Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow is the "norm" here in Minnesota!

Feeling for all my friends down south dealing with the winter wonderland that we are accustomed to.  Can't imagine what it is like for those unfamiliar with snow and ice.  As for those of us in the frozen north, we are having a heat wave!  Temps predicted in the 30's over the next week.  I can finally open my blinds and get some Vitamin D again.  

Icicles on our roof

My perennial garden is under there somewhere!

Haley's snowman unable to get out of the snow.

My current sewing room view of the lake and roof full of snow.

Table used for sewing when I want to be with the family, watch Olympics or a movie.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


From the start, I planned to do something different with Bonnie Hunter's mystery, Celtic Solstice. Initially changing the colors, especially the background, was my only intent.  Then I saw many different possibilities for the blocks.  Quilters around the world were flipping this part and that.  Making their quilt unique.  Someday mine will be done too.  Here is a "peak" at what will come.  Please check back in to see as it progresses.  Until then I will keep sewing!!

Final setting that I plan to use.  Just need to make more chevrons.

View of the top 2+ rows.

More blocks to come!!!

Check out all the very unique Celtic Solstice quilts through this link:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Every year our quilt guild has their retreat at Long Lake Conservation Center. I have missed the past two retreats. Not this year. Even cold temps and snow would not keep me away.

We were on the road Friday, making three quilt shop stops on the way up north. We need to keep our local shops here, right?  

Stopped at Quilted Treasures in Rogers. They have a great variety of fabrics. Then on to The Noble Quilter in Elk River. Love their embroidery patterns and CW fabrics. Finally Country Caboose in Wahkon. They have expanded, and offer a great variety of batiks. 

Arrived at the retreat before dark. Always a good idea when snow, wind, and cold involved.  Unpacked and sewing!  Nice to have someone else cooking. Fifteen hours a day of uninterrupted sewing.  What a great deal!  

I brought two projects to work on this year.  I have learned to reduce the number of projects I "try" to bring.  First one is Bonnie Hunter's mystery, Celtic Solstice. The "reveal" was on New Year's Day. I was on a ski vacation then, so I am playing catch-up.   I am using an alternate setting, so spent some time calculating the number of blocks I will need for a king size quilt. 

Finished chevrons.

First attempt at setting.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Those nasty Four patches!!!

Holiday break found me skiing out west with my family.  That meant sewing blocks would have to wait until I returned this week.  In an effort to link to Bonnie's blog by tonight, I wanted to finish four blocks.  Only four, but that took forever.  And chaos resulted.  

Celtic Solstice is a wonderful quilt.  But you have to be awake while making the blocks.  Everyone has been asking people to "check" their blocks.  Are they facing the correct way?  I have seen many who have one block here and there that needs to be flipped.  Me?  That wouldn't happen.  

Oops!  Yes, I know the four patches are going the wrong way.

Well tonight it did.  In an effort to have four blocks done by tonight (my personal goal), I quickly assembled them.  Excited with the results, I sewed four together, took and picture and BAM!  One entire set of four patches went the wrong way.  How could I do that?  I was being soooooo careful.

The correct placement!

After a quick bit of frogging and stitching, I have everything lined up and going the right way.
Now to make how many more blocks????  I am making the king size quilt.  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Many reasons to be behind

We are skiing our hearts out.  I broke my reading glasses.
Impossible to work on the quilt.:-(  
Had to find a new pair.  Stitching will have to wait.

Busy enjoying the snow

Trying to catch up on steps 1, 2, and 3.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Winter Wonderland

Even with the fluffy white stuff falling, I had no desire to head out into the subzero cold.  Instead, I spent the weekend sewing.  I watched it snow as I stitched away on Bonnie's mystery.  Want to join in on the fun?  


Oranges and Rusts

Diagonally marked

Stitching 1/4" on either side of the lines.

First cut

Second cut

First diagonal cut

Second diagonal cut

Magic!  8 half square triangles done!

Now to press and square them up.

And stitch a few pinwheels.

Used the Magic 8 method for my HST on Celtic Solstice.  The blog below gives clear directions on how to  calculate your initial square size.  For 1 1/2" finished blocks, use 4 3/4" squares.  

ME?  I used 5" squares to be safe.  I needed to squared the HST up, but not by much. Better safe than sorry.  Sweet results!  You have to try it.  Check out this blog for great directions.  Definitely magic!

Now back to step 2, where I will be cutting diagonal strips and ending up with straight of grain chevrons.  Took me only two blocks to say that is the method for me.  Stay tuned!!!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Craziness

Last year I was able to keep up with Bonnie's mystery.  This year is a different story.  A year older?  A year slower?  More commitments?  Whatever the reason, I am behind on this year's Celtic Solstice.

Holiday decorations are slowly finding their placement in my home.  After seeing Bonnie in Germany with a giant nutcracker, it only seemed fitting to have mine join in on the mystery.

Slowly working on step two.  I have tried using a couple different methods.  Planning to finish step two by cutting bias strips, sewing them together and subcutting them into the blocks.  For some reason my post got messed up, so I have reposted.  Hope to sew more blocks before Step 4 on Friday December 20th.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Camp Lebanon

Ever since I began quilting nearly 20 years ago, I have attended a quilt retreat at Camp Lebanon, just west of St. Cloud Minnesota.  For many years my friends and I enjoyed fellowship, quilting, food and relaxation that the retreat offered.  I continue to go with my daughter and granddaughter.  This year, we had a wonderful time.  I was able to start the binding on a very belated wedding quilt.  And Haley was able to finish her quilt top.  
Busy finishing her quilt top

Happy to have it done

Our view.  Very happy to be warm inside the chalet.

Our sewing space.  In the middle is a red machine with Haley sewing away.

Able to use the pingpong table to work on the binding.

Closeup of the wonderful quilting.

Glad to be inside looking out.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Celtic Solstice has begun!

Quilters around the world that love mystery quilts, are busy completing their first step to Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice.  This time around, I am using our stained glass window as inspiration.  Pulled batiks from my stash, and chose a dark background instead of lights.  I plan to complete the king size quilt, so that means LOADS of blocks.  It has begun!

Fabrics for Step #1

Finished blocks

Right side
Left side

Stained glass window

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hug Quilts

Our international quilt group has made quilts for each other over the past ten years.  During the hard times, we have sent warmth and support through a quilt.  Blocks have been made by friends from around the world, including Germany, France, Australia, Belgium, and throughout the United States, from Maine to California.  Here are a few of the quilts made over the years.  Here are some that made it to the Dear Jane Retreat in Shipshewana this Fall.  There are several more wonderful quilts for our other members, that were unable to attend.  Each quilt was made with the recipient in mind.