Nostalgia Twist paper pieced quilt

Nostalgia Twist was a quilt I designed using my favorite quilts blocks from history. The twist, I designed the medallion and well I guess because it was all paper pieced. With the exception of the hst’s, the 3d flying geese and 3d pinwheels.   It’s hard to believe anyone would attempt to make a compass block without paper.  Another twist, there is  NO CURVED PIECING OR Y SEAMS.

The new Nostalgia Twist is all paper pieced. Do you consider the hst paper pieced? To make multiple blocks at once I downloaded half square triangle paper from Generations Quilt Patterns. The hst paper was so much faster than piecing these one at a time. In the original quilt I used 2 colors of fabric. While I was happy with the finished quilt I wish I had used different shades of red to define the compass points. red and white paper pieced quilt, paper pieced medallion quilt

This time around I chose green. Like I told Cherie at Cherie’s Quilting Journey, while I may tell you yellow is my favorite color I am drawn to green, all shades of green. In the not so distant past I had a hunter green sofa, hunter green curtains, sage curtains, a green countertop, green bath towels, green blouses, a green quilted coat I made, jade knickknacks, jade jewelry…the shingles on my home are green (owed to the previous owner). You’ll be happy to know the sofa and hunter green curtains are gone along with many other greens. So green was an obvious choice here. Not really, I couldn’t decide on a shade of green for a background fabric that blends well with my blue batiks. LOL, look at my site background color. Oh Lord I have a green problem.

Stay tuned to find out if this quilt will cure me.

More for your enjoyment

Linky Tuesday

Colour Inspiration Tuesday

Wish Upon A Star

May 21st was the first day of the Wish Upon a Star blog hop hosted by Carol at Just let me quilt. Below is a list of all those participating. Mark your calendars and come back on the 25th for a chance to win one of my paper pieced patterns.



Return to applique-Fall into a QAL

Recently Dione from Clever Chameleon stepped outside her comfort zone and tried a new quilting technique. The result, a beautiful applique quilt. I could tell you about it but I’ll let you read first hand here.  After watching her progress and seeing her finished quilt I was more inspired than I had been in a long time.

Then I read Karen’s post at Tu-Na Quilts, you can see it here..  There I found the cutest hedgehog applique block for the new “Fall Into a QAL. The block was designed by Vanda at Quilting with Vanda. You can read the rules to the QAL on Karen or Vanda’s blog.

So here I am, truly inspired by Dione and this cute little guy.

I have stepped out of my comfort zone and joined in my first QAL. But I have to rethink invisible thread and straight stitching around the patches. With white thread the stitches would have been visible and straight unlike they are now.  Hopefully after its quilted its appearance will improve. Or perhaps I will make another.

For this block I did turn my seam allowance then ran a straight stitch around the pieces. My options were limited here since my machine is a straight stitch. I do have 2 machines capable of decorative stitches but one isn’t very reliable and retired. The other, the bobbin stops spinning after about 3″ of stitches. Yeah, I think I will play with this block a little more.

Join me May 25 “Wish upon a star blog hop”

We are just days away from the Wish Upon A Star Blog Hop being hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt.   Mark your calendars, set reminders on your cell phone apps, or whatever it is you do to help you remember events.

The last blog hop hosted by Carol in which  I participated was  the Virtual Cookie Exchange. It featured cookie and candy recipes, most memorable Christmas stories, free patterns and other giveaways. There we so many delicious sweets shared that I will never find the time to make them all and quilt. Priorities prevail and there are fewer calories in quilting. It didn’t stop me from saving them for a rainy day though.

For that blog hop I shared my North Star, a free paper pieced pattern. A block that is a constant reminder to me that you should never remove papers from a block before it is completed. It’s a lonely block hanging above my piecing table.

The Wish Upon a Star blog hop will surely feature many free goodies and eye candy (no calories) from 44 bloggers. I wish I could share with you what each blog will feature but unfortunately I don’t know myself. One thing I can share, I’ll be giving away 2 pdf quilt patterns . To enter, come back on my day which is May 25th and leave a comment. That’s it!  You can still leave a comment if you don’t wish to enter. Winners will be announced on May 26th by email.

Oh yes, you can visit Just Let Me Quilt May 21st for a link list of bloggers Good luck and hope to see you May 25th.

Mosaic QAL month 4. Templates available until June 14th

paper piecing, Mosaic quilt, paper pieced flying geese, foundation quiltingPattern testers wanted for new pattern. See post here.

Mosaic QAL month  4 is here. You are getting so close to completing this quilt. I cant wait for you to share  photos  of your completed top .

This month you will be making the inside border. All 24 blocks are  identical, the 4 corner blocks are also identical. If you are following a color scheme I suggest you lay the templates  on the floor prior to piecing.  Mark them with notes to yourself.

For my geese border I chose to alternate the fabrics.  For my sashing on these templates I decided to go with a dark blue fabric.

Fabric-geese patches

Cut  24 strips 2″ x 18″.

Geese sky fabric

Continue cutting 2″ strips as needed.

Sashing/rectangle fabric

Cut 24 strips 2″ x  9″

These strips will form the border around the everything we have pieced to this point.

Cut 8 strips 2″ x 5″

These will be used for the corner templates

Joining the blocks from Feb-April

Join your blocks in 3 rows of 3, as shown in the diagram. But do not join the rows together. 

paper piecing, flying geese, mosaic quilt, foundation piecing,
Sew blocks into strips

Next join 6 of your geese border templates without the corners. Stitch this strip to the top row.  Piecing diagram

Join 6 more geese templates and join to the bottom row.

Now you may join your 3 rows. It just makes handling easier.


Finally, make 2 more strips of 6 flying geese border templates to form the sides. Attach the corners.

Join the sides.

paper pieced flying geese, paper piecing, flying geese, mosaic quilt, foundation piecing,
Join geese border to block strips. Join all together



Find the center of your block strips and flying geese border strips.  Use your preferred method to mark the centers. I prefer to use a dab of glue to baste the 2 together but you can use a pin if you prefer.  After basting the centers together line up your corners, baste or pin. Line up seams between the pins, use pins or glue baste. Stitch.

Mosaic month 4 download

paper pieced flying geese



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Recreating a quilt

When I made this quilt I never expected the feedback that I have received. From the first day I posted it online, then again when I started  For The Love of Geese quilters have asked the same question, “Do you have a pattern. who designed the quilt?”

This is the first quilt I designed and the medallion is my own. In fact, this was the first block I ever created. There are no Y seams and the most important to me, no curved piecing. Some people are curved piecing challenged  and I am one of them. Maybe I haven’t given it a chance?  I have made a few and the tops laid just okay. There were no real issues when I quilted them.  But I was convinced there had to be an easier way.

With medallion pattern in hand I then chose my favorite quilt blocks and drew up templates. The hst’s I made using a template from Generations Quilt Patterns. The flying geese are both paper pieced and 3d. The pinwheels are also 3d  blocks, sorry I don’t remember the site I picked that pattern up.

So, I was asked again this week if I have a pattern. Like I said,  I had no idea I would be overwhelmed with the question over and over. So, I decided to look for my designs and put a pattern together. With a twist.

In my original design I used 3d pinwheel and 3d flying geese. In the new pattern I do offer that suggestion but do not offer instructions for making them. I do hope to find the tutorials I used and supply links. There will be paper templates for these blocks.

The finished quilt will be roughly 82″ x 90″. I am presently  working on a decipherable pattern. One would never be able to read my original notes and make any sense out of them.

After successfully completing this quilt I gained confidence. Which led to me designing For The Love of Geese.

Do you have free time? In between projects ? Could you start on it right away? Can you share positive and negative feedback to me with honesty?  If so…then send me a message or  add a comment to the bottom of this post and tell me so. In exchange I will offer you free of charge my Nostalgia Twist pattern free of charge to test.

Looking for suggestions for an ongoing project

Do you have tried and true tricks when quilting a top on frame? What about tools and gadgets that make your job easier? How about tips for beginner longarm quilters? See my post here to get an idea of what I am looking for. Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated and will be shared in a single post.

Check out what others are working on:

Whoop Whoop

Info wanted:Hand guided long arm quilting

Do you have tried and true tips for long arm quilting? Trinkets and gadgets that make things come together? My current project is collecting items to put in one post as a reference for myself and other new quilters.

My experience with hand guided long arm quilting

If you are new to long arm quilting I would love to hear about your experiences and any tips you may have.  Perhaps you are considering the purchase of a long arm but aren’t sure where to begin.

My search began after I purchased a Juki TL2010.  My old Singer Slant O Matic was having fewer good days than bad and it was time for an upgrade. I was overwhelmed with all the choices on the market today and frankly the bells and whistles on new models confused me. Once I considered what was important to me the list was narrowed down to just a few machines. After all,  I just needed a reliable straight stitch machine.

  1. Write down your must have’s in  a machine. Long arm or domestic.
  2. Decide on your price. Many websites will  let you search in a price range.
  3.  Once you have narrowed your choices by using the 2 previous suggestions, find reviews on the remaining machines.
  4. Find a reliable dealer

While researching the Juki and reading reviews I was sold.  It’s a straight stitch only but the biggest selling point, reviews claiming  its use on a quilt frame.  I could then purchase a frame and save myself hundreds of dollars a year on my quilting bill. Which I did and all was well. Except with the 9″ throat  it doesn’t leave much work space when quilting a large top.  Otherwise, the setup was perfect and I would recommend the Juki TL2010 paired with a quilt frame without hesitation.

After I recovered from this purchase I decided that what I needed was a 16″ or larger long arm. WOW, I choked when I saw the prices. There was no way I could sell the idea of paying more for a sewing machine than my new car to my dh. This guy puts up with and agrees to a lot of hair brained ideas from me and rarely tells me no, but this was totally out of the ball park.

What not to get

Read reviews, many reviews. Be warned, if it sounds too good to be true, “it is”. Not knowing much I purchased a machine made by a no name company with horrible reviews. Made in the USA, they are very proud of this. They even think “they” revolutionized the quilting industry by making a frame we could use our domestic machines on.  Sellers can claim anything they like, true or not.  Consumers can post horrible reviews and we usually don’t share our experiences unless it’s a negative review.  With this in mind, weight the good against the bad. Follow your gut.

Turns out all the reviews were accurate for this no name company. They offer no service after the sell, mismatched parts, well a Frankenstein. After struggling with this machine I was able to get average results with it in the end. I’m going to end this with, “the machine performed better when I sold it then it did when I purchased it”.


A local quilter was selling her 20 yo Gammill Premier and frame. My dh, oh yes I love this guy. I advertised and sold my current long arm and purchased this beast. The 12′ Gammill frame, we had to bring it in through the window, lol. That night I was quilting. It was like going from an old beater of a car to Rolls Royce.  It is hand guided and does not boast all the extra bells and whistles. But I do have a panto table and laser if I ever decide to use that. Baby steps though.

In the 2 years since the first long arm I have watched A LOT of online videos and read many posts. I can now make simple adjustments and maintain my own machine.  So what works for me? Below are items I use to make my quilting  more enjoyable.

Zippered leaders

These are great. I didn’t think I would actually like them but as long as the leaders remain straight they are wonderful. You  just have to pay attention to the zipper direction when stitching your backing to the leaders.

Rare earth magnets

This is what I prefer to use for loading my backing.  You can purchase rare earth magnets from Harbor Freight. They are a couple bucks for 10 magnets. They are easy dropped when removing your top from the frame. They bounce like a super ball and quickly attach to anything metal. Easy lost and they shatter too. If you notice a chip throw it away. I keep a couple extra bottles of them on hand at all times.

Bar magnets to hold your top when floating a quilt.
Bar magnets with knobs added   for easy removal

Knife and tool magnet bars, also from Harbor Freight. They are 18″ long and have pre-drilled holes where I attached a porcelain knob for easy removal from the bars. You could use these to load your quilt but you would need enough to go all the way across the top and bottom of your backing. Otherwise your backing may be wavy.  If I am floating my top I will lay these on my belly bar to stabilize the top. But mostly I use these to hold my leaders in place when I’m not using my frame.  I have also used their weight to add a little tension here or there on the top instead of rice bag or canned good.  These were beneficial when I quilted a top for my sister recently, photos here.

Magnet trays are great too which I also purchased at Harbor Freight.

Magnet trays






C clamps
Use c clamps to hold your leader ends when a quilt is loaded.
C clamps

UPDATE :  I purchased these long arm tension clamps at Quilters Apothecary. These are handy. I cant tell you what their technical name is or where I purchased these.  You can use them on the belly bar when floating a top or use them on your leader ends to keep them from flopping as you advance your quilt. They are thin and your leader wraps around them smoothly.  You could also use these to keep your leaders in place when not using your frame.

Heard about red snappers?

These are obviously NOT red snappers. There are videos on youtube regarding the use of red snappers but I found them to be too expensive just  to try. An alternative to these,  clip-n-seal bag clips. I purchased mine on Amazon (link takes to you the clips with great photos) in the 36″ length and believe there were 10 sets per package. They are easily cut to length with a sharp knife. While I did not like them for loading my quilt because I didn’t get a smooth even result, I do like them for my side tension. And also in the kitchen for sealing frozen veggie bags and chips.

For side tension, I cut the inside (round piece) to 16″ and ran a piece of heavy twine through it.  Tied the ends into a knot and pulled that knot inside the tubing. The outside C shaped piece I cut to 15″.  I attach the clips to the sides of my backing and batting and attach clamp from my frame to the string.

If your leaders already have a pocket stitched in them these would be great. They are a pocket book friendly alternative.


Well rulers, I am just beginning my journey with these. So far it’s not been great. It is however what prompted this post. In all the videos I have watched and tips/tricks I have read online no one mentioned sliding rulers.

Half way through my current top a light went off. Up until that point I wondered how other quilters kept these pesky things from sliding. If your machine is hand guided you already know you need both hands to steer. Add a ruler to the mix and you are 2 hands short.

With a hand guided machine you are already at a disadvantage because you are controlling the speed, direction and you add a ruler… Honestly though, I love this machine and it is the best for me. The only thing I wish it was equipped with is speed control. Like a thumb throttle on a motorcycle. Reaching up to adjust the speed while quilting is adding to the need of an additional hand.

Sorry, got side tracked. True grips, the reason for the expanded post.  Oh Lord did they ever make a difference in my ruler work.  My lines are so much nicer. Well, except when my right hand wants to do what my left hand is doing. Its much like driving a car, you look over your left shoulder and your steering wheel goes right.  If you use any kind of grippers on your cutting rulers give them a try on your quilting ruler. You wont be disappointed.  I just cant believe no one ever mentioned this in an article or quilting video. Perhaps they thought it was a given.

Sandie says: My favourite grip for rulers is Handi Grip by Handi Quilter. 10 strips in a pkg for $10.
I teach rulerwork and recommend this to all my students. Available at quilt shows, from Handi Quilter dealers and

Barbara says: I seem to have the most luck with sand paper grips (you can make your own with sticky backed sand paper – probably available at Harbor Freight). But when I REALLY need a sticky ruler, I spray the back with temporary adhesive.


If you have any tips, tricks or alternatives for quilters I would love to hear and share them in this post. It would be awesome to list tried and true items for new and experienced quilters to view in one spot.

See what others are working on.

Freemotion by the river

Churn dash top finish

Churn dash top is complete. While I do and have always loved this block I wont be in a hurry to make another one. Related post can be found here.

The two scrap quilts did put a dent in my left over fabric and scratch off 2 of my bucket list items. With the hexie quilt ( download templates from pattern page) I was able to use all of the batik strips left over from my For the love of geese quilt. With the churn dash I used 19 fat quarters from a large pile left from my Mosaic quilt. There’s still a pile staring at me and I now have 4 more blocks added to the orphan pile.

When I started the churn dash top it was my intention to make a 7sq x 8sq top. However due to my miscalculation I ended up with 54 blocks instead of 56. I am over making these blocks so the top is 7sq x 7sq. Now I am on the lookout for a design to finish up the fat quarters.

My yearly goal was to quilt the 4 tops in my tote that have been waiting for 1-2 years. Two have been finished, one is currently on the frame and there is one left in the tote. Its not alone though with the addition of the 2 scrap quilts.

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Moving it forward

Oh scrap

Show and tell Monday

Design wall Monday

Linky Tuesday

Let’s bee social



Wednesday Wait Loss

Mid Week Makers

Sew stitch snap share

Needle and thread Thursday

Finished or not Friday

Off the wall Friday

Whoop Whoop

Quilt bucket list

My quilt bucket list is getting shorter. The completion of the (non traditional) Hexie quilt top inspired me to move down my list. It’s really a short list and consists  of 3 itmes.

Hexie quilt-check

Churn Dash


In reality I was able to accomplish 2 things with the Hexie (pattern here)quilt. Mark the quilt off my list and use remaining jelly roll strips from a previous project. This inspired me to move on to my next bucket list item, a Churn Dash quilt.

Though I cant say why I have never pieced even a single Churn Dash block, I do love them. churn dash quilt, paper piecingSo Friday night I pulled all my fat quarters left from the Mosaic quilt. Once I decided on my block dims and patch sizes I pulled 19 fat quarters from the pile. From a fat quarter I can get three 12″ finished blocks. And of course my favorite muslin for the background fabric.

churn dash quilt, paper piecing

All fabric was cut to 5″ squares. You  need 4 colored patches and 5 background patches for each finished block. Then I paired each colored square with a muslin square.  made my hst  by drawing a diagonal line  from corner to corner, stitched 1/4″ on both sides of the line and cut down the middle making 2 hst. Do this 2 times. Right sides together of course. For the bar between the hst, I stitched a 1/4″ seam down the sides and cut the block down the middle at 2 1/2″making 2 blocks. Do this 2 times. Easy peasy, why hadn’t I made these before?

After doing all my cutting Saturday I was able to make 6 blocks. Yesterday I completed 17 more. The plan is to make a 7 across by 8 down top though this may change. There is still a pile of the fat quarters that I can use on yet another project or add additional blocks/borders to this one/

Lighting and my sewing room

OMG I have been missing out. If you aren’t aware, I live in an earth home. The front wall of my home is exposed, the sides and back are below grade. That means any room in the rear of the home has no windows so lighting is a struggle. Guess where my sewing room is?

Over the years I have tried different lighting options. These are what I have settled with over the last couple years:

LED’s in the ceiling light

Halogen floor lamp (which really throws bright light and heat)

LED clip on light

An additional LED floor lamp that I drag around my room when and where needed.

Like most of you (I’m certain) it has taken me a while to finally setup my 10′ x 10″ sewing room to be comfortable. Function hasn’t been as big an issue  as much as feeling cluttered with different layouts. Because of my limited space large pieces of functional furniture is out of the question. Then there are items like…my mother in laws sewing cabinet that I really like but my machine doesn’t fit it, an oak table from the late 1800’s that my husbands great grandpa made and my son’s Radio Flyer wagon. These things I have put to use making my work areas.

For the last year I have been comfortable in my current setup so I decided it was time yet again to try other non expensive lighting options. For $25 each I purchase two  4′ 4500 lumens LED shop lights. My dh placed one over my piecing table and one over my cutting/ironing table. Girl let me tell you, “I am in heaven”.  I’d show you photos but now that I can see it appears my room is a little past due on a paint job.

If you struggle with lighting or lack thereof you may wish to try these. They do not throw light horizontally. Meaning I have a dark corner in the room. However each shop light provides more than enough light to the areas they are placed over.

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Oh scrap

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Freemotion by the river

Whoop whoop


Another finish. Or is it?

hexie quilt, paper pieced, paper piecing, foundation piecing. no english paper pieced hexieLast night I finished putting this together. Do I add an outside border or no? When I started this hexie quilt it was to use up scrap batiks that I had on hand. If you haven’t been following my progress here is a recap.

I don’t hand piece but have always wanted to make a hexie quilt. With a pile of batik strips left from previous projects in hand I sketched a few templates on paper. Some didn’t make sense but I finally decided on the finished 1.75″ x 2″ blocks and 1″ x  1.75″ half blocks. You can find the free templates on my pattern page.

It sure took a lot of hexies to complete the inside 39″  x 45.5″ section. 482 whole hexie blocks and 24 half hexies containing 2,482 pieces of fabric.  Then there are the outside hexies.  Even though there are so many repeating blocks with small pieces I had so much fun piecing this and it went together better than I expected.  I did have to change my routine and use pins instead of glue basting. Pins were the only way to line up the blocks accurately.

Each hexie took 3 minutes to complete and I started piecing this around March 16th. As it lays now the top is 56″  x 64″.  It doesn’t need to be larger as a sofa quilt but I think it does need an outside border.  The problem, I ran out of batiks because I don’t keep a large stash. Actually I don’t keep a stash at all.  The chances of finding a match locally that blends well will be almost impossible.

While needing more for the outside border is my present concern there were other issues. Look at the 2 bottom rows of hexie’s, they are not offset.  I mis-calculated the whole and half blocks. Regardless I love this top. After reversing the color for the border blocks I wish I had used muslin for the hexie shapes and colored fabric for the block corners.

I’m off to a new scrap project now. There is a large pile of fat quarters left of from the Mosaic quilt. Stay tuned for what I decide to do with those.

Would you like to see what others are working on or have finished?

Needle and Thread Thursday

Off the wall Friday

Whoop Whoop


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Wednesday Wait Loss

Mid Week Makers

Hexie quilt is almost finsihed

My hexie quilt is almost finished. For the center, all 482 whole blocks  and 24 half blocks are completed. The photo shows just the center which measures 39″ x 45.5″. This would be an ideal size for a baby quilt but I am planning on retiring the current quilts draping my sofa. A little splash of color to my earth tones living room will hopefully liven things up.

How many pieces of fabric are in this quilt? I’ve done the math, so far there are 2,482 pcs of fabric. To this section I will be adding a border then 2 rows of blocks around the outside. Actually a block and a half to the sides and 2 rows to the top and bottom. From there I am not sure. The only thing I can say for sure, “I have used up all of my scrap fabrics in this fabric line”. This is good for my lack of storage space but doesn’t leave any room for error as you will see in upcoming photos.

I’ve been thinking about quilting this top and the only thing that makes sense is straight line quilting. Cross hatching to be precise. Years ago when I made quilted jackets I would always do cross hatching and I loved it. Since I have had my long arm though I’ve not done much and definitely not this large of scale. It will be a little tricky since my machine is hand guided but I do have a gam-guide to assist. If you don’t know what a gam-guide is stay tuned and I will post a photo when I have the quilt loaded on the frame.

For a free download of my paper pieced (not epp) hexie templates click over to my pattern page.  As always, if you make something with my pattern I would love to see photos.


Related posts:

Not your Nanas hexie quilt

The first 26 rows in my hexie quilt is complete

Hexie quilts

Check out what others are working on

Oh scrap

Show and tell Monday

Monday Making

Design Wall Monday

Linky Tuesday

Cooking Up Quilts