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Quilting Retreat, Bird by Bird, Halloween Project, Shop Samples

I began last week making a shop sample using Tula Pink’s newest line of animal fabric. I am really interested to see it quilted. In my opinion the quilting brings a quilt top to life. I enjoyed the challenge by using only fat quarters.

Then off to the new Blueberry Buckle Quilt Retreat located across the Highway from Bennett Springs State Park just northwest of Lebanon Missouri. It is beautiful and June has thought of everything a quilter would need for a retreat. It can accommodate 10 guests. The bedrooms are quite large enough that the occupants do not feel cramped. The bathroom is what you would expect at a luxurious spa. Very nice kitchen with everything you would need. The dining table can sit 10. Now the fun stuff.

Each attendee is afforded a large table with a comfortable chair on wheels as their own workspace. You can spread out and not interfere with anyone else’s workspace. There are three design walls which I want to replicate in my home workspace. (I’m really jealous). The cutting table and ironing station are perfect in everyway. Just the right height so as not to cause your back to ache from bending over too much. The lighting I can only rave about. Tall windows affording day light streaming in on all three sides of the sewing area with bright overhead lighting. I took an ott light as I was planning on handwork and really did not need to use it during the day. We each brought our own projects. The room is spacious yet cozy enough that everyone can participate in the banter and conversation from their own work area.

The retreat is located right on Highway 64 which is a busy highway and it was Memorial Weekend so traffic going and coming from the State Park right across the Highway was probably higher than normal and we did not even notice any sound from the traffic.

I forgot to mention the beautiful wrap-around covered porches and decks. I had my morning coffee sitting out on the deck enjoying a quiet peaceful morning.

So if you or your sewing group would like to schedule your own quilting get away contact June Buckles at Buckles, Bobbins & Bolts 417-650-5043 for information and availability.

Back home, unpacking, and getting back to my routine I have just the face of a pumpkin and a spooky house to finish applique and my Halloween project will be ready to quilt. Not ready to show photo yet.

Bird by Bird. What can I say. I struggled mightily attempting Phillipa’s technique using fusible and basting. I was not happy my my results and for me it was very time consuming. I have reverted to freezer paper and starch prepared edge which I am much more accomplished with more happier results. All I can say is Phillipa I gave it my best shot and it wasn’t good enough to achieve the results I wanted. Moving forward, accepting my disappointment I was able to complete prepping all of the center pieces to Bird by Bird with the exception of a multitude of different sized circles. I did get two of the arcs surrounding the center prepped with a decision made for what color rick rack to use and finished basting them. I am hopeful of machine appliqueing this quilt. Fingers crossed. I plan on a small practice piece.

Today is Memorial Day and I plan on remembering those that have gone on before me and thanking them for the gifts of love, friendship, teachings and letting them know how much they meant to me and how much I miss them.

Hope your Memorial Day is wonderful.

Keep in those stitches

Sissy Malone


Teaching, Classes, Paducah, Applique & Sit Down Quilting

Good Morning everyone. April was a whirlwind month and now we are into May. Time is flying by. Two classes of applique behind me getting a feel of how to improve each class as I teach. One more scheduled for May. Have also been requested by another shop to teach a class for them. Many doors opening for me.

The big news is my Baltimore Album quilt “Missouri Splendor” was awarded 2nd Place at Quiltweek Paducah in the Large Quilt First Entry. I was happy I was home watching the Awards Ceremony when they announced my name. I surely would have embarrassed myself in my excitement.

I had not planned on attending until Thursday but packed up and headed to Paducah the next day. Again in my excitement when packing I managed to pack the 30 amp extension cord and not the actual 30 amp trailer cord. Fortunately for me I did have a regular extension cord and was able to plug in the coffee maker and charge my phone and Ipad. The battery for the camper charged while driving so I had power for the lights in the camper for the next couple of days before the battery was depleted. The campground was able to accommodate my for the extra day. The campground host was wonderful and backed my camper into the site for me. Somehow I have totally forgotten how to back up a camper. I met so many great quilters at the campground. I belong to RV Quilters group on Facebook and they stopped by and introduced themselves and we had wonderful chats. I even gave an impromptu applique class at my picnic table.

The show itself was incredible so many beautiful quilts. Ideas swirling even now a week later. AQS treated me like a rock star from the time I checked in to the time I picked up my quilt. I was even interviewed by Bonnie Browning, Executive Show Director at American Quilter’s Society. That was a thrill itself. I also had the opportunity to meet and chat with Pat Holly who won Bernina of America Best Stationary Machine Workmanship Award this year but also won in 1995 for her and her sister’s collaboration in the making of The Beatles Quilt. She has won several times since 1995. I would like to encourage everyone to enter their work. It’s a wonderful experience.

A highlight for me at the AQS Paducah show was a former co-worker Pattijo (now retired) was there and we got to reconnect and view my quilt.

Also, a friend Vicky and her Mom and Aunt made the trek to come see my quilt hang at the show. It was their first time to attend Quiltweek. What an honor to share with them.

Hancock’s of Paducah did not disappoint. I spent 1.5 hours there looking for a particular color of fabric. None of which would work with the project once I got home. The lovely ladies from the Quilted Chicken, a quilt shop in Benton, Arkansas had their booth in the Dome and that is where I found my magical fabric for Bird by Bird, only it was in a charm pack and they did not have actual yardage. The hunt was on to find it as yardage. Success was found at the Fat Quarter Shop online and I now possess 1 yard for my project.

The one thing I found disappointing was that Spring had come early and the azaleas were no longer in bloom. Seeing the bouquets created by the azaleas has always been a favorite memory of previous visits to Paducah. The Ohio and Mississippi rivers levels were also very low compared to other visits when they were quite high.

Hopefully I will finish my current project this week and get it ready to quilt. I have several projects that need quilted and my skills in that arena are still lacking but improving with each quilt. I have signed up for a class with a Bernina representative/instructor to learn more about my Q16. It is styled for current owners of sit down machines. I believe I will benefit more now that I have owned the Q16 for several years versus had I had the opportunity of this class when I first purchased it.

While at Paducah I have finally found my last fabric for my Bird by Bird quilt project. This is a book and pattern by Phillipa Naylor, Applique Mastery. Her techniques are different from what I have previously executed for my applique. I am challenged and inspired by her work. I have attempted a few of her techniques. I am struggling with one and exceeding with another. Isn’t that what happens when you try something new. I did not perfect my hand applique skills overnight therefore I plan on practice, practice and more practice of machine applique using Phillipa’s techniques. Hopefully I can improve them enough to present in a competition quilt.

I’m not sure when my feet will be back on ground level this experience has been so thrilling as a quilter .

My snowball tree/bush is in full bloom.

Below are some of the beautiful quilts that were at Paducah.

Happy Stitches


AQS Quilt Shows ~ Teaching Applique ~ Current Project

This past week I was fortunate to attend the AQS Branson quilt show where my Missouri Splendor quilt had been accepted. It was such a thrill to see my quilt hang with those rock stars of the quilting world. I was very proud to be included. My friends Christine and Sheila (bless her heart, still recovering from knee surgery) attended with me and we met up with Debbie & Allen Webb a friend and former co-worker. They all wanted to see my quilt hanging there as well. They are my cheerleaders and were there for the journey of the making of it.

The photo below is the view as you walk into the quilt show. What a surprise to see my quilt right away.

My momentos from the quilt show. This is a once in a lifetime experience for me.

My momentos from the quilt show.

Next is AQS Paducah. I have my camping reservations in place. Ready to open the camper and get it ready for the first trip of the season.

After the quilt show in Branson I had the pleasure to teach a beginner needle turn applique class. I had delightful students and enjoyed teaching again. It has been quite some time since I had taught a class. I have another class coming up April 15th and it is full. Yeah. Maybe I can develop a couple more classes. This is the sample I designed for my class

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One of three applique projects under my needle currently is Bird by Bird a design by Phillipa Naylor. Here is a potential mockup but changes and placement of color are being considered. I have to admit that I have struggled with Phillipa’s technique using fusible on her applique so I reverted back to my comfort zone of freezer paper prepared edge. I am however loving the fusible on my perfect circles and will continue to use that technique with the circles. Just look at those perfectly round circles.

Working on improving my free motion skills using my Bernina Q16. This is a class from Angela at Quilting is My Therapy. I love the ability to watch her class videos and practice on my machine right away in the comfort of my home.

I did finish quilting my Jen Kingwell ‘s pattern Golden Days quilt. It is still a challenge for me to decide how to quilt sections but eventually something comes to mind of how it should look. It is also very helpful to have a friend who is a professional long armer that I can consult to give me her perspective on what she would do. Thank you Vicky. I attribute the concentric circle quilting in the border to Vicky’s advice. Great idea. I was challenged at the thought as I had never executed circles such as those but I found I really enjoyed the process. It’s not perfect but it’s experience and practice. I did notice at the quilt show that the quilting used on the award winning quilts was quite dense and the stitch length was about a 12 and I am using an 8 or 9. Maybe I will try with the shorter stitch length. Having a machine with dual stitch regulators I can adjust that easily. I wonder if it will affect the ability to execute flow of the curves. I think I will pull out my practice sandwich and play abit.

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Below is my sister showing off her 2nd quilt. I believe she even impressed herself by being able to increase her piecing skills with half square triangles and quarter square triangles. I am very proud of her progress. She is doing great.

Today under my needle is unpacking from my recent class and quilting a toddler quilt for my friend. Weather is supposed to be sunny and mid 50’s a nice spring day for sure.

Hope all have a blessed day. Enjoy your stitches.

Katherine Sissy Malone

Giving myself permission to ditch a UFO and move on

How liberating to decide that a UFO on my list is not really what I want to spend my time working on and move forward to something else. I have 5 quilts on my list to finish this year. I have concluded that I no longer want to make 2 of them. What a liberating feeling giving myself permission to discard a project I am no longer interested in completing. Bottom line my skillset is at a different level than it was in 1991 and I really don’t want to rip a project that is half finished and begin again when I have more enjoyable projects ahead of me.

This week I finished and delivered my Class Sample, Lollipop Garden, for an upcoming applique class. This is my own design and is a techniques class more than a project class. I am really looking forward to getting back to teaching. It’s been a while and am a bit rusty but hopefully it will all come back to me.

Queen’s Cross is finished and is now in line to be quilted. My to be quilted tops are creating quite the back log which means my focus might need to shift just a bit. Golden Days quilt top is about 1/2 completed quilting. My goal is to quilt a top, then am allowed to work on a quilt project from my list. When that top is finished to quilt the next top hanging to in the to be quilted rack. Maybe I’ll get there.

Ventured to Springfield yesterday and added a couple more pieces of fabric for the Bird by Bird project. I really want to take Phillipa’s advise on her fabric choices for this project, but I also want this quilt to represent me and my fabric style as well, which is the reason I keep buying fabric and discarding fabric because it just isn’t quite right. Yet. I’ll get there.

AQS Quiltweek will be in Branson March 22 – 25th. I am a semifinalist featuring my Missouri Splendor, a Baltimore Album Quilt, pattern by Sue Garman. I am thrilled beyond words to be 1 of 24 semifinalists in a category including Margaret Solomon Gun, Pat Holly, and Janet Stone whose works I have admired for years. Wow seeing my name included amongst theirs is such a moment. I did give myself a little celebration wiggle. My quilt has also been juried into the AQS Paducah quilt show but in a different category. I will be heading to Branson with friends to see my quilt on display. I will also be heading to Paducah to see my quilt on display there also. It is very overwhelming how well my quilt has been accepted. This is my time entry into any American Quilt Society show and to be juried into both Branson and Paducah is such an honor. I’ve won just by being accepted.

Plans for today are to get as much quilted on Golden Days as possible. Hope you day is wonderful and filled with God’s grace and favor. Keep in those stitches.

Sissy Malone.

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

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

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