Author Archives: Sissy Malone

About Sissy Malone

I've been actively sewing since Jr. High School. But specifically drawn to quilting since I was 17/18 years old. My grandmother was a quilter and I became fascinated with the process. I fell in love (awestruck) is a better word viewing applique quilts by Gladys Rashka at the Minnesota State Fair in the 70's. A love affair was born of applique quilts. I still machine piece, but am always drawn to applique. I took classes learning different techniques and also traveled to California and studied a whole week at Asilomar with Elly Sienkiewicz. Quilting is my passion. I am always open to learning a new technique but still rely on handwork.

Winter came, went, liked us so much decided to return. Blah

It’s winter again. 18 degrees this morning. Just a bit chilly outside. Here are photos of the first round. This time it’s some sleet a bit of freezing rain just enough to make it slippery and dangerous for those heading out to work. Thankfully being retired I have nowhere I have to be. We did have power outages for the day. I was one of the fortunate ones where my power flickered about 6 times but never went out completely. While it was flickering I was running about making sure all my sewing machines, computer, printer, etc were unplugged so as not to be damaged. It really was a winter wonderland and quite beautiful. Then a couple of days later we had 60 degree weather and it all went away. Now the nastiness.

Attempting culinary – haha- I saw a recipe on a facebook video called Apple Dutch Baby. It intrigued me enough to attempt it. These are my results. It was quite tasty. I think I will try it again but add a little cinnamon and brown sugar while cooking the apple. My hope is for it to taste similar to the Original Pancake House apple pancake, which if you have never been I suggest going and enjoy an Apple Pancake. It is truly wonderful.

This is what the Original Pancake House and Dutch Baby Pancakes look like:

This is my sister’s first quilt. I am so very proud of her. She persevered and finished it. There were times when she doubted herself but she worked to improve her 1/4″ seam allowances with each row. The quilt is square and lays flat. You can’t ask for more than that. I think she’s a bit excited to take it for show and tell at the Saturday Sampler group. That was another surprise for me that she signed up to participate in that group. This little twin size row by row has given her the confidence to start another quilt. It’s blocks are smaller as she is constructing bee bodies. Unfortunately it is not paper pieced and she is having to piece it the regular way. Some are 1″ inch squares. She’s doing great and I’m very proud of her accomplishment. Just look at all those points on her flying geese. Yes, I’m very proud of her. This is an older BOM I had collected from the late 90’s by Quakertown Quilts called “Strip of the Month Sampler” .

Im still plugging away on Jen Kingwell’s Queen’s Cross pattern. I’m really enjoying the making of this quilt but feel as if I will become the circle queen when finished. Each block has 17 circles and I need 13 blocks. I am using Phillipa Naylor’s technique using fusible and Karen K Buckley’s perfect circle templates. I’m getting perfect circles. Woohoo. I have 10 blocks made 2 of which need the circles appliqued.

Todays goal is to make circles for one of the blocks, cut out the next block then spend some time quilting on my Golden Days quilt. I still have not found just the right color fabric for my Bird by Bird project. When the time is right it will miraculously appear. I have no doubt.

Everyone have a wonderful day and be safe.

Happy Stitches

Katherine Sissy Malone

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Semifinalist in International Quilt Show – What An Honor

So honored to have been selected as a semifinalist for my rendition of Sue Garman’s pattern of Friends of Baltimore which I named Missouri Splendor.

For those of you who followed along with the making of it on my blog it took me three years to complete. It was a wonderful journey and so very rewarding. One of the many reasons I love applique is that it slows the world down to a speed where I can contemplate different issues, I can use the time for self introspection, I can reflect on the days events, but in the beginning of the making of Missouri Splendor I focused on grieving the loss of my brother. I am also able to enjoy time spent with my fur babies as they always follow me around and I have a bed for them in my sewing room. Being recognized for the work I put in this quilt is very validating.

I do have another quilt I would like to make as my next competition quilt. I am collecting fabrics for it at this time.

I recall that while I was contemplating the making of Missouri Splendor I shopped for several years for just the right fabrics. I remember going to AQS Paducah with a long shopping list for Hancocks and the vendors at the show. Primarily I was on the hunt for blacks and grays as I had determined that all the vases in the quilt would be from various blacks and grays. But like any quilter while at Hancocks I managed to come home with 6 whole bolts of fabrics. Go figure, it’s an addition. Probably need some sort of 12 step program but I think after 50 years I’m a goner.

I really need to give a shout out to Merrily We Quilt Along in Springfield, MO where I actually found 80-85% of the fabrics used in my quilt. They were courteous enough to order a whole bolt of fabric for me that was used as the background fabric. Those wonderful ladies who work there were also so encouraging when I would bring a block in that I was working on and ooooh and aaaw over it. So many wonderful memories while making Missouri Splendor.

Currently working on Queen’s Cross by Jen Kingwell. Loving this pattern. Curved piecing always a challenge. I do love to be challenged.

Today is my birthday – doubly celebrating today. Woohoo.

Tomorrow heading to Springfield to fabric shop for that next applique quilt. Love touching fabric. Yes it is an addiction.

Happy stitches everyone.

Katherine Sissy Malone


A New Year A New List

How exciting that I was able to finish my list for 2022. All the tops were made, I am in the process now of quilting them on my lovely Bernina Q16. I really had never been interested in machine quilting but figured once I retired I would not be able to afford having all of my quilt tops professionally longarm quilted. Which is why I purchased my Q16. I am finding I really like machine quilting and with each project my skills improve.

2023 List:

  1. Stars & Sprigs
  2. old ufo double wedding ring project
  3. queen’s cross
  4. A 30’s treasure
  5. blue & green NY Beauty quilt
  6. Bird by Bird

Oh my look at that, a # 6 was added to my list.

I have officially started Queen’s Cross a pattern designed by Jen Kingwell. I love her designs and am a sucker for anything she does. This was a BOM offered by Homestead Hearth in Mexico, MO in 2016. 7 years later I’m starting it. Look at me go. I was hopeful of getting this top finished in a month. Probably not so much of an attainable goal. That would mean I need to make 6 blocks a week. I started this on Sunday and I’m still appliqueing the circles on the points of the first block. Maybe 6 week project and not 4 week.

The crud I had all through the holidays is hanging on for dear life. Had an awful night coughing up a lung. Nyquil to the rescue. Hoping this stuff goes away forever. Approaching 4 weeks with this stuff. Yikes.

Bird by Bird is a quilt designed by Phillipa Naylor of UK. I have been struggling putting the fabrics together that sing to me. I have purchased , discarded, purchased and discarded again to where I had to put it away. Then while I was at The Sampler in Springfield MO last weekend ahah I found one of the 3 fabrics I am needing for this project. Got me excited again when I had become very discouraged.

Today I am heading into town to have lunch with friends for a birthday lunch. Yep, it’s me, it’s my birthday next Monday.

Have a great day and happy stitches.

Katherine Sissy Malone


Wrapping Up End Of Year “To Do”

Finally working on quilting quilt tops I made this year. I also finished quilting a whole cloth project for my sister. It was a beast. But it turned out really nice. Still putting finishing touches on Christmas gifts. Yes, I tell myself, they will get finished. I have also decided that handmade Christmas gifts for next year will be made in the first half of 2023 instead of the last half.

All the while working diligently on 2022 List I am also looking forward to 2023. Oh my, I have actually added 2 more projects to that list. Yikers. Am I crazy. Yes, I am.

Bird by Bird is stalled waiting for fabric sample card from Cherrywood Hand Dyed fabrics. I know that is where I will find just the right shade I have not been able to find. I think I’m picky but I want just the right shhzzzz and thought I found it a couple of times, bought the fabric then once home really looked at it and said, no, sorry, not quite right. Something to look forward to receiving in the mail. If you have never worked with Cherrywood fabrics you have missed out on a real treat. They work up like butter.

Also busy working on my class demonstration samples. I have been asked to teach an applique class at our local quilt shop. Instead of an actual project, I have decided it will be a techniques class geared more towards a beginner plus to intermediate level. Hopefully the samples they make in class can be put into a design of their own. I am hoping to encourage them towards designing as well, at least plant the seed, and of course I will give them a sample project just for fun that I designed. I’m afraid I’m going to give them too much information and go into applique overload. It’s just that I am so passionate about applique and have spent my whole life acquiring skills and taking classes from different instructors and would like to pass that information along.

Christmas church dinner is behind me and I have a ham bone left over. Ham and beans and cornbread tomorrow! The ham bone and beans are in the crockpot today. Good eating ahead. Great comfort food for the cold drizzly days we have been having.

I replaced the poor worn out dog bed in my sewing room where the puppadups hang out while I’m working away on my next quilt. Today when I came into my sewing room I noticed tufts of fiberfill laying on the floor. At first I was annoyed that those bad babies had already destroyed their new bed when they were loving it so much but as it turns out it was defectively sewn together (poor workmanship) and I can easily fix it.

I am off to work on my class outline and samples. Sorry but no photos today. Next time.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Katherine Sissy Malone


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


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


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