Category Archives: Long Time Gone

Hello…… remember me?

I did not mean to,  but I did.  I took a year off writing on my Blog.  I lost my brother and went into a terrible depressed state with my grief. I  began my first block “Eagle” 12/31/2018.  I sewed thru the evening being so engrossed and excited about starting my bucket list quilt that I  missed midnight.  Totally blew past me.  Went to bed around 1 a.m.   I slept in New Year’s morning and at 6 a.m. my brother passed. Overwhelming sadness engulfed me.

I funneled my grief into my sewing with Friends of Baltimore being my primary project.  To date I have completed 8 blocks and 1 border.   The saying Time heals is accurate, it’s just getting there.  I miss him dearly and I think of him everyday.  He was my little brother after all.  This is the reason for my absence.  I was not able to verbalize my grief so I stitched it into something positive.


2019 I was able to revitalize my sewing room.  Now there is not a lot that can be done to a 10×10 room but I have managed to utilize all square footage and I am more than pleased with the end result.  I freshened the paint, I have added new bookcases ( 2 trips to Ikea one in Memphis and one in St Louis)  and donated tons of fabric to get down to a reasonable workable fabric stash.  Let’s face it, even having survived breast cancer, I’m not going to live forever, as I thought in my younger days.  I put my Bucket List (no longer called UFO’s) projects into tubs and have realized I have way too many Bucket List Tubs but I am hopeful of entering retirement next year with the promise of getting started on those tubs.  I am so excited about the finished look  and I absolutely love spending time in my sewing room.  It’s the first time that I have ever done anything specifically for me and I was amazed at how it made me feel.  Then I asked myself….. why did I wait so long?  I still need to make my window treatment.  Have the fabric, just need to get going on it.  I am very pleased with the end result and quite proud of myself for drafting it out on paper and then translating that into actuality.

2019 was mostly focused on Friends of Baltimore Album quilt.  What a learning experience this quilt has become.  I have gained many new wonderful friends in the applique community and I treasure the encouragement, suggestions and input these new friends offer.  I have completed 7 blocks, currently putting the finishing embroidery  on block 8  and 1 full border completed.  Next up is border # 2.  The first border took me 3 months.  Hopefully the next border won’t take me as long. Truthfully, I am enjoying the challenges of making this quilt.  Each time I start a new block my confidence sags a bit, and I worry that it’s too much for me, but I just plug along and as I progress I think, “What was I worried about, I’ve got this”.   Each block surprises me by presenting some challenge  and so far I have met those challenges and have walked away with new skills to add to my growing accomplishments.  Once I finish Border # 2, it will represent the halfway mark.  Big sigh.  I’m really getting this quilt done.  Wow.  I have wanted to make an Album quilt since I first saw a photo of the Gorsuch  Family Quilt.  I believe it was featured in one of the Lady’s magazines back in the late 1960’s.  I was a teenager then.  My amazement of this quilt cannot be described.   That one photo and the teaching of needle art from my Granny Malone as well as countless mentors over the years fueled my interest and love of applique.  I spent many years acquiring skills that would enable me to pursue this dream and  look at me, here I am, dream coming true.

2019 I was awarded Best of Show and lst place Ribbons at Laclede County Fair for Bed of Roses quilt pattern by Sue Garman.  I also received a lst place Blue Ribbon at the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, MO for this quilt.  I was very excited to have been so honored.

2019 I finally got to go back to Paducah for the Spring Quilt Show.  I attended a lecture presented by Sue Nichols who with her sister made the acclaimed Beatles Quilt.  I have been passionately in love with this quilt since I first saw it.  I believe it won Best of Show in 1998 and is on display at the Quilt Museum.  The imagination and creativity to design this quilt is beyond my comprehension.  Such Teamwork two sisters collaborating.   I bet I stood in front of this quilt for at least 30 minutes trying to absorb every detail.  I am not sure what it is about this quilt but I am extremely passionate about it.  Oh, by the way…. there were soooooo many beautiful quilts presented.

So here we are 2020.  My main focus will still be Friends of Baltimore.   I have added 3 machine pieced quilts to the mix.  I am making a Winter Solstice quilt, I am working on the Moda Blockheads 3 sew along and I signed up for my local quilt shop Saturday Sampler again.    I  had sat out of the Saturday Sampler for several years but felt I needed the camaraderie from this wonderful group of ladies and gentlemen again.  Yes, we have men quilters in this group.  They are very talented.  On the home front I also have  DIY projects in the mix.  As I tackle each one I will post the ups and downs of DIY.

My first 2 blocks made for Moda Blockheads 3 not sure how I’m going to put it all together yet.  The year is young yet. Inspiration will eventually hit me.

Moda Blockheads 3

We also welcomed a new great nephew into the family and I made him this baby quilt.  Welcome to the world Connor Gray.  I even quilted it myself.


I have also been considering purchasing a long arm quilting machine.  I had initially thought I would like the Bernina Q20 sit down machine but have decided I would prefer one where I am standing.  So now I am looking at the Simply Sixteen since it has a 5′ frame.  That will work nicely with my restricted space requirements.   Still at the thinking and trying out stage.  Juggling trip to England vs. quilting machine?  Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.

Well this about wraps up 2019 and hopes for 2020.

See you soon with more updates from my quilting world.

Sissy Malone


Another UFO down

checkmarkone more UFO done.  🙂  Lists work!  If it’s on the list, it gets done.  I know I’m a geek but it works for me.

This was a BOM that I purchased around 2001/2002.  It’s a Marti Mitchell design.  This photo is terrible.  It is mostly yellow and green with a little blue and dark magenta thrown in for balance.  The kit did not include the binding.    I will be taking a swatch of the outside border with me to the quilt shop to see if I can find something to match it and look for considerations for backings.   There was no room for error in this BOM.   You got exactly the amount of fabric that you needed, no more, no less.   Personally, I need that fudge factor.  I am an early morning sewing room person and sometimes my coffee has not finished filling my veins with go juice when (silly me) attempts cutting.   So, I admit, I do from time to time make colossal cutting mistakes.   After I had completed the first month I noticed right away there was NO extra fabric.  Sometimes that jinxes me.  But I made it through this one only by being very careful with my cutting.   Now the search is on for backing fabric and binding fabric.  Then off to Vicky  it goes for quilting.   Can’t decide who is going to be getting this one.  005

I have now chosen the next UFO to tackle.   It is called Cat Nap and it is a pattern that was published in Quiltmaker Magazine May/June ’02 issue.  It’s a baby quilt and hopefully won’t take too long to finish.  This one I will quilt myself.


Now that my September list is all caught up I am ready to start on one of the borders for my A Boy and A Girl Quilt.  I think I will work on the right hand side. I have given myself 2 weeks to get it prepped.  Woohooo.  No pressure.

I have been staying on top of Jen Kingwell’s Long Time Gone and have completed all 7 months of that BOM.  Anxiously awaiting # 8.

I have prepped months 1 & 2 of Sue Garman’s Bed of Roses.  I work on the hand applique on my lunch time so maybe this one will be completed in a year.   It is nicely portable.  Just one block already prepped and matching thread doesn’t take up much room in the tote.

I have discovered 60 weight cotton embroidery thread.  It is as nice as silk thread to work with and slides through the fabric like butter.  And to top it off it blends in beautifully and becomes invisible.  Now it doesn’t get any better than that.

I have just received Month 3 but it is not on the calendar to prep until October.   Besides, I am still doing the handwork on Month 1.  Wouldn’t dream of getting ahead of myself.

Happy Stitches Everyone

Sissy Malone



UFO Journey includes Making New Friends…

I have been diligently working on my Lists.  UFO being one and just my Monthly “To Do” list.  It’s April and I just finished January’s To Do List.  It’s progress.  I had quite a bit on January’s list, in my defense.  But it is now check marked and I have moved on to February.  To my surprise I have already completed a couple a things on that list and it’s not as lengthy as January’s.  I might just get caught up.  Wait, no I won’t.  I have started several new BOM’s to add to my Monthly To Do Lists.  But you know it’s okay.  I’m having the time of my life.  I am learning new techniques and making new friends.  We can all welcome new friends.  Each new person in my life just adds more perspective to me.  Enjoying my life!

Here is what is currently under my needle.

Block # 7 of A Boy and A Girl – prepped and ready to hand applique.


Working on prepping Block # 8 of a Boy & a Girl –


I did get 5 circles completed this a.m. before heading to work. I have about 12 more to make.


Now my new BOM’s.  I signed up for Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell.  She is an awesome designer from Australia.  Check her out.  i have completed Month 1 and have just received Month 2.  I haven’t started it yet.  Month one is half square triangles and 60 degree angle blocks.  Here are my blocks


My half square blocks are consistently square.  I am very impressed.  I tried this new Block Loc  ruler for my half square blocks.  I’m sold on the technique.  If you have not tried it watch a you tube video on it or have you local quilt shop demonstrate it.    My grid above is 7 x5 –  2.5 ” squares.  Notice that it is actually a rectangle. Usually mine are wavy. Yes, I will be using this ruler again.  They also have a flying geese one and are developing a pineapple block ruler.  Now, that I want to see.  I can only paper piece pineapple blocks.  Learning new tricks.


My Kaffe Fassett scraps.  Having FUN!

Happy Stitches

Sissy Malone



2017 Fresh Beginnings A New Year A New List of UFO’s

Fresh Beginnings doesn’t that sound inspiring.

January 1st, 2017 – 365 days of planning, sewing & finishing those pesky UFO’s.  I have a sewing room full of tubs of projects I thought at one time I had to make.  Many have fabrics, patterns included.  Some are just the idea of the quilt, like a photograph or page torn out of a magazine.  From time to time they tug at me to open them up and consider working on them.  I am feeling that tug today.  Yet, I have my current project on my sewing table to be finished.

Kudos to me.  I cleaned my sewing room!  I believe having brushed against those UFO tubs has given me the curiosity to peek into them and say, “hello, I haven’t forgtotten you”.  I am truly trying to stay focused on the list I would like to accomplish this year.  But sometimes it’s a challenge.

Yesterday, I had planned on cutting and sewing together 2016 Saturday Sampler quilt.  Surprise, surprise,  I had not completed block # 12.  Seven Sisters, a block of English Paper Piecing.  Slap to the forehead.  I had put off making this block while I worked on A Boy and A Girl blocks.  Not to get discouraged, I dug right in and started making the block.  I am hoping to finish the block today.

Maybe today I can actually start sewing the quilt top together.  It is a half log cabin setting.  I have made a quilt like this before.  The instructions for this one are a bit different than the technique I had used before.  I toyed with the idea of drafting my own pattern, but have decided I will be adventurous and follow this designers instructions.  Then I will have something to compare and know going forward which technique I prefer.  You never know if you will like something or not until you try it.  At least that’s what I’ve always been told.


Just 3 more sisters to go and I can finish this block.

I have a birthday coming up and I am trying to decide what to give myself as a present.  I need a new mat for my sewing table.  The one in the photo above is 36 years old and is starting to show it’s wear and tear.   But then I just saw this quilt book by Jen Kingwell, Long Time Gone, and all I could think of is what a wonderful way to use up my scraps.  I think the mat may wait a bit longer.

Happy Stitches and Happy New Year Everyone



Chopin - A Passionate Quilter From Texas

I love to share my Quilting projects with other Quilters. My goal is to share my progress on projects that I am working on. I would love for you to follow along with me during my endeavors. I hope you enjoy watching me tackle new techniques and projects. Hopefully you can learn from my "hiccups" and mistakes and make your journey easier.

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