Some Finishes–Not All Mine!

Two of the ladies who took the shirt making class earlier this year have finished their shirts and allowed me to have pictures.

I love both these shirts! They each did a great job!

In other news, I got this quilt back from the quilter and did the binding. It’s made with Charley Harper fabrics to go with the hand made Charley Harper tiles on my fireplace.

With regard to the Charley Harper fabric: It is very high quality. It’s the only fabric I’ve ever seen that was all printed exactly on grain! You can see from the designs why this is important, but it’s a rarity. Here’s a closeup of one of the blocks and the binding.

And here’s a closeup of the tiles in the fireplace surround so you can see why the quilt needs to go in the living room! These Charley Harper tiles are from Motawi Tile Works.

Quilt Stats:

Name: Charley Harper Love

Design: Modification of Elizabeth Hartman’s Rapid City

Finished size: 52″ x 66″

Made by: me 

Quilted by: Walker Quilt Co.

Magic Kaleidoscope Finish

I finished this quilt back in January but didn’t get around to blogging about it, so here goes…

I was on a magic kaleidoscope quilt kick, and this one was the last one. It was quilted by Walker Quilt Company, where they did an excellent job with an edge-to-edge design.

And here’s the whole quilt:

Here are a few of the blocks. There are no two alike!

Luckily there was enough fabric to put some on the back as well as in the border.

And here’s the binding.  I did a double binding so there is some of the original fabric as well as the solid binding.

Quilt stats:

Name: Magic Kaleidoscope 3

Designed and made by me

Finished size: 56″ x 70″

Quilted by: Walker Quilt Co., Franklin, NC

Classes Coming Right Up

Studio Stitch is moving down the street for a better location, so all these classes will be at 1616 Battleground Avenue, Suite D-3 (Greensboro, NC). There’s a bakery in the same shopping center, so I think everyone is looking forward to the move!

In March I’ll be teaching my Easy Kaleidoscope Quilt. It’s like stack-n-whack only easier. In addition to learning to make the quilt so no two blocks are alike, we’ll set the blocks on point. Here are a couple of samples:

And here’s a close-up of some of the blocks in the blue one:

In April I’ll be teaching Better Binding Painlessly, which is always popular. It’s mostly about binding a quilt entirely by machine, though the techniques can be used for a more traditional binding with the back hand sewn.

In May the class will be a cute bag made from a shirt. The larger the shirt, the larger the bag!

June’s class is another stash-busting scrap quilt, made much easier with the use of the right tools!

If you’re in the area, consider joining us! To obtain more information, go to the Studio Stitch website and subscribe to the newsletter. That way you’ll be the first to know when registration opens for each class.


Into the Quiltalong Vortex!

Yes, I’ve been pulled into the quiltalong vortex along with so many others!

It started when someone at MQG recommended the Urban Trek Quiltalong.

Photo of an Urban Trek quilt from Pinterest, no attribution available

There are a lot of good videos on techniques used in the Urban Trek quilt, so I signed up to watch the videos. However, I don’t intend to make the quilt.

Then one day when I was “between projects”, I got an email about a “Night Sky” Sew Along from Jaybird Quilts. What’s a quilter to do? The quilt is beautiful!  I checked with my quilty friends and one agreed to sign up with me. Yes! Here’s my progress so far:

Yes, just one block. And no, this isn’t the week to sew; I’m supposed to be just cutting everything.

However, I learned the hard way that it’s best to make one block before committing to the whole quilt. And with this one, even my buddy who loves lots of pieces is thinking her quilt will be made smaller than originally planned! Yes, it’s beautiful. Yes, it’s complicated. However, the videos are helpful and the pattern illustrations are excellent.

Then I found a list of quiltalongs. One of the offerings was a quilt called “Bauhaus“. It’s from Brigitte Heitland, whose Zen Chic designs are among my favorite fabrics.

The original quilt by Brigitte Heitland.  Image from

OF COURSE this appealed to me, so I signed up! Here’s my progress so far:

I changed a few blocks just for fun, and re-arranged them, but it’s basically still Brigitte’s design

No, I didn’t really follow all the directions.

And here’s why I don’t usually do Quiltalongs: I get impatient and want to do the whole quilt, not just this week’s segment. At this point I’m “supposed” to be selecting my fabrics 😀  I still need to add the outer border, but the blocks are done.

So, what quiltalongs have you been pulled into?

Interview: Sherry of Powered by Quilting

I recently ran across this quilt by Sherry Shish, of Powered By Quilting, and I’m very impressed with it. It’s a great mix of traditional and modern looks

Simply Cornered, as shown on Sherry’s website

I contacted Sherry and asked a few questions, which she graciously answered. Here’s The interview:

Q:  How did you get into quilting, how long have you been doing it, and when did you decide to make it professional?

A: I had been hand sewing and doing other crafts for many years before I learned how to sew on a machine.  I’ve been quilting for just over 5 years now and I fell in love with all the different aspects of quilting.  I started pretty early designing patterns since I really love seeing my ideas and my style of quilts.

Q: Where do you get your design ideas?

A: Everywhere… but I find it easier to put self constraints on what I’m designing to help narrow the focus.  I really love secondary designs (like really love them) so a ton of my patterns have a secondary design.  I create, iterate, rotate, recolor, and repeat several times before I land on a design that I love and want to make.

Q: You’ve got a lot going on with social media. How much time does it take?

A: Social media is hard… It’s necessary, but sometimes I’d rather just be me and pretty pictures are not reality.  I should spend more time on social media, but I find I give what I can and that has to be good enough.

Q: What are your goals for your quilting business? What are your goals for your quilting art?

A: I would love to make it my main source of income, but I have a good day job that makes it very difficult to balance time and commitments.  There are things that I would love to be able to do such as kit more of my patterns, teach, lecture, etc. but time is precious and there are things that I’m still prioritizing over adding to the business side to make sure I keep my sanity and don’t burnout in life in general.

Back to the quilt that impressed me: It certainly does have a great secondary design. I drew it in EQ8 and re-colored it because I think it would be striking if done all in one color.

My EQ8 drawing based on Sherry Shish’s pattern “Simply Cornered”

It appears Sherry has made the pattern available already to her Patreon subscribers, and she also sewed it on her Twitch channel in January. It will be available through her PayHip store in March, and you can pre-order here.

I will be making this pattern and following Sherry’s blog. Please join me in wishing her luck!


Atomic Sunflower

This started as an experiment with some leftover fabric, then sort of wandered off into an art quilt for the International Quilt Museum’s “Modern Meets Modern” challenge.

The fabrics are scraps of Michael Miller Cotton Couture left from another project. I saved them as a group because I particularly like the color combination. I started cutting the wedges freehand while working on a Cindy Grisdela-inspired project. When I decided to make them into a circle, I found a large platter in my kitchen and traced it because the rim was irregular. I then used reverse applique to set the circle in its background.

My friend Chela helped with input regarding the center design.

When I saw the Modern Meets Modern Challenge, I thought this piece would be a good fit, so I finished it up after Christmas, just in time to submit it. You can see the contest and the entries here.

Mine was not judged a winner, but here’s the good news: I agree the winners are better.

In looking at the entries, it’s clear that the better designs go all the way to the edge of the quilt, while mine is isolated in the middle. I’ve noticed this element of design several times over many years. In good modern designs, the design extends to the edge, often with the implication that it goes past the edge. But this time I got so wrapped up in what I was doing that I didn’t think “outside the circle”. 😀

As Nelson Mandela said, “I never lose. I either win or learn.” So, on to the next quilt!

A Girl’s Best Friend

Remember the song “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”? (It’s from the Broadway show Gentlemen Prefer Blonds, later made into a movie with Marilyn Monroe.)

I’m not 100% sure diamonds are a quilter’s best friend, but one of our triangle swap group made her scrappy triangles into a beautiful diamond quilt, so I had to do the same.

I was especially happy to have backing printed with diamonds, and a blue striped binding fabric that worked.

I quilted with a metallic thread recommended at Studio Stitch, and it is the ONLY metallic I’ve ever used that gave me no trouble at all. It’s Fujix King Star metallic embroidery thread, and I was pleased with it! It’s thin, so it didn’t show up much, but I’ll be using it for other projects.

I don’t think you can see the silver thread on the white fabric at all, but look for the wavy lines on the dark blue areas.

Quilt Stats

Pattern: none

Finished block size: 6″ x 12″

Finished quilt size: 48″ x 51″

Made with swap blocks

Pieced and quilted by me

The Ken Burns Quilt Collection

The only place in the Southeastern U.S. to host the “Uncovered” exhibit is the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, SC. That’s only a half day’s drive from us, so my husband and I were fortunate enough to visit despite you-know-what. We wore masks everywhere and ate takeout in our hotel room, so we felt relatively safe.

The Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, SC

The exhibit was put together by the International Quilt Museum after Ken Burns donated his extensive quilt collection. You can see pictures of the quilts in the travelling show on their website here. There was a nice video that went with the exhibit as well.

Most of the quilts were from the late 19th or early 20th Century. Photos were allowed as long as flash wasn’t used, so here are my personal favorites. You can see much better pictures of all the quilts on the International Quilt Museum website here.

Joseph’s Coat, 1880-1900

Princess Feather dated 1876

String Star 1880-1900

Splendid Stars Finish

I finished this at the very end of last year. I included a picture of it in my year-end review but never wrote about the details. Here we go:

I found a box of blocks that were all stars from similar fabrics, but I really had no idea how old they were or why I made them. Now that’s a real UFO!

I took them to retreat in the fall of 2021 and improvised a layout, making up fill-in blocks as I went along.

…then made additional blocks and strips to fill in the holes

Yes, there were lots of partial seams.

When it came back from the quilter, I decided to do the “faux piping” binding that I hadn’t done in a long time. It came out just fine. There are instructions several places online.

And here’s the finished quilt:

Splendid Stars, 51″ x 53″

Quilt Stats

Name: Splendid Stars

Pattern: None; various star blocks were arranged improvisationally

Finished size: 51″ x 53″

Quilted by: Susan Holmes



Circle of Nine Quilts

I found this book in my library when I was sorting things for the move and noted that it had an interesting layout for blocks.

It is an old book (2013) but my online research revealed that there is a newer one, Best of Circle of Nine, available from Keepsake Quilting. It looks like that book includes the “best” designs from my Circle of Nine book and the one that preceded it, which I do not own.

So in December when I should have been doing other things, I used the book to make two quilts from orphan blocks.

The first used blocks that finish 8″, and made a quilt that finished 36″ with the border added. That is perfect for a preemie incubator covering, so it’s a win for the orphan blocks.

I should note that the book offers many interesting ideas for pieced sashing, but I thought the blocks were busy enough by themselves so I just used plain sashing and it went together fast.

The second quilt was made with orphan blocks that finished that finish 10″. The quilt was 40″ square without borders, also perfect for Ronald McDonald House.

Of course I couldn’t just leave it at that, so I used EQ to expand the “Circle of Nine” idea to use 25 blocks. Here’s what it looked like:

Design made with Electric Quilt 8

The Circle of Nine quilts were great for using up orphan blocks. I don’t think I’ll make the 25-block version 😀