Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Category Archives: Pigs

Twisting Star Magnolia


I’ve finished the Twisting Star Magnolia. Years ago, I made another one of these for my mother. The fabric was found on the road trip to Iowa – 3 days and 3 nights, 13 shops. We left Friday after everyone got off from work and spent the night at a hotel on the interstate closest to our first shop.  Shopped all day Saturday. Managed to hit a few shops which were open on Sunday. Stayed another night and hit a few more stores before heading back to Kansas City.  Anyway, I think it was the shop in Ames, Iowa which had this on display and I had to make it for my mother as she was decorating her new home with magnolias. This was my mom’s. I now have it.



A few years later my friends and I shop hopped our way to St. Louis so I could meet my first great-nephew and I spotted the magnolia fabric in one of the stores.  I bought enough to make 4 more toppers, 1 for each of my husband’s sisters, my aunt, and myself. I did not have the dragonfly fabric, and got 3 of the 4 made.


Somewhere along the way I found more the dragonfly fabric in the original wall hanging, but after my mom passed, it came back to me, to the fabric for my quilt has been sitting in my stash as a PIG. I started to send the whole mess to my sister, but decided I’d just make another one to give her. Now that it is done, I’ve put the rest of the fabric back in the stash. It’s off my PIGs list and on my DONE list. Now I just have to remember to take it with me when I travel to Kansas City in a few weeks.

Oh, it’s the first of the month, so I need to do my stash report.

A Little Bit of This and That

I had grand hopes of having my Chilhowie top finished, the Log Cabin finished, and perhaps even the Pizza Box top quilted.  But the last few days since I checked in I’ve done a little bit of everything so nothing is finished.

Bonnie released the final clue to Chilhowie.  The clues will only be available for a short time — my guess is the end of January 2023. Anyway, I need to make 4 more blocks and corresponding border and sashing pieces to finish the top.

When I get the Chilhowie top finished, I have the backing for it. I found it in my stash while digging for binding.


Binding was the challenge on the log cabin. The original plan was to carry the center fabric to the border.  I had been warned off using a yellow for the center, for fear it would leap out, but it doesn’t. However, I was afraid the yellow border would, so I dug through my stash and came up with these options.  Each of them had their advantage and disadvantage, but none were “right”. Facebook was evenly divided. So I went to my LQS to see if I could find the “right” fabric. It was suggested that I use the backing fabric and I was just about to walk out of the store when the “right” fabric was spotted.


This Kaffe Millefiore. It’s darker than the yellow so will “frame” the quilt nicely, but at the same time it’s lighter than my previous choices.  Finally, it has all the colors.  After my running around over the weekend I started working on the binding. However, in my haste to finish it up missed spots when machine stitching it down.  I’ve got to take another look at it.

In addition to finding the backing for Chilhowie, I found another 3 Yard kit.  I think this was a ‘contest kit’ at the Quilted Cow. They called it ‘Anthony’, but I’m calling it Dragonflies & Flowers. I am adding it to my WHIMMs page.

Today it the last day to post about the results of the Final Countdown tasks. Here’s my recap.

Day 1 – Choose something you can finish quickly and do it  Big dreams, but I finished my pillow – a UFO from 2008.

Day 2 – Clean out a storage area – I got all the books put up which were stacked in the “Quilt Studio Annex”. As I look at the before and after pictures, I realize that I had already started putting the books up and when I took the before.

Day 3 – Take a project inventory and devise a plan. Since my Quilt Tops and Quilts In Progress (aka UFOs) were already tracked, and I had my UFO Challenge List defined, I decided to work on my PIGs and WHIMMs and what that means to me. I’ve added two tabs at the top of my page. I spent a good bit of time digging though my stash cataloging my projects.  I still haven’t found everything.  Earlier I wrote down “Bubbles – 4/23/22 Have a collection of FQs, now need pattern”. I have no idea what this is, but I’m sure it’s bagged up together and when I find it I’ll add it to my WHIMMs page.

Finally, I’m gearing up to begin the next phase of renovations.  My contractor and I have decided to tackle the den next.  I’ve narrowed down my paint color to one of the 2 purples that nearly blend into the sheetrock.  The paneling will be replaced with sheetrock.  The doors will get trimmed out, ceiling accent lights will be installed and replaced, and new flooring and base board trim will be installed.



Mid-Week Review

The Log Cabin is Quilted! Now to get it finished by Monday.


While the longarm was running, I had 2 projects going on.  I was stitching on Chilhowie.

And compiling my PIGs for The Final Countdown Challenge.  As mentioned yesterday I have a lot of PIGs. Much in the same way I divided my UFOs into WIP and Tops, I’ve decided to divide my PIGs into 2 categories.  PIGs or Projects in Grocery Sack will be those projects and kits that I have all of the fabric for the top and the pattern. The second list will be WHIMMs – Works Hidden in My Mind.  I’m defining those as projects aren’t quite complete — a stack of fabric I plan to use together, but haven’t decided on a pattern or maybe I have the pattern and some of the fabric. It might not be the ‘true’ definition of a WHIMM, but it is my interpretation. These are just some of the PIGs I have. I’m still looking for some that I know I have.

Finally, while I was digging around looking for my PIGs, I found some clothes that Betsy can wear.  These were my clothes. The blouse was worn with a red velvet jumper when I was about 18 months old. It fits Betsy nicely.  The blue jumper it a bit big.  My best guess is I was about 5 or 6 as I know my sister had a matching dress and my brother had a matching romper. Somewhere there are pictures of me wearing both outfits.

In the background you can see my Christmas present.  My Den cabinets were installed before Christmas. I’m not sure what’s next on the remodeling — my bedroom and bath or the den.  They’ll more or less be back to back along the hall bath.  I need to reach out to my contractor and get him going again.

Day 3 – The Final Countdown

Day 3 of The Final Countdown.  I’ve got this…

Take a project inventory and devise a plan

but there is room for improvement.   In 2008 after 5 years of quilting becoming my primary creative outlet, I started my WIF_UFO spreadsheet and I’ve maintained it.  I split it into two categories – Works In Progress and Quilt Tops because the number of projects was over 100 and that number was too big to wrap my head around.  Today combined list is down to 52 with 36 on the WIP list 7 of them are on my 2023 Brandon Quilters UFO Challenge.

My Quilt Top list is down significantly as well.  I noticed earlier this week all of the tops, with their backings, fit into a single tote. I have 16 tops waiting to be quilted, 5 of which are on my 2023 Brandon Quilters UFO Challenge.

This past year was the first time in a long time that I allowed myself to buy both speculative fabric – fabric I like but have no idea what project it will end up in, and new projects just because.  I have most of them ‘kitted’ together and most of the kits are in the same place, but I don’t have a good inventory of them. I want to sprinkle some of these into the mix as I’m working on my challenge list.


Now an update on previous tasks. Task 1 – a quick finish

The Machine Quilting Sampler is DONE.

Progress has been made on the Faux Applique — I finished the bird tail and stitched around 1 1/2 purple leaves.

As for Task 2 I have put the books on the bookshelves in my office and den – and they are even somewhat organized. The Sunroom still needs a bit more work, but at least now I can move stuff from the house into this space while the house is being worked on.




Year of the Pig – Question #11

This week’s question from Jill is:

“Your guild has challenged you to complete the PIGS that you least want to work on. What project would it be and why?”

I’m not sure I can limit myself to a single project, so let’s take the top 3 which are on my Quilts in Progress tab.

#1 – the Jeanne Kimball Christmas BOM published by Oxmoor House at least 12 years go or longer.  – I started work on this quilt in 2003.  I really want to finish it, but always put it off because:

  • I want to make it big enough to fit on our king size bed and haven’t figured out exactly how I’m going to do that.
  • I’ve made most of the pieced blocks and all that is left are the applique blocks and the really big blocks.
  • This is for me, so everyone else quilt get’s done first.

#2 – the Hancock Fabrics star BOM from 2004/2005

  • I’m doing this Quilt as you Go.
  • I’m making the quilt big enough for the  king size bed, and my plan to enlarge the quilt isn’t working as expected, so I’m designing on the fly.
  • I”m not sure I want this quilt King size anymore
  • It’s on my challenge list at Patchwork Times so my guess is it will get done, or at least looked at closer this year

#3 – True Friends – a kit I won. Started it in 2006.

  • I’m not excited about the quality of the fabric
  • I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do for borders and I can’t find matching fabric.
  • It doesn’t have a destination
  • It’s on my challenge list at Patchwork Times so my guess is it will at least become a top before the end of the year.

As for the quilts on my Tops to be Quilted tab it’s pretty easy.

  • I haven’t figured out the quilting motif
  • I don’t think I can do it on my home sewing machine
  • I want more experience on the long arm
  • Need to gather the money for backing, batting and rental time.

I’ve found that Judy’s UFO challenge is working well for me – sort of .  I picked 20 UFO’s (some tops, some QAYG and some still in pieces) that I knew I would keep putting off and I’ve finished 4 so far this year.  One I finished before the challenge started but after our lists were turned in.  Additionally, having a destination and a hard date works well too.

Year of the Pig – Question #10

Jill’s question this week is:

How do you save time and money while quilting?

#1 – Shop my stash first.  I don’t have a huge stash – especially not of yardage, but I can generally put together a scrappy quilt from my fabric bins (stuff larger that a F8) or my pre-cut bins (strips, brick & blocks).

#2 – When I have to buy – fabric, batting, or thread, or anything really – I do my  best to get it on sale.   I can’t think of the last time I paid full retail price for something.  Even if it’s not on sale,  I typically get 10% off because I’m a member of a quilt  guild.

#3 – Shop for fabric where you don’t normally think to look.  Check out thrift shops.  I was in one the other day and there were two different 4 yard cuts of quilting cotton for about  $8.  Since I didn’t NEED any Hogs on Hogs or Bears on Hogs, I left it at the shop.  Which is a good segway to the next point.

#4 – If it doesn’t have an immediate purpose LEAVE IT AT THE STORE.  That’s not to say that if your selection of red fabrics is low and you find a great red that you love you can’t bring it home.  That fills a purpose – filling out your selection of red fabrics.  But it does mean that if you found a great fabric, you love it, but have no idea of what you are going to do with it, or when you plan to use it it can stay at the store.

#5 – Buy only what you need plus the little extra that you always want to have for cutting mistakes.  If the pattern calls for 1/2 yard, buy the 1/2 yard or maybe 5/8 — not the whole yard.  The exception of course is if the sale price is only for 1 yard cuts or more — but if purchasing the whole yard will cost significantly more than getting just what you need on regular price – buy what you need.

#6 – Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you have to use it.  I just got a postcard for my birthday at a LQS. It’s worth 25% off my purchase during a two week period.  Unless it’s good on long arm rental, I think the only thing I’m going to use it on is pre-wound bobbins for the quilt I’ll quilt on the last day the coupon is good.

#7 – Similar to shopping the stash, work on your UFOs.  Most of my UFOs I have everything I need to finish them. Borders, backings, bindings and occasionally sashings tend to be the exception.

Ok, I guess that about sums up how I save money on my quilting.  So what about time savers.

#1 – I’m a big Leader/Ender fan.  Bonnie Hunter has a great tutorial about Leaders & Enders here.  So, while I’m piecing a project that I needs to be done “now”, I’m also piecing a project that can be done “whenever”.  My current leader/ender project is Fun with Bricks.

#2 – I’ve never been one to be able to pick up an entire quilt off the floor or design wall and sew the blocks together and have them in the right order.  On the other hand, don’t like getting up after one seam to get the next block.  So, I’ve taken flower head pins and put numbers on them 1 – 2- 3- 4, and so on – I think up to 8.  When it’s time to sew a row together, I stick pin #1 in the top left corner of the 1st block on the row.  I flip block #2 over onto it and then stick a straight pin through both blocks where they will be seamed together.   Flower pin #3 goes in the 3rd block, and I go down the row.  Now, I can take the entire pile of paired blocks (don’t forget to bring block # 7 with you) and sew them into pairs and then the pairs into 4’s, without turning a block up side down or putting block 1 & 2 after block 3 & 4.

#3 – Get a design wall.  It is so much easier walking up to a wall and arranging blocks than trying to arrange them on the floor and having to get up and down, or on the bed.  The bonus is you don’t have to worry about the cat rearranging them for you.

#4 – Change and/or sharpen your rotary blade.  I can’t tell you the # of times I fuss with a blade not cutting all the way through and keep messing with it.  Then I’m amazed at the speed in which I can cut fabric with a new blade.

#5 – I used to belong to a group that sent out a reminder to wind your bobbins once a week.  It take the same amount of time to wind 10 bobbins all at once as it does to wind one bobbin 10 times, but you only thread your machine once instead of 10 times.  Also, the project goes faster once you start sewing if you don’t have to stop to wind another bobbin. (I tend to piece everything using gray thread).

I’m sure there are other things I do which speeds my quilting along, but since I do them all the time by habit, I don’t necessarily realize it’s saving me time.

Check out the link’s over Jill’s to see how other same time & money when they quilt.

Year of the PIG – Question #9

This week’s question from Jill is:

This week, we will be discussing Leaders and Enders and whether you multitask when quilting. Do you work on one project at a time or are you better when you are juggling 2 or more?

I fell in love with the Leader/Ender (L/E) concept shortly after finding Bonnie Hunter’s website Quiltville.com.  At this point, I can’t remember what my first project was, but I have been known to complete entire quilts including sewing the blocks into rows as a L/E.  As a result, I’ve been able to finish lots of tops and do the boring stuff while working on the fun stuff.

In January, I decided I was going to focus on my UFOs and I didn’t have anything appropriate already in progress, that didn’t require thinking (very important)  for L/E.  That lasted for three weeks.  At that time I started sewing patches together for Fun With Bricks.  This project is nearing completion, but now the short seam is 8″ and that’s getting a bit large for L/E.  Of course it might have something to do with my last piecing project had 2″ finished blocks!

Since I got back from the quilt retreat, I’ve been focused on a single project – the Miniature Ohio Star.  Then I started in with quilting.  Although I now have 3 machines, if I’m quilting, I get focused on that.  So, I started to say at the beginning, I’m currently only working on one project.  But upon reflection, that’s not quite accurate.

First up is The Chain Event.

Although this quilt was prepped for the long arm last week, I’m still reviewing my quilting plan.  I’ll go over it a couple of more times before I load the quilt on the long arm Saturday morning. It looks huge, but that’s because it’s attached to the leaders.

Next is Ribbon Candy.

Tonight I made the backing and cut the batting.  I’m still debating the quilting.  The original had swirls through the rail fence blocks and grid work in the borders.  I’m leaning toward an all-over design, but I’ve got to get it down by Saturday.  Somehow I don’t think daisies or dragonflies is quite the right motif for a quilt for my FIL.

This is Kansas Spirit.

Since it’s a sampler quilt, I can’t decide if I want an all-over design, one design repeated in all of the blocks and another the setting blocks or go custom.  I figure I have until Sunday morning to figure this out.  The backing and batting were prepared this evening as well.

Crossword Puzzle.

Yes, those block/pieces are pink and I’ve said the Crossword Puzzle quilt will be red.  Well, since I think I  have just enough red fabric I thought I should play with some other fabric and I pulled the pink/purple box down.  I’m not certain I’ve achieved what I envisioned, but time is short and I need to get this done, so I’m going with it.  The pieces were cut with a Go! cutter, some after I ‘made’ fabric out of strips.  I’ve also been stitching down the letters — I think I have 20 more to go.

Finally there is “Summertime”.

In between all this other work I’ve been doing I’ve been stitching on the binding.  I WILL take the time to get the binding correct so I can machine finish it on these next quilts.  If I don’t I’ll never get them all bound by the time I have to give them to the recipients.  I clearly wasn’t thinking straight earlier in the week when I tossed in the towel and decided to hand stitch the binding.  I’ve worked on it for 3 or 4 nights and I still haven’t hit the 1/2 way  mark.  I can only do 3 or 4 needle fulls of thread before my wrist starts to ache.

So, do I do better when I multitask?  I think so.  I found out quickly in January that when I have to focus on just a single project – especially when I’m working toward a deadline – it takes the fun out of quilting.

To see what other think, check out the links over on Jill’s blog.

Year of the Pig – Question #8

Jill’s Year of the Pig Question #8 is —

What part (or parts) of the process of making a quilt are your least favorite? The part (or parts) that you just dread and that make you throw your projects back into the dark recesses of your stash closet? Have you found any tricks to break the cycle of being held up on the parts that aren’t your favorite?

This question got me thinking. Is there any part of making a quilt that I dread?

It’s not the binding.  Once I get a quilt quilted, I want to get it bound.  I don’t sew the binding down by hand, so that is probably why this doesn’t bother me.

I used to hate sandwiching the quilt. It’s hard on the knees crawling around on the floor.  But I’ve figured out how to get it done on my big board ironing board (I generally make twin size quilts or smaller these days).

One could argue that I must not like the process of quilting itself. Putting stitches through the three layers which makes the quilt top a quilt.  I say this because I have around 40 quilt tops waiting to be quilted – three from September of 2006.

It’s not that I don’t like this step, it’s more a case of  not knowing what to quilt on a top.  Until last fall, all of my quilting was done on my sewing machine. I’ve tried free motion quilting and I  need more practice, but don’t want to do it on my “good” tops and mess them up.  So, I’ve been limited to straight line quilting and soft curves — especially on anything bigger than about 40″ square.

But last fall I discovered Rocking Chair Quilts in Butler, Missouri rents time on their longarm.  It’s an hours drive, but well worth the time.  My oldest completed top was from 2005. I think it was 96″ square — no way for me to get it done on my sewing machine and not “good enough” to pay someone to quilt it.  I took it down to Butler and quilted it in an afternoon.  It won’t win awards, but that’s not why I quilt.

Hard and fast deadlines also get me going.  I’ve got a stack of 5 quilts w/backing fabric which need to be quilted by the middle of June.  All of them have been waiting to be quilted for at least a year or more.  A couple I’ll quilt here at home and a couple I’ll take down to Butler.  I have a rough idea of how I’m going to quilt at least 4 of them.  The fifth one is giving me fits, but I’ll figure something out.

Click over to Jill’s to see how others get past their least favorite part of quilting.

The Year of the Pig – Question #7

No,  I didn’t get questions #5 & #6 answered.  Perhaps I’ll go back at some point and answer them.

What do you do when you have no desire to sew?
Do you ever get bored with your fabric and look for a different direction?

My youngest nephew will be 8 this summer.  It was when I made his baby quilt that the “Quilt Pox” really caught hold.  Over the past 8 years there have been a few times when the last thing I wanted to do was quilt.  I think once I went nearly 3 months without sitting down in front of my sewing machine!  Fortunately the other times it wasn’t quite as long.

I finally figured out when the melancholy hit me.  It was after I had a big finish, especially if I had spent several intense weeks at the sewing machine.  At the time, I simply walked away from the sewing machine and then read and read and read and read some more.  Reading is another favorite thing to do.  I finally either ran out of books, or heard my sewing machine calling and resumed quilting.

Since that first dry spell, it’s happened a couple of more times, but no where near as intense.  I recognized it for what it was — I wanted to READ.  So, I did, but only two or three books, then I was able to get back into the sewing room.

It’s been a while since I’ve not spent at least some time each day either at the sewing machine, picking fabrics for my next project or playing in Electric Quilt, but I think the reason is because I’ve found Books on CD.   I pop a CD into the player and can enjoy both of my interests — reading and sewing/quilting.  That’s not to say I don’t read paper books, but I since I don’t feel deprived, I don’t spends weeks trying to catch up.

So, I guess the answer to the first question is to let yourself walk away if you need to and try to figure out why you don’t want to sew.

On to the second part of the question.  Sometimes.  I’m a scrappy quilter, so I don’t have a whole lot of yardage.  It’s mostly FQs or what’s left from yardage. Generally the purchase of a FQ or two will get the sparkle back into  my stash.  I will say I don’t have a lot of batiks in my stash — until recently only one or two pieces.  So, I went shopping in a friend’s stash and came home with two dozen batik FQs.  Originally they were intended for a specific quilt, but I don’t know if that’s where they’ll end up.  Regardless, they’ve added a new life to my stash.

See how others answered these two questions by following the links over at Ramblings of a Fabric and Yarn Obsessor.

Click here to see the answers to the questions I’ve answered.




The Year of the PIG – Question #4

Jill’s Year of the PIGS Question #4 is:

What is your last finish and what UFO are you working on now?

As Jill said, this is an easy question.  My last finish was my 5-patch Scrap baby quilt on January 31st.

I’m working on two different UFOs at the moment.  At the sewing machine I’m working on a brightly colored Dresden Plate on a black background.

I started this quilt sometime in 2006.  I’m using a skirt my mom made for me in the early ’90s.  One of these days I’ll need to see if I can find a picture of it before I started chopping into it.  This is what is left of the skirt.

There were at least two more tiers to the skirt.  I had to cut into another layer to get enough pieces.

I wore that skirt frequently for 10 years (clearly I’m not a clothes horse.)  I always wanted a black blouse and black slouch boots to wear with it.  But never got the blouse made or found the boots.  Instead I wore it with a purple “camp shirt” and some sort of black shoes.  For accessories I had a “silver” concho belt and a multi-colored turquoise phoenix brooch.  I finally rolled over the hem of the skirt with my desk chair one time too many and decided I shouldn’t wear it any more.

When I’m not sitting in front of my sewing machine, I’m hand quilting my Double Wedding Ring Quilt.

Last night I discovered that I only have 2 rings left on the row I’m currently working on, then two more rows for a total of 16 rings to go.  I’ve blogged a lot about this quilt over the past couple of year.  Clicking on “dwr” on the right of my screen take you to those entries.

Check out the link’s at Jill’s to the last finish others have had and what they are currently working on now.