In honor of International Quilting Day I started working on an improvisational quilt. I made the blocks last night - that only took a couple of hours. I had no idea where this would go, but i put them on the design wall an slept on it. This morning this was my jumping off point.


Today i spent the morning adding a few bits here and there and had the border on by 2:30pm. Whoo-hoo! I'm calling this one Firewall II.



Don't forget that the rest of this weekend, over 140 shows are FREE if you login to The Quilt Show. If you are not a member, you can create a Free account and watch. In addition, there is a huge give-away so don't forget to register to win. Register here.

What did you do to celebrate International Quilting Day 2013?


Today is quilting's biggest day! It's a day to quilt, shop, and be thankful for this amazing art/craft/hobby/lifestyle! My own celebration began last night when I made 20 improvisational (Caveman) blocks. I love playtime. These are on the wall now, but what they will become I don't know yet. 

You can celebrate by watching over 140 episodes of The Quilt Show. Simply login or register for free and watch all weekend long! In addition, there are tons of free give-aways - so be sure to register to win! You could win a Bernina QE, a chair from Gammill, I'm giving away a $450 gift basket and there's a lot more. What will you do today to celebrate International Quilting Day?



If you watch any of my new companion videos for the Gaelic Blessing quilt, you will see something new. What is it?

I created a set of companion videos with tips and demonstrations to go along with the Gaelic Blessings quilt. Let's have some fun and make the quilt together! The videos are in the Classroom at TheQuiltShow.com. The classroom is free, but you do have to be a TQS member, either a Basic Member (free) or a Star Member (premium) to access the videos. Just login to watch.


Click the image above to watch the introductory video on YouTube.

Patterns and kits are available now!

Purchase the Gaelic Blessing pattern only for $9.98 or get the kit
which includes 8 yards of Ricky's beautiful hand dyed fabrics for only $149.95
- a 25% savings and the pattern is included FREE!
Patterns and Kits available at www.rickytims.com.






First of all - let me say...... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I wish you all the best in 2013!.


It happened yesterday! I finished the quilt top for my Streak of Lightning quilt. I will admit this is the most ornery quilt I've ever made and mostly because it was made by using very traditional techniques. Quilts like this with a kazillion small pieces means that the margin for error is nonexistent. The slightest changes in seam allowance will throw things off. Actually, I was VERY careful to make sure I was as accurate and consistent as possible to avoid problems. Let me tell you what I learned.

All of the columns were okay and not that difficult. It was important to mark where the columns should meet so that the ziz zag remained the same width. I did one column where I just pinned the top and bottom and a couple of places in between thinking it would just 'fit' -which it did. But that seam had to be picked out because the points of the blocks would shift and fall in odd places messing up the ziz zag - and it was visually obvious.

Notice the triangles pieced on the left and right of the body of the quilt. Those were cut the exact same size and the triangles that were cut to put onto the nine-patches. However, after piecing those, they were at least an inch (maybe slightly more) longer than any of the other columns. Still, I 'eased' them onto the quilt. At that point things were NOT looking good. The quilt was NOT flat, waving and rippling horribly. I almost decided to remove them from the quilt totally, but I didn't. So.... what did I do?

I had faith - that's what! I had faith that if I measured my length down several nine-patch columns, took the average (which was only maybe 1/4" difference at any spot) and made my border exactly that length (again easing those pecky triangle strips) that the quilt would go back to flat. It was important that my borders were cut on the length of the grain so that it was strong and stable to support the problem spots. Also, I pinned a LOT. As you know, I'm known for not being a pinner - but I DO pin when it's necessary - and this was necessary.

In this case, I found the center of the border and the center of the side and pinned that first. Then I pinned the corners. Then I tugged from center to corner to ease the fullness, and pinned in middle of that. I continued this until I had about 12 pins on each border.

After putting on the left and right borders (which I had already cut the miter corners on), then I measured across the quilt to get the best average. This measurement was pretty much exact across so I used that measurement to make my top and bottom borders. Again, I pinned to make sure everything was positioned correctly. After competing the four miters, the quilt top was FLAT - and FINISHED! Whoo-hoo!

This would not have happened if I had just sewn on a border without measuring, easing, and pinning. But now, I'm confident that it will look good when it's quilted and will be square as well. 

Today I dyed the fabric for the backing - and soon I'll be quilting it.

Have you ever had a project that, after a lot of work, you felt would simply not turn out. Did you toss it aside? Put on your thinking cap? Did if finish better than you expected?

Oh - Since the pattern is a traditional Streak of Lighthing, I was thinking of calling it St. Elmo's Fire (not the movie). St. Elmo's Fire is a weather phenomena created with electrical energy. However, a Facebook friend suggested Northern Lights. That works for me because I have a song on one of my CDs called Northern Lights and I really like using musical terms, phrases, or titles for my quilts. So. Northern Lights is is!

I'm so happy to say my shopping is done and I have time - finally - to get back to quilting. This week I started (and finished) a self-portrait quilt. Does it look anything like me?

And, I have turned my attentions back to the design wall and am plugging along to get this top assembled in the next couple of days. Cross your fingers and wish me luck.

Oh - and what did you put on your Santa's wish list?

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