilt shows and take classes. I signed up for an appliqué class with Karen Kay Buckley, the class project was one block from Karen's award winning quilt, Fiesta Mexico.

I finished the center of block and have started on the borders.

Fiesta Mexico center

This a picture of Karen's finished class project. As you can see, I have a lot of work to finish my class project.
Karen's Fiesta Mexico class project

Hanging quilts and pictures

Starting with blank walls has given me a great opportunity to arrange new groupings of my quilts and pictures. I moved my desk into the great room, in an area formerly know as the family room. Today, I hung the Funky Baltimore Album quilt plus two of my watercolors. The cactus watercolor use to hang on the living room side of my fireplace.

Office area
This is a corner in my living room. Lucie and John bear are sitting on the Victorian marble top table. Fang, a bear made from Lucie's wolf parka, is on the audio/video component cabinet. The Japanese needlepoints were done my mother. The wall with the rose watercolor will also have a grouping of some painted china, which I hope will be hung soon.

Living room corner
My blue and yellow hunter's star is hanging above the atrium window, it has always hung there. Lucie did the seagull stain glass.
Hunters star and stain glass

I hung my wool appliqué quilt above the player piano.
Wool appique quilt
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Lucie's Heart Quilt

I have slowly been going through boxes of stuff in my garage and I found a quilt top sewn by Lucie circa 1988. Lucie had pieced the entire log cabin heart but the tulip appliqué was not done. I machine appliquéd the tulips using fabric from my stash. The logs are 3/4" wide. I just need to make a label. The quilt is from the book Holiday Happenings by Christal Carter. Machine quilted by Jessica Gamez.
Lucie's Heart Quilt
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Lead in The Holidays

I was asked to make a quilt for Leader Dog for the Blind, Lead in the Holidays silent auction to be held November 22, 2013. Tonight I finished sewing on the binding and attaching the quilt label. The quilt, called Ruff Around the Edges, was designed by Karen Brow, Java House Quilts. The dogs were machine appliquéd with Floriani embroidery thread. The custom machine quilting was done by Jessica Jones Gamez.
Ruff around the edgesLead in the Holidays label
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Quilt labels

I have spent the last week, embroidering quilt labels on my Bernina 780, I always seem to procrastinate about making labels for my quilts, so I really had a lot of labels to make. So far I have finished 9 labels. Now I just have to sew all the labels on the quilts.

I used the
Floriani Total Control Professional embroidery software. I am new to machine embroidery and embroidery software, so making these labels was a great learning experience for me.
quilt labels with frames 5 quilt labels

Birthday Quilt for Marcie

I started a quilt for Marcie in 1996 but I never finished the quilt. When I remodeled my sewing room in 2012, I found the blocks and I really wanted to finish the quilt. Marcie found a kitten in 1993 and she named it Ari. I picked the fabrics based on Ari's coloring. I made the label on my Bernina 780. The quilt is machine quilted by Jessica Jones Gamez

Ari quilt Ari quilt label



New York Autumn

I made this queen size quilt for my cousin Deb who lives in Pavilion New York. I the quilt was machine quilted by Jessica Jones Gamez. Quilt designed by Jenny Foltz for Wing and Prayer.
New York Autumn

The quilt label was stitched on my Bernina 780.
New York autumn quilt label

Trip to Buffalo

It was great to see my 2 cousins, Deb and Pam and visit all the places that I remembered from my childhood. My last trip to Buffalo New York was in 1995. Pam and I went on all day Frank Lloyd Wright tour. The tour began at historic Forest Lawn Cemetery and then we traveled by trolley to the Martin House Complex, built 1903-05.  We then toured the Fontana Boathouse, built in 2007, on the Black Rock Canal.  After lunch at the Buffalo Yacht Club we traveled to the Graycliff Estate built 1926-31. Graycliff is located in Derby NY.  The Blue Sky Mausoleum, built in 2004, in Forest Lawn was our last stop. On Saturday, Deb, Butch, Pam and I went on a Buffalo Harbor cruise.

Buffalo Light House taken while on the harbor cruise. Seeing the lighthouse brought back many happy memories of my Dad.

Buffalo Light House Buffalo Light House quilt

The wall hanging was made for my Dad's 88th birthday in May, 1998. I drew the nautical flags in Quilt Pro and paper pieced them. They are 3 inches finished. The lighthouse was also paper pieced with a pattern from Seagull Quilts. This wall hanging has special meaning as my Dad had made a set of nautical flags out of wood. The flags were hung at our summer home on Lake Erie and later in the rec room in our home in Eggertsville, N.Y. The quilt is 28” by 32”.
In Loving Memory of Bernard S. Stell 5/18/1910 - 5/21/2002

Offhaus Barn Quilt

I presented the Offhaus Barn quilt to my cousin Pam tonight. I used the book, Quilt Blocks on American Barns by Eleanor Burns to complete this quilt. I printed some of Pam's pictures of Offhaus Farm on fabric and added them to the center barn block. The machine quilting was done by Jessica Jones.
Offhaus barn quiltBarn center

I made 2 labels for the barn quilt

Barn labelBarn label 2

Poodle Macaroni

January, 2012, I attended Quilting at the Lake in Lake Havasu Arizona. I took a class, Piping Hot Curves-Macaroni, with Susan Cleveland. I had a great time learning curved piping. I had quite a few black and white dog prints and I decided to make a quilt which I could use on the back seat of my car. Machine quilting was done by Jessica Jones Gamez. The finished size of the quilt is 52" by 16 1/2".

Poodle Macaroni

New Christmas stockings and tree skirt

Christmas Tree Skirt designed by Judy Niemeyer. Machine quilting by Jessica Jones Gamez. Finished size is 60” diameter.
Christmas tree skirt

New Christmas stocking to match my new Christmas tree skirt. My sister had a Bernina 180 with the embroidery module, I machine embroidered the names instead of doing hand embroidery as I have in past years. I also learned how to use the ruffler attachment for my Bernina.

Christmas stockings
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