Hand Quilting

I’ve been having a blast re-doing the Sycamore Rose Pattern to include directions for Quilt as you Go and Back-basting applique.  I’m learning so much and have been having such fun!  I thought I’d post a little bit of what I’m working on.  This is Sycamore Rose block 7 which I’m in the middle of hand quilting.  I’ve only got a quarter done, but it goes so fast!  It’s a 14-inch finished block and I think I was able to do this quarter in about 2 to 2-1/2 hours.  Maybe 3 with all the stops and starts I had going throughout my day.  The center is a 1/2-inch grid and the corner is densely echo quilted.  Too much?  Maybe, but I’ve been having so much fun with it.

It’s pretty mindless work, so I’m able to listen to the radio or a book on CD, or just chill with some music.  I’m absolutely loving it!

Every weekday morning at 6:00 am I take my 17-year-old daughter to church (about 20 minutes away) for a seminary class.  It’s an hour of instruction in basic gospel principles.  In the past two weeks that we’ve gone (it only happens on days when school is in session) I’ve spent that hour asleep in the driver’s seat and when she’s done, we’ve made our drowsy way back home.  But this morning, I grabbed my sewing kit and basted block and sat in the car under the one parking lot light that shines steadily and turned on my dome light and started stitching.  What a great way to start the day!  I love it!  I hope I can do something like this every morning – stitching while watching the sun rise.  It is awesome.  And who knew I’d be so in love with hand quilting?  Maybe it’s the lack of a frame and there are some really big toe-hooker stitches that would be frowned on by the quilt police, I’m sure, but I love it the way it is!  Hoopless hand quilting ROCKS!



Serendipity block 5

Flying Geese Block 2a


Serendipity block 5 is ready to download.

The center block from the quilt can be ordered on my site at the pattern shop or at Patternspot.com

I have been busy working on a quilt for my daughter who is having knee replacement surgery in August, just 3 months after having her right knee done.  She is amazing!!  She reminded me in May that she is the only child who has never had a quilt from me.  I felt bad about that.  And now seems like the perfect opportunity to put one together for her.  She is such a sweet young woman and always cheerful despite physical challenges.   So I wanted to put together a quilt that would be fairly quick to sew (so I can send it to her before her surgery) and also pretty.  Now, it’s a fact that I’m in love with Variable stars, as evidenced by this year’s BOM, but I’m not such a fan of triangles.  So I decided to use Jodi Barrows’ square in a square method for a quilt called Triangle Galaxy and it was really easy and really fun.   Here it is sans borders:

Robyn Quilt


There are, I think, 24 triangles in each square and I didn’t have to fiddle with a single one!  Lovely.  I find that I tend to sew with a generous 1/4-inch seam, so my blocks (for just about every pieced quilt I do) end up smaller than the pattern says.  So, for instance, these blocks should have measured 11-1/2″ square, but each one only measured 11″ square.  I’m just glad that they were all consistent. lol  I even tend to shrink blocks when paper-piecing!  How is that possible?!  It’s a gift, I guess, or at least some quirk of my own that I’ve learned to embrace.  I’m going to big stitch quilt it and even found the thread I’m going to use at my LQS Bolts in the Bathtub.  It’s a wonderful gold-colored perle cotton, probably about a size 5, maybe 8.  And if that doesn’t work, I bought some size 12 DMC perle cotton in black.  I’m hoping the gold will work though.

Take care,


Serendipity Block 4



2016 BOMcorner block 1d


Well we’re finally finishing up the corner blocks.  Month 4 is a simple little 9-patch made up of 2.25″ cut squares.  The 9-patch as a whole should measure 5.25″ after it’s appliqued to the center square.  Why appliqued?  Because to finish the square properly by piecing, the sashing squares would need to be (if I’m not mistaken) 2.116″ x 5.25″ and ain’t nobody got time to find that measurement on a ruler. lol  So here’s the link to download Serendipity – Corner Block 4.

The center block can be purchased here:  Patternspot.com

Reference Book, Vol 1 (square)I recently ordered Jodi Barrows “Square in a Square Technique Reference Book Volume 1” and am looking forward to piecing for a little bit.  I bought a bunch of reproduction fat quarters  for my own Dear Jane, but if what I’ve done on it so far is any indication of where I’ll be a year from now…I might as well use that fabric for something else.  I’ve had her special Square in a Square ruler for some time.  I bought it at the Long Beach AQS show years ago, but haven’t really given the method an honest try.  I’m intrigued to make a block of 24 triangles without sewing a single one.  Her method uses strips sewn to a center square and cut with the special ruler to create perfectly trimmed triangles.  That’s the goal. ha ha.  We’ll see how accurate I’m able to be.  I bought the video as well, as I tend to be a visual learner.  I’m excited to start!  So excited that I’m paralyzed by freaking perfectionism, which stops me in my tracks more often than not.  What if it’s not as easy as it seems? What if I mess it up?  What if I try and fail?  I usually sit with these questions for about a week, then get tired of the rhetoric and just start cutting and sewing and having a blast.

Speaking of perfectionism, it’s the only reason I haven’t given the back basting tutorial a try.  What if?….what if?….what if?  You all don’t mind that my fingernails aren’t manicured, right?  Can you believe that silly little thing has kept me from doing it?  It’s so crazy, but true.  I’ve been having the best time with back basting, too.  So so so easy and accurate.  No templates.  Minimal tools required.  I love it!

I hope you all have a lovely week ahead!  For the first time in years, my sweet husband will have the 4th of July off, so we’ll get to BBQ and everything with him here.  I’m so happy!



Serendipity Block 2

Hi all!  Serendipity – Corner Block 2 is up and ready for download. I hope you all enjoy it.

I have been having a blast learning back basting applique and will make a photo tutorial for it in May.  It is great!  So easy to do and worth the little extra time it takes to prep.  But the accuracy in placement is dead-on with this technique (or as accurate as you draw the pattern on the fabric) and it’s just so simple to do.  I think it’s my favorite needle-turn method.  I just love it!  Because it’s so simple, I’ve basted a whole block together that I’m working on to take on our trip up north to see our eldest daughter, who will be having knee replacement surgery next week.   It’ll give us something to do in the hospital as we keep time with her for our visit.

I just came back from a trip to Utah. I was by myself and elected to drive and it was wonderful. So much time to myself to think and ponder and plan and by the time I came home I was focused like a laser beam on what I wanted to accomplish. I think if I didn’t take those few days I would still be floundering around without any concrete goals to work toward. I feel so much better having a plan.

I hope you all have a lovely week and are able to get some stitching time in.


Serendipity Center Block Pattern Correction

Recently, I discovered that a template was inadvertently left off the Serendipity Center Block pattern.  If you recently purchased this pattern, please download the Corrected Template pdf.

I’m so sorry for the error.  If you purchase the center block now, it has been updated to include the corrected template page.

Again, I’m so sorry,



Happy Spring!  It’s been so beautiful lately that I almost can’t stand it.  Such lovely warm days and cool nights.  I want to stave off summer for as long as possible.  It’s perfect weather to throw open the windows and let the fresh air in.  Only…I’m surrounded by dirt and frequent dust storms. Lol.  We have a little green growing on the property, but most is cut down so it doesn’t grow into tumbleweeds and blow all over the yard.  Hubby wants to start a garden, but I’m a little hesitant.  No green thumbs here, and lots of critters digging holes.  My daughter in Washington grows a lovely salad garden.  I’m so jealous.🙂


Li'l Serendipity

And the Serendipity Center Block is also up in the store.  This pattern has been a lot of fun to draw.  And it all just sort of came together. Hence, the name.  Fabric requirements for the whole BOM are listed in the pattern, as well as those for just the center block pattern called “Piece and Plenty.”


corner block 1a

Serendipity – Block 1 is also available for download.


Longmeadow has been taken down from the blog and can be found at my pattern shop or at Patternspot.com.  Remember that you also need to purchase the Center block pattern to complete the quilt.

I hope you all are enjoying as lovely weather as I am currently.  And wish you many long hours to sit and stitch!