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 – April blocks are finished!


This month I asked my special needs daughter, Mimi, to model the finished Day Lilly block. Both April blocks for the Quilter’s Patch Block-of-the-Month are done! The Tulip and Day Lilly blocks were easier than last month. I didn’t have to take out my seam ripper one time this month.

However, I started to sweat looking ahead to May’s blocks. The Dahlia block has lots of hexagons … and I’ve never gone near a hexagon in my life! The Honey Suckle block doesn’t look any easier … full of 60 degree triangles and bias edges. Looks like I will have to step-up my game!

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!

Quilter’s Patch – Block of the Month – February


So yesterday, I finished blocks 2 and 3, the cat block and the nine-patch daisy, from Fat Quarter Shop’s block-of-the-month for February. Hope I can keep this up! I consider it a victory to not have fallen behind when life gets in the way … yet!

What I love about these types of quilts is the opportunity to review piecing skills and to learn new ones! So far so good.

Bring it on March quilt blocks 4 and 5!

Tina’s “Lollipops” quilt


I am a better quilter because of some of the talented ladies I hang with! One of those many gifted ladies is Tina. She has some serious skills! I interviewed Tina about a year ago wanting to take my blog in a different direction. Not just show people what I am doing all the time. Boring! Thought it would be fun to showcase some of my friends’ work. Loretta … are you listening? Hopefully, you are next on my list!

Unfortunately, cancer became a hot topic at our house and Tina’s interview notes got buried. I found them the other day … so here goes!

Tina has been quilting since 1999. So you don’t have to get your calculator out … that is 18 years! She told me that her grandma quilted. If any of you happen to be about our age, and quilters, you might remember back when Alex Anderson had a television show. It was awesome! Two ladies that give Alex Anderson lots of credit when it came to getting them seriously hooked on quilting … was Tina … and me! I’m certain there are thousands of others. So after that, Tina purchased one of Alex’s quilt books. Then she took a quilting class. The rest is history!

Tina has been a member of the Kingwood Quilt Guild for over ten years and has taken lots of classes through the guild. She joined a quilt bee a bunch of years ago also which is where I met Tina.

The “Lollipops” quilt is from a Laundry Basket Quilts pattern from 2008 and finished measures 40″ by 40″. Tina told me when she saw the pattern it made her smile. That is totally what happens to me too! The fabric for the quilt came from her fabric stash. Don’t you LOVE her color choices. Thanks Tina for sharing your story with me! You are my quilt hero!

Quilter’s Patch – Block of the Month – January

The minute I laid my eyeballs on Edyta Sitar’s Quilter’s Patch quilt featured on the Fat Quarter Shop’s website, I was in serious love. Sitar, of Laundry Basket Quilts, is one of my favorite quilt designers. Her butterfly and elephant quilts are currently in my quilting queue to be pieced.

I could tell from the Quilter’s Patch photograph, the quilt would be a challenge using a variety of piecing techniques. And since I don’t really have a beautiful quilt that screams “SPRING” in my little quilt collection, this one was going to be IT! I reserved a spot on their website for the block-of-the-month quilt late last year.

So January’s installment arrived a couple of weeks back, along with Edyta Sitar’s book, and I just this moment finished my first two blocks. The year-long project features first the Cosmos and Delphiniums flower blocks. Lot of fabric pieces to piece … great directions … no shortage of fabric. This is my second block-of-the-month through Fat Quarter Shop’s website. They are pros and do a great job! Hopefully, I can keep up the piecing pace to have all the blocks finished during the proper month.

I understand this block-of-the-month is full, but Edyta Sitar’s awesome book is available. I feel certain for the adventurous soul, it would be fun to come up with alternate color choices. Happy piecing!

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.