Still quilting


Winter is beginning to loose it’s grip on us here in Idaho. Daylight savings has arrived so have late sunsets.  I have been lax in posting here about my quilting activities. So, my focus has been on completing the 2018 block of the month devised by Barbara Brackman. 35058214_10211523536780623_7482426117370937344_n

The blocks were far from being completed as of the first of January, but I buckled down and finished them by the end of January, added setting squares and redoing some of the blocks that didn’t really work the first time around.


I finally settled on this layout, stitched it all together and began utility quilting my  Remembering Marmee Album Quilt.

I am nearly done.

Welcome spring!!


A Barefootin’ Quilter


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Rebooting my Quilting

Fall arrives tomorrow. Must be time to reboot my quilting, too! It has been a busy summer of travel and sewing. I have been making good progress all summer on BOM appliqué blocks, even getting four of them into a wall hanging top:


Before I can make a second and third top, I have to finish the rest of the blocks.


Tender Sweet Peas turned out to be a super fun block. This makes nine blocks done, three to go…but it also means a lot of prep work to get the next block to the stitching stage. Not really excited to get onto that project yet. But soon…

I  also finished the Westering Women Sampler which I began back in 2016 as a BOM with Barbara Brackman.


After big stitch quilting it and finishing off the binding just before leaving for a long trip to Ireland and England at the end of August, I came home to uncertainty as to what would be my next project or projects. I felt like I was at loose ends. ( FYI,  this quilt will be exhibited next weekend at the Boise Basin Quilt Show).

Ireland and England were amazing. We walked tons and experienced so many wonderful places, activities, and great meals. This was one our best trips ever. But I came home with a nasty cold.

As I have cast around my sewing room this week, taking stock of projects and their perceived priority, it occurred to me that one of the projects that has really been bugging me is a BOM for this year, Barbara Brackman’s “Antebellum Album quilt. It started with so much promise last January. She had chosen the block that my 3rd great-grandmother had used in her quilt:


Feathered circle on Harrison Quilt – 1850

I have referred to this block as the Harrison block – one of it’s many names. The BOM used the name “Wandering Lover”, based on it’s published name in Heath and Home (1895). Anyway, I drafted it out to be an eight-inch finished block and used a yucky green and muslin to whip up my block.


Then, as new blocks were released, I made them, until I realized that my color selections for the subsequent blocks were not compatible with my January offering.


Yesterday, I finally put on my brave face and replaced my January offering with a replacement:


I am so much happier with this color choice for this particular block for this particular quilt. Now, to tackle the blocks I haven’t completed for the summer months to catch up with the rest of Barbara’s followers.

Enjoy your fall! I am hoping for some nice days to quilt out on my decks.

Billie, a Barefootin’ Quilter



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Working on U(n) F(inished) O(bjects)s

Spring is in full swing here – warm days then cool nights. We are busy all the time now with outdoor chores and building projects. I am grateful for the new pergola over the sewing room deck:

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There is still painting to be completed. I get a little done each day in the mornings. The afternoon weather patterns are unpredictable right now – as in thunderstorms (like today) or heat or winds.

But I am looking forward to moving my quilting hoop out here this summer! And, when it is too hot for sitting under a quilt, I can use this lovely space for reading or handwork.

So, my afternoons are devoted moving forward on some of those handwork UFOs. I pulled out one of my “Simply Delicious!” appliqué blocks yesterday and have committed to finishing it by the end of May. 


This is an interesting, challenging quilt. The patterns and fabric were offered by Keepsake Quilting Company in 2002 and I purchased them all.I have completed six of the twelve blocks:


I have a ways to go:


Each appliqué block came with fabric, a full-sized pattern, and advice. There was an additional background and finishing packet.


The directions give you the processes to create your own templates and plastic placement overlay.  The directions also instruct you to wash all your fabrics…I am so sad that I did not follow that advice. Oh, well…onward and forward to finishing this long awaited quilt!! The patterns are still available at:

I am so glad that I have taken several appliqué workshops and classes since I ordered this BOM, including one by co-designer of the blocks, Becky Goldsmith. If you choose to tackle these blocks or the whole quilt, get her book or, better yet, take an appliqué class by her.


Billie,,,,,,,,,,A Barefootin’ Quilter






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Moving from winter to spring

The wind has been stiff and persistent today. You would think I would be sewing lots and finishing projects. However, I only sewed for half an hour. I am reproducing “Wandering Lovers” blocks which were used in our Freeman family ancestral quilt in 1850:


Barbara Brackman, imminent quilt historian and quilt enthusiaist,  chose this block to be the first block in her BOM for Civil War Blocks 2018, Antebellum Album Block of the Month :

I have made the first three month’s blocks:

January: Wandering Lovers


February: Lend and Borrow


March: Friendship Block


The BOM blocks have directions for cutting and sewing on the website for 12″ and 6″ blocks. I chose to make 8″ finished blocks for the BOM sampler. My great-grandmother, Lucinda Dunham Freeman, made her blocks 7 1/8″ for the finished size.

Her quilt is stunning. Her blocks are exact; her quilting complete…even as she finished on the evening of the birth of her child, Westley Prescott, my great-grandfather, on September 26, 1850.

I have decided to make mini quilts for Freeman descendent’s who wish to own a copy of  a quilt that was made by their ancestor. The quilt is in terrible shape. It was washed and used and loved. It was made with love and continues to be loved almost 200 years later.


a sawtooth pieced border with a Durham quilted feather design



On a hand-turned spool bed



Feathered circle

I am using icky green reproduction fabrics for the mini quilts.

A long but meaningful project.


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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.

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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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