Some Fun Hexies

This is one of those patterns that just looked like fun, so I made it. And it was fun. I’ve made Sassafras Lane designs before and the patterns are well written and clever.

Above is the “A side” (if you’re old enough to remember what that means), below is the B side. After I made the blocks with printed fabric I decided solids would be better, so I made blocks with solids and used them on the front. Since I DO NOT need any more orphan blocks, I made a back from the “leftovers”.

And I’m happy to say the longarm quilter found a hexie pattern for quilting it!

Quilt Stats

Name: Hexie Party

Finished size: 55″ x 62″

Pattern by: Sassafras Lane

Made by: me

Quilted by: Linda Nichols

Leaf Pounding Party

I learned about “leaf pounding” to make prints on fabric in a workshop years ago. I never did much with it, but I did finally hand quilt one piece.

And this next one is even bound!

This gave me the idea that I could have some co-workers over and we could all pound leaves. So here we go…

Everybody brought a variety of leaves

We arranged them on PFD (prepared for dye) fabric

Then taped them to the back of the fabric and pounded the front side

Results varied!

The Japanese Maple leaves came out very well

And, especially toward the end, it was sometimes more fun to make a secondary pattern with hammer marks than to pound the whole thing

Finally we had cookies…and a veggie tray?!?

Have you tried leaf pounding? There are, of course, multiple youtube videos on how to do it. What worked for you?

P.S. – I am making a quilt for the December/January issue of Quick + Easy Quilts using these beautiful fabrics from Robert Kaufman.

So watch for that issue to come out with my quilt in two colorways–this red/green/gold plus a blue/white/silver version!

City Park: A Panel Quilt

This quilt started when I saw the central panel at Studio Stitch and it was just too pretty to leave there. It’s actually yardage, not sold as a panel, but of course can be used as a panel.

The fabric is Robert Kaufman “Happy Place”, so I consulted the website of the manufacturer for design ideas. One of their designers had made a wall hanging from this fabric, so that was a good starting place. The trees and balloons were inspired by Jen Kingwell’s “The Avenue” pattern, though I used my own templates rather than hers.

I love the way the print fades from vibrant at the bottom to ethereal toward the sky, so I added additional striped sky. I then put balloons in the sky, with their silver tape strings hanging down into the house area.

Finally, I put a strip of coordinating fabric from the collection on the left side of the panel to balance the design.

Hopefully you can see the lovely bubbles used to quilt the piece. Quilting was done by Linda Nichols. I love this cheerful quilt.

There are a lot of beautiful panels out there now, so I’ll offer a class to “design your own quilt using a panel” at Studio Stitch in June.

Quilt Stats

Name: City Park

Finished size: 56″ x 58″

Designed and made by me, with inspiration from the Robert Kaufman website

Materials: Happy Place fabric by Robert Kaufman, except a leftover scrap for the upper sky and Kaffe fabrics for the balloons and trees. Balloon strings are YLI metallic braid, couched onto the fabric.

Quilted by: Linda Nichols

Goodbye To My Favorite Quilt Festival

I’ve just gotten word that the Vermont Quilt Festival (VQF) is cancelled. It has been my favorite quilt show for years, so I am especially sad to see another victim of the COVID pandemic. Here are a few photos of the wonderful quilts I’ve seen there and some of the many things I liked about the show.


Maine Coast, by Lynne Rainen at VQF in 2018

There were many wonderful things about VQF, including the fact that it was in Burlington, Vermont, a town we enjoy visiting. We especially liked the Shelburne Museum and Shelburne Farms, both just south of Burlington. The museum has a collection of antique quilts and had a show of Maria Shell’s quilts in their gallery during our visit.

Quilt building at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont

As for VQF itself, there were the usual prizes like “best in show”, but they had an award  system ensuring that almost nobody came away empty-handed. There was a relatively objective scoring system and quilts were awarded first, second, or third place ribbons based on points earned. There were three judges and their points were averaged for the final score. Best of all, each judge provided written feedback in addition to the points. I never got better than a second place, but I was well satisfied with that given the quality of quilts. I was especially happy with knowing exactly where I had done well and where I might improve.

traditional quilt VQF

Port Kent Beauty, by Alyce Fradenburg (who is from Port Kent, NY), at VQF in 2018

Another delightful part of VQF was the champagne and chocolate reception the night before the show opened! I was able to get a ticket for my husband so he could attend,  and he enjoyed seeing the quilts in that way. It was fun to visit the vendors and see the quilts in a festive atmosphere. My only mistake was taking most of my pictures while drinking champagne one year. I’m not sure those pictures were as straight as in other years 😀

Round quilt from VQF

This quilt, made from a pattern, got a 3rd place ribbonl. The circle is on a black background, so the quilt is square, VQF 2016

Finally, there was a significant children’s’ quilt contest and I believe each child who participated received a sewing machine. I am unable to uncover details of this by going back through information about the show, but it was a special part of VQF.


This quilt involved extensive work and I think it is very “artistic”. It got a 3rd place in 2016.

The show was 45 years old and had been New England’s oldest and largest quilt show. I enjoyed it and appreciate the years in which I was able to participate. I saw many wonderful quilts there and learned a lot. My thanks to all the volunteers who worked for years to make this possible. I will miss VQF and I know many others will, too.

applique quilt

These fish by Velda Newman were SO realistic! VQF 2014

My hope is that others will take some of the best aspects of this show and continue them.