Category Archives: Quilting

Festival of Strings: Twin Quilts for Twin Girls

Twin Strings

I’ve made a lot of quilts over the years and most of them I’ve liked quite a bit.  But if I had to sum up my quilting style in one work- this pair of quilts would be it.  Scrappy.  Traditional pattern and hand quilting.  Modern fabrics.  Bold printed back.  One wonky, one precise- Ireally go both ways on that one.  My favorite colors- purple and aqua.  And made for a wonderful couple to celebrate their twin daughters.


Also, well timed!  I didn’t plan these for the Festival of Strings, but I just finished up the second one last week, so it couldn’t have worked out better.


I’ve been hanging on to these cool IKEA fabrics for several years now and was glad to finally put them to good use.


Like nearly all of my quilts, even these favorites, they don’t get to stay in my house long, they’re off to North Carolina next week.  But that just frees me up to work on my next favorite quilt!




Postage Stamp Stars

Since I shared about the PA Relief Sale yesterday, it seemed like a great time to show off the quilt that I made from the fabric I bought as last year’s sale.  Given my addiction to scrappy quilts, I was smitten with the bags of vintage postage stamps.  They were great to have on hand beside my machine for leader-enders,  and it seemed like I had tons of postage stamp blocks in no time at all.  So when I needed another quilt for my church, the blocks seemed like a great time to use some of them.

Postage Stamp Stars 2


Hopefully this quilt is being already being enjoyed by one of the newest little members of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship!

Sofiya’s Dresden: Blogger’s Quilt Festival Fall 2012

I was all worried that I didn’t have a quilt to share for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival this time around.  I know it doesn’t have to be a new quilt, but I always worry that I’m being boring showing the same quilt more than once.  But, somewhere in the back of my head, I managed to remember that I had held off posting about Sofiya’s Dresden Plate Quilt when I finished it in January.  It was being presented at our church and I wanted to keep it a bit of surprise, but then I just forgot after it was presented, so there we go, a new quilt, rediscovered, just in time for the BQF.

Sofiya’s Dredsen was made for the latest baby born at my North Carolina Church.  For a little of around 50, they kept me busy with six baby quilts last year.  I’ve had a little break now, but we’ve got three more coming up now.  My North Carolina Church has been so supportive of me as a quilter and as a person, even though I’m now back in Pennsylvania, so making each of their quilts is really special to me.

The back

And the quilting

Amy, who so graciously hosts this fun for all of us twice a year, has suggested that we include the following info to help people in voting for their favorite quilts.

  • Quilt Measurements: Roughly 40×50, I never really bother to measure my quilts, and it’s now happy in it’s new home, so I’m not going to swear to exact size.  It’s a healthy sized baby quilt.
  • Special Techniques Used: Hand Appliqued, Hand Quilted
  • Quilted by: Me
  • Best category: Baby Quilt or Hand Quilted

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hopefully I’ll be by your blog soon, I always find new and inspiring people during this festival, I really look forward to seeing everyone’s work.

There is Hope for the Long Term WIPs

Today I’m celebrating a big finish.  The Blue String Quilt which was started before this blog and appeared on my very first WIP list here is FINALLY finished.  Now it’s ready to head off to it’s new home this week, celebrating my cousin’s wedding.



It’s hard to find modern quilting stencils for hand quilting, so I very happy to come across TSC Designs earlier this year.  Although not designed for quilter’s specifically, they work great and they have wonderful modern stencils.

I really love being able to give a quilt for a wedding gift and I hope that my cousin and his new wife enjoy it!

Modern Flower Garden

The test block has come together.

Any thoughts?  Too busy?

Still Quilting

Things are hard right now.  Really hard.  It’s been an incredibly hard year all around.  Moving for a new job that didn’t work out.  Worrying about when/if I’m going to have to move again.  Losing my Grandmother.  Losing my Uncle three days later.  Things are hard and I am pretty much exhausted.

I really wasn’t sure how I’d feel about quilting after losing Ma.  I was worried that the joy would just go out of it for me.  But during one of the last visits I had with her while she was still coherent, she kept asking the hospital staff that came into the room if they wanted to see something beautiful, and telling me to show them the quilt I was working on, a version of the butterfly quilt I’d made for her this spring.  That’s what I think about when I’m quilting now, how quilting was something special that we shared right up to the end.  And how proud she was to have someone continue the tradition.

So, I’m still quilting.  Sometimes it is too hard and I have to walk away.  But mostly I get lost in the repetition and driven to finish just one more block, then one more after that.  And right now, getting lost in an endless stream of tiny hand stitches seems like the perfect distraction.  So I just keep quilting.

History Quilts: Pieced and Wholecloth

Mountain Craft Days Historical Festival is coming up in coming up in just a few weeks and I’ve been working hard to get the quilting demonstration ready.

Pieced Star Mini Quilt

Whole Cloth Barn Star MIni Quilt

I still have to make an applique star mini quilt for the samples and piece a top demonstrate quilting during the festival.  I have two 1840s reproduction fabrics, I just have to decide on a pattern, still debating between Goose in Pond and Crown of Thorns, but I’m leaning towards Crown of Thorns.

If you’re in the Western Pennsylvania area September 7, 8, and 9th, consider come checking out a pretty cool festival!

The Walker Family Quilts

One of the highlights of the clean out day s at my grand parent’s house was seeing all of the surviving family quilts, some of which I had never seen before.  Now that they will be scattered, I thought it would be good to have a record of them.  And other people can enjoy seeing them, too!

Made in 1898 by Cynthia Carver Walker
My Great-Great Grandmother (my mother’s father’s father’s mother)

Evening Star Blocks set on point with circled heart quilting

Made by Cynthia Carver Walker around 1900

Double T block set on point with grid quilting

By Cynthia Walker Carver

Circle Quilting Design

Martha Washington Star Block

Backing made from feed sack material. If you look in the bottom corner, you can see the word egg showing through!

Made by Pearl Walker (1893-1974)
My Great Grandmother (my mother’s father’s mother)

Embroidered and knotted clothing scrap quilt

How extremely lucky I am to come from long line of talented women!  Not just the Walker’s, we also have at least one Carmany family quilt here and there were great quilters on my father’s side as well, though none of their work has survived.  It’s a privilege to be a generational quilter and carry on the tradition.

Busy in the Basement

So, my real priority project is to finish quilting my wedding quilt for a wedding that was two weeks ago, but I really can’t find the motivation to sit under ten pounds of queen sized quilt in this July heat.  So I’ve been retreating to the basement, where my sewing studio is all set up for hours of cooler piecing.

Finally checked this black and white values quilt off my half way pieced list (started it in 2009!).  I decided to use it for a wedding present, so that got me motivated.  I’m thinking about machine quilting it, but I’m really not confidant in my machine quilting skills and I’m a little afraid it won’t come out nice enough for a gift.  But on the other hand, my quilting list is quite backed up and I’m not sure when I could get around to hand quilting it.  We’ll see.

While I was working on that I was also piecing little vintage 2″ postage stamps for another quilt as leader/enders. Even though I’ve got probably 500 pieces of yardage, I’m a total sucker for tiny little pieces of fabric.  Scraps are just so fun.  Especially cool vintage scraps from the Mennonite Relief Sale and Lancaster Creative Reuse!

I just fell in love with some of the awesome prints though, and I couldn’t see hiding them all in a big quilt (not to mention one I’ll probably give away).  So I started setting aside a few that I loved.

I laid them all out for a pillow and added some Kona Bone for the background.  A little border, a little hand quilting, a little binding, and we ended up with possibly the worlds largest throw pillow (25″ Square).

I’ve been holding on to some vintage fabric for just the right project and thought this back was it.  I think I may like it as much as the front.

And now I’m totally breaking it in with a nice Sunday afternoon nap!

My Grandmother’s Flower Garden

It’s been a pretty of emotionally draining couple of weeks lately.  Deciding to sell my grandparents house and move them into a personal care home, moving them, starting the process of dividing up their stuff, all of it reminding me that as much as I like to pretend, no one lives forever.

But there are also lots of things to be grateful for.  The fact that after being apart for the first extended period of time since they were married, my grandparents will be celebrating their 67th wedding anniversary together this Saturday.  Incredible discoveries, like a 1930s double wedding ring quilt top that my grandmother’s cousin pieced and I will inherit to quilt (!!!!!).  All of the wonderful stories that come up as we sort through stuff.  The chest of drawers and my Great Great Grandfather Stahl.  Great Great Grandfather Walker taking my Grandfather to Pickle Baltzer’s General Store in a horse and buggy.  A wool throw from my Grandmother’s Grandfather’s service in the Civil War.  My Great Uncle Ray’s secret puzzle box from Italy and the hope chest he built for my grandmother.

And remembering stories of my own, like nap times in my Grandmother’s spare bedroom with very little napping and lots of time studying her Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt, my sister and I each trying to pick our favorite flowers.