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September 4, 2019
All The Bits and Pieces from Heart Desire Creations

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There was a fair amount of flannel fabric left after piecing hubby’s cat quilt. The large pieces were used for the backing and there was still a fair amount of pieces left. Right then and there I cut them all up into 2 1/2″ strips and began to sew!

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A patterned fleece is the backing, with no batting. Isn’t that backing jazzy?! Using the walking foot, I quilted using crossing wavy lines. Originally I was going to gift this quilt to someone, but it wasn’t quite large enough for the person in mind, so off to ...

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August 31, 2019
There's a kind of Hush... from Sew Sunshine



"A kind of hush" 
15.5" x 15.5" 
Black and white mini challenge
Improv pieced
Sheer overlay
Machine and hand quilted

so I started thinking of movement in air in water and in thought. I soon felt stuck and put it aside for a few days. 
I was on FB and saw a photograph someone had taken of a really cool zen stack of rocks and the sun peaking through a crack inbetween the stones. The hole was perfect and allowed rays of the sun to explode ...

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August 25, 2019
Red is a Neutral becomes... finish from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Another Red Feather. So named because, though there were other titles in the running, this quilt wanted red feather quilting. And more red feathers. And more red feathers. In fact, every inch of red is quilted in feathers, with a few scrolls to break up the monotony. 
Detail of the back...just enough
pattern to make the worst of
the quilting less noticeable.



This one serves in all manner of challenges: the Cotton Quilters' Guild block-of-the-month, in which different quilters presented a block or two from January through July, and as the AHIQ "Red Is a Neutral" challenge. 


With encouragement ...

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August 23, 2019
Plano Quilt Show 2019 from Ellyn's Place

The McKinney Modern Quilt Guild had a great showing at the Plano Quilt Show this year! We had encouraged our members to enter more quilts this year, and enter they did! You can see all of their entries here

I entered two of my quilts in the Modern Category. Left Out and Be Calm, which they hung right together. Be Calm got a ribbon for honorable mention!

And I was part of two group quilts, both of which received third place ribbons! My Gnome in the Christmas Forest, made with bee blocks from my Solid Seven Bee mates and a ...

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July 26, 2019
Tourists in Chattenooga and Log Cabin Quilt from Life as a Quilter -- Julia Graber

Life ...
Paul checks the corn to see when it will be ready to harvest.

We had a weekend trip to Chattenooga and visited Rock City.

It was a beautiful walk through the rock garden between boulders and greenery.



We also visited Ruby Falls in an underground cavern.

The Tennessee Aquarium was another tourist attraction for us.

I usually only take pictures of souvenirs; but this time ....

... I brought one home and Paul and Ashton assembled it for me.

... as a Quilter
I'm working on this improv log cabin quilt. 

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Playing Catch-up ...Overlapping Dimensions from Sew Sunshine



"Overlapping Dimensions" 
24"x24"
Improv pieced, machine free organic plaid quilting

My Big Blue inspired challenge piece for an upcoming exhibit. Our LQG used a quilt for inspiration that was made by Ardis James back in 1983. We chose 7 blocks to remake, update, modernize or reinterpret whatever way you say it.  Each block has at least 3 people modernizing it. We ended up with 25 pieces turned in. The proposal for an exhibition has been submitted to the IQSCM for a possible exhibit in the spring. This outdoor photoshoot was so fun as my friend and fellow quilt buddy ...

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July 15, 2019
Retreat finish (the final one) from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Some time ago (it may be years now) I decided it was time to use some of the 2½” strips that I had cut perhaps years before that. You see, this is a story of epic proportions. Because years before either of those I began worrying that I would leave behind tons of fabric when I go. What foolishness! Still, I worked on a series of small quilts. 



The nursery rhyme series: Nimble and Quick was a blue bargello, both versions of He Loves Me was Dresden plate applique, Around a Girl's World, The Coolest Bug Collection, That Was ...

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July 14, 2019
Retreat Finish (the second one) from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

Before I show you my new finish, I thought I'd show you what is going on in the studio. It is not a happy sight, is it? Ahh, that's how it goes. Chances are that it's never going to embroider again. 


Not that it has embroidered any for me anyway. Firstly, it made horrible stitches. Secondly, as we discovered today, the gizmo that holds the PC card is broken. So I have hundreds of designs that I can't use. 

The news gets worse: I've invested more money in the machine than it's worth. Have ...

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July 1, 2019
Birds! from Ellyn's Place

A couple of months ago, a beemate of mine made 2 adorable bird quilts and when I asked about them, she steered me to a free tutorial! So I made a bird.
And I really enjoyed it! so I made another.
And another, and another, and another...... another beemate said "let's swap a few birds!" and I thought that was a great idea. Before I knew what was happening, 14 ladies were signed up to make birds to swap with me as their fearless leader! YIKES! (check out our hashtag, #birdswap2019)

By the end of May (yes, ALL 14 ...

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June 30, 2019
Little Improv Thank You’s from Heart Desire Creations

Recently I wanted to send thank you notes and somehow a store purchased card fell short of how I wanted to express my gratefulness. I was also feeling a bit restless about my sewing – time to break out the scraps and do some improve! I chose various brights and just had to add some black and white and just began to piece.

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The heart shape on this one below was a happy  accident! There was a fair amount of sewing with those narrow strips, but it was fun.

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Basically a wonky log cabin, the one below is my favorite.

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Each ...

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June 19, 2019
preparing for Africa from Ellyn's Place

In 24 days I leave for Africa! I think I've mentioned the trip a couple of times here on the blog, but I have not given much detail. I will be traveling with my daughter, Leigh Anne, and a team from her church, Liberty Church, to do mission work in eswatini. There will be 11 of us going, and we will work with Liberty Manzini and Children's Cup, helping at children's care centers, visiting families, hosting a family day for families of disabled children.... oh and a safari! 

I have 2 sponsor children over there who I ...

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June 18, 2019
Improv...Kaja style from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories


I may be wrong but I think I've figured out Kaja of Sew Slowly and AHIQ fame. Before we get too far, though, let me tell you that every quilt on this post is Kaja's and every picture comes from Sew Slowly, with her permission. Now, indulge me for a moment: 

In this post Kaja writes about her starts and stops on the quilt top she is currently working on. Kaja is a rare gem. She works intuitively from the start. That's rare, I think. 

Most quilters begin with something in mind--a pattern, a combination of ...

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April 17, 2019
Indiase lapjes worden een improv quilt. from M. Brito de Campos


De wordingsgeschiedenis van deze quilt.
Begonnen als vierkante lapjes, misdrukken,
in een zakje op de toonbank van
het Victoria en Albertmuseum in Londen.

In de zomer van 2017 aan elkaar genaaid,
in een poging een donker-licht effect te krijgen.
Was wel leuk.
Was niet echt geweldig.
En verdween in een doos in de kast tot er een beter idee zou komen.

Dat idee kwam, toen ik Victoria Findlay Wolfe in Birmingham hoorde zeggen: "Als je een quilt niet leuk vindt, snij je hem in stukken en voeg je iets toe. En dat doe je net zo lang tot je hem ...

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March 29, 2019
From the mending pile from Sew Sunshine


"From the mending pile" 
41" x 50"... ish, as it is finished as it was with no squaring up,
improv design,
up/re/cycled materials of denim, twill, stretch twill and denim
machine pieced and hand quilted in a long stitch fashion


These textiles originally came from some leftover scraps my mom had in her sewing room box. I realized they were bits of her old jeans and a bit of denim off cut from some she made herself.  I happened to look in my repair pile and I had a pair of worn out stretch denim leggings that I ...

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March 12, 2019
photo shoot from Ellyn's Place

Sunday was a cloudy day, perfect for outdoor photography, so hubby & I headed to the local playground. It's one of my favorite places to take outdoor photos of my quilts.
climbing! not something I could easily do a year ago.
I had brought several of my recent quilt finishes, including my Solid Seven Gnome in the Christmas Forest quilt.

And my most recent finish, Take Note...
After a while, the wind kicked up, making quilt photography very difficult...


Ah well, it was a fun day nonetheless!






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March 10, 2019
Take Note from Ellyn's Place

My latest quilt, Take Note, was started in Melanie Tuazon's class at Quiltcon. At the end of class, we all shared our work and the stories behind it. It was a bit embarrassing to tell the truth! My story? ummm, well, I chose the solids because they match my newly renovated guest bathroom. Yeah. that's all I had. Ladies were sharing beautiful stories about what inspired their improv work and I was playing with solids that match my bathroom. Really? Pretty lame. One lady shared about her young grandson with a brain tumor. Amazing, powerful stories. Oh well ...

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February 19, 2019
more improv from Ellyn's Place

Maybe I should rename my blog "ellyn's improv place"? Can you tell I'm totally hooked on improv? I find it so freeing to just sew things together until it looks right. Most recently, I've been limiting myself to small samples, just to try different techniques. This one is my take on Sherri Lynn Wood's Score #6 from her book Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. Our Improv small group, the Comedy Club Quilters, decided to play around with it this past month & this is where I landed.

Basically this is an exploration of modern flying geese. I ...

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February 15, 2019
Retreating with the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild from Ellyn's Place

Last weekend, our guild had a day retreat at the Best Little Retreat Center in Texas. Such a wonderful facility... AND you get to go home and sleep in your own bed at night. Can't beat it. 

There were so many wonderful projects in the works....

I finished up a couple of children's quilt tops to send to my mom. Her church group is working on quilts for each of their Angel Tree children at Christmas...
And I finished up this quilt top, with improv Xs made with the strip sets from the Sherri Lynn Wood workshop I ...

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February 1, 2019
Improv Round Robin Quilt from Ellyn's Place

Back in November, I shared the process when the Comedy Club Quilters Improv small group did an improv round robin. Since then, my quilt top has been hanging on my design wall crying out to be finished. Presented with a gap in my "Must finish immediately" list, I got to matchstick quilting it yesterday.

Originally I had thought I would make my topper into a bag. The longer I looked at it, the more I wanted it to be a quilt. In the end, I'm very happy with my decision.

My finished quilt is 24" x 28". I added ...

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January 25, 2019
Path Interrupted - PQ 10.2 from Sew Sunshine


"Path Interrupted"
 is my Project Quilting 10.2 for the 
red, white and blue theme.
20" x 27"
improv pieced
improv walking foot quilting in a woven pattern of organic lines
made in Ne.
I have to admit that red, white and blue are not my favorite combination of colors. I thought about just using 2 colors but I could not think of what I wanted to make for this challenge. In the mean time I was getting the email updates from Amy's creative Side on getting started with Improv. I adore improv and while I have not been ...

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  • improv
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