2016 Finish-a-long

2016 Finish-a-long, Quilting - Inspiration

20160107_211420_resized 20160107_211834_resized 20160107_212703_resized 20160107_212755_resized 20160107_212854_resized 20160107_213108_resized 20160107_213259_resized                                                              Decided to get that UFO pile down to a manageable size in 2016!
Here is my list of projects that I will be attempting to complete in the first quarter:
1. Aloha Girl / Fig Tree & Co – lap quilt, top done, needs
quilting & binding
2. 3 Dudes/Man Sewing – strip-pieced wall hanging – strips
sewed, cutting needed, assembly and quilting
3. Kim Diehl – unfinished  workshop project – some quilting
still needed and binding
4. Batiks lap quilt – some blocks made, additional cutting and
piecing, basting, quilting and binding needed
5. Pink & brown lap quilt – partially quilted, needs more
quilting and binding
6. Red Placemats w/lace – one placemat finished years ago,
enough supplies to make an additional three placemats
7. Pink & Gray baby girl quilt – plan to create with a chevron
pattern, fabric purchased – needs cutting, piecing, quilting
and binding (baby due in late April)

Have loads more…but seven projects seemed like a lucky number, so I will stop there.

Now I need to get cracking – LOL!!!

Will post progress…


Exhibit is hung!


The quilts are officially up and on exhibit until the end of April and the Harford County, MD Gallery has never been more colorful!

I have thoroughly enjoyed walking visitors through the chosen quilt pieces, offering amusing stories and tip bits along the way.  What fun!

This opportunity has been very humbling…it is sometimes so hard to have others judge something so very personal.  My hope is that they can sense the vision and passion that I have for this craft.

Enjoy a few photos and let me know which one you like the best!

Only a week til spring…

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Gallery Exhibit!

Quilt exhibits


  For the months of March and April, I have been honored     with a gallery exhibit in the County Council chambers of     my local government.   Exciting opportunity but so many     details I had not thought about when I was asked to be       the guest exhibitor a few months ago!

First up, I had to stop over and view the space last week    to determine how to hang the quilts and how many    samples I would need to fill the long, white hallway walls.

Back home to pull out my stored quilts – wall hangings, runners, mini, lap quilts and bed quilts – and to evaluate which ones would serve as a well-rounded sampling of my collection of works.  Once chosen, the quilts needed to be aired, spot cleaned and ironed.   Some quilts will receive a sleeve for the “dowel and hook” set-up and others will have small rings attached to the top binding back in order to hang on the existing system.   Can I use a quilt rack or a rocking chair as props?  Have to check on that one!

quilt clip art 1Next to deal with the documentation side of things.  First I had to compose a bio for the event.  Had not done this since my quilt pattern business years ago!  Need to secure a picture too.

Next – detailed descriptions to serve as labels for each of the pieces being hung during the event.

Finally, making the decision on whether I want to price some of my pieces for sale or just supply contact information with an email address and a link to my blog for taking custom orders and commissions.

Scheduled to set up the exhibit next week – will upload comprehensive gallery pictures as soon as they are available!

Happy Quilting and if you live on the East coast – here’s hoping for an ice free week!

A Season for…Baby Quilts!

Free Patterns and Tutorials, Quilting - Inspiration



Winter 2015 seems to be the season of anticipation – anticipation of new babies for my expectant friends, coworkers and family members!

Currently, I am in the process of creating and constructing four baby quilts – 2 of them as gifts for boys and 2 as gifts for girls – all due by early July.    With such a short timeline and wanting to have a fabulous individual and unique gift for all of the Mom’s, I turn to my social media resources for ideas and patterns, specifically Pinterest.  On http://www.pinterest.com,  I can locate pictures of quilts as well as links to free patterns and tutorials.  Inspiration galore!

Pinterest lead me to discover one of my favorite resources for learning new techniques and securing excellent ideas for quick and easy quilting patterns. Several quilters had “pinned” the series of YouTube tutorial videos available from the Missiouri Star Quilt Company.  By merely visiting their quilt store website, https://www.missouriquiltco.com/, and clicking on the “Tutorials” tab on the top right of the page, you have free access to dozens of instructional and educational “how to” videos.  Jenny Doan conducts awesome step-by-step tutorials – simple enough for the most inexperienced quilters yet engaging and creative enough for the expert sewers alike!

I encourage everyone to browse the site and watch some of the short tutorials – you will be inspired and itching to get started on a new project!

Here are several of the quilt tops that I constructed using YouTube videos mentioned.  These baby quilt tops are now ready for finishing.


Baby Boy – chevron quilt

This simple design is the “chevron quilt” pattern and is completely done with 10″ squares of background (white) and patterned fabrics (grays and teal).  I was able to construct the top in one afternoon.  You can view the tutorial at the following link –




Zipper Quilt for a baby girl

This second simple design is from tutorial titled “The Zipper Quilt” – again another beginner pattern using pre-cut fabric collections.   Construction required a mere 3 hours of a Saturday afternoon.  This particular quilt can be easily adjusted in size too, by adding extra rows of “zipper” strips.  Here is the link to view this YouTube video-


The Fons and Porters site, http://video.fonsandporter.com/, also has free videos and tutorials available for your viewing at any time as well as do many other national quilt shops and designers.

Another wonderful resource is for free quilting patterns that I just recently discovered is http://www.favequilts.com/.  I signed up for their free newsletter membership and now have instant access to more than 400+ step-by-step patterns with instruction.

In this article, I have only mentioned the sites that I personally used to get inspired with ideas for the baby quilt this winter but there are many, many other possibilities and opportunities to learn through the Internet.

Take some time to discover all that is available to today’s quilter.

Do you have a favorite link or site for patterns and inspiration that you would like to share?

Please feel free to share your information and comments with our followers.

Only 4 weeks until Spring…until then, stay warm and get quilting!







Homespun Fabrics, Original Quilt Designs, PA Dutch, Pieced and Appliqued Quilts

Never be afraid to try new things…

Years ago there was a craze for a period of time for quilters to create projects with plaids and homespuns. I too wanted to complete a project that incorporated both piecing and some of my favorite hand applique using these traditional fabrics.

Plaids and homespuns are larger weave textiles and can be a challenge to work with because of the difficulty of keeping the small pieces from fraying  Stripes and checked patterns in the fabric are also easily lost when the fabric is cut into tiny pieces, but I was not deterred.

I then finished and quilted the project using Big Stitch techniques and black pearl cotton.

Fractur Bird Plaids was drafted for my pattern company and soon became one of the most popular designs.

Who knew that this simple self-challenge project could turn out to be so well loved by fellow quilters!


An original design inspired by the Pennsylvania Dutch Fractur bird patterns. Copyright - Hearthstone Designs

An original design inspired by the Pennsylvania Dutch Fractur bird patterns.
Copyright – Hearthstone Designs

Inspiration from the world around us!

Original Quilt Designs, Quilting - Inspiration

Whether you are deciding on fabric colors for a quilt or just looking for a unique pattern or design, inspiration is everywhere!

I have been quilting and creating my own designs for many years and I have a tried and true method for staying creative and keeping my projects fresh and fun.   It’s actually very simple!

Merely take notice of the world around you…from the rising sun in the east as you drive into work in the morning, to the colors of the flowers, bird and trees in local gardens to the buffet of color in a restaurant salad bar at lunchtime.   Color and beauty abound!

Our seasons change here on the East Coast every few months, so there is nearly constant opportunity to get inspired by nature!

Heading to the beach this summer?  The shore is teeming with vibrant color from the blues of the ocean, to the soft hues of the seashells to the explosion of color in the flowers, trees, roadside vegetable stands, our clothing and even beach towels.

Not a summer person?   Then look no further than autumn!   Who doesn’t love the changing color of the trees, the oranges of pumpkins, the red and green hues of ripening apples, the first smells of wood burning in a fire place or crispness and coolness in the air on an October evening?

Winter can be gray and dank…but who hasn’t appreciated the beauty of a male cardinal perched on a snowy fence or the glistering of ice crystals draped over the branches of a tree?   Amazing, right?

Let’s not forget to mention those first spots of green on the trees in early spring or the first crocus – busting through the frozen ground and blooming in white, yellows and purples.

Be prepared so that you don’t lose an idea or thought.  Have a notebook, large envelope or phone readily available to take pictures, jot down notes or save items that you find interesting and inspirational.

Greeting cards are one perfect example of simple beauty and inspiration because they offer a wide range of color and design layouts as well as motivational and heartfelt quotes.  Save the ones that spark an idea for a future project.

Museums, art shows, galleries, and art books can also offer a world of beauty and interest.

Don’t even get me started on architecture…copper gutters and roofs, decorative tiled or inlaid wood floors, twinkling stained glass windows, and even tin ceilings can set my creative mind on overdrive!  Just a simple walk through an older neighborhood can offer some fresh ideas.

Discover what stimulates your creative juices and let them flow with abandon!