Hopefully you'll all share some UFOs you have around your house. We thought it would be fun to share a book in light of Helen's recent retirement.


What UFOs can you share with everyone?

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1/2 yard challenge our quilt circle has for the past couple of years selected a project to complete for the next gathering at the Des Moines ASQ show. We get 2 double connecting rooms and there are 8 of us ........................... One year we each drew 2 colors from a hat and then had to make each of us a quilt block using that color as the primary color in a 12.5 inch block. Any block you wanted to make was OK.

This past year one of the ladies had seen the Fons and Porter thing on 1/2 Yard Challenge, where you choose 5 each, 1/2 yard WOF cuts. These were cut in 4 inch strips. One set of strips was cut into 4 inch squares, one in 1/2 square and one in 1/4 squares. Using these, make your quilt. The remaining set of strips are for emergency use incase you really get stuck.

The fabrics that I choose were a great compliment to each other but for some reason in this project they just plain "stink". I have to finish it and have it quilted by the end of September .................................. it is a tough go. I have things that are much more to my eye's liking, it is hard to complete this.

Linda J

I will send pictures when I get them uploaded.




Linda...don't you just hate it when you are working on a quilt that doesn't work for you? I have a quilt I am struggling through right now. I love all the fabrics, I even love my pattern...but I just don't like how it is coming out. This queen size quilt is going to end up being a throw. 

If you don't want to post it publically, send me a picture to Linda48@mchsi.com. I want to see what is so bad here. You have invest SOOOOOOO much time and let's not talk about the fabic cost. I can't believe it is so bad.


I have had this happen on a time or two myself and I have lonely been at this for 2 years. One was my own fault. I wasn't feeling well and embarked on something that I thought would be fabulous and challenging. That was the first thing I did wrong and make it appoint to stay out of the sewing room when I am not feeling the best. Second thing I did wrong was to try and cut the whole thing out before I started the assembly. I won't do that again either unless it is a lap quilt, table topper or table runner. The third was to purchase fabric at a place that I could not readily replace what I cut incorrectly. Don't do that.


Can I see what is so bad?


God Bless,

Linda Jo

Linda...it's actually the one in my machine on my FB page of my sewing center. It's that brick pattern in all greens. It really is pretty, I just can't seem to like it as much as I thought I would. It could be because when I work with greens I usually don't use these tones. I don't know. I figured I'd go back to it once my renovations in the house are done and maybe have a new attitude towards it.

If you go to my FB page you will see all these quilts I have on my page here, as well as my sewing center that I just finished makingin February. Now THAT is something to look at! Other than my son and cats, that sewing center is my pride and joy for sure.



You have a great eye for color, tone, and scale. You have tackled and achieved some patterns that I am not sure that I would have had the courage to try. Your work is beautiful.

God Bless,


How long have you been quilting? I just started two and a half years ago. Some of those patterns are very deceiving. For example, the pink "Around the World" was EASY! I also took the same pattern and just reversed how I connected the two halves for the blue one.

Another quilt is when I tried to duplicate the blue one for my son but I measured something wrong and it wouldn't lay flat. I just took a sqaure template and cut out random angled squares out of the mistake. Then I outlined those squares in black and put it all together. That ended up being one of my favorite quilts so far.

I look for easy patterns. I'd rather start a quilt and get it done in a month or two, than work on a pattern that's so darn hard that progress just seems to drag. If it becomes too difficult it isn't fun. I like a challenge, but for me, just buying the machine and attempting to quilt was challenge enough.

As for color, I like the muted tones of country/primative fabrics. I use them a lot. I also use fabrics that suit the person I am giving the quilt to. I love decorating my house and I use the same color palette in my quilting. If I wasn't a teacher I would have gone into interior design.

I just noticed you said you have only been quilting for two years. That's about the same as me. You can do ANY of the patterns I did.

Do you have a quilting buddy? My best friends has been quilting for 30+ years. When I get stuck I call her and she helps me out. If you don't have a quilting buddy, get a good relationship with your favorite quilt store staff. They can help you with any prolem or question. They also know their inventory and can help you coordinate your fabrics.

When buying fabric, buy extra. If I know what I need for a project, I always get a yard extra. I know if I like it enough to buy it, I will be able to use it in another project. If I just see fabric I like and don't have a project in mind, then I get a minumum of 1.5 yards because I know that's a good amount to put in a quilt.

Some people don't buy fabric until they have a project in mind. I buy it when I see it so I don't wish I bought it later. Especially since I am in MA and I shop in Vermont and Maine a few times a year.

Another thing I do is I take large 2 gallon zip-lock bags. If I have some random fabric that I have bought and it goes with another random fabric I have bought, I bag them together. By bagging the fabrics that will work together in a quilt, I can just go through my bagged projects and choose one. I have about 50 bagged quilts ready to start. That is in addition to a embarrassingly huge stash of random fabrics that can be just pulled and used at any time.

Okay...I admit it. I have a fabric problem!

You are caught, hook, line and sinker. You and I think a great deal a like. If my husband had any idea what fabric cost ...................................... Well really he is just happy that I have a retirement hobby and wishes he did as well. I keep talking long arm and he is kind of getting conditioned into the idea. I might get one yet but I know it won't be than wonderful Gammell with the stitcher. Still, I would love the oportunitiy.

I love to draw and have tried some of my drawing when I have sampled long arms at AQS shows. I am thinking I could have a great time joining two things that I love. Now if I could find a way to add my cooking in to the mix.


I should let you go. I have to think about feeding my husband and finish packing for the trip south.


God Bless,

Linda Jo

If you like drawing, you should try applique. I love it. I am going to try some more advanced things. I actually am collecting fabrics to make a wall hanging of my house. Whenever I see something that I think will work, I buy it and put it aside. I think I have most of what I need to do it now, but I have so many other projects that I want to do first.

Doing Dresden Plates is another good way to start with applique. I do it by machine, by the way. You could actually overlap them and make a floral bouquet pattern. Add some stems and leaves and it would look great! I have to tell you that the way Eleanor Burns does Dresden's gives you a neater product. She starts with triangles, sews across the bottom, and then turns them inside out to get a perfect point. It's "sew" easy!

So much fabric...so little time. I am only four years away from a teacher's early retirement. I'll be 56 when I retire. Then I can start my second career. I have so much fabric that I won't need to buy much when I retire...just what I need to finish projects.


Godspeed on your trip!


I want to get on more fat done up before I unlace the Bernina and stach the thread cone to take with me for the Daydreamer quilting.

Acutally I have done quite a bit of applique. My earlies projects were all applique. I just haven't gotten back to it. I actually want to do a wall hanging that will go over the window in my front door. It involves a flower garden, picket fence and a good deal of thread painting. I need to get into a larger market to look at some special threads. I know that I can buy on line but I want to see and touch it. Kind of helps with the choosing.


If you have looked at the quilts on My Quilt Place that I have pictured there you will see one that is called Garden Party and I made if as a wedding gift for a girl that I worked with her for a while. It is made from a Moda pattern and done just as you discribe. I can't remember how many blade each of the clusters held, but they were made exactly as you have discribed. I love dresdens and they are to play apart in my thread paint wall hanging when I get at it.

I think that I am almost all packed except for the cooler. We have to hit the road at around 6:30 to make Den's dental appointment on the way to Mt.P.

You take good care and enjoy your working years but treasure the retirement thing. It means so much more when you have something like quilting to look foreward to. My husband had not developed any hobbies and is kind of adrift right not. It the weather clears one of these days, we will have the greenest yard in the county.

God Bless,


I did see your quilts and commented on your page. They are wonderful.

My problem is I have too many hobbies...quilting, reading, writing, playing the guitar, home decorating, painting...so many things, so little time. And when I do get the time, it will be: "so little money"!

I have been quilting for about 2 years. My cousin got me started and it has kind of taken on a life of it's own. The ladies here in town at the quilt shop tell me that I am one of few that comes in with my own design in mind more often than not. Sometimes the work and some times they don't.

The group of ladies that I quilt with, not a guild but more like just  club, have named themselves the Quilting Cougars. There are 3 south of Banson, Mo. (one of those used to live in the Mt. Pleasant, Iowa area and accepted a job down that way when she was laid off) 4 are from the Mt. Pleasant, Iowa area and me, born and raised in Mt. P. but now live in Manchester, Iowa. We quilt together roughly once a month, the Iowa side of things and have some new ladies looking to join us as well as two young ladies 12 and 14.

I, too, choose the simpler patterns as I do like to see them completed in my lifetime and at 63 I guess I kind of figure those years are numbered. I am currently striving to finish one for our bed. It is made of 5" squares in a "stepping stone" pattern. I have 9 more fat quarters to work and then I start the assembly. I have the pattern worked out for the pillow shams.

Saturday 2 of the ladies that I quilt with from Mt.P and I are headed to Fort Madison to rent time on a big Gammell with a Stattler stitcher on it. I will post pictures of the guest room quilt that is made of Stephanie Brandenburg prints in fabric when I get it completed. It is not from a pattern so IF is mess it up, it is my own design and my own fault.

Hey I am getting kind of windy here.  Send me the link to your facebook page.


God Bless,



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