WIP Progress!

This past week I had the good fortune to attend Quiltcon, and I’ll be posting some of my favorites later on this week. There was a lot to see, and I had a lot of favorites, so there will likely be a few posts. In the meantime, I’d like to report on some of my WIP list progress.

bee square

My mom is in town for a few weeks, so I’ve put her to work! She is a quilter and enjoys hand-sewing, so I have not-so-casually left un-bound quilts with the binding sewn on laying around the house. In just under a week she got my large queen size Royal Bee quilt AND my lap size Maple quilt bound! I now have her working on my queen size Shelburne Falls quilt. I wouldn’t want her to get bored sitting around my house while I’m at work!

I have a few photos of my Royal Bee quilt, will be crossing it off the WIP list shortly. This quilt is a couple of years in the making. It is one of the first tops I pieced and has been sitting on my shelf, with the backing fabric, for about two years. The pattern is Big City by April Rosenthal of Prairie Grass Patterns. I fell in love with her quilt and worked it up pretty quickly, but wasn’t thrilled with my version when it was done. There was just too much off-white. I knew I needed to do some sort of custom quilt-work in the large white spaces, and I do NOT free motion on my domestic, especially not for a 96 inch square large queen/small king size quilt. This is why is sat and sat on my shelf for two years.

bee full

I’m lucky enough to have a dear friend who owns a Statler Stitcher, Emily Bowers of Happy Me Quilting. She is also kind enough to rent the machine out. She has done several quilts for me, and I asked her a year ago if she’d let me rent the long-arm and do a custom quilt. I love talking to her about the process of the Statler and she has taught me a lot about the work that goes into it. It took me another year to get around to scheduling time with her to actually quilt the darn thing.

Naturally I thought of a quilt design for the white space a few days before the scheduled quilt time. The floral fabric just screamed “bees” to me. I just picture the bees you find in gardens. I set out to find a bee pattern to purchase for the Statler and COULD. NOT. FIND. ANYTHING. Ā Aren’t royal bees kind of a popular motif? I could find tons of decor items with royal bees on them, but no Statler pattern. Emily has a million designs on her Statler that aren’t on her website, but sadly she didn’t have one either. Once my heart is set on something I find it hard to let go. I had read somewhere you could convert CAD files to Statler files, so I set out to draw my own bee. Here is what I came up with.


I saved different file types and showed up at Emily’s house ready to quilt. Did the files work? Nope. Luckily her hubby had wanted to learn how to use their Statler pattern program, so he set out to learn how to properly convert the file with the design software while we quilted the square parts of the quilt with a pre-made Statler design. Emily and her husband make a dynamic quilting duo. She is the quilting genius, and he enjoys tinkering with the software side of the Statler. By the time we had finished the easy stuff, he had figured out how to convert the bee pattern and we spent the next day stitching those. I definitely recommend them for any edge-to-edge or custom work you need done. My bee pattern is also now available via Happy Me Quilting if you need a Royal Bee quilt of your own. šŸ™‚

bee closeup

This quilt is the perfect example of the quilting making all the difference. I feel like the quilt went from Blah to Awesome overnight. I hadn’t loved the quilt prior to quilting and now I’m so excited to put it on the queen size bed in my guest bedroom. Its funny how you an love a pattern, and love fabric, but don’tĀ love the two when they are put together. Luckily, the quilting saved the day. I’m forever grateful to Emily and her husband for their help in making this quilt a reality, and to my mom, who was nice enough to bind the enormous thing. Now I’m going to put my mom to work helping me redesign the guest room, so I can get more photos of this quilt in its new natural habitat!

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!


I love Austin winters

Today was beautiful in Austin, so I took advantage of the nice weather and hung out on my back porch for several hours, while my pups kept me safe from the squirrels and birds. I’ve yet to setup an outdoor sewing station, so I decided to get to work on some quilty items on my laptop.

First up, I have finally added a WIP 2015 page here. I didn’t think my WIP list was that bad until I saw it laid out on this page, yikes! I’ve only been quilting since fall 2012, and as you can see, I’m very good at starting new projects. The problem is that I set it on a shelf when I get uninspired or more inspired by another project. I’d beat myself up about it more if I never finished quilts, but I do, so for now I’m letting myself get away with it. Sadly, there are other projects I started that aren’t on the WIP list because I have no intention of ever finishing them. When I don’t feel a quilt anymore I just can’t bring myself to waste time on it. There are too many other projects out there I want to work on!

I also got started on my personal quilt book. I have a basic design concept in InDesign, and I started filling out basic info for quilts I’ve finished. I don’t want to go into too much detail on the labels I’m going to make for my quilts, so I’m using this book as a way to remember the how and why to quilts I make. Here is a sample ofĀ the pages. You can click on the image to view it largerĀ (still going to tweak the design and info, but you get the idea).

Must Love Quilts Journal

I finally got the binding on this heart quilt this weekend as well, so I’ll be updating the photos with the quilted quilt once hand-bound. Once I have all the info filled out, with the dates I finished quilts I’m going to start numbering them. For now that part is blank.

My other project this week was ordering Quiltcon pins for the pin swap. Here are my designs:

Must Love Quilts Pins

I would probably be more prepared for Quiltcon if I didn’t live in Austin. Last time the convention was here I was a newbie quilter, so it should be a different experience this time around. I hadn’t really explored blogs or blogging yet last time, and I still didn’t have many quilty friends. I’m excited about volunteering and meeting all the impressive quilters who are coming. I am very lucky to have three quilts in the show, and on top of that my Mom is coming into town from Virginia for the show, so that makes it extra exciting.

Anyone else out there coming into town for Quiltcon? What are you most looking forward to?

Piece Out!


Hand Piecing Madness

People who know me know I’m not afraid of a challenge when it comes to quilts, and I’m always looking to learn something new. Two years ago, when I was very new to quilting, I decided to start a needle-turn applique quilt. I made about 6 blocks and became distracted by all of the other projects swirling around in my mind that I’d be able to finish MUCH faster than any needle-turn applique project. I love hand-sewing, but I just haven’t made it a priority.

This past summer I visited my “aunt” in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My aunt is not really my aunt. She is one of my mom’s good friends that we visited often throughout my childhood. After college I continued the visits and always have the best time because she is one of a kind in the best ways possible. She grew up in the hills of Kentucky and isn’t shy about letting you know her opinion. I absolutely love sitting and talking with herĀ and miss those long weekends now that I live so far away in Texas. She was a quilter back in the 70’s and 80’s and used to do ALL HER WORK BY HAND. I’m talking piecing and quilting. I’m sure I saw her quilts at some point when I was younger, but it wasn’t until theĀ trip this past summer that I was able to share my love of quilting with her. She doesn’t have the internet so I took my iPad with several photos of my quilts and made sure we took time to look at her quilts before I left. Sadly, she has terrible arthritis and can no longer quilt, but we had a lot of fun going through her quilt chests looking at her work.

I love the feel of a hand quilted quilt. After going through my aunt’s lovely hand-pieced and hand quilted quilts, I knew it was something I had to do at least once. Here are a few of my favorites from her collection (We went through more than a dozen queen sized quilts. She made 3 or 4 double wedding rings, several grandmother’s fans, among others):


Grandmother's Fan

Hand Pieced Double Wedding Ring


After much deliberation, I finally decided on a pattern over Christmas break that would be my first attempt at hand piecing. My goal is to piece 15 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. I have absolutely no clue how much I can get done in that timeframe, so this project could indeed take 100 years. After I finish the queen size quilt my new goal will be to hand-quilt at least 15 minutes a day. The pattern I decided on is called a golden wedding ring. I had come across some vintage examples on Pinterest and Ā fell in love. I scoured Ebay and Etsy for the pattern and realized it was included in a set of Spinning Spools patterns my mom had given me a year earlier. It comes with templates and everything! I ordered my fabric, which came last week, and I’m in the process of pre-washing. My mom is visiting for Quiltcon, so I’m going to wait until she arrives to start the actual piecing. She knows how to hand-piece and I’d rather learn from her versus the internet. Okay, here is a quick mock-up of the quilt, in my colors, that I did in Illustrator over the holidays:

Golden Wedding Ring 2015 - Must Love Quilts

I hope to post my progress as I go along, and perhaps some tips and tutorials for what I learn about hand-piecing. When I first started quilting I had NO desire to hand-piece, but now I think it will be a fun way thing to learn. 15 minutes a day seems pretty doable. šŸ™‚