Second UFO of 2018

I have rediscovered sampler quilts after so very many years of quilting. My first sampler was an Elenore Burns quilt. This quilt belongs to my sister now.

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So, I do not have a date on this photo. I do know this was displayed at the Syringa Quilter’s Show in Greenleaf, Idaho. I do know the class was held at the Cloth Merchants in Caldwell, ID and I do know I hand quilted it – using the “quilt as you go” method and it is the only time I have ever used that method.

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Maybe, Paula, you could add an image of the label in the comments to finish documenting this quilt?

Lisa must have been in kindergarten or first grade?

Fast forward to today………….


It snowed and I am working on the hand quilting process of my Westering Women sampler:

This was an on-line 2016 series of history lessons and patterns provided by Barbara Brackman.   (She still has all her original patterns and historical notes posted for free as well as the whole year’s experience available to purchase on her Esty site.)


So, I am big stitching this fun quilt. I chose to use an overall quilting pattern called “Baptist Fan”, Perle cotton thread #12 – variegated red.  Here is my template and here are my tools for the project.

When I get to the borders, I am planning to create a cable or rope pattern. So, I will post again about this quilt when I get to that part of the process!

Billie, a Barefootin’ (but wearing heavy socks today) Quilter.

Posted in Big Stitch, motifs, Perle Cotton, Quilt study, Quilting, Quilts, Sampler, traditional | 1 Comment

And one project is finished!

The binding is on, the label is in place and stitched down, the marking lines have been washed out, and the little quilt is finished. I call it “Celebrate January”:

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I am particularly happy with the quilting. I used my regular machine – a quilting model 545, “Lily”, by Husqvarna (Viking) – 2001 vintage. I used Silky 8040 silver metallic thread to make the pretty star stitch along with the straight line stitching. I tried using my walking foot, but that just created a mess on the back side of the quilt. After picking out my mess, I used the regular foot instead and it quilted up just fine. No free motion quilting here. The metallic thread required me to slow down my stitching. I believe I put in about 25 hours at the machine on the quilting – each section took 20 to 30 minutes.


I love the sparkle!! I may have to put up special lights in my display area!

I wish my photos showed a little more sparkle!! So happy to have a project done in 2018.

What is up next? 28377825_10210839490519894_8511515900944604475_n

Big stitching the “Westering Women” quilt.

Billie, a Barefootin’ Quilter

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Working on UFO’s….trying to become a finisher

I am ready to begin writing, again, about quilting. It was a super busy 2017. So glad it is over and 2018 is here….oh, wait…that happened 6 weeks ago! Winter has been mild here in Idaho but has returned this week with cold, blustery winds and snow showers. Steve and I took two weeks plus off from Idaho’s winter to bask in the warm, California sun this January, but we are back and facing winter, again. Steve came home with a nasty cold….I came back to finish projects.

Project A: Celebrating January

In November, 2013, Steve and I went to Thanksgiving in New York to be with my 35 year old son, Griff, and his sweet, sweet family. Griff was fighting peritoneal mesothelioma but not successfully and on the downhill side towards death. My heart was breaking…… but we were together for Thanksgiving and we were enjoying exploring New York City and the grand girls.


On this trip, I bought myself an embroidery machine. About a year later, I made 16 star flake squares that did nothing for me because I set them in 8″ blocks, 4 x 4  – the most boring top I have ever seen. I didn’t even take a picture because it was so boring!!

Griff died February 2nd….I was there, with his beautiful wife, Kate, and my other children – Andy and Lisa. It was an honor to bring him into the world and an honor to release him back to God. It was devastating and complete. It was the circle of life.

I pulled it out January 1st this year and tried again, rethinking the top – add some snowball effects and turning everything on point:


It got better as the snow fell and the right fabric was added for setting triangles:


Then, I got crazy and added metallic silver opalescent machine quilting and binding that is the same fabric as the setting triangles.  I am very happy with the result!! I am going to really enjoy this wall quilt next year! (Picture will be published here soon!!)

Billie, a Barefootin’ Quilter

February 19, 2018


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A New Month, a Fresh Season, and a New Scrap Project

My goodness, this year is flying by fast.  Autumn is here – it is sunny, but breezy and cool today, with a chance of rain –  and time for a new project. Well, a new, scrappy project. My big bins of scraps have finally been sorted into baskets. I surprised myself by finding the time and energy to accomplish this task this week:


It took several days but it has really improved my attitude toward my quilting room. And I found so many treasures, including a whole bunch of 2″ squares which were originally destined for a watercolor-type quilt top…but I am over that idea.

So, what to make?

I searched among my books and saved articles and found a delightful scrap quilt pattern called Fourplay (Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts: Patterns Inspired by Antique Quilts by Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storms – 2012/That Patchwork Place)

The pattern was written for 1 -inch squares, but cutting down the 2-inch squares into smaller pieces seemed to me to be an exercise in futility; so I re-sized the pattern to make due with what I already had on hand. I also experimented with the sashing sizes to see what appealed to my eye:

The 3/4-inch, finished. sashing won the day.

This unit is 7 1/4-inches unfinished and will finish out at 6 3/4-inches . Nothing standard about this top!

I am thinking my 2-inch scraps will run out after creating nine large squares.  I probably will have to do some more cutting even. The author noted, in her commentary, that “the sashing is in charge” of the overall success of these scrappy units and blocks, and I am agreeing with her wholeheartedly! I am using her notes extensively for construction, even though I have adjusted the block units and finished blocks to fit my scrap sizes.

We will see about the cornerstones and sashing sizes after the large squares are completed.

Lots of sorting and sewing block machine time in my future. A good start on a long-term project.

What projects are you doing this fall?

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April Showers bring another UFO further down the road


My friend, Susan, had a top created by her relatives who were living in Missouri in the late 1930’s. They took what they had in the way of flour sacks and leftover material from aprons and other clothes to created a signature quilt. The names were embroidered after being written onto the material in pencil and the whole thing stitched together into a top.


Some blocks were hand stitched, some were machine stitched….there were puckers and volcanoes and open seams galore to remedy and repair. But it is quilted!!!


Perle cotton #12 in the big stitch tradition. Orange peel petals, echo quilting and straight lines.

Hoping to have it labeled and bound by the end of May!!

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My March UFO

It has been a long, busy, heart-wrenching, inspiring month. We have said goodbye to two wonderful ladies – my Mom and her sister, Mary. It is the end of the Jonas Frownfelter and Vera Goodban era.


Thelma                                                        Jonas                                           Mary

Camping in Sequoia National Park


Before flying off to California, I was able to finish and turn in my March UFO at Bluebird Quilting Studio. It started out as scraps in a box in January of 2017, left over from a previous quilt I had made for a friend’s new grand baby.

DSC01618 I left this new quilt at home….not much time for quilting during the month of March. I am hoping this little quilt get quilted soon!!


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February UFO finished

I am liking this challenge so far. Month two and second Un-Finished Object completed.It wasn’t a decade-old project this time but an unfinished sample for a beginning applique class call “Christmas Dutch Tulips” which I taught for Cindy’s Quilt Shop last October. The top was finished for display prior to the class but then abandoned for the holidays.






I am finding big stitch quilting to be a great way to finish these waiting projects.

Meanwhile, my Mom’s Iris Quilt waits for its turn. And it will wait a while longer. My Mom passed away recently, quite unexpectedly. I am sad. I do not think I will work on it until later this spring. My emotions are a little too raw right now,



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One UFO for January 2017

It has been a busy month so far! I finished a sample for my local quilt shop AND I finished my UnFinished Object for Bluebird Quilt Studio’s UFO Challenge for 2017. I actually finished last Wednesday but, as I said, it has been a busy month!


This orphaned project began back in the 1980s with the advent of widespread internet usage in the form of e-mail. We purchased our first family computer, a Sanyo 126, in 1984.

(If I can find the picture, I will insert it here)

I found a listserve group of international quilters and then a small group that wanted to exchange paper-pieced blocks. So I made four house blocks, four tree blocks, four-star blocks, four pineapple blocks and four random blocks. I sent off my blocks with a wish and a prayer; I was delighted when my package returned! I do wish I had kept the individual information on each block….but a move and passage of time have erased those memories. I believe the outhouse blocks were made by a lady in South Africa.

I do not now know why it took so long to finish this little quilt. The paper-pieced blocks are only 4×4 inches finished and the half-square triangles are 2×2 inches finished. I put it together into a quilt top back in the 1990s when we still lived in town. We moved out of town in 2001. I began machine quilting it sometime after my sewing room was completed. But it has been at the “finish machine quilting, bind, and label” stage for at least 10 years.

But now it is done and well before the end of January!! Yippeee!!!!

So, now I am working on getting ready for class tomorrow, but that event will only happen if the snow that is falling right now doesn’t really add up to 6 inches like the weather person has suggested. So I will finish my prep and then go back to working on other UFOs.

(Still wearing my slippers)

The Barefootin’ Quilter


Posted in Big Stitch, Quilts, Sampler, UFO, Utility stitching | 1 Comment

First Project of the Year Done: “I Heart You Eight Times”

So, I am teaching a beginning applique class at Cindy’s Quilt Shop here in Caldwell,  ID, starting on Thursday, January 19th, 1 -3:30 in the afternoon. It is a three session class, with the option of a fourth session to learn how to finish off the applique square as a quilted object. I love teaching these beginning classes and I try to have a new pattern for each class. That goal also requires a new sample to display at the shop.

I had been searching around for a pattern and did not come up with an idea until this week when I read about Pat Lapacek’s weekly challenge, 8 is Great.

Her rules:

1. Your project must somehow involve the number 8.
2.  Incomplete or unfinished does not qualify. Every challenge piece must be a FINISHED project seen through from INCEPTION to COMPLETION during the challenge timeline (January 1 through January 8, 2017). Each piece must stand alone as DONE to count toward prizes.
3. Please remember that these projects need to be created during the week of the challenge (started on or after January 1, finished by January 8).
4.  Your project does not need to be a traditional quilt, but must meet at least one of these requirements:

  1. Include patchwork.
  2. Include appliqué.
  3. Have 3 layers stitched together by hand or machine.

5. Link up a blog post, flickr image, instagram post, or public facebook post to the linky at the bottom of THIS PAGE by Sunday, January 8th, 2017, at noon CDT. Alternately, you may email the picture and description to {lapaceksorchard at gmail dot com} with PROJECT QUILTING in the subject line by 11am on Sunday, January 8. Yes – that deadline is one hour earlier, because it requires more work for Kim.
When you create your PQ entry’s blog post or instagram or flickr image, please include:

  • a description of your creative process
  • the overall size of your project (it’s so hard to tell in a picture!)
  • where you are (ie, I create in Madison, WI) and if you decide to just directly upload your image to the link up party please email me this information so I can share it with everyone else.

So, here is “I Heart You Eight Times” – eight hearts (four appliqued and four quilted) in this 13.5″ x 13.75″ little quilt. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted with Perle cotton. It was super fun and will go to the shop on Monday to invite folks to come and learn to or improve their hand applique skills with me!!

I needed to create a project that featured nice curves, inner and outer points and some planning for placement that could be done easily for a beginner but be very satisfying when completed plus timely….hence the valentine color scheme.

Pat helped me focus on a project and to get it done quickly. Thanks, Pat!! I may or may not do this again, but it was fun to do once!

(We are in the middle of huge snowstorms so there will be lots of quilting done this month. It has been at least 30 years since we have had storms and snow like this.)

Billie, loving her slippers and fireplace this week!




Posted in Big Stitch, Perle Cotton, Quilts, traditional, Utility stitching | 3 Comments

2017 ~ The year those UFO’s leave my sewing room

I love the idea of getting projects done ~~~~ I am not really good at it, but I love the idea. So, this is the year I am getting some support from one of my local quilt shops.

We are so fortunate here in the Treasure Valley to have many shops dedicated to the art of quilting. One is in the next town over, The Bluebird Quilt Studio. Here is their idea to help people like me:

NEW IDEA FOR YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS! [announced on their Facebook Page]
Our challenge for 2017 is for you to finish 12 UFO’s. This does not mean to start a new project, unless it is a kit that has been on the shelf since, maybe 2002. It does not mean to finish a class that you are currently taking. It DOES mean to quilt some tops that are stacked in your closet. It does mean to put those Skillbuilder Blocks from 2013 together in a design you are happy with. It does mean to finish the blocks that you started for Farmer’s Wife. What was that Little Twister quilt that Diana helped you start in 2014? How many Patchability wallhangings did you finish? Did you ever complete the Kimberbelle Bench Pillow? How old is that baby that you started a quilt for before she was born? Are you wearing your Layered Waves jacket? I THINK YOU GET THE IDEA!

Pick 12 that you really want to finish in 2017. Maybe the quilt just needs a border. Maybe it just needs to be quilted. Maybe you only have one UFO. The blocks are finished, how will you set them? Maybe you need to take a longarm class and start quilting some of your tops. That is exactly what our 2017 Challenge is all about.

Register for our Challenge, pick up our challenge card, and let’s get started. We have perks planned for our participants, mini celebrations, show and tell, workshops, and big celebrations. It is all about you in 2017.

Share your completed UFO’s each month, receive perks for your accomplishments.
Requirements—Make a list of 12 projects, fill out the participation card, finish the projects on the card. (one per month) Bring in your project and your participation card to get it stamped. Earn raffle tickets along the way for the big end of the year party. If you miss a month, we are sorry but you won’t be eligible for that month’s perk [f]or that month’s stamp. In December, your stamped participation card will make you eligible for more rewards. Even if you only finish one UFO, a finished project is an accomplishment worth celebrating.

We hope our 2017 Challenge is just the motivation you need. We are looking forward to helping you accomplish your goals.

Give us a call to register or ask questions about this fun new motivational idea!


So my January UFO resolution is to finish machine quilting, bind and label a little wallhanging that has been populating my sewing room since the 90’s. The blocks were collected through an internet exchange I joined back in the 80’s – back then, we used listservs and email only, so no pictures or graphics. The blocks were paper pieced by women from several countries – South Africa, England, and America (as I recall – it has been a while) are represented in my little wallhanging. It is half quilted and has been since 1999. I am committed to finishing this one project before January 31, 2017!!


What are you working on this fine January day?

The Barefoot Quilt – wearing warm slippers today! (currently, 13 degrees outside)



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