Monday, September 10, 2018

It's Only Been Six Years...

… since I pieced together my first block for a Quilt Along hosted by a fellow blogger.

This picture first posted on 9-24-2012, showing the first completed
block and the fabric selections for my
first ever Quilt Along, hosted by blogger Joanne at Thread Head.

At that time my goal was to make 9 blocks so I would end up with a 38" wallhanging/tabletopper.  I was worried about time constraints, and evidently I felt 9 blocks would be my limit.  By November of 2012, because I was enjoying Joanne's awesome block construction instructions, and I was pleased with my progress, I decided to increase the block total to 16.  (How ambitious!!!)   Scrolling through previous posts, it doesn't appear that I ever blogged about these lovelies again.  They were stored in a basket along with all the fabrics I had selected and used, plus a few matching fat quarters I thought would work with what I had, just in case I wanted to make more.  I purchased the backing fabric at a quilt shop in Hayward, MN, on a trip back home to Iowa, from the annual Threads fall retreat in Hackensack, MN.  That was in September, 2013. 

Apparently, my concern about time constraints was spot on, because these blocks didn't see the light of day until this past January.  Snatched off the shelves of my quilt/sewing room closet upon retirement this past December, it was the first unfinished project I wanted to tackle.  I sashed the blocks with different black fabric prints, and alternated cornerstones with rusty red and gold prints.   Won't this work well all the way through to Thanksgiving?  I'm doing a happy dance.  

Tomorrow I will deliver this flimsy to my quilter, Aimee.  (Nope!  I have not mastered attempted free motion quilting, and I really want this to be stippled, something Aimee specializes in!)  Considering it's taken me another 7 months to move this project along, I feel the need to schedule some time to think about why I seem to have issues with time... 


Retirement has allowed me to rediscover my love of counted cross-stitch.  I especially like stitching on linen, 36 or 40ct... provided I have my cheaters hanging on the tip of my nose, and my Ott light is illuminating like none other.

Pumpkins and Bittersweet, design by The Scarlett House.  Stitched on 36ct linen, two strands of floss over two threads, except "Bittersweet," which is stitched using one strand of floss over one thread. 
 Bittersweets remind me of growing up in Wisconsin, 
combing country road ditches with my Mom, Grandmother, and siblings,
while my Dad gently loaded our pickings in the rear of the station wagon. 

Blogger is giving me griefs with this post... I started at 6:30pm, and have walked away several times because of frustration.  So I'm going to quit while it's going good.  (It's approaching 11pm.)  Making a quick road trip to visit siblings in Wisconsin this coming weekend.  Plans include sitting (probably more standing than sitting) in Lambeau Field Sunday afternoon, to watch the Packers and Vikings duke it out for division 1st place bragging rights.  The Packer organization should consider providing oxygen tanks to those fanatic Green Bay fans that cannot simply rely on their blood pressure pills to control the range of emotional stress experienced at any given game... guess I'll pack a brown paper lunch sack, just in case!  

Happy sewing! Happy stitching! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

I'm back...!

It's been a long time... over three years.  After much consideration, and encouraging words from family, friends, fellow bloggers, and in particular a cousin who lives in Maryland, (you know who you are, Barb) I'm going to blog again, about the simple pleasures of piecing fabric scraps into small quilts, and other fabric wonders.  I'm still addicted to mini quilts... mostly because I lack the patience for large projects.  

There have been a few changes since I last slapped away at my keyboard, preparing a post... the two biggest being, I moved, but still in central Iowa, staying close to my daughter and son and their spouses, grandchildren, quilting peeps, and non-crafting friends alike.  I travel back to my home state of Wisconsin as often as I can.  It still has a strong pull on my heart.  And, I retired!  But that doesn't necessarily mean I have more time... I've just found more to do!  

Mini quilts made over the past years grace the entryway to my home.

Future posts will also include multiple ramblings and pictures of counted cross stitch projects, as I rediscovered my fancy for putting a different type of needle, and a different type of thread, to a different type of fabric, resulting in mini's of another kind.  In truth, I have been cross stitching more than quilting in the past 2 years, and loving every minute of it!

A 2017 project, Oktober Feast by With Thy Needle and Thread... stitched on 36ct Legacy linen over 2 threads
(NOT a typo for October; actual pattern name)

When I stopped blogging in 2015, my Stars in the Garden hand sewing project was still in the works.  The first 3/8 inch hexies were hand stitched together in January 2014.  I'm happy to say it's one project that I finished!

Framed in a simple dark wood frame, this hand pieced project was completed in February 2016.
Design by Vicki Olson and Jill Shaulis of Yellow Creek Quilt Designs, and featured in
Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine, Spring 2013 issue.

Since completion, Stars in the Garden has been displayed in my home with a real sense of accomplishment.  (I say this because I have SO MANY projects that DO NOT fit into the accomplished category.  Some things never change!)

That's it for my first post in my second-time-around of blogging.  It's time for me to blog surf, visit old blogging friends, and discover new ones!  Pouring a fresh cup of coffee... heck!  I'll just bring the full stainless steel carafe and park it next to my mug, my computer, and me!!! 


(If you are interested, I'm on Instagram.  Search for kindredquilts.  My account is private, which means you will have to request to follow.  And if you have an Instagram account, I would love to follow you!)



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Taking a break... a long break...

Actually, I've been on a long break from blogging... since November 2014. 

Reason?  There are several.  Family, work, life... it's simply a necessity at this time. 

Thank you so much, to each and everyone of you, who have ever taken the time to read a post or two, leave a comment, or sign in as a follower.  I appreciate the attention you have given to me and the happenings of my quilting life.  

I've been messing around with Instagram... it's fun, and less time consuming.  Most of my posts have to do with quilting, sewing, embroidery, WIP's, etc., but once in awhile I'll throw in a picture of something totally unrelated to the world of quilting.  I really enjoy the snapshots of other quilters and crafters, and have found inspiration in the works of many!  (Not to mention patterns and quilts that somehow end up on my never ending "to do" list!)  I have been following several familiar bloggers this way, and some of them have become followers of my Instagram account.  If you are interested in following, I'm still Kindred Quilts.  My account is private... you must request to follow.  

Again, thank you EVERYONE for your kind words and encouragements over my blogging life!  Quilters are truly some of the most generous, warm hearted, and caring people in the world!



Thursday, November 13, 2014

About time!

Yes, it is about time... the lack of it, how fast it seems to pass by, what I do in my "spare" time... whatever that is!  I could list my excuses for NOT posting for so long, but they are in the end, excuses. 

Instead, I will allow them to pass into time...


Queen Dee had the most adorable Halloween quilt hanging on the door to her sewing room. 
She didn't have the pattern any longer, but she did have the witch, moon, and letters traced on freezer paper.  I took a cellphone photo of her quilt and borrowed the silhouettes to trace.  I made two exactly alike, one for my DD, and one for my DDIL.  I didn't have enough of the same fabric to make a third one for me, so I dug into my Halloween fabric stash.

What really makes this Halloween cutie is a layer of soft tulle over the entire top, and simple horizontal quilting.  Here's a close up of the two.

Chalk lines under the tulle... ready for simple machine quilting.

I used an ivory colored tulle.

Easy, quick, and so cute! 


Retreat!  This year the Threads quilt group travelled to northwest Iowa, to the lake home of one of our members.  Everything about the 6 days was wonderful... the sewing, the company, the space, the food, the shopping, the extra sleep, the laughs... everything!

Home Sweet Home for 6 days of Fall Retreat 2014

Eight sewing machines filled the sunroom,
with room to spare!

I took these two pictures after a Saturday of shopping... everyone
was admiring and sharing their purchases around the dining
room table... the sewing room was empty... for a short while!

A few retreat projects... large Great Granny Square blocks, fabric
pentagon balls, and a flannel and wool snowman runner.

 We've been invited back next October... already looking forward to it!


Back to those pentagon fabric balls... in August I ordered TIN PINKEEP, a Heartspun Quilts pattern by Pam Buda.   The fabric ball pin cushion fits into a vintage tin Jell-O mold.  I had so much fun making these, I could not stop at one!  I'm still on the look out for a few vintage molds, but in the meantime, I will keep filling my 1992 Longaberger basket!

These involve EPP, so of course I had to make a bunch!

 I recently joined the fun of Instagram... so much fun to quickly see the creativity of others!  And so much temptation to add to the ever-growing-to-do list!!!   You can find me by searching for Kindred Quilts... my account is private, so if you want to follow, just request to do so.  And if you are on Instagram, I'd love to follow you!

Happy sewing!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's been awhile!

Really?  It's the end of August?  How did that happen?

Hot and humid summer days seem to be the perfect time for brightly colored fabrics and fun designs.  I've been wanting to make Great Granny Square blocks since they popped up all over quilt blogs... two years ago!  And so it goes... I'm usually the last one to the show!

 I found a cute pattern for mini GGS blocks, using charm squares here.  I got busy over a long stretch of evenings after work.  Once I started I couldn't stop!  The charm packs I'm using are Potluck and School Days, both by American Jane Patterns for Moda.   
I have a plan... but I'm not at liberty to reveal it... yet.   
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 
The annual fall retreat with my Threads group will be in October, a month later than in years past.  Instead of the 7+ hour drive to the northern woodlands of Minnesota, we opted for a 2 hour drive to the spacious Iowa lake home of one of our members.  In the next couple of weeks we will get together to plan our 5 day agenda... naturally it will be the usual sweat shop of sewing machine tables and a grid of extension cords and power strips criss-crossing the floor.  Meals will be planned, but the option of dining out will be ever present.  (Especially on the night Carole and I are in charge!)  We'll venture out at least one day to visit quilt shops in scenic northwestern Iowa, most likely visiting a few antiques shops as well.  Did I tell you I can hardly wait???   

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Am I lucky or what !!!

Earlier this month I was one of five lucky winners from Pam Buda's Heartspun Quilts blog, introducing her new fabric collection, Prairie Gathering!   Who wouldn't love checking their mailbox and finding this...

A charm pack of 27, eight inch squares... Prairie Gathering Collection
by Pam Buda.  The picture makes them look pinkish, but they are
beautiful, rich, reds!

Simply irresistible!!!
Take a moment to visit Pam's blog, and read about a new approach to a year long Block of the Month program starting in January, 2015.  Or should I say, Non-Block of the Month???  Pam's creativity will take participants down a different path, creating a Medallion style quilt... curious???  Read more by clicking here!
Thank you, Pam!  I'm looking forward to the Medallion Quilt project!

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Summer is racing by and I find myself jumping from one EPP project to another.  Blog reading has taken a back seat to evenings spent in my comfy chair, needle and thread in hand, as I secure fabric pieces to paper hexagons, diamonds, and honeycombs.  I enjoy it so much!
I'm making progress on three EPP projects...

Stars in the Garden -  3/8 inch hexies... the paths are taking shape. 
You will notice that I secure the fabric to the paper with more stitches than necessary.  It's a me thing... I really like my fabric pieces to be taunt on the paper shapes, and the extra stitches help achieve that!
(from Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine -  Spring 2013)

Thirteen, 2 inch, 6 point diamonds... making these with floral fabrics.  I'm
not sure how these will be used in a project... looking to Sandra, (in my
quilt group) for some ideas!
Six Lucy Boston blocks, working on seven and eight!  The fabric in the background is my main path fabric.  The path pieces are sewn on the block in the middle of the bottom row, because I wanted to see how it would look...
I like it! 
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

I can tell already, as this Saturday afternoon rolls along, that the housework will wait for another day... I'd rather read blogs, (way behind), and sit in my comfy chair with an EPP project!  What will you be doing with your time this afternoon???

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hurray for the RED, WHITE, and BLUE!!!

Last week while visiting favorite blogs, I was inspired by Janet, Rogue Quilter, and her RED, WHITE, and BLUE post.  I told her in my comment that I was probably going to copy her idea... a RED, WHITE and BLUE post of projects recognizing the colors of our country... my way of complimenting her on a great idea!  You can visit Janet's post by clicking here!  Be prepared to be awe struck!
I gathered patriotic wall hangings, mini quilts, pincushions, cross stitch projects, and a few other goodies that were on display in my home.  I really wanted to take outdoor pictures, so out to my partly cloudy patio I went...  hot cup of coffee, trusty camera, and R,W, & B beauties.  It was a bit windy outside, so my planned photo shoot proved to be a challenge...  I'm sure some of my neighbors watched me with raised eyebrows and confused looks on their faces.  They must not be quilters, or bloggers.  (And they have no idea how much they are missing!)

While placing the larger quilts I realized I can only take credit for four out of the five, and the newest of the four I made is two years old!  I'll have to remedy that soon!  (Or I may hear from JoAnn at Patriotic Quilter!!!)  On the back of the chair is a "made it up as I went along" challenge from 2012.  The seven members in the Bowtie group all purchased the same charm pack, and had three months to create something using it.  The only additional fabric allowed was for backing and binding.  The fabric is Minnick and Simpson, Clemont Farms.  Since log cabin and crisscross are two of my favorite blocks, I combined them with piano key borders for a scrappy table topper.  Draped upside down on the arm of the chair, is a table runner I made 6-7 years
 ago.  That will explain why I don't remember who should receive pattern credit.

The nine unfinished blocks on the left are paper pieced blocks from Rosemary Youngs "Quilts from the American Homefront."  There are 121 quilt blocks in her book, inspired by letters written by servicemen and their families during WWII.  (I see them now and wonder why I haven't been piecing more of these lovelies as of late!)   My dad fought in WWII, so this WIP is dedicated to his memory, his years of service, and the strong patriotic feelings he instilled in me to this day.   (The book is available from 

The framed cross stitched design, Americana Star Sampler, is my design,
featured in Better Homes and Gardens 2004 Keepsakes Cross Stitch
Calendar.   The mini flag is a freebie from the blog of Temecula Quilt 
Company (July 3, 2011 post...couldn't get it to link).  The stuffed,
 elongated America heart is soft, red suede fabric, with a sash of stars
 from old Jo Morton fabric, and simple embroidery.  The blue alphabet
sampler is a Blackbird  Design.  It's a pin cushion, but I don't have
the heart to stick pins in it!  I wish I could remember the designer
 of the God Bless America mini door knob hanger.  I stitched this in
early 1990's... it's always been a favorite.   Lastly, the large pin cushion is one
of the first EPP projects I ever made using diamond templates, and it's reversible.
  The underside is also patriotic fabrics.


An absolute favorite is this large scrappy flag that my sister gifted
 to me for my birthday last year, which happens to be the same
day as Flag Day!   It's a beauty!!!

Another table topper that I made 6-7 years ago.  It may be a Kansas
Star pattern, using R,W, & B fabrics that I had in my stash at that time.
  I hand stitched around each of the center stars, machine stitched in
 the ditch on the narrow borders, and used homespun for the
wide borders.  I hand quilted random stars in the wide border as well. 

I would love to see more RED, WHITE, and BLUE posts from my fellow USA bloggers!   I joined Janet's parade, and now it's time for you to do so too! 

This will be my last post before the weekend so

H A P P Y   4 TH   O F   J U L Y !!!

Make it a fire crackin' good time!