Category Archives: Sue Garman

Border Mania ~ Skinny Vines

And so it begins…. Border # 2 of Friends of Baltimore has begun 2/13/2020.  I have traced the pattern onto the the border fabric using my handy dandy little light box.  I am so thrilled to have discovered this awesome tool.  It simplifies the process unbelievably. I do have to give credit to my great-nephew Preston.  He received a toy light box for Christmas and I happened to see it and thought, “what if” and it worked.  Woohooo.



Tracing pattern finished, I started making the circles for the border of the R5 fabric and decided to go ahead and make them for all 3 borders.  I am toying with the idea of just going ahead and finishing all the borders before I get back to the individual blocks.  That thought led me to also making a gazillion skinny bias strips of the G-5 & G-4 used in the borders.  Wow 2 days to make the circles  and another 2 days to make the skinny bias strips.  Done is good.  I’m ready.


As mentioned before I am planning on using black and gray fabrics for all the vases and urns in the borders and corner blocks.  This is my interpretation on the 2nd border urn.  I like it. I’m hoping using blue for the HST framing the blocks these black and gray fabrics will pull the colors together for a pleasing look.   I prep and sew, prep and sew.  After I have sewn these pieces down and will need to make more little circles.  This time purple.  I can say one thing Sue Garman sure liked circles.  Her patterns are full of them.  This is my third Sue Garman pattern to make.  I’m becoming an experienced circle maker.


Have a great day.

Sissy Malone


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

Getting Reacquainted With My Sewing Machine

Wow, closing in on the finish line for my Bed of Roses quilt top.  Have blocks 8, 9 and 10 completed this month. Just two more blocks to go and it’s wrap up time.  That goal of January 2019 finished top to the quilter is looking totally doable.

With each project, quilt top, I learn a new method/technique, or am practicing to improve on a technique.  I also learn where I need to focus to improve my skill set and as always learn something about myself. Strengths and weaknesses.  I know I will never be a master quilter. That has never been my goal, but I would like achieve the title of expert quilter in my lifetime.  There’s work to be done to accomplish this.

Applique has always been my primary focus.  It seems from the beginning of my quilt adventure  I have been drawn to the Baltimore Album Quilts and I have a great fondness for Folkart Quilts.    I am now gaining an interest in pictorial quilts. In the near future I would like to take a workshop on that medium.  It seems that will require travel to one of the coasts. I’ve been to Asilomar and studied with Ely. So maybe now it’s time to go east and study with David Taylor at one of his workshops.  Also of interest to me is taking a class with Sandra Leichner and learning her embroidery techniques for embellishing applique. So many options from so many talented artists. Always learning and improving.  That’s my goal.

In the meantime there’s a world outside of my sewing room.  I know, hard to believe isn’t it. Having to get a new set of tires installed this a.m.; do the weekly house cleaning (yuck)  No one will ever say about me in 100 years (she was an excellent housekeeper) but they just might say what a great quilter I was.  Now that’s a goal worth going for. Teehee!!!!



Okay, I meant to get the aforementioned posted but did not get around to taking any photos while I was working away on the Bed of Roses Blocks.  As time kept getting away from me to get those photos, I have now completed all the blocks, corners and set in blocks. Happy Dance! 

I get up early in the morning, usually around 5 a.m. ,  to spend quality time in my sewing room because when I get home at night, many times my eyes are tired from looking at a computer screen all day and am not comfortable trying to do handwork.  So this morning I read the instructions like 3 times on how to trim the set in blocks and the corner triangles for Bed of Roses. It is so slick. I just love how she thought of doing it this way. It really takes out all problems with the bias losing its shape.  Love, Love, Love this technique and will definitely use it again. So I have all the set in triangles ready, the corner triangles ready, I have cut the sashing strips and tiny connecting squares. I have only gotten 1 block trimmed to 15 ½”. I am hoping to get the rest done maybe tonight after supper.  Depends on how tired my eyes are. Then it’s construction time and I am ahead of schedule. I am beyond excited to see this top sewn together. It has been in pieces for 1 ½ years now. Another quilt to check off my UFO/Bucket List. Oh, what a feeling.

Getting reacquainted with my sewing machine after spending months doing hand work.   Note to self.. Oil machine..  I can’t remember when I last oiled it.  I usually oil it after 2 bobbin refills.  Can’t remember if I’m on lst or 2nd bobbin.   I’ve been doing handwork for so long, poor baby feels neglected.

Why is it when I am closing in on the finish line of a project,  I start planning the next project and those ideas are rattling around in my head.  Of course it has to be a Sue Garman pattern . I have such a girl crush on her! So very talented.

Sue’s Technique:

Cut freezer paper 15” square. ( My applique blocks are 15”)  Cut this in half diagonally. Center on top of appliqued block halves.  Sew ⅛” from edge of freezer paper on bias side. Then trim cutting ¼” from edge of freezer paper.  Voila! Perfect inset triangle! Repeat for corner triangles except cut in ½ diagonally in both directions.

You can use this technique for any size set in triangle.  Just cut the freezer paper the size of the finished blocks that will be on point.  Awesome technique!

Just a thought….. Why is my stash not getting any smaller?   I am finishing projects but my shelves are still full of fabric.  I think it multiplies while I am sleeping.



Happy Stitches.

Sissy Malone

A Very Productive September

September rolled through quickly or did I just imagine it.  Fast paced but still a productive month. I started off focusing on Sue Garman’s Bed of Roses of which I got quite a bit accomplished. Pat on the back.   Blocks 7 and 8 are appliqued, one border strip appliqued and one set-in block appliqued. All have been hand washed, pressed and hanging waiting to be put together in a quilt.   Whew, are my fingers tired and sore. The quilt is coming together nicely. The goal is getting her to the quilter January 2019.


I had a staycation in September.   My routine consisted of sewing room time from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and then outside to tackle procrastinated tasks that were starting to haunt me.  I worked on clearing out the garage. It’s really a 24 x 32 building that’s more of a shop that I have used as storage. (The building’s not mine, I wish it was.  I would have procrastinated longer.) I had a bonfire 4 nights running. I live in the country and am able to have those nice soothing evening bonfires to relax those tired muscles from lifting and going through boxes that had not been opened in 10 years.  Those boxes were the last vestiges of my former married life and the only thing going through my mind as I was sorting through everything was, “What in the world was I thinking, why did I hang onto that?” So onto the bonfire it went. Very cathartic.


I also got my she-shed storage building organized. What a job that turned out to be.  More lifting and using those muscles again. The shed has a loft, great for storage. My sister gave me a set of metal shelves and we put them together.  I was so sure there was no way they would fit through the doorway once we had assembled them, but, I was wrong and it went right through. Those shelves hold tubs.  Yea!!!! I also put away the deck furniture for the season. Brought in the plants that will spend the winter in the spare bedroom and spare bathroom. The process of bringing in the plants, organizing them, and repotting some of them burned up a good 6 hours.



By Friday, I said ENOUGH and proclaimed the rest of my staycation was going to be anything I wanted except anything that might involve physical labor.   I was actually thankful to go back to work. I’m not used to all the physical labor and my body was starting to rebel.


September was also the month for the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild Show in Springfield, MO.  I entered my A Boy and A Girl pattern quilt by Kim McClean. I did not ribbon, but I got some very good constructive criticism which I will take to heart.  I also got to meet several people who share my same interests. Isn’t it awesome that total strangers can have a comfortable dialog just because of one shared interest? Now that the show season for me has come to a close, it is time to get back into the sewing room.  

First off I do have to state that it is unseasonably warm and does not really feel like October should feel like.  It’s supposed to be cool and rainy. It’s upper 80’s and into 90’s and sunshine. Summer still in full swing here. Will it never end?  Wining done. So, October goals : Month 2 of Afternoon Delight, Block 9 and Block 10 of Bed of Roses are at the top of the list. That should keep me pretty busy.  If time allows I will be doing a quilt along of Angela’s from Quilting is My Therapy. I need to practice some more and with each practice session, I am getting more and more comfortable machine quilting.    When I become complacent about tackling my own quilting jobs, I have to remind myself that is why I bought my Bernina so I could learn to short-arm quilt. It’s awfully easy to just deliver them to Vickie.  I mean she does a wonderful job and it frees my time for applique and machine piecing tops.

I think it might be time for me to spend some time piecing a quilt top.  I am hearing the siren call of instant gratification. I have been doing so much handwork these last couple of years that I feel the tug to sit at the sewing machine again.   I did put a list together of 20 quilts (I know just 20) that need to be completed. My lists keep me going. I just love’m.

My motto for October, no new home projects til next year!!  Only sewing room quality time. Would someone tell my sister for me, no new projects.  🙂


Happy Stitches.

Sissy Malone

Itching to Stitch

Sue Garman’s Afternoon Delight pattern has been haunting me.  Yes, I am a Sue Garman groupie.  I love everything she has ever designed and am very sad that she has passed. But her pattern Afternoon Delight  has continually been on my mind for some time now. I knew at some point in the future I would make this beautiful quilt.  I just did not think it would be so soon. Sue’s pattern is pictured with red as the border and set in triangles framing the quilt.  She made hers with civil war prints and is quite beautiful. Red is not at the top of my list of favorite colors. I will use it, it’s just not a favorite like blue/green, teal, seafoam, shades of purple.  I go crazy over those colors. I once saw a rendition of Sue’s pattern done in 30’s reproduction fabrics. I thought, hummmmmmm, I have a gazillion of those in my stash. I went crazy in the 1990’s collecting 30’s feedsack repros and have several  shelves full of them. So the idea started percolating. This was a couple of years ago. Time flew by, I have been crazy working on Sue’s Bed of Roses with her Friends of Baltimore next in line for my big applique project when my local quilt shop, Buckles, Bobbins & Bolts, in Lebanon, Missouri  had on display the most beautiful aqua/blue green piece of fabric. Stopped me in my tracks. I said , that’s it. That’s what I want for my border and set in triangles for Afternoon delight.

035.JPGI went home ordered the pattern and when it came in marched myself back to the quilt shop and bought the necessary requirement for the border and triangles, plus some.  🙂 Now the background fabric….. I have purchased several different prints some on-line and some locally and have decided that the background is going to be a hodgepodge of cream on cream prints. I stared at the aqua fabric thinking, “what am I going to use for that dark strip separating the set-in triangles from the outer border?” when it came to me, light bulb moment, navy blue.  So now I take a swatch of the aqua with me when I shop in the hopes of finding the perfect navy print for that strip. I have an idea…..

Into the washing machine the newly purchased fabrics went, ironed and sitting there.  All those fabrics and pattern sitting there hauntingly on the back of my brain while I’m prepping and sewing away on Bed of Roses.  I am currently to the point on Bed of Roses where I have every block prepped and am doing the applique by hand. So I thought, I’d play over Labor Day Weekend since I couldn’t seem to get Afternoon Delight off my mind.  Sue’s pattern is broken down into month by month. I started reading month 1, got out my freezer paper traced the applique blocks, (they’re small squares 7 ¼”, not like the 18” ones I’m working on currently) that’s my excuse…. Next I looked at my stash of repros and chose about 10 fabrics to play with and into the washer they went.  I didn’t always pre-wash my fabrics, but it’s something I’ve recently started doing. Once washed and ironed, I couldn’t help myself, I prepped the first 4 applique blocks and then sewed the two sho-fly blocks required in month one. Now, I’m feeling guilty and am back to seriously sewing on Bed of Roses. Next month I’ll do month 2………..  What have I done to myself? Sew it begins…….. Another project………. I know I’m incurable. Isn’t life wonderful when you have a passion to pursue. The silver lining is I’m on staycation this coming week. Sewing room here I come. Wooohooooo.

Here’s what I have completed:


Happy Stitches Everyone

Sissy Malone

It’s Supposed To Be Spring, Right?

First off, Happy Easter everyone.  It’s Easter, it’s supposed to be spring.  Well it’s freezing cold outside my front door.  I bought some annuals and a couple of hostas yesterday in the hopes of getting my pots and yard ready for Spring.  It’s just too dang cold.  I had to put my plants and flowers on the covered porch for fear of frost.  I know whine, whine, whine.  I’ll be singing a different story come July/August when it registers triple digits.

The good news is I finished the body of my Long Time Gone quilt top.  Pencil and graph paper are required to figure out what I want for the borders.  Looking forward to designing.  This was so much fun to make.  I used the Bloc-Loc for HST, Folded Corner Clipper for flying geese  and Tri-Recs for 60 degree block.  All of these rulers are so innovative.  I also used paper piecing for the pineapple blocks.  From the Jen Kingwell facebook page some paper pieced the 60 degree blocks.   The bloc-loc ruler also helped me center and square up the Queen’s Cross blocks.


I still am working on Bed of Roses by Sue Garman. I have to have an applique project going at all times.  I am hopeless without handwork available to work on.   A little here a little there and the blocks progress.  This is the block I have almost finished appliqueing .  I need to start prepping the next block so it will be ready to take with me when not at home.  There are so many opportunities to do handwork while waiting.


I’m off today to Springfield to meet up with my nephew and his family to tour Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium and have dinner.  Sooooo looking forward to spending time with them.

I have not gotten back on schedule with my lists.  Hopelessly far behind.  I do not like playing catch-up.  My solution is to revise my lists to be more manageable and less guilt inspiring.  I also have not had time to work on my UFO that is now on the list so reworking the list will get me back to focusing on it.

Everyone have an awesome Easter and give thanks for the sacrifice that Jesus made for you.

Happy Stitches

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



Winter Weather Advisory :(

Here we go again.  Winter Weather Advisory for 1/4 to 1/2″ ice storm.  The experts are already comparing this storm to the 2007 ice storm in this area.

I did not have power for 8 days.  Yikes what a nightmare that was.  I remember standing in the front yard and listening to trees crash in the woods.  Devastation was everywhere.  I also remember being able to see for miles due to tree tops no longer there.   This is just crazy because last Saturday it was – 2 degrees here when I went to Saturday Sampler.  Yesterday it was 73 degrees.  What a yo-yo.  Scary.  The good news is I had already planned on taking Friday and Monday off work for vacation days.  I had planned on spending that time in my sewing room.  Now I am concerned I won’t have electricity.  I have got to get my hand work ready to go or cutting the strips for 2016 Saturday Sampler.  I would have thought I would have been better prepared but it seems not so much.  Isn’t it amazing how much we rely on our conveniences, like electricity. 🙂  I certainly take them for granted.

So much for grousing about the weather.  This is what is under my needle right now…..

I finished hand appliqueing the 7 Sisters block, the last block for the 2016 Saturday Sampler.  I can now start setting that quilt top together so it does not become a UFO.  009

I have a baby quilt for a friend to make this month.  The panels I ordered have arrived.  They are quite larger than I had anticipated so I am rethinking how I had planned on putting them together.  The back ground fabric I ordered did not disappoint.  It was exactly what I wanted.  Hopefully I will keep electricity and can blissfully sew while the weather is doing its thing.

Lastly,  there was an awesome full moon last night.  My camera is a good one but I do not know how to take nighttime photos, so here is the best I can do.  That little  white dot is the full moon that was beautiful.  The broken limb on the oak tree is a remnant of the ice storm from 2007.


Unfortunately, I have not gotten the next 2 blocks of A Boy and A Girl prepped.  Can’t get to that until 2016 Sat Sampler is completed and Baby Quilt completed.  Let’s pray that this predicted storm is not so severe.

Be safe everyone and happy stitches.


P.S.  I have been saddened this week with the passing of Sue Garman.  I so admired her work and the quilt patterns she designed.  I did finish one of her patterns Autumn Joy and plan on beginning my journey into the Baltimore Album realm in January 2018 with her pattern Friends of Baltimore.  Rest in peace we will miss you dearly.




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