My Patterns


FMQ August Challenge
I was really looking forward to this month's challenge for tiles.  Also I am finally back on track after being so slow in getting the July pillow done.

This month I used the same process as last month in that I made the pillow in one long strip then sewed the two side seams.

Since I used the brown tweed again and marks are so hard to see this pillow is almost all free motion.  The only marking I did was to mark the center 16" for the front folds.  Next I marked the 3" overlap on each end.  From there I folded the strip so that the ends met, then I marked where the tiles would match on the overlap.  If you look at the overlap on the photo below you can see where the tile line matches between the pebble tile and the paisley tile.  Those tile lines extend across both overlap areas.
This was really fun to do but next time I will probably mark my tile outlines.  Just my drafters mind.  If a line is supposed to be straight and an equal distance from another I really want it to be. 

Also this pillow is pretty much flat.  Hubby wanted more of a cushion for his computer chair, but at some point If I want it as a decorative pillow all I have to do is change the insert.


FMQ July Challenge
Thank you Paula for the great pillow design and inspiration.  Although I am a month late in getting this one done I tried a couple of new things.

First I decided rather than do three pieces I did the whole pillow in one strip.  That way I only had two seams to finish it with.

The other thing I did was in quilting the background with a paradox design I marked the grid but did not quilt the grid itself.  I only used the grid lines as a guide for the paradox thus giving the background a bit of a zig zag look.

For the feathers I used a heavier 12 wt. thread in a rosy brown varigated.  Details were done in a dusty rose 40 wt. and for added interest in the feather I accented with a dusty rose metallic.

To finish it off a little lace on two edges made it a little more girly.

All in all I am quite pleased.


FMQ June Challenge
Another great Pillow challenge for June.  Diane's feathers and celtic circles worked so well together.  The fabric I chose I really like but to mark a pattern is virtually impossible.  It is called Quilter's Tweed and has so many different threads that marks just don't show so any background work is totally free motion.

For the front I used another vintage doily in the center and marked the feathers.  I found that Diane's feathers were harder to do at this scale than the larger ones in the border and back.  On the front the fill patterns around the feathers don't show at all the thread just blended in.

I really like the back with the buttons too.



FMQ May Challenge:
This month was a great challenge I used Cindy's new Ultimate template to design the front and then went back to the 2012 challenge for the back.  I have been a fan of scribble art since grade school.  I will say though that this was much more challenging than you would think.

On the front the star was originally quilted with a varigated King Tut.  Didn't like it so tried something else over it.  I used two strands of Isacord #40 poly in the needle.  One a dark brown the other a golden brown.  It really made the star pop.

The pattern was a block from one of the quilts in Vintage Vibe by Amber Johnson one of the prizes from Quilt Shop Gal the sponsor of these pillow challenges.

On the back it was a challenge to figure out which different motifs to put into the scribble.  I did the scribble the same way as the star on the front with two strands of Isacord (no King Tut).

Over all I am pleased with the results.  This is the first pillow I have bound the edges on too.

FMQ April Challenge
Warning this is a long post.
This month Christina Camelli was the instructor.  I purchased her Craftsy class which I really enjoyed especially as she explains how to deconstruct a quilting design.  What made this more of a challenge for me was deciding on a quilting design to go with another of my orphans. 

Here is the orphan.  An adaptation of a Japanese manhole cover centered on the green background.
My next step was to baste the circular outline.
Then trim outside the basting approximately 3/8". Sorry the picture is kind of fuzzy but it is the only one I have of this step.

The basting is the seam line to applique the circular center to the background.

All appliqued and ready to sandwich and start quilting.
The appliqued center I stitched in the ditch and pebble stitched for the background.  Also this shows the magnifier attached to my sewing machine.  If you look closely there are circles marked on the green with pearls inside.  Decided not to do that but the outside circle is the boundary for my quilting.

I used one of Christina's climbing designs for the orange quilting.  Then cut the top out on that outside circle I had marked before.

Next I really didn't want a flat round pillow so I had to make a band for the edge.  I made mine at 3.5".  Probably a little too wide if I were to do it over again.  I marked 1/4" seam lines on the RIGHT side of both edges of my backing fabric.  Cut my batting strip at 3" and layered between the lines.  This reduced the bulk in the seams where the band would join the top and bottom of the cushion.
Oh yes the length of the strip needs to be the Circumference of the circle.  For my 16" Diameter pillow I needed 50" so I made my strips 60"  a little over kill but that is what I did.  Didn't want to come up short.
Then I used the same climbing design to quilt the side strip.  Note I didn't baste the layers together just pinned them down the middle to start then the edges as I went.  Worked great.
Here is the top with the band sewn on.  Almost done!
For the back I decided to do large pebbles on one half and a modified string of pearls on the other half.  I need a larger pillow form for this also maybe a 20" to fill the sides better.  And DH suggested maybe a little velcro for a closure.
Over all I am pleased with the results.  Hope you have enjoyed my journey.



FMQ March Challenge  Borders
Well it seems like my pillows just keep growing.  This one is a 22".  I started out with the center which is an applique block I did years ago.  In fact I don't even remember where I got the pattern.  So in trying to use what I have on hand.  Boo koos of samples this is the one that surfaced.

After watching Pat's tutorial I decided to use her example of leaving some "white" space so the first inside border worked well.

First.  I always SID this time I did the stippling at the same time using a varigated thread in black, blue, deep red.  I used this same thread for the matchstick border.  First I did my base lines, then did all the matchstick, then went back over the corners and both outside lines twice more.  Helped cover up where I missed.

Flames are a lot harder to draw than you would think.  No feathers just wouldn't do on this one.  Finally thanks to the wonderful internet I found a flame design that I thought may work.  After futzing with it on my computer I printed it out on cardstock.  This one I cut out with scissors, but if I really wanted to keep it I would have cut it out with an xacto and kept the majority of the page.

The Flame border was easy to quilt very similar to feathers but not as precise.  I just wish the thread I used had more bright orange, but again using what I have.

On that subject of using what I have the batting is pieces of wool and I used Marti Mitchells batting tape.  It is a light weight fusible about 2" wide and worked well.

Once I had the flames done I went back and did what Patsy called hyper quilting and added a few extra flames in some of the plainer ones.

Next i outlined and scribble stitched in the areas that got closed in.  My next design obstacle was what to do next.  Matchstick was out already had some, pebbles not good, and I am not about to scribble that whole outer border.  Well great place to practice my echo.  Fortunately  flames give a lot of leeway.

And THEN my light bulb moment.  I work on a Bernina 180 which has a throat space of about 7".  In order for my echo to work I need to see where I am going so I work from the inside out.  Well being able to get a smooth motion I have to roll up the right side as I work.  This creates another issue of trying to hold that edge out of the way and still move smoothly.  Solution Binding Clips, and why didn't I think of this sooner?  Must be age.  See what I mean below.
Today I finished here are pics of the front, back and stuffed.  I need to get a big pillow form for this one.


 FMQ  February Challenge.
This month the challenge to use one of Leah Day's new background fillers "Railroad Tracks" took a little thought.  I looked at Leah's sample and it really didn't appeal to me so much.  But that is the point of a challenge right, do something outside your box.

Well Dear Hubby is pretty tired of hearts and flowers and his birthday is coming up this month so railroad tracks mean trains to me and he worked for a time years ago for the railroad.

The internet is a wonderful thing.  I went on a search for a train.  There are a lot of them.  Finally I downloaded a couple of coloring book pages.  Of course the one that appealed to me most was the most complex.  After enlarging it from the 1" size up to a 10" it looked more doable.  Maybe??

During the quilting I had so many starts and stops that I think I used more thread doing that than the actual quilting.  Well maybe not.  Actually this pillow took less time than the one for January (see below).

One thing I did learn is that an open toe foot makes doing circles easier than the closed one which I usually use.  The other thing I did was instead of basting I just used straight pins and pinned, machine basted around the outside edge then quilted.  I wouldn't do this on a large project like Leah does but for this small piece it worked great.

So here is the finished pillow for February.

I might add that the railroad track filler was actually kind of fun to do.  Thanks Leah.


The FMQ January Challenge is for a pillow.  I am trying use what I have on hand (yes there is a little Scotch in there somewhere).  So here is my process from the beginning to present.

1.  I used a tip from Cindy Needham's class with a little twist.  Rather than using a lot of tissue tracing paper, or the Glad Press and Seal to audition designs I used clear vinyl and dry erase markers.  The twist is I used blue painters tape and taped all around the edges on one side along with making two tabs.  I use the tabs to pin to my design wall.  Also by taping on one side that identifies the side I will use to mark on.  That way I can avoid transferring any marks onto the fabric of another project if I did not get it all cleaned off.

This is my initial design idea but the feathers just wouldn't work for me.  So back to the drawing board.
Here is the basic design I have settled on.  Now to finalize it onto something I can actually trace.

Final design traced onto tissue tracing paper.  The reason some of the feathers are lighter than others is because I could trace from the wrong side without having to have two masters.

 After a couple of starts and stops I finally managed to pick a background fabric then began auditioning thread.  Here are my final choices (so far).   Yellow King Tut, Yellow Orange DMC.  These are both cotton. Then there is Light Yellow and Light Blue Isacord poly.

I know this is hard to see but the design is all traced and ready to sandwich.  This brings me up to today.  Hopefully tomorrow I will get a little more done.

 Here is Monday's progress.  Basted and quilting started.

Sorry I missed Tuesday although I did work on my pillow.  Also went and got a much needed hair cut.  Anyway I got almost all of the hearts done except for one corner.  Then today, Wednesday, I finished that corner and used the girls right to change my mind.  After a quick test of the blue thread I changed to white bottom line top and bottom for the backgound work.  Here it is.

Finished and ready to trim.  The bottomline thread looks really good but gave me fits.  Long story short the large cone was wound wrong so that the top wind tended to go under the bottom wind at the bottom edge of the cone.  A phone call to Superior Threads and a new cone is on the way.  Not wanting to wait after all I was on a roll (well kind of), I decided to wind a bobbin and work from that  for the top.  The idea works find as long as the bobbin is wound smooth and even.  Anyway here is the finished quilting.

One pillow done.  The center is one of my original applique patterns called Rose Heart.  The backgound hearts are from my Redwork Hearts that are smaller and I only used the outline then filled with feathers.  Hope you have enjoyed my journey.


  1. That is absolutely beautiful, stunning work!

  2. Wow!!! Very nice. Your quilting is amazing!!

  3. Wow amazing!!! So beautiful!!! Great job.

  4. That's wonderful - love how you have don e that.

  5. Absolutely stunning. Such an elegant pillow. Love how you took this challenge and made it your own. thanks for all the tips too!


  6. Love your pillow - great work :-)

  7. a real piece of art you have there....lovely work

  8. Is all the blue marking going to wash out? I don't have great success with this, please share the secret

    1. Hi Debbie
      The blue is done on clear vinyl with a dry erase marker. One caution don't let the dry erase set more than a day or it won't come off very well. I marked the pattern to be quilted with a frixion pen. These come off with heat. I have used the clover water soluble blue markers too those come off withcool water. Hope this helps

  9. Wow, what a stunner. That's setting the bar high!!

  10. Geri sooo beautiful. You inspire me to crawl out of my box and get on The Little Quilter Train That Could. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Just beautiful Geri! Love your process :)

  12. Gorgeous pillow! Your quilting is fantastic!

  13. You've made a stunning pillow.....

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  15. You have done a marvellous work. I like it really!!!

  16. Your train pillow is gorgeous!!! Wow!!! I also enjoyed reading about your process for the January challenge.

  17. Your train pillow is amazing. Love it!

  18. Beautiful Train Pillow and your Heart Pillow is stunning!

  19. What a creative use of fmq; this train is wonderful! What a talent you have and your use of thread and color are wonderful. Congratulations on such an inspiring piece of art in your February pillow.

  20. Love your train pillow :-D Got the same idè when I saw the other train pillow as well. Have made an embroidery who looks like your train - just to tell ;-) Love the idè. My housband works in the railway and my dad did.

  21. Wow, the train is awesome! I love the fabric you chose for the background. You are a patient quilter.

  22. Your March cushion is a great idea too - love how you have used an orphan block and how you have built it all up. Beautiful!

  23. love your May cushion... lots of great detail...

  24. popped in to see your June cushion... I love it and as a lover of doilies I love that you used one too....

  25. Beautiful cushions, all of them are so neat!