Wool on Flannel Appliquéd Holiday Basket Panel

Here’s an “on the fly” new tutorial:


About an hour ago I posted a picture of this basket on a great Facebook Group called Wool Applique. I got lots of pm’s and questions about how I made it so I decided to do a quick blog post about what I remember…because this was another one of my experimental projects from about 8 or 9 years ago.

I picked up this basket from Hobby Lobby because it had almost perfect horizontal and vertical lines. I knew that any angle other than 90 degrees would cause me some headaches. Plus, it has these great dividers! A win-win!


This is a wool on flannel appliqued project. It could easily be wool on wool, flannel on wool, wool on cotton…you get the idea.

Ok, so the picture below shows you how and where I joined the completed appliqued panel. Knowing what I know now, I could have and should have adjusted the brown stems to perfectly meet or at least appliqued a motif over their joining.


Once you’ve chosen your basket/box/container you’ll need to decide on your applique intentions, ie: your motifs, your sizes, your colors, etc. Your wool or flannel project should be stitched thru a single layer of batting. I used a white 50/50. This batting also gives the panel some “grip” and helps to hold it to the basket when you’re finished.

With your basket/box/container in hand and a medium weight non stretchy fabric, make a pattern of the needed panel. I used a medium weight natural muslin fabric.

The height of my panel needed to be minimum 5″ finished and 29 1/4″ wide around the top of the basket, 28′ at the bottom. In other words, my basket has a slight flair bottom to top. Make sure your pattern needs to fit perfectly. Remember, don’t stretch your pattern fabric.

Once you’ve recreated your basket panel onto your pattern fabric, add an additional 1/2″ to all sides. You know that the more hand work/applique you do to your panel, the more it has the chance of being “drawn in” in both height and width.


The sawtooth borders: they go on last, so don’t worry about them now.

Do all your handwork on your panel and when finished, lay it out on your basket. You can use long straight pins to hold it by sending them thru the panel and the spaces in the basket weave. You’re just interested in knowing how much of an overlap you’ll have at the center back at this point.

Determine where your center back seam should be located. Using white chalkboard chalk or something similar, mark and sew your back seam.

Very carefully easy your joined panel, from the bottom onto your basket body. Carefully!

You can either tuck under or carefully trim away any flannel and batting overhand, top and bottom at this point. Remember, both these edges will be covered with the sawtooth strip you’ll make next.

If you’re happy with the fit, gently pat it into place. Here’s where that 50/50 batting helps tremendously!


The sawtooth edge does double duty: it covers your raw edge of the basket panel and it gives a nice finished look to your project. Cut 2 strips of black wool/flannel/etc. 1″ larger than your BASKET TOP measurement. Using white chalk again, I marked every 1/2″ and then using some very sharp scissors, I cut my sawtooth edge.


Once my sawtooth borders were cut, using Roxanne’s Glue Baste, I glued the top and bottom borders in place, cutting away any excess. If you’re worried about the glue baste holding at the sawtooth joining edge, take a stitch or two in a matching thread.


Let me know if you have questions, and until then: Happy Stitching,


IMG_4386 (Edited)


The Downton Abbey Garden Party quilt.

The Downton Abbey Garden Party quilt, named for the fabric line and the quilt pattern by Laura Heine. You’ve seen the pattern, the one made of bright colors in a 20+ inch quilt block? I bought this pattern about a year ago, started choosing bright color fabrics and set it aside when a few other projects took precedent.

The pattern:

Fast forward to June of this year. I’m not terribly fond of purple fabrics. Sometimes for a break in vintage quilting I actually piece a quilt top. Often times I try and use a fabric color I don’t like just to understand the color and how it reacts with others. That’s what happened here. The Downton Abbey fabrics are all in purple colors-colors that kind of gave me hives…

So what’s up with the laundry hanging in my doorway? I decided to do all the quilt block applique in white eyelet and where best to find a good variety of white eyelet than the many thrift/second hand stores in and round northwest Houston.

I bought 9 different eyelets in either clothing and/or pillow shams and bed skirts. As soon as I got home, everything went straight into the washing machine with a very generous amount of Clorox.


Once washed, sanatized and dried, I spent some time with my scissors and seam ripper taking everything apart.

Now’s a good time to tell you about that 20″ block of Laura’s: I took the pattern it FedEx/Kinkos and using one of their “big machines” reduced the 20″ to a 6″ block:


But how did I get all the pattern pieces drawn on the Heat ‘n Bond Lite? I used blue painters tape to attach a piece of the fusible onto card stock. I then laid out all the reduced pattern pieces on my printer/scanner. I copied the pattern pieces directly onto the Heat ‘n Bond Lite by using my ink/jet printer.  Key word in that last sentence: ink/jet! This technique will not work no how no way with a laser printer!!! Can’t stress that enough! Laser printers work with high heat!


This was a HUGE time saver! Using a medium/high temp on my iron, I pressed all the Heat ‘n Bond Lite printed sheets to pre-cut pieces of bleached muslin. Why bleached muslin and not directly onto the eyelet? I needed a visual barrier between the eyelet and the purple fabrics. Without the muslin, the intense purple fabrics shadowed behind the eyelet.


So… how to hold the eyelet onto the bleached muslin without adding another layer of fusible? Behold the adhesive spray! I googled this brand of spray and it is easily available at several online retailers. Why did I choose this particular one? Because it can easily be stitched thru with my domestic sewing machine with little to no sticky buildup on my needle.


But this spray should only be used with good ventilation! This deep cardboard provided just the right setting for an outdoors successful spray operation. Before I began, I did a short/quick shot of spray on the inside bottom of the box. This shot of spray then allowed me to “stick” my fabric piece to the box and thus keeping the piece positioned to receive the more thorough and uniform blast of adhesive. Don’t leave out this step, it’s important!


Once the muslin side has been sprayed lightly with the adhesive, I carefully played the eyelet fabric on the sticky/tacky side and gently patted the fabric into place.

At this point I’m ready to cut out all the applique pieces.

You’ll note that I don’t have to cut out each flower petal separately, I can leave them attached at the very bottom. This helps tremendously when it’s time to lay them out on the purple fabric.

Peel away the Heat ‘n Bond Lite paper backing and position the flowers and butterfly on the fabric. Once I was happy with the placement I ironed/pressed the eyelet applique motifs into permanent position and began to raw edge machine applique using Glide white thread in my needle. I’m using my Bernina 1630 and my applique stitch is set at  default.

If you look closely you can see that the design/patterns of the eyelet fabric flow nicely when the petals are cut as one unit rather than separately.


Why am I using a design board with a chartruse fabric? Well, it was handy. Don’t worry, this green will not make its way into the final project.

So what would I use for sashings? I auditioned this white trim below. I liked the look but found I didn’t have nearly enough.

With all my second hand eyelet garments, I found I had plenty of one particular kind and that solved my problem. And yes, it order to have some consistency, I backed all the sashing eyelet pieces with bleached muslin.

You might remember from a past blog or two that I’m a huge fan of Elmer’s White School Glue. Just a tiny dab and a hit with a hot iron works wonders when matching seams is very important! The nice thing about this particular Elmer’s is that is washes out completely. Just remember to buy the white School Glue if you want to give it a try.

You can’t go wrong by paying close attention to how you press your seams. Consistency is key!

I’m strip piecing my sashings and cornerstones:

And sewing my rows together:

But… some of the purple fabric is very ravelly! And from experience I know that stray dark color threads can show through quilt tops! Again, Elmer’s to the rescue.

I draw a fine line along the problematic fabric and then with my index finger, smear the glue along the cut fabric edge.

To dry the smeared glue I lay my teflon pressing sheet on top of the fabric edge and quickly press until dry.

Some close up shots of the finished quilt top:

The back:

And finally the front! This quilt top measures 37×44″. The sashings are 1″ finished and the borders will measure 4″ when complete.

All of the block background fabrics are Downton Abbey. The cornerstone and border fabric is something found at Hobby Lobby.


I’m looking forward to the time when I can load this on my longarm and get it quilted. Of course I’m sure it will be full of quilted feathers 🙂

As a wrap up, you’ll find:

A Laura Heine quilt pattern, Andover Fabric, the Downton Abbey line, second hand eyelet garments and bedding, Hobby Lobby fabric, Heat ‘n Bond Lite and Glide thread in this project!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post! Let me know if you have questions and of course, Happy quilting!


And… I just found out last evening that this quilt took a ribbon at the MQX Springfield! I’ll find out where it placed later this evening!!

IMG_4386 (Edited)

The Making of the Blue and White Mostly Vintage Linens Quilt Part 4 of 4!


The embellishments! The add-ons! The bling! What ever you want to call them, it’s time to talk about the things I added to the finished quilt. Note: from this time onward, all stitching/securing/etc. is done by hand with a needle and thread.

I could almost rename this project to The Butterfly Quilt, you’ll see why as you keep reading.

Let’s start with the bottom right corner where I quilted undulating feathers in the long vertical white rectangle. I had this beautiful piece of ivory crochet to hand stitch on top. This method allows the quilt to look well quilted from the back without me quilting through the crocheted piece. After it was secured in place I was able to make a blue satin bow with long streamers to strategically place both on top and through the crochet openings as I worked my way down the block. Once the ribbon was placed and pinned, using a very fine beading needle and Nymo thread, I attached the white Ceylon beads to the ribbon being very careful to take tiny stitches so as not to show on the back of the quilt. After the beading, I added the butterfly applique piece

RhondaDort.com 2018

RhondaDort.com 2018

Below you’ll see I’m adding both seed pearls and size 15 seed beads to the centers of the flowers. The trim piece is very flimsy and difficult to handle so as an experiment I secured it on top of a single layer of machine embroidery wash away stabilizer before the embellishing began. Yes it worked, but would I do it again? Not worth the trouble, time and effort.

RhondaDort.com 2018RhondaDort.com 2018

I think this crocheted piece below is fantastic, made even more so by dressing it up a bit with ivory satin ribbon and pearls.

RhondaDort.com 2018

RhondaDort.com 2018

Below you’ll see I’m working on a very simple blue variegated crocheted circle. You’ve all seen the beautiful vintage crocheted pin cushions with the ribbon work around the outside? Well I decided to give it a try:

RhondaDort.com 2018

In order not to accidentally pull the ribbon taut, I had to pin each “bump” as I worked my way around the circle.

RhondaDort.com 2018

RhondaDort.com 2018

To give the piece a more vintage look, I pressed the ribbon flat after I secured the ends.

RhondaDort.com 2018


I found a tiny 1/8″ wide ivory ribbon that I used to weave in and out of the open crocheted spaces in the medallion above.

And then it was off to the races with my wonderful embroidery machine aka a Janome 11000! Here I’m not even half way through stitching out a white free-standing Battenberg lace butterfly on wash away stabilizer.

RhondaDort.com 2018

And 2 are finished:

RhondaDort.com 2018

RhondaDort.com 2018


RhondaDort.com 2018

So I experimented again, this time by stitching out a free-standing Battenberg lace heart onto clear water soluble wash away stabilizer. Success!

RhondaDort.com 2018

And then the failure…the beautiful free-standing ivory lace 6″ heart below… Not free standing lace. Imagine the trauma of watching it all fall apart when I immersed it in water. All 1.5 hours of machine embroidery stitching.

RhondaDort.com 2018

Another butterfly! This time a vintage hand crocheted blue and white variegated butterfly. There are 2 of these on the quilt.

RhondaDort.com 2018

Here’s another new butterfly, this one new, paired with a vintage blue and white variegated crocheted flower. Do you know crochet generally has a front and a back side? This little blue flower has more color on the wrong side so that’s how I chose to stitch it on the quilt.


More ribbon work, this time in white satin with the same white seed beads and a new heart applique.

RhondaDort.com 2018

This new white butterfly applique does double duty: 1. it looks pretty, 2. it’s covering a torn part of the blue embroidery floss applique or button-hole stitched edge on the dresser scarf. In the early blog post 1 of 4 of this series you can easily see the problem area.

RhondaDort.com 2018

Again, double bling below. The butterfly is one I machine embroidery stitched (again, free-standing lace) and the small ribbon rose…well, this is something totally different: I love lilies, especially Star Gazer Lilies.

RhondaDort.com 2018

This has absolutely nothing to do with this quilt except when one is watering the lilies and unbeknownst to them they get a tiny fleck of the lily pollen on their fingernail and then touch their white quilt. Nothing known to man removes lily pollen. This little white ribbon rose hides this disaster. But if you think this is big, read on…

RhondaDort.com 2018

Look down in the border and find the white lace trim another white ribbon rose, yep, another disaster covered with an embellishment. What happened this time? Well it gets even crazier! I was sitting on my saddle stool up to my Big Board hand stitching a few of the embellished pieces to the quilt.

RhondaDort.com 2018

Imagine my horror when I realized that this border area touched the hydraulic lift part of the stool. Black hydraulic gunk on my white quilt! I made the next mistake of gently blotting with a tissue. That just drove the gunk deeper into the fabric. I cut my losses and immediately shifted my sewing activities elsewhere and stitched on the trim piece to cover the black mess.

RhondaDort.com 2018

There are 2 Grandmother’s Flower Garden vintage blocks in the quilt and I felt the solid blue fabric was a bit too heavy. By adding new white applique pieces to each I was successful in “bringing down the color” to my liking.

RhondaDort.com 2018

RhondaDort.com 2018

Here’s the final bit of embellishing:

RhondaDort.com 2018

Just the addition of some tiny blue, white and green seed beads made this piece fit the quilt. The cluster of vintage crocheted flowers with added pearl and seed bead centers finished this block nicely.

RhondaDort.com 2018

This is it! The end of the final tutorial on how you can, if you break it down, go full speed ahead into making your own “Mostly Vintage Linens Quilt” no matter your color scheme.

RhondaDort.com 2018

If you have a question, either email me or pose it in the comments section, I’ll try and respond quickly. If you’re already working on your own quilt or if you plan to start one soon, I’d love to see pictures!

You may realize the 1 year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey is fast approaching. I’m not sure how I feel about it…its been a horrible year, it’s been an awesome year. I read through my blog post following the storm and I find myself amazed at the outpouring of love from everyone. I cringe when there’s a heavy extended down pour of rain but I know it will pass in God’s perfect timing.

Thanks for reading and blessing to everyone!

Happy quilting,


RhondaDort.com 2018

The Making of the Blue and White Mostly Vintage Linens Quilt, Part 3 of 4.

What’s not to love about sewing with a big cat on your lap… He was bugging me because he thought it was “kitty crack time”.



This is another blog post loaded with pictures and it’s time to talk about the outside border. The scallops are custom sized to fit the space. Remember way back in the blog post tutorial of May 26, 2017 about how easy they are to create? I followed each step except I used the raw edge applique technique this time. Why? Because one of the swag fabrics had some girth to it and it would have been quite a bump with the raw edge folded under. The swag fabrics are new, purchased off the bolt at JoAnn Fabrics in their garment fabrics section.


The circles at the top of each swag are cut from the damaged old Damask tablecloth you may remember from My Pink and Green Vintage Linens Quilt.


Here are the quilting particulars of this project:

Before quilting it measured 72 x 88″, after quilting, 70 x 86. The back fabric is Moda double wide Classic 9952/11, the color is white. I used a single layer of Hobbs Tuscany Poly batting, Wonderfil Specialty Threads 100 weight Invisafil color 104 in the needle and Gutermann Skala color white in the bobbin. The quilting time was 56 hours. I cut the binding 2″ on the straight of grain, width of fabric. I had this piece appraised yesterday for replacement value, $2500.00.

Note: I usually always double batt my quilts but because the blocks were created on foundations of muslin, I chose not to add to the bulk/weight of the finished quilt. I’m very happy with the Tuscany Poly and the sense of depth and character achieved with the heavy quilting.


I always, always, always Stitch in the Ditch (SID) my quilts. I do the entire project before any custom quilting takes place. For starters it secures/stabilizes the quilt sandwich, it solves the problem of potential quilt top shift during the quilting process and it serves to highlight each block and it reduces the involved rollers to just 2. This 2 roller thing is a big deal when it comes to moving a quilt back and forth while quilting.


So with the SID work behind me I’m ready to begin the free motion quilting in the body of the quilt. I mark registration lines to give me either boundaries or guidance as to how I want a block quilted. I mark as I go rather than mark every block and then begin quilting. Why don’t I mark the whole quilt? Sometimes I have an idea, quilt it out and make an immediate decision never to do that again.


Here’s a technique to “in a fashion” replicate a piece via quilting. I knew I did not want to do heavy quilting over this rectangle of circles so I laid it on the quilt top sandwich, pressed it gently with a steam iron which in turn transferred the general design shape to the surface beneath. Can you just make out the impressions left on the quilt top? Those impressions will guide how and where This block gets quilted. I used an acrylic circle template from Teryl Loy to quilt the uniform round shapes first. Side note: it you haven’t used any of her awesome templates, take a look at her website, she has great well thought out longarm quilting products.


Once the circles were quilted, I drew both horizontal and vertical blue registration lines as boundaries for my feather circles.


You can see that I needed to make some slight length adjustments to the feathering along each of the sides. At this point I knew I wanted to put a few embellishments on this piece of trim so I set it aside. Even if I didn’t want to embellish later, I would have not attached it to the quilt right now. It’s too easy to catch and tear things like this with the hopping foot of the longarm, ask me how I know… once the quilting is finished and the binding is on I will stitch this piece down by hand using that wonderful Wonderfil thread.


Here’s another example of how I mark blocks for quilting. I hardly ever stitch the stem lines on feathering so you’ll see them just drawn on the block below. But also notice the dotted lines. This is my notation of where I plan to stop the feather plumes. By using a dotted line  I usually don’t get confused about what is a stem line and what it a stop line. Usually…


Can you see below where I’ve stopped the “reach” of the feather at the dotted line: If you look closely you can also see where I messed up and used the dotted line as a stem designator… would you have noticed it I hadn’t pointed it out? Use this as a reminder to not fret the small stuff.


This next picture demonstrates how sometimes I don’t let my blocks determine where the continuous quilting starts and stops. The left most block is made up of 2 scraps sewn together and the right block is a vintage Grandmother’s Flower Garden block machine appliqued to a bleached muslin background. My quilting started in the bottom right, meandered left, crossing the block seam line, and then up the left side and back to the right.


Below you’ll find one of my favorite blocks. I love french (and Colonial) knots and this dresser scarf had plenty of white french knots. I let the scarf and the embroidery determine my quilting.


Like I said, one of my favorites:


So when do I want to quilt right on top of a piece of vintage crochet? There are three “stars” below. See the top one? It’s not been quilted. The bottom two now have depth and character. The quilting makes the crocheted design pop in this instance.


This butterfly and flower dresser scarf is also a favorite. For embroidery, I pretend it is applique and I stitch in the ditch around each motif. Once that work was finished the open white space needed to be filled so I chose to quilt replicas of the flowers and leaves and then you’ll see I quilted tiny little leaves on vines among the blue lines in the bottom right.


And the Basket Block… Visually this is quite a heavy block compared to the others in the quilt. I auditioned it throughout the making of the quilt top and it finally found it’s home at the bottom right. The bullion knots are hefty. Hefty enough I knew quilting on or through them would be a disaster. It look quite a bit more time and effort to give the appearance that the feather wreath is continuous, but it’s not. I had to do many stop and starts in order to not quilt atop the bullions and the basket.


Here’s a closeup showing I quilted directly over the blue embroidered line but around the bullion flowers. This is a great example of how the Invisafil thread takes on the color of what’s beneath it.


When you’re searching for tools to determine registration lines, don’t overlook your 1/4″ acrylic quilting templates. I’m using this one to only draw a curved line. It’s perfect!


While I forgot to take a pictures, I used a long Curved Cross-hatch acrylic quilting template to draw the curved lines below the swag. Here’s another picture of a goof. Can you pick it out? I had a lot of in-picking to do when I had to remove the left side feathers under the swag. I followed the wrong blue line the first time I quilted them. The next picture shows them quilted properly.



And finally, on my borders outer edge I did 1/4″ parallel lines:


I’ve included lots of pictures of the quilting of the border, I love how it turned out.


The next blog post about this quilt will be the final tutorial in this series. It will detail all the add ons and embellishing that happened to finish this piece.

***What would my blog be without a house update! The repairs to the roof were finally accomplished! We have a steel shingle roof that has the appearance of slate. It has a life time warranty. A warranty that doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t find anyone to make some repairs. But I digress… it’s fixed!

Remember way back when I told you it takes 8-12 weeks to get 2 lazy boy recliners? Well lo and behold, they are scheduled for delivery this Thursday! We will bid a fond farewell to the recliner lawn chairs, they served us well.

In other quilty news, my piece titled: My Vintage Linens Quilt was accepted into the juried Quilts: A World of Beauty for the Fall 2018 Houston Quilt Festival. img_0197.jpg

And I entered this piece into the MQX Midwest Show, hope it is accepted, I should know in the next week or two.


Right now my plans for Fall Festival 2018: I will be doing demo’s in a Vintage Linens Vendor Booth. More info to come as the details are ironed out, but needless to say I’m excited for the opportunity!

Whew, enough of this post! It’s gone on forever! So until next time, be blessed and happy quilting!


IMG_4386 (Edited)



The Making of the Blue and White Mostly Vintage Linens Quilt, Part 2 of 4.

Part 2 of 4 is all about the right side of the quilt! Here’s the finished quilt with most of the new pieces marked with the red stars. In my last blog post we covered the left side of the quilt, top to bottom. Today we’re going to do the same with the other side. Are you ready?

red star new things(Edited)


Section 5

This is Section 5, the upper right side. This is also one of the few sections made up entirely of vintage pieces. Starting with the upper left side, we have a small (4×9″) portion of a table covering, a piece of pale ivory lace (4×9″) and half, (10×18″) of a beautiful blue and white dresser scarf below. See the piece to the left of the vintage Grandmother’s Flower Garden block? One of the blocks in Section 4 had a bit of embroidered areas left after I cut it to size. I merely joined those 2 left over pieces to create an entirely new block. It’s not obvious is it? Keep this in mind before you discard anything, sometimes bits can easily be joined to create something new! The rectangle piece beneath, I don’t know… I suppose it could be part of an antimacassars set? A small dresser doily? Whatever its original purpose, I think it works very well in my quilt.

Section 6

This is Section 6. The bluebird doily is vintage as is the rectangle block to its right where I took 2 pieces of white-ish old lace, laid them curved sides together and machine stitched them to the bleached muslin foundation. The next 2 pieces, top and bottom are new. The top piece is from my embroidery machine, I added the lace around the 4 sides. Beneath this piece is new straight off the bolt beautiful fabric from the now permanently closed Hancock Fabrics. I wove the blue ribbon in the cut-outs of the fabric. The rightmost piece is again, a beautiful vintage doily.

Section 7

Welcome to Section 7. We only have 2 more sections to go after this one before the quilt top is completed. The top left long-long-long rectangle block measures 6×22! I really had to do some diagram adjusting to make this piece fit. On its right is a 4×6″ piece of vintage lace and finally a 4×12″ block of the most beautiful lace/trim/adornment ever! It is not symmetrical. You’ll see the top edge is not straight light the bottom edge. This is a piece I could have never ever cut so I’m glad I could use it in its entirely. (Note: this piece was moved over to the left side of the quilt during the quilting process.) Bottom row left has a 6×10″ piece of what may have been a curtain/window treatment and the doily in blue and green is an end of a dresser scarf. Next you’ll find a 2×10″ piece of hand crocheted trim and then a new hexagon shape from my embroidery machine. Beneath the hexagon is a plain bleached muslin rectangle and then a 4×4″ vintage lace panel piece.

Section 8

Hello Section 8! Are you confident yet in knowing you can take vintage pieces and easily mix them with new? Starting at the top left we have a vintage beautiful blue pillow case, part of the hand crocheted piece we used in a section on the left side of the quilt, a new white on white embroidery from my machine and then an equally beautiful piece of blue embroidery. Measuring 10×14″ this may have been a tray cloth? On the far left we’ve got another piece of that table covering and a darling childs pillow case that measures 4×16″ finishes this section.

Section 9

Are you still with me? This is the final part, Section 9! Beginning on the left, a 8×12″ new-ish Battenburg guest towel with a 4×8″ new machine embroidery ivory piece below. The next area has 2 different vintage laces, the top measuring 4×6″, the bottom at 4×10″. Moving to the right, the top 4×12″ rectangle is 2 pieces of vintage lace placed with scalloped edges touching and stitched in place on the foundation. The Basket… I auditioned this basket in almost every section as I created them. I finally realized that it was so “visually heavy” it had to go on the bottom edge. It balances nicely in this position. To its right is a 6×16″ beautiful piece of vintage crochet.

Right side of the quilt top

Whew! We’ve covered each of the 9 sections in great detail. Success (for me) came from the “Divide and Conquer” method. Had I set out to create this quilt without a diagram I would have been at a loss as to where to start. Don’t give yourself a monumental task, break it down into managable goals, or in my case, 9 managable goals. Again, many thanks to Andrea for creating a very usable/adaptable diagram that is well laid out and easy to use! You can keep scrolling down to my post of 7/1 to see Andrea’s diagram if you’ve forgotten what it looks like.


Here’s the quilt top with all the sections laid together on the design wall. We’ve come a long way since the previous post!

Are you planning to create a quilt using this 4 part tutorial? Yes? Well please send pictures so we can all see what you’re doing. With your permission I’ll post your pics and we can all be inspired! Do you have questions? Bring them on, if you’re wondering about something, chances are so are others.

Next post, part 3 of 4, will be all about adding the borders and quilting! There’s nothing I love more than the quilting part! I took 10,000 pictures so get ready!

Lisa, have you started your quilt???

Here’s my thought for the day: “Any day spent in the sewing room is a good day!” Today I spent the biggest part of the day in mine!

*** Huge house update! Sunday (July 15) the roofers finished with the Hurricane Harvey repairs! Can I tell you that’s 321 days ago!!! Now that the roof’s repaired, the contractor can come back and fix the dining room wall. Once the wall is spackled, sanded and painted I can begin putting the dining room together! Can I also tell you I ordered furniture last Wednesday for the family room. I’m told to expect it to arrive in about 8 weeks. This means that we will be past the 1 year Hurricane Harvey anniversary! Who would have ever thought it would take this long, but God is good and so are we!


Oh, and I survived the Juvenile Delinquents, aka the chickens…

Happy quilting and blessings to all,






The Making of the Blue and White Mostly Vintage Linens Quilt, Part 1 of 4.


I say “mostly” because this was an exercise in combining both new and old pieces into a single quilt. When I speak to groups one of the most common comments I hear is something like: But I don’t have all those beautiful old things and don’t know where to find them. Here’s proof you don’t need a huge stash of vintage linens to create a beautiful quilt.

In the picture below, with a red star, I’ve identified almost every new piece in this project:

red star new things(Edited)

If my counting skills are sharp, there are at least 25 new items in this quilt. But how did I start this project? If you’ve read any of my past blog posts you might have seen the tutorial on the making of the Pink and Green Vintage Linens quilt. I used a wonderful quilt block layout by Andrea of http://www.mouseinmypocket.com. She has generously given me (us) permission to use her layout. If you’re going to go forward with her design, it would be great to drop her a line or two of thanks!

Below is the layout from Andrea’s web site.

Scan 1

What are the numbers in each unit? They are the finished size of each block. So right away your “quilty antenna” should be going crazy. Did you catch that: Finished Size!!! That means each and every single time you reference one of the numbers, you MUST add 1/2″ to the numbers!!! For example: look at all the 4’s. You know that really means 4 1/2 x 4 1/2″ right? If you forget your seam allowances you’re in big trouble! What about the units that are not easy squares like all the 4’s? Look at the 2×10 units. They are actually 2 1/2 x 10 1/2″ blocks. Get yourself into the frame of mind that you double, maybe even triple check before you cut! Think: SEAM ALLOWANCES!

Here’s my adaptation:

Scan 2

So what’s happened with my adaptation? I’ve marked off the diagram into sections, 1-9 (see the numbers circled in red),  I’ve labeled where I’m thinking many of my linens, etc. will be used,  I’ve changed up the block layout within each segment to meet my needs and I’ve totally revamped segment #4.

While you’re at it, using pencil, write your ideas for what pieces to use where. Then, take a piece of paper, write the Section number and block size down and straight pin it to the piece you’re going to use. This way you won’t get confused and try and use the same piece two or three times… like that would EVER happen to anyone…

It’s all about divide and conquer! And why did I totally revamp section #4? A number of reasons: I had a large piece I wanted to use and I wanted to avoid all the Set-In seams. What’s a Set-In seam? Here’s a pretty good link: How to sew a set-in seam

But, let’s start with section #1 and the design wall.

Section #1

From the top left: guest (hand) towel, pillowcase, old dresser scarf,  new machine embroidered cross stitch design framed (Doily also new, cut into 4 quarters) ivory hand crocheted doily, hand crocheted white piece, blue cross stitch dresser scarf, vintage ivory oval doily and finally, new machine embroidered heart with old trim sewn along the bottom edge. See the top right edge of the large blue cross stitch? See where the edge is torn. I don’t care because later a new white butterfly will cover this problem area. Don’t fret the problem areas. Think of them as opportunities for adornments/distractors/etc.

If you’re comfortable with your block placement, sew them together and pat yourself on the back!

What about Section #2?

IMG_0121 (Edited)
Sections 1 & 2

With these close up pictures, I’m seeing a few new things I did not get marked with a red star. Starting at the top left of Section #2, the white embroidered piece is straight from my embroidery machine, as is the little ivory piece to its right. The middle piece is from a table runner and Home Sweet Home; well, straight from the Goodwill. When I bought it for $2.50 it was hot glued into a wooden round embroidery hoop. Once released from captivity, I trimmed away all the glue, used a circle template to cut it to perfect shape and added a bit of beautiful ivory hand crocheted trim around the edge. The bottom right piece is a guest hand towel.

This is a good time for a break to talk about the Vintage Linens Quilt Police: they exist only in your imagination. Don’t be hampered by thinking there are Vintage Linen rules. Do I have a few personal rules? Yes. I won’t cut up a fabulously beautiful “perfect in every way” piece, I generally abhor fusibles with vintage pieces and… I can’t think of anything else. For you: the pieces are yours. You can do with them as you please. You don’t need permission from anyone else because the pieces are not theirs. Ok, enough said.

Section #3

From left to right: new off white lace, rectangle section of a small damaged tablecloth, a vintage Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt block, a filler block of bleached muslin, new Morning Glory machine embroidery using variegated blue/white embroidery thread (I embroidered this onto a vintage pillowcase that already had a small line of variegated blue/white handwork), another piece a vintage panel lace and finally, a small filler lace at the bottom. For the Flower Garden quilt block, I  machine appliqued it to a square of bleached muslin fabric before I began to set the section blocks together.

Are you with me so far? See how breaking down the quilt top into 9 Sections makes the task seem so much more manageable? If you concentrate on each section at a time you don’t feel so overwhelmed at creating an entire quilt top from bits and pieces. If you scroll way back to the top you can also see from the diagrams that sections 1-4 are sewn together to form the left side of the quilt and sections 5-9 make up the right side. Easy-peasy!


Section #4

We’re now at the bottom section of the left side! Section 4 begins with the bottom edge of an ivory guest hand towel, a vintage Aida (I think…) piece of trim, a new blue and green machine embroidered heart with new white lace trim added, a vintage dresser scarf, the edge of an all white dresser scarf, a piece of beautiful light ivory trim and finally, a blue flowered small dresser scarf/doily.



Say this with gusto: “Taaa-Daaaa!” The left side of the Blue and White Vintage Linens Quilt is complete!

Now that you’ve read thus far, do you have some ideas for your project? You can see that not every block has to be “The Star of the Show”. You need a mix for the eye to travel around your quilt. You need some blocks that pop and others what recede and “read” as plain. In other words, your eye need somewhere to rest as it travels the quilt top. What you do need to keep in mind is visual balance and that’s where your smart phone or digital camera comes in handy. It’s easy to snap a picture and look at it to see if your arrangement is visually heavy and/or light in certain areas. If you really want to get picky, revise your photo to black and white for ready reference to balance.

Do you have an embroidery machine, does your sewing machine have an embroidery module? Does a really good friend have either one? Can you see how the sky’s the limit when you take into consideration the adding of new pieces with vintage pieces to create a beautiful quilt? I hope I’ve opened your eyes to the countless ways to take what you have in your stash and add to it! Now here’s the upright and mature part, just make sure you don’t try to pass off your mix of old and new as totally vintage, because honestly, not too many people would be able to tell the difference!

Part 2 of 4 will come in a few days. I’m taking care of the daughter and son-in-law homestead once again, this time it’s only the chickens and watering the garden. The 5 chickens are juvenile delinquents. They don’t like me, they don’t mind and are in general, a nuisance, but right now they are my grandchickens and I will try and love them. 🙂


***House update: the construction repairs are complete! Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow! It has been 10 months and 3 days since Hurricane Harvey and the flood waters came to visit. It seem like yesterday, it seems like years! Here’s another jaw dropper: when ordering from LazyBoy, it takes 2-3 months for chairs to arrive. Seriously, what do they do, harvest the polyester and weave the cloth!

So what do you do if you really what to watch television and don’t want to sit on the floor? You ask your awesome son-in-law or order 2 reclining lawn chairs!


They are amazingly comfortable, and will probably be even more so when I venture out to the store to buy a couple of chaise lounge pads!

Oh my goodness, I almost forgot!!! I have a new BFFWALVL! That stands for Best Friends Forever Who Also Loves Vintage Linens! This is Lisa and she works at Quilter’s Crossing in Tomball, TX. A wonderful fabulous quilt shop!!!!! Stop in and tell her you saw her here in this blog post! And then spend several hundred dollars while you’re there!!!  🙂


Until next time, blessings to each of you and of course: Happy Quilting!


IMG_4386 (Edited)



Machine Quilters Showcase New England!


The spring 2018 Machine Quilters Showcase New England, Manchester, NH was awesome! I am so humbled that 3 of my quilts were juried into competition and amazed that my Vintage Handkerchiefs took a 3rd Place ribbon in the New Traditions in Textiles category!

New Traditions in Textiles  Sponsored by ABM / Innova
3rd Place           Vintage Handkerchiefs by Rhonda Dort
2nd Place          Solitaire by Bethanne Nemesh
1st Place           Mesa Verde Cliff Palace by Kathy Adams and Joanne Baeth





Wondering how the entries were judged? Here’s the judging sheet for Vintage Handkerchiefs:


The other 2 entries and their judging sheets were:




and My Pansy Doily Quilt:



Why am I showing you the quilts and their judging sheets? I want you to know what judges are looking for in a quilt show dedicated to the art of machine quilting. Now that you know there’s no mystery, why don’t you consider entering 1 or 2 of your quilts into the next show? Sure it’s scary the first time you enter, but once that’s behind you, the sky’s the limit!

I flew into Boston on Wednesday. My sweet travel agent/chauffeur/quilt show companion and all around awesome friend Kathryn (accompanied by my new friend Jill) picked me up at Logan and it was “off to the races!” Our first stop was at the historical Wayside Inn where we had a fantastic lunch:


We had to said goodbye to Jill after lunch as we were headed to Manchester, NH to the MQX, needing to be at the show venue by 6 pm for the Awards Ceremony.

Thursday (the entire day!) was spent at the show and can I just say the true masters of machine quilting were represented in the amazing quilts. I was so inspired by every piece hanging!

Congratulations to Janet-Lee and Mary, they hosted an awesome show! I know countless hours and many sleepless nights went into the production, their 22nd (or was it 23rd?) show!

Friday found Kathryn and I headed for Center Harbor, NH to shop at Keepsake Quilting and my-oh-my did they have the fabric!


We stopped for a fantastic lunch at the Lakeside Deli & Grill in Meredith on Lake Winnipesaukee.


Leaving Meredith, we set out for Henniker, NH to the Quilted Threads quilt shop. What a beautiful and well stocked quilt shop! 3 levels of shopping, classrooms and fabulous Bernina machines of all kinds.

Screenshot 2018-04-16 09.19.37

Our last quilt stop of the day was to The Quilted Crow in Bolton, MA. This proved to be a devastating shop-to my wallet… they had the most wonderful selection of fabrics, many of which came back to Houston with me.

Our final stop on Friday was a lovely dinner at Arturo’s Ristorante, Westborough, MA where “Mr. Kathryn” joined us. I was really wanting to speak out loud about my dislike of the Patriots but Mr. Kathryn told me I could easily be booted out the front door by the crowd around us. I pretty much kept my mouth shut… 🙂  If I’d known the Philly Eagles fight song I might have hummed it throughout the meal… just saying…

Saturday we spent the day running here and there, a book store so I’d have something to read on the plane that evening, a fantastic fabric store, lunch at Legal Seafood, a quick tour of part of the route for the Monday Boston Marathon and then it was off to pick up Mr. Kathryn who drove us to the airport for a 5:04 flight that actually left at 6:24 and arrived in Houston way way way behind schedule 😦

It was a wonderful whirlwind trip! Kathryn drove the entire time as I was tanked up on cold meds., she planned the entire trip and I thank her so very much for everything! We are already plotting and scheming out next adventure.

Oh, and a big thank you to Sandra Soni (on the right) as she found me Wednesday evening and here’s our picture together on Thursday afternoon! She’s a fellow FB QuiltingVintage member! Such a super sweet new quilting friend!!


The next MQX is in Springfield, IL, Sept. 27-30, 2018. You’ll want to attend!

Blessings to all and Happy Quilting!


***Of course, what would my blog be if I didn’t give a house update! We are 7.5 months post-flood and while I was away the Master Bedroom closets were finished! Remember the 6 windows that were delivered and only 2 were correct? The remaining 4 are scheduled to arrive Tuesday. The kitchen is scheduled to undergo the necessary repairs and painting maybe next week. We may very well be finished with the house by June. I will be thrilled!