Spring /summer stash cleaning???

As we have our condo on the market most of my quilting things are in the garage.

I ran across a new quilter/group Holly Anne- String and Story. Check her out! She has gotten a great endorsement from Bonnie Hunter and they were on live Facebook together. Fresh and works with scraps as well has machine quilting. She currently has some classes that are free to get you quilting. I also have been following Angela Walters and her free motion videos-Quilting is my Therapy. So with two great gals and their enthusiasm I am sure to succeed! I have finally got my Schmitz needles and using top stitch needles. They have a bigger eye and should cause less thread breakage. As I am cleaning I have found several toppers and orphan blocks that will be great for practicing. If I have any goal this summer is to be more comfortable machine quilting to finally get to some of those finished quilt tops.

Yesterday I had clean out some cubby holes on a dresser top. Found some unfinished blocks and fabric so today I sewed them together. One will be a small table topper or candle mat, others will be potholders and mug rug. Yep good for practicing machine quilting. I wanted to clean and sort out top drawer of fabric. First drawer is blacks/grays and pinks/red stash. Humidity is coming back to Wisconsin so did not get quite that far. I did put a fan in the garage but did not use today. So kind of cleaned up those leader-ender scraps sitting on the side of sewing machine. I love to make four patches!

I have been trying to do a project a week. Last week I worked on updating a pattern I did in AZ on a purse/water-bottle cozie. The Sunflower Quilters will have a little competition designing their own.

Our group wanted to make them just a bit taller and with a longer strap. I made 3 of them, one for myself, my mom and for the Quilters boutique. I tried it out this past weekend when we went to Strawberry fest nearby. It worked pretty well. My mom is a Red hatter so she will enjoy her’s.

Here is her egg skirt, she will love this as well. Also finished up her batik quilt “Sugar and Spice”, so I have had some accomplishments! I have to get a picture of that. I made a matching pillow case which I will stuff with the quilt.

She has had some difficult times with rude neighbors and recently my dad had another blood clot in the lung. Had pain two weeks prior, but did not find anything. This time they found multiple clots. So now he is on blood thinners for life. Turns out it came from vein in leg, asymptotic. In and out of hospital. So we saw him in hospital on Father’s Day. Luckily caught it in time.

Finally got our daughters Marine graduation picture. She is in a holding platoon awaiting a spot for her schooling. No real assignments just night watch. Last weekend volunteered to help with boat racing which I guess is popular in TX. Called a few days ago and is in good spirits.

As for our condo no offers and no showings this week. We actually looked at a cute log cabin a little outside our desired area and certainly very private. We would need to make a few changes but it has many of the things on our list. So it is privacy vs close to city with things to do. We have joined a health club continuing with our routine in AZ. So it is a difficult decision. We think it is priced a little high, so we will wait a bit as we have no offers on our place. We looked at a condo lease option in Green Lake, but it was small and just did not feel right to me. So we will wait patiently and see what the Lord’s Will will be.

Looks like we may kayak tomorrow. We like to go across the lake and hit a bar/grill place for a bit to eat and head back home. My back has been doing very well. I don’t think I twist too much kayaking so I should be fine. Rain, cool weather and wind has prevented us taking our first voyage across the lake. Then next thing on my list is a short game of pickleball. Maybe after the humidity leaves.

So for now Happy Quilting to all!


New hand quilting project

I actually started handing quilting my “Sugar & Spice” quilt. This was a quilt our quilting guild did back in January. It is a fun pattern which we all used batiks. This is my first batik quilt. Took me forever to pick the colors. Backing is a fun owl pattern as this is a present for my mom. She loves hand quilting so I had to hand quilt it. Found out from others that batiks can be difficult to quilt. I however am not finding this to be a problem, I am doing a simple quilt design and it is coming right along. It is a nice project to do outdoors with our weather here and some gentle cool breezes. Meanwhile my home state is suffering with heavy snow and blizzard warnings. It has been a ruff month back home. So I am hoping to have main blocks quilted and maybe I can do hand quilting in the car on or Western swing of states prior to coming home.

So this is a very important week. Abi is getting close to completing her training. Past few letters are positive and applying the classroom things with actual events. She is really to get this whole thing behind her.

The crucible begins Thursday at 2am and ends around 8am on Saturday. Of course we are praying for her and all recruits in PAPA & KILO Companies for strength, wisdom and safety. We might even get a call on Sunday for her acknowledging her success. Lots of other testing early this week. So please remember them in your prayers!

I have also made some progress on my last charity quilt doing free motion quilting. Just started the border. This is a larger quilt so trying to get used to pushing it thru my machine. Goal is to have it completely done by end of this week.

Those of you who do machine quilting on your regular machine, I learned a lot from Superior Threads discussing thread and needles. Terrific site with great information.


Check the above link and go to education. I ordered some thread and hope to try it out. I especially liked how to position thread, cone vs spool vs normal spool and how thread comes off the spool affecting the stitches and even adjusting the tension. They also recommend topstich needles only. They have a groove that thread lines up with. I already have switched to topstich needles 100/19 and thinner tread (poly) in the bobbin. Tomorrow I will try the things I have learned as I was having some issues with thread breaking.

Plan to do some hiking again this week, maybe Tuesday as tomorrow is in the 90’s. Last Friday it got that warm and I had to stop more frequently, especially with no breeze.

Welcome to many new followers. I post mostly my quilting adventures and some family events. Soon there will be some travel adventures, first one will be to Parris Island, SC and some Marine education for all!

Happing Quilting!!

Sunflower Quilters – Mirana Mystery

We had about half of our guild participate in this year’s challenge. Several basic blocks to work on our quilting skills. The group had fun sewing the blocks and even more fun putting them into a pleasing to the eye quilt. So here are the results. Each person had to choose a fabric color with their first name.

Had to get some outdoor pictures in Warm Arizona…

Many are now getting ready to return to their home but had wonderful times this year in sunny Arizona. Today we met as board members to plan next year.

I made several kits for snowbirds to take back home to make for our craft fair.

I am sorting my take home projects as well. I finished one baby quilt working on some free motion quilting. I have another medium size one to machine quilt as well as a table runner.

No pattern just scraps.

Happy Quilting to all!

Final Mirana Quilt Mystery BOM

This BOM Mystery started back in November of last year. Sunflower quilters picked 5 fabrics and one fabric color related to their first name. Fabric colors could be very creative and indeed they were. I have spent the past few months admiring the colors and blocks the quilters made. I also believed they all managed to learn a new skill.

The final block and what will be the center block is actually Kings Crown, but I renamed it Queen’s Crown in honor of all the quilters who took on this challenge. This block has flying geese, but I elected to do HST instead to prevent frustration this last month. The quilters were given the directions following the business meeting and the following day some had the block completed and just wanted to know how the quilt is to be put together. We will talk about that later.

Center Square and “setting the blocks”

So here we are, the last block of this BOM. We will make our center block and then the REAL fun begins! But first let’s get the center block completed!

**Please note that these cutting instructions are different than original instructions. This block has many pieces and getting them all to fit is challenging. I adjusted the directions to use HST’s a bit easier.

I hope you have some extra fabric to make the adjustments.

Since it is center Block for quilt you can change colors to whatever fabrics you have left or use fabrics of similar colors.

For this block you will need:

Fabric B

(1) 3.5” Square

(4) 2 ¾” squares *** or you can go 3”

Fabric C

(4) 2” squares

Fabric E

(4) 2 ¾” squares** or you can go 3”

** indicates the adjustment**

Queen’s Block

I renamed this block as those who have participated can now call themselves Queen’s 🙂


First let’s lay out our block.

The above is what the block will look like prior to doing the “webbing technique.”

There are more pieces and we want to make sure all blocks are oriented in the correct position.

We return to making half squares. These are a bit smaller pieces so take care sew just to the edge of your marked line.

Cut and press. I pressed toward the darker fabric.

Since we made them larger you will need to cut them down to 2”.

Lay out all blocks as above first picture.

Begin by sewing your HST together in pairs. I pressed these open.

The below block I clipped just before and after the points to allow seam to lay flat and avoid bulk.

Unfinished size 6.5”

Mirana Quilt design by Linda Holzhueter prepared for Sunflower Quilters Members 2017-2018.

Now for the reveal or twist. I recommend getting all you squares out that are completed. Begin with the center square and just start playing or should I say designing your quilt. Their is the possibility of infinite designs. For some this was a good challenge and they enjoyed it. Others felt a little overwhelmed so we all played with the blocks until owner was pleased. Of course you can imagine the comments. It was so funny, but they were having fun. I loved all the designs and purposely did not show my quilt until a little later. The goal is to have a flimsy completed before April business meeting. I have heard it called…”like playing with a rubrics cube”.

Here are some pictures. Enjoy!

This is mine before quilting.

That is all for now….working on kits for quilters to take to make things for our fall craft show. Having fun buying some fabric and notions. Set up an excel sheet with links to best selling items. I am now the fundraising person on the board. Trying out some of these patters. So far made soup cozies,potato Bakers, wine bottle bags. We had a call for place,arts for our meals on wheels program so sewed a few from orphan blocks. I share that another time.

Happy Quilting,

Sharing some of my projects

I guess too much quilting and not a recent post. Well it seems I am always working on something.

Going back a few weeks our quilting guild worked on some charity blocks called cut loose.

Cut loose quilt book

These were a lot of fun and surprisingly a little tricky. You cut an off centered square and add 2.5 strips around the block. We decided to aim for 14-15 inch blocks and trim to 13.5. The trick is not to leave corners with less than .25 inches. We had lots of scraps and at first separated them into co,or families, but soon it was a big mess. I think over the two days we made enough blocks for two quilts. Here are a few pictures.

I am always amazed at the Tucson Quilters Fiesta and this year it was the “Ruby Jubilee” with the theme of red and white quilts.

Always a great show and great vendors. Spent morning with vendors, ate and then the quilts. I can never pick a favorite as such variety.

This past week one of our gals did a great class on free motion quilting. The basics starting with pencil and paper, then paper on machine following designs and then on material. We had some material sandwiched for placemats that worked out great. She really encouraged our imagination and gave us great ideas. I loved the class. Sewing with my Janome, darning foot, correct needle and some great thread from Superior line for bottom that just melts into fabric. Today spent a lot of time on the placemats. I do have a smaller baby quilt that I will use these techniques on it.

First one below is my class practice piece. I will bind it and save it. You can see the bobbin thread the light gray as I turned it over and used both sides.

So finished making the binding and maybe tomorrow will get that on.

Unfortunately my borrowed featherweight started to break thread and make some different noises. So had to take it in for a checkup. Could be a timing issue with bottom bobbin casing. So I will use my machine and work on machine quilting and sandwiching a few quilts I made back in Wisconsin. I had some scrappy blocks kitted to make Bon ice Hunter Monkey blocks,so they will have to wait a bit.

I have been watching the olympics, so fun! Another thing, we are getting an Arizona winter. Much cooler past week and upcoming week, but it is good for hiking,

Well Happy Quilting to all!

Quilting retreat-Sunflower style

I always have enjoyed reading about quilting retreats but never have gone on any. Here in Sunflower our guild has retreats every other year mostly because they are a lot of work. This is our third year down here and this year I am able to go! YEY!!!

I guess they have been doing them for over twelve years and have it down to a science. I guess there is even a book or manual should present organizers retire from this project. I would just like to share my experiences with you all.

The retreat is actually held at a church about 5 minutes away. So convenient that some slipped out for a few hours if needed. We had 18 quilters participate and 2 event leaders. We were put into one of three groups. Each group had to bring an iron, ironing board, extension cord and power strip. We gathered up our sunflower quilters stuff and someone brought that. Cutting boards, rotary cutters with new blades, rulers of all shapes and sizes, and our accu cut machine with a new die cube we just purchased for everyone to play with. Each group was also assigned a meal to set up, finish preparing and clean up. We had a great kitchen with two dishwashers. We had a itinerary with times and what was planned. Leaders got all the food (too much but each time the reduce it) so it was well planned and organized.

As quilters we could bring anything to work on. Lots of different projects going on, laying out of blocks and plenty of options on what or how it should be done. I put my Bonnie Hunter Mystery on hold to sew the main blocks together at this retreat. 50 of them, at first I thought never will I get them all done. There was also a lot of socializing and getting to know other quilters a little more in depth and of course common discussion.

We began early Friday morning, 8:30 setup time and breakfast at 9. We all arrived with our “personal stuff”, and set up at a table. It was 3 to a table. We were greeted with a wonderful small quilted gift. After all we’re set up and everyone was hooked up to power we had a small breakfast. 930 we started our sewing.

I guess as with any retreat, lots of sewing, conversations, opinions and FOOD! It seemed like we were eating all the time. But it was all good!

Here is our big room. We usually have a small room and it gets quite noisy, but this was so nice.

Cutting area and at far end was bin of scraps and the accu cutter to play with.

These were busy and just the right amount..no waiting. One quilter also made 2 gallons of homemade Best press and we loaded up our spray bottles.

So above are our leaders in our game of the day. It was a white elephant game. You were to bring something you had and would like to get yourselves, out it in a brown bag. We all got a number and went in order, picked a bag, opened it and showed it to all. Next person did the same, but could steal that one or anyone else’s or pick a bag. So what you picked someone else could have taken it. It was lots of fun. I picked a LED headlight to do hand stitching or anything. Perfect for me, but I ended up with 2 fat quarters red hatter material which also was very cool.

We had our supper and some had enough and left. I stayed until 7pm. Back was getting a bit sore and I was pleased with my sewing progress. I was able to lay flat on floor a few times and stretch out.

We returned the following morning for breakfast and sewing. We had our lunch of leftovers and still more leftover so we all got to take 3-4 bags of leftover food items. Someone also brought in some fresh grapefruit…they are so big and fresh down here. I have been looking forward to them.

We had sort of a quilt show and some show and tell. I brought in my daughters “Packer Celtic Solstice” I made a few years ago.

(No this is not snow in AZ…old pic)

And yes I got all 50 blocks done. I did play with accu cutter as I cut several scraps into triangles and squares most of Saturday afternoon.

Here is some other picture candy.

We had one final game. Sort of a dice game. Three dice. One with L, R, C or *. We all had three fat quarters, shook the dice. And L meant pass one to the left, R to the right, C to the Center and * you keep it. You play until one person has a fat quarter in their hand. So fun…

Guess who won…ME!

We all had so much fun! I also got to take home the scrap bin as I am known as the scrap queen. I love it! All scrap batik fabrics!

So I spent Sunday sorting them by color and some by potential sewing projects! Now I have a better stash down here!

Here is today’s finish. Quilted and binding applied…next charity quilt. Reminds me of a book I read to my girls Mr. Downs and balloons.

Hope you enjoyed!

Happy Quilting!

Sunflower Quilters…busy gals

It has been a bit since I have blogged. I guess busy with quilting, beautiful weather and enjoying life. Spouse has now picked up my cough/cold or whatever. Our elderly neighbor fell (nothing broken) but weak due to flu. Very nasty so we helped him get up..his son and my husband via the blanket. I got to play home health nurse again. You never forget some things. He was able to walk around so that kept him from heading to hospital. We picked up a few groceries and hopefully he will get better in a few days. We wanted to keep our distance for our health and also Abi who is shopping out to boot camp in 2 weeks. She did not get the shot. Although probably will get it there. She is closing out her apartment this weekend and moving in with us until her ship date.

Our group of quilters has been busy with personal projects and community projects. First up some personal projects, classes by a few members.

This is Sharon’s Cathedral Windows quilt being pinned by the gals. Sunday four of us got together and pinned 10 Quilts. Three were mine.

The next class was “sugar and spice “…

This was a fun class and everyone had great colors.

This is mine. I have never purchased batiks. The pack was a Tonga jelly pop package and I took advantage of Thousands of bolts batik fabric sale for the boarders. I have a cut owl backing and this week picked up some batting. This will be for my mom. I will hand quilt it as she prefers hand quilting. This will be my next project when I finish my “straits of Magellan” quilt. 4 blocks to go.

I finished up quilting this quilt, a recovery quilt from my back surgery. We all thought this backing looked like hospital gown fabric..how fitting I guess.

Jan is finishing up this month’s mystery quilt block. The featherweight has some of my scrap blocks I am making from a bag of scraps brought in recently.

This is how it coming together. Probably a border and maybe some four patches.

Two of us played with Accuquilt. Our group is looking into more dies and we played with the 9 inch cube. These are too many pieces and too small for charity quilts. We decided to purchase the 12 inch cube and will have it by next week’s retreat.

It is funny when I am sewing blocks the gals always ask if this block is our mystery block. I said it was close, because it is. This actually is our center block so they will make only one. Only difference is that the corners are squares. I am also going to do the flying geese as two HST together. Mystery blocks are 6.5 inches unfinished so these will be small pieces for the group, but a nice final block putting all the learned skills to test. I forgot how accurate the Accuquilt dies are and sewing them is quite fun. I may have to use it prior to returning to WI and cut my pieces for a quilt.

This will be my weekend quilting project…machine quilting. Cloudy today and wind to pick up as a “winter”storm is all the rage down here. 50’s on Sunday and freezing temps Sunday and Monday night. But spouse currently playing pickleball….life goes on.

I have all my “On Ringo Lake” blocks kitted together for the retreat. Hope to get them all sewn. (50 blocks) 🙂

Happy Quilting to all!