Category Archives: quilting

Good Fortune Clue #1

Clue 1 I decided at the last minute to jump in & participate in Bonnie Hunter’s annual mystery quilt.  The last few years have revealed striking quilts that made me wish I had joined in (or at least downloaded the files), even though it wasn’t practical for me. 

I’m not sure it’s practical this year but it seems fun & Fort Worth Fabric Studio had “stash builder kits” which came with a variety of fabrics in Bonnie’s color way that required you to only add a few fabrics from your stash. Bonnie gives out the color way around Halloween and references paint chips from Lowe’s or a quilters color tool for guidance. Lowe’s is not convenient to me & surprisingly enough I don’t own the color tool, so the kit seemed like an easy way for me to realistically participate. I did need to buy some more fabrics. This year calls for quite a bit of orange that I don’t have in my stash, so I rounded out the kit after a visit to Fabric Place Basement (one of my new favorite local fabric stores). 

Clue #1 was revealed on Black Friday & consisted of making a boatload of 4-patches in red & neutral fabrics.  Neutrals are always difficult for me to choose & I end up choosing all white on white or all cream or all gray- it’s difficult for me to mix them, even though I know the mixing adds more texture and interest in a quilt. This made me grateful for the kit as they chose several neutrals I never would have & thus helped me stretch. The 4-patches went quickly, despite there being so many.  I followed Bonnie’s directions to the letter & learned the new technique of cutting the 4-patches together, definitely a technique I will carry over to other projects. 

Linking  up with Quiltville for Mystery Quilt Step 1


September Blocks for BELIEVE do.good stitches

Hi everyone!  I’m hosting the bee for the BELIEVE’s circle September quilt!  It’s my first time & I’m very excited!

Salt Air Crossings by Andrea of Millions of Thoughts.  Free pattern found on Moda Bake Shop.

Salt Air Crossings by Andrea of Millions of Thoughts. Free pattern found on Moda Bake Shop.

We are going to be using the Salt Air Crossings Quilt tutorial found over at the Moda Bake Shop.

September do.good stitches block
Please make 1 Block A & 1 Block B.

For the “Print” fabrics, please use an orange fabric: print or solid.

For the “Solid” fabric, please use a solid white, white on white or low volume fabric.

If you’re not in our circle & would like to contribute a block, please contact me & I’ll send you my mailing address.  All blocks need to be mailed by the September 30.

Thank you & I’m very excited to see how my first bee quilt develops!


Anna’s Quilt of Valor

Good morning!

Here’s another Quilt of Valor for you! (and before you say anything, yes, I’ve been quilting lots of Quilts of Valor lately- July must have inspired everyone to support such a wonderful program!)

Anna's Quilt of Valor longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts

This was another top I received from Anna.  You may remember her quilts here & here.

Anna's Quilt of Valor longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts

It’s another beautiful scrap quilt & because I noticed there were quite a few floral fabrics, I was inspired to use my Ambrosia quilting design.

Ambrosia by Patricia Ritter, 7.25"

Since becoming involved with Quilts of Valor, I’ve started to notice them everywhere.  Which makes me wonder, have you make a Quilt of Valor?  Would you be interested if I designed a free pattern to support their cause?



Tuesday Tip! Scheduling Projects

It’s time for another Tuesday Tip!

It seems that we quilters/crafters/makers have a lot going on.  We’ve usually got several projects going at once & many times are working under deadlines, even if this isn’t our “work.”

I think I’ve used almost every kind of planning system out there & I’ve recently discovered one that works best for me (so far!)

The post-it note on a whiteboard system (like my super fancy name?) finally gave me everything I needed in one place.

To Do System by Ormond Beach Quilts

I simply write each individual project on a post it note & the note on the upper left hand corner has 1st priority.

On each note I quickly jot down the big bullets of the project & any pertinent notes I need to be aware of. For example, let’s say I was working on a quilt where I making the entire quilt- from choosing fabric to binding.  These would be my bullets:

  • Choose fabric/quilting pattern
  • Piece quilt
  • Longarm quilt- XXXX design
  • Bind quilt
  • Invoice quilt

Whenever I come down to the studio I can quickly assess what needs to be done that day & I can shuffle projects as needed.  I love how this gives me the flexibility to move projects around as deadlines change (which let’s face it, happens everyday).

It’s also very visual for me, a key piece I’ve learned in helping me stay organized.

I’ll add that I got inspiration for this from Pinterest but that I really simplified what I saw.  They made this very complex with different colored post-its, & categories & I have no idea what else b/c at that point my eyes glazed over.  I can see how it would be very easy to make this a “super duper organizing board,” but I noticed that when systems get involved like that, I can’t keep up.  And if my organizing system creates too much for me, well that’s not very helpful is it?  So simple & boring it is.  And it works for me.  Hopefully it might work for you too!

July Do.Good Stitches Block

Another month for the do.good stitches project!

July do.good stitches for the Believe Circle

This month we were asked to make Bear Paw blocks from a free pattern through the Fat Quarter Shop.

The colorway was a beautiful palette from design seeds I think?  I love the programs where you can upload a photo & they give you the color scheme- it’s a great way to put together ideas for a quilt & it helps give specific guidelines when working in a group project like this one- much better than saying “yellow & gray.”

For as traditional as the Bear’s Paw block is, I think it was the first time I’ve made one!  It went well & I was able to use scraps.  The only thing I changed was the pattern called for you to cut 2 7/8″ squares for the Half Square Triangle “Claws” & I cut 3″ squares, then trimmed them down to a finished 2 1/2″.  This is actually a huge pet peeve of mine- HST’s cut exactly at the 7/8″ line need to be sewn with a very precise scant 1/4″ seam allowance to come out perfectly- there’s no room for any error.  However, if you just cut your squares 1/8″ larger to the next “whole number,” you can trim down your HSTs & pretty much ensure the HST will come out exact.  Basically, cut it a little larger & give yourself space rather than stress.

Aside from that it was fun to make, but sheesh there are lots of HST’s in one block!  Very glad I only had to make one!

A Quilt for Maribeth (or Lessons in Giving)

Sometimes you start a quilt & are unaware of what it will become.

Random Reflections by Ormond Beach Quilts
I began this quilt back in 2009?  2010?  I can’t remember, but it was a class sample for a class that never came to be.  I used the Moda Bake Shop pattern “Random Reflections.”  I pieced this at a quilting retreat in Kansas & wow, there were a lot of issues with this quilt.

Random Reflections by Ormond Beach Quilts
For starters, I used a precut batik collection from somewhere (can’t remember exactly where, but it wasn’t a name brand.)  I went ahead & just cut the white from yardage & cut 2.5″ strips.  Come to find out, the precut strips where slightly larger than 2.5″ & instead of cutting new white fabric, I steamrolled through forcing the fabric to fit.  (Side note here, this is bad quilting.  Don’t do what I did.)

After piecing the top, I wasn’t thrilled with how it came out.  It didn’t look “bad,” but it also didn’t speak to me.  So it sat in the “to be quilted pile.” (which really has grown to almost hilarious levels.)

Random Reflections by Ormond Beach Quilts
Fast forward to the summer of 2013 & I wanted to practice some custom quilting, so I dragged it out & got started.  Immediately I cursed my bad piecing & honestly, I wasn’t thrilled with the quilting choices I chose.  Then I found out I was pregnant & we were moving & it sat in a box.  I did work on it some after we moved, but not enough to really say I made any progress on the quilt.  Finally after we moved into this house & I was face to face with all my quilting projects, so I loaded it on the longarm & finished it in less than two hours one Sunday night.

Random Reflections by Ormond Beach Quilts
I couldn’t believe it.  All that procrastination & it could have been done in 2 hours!  After finishing the quilting, I was in love with the quilt!  It was beautiful!  The binding was already prepped, so it was finished quickly.  But there was a reason for the wait.   At the same time, a very good friend from college mentioned that her sister was moving into her first apartment.  I was down in the studio when I read this online & I turned around & saw the quilt & immediately knew this was for Maribeth.  It was her colors, style, everything!

So the quilt that I was ho-hum about in the beginning turned out beautiful & has found it’s home in California.  It just took six years for me to learn that wasn’t meant to be a class or a piece to show off my custom quilting- see, it wasn’t about me at all.  It was meant to be loved by a 20-something in the first place she can call her own.

I wonder what more lessons I’ll learn in the pile of unfinished quilts.

Foster Teen Quilts, Part 2

As promised, here’s part 2 of the Foster Teen Quilt Project!  If you missed Part 1- here you go!

I wanted to take this time to share some facts about kids in the foster system while I share the four feminine quilts we made.

On any given day, there are approximately 402,000 children in the foster system in the United States.

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
The City of Alexandria on average has about 100 children in foster care. About half of the children are a part of large sibling groups, almost half are middle –school age or older.

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
The amount of time a child stays in foster care can vary from as little as a few days to a number of years.

The average time and Alexandria child spends in foster care is one  year.

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Youth who age out of the foster care system are more likely than their non–foster care peers to be involved with the criminal justice system, have low educational attainment, become pregnant, and experience homelessness.

Foster children attend an average of seven to nine different schools by age 18—80% are held back in school by the third grade. Less than half of foster youth in the nation will graduate from high school and only 2% graduate from college or higher.

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
 Thank you for sharing in this journey.  It was a wonderful experience for our moms group & an incredible joy for us to give quilts so freely to these teens.

Lastly, I want to invite you to think about how you can help foster children in your town.  Get in touch with a local social worker & chat about how your skills, whatever they are, can help foster kids.

Many thanks to Kathryn Coneway for helping me photograph the quilts & Krystal Fenwick, social worker for the City of Alexandria who provided these facts.  And of course, to my mom’s group for coming along on this crazy adventure with me!

Foster Teen Quilts

About three months ago I came across an email asking for donations for graduating foster teens.  It was more than your typical monetary solicitation, this woman was asking for umbrellas & wastebaskets for these teens.

See, when teens age out of the foster system, one day they in the custody of the state, the next they are on their own.  They leave with mostly the clothes they are wearing & that’s it folks.  They don’t get to go shopping to decorate their new apartment paid for courtesy of their parents, they don’t even get a set a sheets.

In Alexandria however a social worker is trying her hardest to give them a start.  She has arranged a graduation ceremony to recognize this huge milestone in their lives & is working with the community to give them a wastebasket of basic items.

I read the initial email & immediately knew I wanted to give them quilts.  But truly I had no idea how I would pull it off.  Granted it was only seven quilts, so it seemed possible in theory, but Teapot was in between crawling & walking, & I wasn’t getting much sleep.

I knew several women in my mom’s group quilted & I was familiar with the string quilt project Quilts from the Bluffs runs where the blocks can be sewn by many different quilters.  I took this idea to the women & to my surprise they were excited & anxious to start!

We sewed & sewed & sewed.  Those who didn’t know how to sew contributed by cutting & pressing strips as we sewed.  We sewed during nap times, after bedtime, while babies crawled around our legs, together at meetups, alone in our homes.  I longarmed all the quilts & then led a class in machine binding for the women.

There are seven graduating foster teens this year, three men & four women.  These are the masculine quilts.

On the red quilt I used a freehand square meander pattern that I love for men’s quilts!
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

On the blue quilt I used the “Square Spiral” pantograph that works up nice & quickly while adding interest.
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

On the green quilt I used “Zebra” which is fast becoming a favorite.
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

It was an empowering project for the moms.  We all have babies under two years old & the most surprising realization for me this first year of Teapot’s life is how all your life becomes this child & much of what you used to do is impossible to do anymore.  Through all of us working together & supporting each other, we were able to make seven quilts in ten weeks with babies.   This was no small feat, but our love for these teens they’ve never met gave us the determination to finish.

In my next post I’ll share pictures of the feminine quilts & also share some data about foster children.

*also thank you to Kathryn Coneway who help me photograph these quilts!  I learned a lot about photography from watching her work those two mornings as we documented these quilts!

An Afternoon of Sewing

This past week I had a large project for a customer & to ensure I got in done in time, I scheduled a babysitter for two afternoons.

To my surprise I finished the project in one afternoon!  (It’s amazing how productive I can be when I’m not working in the evenings exhausted from a full day of chasing after Teapot!)  So instead of cancelling the sitter the next day, I decided to use that time for myself (& make things for Teapot, but whatever, I was still making & I wasn’t working!)

First up were 3 wet bags:

Wet bags by Ormond Beach Quilts
I had bought a package of 3 large PUL squares from the big box store back when I had the great idea to make diapers.  Since I quickly realized that was not for me, this package had been sitting around unused.  I opted to make some wet bags for our swim suits, cloth diapers when we’re out & about, who know what I’ll use the third for, but it’s nice to have available.

I used the 10 minute pencil case tutorial, but increased the size to 15″x24″.  While the first didn’t take 10 minutes, the third definitely did & I highly recommend this tutorial.  I chose this one because it had french seams which I like for wet bags.

On two of the bags I used some black grosgrain ribbon, so we’ll see how I like using it.

Wet bags by Ormond Beach Quilts
Then I made a second wet bag for Teapot’s diapers:

Diaper Wet Bag by Ormond Beach Quilts
So we do cloth diaper part time (Kawaii diapers with liners & disposables at night) & I made this pattern before & loved it, we just needed a second to have available when the first is drying.

I used some of the fun Sake fabric I won when I participated in a contest sponsored by Kona Bay Fabrics.  Three cheers for using stash!

I also finished binding a quilt, but I can’t show that quite yet.  Well, ok.  Here’s the back:

Longarm quilting by Ormond Beach Quilts
I used a new pantograph Moxie by Leisha Farnsworth- I love her style & can’t wait to get more of her designs!



It was a wonderful afternoon- Teapot had a great time with the babysitter & I actually made stuff!  Luckily for all of us, our new favorite teenage babysitter is available for the rest of summer!

do.good stitches for June

My do.good stitches bee is done! I finished them this past Saturday morning during an open sewing meetup for my mom’s group in my studio.

June do.good stitches by Ormond Beach Quilts

This month we were instructed to use the Quarter Log Cabin blocks tutorial by Red Pepper Quilts.

We were also instructed to make 3 blocks & to add one additional row to make them 8″ square.

Our color palette was yellows, oranges, reds and pinks .  From my strip scrap bins I dug out enough for a pink, yellow & red block.

I used white on white prints in the blocks as I discovered I didn’t have any fabrics that were mostly white with bits of yellow, pink or red.  I think the effect is still there though & it’s a scrap quilt, so while this is a controlled scrappy quilt, I think it still works.

I can’t wait to see how the quilt comes out with everyone’s blocks!

You can check out May’s final quilt on our group’s Flickr page!