Maple Leaf Guild Quilt Retreat

Last week-end was the Maple Leaf Guild’s annual quilt retreat held at Epworth Forest Campground in North Webster. I had a wonderful time!

IMG_5164I was tired Thursday and didn’t want to think very hard, so I just pieced these little 9 patch blocks which will finish at 3″. They are made from fabrics leftover from other projects. I try to strip piece as much as I can, but some pieces were just big enough to cut a 1-1/2″ block so I had to do some individual piecing. I actually made more than what is shown, but I had already removed the ‘bright’ ones and put them with a work-in-progress.

IMG_5157I felt more ambitious Friday morning and sewed up the pincushions I have been embroidering this fall and winter. They are from the Patchwork Loves Embroidery book by Gail Pan. My friend Deanna and I filled them with walnut hulls I purchased at a pet store.  I had remembered to bring a funnel along but they still spilled some. After they were filled, I hand sewed them shut. They could have probably used more shells for filling, but I think they look pretty good for a first time. I IMG_5158liked the hexagon pincushions better than the rectangular ones, when I was embroidering them, but now I like the rectangles best. For your information, if  you decide to buy the book and make your own pincushions, I reduced the size of the hexagons to 75% of the original in the book. It was just too big. I just realized, the hexagon pincushions are supposed to have a button in the center, that’s why they are baggy. I’ll get that done sometime.





I had pieced the HST’s ahead of time so I could get right to work on Red Radiance. I pieced the star points Friday evening. Saturday morning I sewed the embroidered pieces together and then sewed the HST border. This isn’t the finished project, there is an embroidered border (I have 2 sides embroidered) and then another HST border (which I sewed together). Once I’m finished with the embroidered border I should be able to finish it quickly. I already know how I want to hand quilt her, so she will be going in the frame right away.

IMG_5159We had a special treat on Saturday, the 2015 charity committee showed us the Relief Sale quilt we members pieced and appliqued blocks for. This is Kim McLeans’ Stars and Sprigs pattern. We have several members who do beautiful applique work so 4 of them each appliqued a border. This quilt will be hand quilted by our guild.



Last August I attended the AQS show in Grand Rapids for the first time. There were beautiful quilts and lots of vendors. I bought a couple kits for small projects but haven’t had time to work on any of them. I brought  Snowman Love along, which I had purchased at the Red Button Quilt Co. booth. I completed the body of the project, but need to do some handwork. I might put this away and save her to finish at the next retreat I attend.


IMG_5168I had two Apple Blossom and an orangey/red Amaryllis bloom while I was gone. Aren’t they just beautiful? You can see there are several more to open in the future. I need these flowers to keep me happy in the winter. I’m pleased that staggering the planting has made the blooming staggered.


Red Radiance

I have a Leaders & Enders project going as I piece the Jane blocks. I think most of us were already sewing Leaders and Enders, but it took Bonnie Hunter to give it a definite name.

Anyway, I am sewing IMG_5043half square/triangles for my Red Radiance wallhanging. I’m using Thangles to piece 280 1-1/2 inch finished HST’s. I normally use my HST ruler to cut them, but the smaller the blocks, the harder it is for me to be accurate.

Does that red fabric look familiar? I’ve used it as a border in another project and it is the same fabric line as the fabric I’m using in Dear Jane. What can I say? I like the fabric line.

My quilt guild is having their yearly quilt retreat in February. One of the projects I am going to work on is piecing the center section of the wallhanging.

Red Radiance

I have the inside embroidered IMG_5045sections completed and I’ve started embroidering the outside border.

I showed you the very center of the wallhanging several posts ago.

There are several parts to the inside. These are triangles that will be part of the star.



Then there are four of these IMG_5047squares.

The wallhanging will measure      48 inches square when it is completed.

2015 Projects

I like to read other people blogs and see what projects they are working on. There are a lot of beautiful quilts being pieced. One blog I check talks about Slow Stitch Sunday, the idea being to slow down and take time to do some handwork/hand quilting. I’m taking that slowing to heart by putting a twist on it, I’m going to have a Slow Stitch winter.

While I’m working outside in the summer, I often think about the quilting projects I would like to work on during the slower winter season. I had decided last summer that I would start 4 new projects this winter. The first project was the Dear Jane quilt and you have seen the blocks I’ve completed so far. IMG_5017

The next project was a redwork embroidery wall quilt called Red Radiance from the December 2000 American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I’ve finally traced the pattern onto my white fabric and the center block is embroidered.

The 3rd new project was the Common Bride quilt by Edyta Sitar, Laundry Basket Quilts. After closer inspection of this pattern, I’ve placed the fabric and pattern back in storage until after I’ve completed Dear Jane. Really Edyta? . . . cut strips 1 & 9/16th inch wide?

The 4th project was Summer Lake Log Cabin, designed by Judy Martin, from her Log Cabin Quilt book. This quilt isn’t difficult, but I’ve decided to concentrate on Dear Jane and the embroidery project this winter.

Sometimes though, I want to sew and not fiddle with Dear Jane blocks. Over the years I’ve started several scrappy quilts and then, for one reason or another, set them aside. I’ll chose one of them to work on as an alternate project until I’m ready to go back to piecing Dear Jane blocks.

I’m looking forward to a less stressful winter and if I want to take the time to read a book, I’m going to read a book. Who knows, I might even watch a TV program and not do any hand work!

Dear Jane Retreat, Part 2

I’m sure you all have had trouble sleeping at night in anticipation of my great news. This isn’t quite as exciting as Bonnie Hunter’s Grand Illusion mystery quilt but it is thrilling. I’ll get straight to the point (drumroll please) . . . . . . . . . . . I’ve started a Dear Jane Quilt!!! Yes, yes, I know, after all the times I said I was never going to make one of these fiddlely things, I’ve started one!

I sewed these 3 blocks at the Dear Jane retreat. I’m foundation paper piecing the pieced blocks and forgot to reverse the first block I pieced! However, I am not going to redo it: “Better finished than perfect”, right Brenda?

IMG_4987 I’ve simplified my project by selecting 2 fabrics. I’ve always wanted to make a blue and white quilt and I think this Fusions fabric designed by Robert Kauffman is perfect. I’m using a white Bella solid by Moda as my background fabric. I’m on a roll, just 222 more blocks to sew!

The Dear Jane blocks were the project I worked on Friday afternoon and evening at the retreat.

I had planned to do some shopping Saturday morning and leave the Farmstead at 8 am. Instead I appliqued this block (which is Dear Jane block) for a fellow Janiac.


Margaret was one of the original participants/founders of the Dear Jane retreat. Due to health issues, Margaret is no longer able to attend. We were asked to make a block for a quilt which will be given to her when it is finished.

After I completed the block, I left for Caroline’s Cotton Cottage in Rome City. I have been looking for fabric for the border of my brown & blue basket quilt. Caroline came to my rescue and found the perfect fabric. Of course, while I was there, I picked up some other fabrics too.


It was early afternoon when I returned to the retreat. The first thing I did was to sew the borders onto my basket quilt. I was trying to be creative when I took this picture, so I draped the top over the buggy in the lobby.


After I finished the Basket quilt, I sewed an Amish crib quilt I kitted up several years ago. It is based on a picture from Quilts from the Indiana Amish, a Regional Collection by David Pottinger.



And my quilt . . .


The quilting will make it more interesting. I’m not sure what designs I will use.

There wasn’t time to start another project, so I worked on the embroidery project I had brought along.


They will be turned into pincushions eventually. The design came from this book by Gail Pan.


It is very seldom that I purchase a book and actually like every single project!

This final picture was taken Sunday morning. The sewing room is basically deserted except for the ‘locals’. Several years ago Gay very aptly named this “The Sunday morning sadness”.


So now my vacation is over and it is back to work on the farm.

Today is a Day for Handwork.

Just doing some handwork today. Nothing to show yet.

Here’s a picture of a project I did last winter.


The pattern is Aunt Bea’s Parlor, designed by Judy Reynolds, published by Black Cat Creations.


This is a close up of my favorite block.

Here’s a Redwork Project.

My oldest granddaughter started embroidering these blocks several years ago. She soon tired of the project and I finished them. They were set aside for several years and I decided to sew them up last week.

I decided on a snowball block design and here is what I came  up with.

Embroidered Redwork Crib Quilt

Embroidered Redwork Crib Quilt