Texas/Louisiana Row by Row Quilt … 2015 version is done!


So today is the official start of the “Row by Row Experience” quilt season. I know … I’ve just lost a bunch of you! So let me explain. I believe the concept started with 20 shops in 2011. This year there are over 3,000 shops participating. I fell in love with the whole notion in 2014. Each year, participating quilt shops from all over the United States, and way beyond … think Canada and Europe … create a free row pattern … and fabrics for the row which you can purchase if you like. But you have to visit the actual shop … which … if you are road tripping this summer anyway … why not! Their website has maps for shop locations and photos of the rows so you can plan your route. I’m pretty picky about the shops I visit. They gotta have a row I wanna actually include in a quilt!

The theme this year is “On the Go” and interpretation by quilt shops is all their show. New this year is a “junior” division for youngsters. Not all shops are participating but this is so cool for youngsters interested in quilting! So eight rows sewed into a quilt makes for an official “Row by Row” quilt. There are also prizes involved if you stitch up 8 rows, quilt it and don’t forget to bind it. It has to be finished! Be the first to bring it into a quilt shop that participates in the project. I’m not so interested in that part. I just love the creativity of the project … and I’m slow!

The great thing about row by row quilts is friends and family that live far will sometimes acquire a row for you! I’ve already made my list of favorite rows and the Houston area has several I am considering to visit.

So let’s chat about this 2015 quilt. My adorable sister, Gretchen, who lives near Victoria, Texas picked up a row. My quilting friend, Michelle, picked up the two lovely rows in Louisiana. Then there was the ever awesome Sally. She and her husband did a row by row road trip and came back with the loveliest of rows. Of course, I put my order in beforehand and wouldn’t have found myself near Bandera, but for Sally!

So on to this just completed row by row for 2015. The theme for 2015 was “water.” Hence, umbrellas, fish, and seagulls, etc. I have a spot for it all picked out! I like to hang my quilts, so I made this one using 5 rows on the front and 3 on the back. Eight horizontal rows just makes for a very long quilt.

Sadly, since I have worked on this quilt for so long, I can’t locate all the photos I took while piecing the rows. Darn! I gotta remember to be more organized when I get around to the 2016 quilt.

So the great thing about this whole project is the skills you acquire while making each row. The row with the seagull and lighthouse from Louisiana was the most challenging. Small fabric pieces on the gull almost made me have to go to confession, but I LOVE how it turned out. Persistence paid off! Basically, each row is a mini-quilt with lots of lessons learned during the piecing. The easiest row was, by far, from Quilter’s Crossing in Tomball which, by the way, has a lovely quilt shop. The umbrellas were all pre-cut with the fusible on the back. Obviously, I did this row first!

Since my favorite long-arm lady moved away … come back soon Kim Norton … I had the lovely Taylor at Cupcake Quilts do an all-over design called “Sailboats.” She used Hobbs batting 80/20 and variegated thread called Signature 99151. I always use our local Personalize It Kingwood, store owner Tracey is awesome, to make my patch on the back.

If you are a quilter and considering participating in the Row by Row Experience … happy travels!

Quilter’s Patch – Block of the Month – March finished!


I got my lovely daughter, Katie, and grandson, Ben, to pose with one of March’s finished blocks. Last month I tried to get grandson Jacob to hold one of February’s blocks but he wasn’t having any of it. He’s nearly three years old and a man of action. After chasing him around the backyard for a few minutes I gave up. Maybe he will stand still long enough for a photo in April when he officially turns three!

My two blocks for March on the Quilter’s Patch block-of-the-month quilt are all done! Loved the fabric color choices and pattern on the “sidewalk and log cabin roses” block. It’s a really cute block! It amazes me how a block with well over fifty pieces can, in the end, measure the required 12-1/2″ by 12-1/2″. What did we do before there were rotary cutters and precision rulers?

The “petunias” block came together rather quickly! Easy block. Love the pinks.

I’ve probably got a week before April’s fabrics and instructions hit the mailbox. Time to work on unfinished projects while I’m waiting!

Quilting projects finished in 2016!

pop-pop-and-dr-jacob
So taking a look back on 2016, when the year began I would have never guessed the subject of cancer would have overtaken this blog, and our life. But it did. Hubby is doing great. But he is just halfway through treatment.

So despite how the year unfolded, I still found time to finish five quilting projects. A few of the quilt projects had been started in 2015. For me … the creative outlet of cutting big colorful pieces of fabric into little pieces, and then sewing them back together, is a huge stress reliever. Sounds crazy … I know. But quilters totally get it!

The projects finished include an I Spy quilt for St. Martha’s Catholic School fundraiser. I used a jar quilt pattern purchased from Missouri Star Quilt Company, along with a layer cake of novelty fabric also purchased from MSQC. Kim Norton used the digital pantograph called “Graffiti.” Personalize It Kingwood embroidered the label!


I also made my grandson, Jacob, an I Spy quilt using the same pattern and novelty fabric. I altered some of the “jars” to include a few special pieces of fabric. I named it “I Spy Jacob.” Jake picked out the binding fabric. Kim Norton machine-quilted using a multi-colored thread called Cleopatra. The digital pantograph is called “Circle Swirls.” Again, Personalize It Kingwood embroidered the label.

The Christmas table runner was made out of extra squares placed on point from my “Santa Baby” quilt for my little sister, Gretchen. My adorable sister picked up two 2016 Row-By-Row patterns/fabric for me in her part of Texas. Making her a Christmas table runner was the least I could do! I gave it to her at Christmas. Unfortunately, the photograph of her with the table runner turned out too dark. The lighting in my family room sucks! The table runner was machine-quilted by the amazing Kim Norton of A Busy Bobbin with Raspberry Ripple colored-thread using a digital pantograph called “Star Dance.”

I also finished a 2015 Mystery Quilt for my lovely sister-in-law Bonnie. The block-of-the-month was purchased through The Fat Quarter Shop, one of my go-to online shops for quilting fabric and projects. Bonnie, who lives in faraway Oklahoma, received the quilt in time for Christmas. This quilt was so fun to make and was my very first mystery quilt. Each block was designed by a different quilt designer. I named it “Town Square.” The quilt was machine-quilted by Kim Norton, of A Busy Bobbin, with Canaan-colored thread using a digital pantograph called “Creeping Fig.” The quilt label was embroidered by Personalize It in Kingwood.

My last finished project was for my brand new grandson, Baby Ben. He is a doll! Ben turned two-months-old this week and now he has his monkey quilt just in time for “tummy time.” The quilt pattern is by The Teacher’s Pet in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After piecing the wide fabrics, the monkey and Ben’s name were fused, zig-zagging around the fused edges. A couple of years ago I made Jacob a baby quilt using their giraffe pattern. So cute. They also have a flamingo and alligator version. Kim machine-quilted Ben’s baby quilt with Limestone-colored thread using a digital pantograph called “Whole Lotta Bubbles.” Personalize It Kingwood embroidered the quilt label.

I spy Jacob!


Our grandson, Jacob, loves to poke around my sewing room. I make it a point before he is due to arrive to lock up anything remotely interesting and dangerous to a two-year-old like pins, rotary cutters and scissors. Earlier this year he got a peek at the “I Spy” quilt I made for a charity event. Little did Jacob know I was working on one for him also!

The pattern is again from Missouri Star Quilt Company and so is the novelty layer cake fabric of ten-inch squares. With Jacob’s quilt, I added a couple of his favorite Minion fabric “jars.” I also used a mottled black fabric for the background which I love over the flat-looking black fabric on the charity quilt.

After finally getting the quilt top finished, I asked Jacob to pick a binding fabric. The charity quilt binding was black and totally worked but I wanted to try something different. Jacob’s choices were ladybugs or zebra print. Obviously, ladybugs won! The ladybug fabric is by Charley Harper.

The awesome Kim Norton, at A Busy Bobbin, quilted with an all-over digital pantograph design called Circle Swirls using a multi-colored King Tut thread (921 Cleopatra). I absolutely love collaborating with Kim! The adorable Tracy at Personalize It embroidered the quilt label for the back.

Martha’s Quilters Fall Festival Booth preview

Sneak preview alert! Martha’s Quilters have been busy again this year sewing, knitting, crocheting, embroidering and handcrafting one-of-a-kind items for sale! Come by St. Martha’s Fall Festival on Saturday, October 8, in the back of the church parking lot. Each year our ladies expand their horizons with unique creations!

We will also have two quilts in the Silent Auction and one quilt in the live auction. Stop by and start your Christmas shopping! Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted!

St. Martha Quilters create quilt for Fall Festival live auction!

Martha’s Quilters have been busy for months getting ready for this year’s St. Martha Catholic Church Festival & Market which will be held on Saturday, October 8. As always, our booth will have for sale some really unique handcrafted items such as Christmas gifts, lots of fun college items, baby wearables, table runners, adorable doll quilts, beautiful lap-size quilts and lots of items I haven’t even seen yet. Basically, something for everyone! Just be sure and stop by our booth! You won’t be disappointed!

Our prayer quilt ministry group has again made a one-of-a-kind quilt for the live auction. Each of our members participated in making this quilt another masterpiece! Last year our Nativity quilt sold for $2,200.

This year’s quilt is an adaption of a paper-pieced pattern called “First Snow” by Tina Curran. Lynn, one of our lovely and talented Martha’s Quilters, acquired the pattern a couple of years ago and promptly began collecting fabric for the project. A couple of months ago, I remember seeing Lynn hunkered down at her sewing machine with little pieces of colorful Christmas fabric flying all over the place. I thought she was making the whole quilt by herself. It wasn’t long before Judy, who sat next to Lynn most Wednesdays, was making blocks for the project. Lynn even taught Judy to paper-piece. Judy also designed the church block, which is not a part of Tina Curran’s design, but definitely just what our Festival quilt needed! I think Clara made some blocks as well. Several of our talented ladies … Noreen … Clara … and Sally come to mind … machine-quilted the project. I was privileged to sew the binding on … and Marie sewed the binding by hand to the back. Embellishments are next week. This quilt is stunning!

The three-month project took our members hundreds of hours to complete and will be hanging in the narthex at St. Martha’s Catholic Church the weekend before the festival. Feel free to take a peek! Opening bid for this live auction one-of-a-kind Christmas quilt is $500.

I spy charity quilt finished!

At the beginning of the year, I made a list of all the quilts I was going to complete this year. The list reads: two I Spy Jar quilts (one for charity and one for grandson Jake), 2015 Texas Row-by-Row, an adorable mystery quilt from Fat Quarter Shop … and then there is a baby quilt for a new grandbaby that will make his debut in November. I really gotta get started on that last one. Yup … Jake is going to be a big brother! We are like the cow in the nursery rhyme … over the moon!

When I made the list, I thought five quilts seemed reasonable. Then cancer knocked on our front door and I took up knitting in hospital and clinic waiting rooms. The scarf … it is about five miles long now.

In April, I did manage to finish an I Spy quilt I had promised to St. Martha’s School in Kingwood for one of their charity events. Hope it made a bunch of money for the school!

I have several other quilts in various stages of progress. Whenever I have a spare thirty seconds, I’m in my sewing room working on one. It keeps me sane.

But back to the I Spy Jar quilt. The pattern is by Missouri Star Quilt Co., one of my favorite online places for patterns and fabric. Store owner, Jenny, has great online quilt tutorials. The pattern comes with directions for either pint or quart-size jars. My quilt has pint jars. At the time I purchased the fabric, MSQC also offered an adorable fabric pack of ten-inch squares with novelty prints that were perfect for this quilt. Made it so easy and with the 10″ squares I have enough to make four quilt tops in anticipation of future grand babes! I added a couple of novelty Minion fabrics that will appear in Jake’s quilt.

I used the fabulous Kim Norton of A Busy Bobbin to longarm quilt the layers and Personalize It for the quilt label. Oh … did I mention the cute lady bug fabric outlining the quilt label? It is a Charlie Harper fabric. I have provided the link (search for “Charlie Harper”) as they have some pretty cool fabric you might just need to have for your very own!