How about a nice Hawaiian punch? (You knew this was coming, right?)


I think I’m up to 21 Hawaiian quilt blocks!  This one is lemonade.


You know, I’m just gonna let you look at pictures of all this yummy batiki goodness.




After spending some time looking at what I think are yellow tulips, I’m really starting to think this looks more like silverware.  Like forks and knives radiating out from the center.


It’s like a fancy little hopscotch game in my back yard.


I’m making good progress for my project.  Are you getting sick of looking at my pretty blocks?

But wait! There’s more! Hawaiian quilt block explosion!


I hope you’re not tired of looking at colorful Hawaiian quilt blocks!  Anita Goodesign and I have been busy in the studio.  The colors are popping!


For some reason, parts of this turquoise block remind me of whale tails.  The ones in the ocean.  This blue batik actually has a fish design in it, disguised by the appliqué process.


This color is difficult to photograph, just can’t seem to capture the beautiful periwinkle coloring.  I love the way the sawtooth leaves come together at the seams and look like the teeth on a man-eating plant!


This orangish-red was screaming out to become what looks like anthuriums in this block.  Or maybe it’s clubs and hearts from a deck of cards?


Both of the green blocks I’ve made so far just blow me away.  The batiks are more beautiful as appliqués than they are as yardage.  I didn’t think that was possible!

What’s your favorite block so far?  Any opinions?  Here, I’ll let you review the others…

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Coming up next, orange.  And purple.  Cathy loves purple.

Yippy skippy, look what I got!


I went to the Kauai Quilt Show today and found this wonderful surprise.  I’m pleased, and really proud to get a ribbon for my first entry into a quilt show.


I’ve actually never been to a quilt show before today.  What a treat to look at all the entries.  The winner in the machine embroidery category was breathtaking – a geisha panel made by a friend.

I have to admit the handwork category really blew me away.  The first place in this category was my favorite quilt of the whole show.  Well, besides mine!

Be gentle, it’s my first: Mark Twain and all his little friends are ready to go public!

I am entering a quilt in the Kauai Quilt show!


I’ve never entered a quilt in a show.  I’ve only been quilting for a couple of years, so I guess that’s not surprising.


I call my quilt “How Did I Get Here?”  It’s like a pictorial representation of the places in the US where I have lived and learned.  How cute is little Mark Twain in the corner of Missouri?  I hope I haven’t seen the end of Mark Twain’s head on my quilts.  That one is going to take a lot of thought.


I’m pretty sure that embroidering the state of Minnesota is the only opportunity I will have to make a gopher.  Unliess I decide to do a Caddyshack quilt some day.  What the heck would that look like?


Hawaii is actually the first one I did of the states.  When I started this one, I didn’t have a plan for a quilt, and certainly not a thought of making a quilt for a show.  Everything just snowballed from here.  Or erupted from here.

The designs are all from the 50 States collection by Anita Goodesign.  I love using their designs; so detailed and perfect.  Each state took me a full day to embroider.  And I have half of a Missouri sitting around somewhere.

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These small state outlines are from Urban Threads, another awesome source for machine embroidery designs.


I listed all the most important places in my life using the lettering in my Destiny.  It’s hard to tell in this photo, the thread is a variegated blue/white.

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I like my little appliqué cornerstones.  There are two Hawaii’s on the bottom.



The gorgeous stars and stripes are from another Anita Goodesign set called Free Motion Frenzy.  Gotta love anything with the name Frenzy.


I just had to use this red and white Hawaiian print on the back.  And look at that adorable blue and white check I found for the binding!


I have to finish sewing the hanger thingie on the back, and I want to make a quilt label for it.  No pressure, it’s due tomorrow at 10am.

What do you think of my first show quilt?  I don’t have any expectations.  I am just thrilled to have put together something that means so much to me.  And I think it’s cute.

Lonely no more, the Hawaiian quilt block gets some new friends!

I was busy this weekend.


Destiny was embroidering like a maniac!  The sections still need to be sewn together, but I managed to stitch out all four parts for each of the red and blue quilt blocks.  The vibrant colors are making me so happy!


I continue to be amazed at the stitch quality of my Destiny.  It is so consistent and lovely.


The designs in this Hawaiian Quilt pack by Anita Goodesign are amazing.  That company provides such consistent high-quality projects!  I’m going to need a big pile of blocks for a king-size quilt.


Notice my solo pineapple square?  I ran out of embroidery thread  after this one.  Oops.  Well, that and I screwed up another two of them.  So we’ll call this one a work-in-progress.

I was working on organizational items in my studio between thread changes on my machine.  This week I will be moving my sewing studio upstairs to a much bigger space.  Unfortunately, this will involve a bunch of dudes with big muscles.  So that’s a wild card.  I’ll be spending my days prepping, unloading bookcases, carrying supplies, and generally wearing myself out without a lot of creativity to show for it.

My small space always looks like a bomb has exploded in it, so I’m looking forward to my bigger spot.  My issue is sure to be the one facing all of us with large fabric collections…storage.  I’ll keep you posted.

Does anyone else see a Hawaiian quilt in my future? I think it’s my Destiny.

Look what happened at my house on Friday!


The first block of my Hawaiian quilt is in the bag, and I am thrilled.  I’m using an Anita Goodesign embroidery collection called…wait for it…Hawaiian Quilt.  My plan is to use a variety of fun batik fabrics and make it really colorful.

I had three of these four sections completed when my sewing machine decided to have a spa visit.  The good news here is that I had actually saved my design in the machine memory!  I was able to complete the partially stitched section without a hitch.

Wondering what was up with my Babylock Destiny?  Just a big hairball – well, a thread tangle.  A spool of thread I had used previously kept shredding and breaking.  Some of that thread got caught up inside and built a nest in the machine.  Thanks to the clever and talented repair department at my dealer for solving that issue!

Destiny and I are resuming our love affair right where we left off.

Waves in the water and beach balls, all in one convenient quilt!


I finished my curved piecing yesterday!  It is really fun, once you get over the initial horror of taking a rotary cutter and slicing randomly through the fabric.


Anytime I need help smoothing out fabric on a flat surface, Tippy the massive cat shows up to offer his services.  He is 20 pounds of fabric love.  Apparently that front beach ball needed some work.


When that beach ball was properly pressed, his work was done.

I had the beach ball parts fused and cut out already, so don’t be thinking I performed any super-human piecing tricks.  I attached them to the background and zigzagged them on.  I ripped out parts of a couple of the seams so that two of the balls would look like they were in the water.



Now I am thinking about the borders.  I had a plan, similar to the one shown on the pattern (Day at the Shore Quilt by See How We Sew.)  That may change…

I’m making waves, and here’s a curved piecing tutorial so you can make them too!



The quilt that I am working on has waves in the background.  They are freehand waves, and it turns out they are pretty simple to make.  Shall we dive right in?


Here are the waves so far.  The fabric for the next layer is on the left.


Place the new wave over the previous wave, lining up the selvedges or edges and using a consistent measurement across.  This diamond fabric overlaps the blue approximately 2 inches all the way from edge to edge.


Obviously, I cannot see the bottom of the blue fabric now.  I use my ruler as a guide along that edge, so that when I cut, I will stay above the ruler by at LEAST 1/4″ so I can have a proper seam allowance.


The next step is cutting the curve.  I did my freehand.  The one in the above photo is a narrow strip, so the curve is very gentle.



As I remove the top of the diamond fabric and the bottom of the blue fabric, you can see that the curves fit together perfectly.  Now it is time to mark the fabric so the curves will match after stitching.  I used a Frixion pen which disappears when the fabric is ironed.

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I mark my curves about every six inches or so.


Pin the pieces right side together, matching each set of marks.


Stitch, using a 1/4″ seam allowance, easing the curves for a smooth seam.  Below is the stitched seam before pressing.

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Using your iron and lots of steam, press the seam downward.


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And voila!  Beautiful waves, stitched and steamed to perfection!

The fabric shown in this tutorial is Tidal Lace by Kim Andersson, from Windham Fabrics.  The quilt I am working on is A Day at the Shore Quilt by See How We Sew.

Machine stitching the New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt rosette #2: I still love paper and glue, but mostly fabric


Most of the time I think it is wonderful that I don’t know today’s date.  That’s one of the perks of retirement.  But on Friday, I had a lightbulb moment.  I realized there was only one week left in February.  And I had finished only the center of my “assignment” in the New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt along!

Although I had cut and glued the pieces for the first round, there they were, sitting on the table next to my chair.  I had stuffed them into a cute little bag.  But I could hear them whispering.  Kinda like Clarice in Silence of the Lambs.

Before I tell you what I did on Saturday,  I want to give you a little back story.  I am not a block of the month kind of gal.  I’m not overly fond of randomly imposed deadlines.  If I am doing a project, I want to do it because I WANT to, and WHEN I want to.  Especially if it is something that I am supposed to be enjoying.  Something I voluntarily chose to do because it would be fun.  Or because I could learn something.

Really, a project needs to speak to me in some way.  So I don’t want that project to get all sassy and belligerent, up in my face looking at it’s little timepiece and telling me to get moving.  Why would any of us want to do that?  Time is precious.  Life is short.  There are cats waiting to be petted, chocolate waiting to be eaten, naps that need taking.  And I, for one, intend to honor all those important things.


Anyhoo…my little paper pieces are whispering.  They are whispering politely, and I am still interested in what they have to say.  So I got out my glue stick, fired up Netflix, cut myself with my rotary cutter, and got back into the game.  And I followed my own tutorials.  I pieced those puppies with my sewing machine.

Now, mind you, I had hand stitched the center.  I had cut and glued the first round, and hand stitched three of those hexies.  On Saturday, I cut, glued, and stitched together the rest of the rosette.  That’s six Dolores’ and a shitload of Carols.  And attached them all to each other.  Rosette #2, in the bag.

I didn’t do it because of peer pressure.  I didn’t do it because I thought I might disappoint someone.  I didn’t even do it because  I would disappoint myself.  I did it because I actually wanted to have the rosette finished.  I want to move on to the next one, I want to anticipate number three!

You see, I figured out what I wanted out of this project.  I asked myself if it was the product or the process?  For me, is it all about spending my time hand stitching?  That would be a big no, not for me.  I want the finished quilt.  Since my goal is the product, the finished quilt, I had to figure out how I could make that happen.  And hand stitching the whole thing was taking me down that well-worn path that leads to a dead end.  If I tried to hand stitch the whole thing, this project would end up abandoned.

Knowing my limits, I have chosen to do my rosettes in an unconventional manner.  And it works for me.  I am happy with my results.  And, most importantly, I am still excited by this project.  I know that my new friend Katja Marek will be happy for me  too.


I was not the first to finish this rosette, not by far.  And I know I am far from the last to finish.  But it’s hanging on my wall, next to it’s fellow rosette.  And it looks spectacular, and triumphant, and inspirational.  And I want to make more companions for these two.

Now go out there and make something pretty!  Right NOW!

P.S.  If you want to try machine stitching on your EPP project, here is a link to my three-part tutorial:

Mark Twain is in the house! Holla!

I’m from the state of Missouri.  The one pronounced Mi-zor-uh.  And there’s a famous dude that came from the same town in which I was born.  So today I’m sending some love to Hannibal!

There is an adorable quilt shop there called the Hickory Stick.  I spend hours there every time I visit my mom.  I blame that shop (and my mom) for my newish obsession with quilting.  On my last trip I saw the most amazing quilt with Mark Twain’s head on it.  And I knew it must be mine.

Mark Twain's head hovering in space

They used the Mark Twain/Hannibal fabrics, which are way too muted for my loud tastes.  And I’ve been longing for a red, white and blue quilt.  So tuh-duh!  Meet my patriotic friend Mark!

We’ve got your boyhood home there on the bottom, along with a fence, freshly whitewashed.  The swirly star thingies are paddlewheel blocks, and they look like paddlewheels (in case you live under a rock and don’t know what paddlewheels look like.)

paddlewheel blocks, although I am sure they also have another name

By the way, Mark is NOT a printed panel, I machine appliquéd his cute little head on there.  That was some fussy work!  And I scanned his autograph on my cool new Destiny sewing machine and stitched it out with the press of a button.  (Now I’m just bragging.  Sorry.)

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I changed Mark’s quote to one that better suits my own badass outlook on life.  Stitched that puppy out on my machine also.  The quote used in the pattern is, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”  I seriously considered using my very favorite quote, “Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”

When you go to Hannibal, give a shout out to Pat and the wonderful folks at the Hickory Stick Quilt Shop.  And check them out on Facebook.  They have this cool pattern by Susan Marth, it’s called A Tribute to Mark Twain.  And say hi to my mom on the hill.