My Daughter’s Pinwheel Quilt

I’m so excited to finally be posting about this.  I actually finished this quilt awhile ago, and blogged about it briefly on my other site, SewMessy.  But I really wanted to do it justice here.

I started work on it on the original HandiQuilter II frame and domestic sewing machine.

While I had used this many times before, this was the first time I had set it up on the plastic table, and I think that caused all manner of issue.  The domestic machine I used was my Pfaff Hobby GrandQuilter, which is extremely heavy.  This caused the table to sag in the middle, and the rails of the handquilter II to be mis-matched at the seams.  Thus, when I would roll over the seams, a very distinct bump was visible in my quilting lines.  It was the most frustrating experience, I assure you!  I had hoped to finish Zoe’s quilt for her college graduation, but this quilting disaster kept me from not only enjoying the process, but making any headway.

In August of 2014, hubby bought me my new baby, here she is boxed up after the quilt show:

10423946_10152537850754854_4948828833420926690_nAnd here she is set up in the sewing palace, finally: 10653866_10152607051344854_77533943319069727_nThe suggestion when you get a new long arm quilting machine is, of course, to put some throw away fabric on there and practice.  So I did what any quilter would do…ripped Zoe’s pinwheel quilt off the HandiQuilter II frame and put it on the new HandiQuilter Avante frame:

10351227_10152629126189854_2272566656921585557_nI immediately went to town, and went a little nuts. Here I’ve pebbled over top of the feathered hearts!  Whoops!


Here is a picture of Zoe’s pinwheel quilt on the machine from the front:10615442_10152620073309854_2064569779877701594_n-300x225

Here is a close up of the feathered hearts in the solid squares.  I did pebbling inside the heart, and stippling outside.pinwheelquiltheartfeather

Here I am pinning the binding to the quilt:10649651_10152642956954854_184420283992237003_n

And here I am whip-stitching the binding to the backing:10616413_10152644058639854_6159757106051061007_n

The corners came out SOOOOOO good.  I am tooting my own horn here, but I love it when the corners come up perfectly.  It’s such a struggle to get them to do so.  So I celebrate when they do!



Here it is all folded up on the arm of a comfy chair, FINISHED:10616349_10152649371784854_8375820616701854945_n-225x300

And finally a shot of the whole thing finished.  10516751_10152649371394854_2666134508293768178_n-225x300

Now, I can tell the blocks that were quilted before the Avante, and those with the Avante.  I don’t know that my daughter can, though and that’s all that matters!  She washed it and it is so cuddly now.  It came out so amazing.  To think I started this quilt FIFTEEN years earlier.  Possibly longer!  That’s amazing, isn’t it?  We need to stick with our UFO’s and make sure they eventually get done!

Anyway – I hope I’ve done it justice here for you.  I hope I’ve conveyed what a joy finishing this quilt has been, and how much I adore the new long arm! 😀

Happy Quilting!


Oh Boy! Elm Creek Quilts book series is on!!!

Did you already know that?  I didn’t.  I started this book series a LONG time ago, and read the first two books.  While looking around for something to distract me from Outlander (taking a break…got kind of too intense for me), I recalled the Elm Creek Quilts series by Jennifer Chiaverini fondly and wondered if had them.  Sure enough! They are there!

I’m so excited to have just finished The Cross-Country Quilters and start The Runaway Quilt.  The Cross-Country Quilters was great, except for a single scene that didn’t ring true.  In the book, one quilter comes to the house of another quilter, and GASP! she didn’t ask nor was she invited to see the sewing room.  WTH? Really?  I don’t know any quilter who that would fly with.  If I went to my quilting friend’s house and they didn’t EXPECT to show off their sewing room, I’d be offended. Like maybe I’m not that close a friend after all? Or maybe they hide dead bodies in the sewing room?  Either way, red flags galore, am I right?  But otherwise it’s a cute tale of 5 different ladies at varying points in their lives.  All coming from different stations in life, it’s a pretty well-told tale of how they all come together and forge a friendship over quilting.  I was hooked.  Lots of fun descriptions of quilts, quilt blocks, quilting techniques, fabric, etc.  Oh, the other thing that didn’t ring true, was a scene where they are in class, and they don’t discuss the types of sewing machines they use at quilt camp.  Hmmm…Jennifer gives details on the #10 Between used to hand quilt, but skips the brand name of the machine in the classroom? Really?  I guess there are copyright issues? Or doesn’t want to be seen as endorsing a specific brand?  I’m not sure…but if I were there, I’d be all over what type of machine they were using.

Now, I’m struggling a bit with The Runaway Quilt.  It’s a bit over the top with the inner turmoil of Sylvia, the main character, and the preachiness of her relative, whose journal she is reading.  I’m not saying slavery isn’t a horrible stain on our country’s history, I’m just saying, some of the Amazon reviews about future books being more political might be showing a bit here in this 4th volume of the series.   I wanna say, I get it, I get it.  Preaching to the choir, here.  Well, we’ll see how it plays out.  I suppose the topic is impossible to write about without passionately disavowing it.  This is why I don’t write fiction, I’d just gloss over things and assume the reader is on board my way of thinking.

Anyway – I’m excited to share with y’all that there is an offer for two free Audibooks JUST for trying them out for 30 days.  I hate to sound like an advertisement.  I’m seriously pushing for you to hurry up and try the first book in the series, The Quilter’s Apprentice: A Novel (The Elm Creek Quilts)
, and the second book, if you liked the first, Round Robin: An Elm Creek Quilts Book (The Elm Creek Quilts)
. (Those links are to Amazon books, links to below)

First here’s the deal:
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Second, here are the first two books in the series:
The Quilter’s Apprentice: Elm Creek Quilts, Book 1

Round Robin: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel

I like Audio Books a LOT.  I put in my ear buds and listen while I sew, cook, clean or work (cough cough).  And play them in my car when I’m commuting to work.  Lots of time to kill and what a great way to kill them.  If I exercised, I’d probably listen to audibooks then too!  I’m hoping to get my friend Robin to try out the Elm Creek Quilts series through Audible as well.  I’ll report back how she likes them.  She’s an award winning Long Arm machine quilter…so you know she’s bound to have an opinion on them!

Well Blankie blocks are done

And now it’s in the mail to my cousins in TN.

I blogged about it a bit here.

And Here’s a picture of the finished stack of blocks:


So that’s all the update on that project.  In other news, the view out my sewing room is beautiful:

sewingwithaviewAnd I rearranged my machines so I’m facing out the window while I sew now.  Much happier.  I’ll post pics of my rearranged sewing room once I clean it up.


Today I’m finishing up the pinwheel baby quilt…

I have to specify the Pinwheel BABY quilt, because I’m also working on the pinwheel quilt for my daughter.  Here’s the play by play of the baby quilt.

Ok, so I started this quilt a year ago…no wait, let me go back further.  About 12 years ago, I made flannel rag quilts for a friend of mine’s triplets.  They were in primary colors, very bold and bright.  I had stacks of squares left over, which sat forever.  Fast forward to just over a year ago… my daughter was expecting my first grandson, and I decided to take the stacks of squares, trim them down, and make HST (Half Square Triangles) with them.  I won’t get into a specific tutorial here, since there are tons of good ones on the web, but here are some pictures of the process.

SketchingPinwheelIdeaFirst, I start with a general drawing of my quilt idea.  In this case, I knew I had limited fabric of each color, so I had to get creative in the lay out.

The second part is to sandwich your squares together, draw a line diagonally from one corner to the other.  Then stitch 1/4′ on both sides of that line. Using a rotary cutter and ruler, then cut down the original line, separating the two halves.

Seen here:

sewOnEitherSideofLine CutOnLine

I ended up with a stack of these:


Press! Press! Press!

hstViola! Half square triangles galore!

The next part is kind of tricky, getting the HST to line up to make pinwheels.  You want to see the red (or dark) touching.  I’m a little off here, but corrected it before sewing.


Here I’m on my Pfaff Grand Quilter Hobby 1200.




perfectPinwheelPointsBackIf you sew four HST together, you get a pinwheel!Here’s what it looks like from the back, and here’s what it looks like from the front:


Did I mention, Press! Press! Press!?!?!


PinwheelsLayoutTryHere I’m trying out the layout.  Notice I’m not sure what to do there in the middle. My original plan of different pinwheels didn’t turn out.  Here’s what I went with instead:

PinwheelQUiltTopFinishedNearlyI switched up the blocks surrounding the red square in the center. We’ll just say that was intentional and no further questions, mkay?

What am I doing with that big red square do you ask?

Well, I used my new embroidery machine to put the baby’s name in there!

TeddyEmbroidIt came out really well, I think.

Here’s a shot of it before I put the binding on.  It didn’t come out perfect, but I’m sure the baby won’t mind too much.

10410541_10152379006274854_2947585651353385468_nI used high loft poly batting, so it would have a very poofy look. And it does. 😀

The last part of any quilt is the binding.  Here I am pinning the heck out of the trifold bias tape (purchased),



and above is a picture of the corner finished. It came out perfect. LOVE when binding looks good.

In the coming weeks I’ll be opening my doors to accept quilts for binding.  Since I know a lot of quilters out there dislike the binding part, and I find it rather relaxing.

I hand stitch the back of the binding, usually.  It’s a much cleaner look on the front, I think.  Anyway, that’s the story of my Pinwheel Baby Quilt.  I’ll post a picture of it when it’s completely finished (if I remember).