Sunday, April 3, 2016

Voices of the Past Quilt

I picked my Voices of the Past quilt as my first UFO on focus on.  I had three blocks done when I dug it out of the UFO section of my sewing room. Because of the historical significance of the women, for whom many of the blocks are named, in American history I selected the traditional colors of the American flag.  This quilt is representative of our countries history for me. I love history, and the stories that are associated with it.
Louisaa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott was an author of several books, including one of my favorites, Little Women. She was also a caretaker of her mother and her father and also adopted the children of two of her sister's after their deaths. She referred to her books as her children. The stars in each corner of the block represent her sisters and the center star is for her mother. I think this my favorite bock in the quilt.

  Martha Washington(left)     Union Square (right)                                                   

Martha Washington was named after her grandmother.  She was married twice and had four children, all of whom passed before her, with her first husband Daniel Parke Custis. She married George Washington in 1759, and traveled with him during the Revolutionary War. She did not enjoy being the First Lady as she referred to this time as lost years, when she had to share her husband.  This block represents her humbleness, devotion to her husband, and love of America.

The Union Star represents the ending of the Civil War and the surrender of General Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865. The restoration and preservation of the Union of states. It is "...named for the square on which Appomattox Courthouse is located." (p. 7) A Civil War Legacy.

Since I started working on finishing this UFO I have finished several more blocks and have three blocks to finish.  The blocks vary in size from 6" to 18" finished, several are 12" finished. After I finish the last three blocks I plan to play with the layout and determine if I want to make some small alternate blocks to fill in the empty spaces of make a few more blocks out of the three books/pamphlet series I am using.

Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge

Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge was a teacher of the deaf. She first saw her future husband through a window shaving. Her laughter caught his attention. She was a quiet woman who supported her husband and a loyal Boston Red Sox fan. This block represents her dignity and simplicity.
Carrie Nation (I have fixed the error, but need to take a new picture)

Abigail Quincy Smith Adams

Amelia Earhart and alternate block
 Carrie Nation was a leader of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Lodge, Kansas for almost ten years. She worked to support the Prohibition Amendment even though she could not vote for it. She went to jail several times because of her fervor and siege on drinking establishments.

Abigail Quincy Smith Adams she and her husband were married over 50 years. She raised five children, was a skilled farmer, business woman and abolitionist.  She was a First Lady and the mother of a president. She was a strong and determined woman.  She was the first First Lady to live in the White House and used the East Room to dry her laundry. The two stars are in recognition of the lives she inspired.

Amelia Earhart earned her pilots license in 1922. She loved adventure and even though she married George Putnam she asked that he not stop her from doing things she enjoyed and she in turn would not stop him. He supported her decision to circle the globe in 1937, an adventure from which she did not return. A light was installed on Howland Island as a memorial to her and it still burns today.
Christa McAuliffe
 Christa McAuliffe was a teacher and this block represents a woman I can relate to in many ways. She represented me and every other teacher they day that she stepped on the space shuttle. I will always remember January 18, 1986 as I stood in a classroom watching the shuttle launch with my students. I believe in her dream of improving the American education system. I also believe in her motto: "I touch the future. I teach."

Eastern Star

Harriet Tubman
 Harriet Tubman was born a slave, but rose above it. She always wanted to be free. She risked her life after escaping to help others escape as well. She is said to have helped over 300 slaves escape on her 19 journeys. She served as a nurse, a spy, and a cook during the Civil War. She was driven by her dreams and strong will and she changed the world. It was her persistence and determination that made her who she was.

The Eastern Star is a variation of the Ohio Star and there was not story just an antique quilt from around 1870 with Ohio stars.
Julia Ward Howe
Julia War Howe raised six children and published an abolitionist newspaper along with her husband.She also wrote verse and it was suggested that she write new words to the tune of John Brown's Body in 1861. It was in the early morning that she awoke with the words to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic"  in her head and quickly wrote them down. She was paid $5.00 for the poem.

Several of the blocks come from Kaye England's Voices of the Past pamphlets.  They include: Carrie Nation, Martha Washington, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, and Christa McAuliffe. I may do the alternate block for Christa McAuliffe also. I still need to complete the Mary Todd Lincoln block.

The two books I am using are both by Kay England also. The first is Voices of the Past Volume II. The blocks from this book include:  Abigail Quincy Smith Adams,Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge, Julia Ward Howe, Louisa May Alcott, and the Eastern Star. There are a couple of other blocks in this book that I may add if I need more blocks. I will say the Julia Ward Howe block caused me to a lot of frogging until I reworked part of the block and treated the center area as if I were setting a quilt on point.  This book does not have any real directions, there are two pictures of each block one completed and one partially pieced with the pieces labeled. It gives simple directions like cut in quarter square triangles but no step-by-step directions, though there is a section on construction tips and advice. I found it easy to piece the blocks except for the one mentioned above, and even it was not hard, just frustrating until I looked at it from a different angle.  If you are a beginner this book will be a challenge for you. There is a ton of wonderful history on the women and the reason for choosing each block.

The third and final book I am working from is titled A Civil War Legacy. I choose to do the Ohio Cluster, Yankee Puzzle, and Union Square blocks from this book, two of which I have yet to complete.

I have enjoyed learning about the history of the women whom the blocks are named after and am planning to include something related to that on my label.  My goal is to finish the last three blocks this week and post a picture of the lay out of the quilt before I head south to Tennessee to visit my mother and attend the Paducah Quilt Show.

Stay tuned for an update with the next three blocks and the final quilt top.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Women's Health

It is that time of year again, when I get my yearly mammogram.  Last year I had a couple cyst show up that gave me a scare. This year they are still there, but no change which is a good thing. Mine are just liquid, nothing to worry about.

I watched a video that talked about breast tissue density. I have dense breast tissue so this is important to me and I gives me more questions to ask my doctor.  I do not know the density of my breasts, but plan to ask my doctor on my next visit.  I strongly suggest that you look into finding out where you fall on the density scale. 

I have a history of breast cancer on both sides of my family, aunts, cousins, and great aunts. 
I am passing this list of videos on cancer because they touched a nerve with me and I hope that it touches one with you. One of them in particular talks about breast density.

 All women need to be on the lookout for changes in their breasts and to have their yearly mammograms.  Please take the time to watch these videos and remember to call and schedule your yearly mammogram.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

New Year and Time to Reorganize things

Last year I started organizing or rather reorganizing things in my sewing room.  I have put all the Christmas fabric together.  I have all the over one yard size pieces in two plastic boxes with lids and I know I have enough to fill one more box.

I previously had all fabric organized by amount. A couple shelves held pieces that were smaller than one yard, a couple of others held pieces that were one yard. Other shelves held pieces that were greater than one yard by increasing yardage.  All my FQ are in plastic drawers, stacked to the ceiling.

I was thinking this is going to be a no buy year unless I need something to use as a backing, borders, or a fabric to go with a print that I have nothing else that will or am short yardage, other than a few pre-cuts that I have already committed to in an order.

I have also pulled a few patterns that I want to do to use up some of my stash and some of my scraps.  I am looking at doing a some two color quilts, with a print and a solid looking type fabric, one in reds and one in blues.  I am also planning a quilt for someone and am thinking of doing an Irish chain with a black background. There are two other quilts I would like to as gifts, but with my hand still in a brace my cutting and piecing is limited. I did start piecing a couple quilts using some of my precuts. One is a strip club pattern and the other is a disappearing pinwheel.  I am trying doing small amounts of cutting just to see how my hand feels, as as long as I only do a few cuts at a time and then rest my hand it is not too bad. The problem is I want to keep cutting and then I know I will pay for it.  I have done marathon cut-a-thons in the past and know that at the moment that is not going to happen no matter how much I may want to do it.

I updated my UFO list and I also need to find more time to work in my sewing room so I can finish cleaning and organizing. Though once a gain the brace gets in the way.  I really need my right hand back in play at full speed.

I am being patient, but this is really getting old.

Friday, January 29, 2016

UFOs for 2016

I started off this year in a cast and so am limited in what I can do sewing wise, but decided it was a good way to figure out my UFOs for the year.  I did a count by category of my UFOs and now know what I have.  Some things are going to have to wait a while as I still have another four to six weeks in my brace from my broken wrist/tendon issues.

First off I broke things into categories that work for me, they may not work for everyone, and some things are in more than one category because of the way I did this.  I set things up based on what type of sewing a project fell into, be it hand or machine, piecing or applique.


In no particular order at this time. They vary from having been started several years ago to having been started in 2015.

1) Voices of the Past
2) Black Tie Mystery

3) Lemoyne Star II
4) Soft Minki Quilt
5) Argyle Beauty II - needs more blocks
6) No Cats on My Quilt
7) Apple Quilt - needs leaves appliqued before piecing blocks
8) Irish Chain - partially cut out
9) Purple Saturday Sampler - blocks completed

10) Rag Flannel Snowflakes
11) Yin Yang
12) Kitchen Sink Jacket - needs collar, two seams and binding
13) Christmas Stars
14) Wandering Star

15) Marti Michelle Log Cabin

16) Strip Tube Jelly Roll Quilt - blocks need trimming and pressing

17) Bryce's Bunny
18) Professional Tote III
19) Sew Together Bag  II
20) Sew Together Bag III
21) Amish Doll Dress
22) Lemoyne Star Wall Hanging
23) Butterfly Purse
24)Space Purse
25) Volleyball Pillow cases
26) Nursing Pillow cases

Paper Piecing:

1) Mariner's Compass
2) No Cats on My Quilt
  • Trees

Machine Applique:

1) Kuspuk Kate and Parka Pete
2) Tulips

Hand Piecing:

1) Friendship Star
2) Grandmother's Flower Garden
3) No Cats on My Quilt
  • Hexagons
  • Tumbling Blocks
  • Spools
4) Hexies


These projects were carried over from 2015. I revised the order in which I plan to complete them based on what they are, importance, and how close to completion they are at the present time.

1) Mouse Pads
2) Cherries

3) Wild Berry Vines
4) Tulips
5) Apple Quilt
6) Morning Glories
7) Hawaiian
8) Pumpkin
9) Batik Leaves (need to find or remake the leaves)
10) Chicken - may pass this on, as I am doing the rest of the BOM, but this one is partially done.


1) Guitars Quilt - buttons and embroidery
2) Flip Flops - ribbons
3) Folded Flower Table Runner - hand tacking flower corners down
4) Beaded Tree - lots of beading to do

Hand Quilting:

1) Snowboarder
2) Slice and Dice
3) Sea/Space Bag


1) Birds
2) Winter Wonderland - Red

3) Snowmen on Blue
4) Aurifil BOM (2012)


Needs Borders:

1) Twenties Treasure
2) Black and White Mystery
3) Pinwheels


   1) Undercover in Houston II
   2) Undercover in Chicago
   3) Fall Trees Mystery
   4) Pajama Party
   5) Basket of Flowers
   6) Braid
   7) Mystery of the Substitute Teacher
   8) Run for the Border
   9) Good Night Sweetheart

 10) Friendship Stars Christmas Swap
 11) Blue and Yellow Friendship Star
 12) Buggy Barn Black and White
 13) Confined to Quarters
 14) On the Road Again - pinned
 15) Summer Solstice
 16) Christmas QMU Swap

 17) Granny Square

 18) Pick Up Sticks II
 19) Celestial Wonder

Machine Quilting By Me:

  1) Mini Tree Quilt - pinned
  2) Hearts and Houses
  3) Stack and Whack -  pinned
  4) Celestial Wonder
  5) Christmas Star Table Runner
  6) Bryce's Lizard Quilt
  7) Joel's Attic Windows
  8) There's No Such Thing as Too Much Fabric
  9) Lady Bug WH
10) Shamrock WH
11) Winter Yellow Brick Road
12) On the Road Again  -  pinned
13) Northern Nights  -  pinned
14) March Winds - pinned
15) Crazy Hearts - backing pieced

At The Quilter:

1) Pink Saturday Sampler (waiting to be mailed)
2) Barbara's Attic
3) Red, White, and Blue Swap
4) Hoffman Blue Swap
5) Undercover in Houston III
6) HST
7) California Confusion Blue

Needs Binding:

  1) Undercover in Houston
  2) Simply An Illusion - Blue
  3) Flip Flops

  4) Cut to the Chase

  5) Red Saturday Sampler
  6) Guitars

  7) Angel Round Robin
  8) Lightening Quick
  9) Shopping's Done
10) Split 9-Patch

11) Doreen Speckman Fabric Mystery

12) Romantic Get Away

13) June Strip Club

14) Daisy Days

15) Lemoyne Star

16) Blue and Yellow Mystery

17) Santa WH
18) Santa WH 2

I will update this later with pictures.

Hopefully I can move more of these forward in 2016 once I have my hand back.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

End of 2015

I just realized that though I started several posts for 2015 I never actually posted any of them. They were all in draft format.  I spent 2015 doing some reorganizing of my sewing space and finishing up or making progress on my UFOs, as well as starting a few new quilts and other projects.


Wandering Star Quilt (in progress)

Blue Marti Michelle Log Cabin (4 blocks done)

Hexagon (English Paper Piecing)

Six pillow cases (incomplete)

Anniversary Waltz - blocks completed


Caravan Sewing Machine Cover ( needs seam hand stitched)

Mini Tree Quilt for Joel (pinned and ready to quilt)

Strip Quilt

Large Tree Table Runner (two blocks in progress)


Summer Solstice

Christmas QMU Swap

Daisy Days

Granny Square


Split 9-Patch

Hedge Hogs

Crazy Hearts Lap Quilt


Split 9-Patch

Doreen Speckman Fabric Mystery

Daisy Days

Lemoyne Stars

June Strip Club

Romantic Get Away

Blue and Yellow Mystery


Spirit of the West

Monet Print Swap

Hole in the Barn Door Swap

Pink and Teal

Clay's Choice


Argyle Beauty - completed 1/24; gifted to Lauren Boone 7/2

16 Patch Swap Quilt - donated

Hedge Hogs = completed in 5/11; gifted to Sarah Chaikin and Baby Tessa in June

Olympia - completed 5/15; gifted to Carolyn Costanza and Baby Christian in May

Simply an Illusion in Teal - completed 6/30; gifted to Theresa MacKay in July

The Road to Paradise is Paved with Bumps - completed 7/26 - for me.

Old Books and Scattered Pages - completed 8/2 - gifted to Judy Kern 8/2

Hexagon Pot Holders - completed 18 for Christmas gifts and the ski club auction 8/30

Three fleece scarves for ski club auction

Four Table Runners - completed for the ski club auction 8/30

Six pillow cases for Christmas gifts

Oak Leaves Quilt - completed 9/5 - set to side for gift.

Snowman Quilt - completed 9/19; for me

Olivia's Quilt - completed 10/12; Flannel Commission Quilt done for Katie as gift for her sister

Mini Tree Quilt - completed 10/20; gift for Bryce

Mug Rugs x 2

Overall I think this is pretty good considering that we traveled for 9 weeks this summer and I have not been able to sew since October 28th because of hand surgery and then falling and breaking my right wrist.

I have several other quilts not listed that are also awaiting binding. The binding is attached, I just need my wrist to heal so I can get back to hand stitching.  There are many other projects in progress, from past years that I plan to work on moving forward in 2016 along with the ones listed above.