So Many Choices

Quite frankly I have fallen behind on my infamous “To Do List”. I’m dragging my feet where that To Do List is concerned anticipating future projects and all that goes with the planning and acquiring all the necessary components required to complete those projects. I am struggling a bit putting together the fabrics for the Bird by Bird quilt. I would like to accomplish a combination of colors that are attractive and that draw you to them as opposed to having the appearance of just thrown together. So I am stepping back for a couple of weeks to work on the “To Do List” and hopefully have fresh eyes when I go to the quilt shop with my for sure fabrics to spend quality time in the solid fabric section and see what appeals to me.

I was fortunate to spend last Saturday at our local quilt shop displaying my Missouri Splendor quilt and answering questions about the making of it as well as displaying a small project for a future applique class. I am very pleased with the response and had quite a few sign up for the future class. It’s been some time since I’ve taught a class but am very much looking forward to it.

This week I would like to accomplish the following:

  1. Finish quilting my sister’s quilt
  2. make quilt shop sample
  3. start decorating for christmas
  4. sew day at church – baste next quilt on my To Do List to quilt
  5. research solar off grid options for my cute little camper.
  6. yes, i put away Bird by Bird and am sticking to it for a couple of weeks

The techniques used for Bird by Bird are new to me and I am considering using them in the Stars and Sprigs quilt on my list. I really like the results of the points I get when using her technique. Which means I will probably need a whole bolt of iron on interfacing just for that project. I do enjoy learning new techniques and using them in a project. As I get started I will post photos of work in progress to demonstrate the differences. Looking forward to that also.

Off to get my week started. Hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Keep in those stitches.

Katherine Sissy Malone

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New Inspirations New Adventures In Applique


New Inspirations New Adventures In Applique

I have been considering what stimulates us in our creativity process. I look to other quilters projects, I look to nature’s color schemes, I look at my environment. Many factors influence me. When starting or considering a new project I love the feelings I get when I am influenced by colors, fabrics, and possible design ideas flood through me and the excitement of a new project fills me with happiness. This is where I found myself today and yesterday. I have been struggling with whether I will continue with competition quilts or just have fun making all those UFO/Bucket List Quilts. Decision made…. I will have fun and pursue a possible competition quilt. Determination on whether is is competition worthy will be made at a later date.

Several years ago I subscribed to Phillipa Naylor’s Quilters Question Time video series. I purchased her book Applique Mastery which has subsequently gone out of print. In one of her classes in her series she demonstrates her techniques of how she made her sample for the book. My background in Applique is needleturn which has evolved into prepared edge and still hand appliqued in place. Phillipa demonstrates using many of the same concepts but with some added bonuses. Some of those bonuses are using rick rack, twisted piping, and fusible used on the applique. All new to me and excited to explore. I am interested in trying these added bonuses to my skillset which brings me to my possible next competition quilt. I spent yesterday online shopping for possible fabrics. I fell in love with Tula Pink’s Moon Garden line that my local quilt shop, Buckles, Bobbins & Bolts just received. I of course will be purchasing those from them. For the solids, I found what I was looking for at Missouri Star Quilts. I will need to verify that my local shop does not carry the Tula Pink solids first. So humming along today thinking of my new inspirations while working on current projects. I just love being inspired.

Currently under my needle is a Debbie Mumm Christmas wallhanging that has long been in the UFO pile. Aha this is the year it gets completed. There is hope for me yet. Today I will be putting the flange binding on and sewing on the decorative ceramic buttons that make this wall hanging so unique. O course I have Jr. here to critique the work going on but in reality he found a box to squirm into. What is it about cats and boxes? The age old question.

It is no surprise that I am an avid hand applique nut and am always trying new techniques and threads. Well, I am in the process of collecting all 88 colors of the 80 wt Aurifil line. I had used 21 of the colors making my Baltimore Album quilt along with some Kimono silk threads. I just received the collection presented by Sarah Fielke called her Everyday Applique that she uses from Aurifil. only 47 more to go to have a complete collection. It’s fun to pick up a couple of spools each month when I go to Springfield, MO for our Saturday Sampler group. Not everyone carries this thread. I printed out the full list of colors and numbers and I take my sheet with me to the quilt shop. When I purchase more thread I then cross it off the list. I know I’m weird. But just look at those fabulous colors.

I still have my quilt tops to get quilted before the end of the year. Progress in the making for different designs. Just finished quilting the Debbie Mumm Christmas wallhanging and next my Sister would like for me to quilt a whole cloth design on a project. I plan to use some of my old hand quilting stencils in the design. I am actually encouraged with the concept and watched a couple of videos for inspiration. Perhaps I’ll get started on that tomorrow.

I’m off to make flange binding and sew on buttons. (Funny story….. when I was little when I misbehaved I was given a piece of fabric and the button jar and had to cover the fabric with button all hand sewn. I detested sewing on buttons for years.. HAHA now my sewing machine does that for me. I have been saved…. woohoo because I still misbehave at times.)

Happy Stitches everyone!

Katherine Sissy Malone


Oh WOW – Best of Show

I’m exhilarated at having Missouri Splendor chosen as Best of Show at the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild show this weekend. There were over 550 quilts entered, not all in the judged categories, but a spectacular collection of creativity and workmanship. I had hoped for some sort of recognition like honorable mention but was quite frankly overwhelmed to have been acknowledged with the highest honor. I have to admit I sometimes have to pinch myself and say yeah, I made that. It is a desire accomplished to have made this quilt. It took 3 years to complete. That is the most asked question to me about it. Hats off also to April Wells whose longarm talents added the icing to the cake so to speak.

Missouri Splendor my version of Sue Garman’s Friends of Baltimore

I also made and met a new friend who is also as dedicated to hand applique as me.

Here are some quilts that caught my eye at the show. Unfortunately I did not take as many photos as I should have or wanted to, I was still processing having been chosen Best of Show and wasn’t thinking clearly.

I was drawn to this quilt for its creative use of quilting.

If I recall correctly this pattern appeared several years ago in one of the quilting magazines. I was intrigued by it then and mentally filed it away as a possible bucket list quilt. It is still lovely and still draws my attention. I have a wonderful collection of homespun plaids just calling out to me to make this pattern.

Oh be still my heart. Just look at those vibrant colors. I have collected Janet’s books and this has been on my bucket list for quite some time. Love, love love this quilt.

I bow to Kim McClean’s artistic talents. I am such a huge fan of hers. Actually on my to do list for 2023 is her pattern Stars and Sprigs. I previously made her pattern A Boy and A Girl. Combine her patterns with Kaffe Fassett and it’s always a winner in my book.

I apologize for not offering more photos. I got side tracked.

Onward for me is I have finished my TO DO LIST of quilt tops to be made for 2022. Celebration going on here. I have 2 christmas table runners to make which I will fit in between quilting my completed tops. I would like all to be finished by 12/31!!!

These are my most recent finished tops.

This is a Jen Kingwell pattern, Golden Days

This is my version of Moda Blockheads 3. I took the liberty of adding some of my own designed blocks. I graphed out the layout and then made blocks to fit the size I needed. A little bit of creative mental exercise was required at times. But I am mostly pleased with the outcome. At the beginning of the sew a long I chose to use a layer cake by Moda called Fantasy.

Time to let the adrenaline settle down and get back to working on my quilting projects. But in my head I hear this little voice telling me, you are now an award winning quilter. Aaahhhhh that’s so exciting for me. It’s something I have strived towards for years. I feel like I just won a Gold Medal. I sort of did, there’s gold printing on the ribbon, does that qualify?

Happy Stitches All

Sissy Malone


Big Circles for Golden Days

I had set a goal to finish Jen Kingwell’s pattern Golden Days by the end of September. I am currently working on month 11 of 12. Having read through month 11 I am questioning what I can actually get accomplished. It will be interesting to see where I will be by the end of the month. So far I have completed making the 41 large circles to be appliqued onto 4 1/2″ squares and have over 20 appliqued. Today’s task is to complete the appliques. I am itching to start quilting some of my finished tops. Not sure which one I will start on but after I applique the circles I would like to prep and start planning the quilting design on the quilt. Multitasking. Goal is to spend mornings on Golden Days, afternoons quilting and projects requiring attention such as lawn mowing, laundry, you know daily routine stuff that can’t be ignored. The wheel keeps on spinning in my head. Plus work is good for grief so I am told.

It is with sadness that I let you know that Gibbs, my beautiful Himalayan cat has crossed over the rainbow bridge. My heart is heavy. I did not know how old he was as he was a rescue and I have had him for over 8 years. He was so mellow but he loved to get into the catnip bush. He loved watching birds but his favorite past time was napping on the porch. He also loved trying to get into the fridge to see what was available for him. He is greatly missed. He always had a grumpy face but he really wasn’t grumpy. Rest in peace my sweet boy.

Gibbs

The Ozark Peacemakers Quilt Guild bi-annual show is the end of this month. I have entered Missouri Splendor to be judged. I have received the entry packet and will get it ready for delivery on September 26th. It will be interesting to read the Judge’s critique. After this show my quilt will be retired and I plan on having it appraised next March at the AQS Branson quilt show. I hope it’s worth at least what I have invested into its making.

Missouri Splendor a pattern by Susan Garman

Hope everyone has a blessed day.

I’m off to finish appliqueing circles.

Sissy Malone


Exploring Color Values

I have been working on my Jen Kingwell Golden Days pattern. She had a very eye pleasing combination of color and fabric design in her quilt. I am exploring my own likes and not so much of value choices. I am attempting to combine my love for small prints and mix with larger scale prints. A challenge for me for sure. Those larger scale prints trip me up at times. It’s a comfort zone thing and I’m still working on it. I also learned when I was first putting fabrics together for the fractured hexagon blocks I was choosing darker value fabrics than I had thought. After the first couple of blocks were constructed I realized I would have to go down on the color value to get the look I was wanting. I figure I will still be able to use the darker blocks just mixed with the lighter value ones. I have really enjoyed making these blocks. Next up will be the Tulip Star blocks and they appear to be challenging. They have diamond piece construction. Good thing I just finished Edyta Sitar’s Stars upon Stars quilt. I’ll hopefully be able to utilize those skills.

Fractured Hexagons

I have recently read “The Making of A Baltimore Album Quilt” by Frances Benton. The Forward is written by Elly Sienkiewicz (the grandmother of the Baltimore Album Revival and one of my early mentors). The Forward and the actual text of the book paralleled my own journey in making my Album quilt. I related so much to both of their descriptions and all the feelings of joys and frustrations that are involved in taking on such a challenge. When I finished my Album quilt I said I did not think I had another one in me as it took 3 years to make and yet there are times I am looking through my books and thinking which background fabric would I choose and what color theme would I use since red is one of my least favorite colors. I guess I can just mark it up to a moment of insanity that will pass as I have way too many projects on my bucket list. But my mind does wander there at times. This book is out of print but if you are able to locate it I recommend it.

The Making of a Baltimore Album Quilt

Then I got a feed on Facebook notifying me of a new Jen Kingwell block of the month. Be still my heart. I don’t have time to add another project, but temptation exists in this new pattern “Caution Curves Ahead”. I enjoy combining applique with piecing.

Caution Curves Ahead

Chocolate Chip cookies are on the menu today. I will be baking them this afternoon for our church dinner tomorrow.

I attended our Electric Coop Annual Meeting last night but left early. I got a text from a friend saying congrats what did you win? I was like What????? Win what? I guess I won a drawing at the Meeting last night of an Air Fryer but because was not there they gave it to someone else. How about that. I never win anything. I have 2 air fryers so its just as well they gave it to someone else.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Sissy Malone


Ideas For A Class Project

I’ve been asked to teach an applique class on techniques at our local quilt shop. Thrilled at the prospect, terrified of not living up to expectations. Saying to myself, Courage Sissy as in the the film Willow when he was faced with a challenge. I came up with ideas, discarded ideas, and finally settled on a small project that would incorporate some techniques. I am now second guessing the butterfly I drew. I’m concerned it may be too challenging. I think I will offer a 2nd drawing that they can substitute if they choose. My hope is to encourage them not discourage. It’s building blocks. Points of my class are prepared edge applique, bias stems of 3 different sizes, circles, points, curves, and reverse applique. Here is my design :

While thinking about a suitable project to demonstrate these techniques my thoughts wandered to the different styles and pattern designs of applique quilts and their designers. I considered who I am drawn to, as I have minimal talent in drawing, and what draws me to their designs. While I appreciate what I perceive as complicated designs such as Ely Sienkiewicz’s I discovered I am drawn to artists like Sue Garman, Irene Blanck, Janet Stone, Pearl Piera, Karen K Buckley and Mimi Dietrich there are others as well. These are just the first to come to mind. I totally rely on their designs and enjoy interpreting them through different fabric styles.

Still working on my Jen Kingwell pattern Golden Days I would like to have it completed by end of September.

Also pleased to announce Missouri Splendor awarded 1st Place Blue Ribbon in its division and class at Ozark Empire Fair. One more competition left for this season and that will be the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild Show the end of September.

I have been thinking of late how nice it was when my brother has wired my previous sewing room so that when I turned of the light swtich it also shut down all the outlets in the room, i.e. the iron etc. I have been missing that feature. Although that would not work in my current sewing room as that is where the internet modem is plugged so I put on my thinking cap. I remembered I had an old surge protector around that was also a strip allowing more than one plug. Now to find the darn thing. Bingo, found it. This works beautifully. I can plug all my irons and light box that I use for my applique and all I have to do when I am finished is turn the power strip off.

The heat and the drought conditions have been draining all my energy. I’m thinking I’ve lost part of my southern roots. I did come to appreciate the lovely mild summers of Minnesota. Along with quilting I also enjoy reading. I am currently working my way through the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I am on book 6. I did not read these when they came out but ironically I would purchase the new volume of the series for my ex-husband each Christmas. Odd that I never read them. But here I am all these years later reading them and enjoying them. When I am done sewing for the day I head to my camper in the driveway with a glass of pop and my book and spend an hour or two snuggled in reading and pretend camping.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Sissy Malone


Accolades and Challenging Piecing

Woo Hoo my Missouri Splendor aka Baltimore Album Quilt, was awarded Best of Show at our local county fair. This Saturday it is being entered into the Ozark Empire Fair. I still enjoy competition. I have a friend who has expressed some negativity about competition quilts as looking for approval or filling some void. That’s okay she can have those thoughts and feelings. I still enjoy it. I remember early on in my quilting life (novice is a better description) going to the Minnesota State Fair, if you have never gone I recommend it, and standing in awe at the quilts and admiring them. The skillfulness in which they were made encouraged and challenged me to pursue classes from various instructors to learn different techniques and improve my own skillset. I have to admit that I traveled to California to take classes and specifically took a tour at the DAR Museum to study early applique quilts. These early quilters were my mentors and I am thankful for having been exposed to their work. Without those positive influences and encouragement and viewing competition quilts I may not have become the quilter I am today.

I recently received a compliment that I am holding dear to my heart about admiring my quilts and hoping to become as skilled as I have. That compliment reminded me of my own journey, viewing quilt shows, the state fair and other exhibitions and my mentors along the way of achieving a Best of Show award and I smiled and thought to myself if I can be a positive influence and encourage any one to pursue the art of quilt making or improve upon their skillset then I would gladly become a mentor for someone.

Afternoon Delight a pattern by Sue Garman is also completed and has been assigned a new name, “Oh My Giddy Aunt”. She is complete and this time I will be quilting her on my Q16.

Currently under my needle is a Jen Kingwell pattern, Golden Days. Challenging with many curved pieced blocks. I have made a Drunkards Path quilt before but I hand pieced it. I am challenging myself with the different curved blocks to machine piece them. The offset is there are lots a applique blocks to relieve the anxiety of curved piecing.

Still working on my To Do list for this year. The happy news is finishing Golden Days and Moda Blockheads 3 will complete my list of quilt tops to make for 2022. I will then start quilting them and hopefully have them done by the end of the year so that 2023’s list can get started. Yes, I already have that list put together.

Also on my list for 2022 was a cute little Pickle Dish pattern. I paper pieced it and modified to the border but also used fabrics from my 1990’s feed sack repro fabrics. This top is also completed and added to the to be quilted stack.

This time of year I notice all the colorful wildflowers of Missouri. I am particularly drawn to this vibrant orange flower. I do not know its name but I enjoy its beauty. And notice the lovely little purple companion flower, don’t they make a nice couple.

Well off to quilt a baby doll quilt for a friend. Happy quilting everyone and stay inside and cool as our temps are soring to triple digits this week.

Have a blessed day.

Sissy Malone


New Tools, New Gadgets

Happy Birthday Paul.

Hello all.

Stars Upon Stars is done.

I made the big push to finish Stars and get them sewn together. It took me two days to assemble the pieces into a quilt top and with a sigh of relief it is complete. I am thoughtfully considering my quilting design. Each block has 300 pieces so in the ditch quilting is not a consideration. I am pondering ideas from Cindy Needham’s video utilizing old hand quilting stencils. I have an idea percolating and many old hand quilting stencils stored away just waiting to make a come back.

I have moved onto the next project on my “To Do” list for 2022 which is Afternoon Delight a pattern by Sue Garman. I had started this about the same time as Friends of Baltimore but had to put it aside to concentrate solely on Friends. My thought was to try to use up as much of my collection of feed sack reproductions as possible. Sadly I am not even making a dent. I do have future projects that will use those fabrics so there is hope yet. I believe this will be my next quilt to quilt. I already have ideas rolling around and am considering which threads to use. I had planned on a July 4th completion date but now am eyeing June 15th, if all goes well.

My Saturday Sampler group met yesterday in Springfield and our assignment last month was making 3 x 6 flying geese. There is of course the Bloc Loc ruler made specifically for that size. However, I did happen to run across a Creative Grids ruler at out local quilt shop in Lebanon, Buckles, Bobbins and Bolts made for various sizes of flying geese using a “no fabric waste” technique. I now have a new gadget. Yes, I’m a gadget girl. Love new tools. I have to say I am very impressed with this ruler and see myself utilizing more so than the Bloc Loc ruler. This is just my personal opinion. The creative grids ruler is more costly than the bloc loc version but I believe it is worth the extra expense. Also the instructions are very easy to follow.

Last year I purchased an apple tree and planted it into a planter to be placed on my deck. This year I have two apples. Success!!!!!

I recently had a visit from my sister’s chickens. Apparently they like my deck.

Happy stitches everyone and hope your June is filled with the joys that fill you.

Sissy


Spring and all it’s Beauty

It’s been a while since I have visited. Where to begin. Went to Omaha with a friend to visit her daughter and son-in-law and delivered a quilt I made for her.

While traveling I finished sewing the hand portion of a binding for my practice piece of applying piping before putting on binding.

I learned a great deal, basically, I need more practice before I put piping on my Baltimore Album quilt. I will be watching another video today.

Here it is piping attached and of course the Quality Assurance Inspector is giving it the once over.

also decided upon the label. I reduced the peacock in one of the blocks by 50 percent and hand appliqued that for my label. The reduced size made a 5” bird.

I quilted two quilts for a friend and put on two flange bindings for finishing. Pleased with how they turned out.

Hopefully she will be too.

Got my Saturday Sampler block made so ready to go there. Getting all my little to do list checked off. It’s time to quit procrastinating and get busy on finishing my Baltimore Album.

It’s turkey hunting season here in the Ozarks. I am really missing my brother today. For 20 plus years he came for a week or two turkey hunting and always got his bird/s. It seems very strange for him not to be here even though he’s been gone for 3 ½ years. The redbuds are in bloom and the dogwoods are starting to pop out. This always reminds me of my brother.

I was surprised this week by my friend Christine who made me the loveliest quilt for my camper. I am totally obsessed with it and feel especially special that she made it for me.

Work is progressing on the Stars Upon Stars quilt. I have completed 14 of the 15 star blocks. Each was always a surprise. I would lay out the 9 fabrics to make the spokes in what I presumed to be a pleasing arrangement and was always surprised with how they actually turned out. For some reason I am just not able to visualize the outcome. I suppose in a way that’s the novelty of it and why I am enjoying making these blocks. It started out as a challenge working with “Y” seams of which now I am a professional (haha) and now its more of how are those fabrics are going to translate into a block?

There is the hope of completing this quilt tip by end of this month.

I will end today with photos of my second passion spring in bloom. These are taken from my beautiful flowers and shrubs this spring. Enjoy the eye candy.

The dwarf korean lilac. Oh the perfum it puts out and it is in full force right now just below my sewing room window.

Beautiful Iris I stopped and acquired from the roadside last year and look how lovely it has bloomed.

L ook at those snowballs. I had been struggling with this shrub producing snowballs. Last year it only had a couple so I decided not to trim the bush last summer and have left it au natural and just look at the result. It’s fabulous.

This is the year of surprises. This white bleeding heart was planted in my garden about 6 years ago and just this year has decided to bloom. Such a slow grower.

Then there is my reliable pink bleeding heart and it is stunning as ever this year.

It is spring in the ozarks which translates to flash flooding. Here are some during and after photos:

Hope all is well and off I go to work on Star # 15.

Have a wonderful day.

Sissy


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