The Most Fun I Can Have with my Clothes On

Today was reward day. Today, I have finished all my must-do’s for the week, picked up all our food donations for the big food drive ending at our church this coming Sunday, took care of house needs, took care of tiresome household chores. Today, I finally got to work on a quilt I have been thinking about for a long time.

My favorite nephew and his wife are going to have a baby, due date on January 1st, how cool is that? Always before I have gone with brights, but I am thinking New Year Baby, and I am also remembering how The Happy Baby LOVES black and white prints, it is like he has never seen anything so wonderful. He could actually focus for minutes at a time, trying to figure out my daughter-in-law’s zebra stripe couch cushions.

And I have been cutting out Snail’s Trail quilt patterns for a long time, but all that piecing has intimidated me. My nephew and his wife also have three cats.

Looking through all my quilt clippings, I found a Quiltmaker quilt that was almost what I wanted. With my handy draft paper, I worked around until I got what I wanted. . . a set of four sets of four cats, and my stash of black and white prints.

The first interlocked tails block comes out perfect:

Then, the first cat block, and it is a perfect 8 1/2 inches:

Cat plus snail’s trail:

I was having so much fun. This quilt took more thinking than it took putting together. Once I had it figured out, it just created itself, and I was having so much fun!

The first quarter; I forgot I needed to have the center block a different fabric so I later had to pick it out and replace it with the correct block:

No, it is not a black and white photo; it is a black and white quilt. I am planning to applique little red hearts on the white kitties and little white bow ties on the black kitties. I have to think of something to do in the center of the quilt, but I am thinking that is a good place to applique the baby’s name and birth date when he gets here.

Not all my imaginings turn out the way I imagine them. This one, I loved working on, and I love the way it came together. I love the way Snail’s Trail creates the circular motion and I love the way the cats create their own sort of modern border. I’m not even a big fan of black and white, but it’s fun to step out of the old comfort zone from time to time.

Seaside Cottage 2

You probably think I have gone stale, but what the Colors of the Sea quilt was something I had promised my sister long ago, and this quilt is the quilt I had started when she first asked, and I cut enough for two, finished hers, and then mine languished – for years – before I got around to finishing it.

This was my sister’s quilt:

Size, fabrics – everything is identical, only the appliques and a little of the quilting differ:

Bottom left:

Bottom Right:

I stuffed the sand dollars and the scallop shells so the quilting would have more definition:

I wave quilted part of it, and shallow-water-swirl quilted the other part:

This is not an original quilt, but I used shells for the borders instead of flowers, and used my own quilting ideas. I believe the most of the fabrics and the pattern were from a collection called Seaside Cottage by Moda.

I cut and pieced the quilt in Kuwait, appliqued and quilted in Doha, and did the binding and finishing hand quilting in Pensacola. Whew! It’s finished!

Seminole Graduation Quilt

This was one of my very earliest quilts, and looking at it now, I am in total wonder at how carefully I worked on it.


This pattern itself, sometimes called Bethlehem Star, sometimes called Lone Star (and more names, these are just the two I could remember!) is very complicated for a beginner. I used Quilts Quilts Quilts! one of my all time favorite books, to guide me in the making.

Then, I drew and quilted a Seminole in the bottom left quadrant, my son’s name, year of graduation and degrees in the bottom right quadrant, and some autumn leaves in the upper quadrants. Looking at it 8 years later, I am impressed at how hard it must have been for me, but I chose to do it. Woooo Hooooo on me! And hand quilting on black! Imagine!


Bordered, of course, with my first efforts at Seminole piecing. It is at the same time attributable (I couldn’t have done it without the guidance of Quilts Quilts Quilts) and utterly original, with all the Seminole touches.


Stars over Ireland

This quilt began in a Mystery Night at Ramstein AFB, taught in 2002 (?) by Kimberly Einmo before her first book was published. Oh! We had so much fun, but making zillions of half square triangles was a chore.

The top went together quickly, but I had a photograph of a tombstone from when we visited Ireland, and I wanted to use it as a quilting motif in the white centers. I also found a Celtic border I liked, but it was very small, and I had to enlarge it over and over to get it to the proper size for my border.

The hand quilting took forever, partially because the white fabric was sort of rubbery, and hand quilting through it was tough. Aaarrgh! I didn’t finish hand quilting until I was back in the Kaiserslautern area for an emergency surgery, and had nothing to do by wait for my return flight to Doha and quilt!



12 Days Applique


My friend Shirley and I were bored, and we challenged one another to this quilt. We had the patternm by Mimi Shimp, but we both changed it dramatically – I wanted the blocks in the order they were sung, so enlarged them all to 18 x 18. We also used the beautiful duppioni silks readily available in Doha, and other more difficult fabrics.

The main motif was totally hand appliqued, but the minor motifs were machine appliqued.

We had given ourself 6 months to get the blocks finished, and another year to hand quilt the resulting top. The reality – after 2 1/2 years, I machine quilted the finished top just to get it done. I am not unhappy. I love this quilt, and I will hang it for one month every year, from December 6th – the Feast of St. Nicholas – until January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany.