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

Posted in Quilts | Leave a comment

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!!!



Posted in Quilts | Leave a comment

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?


Posted in Quilts | Leave a comment

How about some cross-hatching to start the New Year

Happy New Year! Happy to be back at my quilting frame. I have had my Mom’s Iris quilt on the frame for two and a half years now and it is my priority quilting project for 2016.


Because I have been away from the frame for two months (at least!), my body is not in the groove of the frame….I limited my time today to an hour and a half; I was able to get a bit done on the purple flower on the right-hand side of the quilt.

I am using an outline stitch around and inside her beautiful embroidery. Then I am cross-hatching the background of the white squares. Cross-hatching is a traditional, go-to filler pattern and an easy choice for a quilt like my Mom’s. I begin by measuring the edge of each side of the quilt block I am currently working on, marking the mid-point with my trusty #2 pencil.

These are the only marks I make on the white blocks.

Here is where I use one of my favorite quilting tools ~ painter’s tape.  It has less adhesive than masking tape; it comes in 1-inch rolls, if you hunt around for it at standard paint stores [Note – the big box lumber stores I shop at no longer carry this size tape. I take a ruler with me when I shop for tape anymore. When I can’t find the one-inch tape, I will buy wider tape and then cut it into one-inch strips, using my quilting rulers and an old rotary blade in my rotary cutter].

Using my tiny pencil marks to line up my painter’s tape, I start quilting, following the edge of the tape. I try not stretch my arms too far so I can save my shoulders for another day of quilting.

Just keep moving the tape, lining it up with the last line you stitched until it no longer sticks on the fabric.  [I have been known to unstitch a line of cross-hatching if I find I did not line up accurately with the previous line of stitching.]


The cross-hatching begins when you stitch across your first lines of stitching.


A quilting choice that I made a month ago for this quilt is to wait and stitch the machine embroidered flower rectangles in a lap hoop after I finish the main portions of the quilt. These are a bear to needle, due to many layers of fabric and stabilizer, and the thought of quilting them in the frame just depressed me. They kept me from sitting down to quilt at the frame at all. So, I have put these areas off until later.

Going to organize my sewing room and write some Christmas cards this afternoon before going to a Board meeting at the College.

Quilt on, friends!!



Posted in Amish stitching, cross-hatch, filler, Quilting, Quilts, traditional | Leave a comment

Getting ready for 2016

Winter is my time to think through my many projects. This time round, I’m trying to plan out what really needs to get done and to give myself some deadlines so the projects actually get done!


As a retired person, I have found that giving myself the “job” of quilting has really helped me move projects from the hobby stage to the finished and out of the house stage. It is a great job, by the way. And I feel productive ~ I was teaching half day kindergarten when I retired and now I try to “work” at quilting half a day for at least five days a week. This includes my “must do” projects, my UFO projects and my teaching preparation projects. I then have my hobby projects ~ the #2 and #3 items on the above chart ~ that eventually move to “must do” projects ~ #1 column items. My hobby projects do have to share time with volunteering at the Orma J. Smith Natural Science Museum, birding, Women’s Circle, charity quilts, reading, blogging, gardening, and housework, etc.

Better get to work!

Billie the Barefootin’ Quilter

~ wearing her slippers on this cold, winter day!!!

Posted in Quilts | Leave a comment

Summary for 2015

We have had a wonderful year!


So many places visited, so much sewing accomplished and so many new experiences.

I started teaching hand quilting, hand piecing and applique this year at Cindy’s Quilt Shop in Caldwell, ID.

I began and finished a small quilt for the American Quilt Study Group‘s 2015 Circa 1825 Challenge. Hand pieced, hand quilted and finished in time to send off for viewing in Indianapolis in September. I was perplexed when it was returned without judging notes, though; the quilts entered into this competition did not get to travel as promised, either. I still like it and will enter into the Boise Basin Quilters 201 show this next September.

I figure I invested about 300 hours in this 39″ x 39″ wall hanging.

I also worked with our local quilting group, Syringa Quilters, to put together and finish a quilt for one of Caldwell’s biggest supporters, Bill Crookham. Quilt

Christmas brought two more quilts to finish for grand babies, Bailey and Caleb Cook.

With  adding in time for trips to Hawaii, Los Angeles, Bishop, Clarkston, Anatone, Minnesota, West Virginia and Salt Lake City, it is amazing that so many projects actually were finished.

I also am the secretary for the Board of the  Orma J. Smith Natural History Museum and have become one of their Outreach Specialists.

Birding is my other passion. Hoping to spend much more time studying birds as well as observing them in the field.

Steve and I also host several families on Wednesday night for dinner. Love our community dinners to recharge in mid-week!!

Hoping to post weekly here in 2016 and focus on the process of quilting more than just the finished projects. Happy New Year, friends!



Posted in Quilts | Leave a comment

Spring has come too early here!!!

DSC01329 DSC01330

The weather has warmed up quickly here in the Treasure Valley and so has my quilting schedule. My little quilt constructed with fabrics from the In the Beginning line called “Circa 1825” has been accepted into the next round for consideration for the American Quilt Study Group 2015 Challenge.

I work on this everyday now. It has to be quilted, bound and photographed for submission before July 15, 2015. I have fallen in love with this little quilt I call “Job’s Tears En Pointe“.

So, of course, the warm weather has also inspired me to complete Steve’s quilt, and I work some on it about every two or three days:


Then there is the “pass the bag” applique project for Applique Society.


And classes to prepare to teach:

DSC01334 DSC01335

Intermediate Hand Quilting, Let’s Make a Hawaiian Quilt, Appliquéing Stems and Circles,

Hand Piecing and English Paper Piecing. Whew!!!!!

Plus, I really am continuing work on Mom’s Iris Quilt


and repairing a top for my good friend, Susan Lemrick!

DSC01337 DSC01338 DSC01339

Posted in Quilts | Leave a comment

Lucinda Ann Dunham’s legacy quilt

My great-great grandmother, Lucinda Dunham Freeman, was having another baby in 1850. Lucinda had followed her husband, the Rev. Azel Freeman, from small town to small town throughout the Ohio Valley for almost five years, setting up housekeeping and then packing it back up.  Now they were in Paducah, KY, and she was expecting again, at the age of 28. Her first born, Charles, was just a year old. So now,  she was making a new quilt for her new baby. She chose the quilt block named for President Harrison.


And she used overdyed, green solid material for her tiny triangles.


So, there is a written note that has been passed down along with this quilt that contains this story: ” Finished quilt September 25, 1850, the night William Prescott Freeman was born.”  William Prescott was my great grandfather; his son, Azel Thomas Freeman, was the father of my dad, Dell William Freeman. My son carries on the family name – Andrew Azel Farley.

The feather border is known as a Durham Running Feather. The whole quilt was referred to as a Harrison quilt.

Barbara Brackman’s blog on Civil War quilts featured the process of overdyed green solid fabric from this period of American history here.


I wish I had a picture of Lucinda. I have looked through some of the family archives but one hasn’t surfaced yet. The quilt is showing it’s age and I hope to make a reproduction of it in the near future.

Happy Quilting!!!

Billie Farley

Posted in Quilts | 6 Comments

Quilting Angles and Squares

I began quilting spirals on Steve’s Angles and Squares quilt the day after Christmas and have been thrilled at the ease and speed of progress on this project!!DSC01298

DSC01301  DSC01299

I am very happy and off to quilt some more!!! (Be sure to click on the pictures to enlarge them so you can see the stitching better!!)

Posted in Quilts | 3 Comments

Angles and Squares – Steve’s Christmas Quilt


Merry Christmas, dear readers! And a Merry Christmas to my dear husband, Steve Smith!!! Guess what Santa brought him?!!! Of course, a new quilt!!!!

And of course, it wasn’t done by the 25th. He got to unwrap the basted sandwich version of his quilt but he didn’t mind. He was, and still is, thrilled to have his very own quilt….a first for him!!!

I started piecing the squares after finding a picture of a top that I thought he would love in Roberta Horton’s book, Plaids and Stripes: The Use of Directional Fabric in Quilts (1990: C&T Publishing). pg. 70.

I drafted my “8 block on graph paper then started cutting out pieces from fat quarters and scrapes of plaids, stripes and mountain related prints which I have collected and kept in my stash over the years for just such a project. Math became an issue when I realized I had cut many of my large triangles too small and ended up squaring up my blocks to be 8″ unfinished – 7.5″ finished. (The book has template for a finished 6” block).  Then I needed to figure out how many blocks I would need to make as well as how many half blocks to make, so I also drew up a blueprint of my top with borders.

I was so glad that I had a weekend retreat to build the top in October. It really was a fabulous feeling to have a completed, pieced top done in such a short time and it was still a mystery to Steve!!!!


The borders went on the week of Christmas and I spent several days basting the quilt sandwich together on the floor of my sewing room. Crawling around on the floor turned out to be good for me — it really loosened up my knees!!!I am now quilting it and having a grand time of it. It took a bit of thinking to decide what design I would use so I did some previewing of designs before making my decision. Here are my preview supplies:

  • a dry erase marker
  • a length of clear plastic yardage (I got mine at JoAnn’s in the upholstery section)
  • a cardboard tube
  • a rubber band
  • tissues or a clean rag


I laid the clear plastic over my quilt top and tried out various ideas by drawing them with the dry erase pen.


The marks come off clean when wiped with a tissue or clean rag. If left to dry on the plastic, water will remove them, also. Once cleaned, I store the plastic for future use on the cardboard tube.


I decided to do spirals in a free hand way. My quilting supplies include:

  • embroidery needles (Colonial Needles in a Big Stitch package selected by Pepper Cory)
  • Perle cotton thread #12
  • empty pill bottles
  • a 14″ hoop
  • thimble
  • finger glove grips
  • embroidery scissors


I use the pill bottles to carry around my thread. I poke a hole in the top to dispense my thread easily — never have to look for the end and it doesn’t roll away from me! I use a tooth pick to thread the perle cotton through the hole in the lid.

DSC01284 DSC01285

I love the way it is project is quilting up!!! And it is so much fun to use a larger stitch and thread!!!



Bring on winter!!! I will be quilting!!! Merry Christmas all!!!

Billie, the Barefootin’ Quilter

Posted in Big Stitch, Quilt study, Quilts | 2 Comments