Lesson Learned


When the weather was so glorious here in Michigan last week..............

I seized the moment and went to the cottage to enjoy the sunshine. I only planned to stay a couple of days.

I really wanted to get a cuddle quilt together for my granddaughter who is due April 2nd.

I had my best helpers with me and all was well until........
this happened!!!
If you look closely at my driveway you can see how steep it is. It's gravel, not plowed and too long to think about shoveling so I looked at the weather forecast and decided I'd wait things out for the upcoming melt.
The staff kept watch over the snow while I got water from the lake so I could flush the toilet when needed.

We were able to pack up and head for home yesterday but now reality has set in and here's what I learned. There is no time in my schedule for even a few days off. When I'm gone and Clutch and Zoe are with me there is no one to do my job! Let's be honest, they aren't much help anyway but you get the point. Orders are now way behind, 1857 Quilt fabric kits are late, block of the month patterns are late going out, phone message have piled up and email questions are too numerous to mention. On top of all that, the external drive where I keep all my pictures and pattern files has decided to take a permanent vacation and my files seem to have gone with it. I can't access anything so today's blocks for the 1857 Quilt are now late too!

Stress? I won't even answer that. I'll close by saying I'll do my best to not let this happen again. I'm going to Starbuck's to get a latte followed by some groceries so I can make my husband a halfway decent dinner tonight and promise to work until at least 10 pm tonight to make a dent in getting things caught up. I think I can recreate the 1857 Album Quilt patterns that should come out today but it'll take a few hours so I thank you for your patience.

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1857 Album Quilt – Blocks 46 – 47 – 48


Are you ready for some new blocks? I have three really nice designs for you to work on this month. It was fun unfolding the quilt last week and see how far we've come with this project. We're almost on the home stretch! What in the world will I do next? I have a little time to think about that so let's take a look at today's blocks.

1857 Quilt block 46 

Block 46


1857 quilt block 46 The block was signed by Alfred Griffiths. Isn't this the perfect block for the month of February? For a wedding quilt? I love the two hearts and hands. I wonder whose little hands those are depicted on this block. I couldn't help but notice they're about the size of little Violet's hands so I might try to trace around hers the next time she's here and use them on my block.

1857 quilt block 47 

Block 47


IMG_0056a This block is signed in tiny cross stitch using read thread - E.A. It should be quite easy to stitch with just a few hexagons and some circles but makes a striking block.

1857 quilt block 48 

Block 48



This block is destined to be another of my favorites. It is signed by Mary DeClarke. The delicate embroidery on all the leaves was worn away long ago but I can't wait to see the block when the stitching is there again. I love the way it looks on the pattern.


Little Quilts Squared Calendar Series all as jpg Things are busy around the office and studio. I'm working on two new $5 Block of the Month quilt programs and a couple of other new patterns. Until those are ready, be sure to check out this cute block of the month. It's called - Little Quilts Squared, Calendar Series. With this program, you receive only the patterns and use your own fabrics. You can make the blocks using wool or cottons and finish them in a variety of ways. They look great on the little metal stands or use them in a lap quilt to enjoy them all year long. Several years ago I made seasonal blocks like this and finished them as small wall quilts to hang on my Mom's door in the memory care unit. Everyone really enjoyed them. Sadly, over time they disappeared so now that I have young grandchildren I look forward to making these to use as calendar blocks in our back entry.

retreat room
Registration is open for the April 2017 Shipshewana Quilt Retreat and I should have registration for the November 2017 retreat open in the next couple of weeks. I hope you can join us. We have so much fun and there is a lot to see and do while spending time in quilter's paradise! Someone fixes your breakfast every day, makes your bed and you can sew whenever you want, day or night.


The 1857 Album Quilt - Block Set 14


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1857 Album Quilt – Blocks 42 – 43 – 44 – 45


I think 2016 was quite the year and am really looking forward to 2017. Have you planned at least 20 new projects like I have? I'm really good at making lists of all the quilts I want to make, gathering the fabrics and then by next month I'll be more realistic and scale things back to maybe only 10 projects - haha!

It's hard to believe by the Fourth of July holiday we'll be finished with our 1857 Album Quilt! I have four blocks for you today. They're a mix of things I love and things I would never think of including in an applique quilt so let's get started.


Block 42

Photo Dec 30, 1 21 19 PM

Photo Dec 30, 1 21 29 PM This block is signed by Uncle Andrew. I actually like this block quite a bit. It's unusual and has some great elements within it. I made it a bit smaller than the original and you might want it even smaller so take a look at that before you cut any fabric.
I'm not sure if the branch in the center is a mixture of fruit and leaves or all leaves. I wonder if those are figs? What do you think? Whatever they are this will be a fun block to pull fabrics for and stitch.

Photo Dec 30, 1 22 04 PM a

Block 43

Photo Dec 30, 1 22 40 PM This block was made by Maggie or Maddie. I can't quite tell because the embroidery has worn away.

Photo Dec 30, 1 22 49 PM Find yourself a great polka dot piece of cheddar fabric for the center of this block. You can see the block more than fills the background square so I made it a little smaller too. Check to make sure it's the size you want and reduce or enlarge if necessary.

Photo Dec 30, 1 23 21 PMa

Block 44

Photo Dec 30, 1 23 40 PM This block was signed by C. Ackerman

Photo Dec 30, 1 23 48 PM I think these represent gardening or farming tools. A spade, hoe, watering can, pail and clippers.

Photo Dec 30, 1 23 56 PM They're pretty tiny but kind of cute.

Photo Dec 30, 1 25 00 PMa

Block 45

Photo Dec 30, 1 25 11 PM It was sewn my Mrs. Stephens.

Photo Dec 30, 1 25 20 PM Be still my heart! This block is just beautiful! The layers on this rose are fantastic and lend themselves perfectly the an ombre piece of fabric if you have one.

Photo Dec 30, 1 25 29 PM It's almost hard to tell the very center of the rose was once a sunny yellow. Those stems are not for the faint of heart. You can see my "stitch and cram" technique for sewing these beauties HERE.

Photo Dec 30, 1 25 36 PM I wonder if the brown fabric was always brown or once another color? The embroidery once down the center of the leaves has all worm away.

Photo Dec 30, 1 26 01 PM If you're intimidated by the stems you might consider embroidering them or use a lightweight, washable ultra suede for those pieces. No edges to turn under and looks really elegant in a block. I've used the ultra suede on miniature blocks and been very happy with the result.

new year baby Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for sharing this quilt journey with me in 2016. I pray you'll all be blessed in 2017 with much love, good health and happiness. Lots of fabric and time for stitching would be nice too!


The 1857 Album Quilt - Block Set 13


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