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


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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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Summer was about [that] long…

….lots of fun things happened this summer,

  • Andy married Nicole Barton in Portland
  • we went to a concert with the Blues Addicts Plus Brass Tacks
  • we celebrated Bailey’s second birthday
  • we have been up at the cabin – Steve has really made great progress with the interior and he added a back deck which is great for morning coffee time
  • I finished a quilt for Steve’s granddaughter, Charlotte, for Christmas and have started Ronan’s and Wyatt’s quilts – no pictures until after Christmas!

but a few things were not fun.

  • my sister, Diane, died suddenly from a brain aneurysm
  • Steve had a little heart pain and ended up in the hospital

I am hopeful for a peaceful and uneventful fall. I have been sewing quite a bit and I got to take a class from Becky Goldsmith. So excited to use many of her good suggestions for my applique projects and pass on her tips to my applique students.

I am hoping to finish the blocks for Simply Delicious that I started back in the 90’s.


There are seven more to make.

She has changed the way she makes templates from the 90’s…she now photocopies her patterns several times then laminated them. a better template but a bit pricier for templates that are only used once. Still on the fence about this. I may just continue this project as I started it by making my templates out of freezer paper and just get it done!!

It is nice to be back to visiting with all of you here at Barefootin’ Quilter.

Have a great weekend!

Billie the Barefootin’ Quilter

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Exploring Fabric with Barbara Brackman

I have lots of fabric. It isn’t unusual for a quilter – many of us have lots of fabric. We sometimes gather fabric just for the sake of buying material, to give ourselves a “fabric fix”,  or as a way of supporting our local quilt store.  People give us fabric because they know we sew. It breeds and multiplies in the dark corners of our closets. Quilters have fabric.

I am trying to be an intentional fabric-gatherer these days. And I want to learn about the fabric used by my great-grandmothers as well as their mothers,  aunts,  grandmothers and great-grandmothers. To that end, I am following along on Barbara Brackman’s Westering Women BOM using my own stash.



I had wanted to participate in 2015 in her Stars in Warp Time 2015


So, I am combining the two blog block-making projects and was getting stuff done until my bobbin winder on my sewing machine decided to fail. My Lily is at the repair shop now. (Sigh).

So, I am back to hand work – All-American Eight-Pointed Star, Farmer’s Wife Sampler and Big Stitch quilting. Lots to do this Spring!!!



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Where did January go?

And, all of a sudden, it is no longer January. February is here with new possibilities and opportunities. I have been teaching Big Stitch quilting at Cindy’s Quilt Shop here in Caldwell the past two Saturday mornings. We will have our third and final class this next Saturday. I have, unfortunately, been sick a great deal of January, which is why is has seemed to slip away from me.


The four ladies in my quilting class have been delightful. It is so much fun to share and pass on this hand quilting technique to others in hopes that they will share their knowledge, also.


This is the quilt I gave to Bailey, my granddaughter for Christmas, 2015. It really was a great project to prepare me to teach this class. I will be teaching the class again in March.

So, what did you get done in January, 2016?


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