Welcome to My Studio

I don’t talk a great deal about the quilts I create in my studio.  I do this for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I’m a teacher. I enjoy writing blogs about techniques and quilting tips which help my readers.  If I can show you something to help you make the quilt you want to make or make your quilting life a bit easier, this makes my day.  Copywrite issues are the second reason I don’t show a lot of what I make. Some of what I work on is based on quilt patterns by other designers and some of the creations are solely mine.  In the past 10 or so years, quilt designers have dealt with the horrible issue of their ideas, tools, and patterns getting “ripped off” by quilting ne’erdowells.  We weren’t given the credit we deserved, or someone took a tool, pattern, or technique which duly went through the copywrite process and claimed it as their own.  And social media has exacerbated the situation more than I can tell you.

However, today I’d like to show you what I’ve accomplished so far this year.  And let me start off with this disclaimer: 2022 has been a weird year.   This should explain a lot considering we’re still dealing with the aftermath of 2020.  I have not finished or started anything I planned to this year.  As far as my “lifers” are concerned, A Day in Grandmother’s Flower Garden and Language of Flowers haven’t been touched.  Horn of Plenty for a New Generation is a different story.  I only have two more blocks to applique before I make a firm decision on how to construct and piece the quilt top. 

Usually I have completed more of the projects on my yearly quilting goals list, but not this year.  It’s not that I’m necessarily in a quilting “funk,” but I’ve had a couple of quilting challenges thrown in my path.  Allow me to explain. 

During the Covid lockdowns, many quilt guilds began to have virtual meetings.  The Warwick Valley Quilt Guild was one of them.  One of my good quilting buddies, Eileen, is a member of this New York Guild.  She encouraged me to check her guild out, and I did.  The speakers were fabulous, the women were awesome, so I joined. 

Now let me explain a little bit about how I view quilt guilds – or any other group I join.  Yes, I pay a yearly fee which allows me to enjoy meetings and fellowship with others who share the same passions I do.  However, there is a price to this membership and most of the time, the annual fee does not (by a long shot) cover all the group’s expenses.  This is why it’s important to help out in fund raising opportunities.  And this gets a little tricky because from where I live in Jamestown, North Carolina and to Warwick, New York is 583.2 miles.

So it’s not like I can show up to help with a quilt show or anything…

However, there will be a mini-quilt auction at their quilt show in the fall, so I made two quilts for the sale:

I used this quilt in this blog:

It’s a great example of how versatile half-square triangles are.  This is a sweet, little Christmas wreath which can be used as a table topper or a wall hanging.  It went together quickly and easily, and I had enough HSTs left over to make an “after quilt” (quilt back).  If push comes to shove, the back of the Christmas quilt could be used for St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s a two-fer as far as I’m concerned.

This is the second quilt I made:

This quilt was a ton of fun from beginning to end.  I used some fabric from an old Judy Rothermel quilt kit.  I machine appliqued it and then quilted it on Dolly, my New Horizon M7.  I used the walking foot for the straight-line quilting; however, you may remember one of the reasons I upgraded from Big Red to Dolly was the M7’s quilting ability.  Despite having my new machine for over a year (it was a year in April 2022), I had not had a chance to drop the feed dogs and try her out.

Well, let me tell you I am more than impressed with this machine.  To begin with, dropping the feed dogs is a breeze.  One touch of a button and they’re dropped.  Now, look at this tight, mini-meander and loopy quilting:

I had sooooooo much fun!  The machine handled free-style quilting as good if not better than my long arm. No buyer’s regrets on this machine.  So much fun!  I looked forward to working on this quilt every night. 

Despite the fact these were small quilts, they did eat into my quilting schedule.  Well, those two quilts along with the fact I was asked to design the High Point Quilt Guild’s 2023 Raffle Quilt, I lost some serious “Me” quilting time.  Fortunately, my BFF Janet working on the majority of the applique has helped out tremendously.  I farmed out the block units and have sewn the pieced blocks together.  I’ve simply resigned myself to the fact 2022 was the year of “Quilt Happenstance.”  There’s always 2023.

The one quilt on my list of goals which has received a great deal of love and attention is the Horn of Plenty for a New Generation.  I love this fruity applique quilt, and I’m happy to say I only have two remaining blocks to applique and then I can begin piecing it together.  Here are the blocks I’ve completed since the last time I posted about it.

You’ll notice the blocks are pre-quilted. This works for some quilts, and Horn of Plenty for a New Generation is one of those quilts. However, if you decide to do this, you will need to use a technique such as Apliquick or plan on interfacing or lining your applique pieces so the pre-quilting will not shadow through.
These are cranberries, not cherries, so yes, the block is positioned correctly.
These are logan berries. In the orginal pattern, tiny slits of black fabric were reversed appliqued to give the appearance of clusters of round berry parts –kind of like blackberries. There was no way I would put myself through this since I was using the Apliquick method. I found a couple of pieces of batik fabrics which gave the illustion of berry clusters and let that fabric do the work for me.
These odd-shaped fruits are paw-paws. When I altered the layout of Kathy Delaney’s pattern, I went from needing 18 blocks to 20. This meant I had to design two of my own. Wanting to reflect my Southern heritage, I chose the paw-paw (sometime called the Appalachian banana) and the persimmon. I haven’t started the persimmon block yet.
To show you how blocks can change as you’re designing and making your quilt your own, take a look at part of the original paw-paw block. You can tell from some of the left-over Frixion marks on my block, quilt of few of the leaves were seriously altered. And the original paw-paws were much greener than the final ones. I had this wonderful piece of green ombre fabric and I thought it could take care of everything except the brown stems. Once I laid everything out, it looked too flat. Thus, I changed out the paw-paws to the block above this one. Never be afraid to design “on the fly.” If you’re gut is telling you something doesn’t look right, go with your gut.

Lastly, it’s confession time.  I feel as if the last several blogs I’ve posted haven’t been as good as I normally like them to be.  I contacted Covid last month and have really had a difficult time getting over it.  Despite the fact I am double vaccinated and boosted, I have struggled in my recovery and am still not well.  There is a possibility I may have what’s called “Long Haul Covid” – I’m negative but will feel the symptoms for a long time.   I still cough a great deal, especially at night and the fatigue is devastating.  Everyday about 2 p.m., I’m faced with the choice of making another pot of coffee and powering through the rest of my day or giving up and taking a nap.  The days I can nap work better than the days I caffeinate and keep going, but my schedule does not always allow for a nap.  I see the doctor next week (which in real time is the end of July) to see what he thinks.

My blog will continue because it’s one of the highlights of my life, but there may be times when it’s shorter than normal.  Keep me in your thoughts and prayers!

Love and Stitches,


6 replies on “Welcome to My Studio”

We take the kids and grandkids to hunt paw-paws every year on land in my husband’s family (we are in Kansas). He loves to eat them. He freezes them whole and enjoys them all year. Love the blocks you shared. I so enjoy your emails. Prayers for help from the doctor and for healing.

Oh my goodness Sherri! I didn’t know your covid symptoms were still lingering. I hope the dr. gives you something so you can finally feel better. Thank you for doing those quilts for our mini-auction. I’m sure they’ll bring a good price. You take care of yourself!

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