Jelly Roll Race Top Finished

I am so happy with this Jelly Roll Race top.

It is a double size top, and I used two packages of Jelly Rolls. The name of these fabrics are watermelon, made by Hoffman Fabrics. Just perfect for a summer quilt.

This is an photo up-close. Sewing these strips together, and then looking at them reminded me of creating a “long and winding road.” 

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Finish it up Friday!! And I literally finished it up in time to participate in this linky party for the first time!!

Have a good weekend. Happy Quilting!!

One Lovely Quilt Award

Last week while we were away on vacation, I received this lovely e-
mail Iris@crazydutchbirdquilts telling me that my blog is nominated for the One Lovely Quilt Award, along with nine other quilt bloggers. I am very honored and excited that Hudson Valley Quilts received this very unexpected award. I met Iris last year through the Plum and June’s Advice for New Blogger’s Blog HopThank you, Iris. And thank you Beth for hosting the blog hop where we met.
Here are the rules/instructions for the “One Lovely Blog Award”
1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you (mention your nominator in your own award post with a link back to their original award post, which for me would be this one).
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3.  Nominate 10 other blogs for the award. 
(Note this was how this information came to me but I have since found out that a year ago the 3rd agreement just said nominate other blogs for this award….so I say if 10 seems overwhelming just go with the number you are happy with).

Part of the award process is for me to share 7 things about me that you might not know. Then I will nominate 10 other blogs that are very lovely blogs too. 

1. I have two masters degrees: an MBA, (Masters in Business Administration), from Syracuse Universtiy and a MLIS (Masters of Information and Library Science, with a speciality in youth services), from Long Island University.

 2. My first career was as an in-house Recruiter and Human Resource Manager at two large law firms in Manhattan. 

 3. As you probably know, I love cats. Dogs are great too. I volunteer for the SPCA of Briarcliff, in Briarcliff, New York. My husband and I have raised over 40 when the shelter was at capacity. It is a no-kill shelter, and we are a foster home. This is why we support this local shelter so passionately.

There is one family, and one adult female cat I will never forget. The older female cat was abused, and the Vet did surgery to try and repair her broken leg. Sadly,  it was unsuccessful. She had to have it amputated. We were devastated for her. They shelter wanted us to create a physical therapy program for her while she was recuperating at our home. None of us knew what physical therapy for a cat was, but we did a little research and used some creativity. Mostly, she really needed to get her confidence back. 

We set up a mini obstacle course for her from one end of our living room into the second bedroom of our condo. Four times a day, I would have her do four heats of the obstacle course. After a few weeks, she was walking and running around confidently. She returned to the shelter for adoption. Six months later, she found her forever home. We cried many happy tears. 

We fostered a new mom and her five 3-day old kittens. Watching the kittens grow up until they were seven weeks old and could return to the shelter for their vaccines and adoption, was such a treat. Everyday they would surprise me. It is always hard to bring fosters back for adoption if you’ve bonded with any or all of them. 

One of the kittens in this litter was a little boy who looked just like Emma who is sitting on the masthead of this blog. 


                                                Biscuit and Emma

We adopted her when she was a year old from a rescue group. So we named the kitten Emmett, after Emma. The day came when we brought the family back to the SPCA, we cried, and really wanted to keep Emmett, and struggled with adopting a third cat. This little guy had us wrapped around his paw. 

We have two cats who are very close, Biscuit and Emma, and adding a new one into the mix probably would have caused issues. Hard decision – ultimately the best one for Biscuit and Emma, was not to adopt another. We decided by the end of the day to go back and adopt Emmett But he was already adopted by a lovely family with two children. So fate stepped in and made us stick to our original decision.

4. I am the author of five non-fiction children’s books, which are not all under my name. 

Crispus Attucks: Hero of The Boston Massacre

Nat Love; African American Cowboy

The Supreme Court and The Judaical Branch

The Importance of Being an Active Citizen

Booker T. Washington; Educator and Racial Spokesman

Three of them are biographies. Although none of the subjects are alive, I really enjoyed interviewing people and writing about other people’s lives.
I learned so much about how different and similar people are. Hearing what they had to say, and learning about what makes them alive was fascinating. This is why I enjoy interviewing people in our industry and featuring them on this blog.

5. My two amazing and cool, personal Rock ‘n Roll moments. (Growing up and even as an adult, I have been to many concerts, Rock, Jazz and Classical). 

I saw The Beatles filming the movie, “Help,” in Nassau, The Bahamas. I was with my family on vacation. 

And…while attending Ithaca College, I was at a Billy Joel concert. During one of his encores, the Piano Man asked for requests from the audience. He picked me.
I was so excited.

6. I love swimming. Going to a beach or lake is a haven for me. I also love swimming in the pool, especially an infinity pool!!

7. I love outer space. When I heard that Scott Kelly, the astronaut was going to spend a year in space, and tweet about it, I had to follow along. The photos of earth from outer space, as well as the photos of space, that Captain Scott J. Kelly is posting are amazing and inspirational. If you want to follow along with me, his handle is  @StationCDRKelly

I am nominating the following blogs, in no particular order for the One Lovely Blog Award. A big thanks to them for supporting and inspiring me, and Iris@crazydutchbirdquilts, who nominated me.






Christa@christaquilts – Christa recently came out with a book; Machine Quilting with Style: From Walking-Foot Wonders to Free Motion Favorites.



Amber@alittlebitbiased – Amber recently came out with a wonderful new book; Vintage Vibe; Traditional Quilts, Fresh Fabrics.

Beth@plumandjune – Beth just came out with a fabulous new book; The Modern Medallion Workbook. 

Faith@freshlemonquilts – Faith co-wrote with two other fantastic quilters and bloggers a book; Vintage Quilt Revival; 22 Modern Designs From Classic Blocks.

On another note, I am linking up today with WIP Freshly Modern Pieced, hosted by another favorite quilter and blogger, Lee Heinrich. I have been marking my king sized quilt for hand quilting, which is taking a very long time.

I am going to post a short tutorial on marking quilts for hand quilting. Once I start working on it, I will only show myprogress when I’m at the halfway mark, and then at the end. That will probably be in 2020!!  Hopefully a lot sooner. Everything else I’m working on is being quilted by my Bernina 750.
Happy Quilting!!

Great Vacation in Charleston, South Carolina

For the last week, I have been on vacation with my husband in Charleston, SC. We havent’ seen that much of the south, and also wanted to go some place where there are beaches, and sun. 

                                               Folly Beach

                                             Isle of Palms Beach

Charleston is a beach lovers dream. We saw almost all of them, but Isle of Palms was my favorite beach. In each direction, I could see miles of sandy coastline, which never seemed to end. And in a historic place like Charleston, I like to think about the settlers who came many centuries ago and settled off the shores. It’s hard to imagine, what their reactions were to this new land. How will they survive here. It takes a lot of bravery and guts to take such a huge leap of faith. How many brought all their quilting supplies? I don’t doubt some did.

Everything was very lush, and there was lots of old trees with Spanish Moss hanging from them. Many palm trees, which I didn’t expect.

One of my favorite scenes is the long docks that go into the salt marshes, which were in the movie “The Notebook.” Many of the scenes from the movie were filmed in this area.

Each little town had it’s own personality. And coming from New York I was surprised at how clean everything was, even in the city. And no graffiti. American flags were everywhere to honor the veterans. 

This photo was taken on Sullivan’s Island. 

We visited with a friend of ours who recently moved to Daniel Island, and told us that coconut cake is a big thing there. The Penninsula Grill boasts The Ultimate Coconut Cake. Of course we tried it.

It was very large, and the best I can remember tasting. The server told us that a few days before Christmas, they make several hundred, because people send them as gifts. They cost $120.00 a cake plus special shipping.

Of course, I couldn’t leave without visiting at least one quilt shop.Five Eighth Seams, in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Quite a lovely quilting shop. And if you are ever in this area, check it out.

We ate lunch one day at Water’s Edge in Shem Creek. There are three small fins you can see in the photo below. We got a great surprise – some dolphins!!

I still can’t believe the week went so fast. On the last day we went for an hour and a half cruise on a small catamaran. Another activity, I highly recommend. Ask for Brian at Charleston Sailing Adventures. He shared with us many interesting facts and stories. Afterwards we docked nearby.

Afterwards, we went to California Dreaming and were greeted by a sign that gave all four of us a good laugh. (My friend from college who moved to Charleston and her nephew were with us).

I love these last two photos. One of them sums up what Memorial Day is about – seeing the flag of our nation everywhere, and feeling grateful about our freedom, and being thankful to all that serve our country.

And the sunset.

Before I sign off, check out the beautiful quilts and blogs at Blogger’s Quilt Festival, sponsored by Amy@Amy’s Creative Side. I entered a quilt in the hand quilted category. There is more information on my web site at the following URL, and photos. Most of all, enjoy all of the inspiring quilts and learn about their makers and designers. It’s just a really fun festival to participate in.

Lots of WIP’s to share this week. Happy Quilting!!

Update – Back From Vacation

We just came home from a wonderful and restful week in Charleston, South Carolina. What a beautiful and welcoming city.

I will post more in the next day or two and share some photos. I am so grateful we got to do this after a tough winter in NY.

I will share this one photo which is funny. We went to a restaurant last night, and as we entered the following sign greeted us.

Actually the surprise of it represents our whole week. Every where we turned there was an interesting or funny surprise to discover.

Stay tuned.

Great Blowout Sale at Winter Creek Cloth

Dana from Winter Creek Cloth is having a huge blowout sale this week. I am a big fan of stores that offer discounts, reward points that apply to future purchases, ongoing sales, and end of bolt discounts. I am even a bigger fan of stores that make it easy for me to know about those sales and specials, by providing them with my e-mail address. Then the announcement comes right into my e-mail box. 

Each are full yard bundles. That’s how much I loved these fabrics!!

Vignette – Orchid Colorway

Vignette – Aqua Colorway

I promise I will be writing my update and review of 30 stores that help fabric buyers with great sales in about 2 weeks, (around the first week of June), and will continue to update it biannually. Also with that will be the updated list of sources and stores for out-of-print fabrics.

I was happy to find Winter Creek Cloth. A few weeks ago Faith at Fresh Lemons Quilts posted about this fabric line, Vignette by Laura Gunn. The colors and the prints were unique, modern with just the right touch of femininity for us. My husband loved them too, yay!! I knew I would find a pattern and use it. I had a hard time finding the entire line in many of my go-to online fabric shops.

I called Michael Miller Fabrics and they suggested I contact Winter Creek Cloth. Luckily, Dana the owner, had them at a great price. And as I am revising my online and brick and mortar shops that offer good deals, I asked her discounts she offers her customers, and I was impressed.

Here are the details of this great sale;

5-day Inventory Blowout Sale Monday, May 18, through Friday, May 22 

Fabrics are on sale at 20%, 30%, 40% and 50% off
Patterns are at 25% off.
Holiday fabrics are at 50% off.
Pre-cuts and bundles are at 30% off.
And they have a bits and pieces category.

Advice and Tech Help For New Bloggers Blog Hop 2015

Last spring I participated in The Let’s Get Acquainted New Blogger’s Blog Hop, sponsored by Plum & June.  The experience was priceless for me. I met wonderful quilt bloggers from around the world, that became colleagues and friends. I feel blessed to have met them, and continue to learn, grow, laugh, support, and share with them. 

Thank you to this year’s hosts, who I was lucky to meet in last years Advice for New Bloggers Blog Hop; Yvonne@Quilting JetGirl, Stephanie & Michelle@ Late Night QuilterCheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs, and TerriAnn @ Childlike Fascination. Check out their blogs and be prepared to be wowed!!

I have 11 suggestions that I learned along the way, as well as some great advice from several other bloggers (alum) who participated in last year’s New Blogger’s Blog Hop, before 2014. Their blogs are full of inspiration and beautiful quilty items. Check them out too.

1. Make your photos extra large. Readers love to see big photos that are high resolution and artistic.

2. Consider taking a photography class. Before I began blogging, all I knew was “point and shoot.” I learned some simple techniques, which were invaluable for making my blog look better. And, take your camera everywhere. (Thank you Christa@Christaquilts).

3. Because photos can sometimes be more important than text in quilt blogging, be sure that your text supports your photos, and your photos and illustrations support your text. Re-read some of your favorite picture books for great examples. 

4. Write in your own voice. (Another great Christaism from Christa@Christaquilts). If you’re not sure what that is, you need to figure that out. I’ve been a professional author/writer for 15 years. BUT even with those experiences, I had to figure out how to stay true to my voice within this new platform; as a quilt blogger. 

I began by reading over 200 quilt blogs. I wrote practice posts. I didn’t publish in the blogosphere until my gut felt they “rang true.” You will know it, when you find it. I promise. And you probably won’t have to read 200 blogs to discover your incredible and unique voice.

5. Try to keep your posts informational, upbeat and not too long, (unlike this post). If it feels too long, break it up into a series with parts; 1,2,3,4, etc. Readers today have so much information to read and absorb. I can’t provide a recommend a word count, but…. 

Try this exercise; Read some blogs. Notice how long your attention span lasts. When you find one that is the length you feel works, copy and paste it into a word document. Then highlight all the text, and use the word count tool. Use that number as your benchmark average. Some days your posts will require more words, some days less, and that’s okay too. There are no quilt blogging police.

6. I have broken the following rule, and sometimes it’s okay to break your own rules. Don’t apologize, from Molli Sparkles, advice to new bloggers. If your photos aren’t magazine perfect on some days, it’s fine. For example, it was a bad winter where we live this past year, and it was hard to get a good photo in our tiny condo. I’ve had a few major orthopedic surgeries, and I didn’t want to risk slipping in the snow and ice, but I had to “make it work.” Remember we’re blogging about quilts here, it’s not emergency room work. 

This was the only angle I could photograph this quilt with decent lighting. 

I couldn’t get this photo with the correct lighting no matter how many times I tried inside, without building or purchasing some type of small light shed.

7. Link and give credit to others. If you were inspired by someone else’s work, link back to them. They will be flattered, and you will feel good about yourself.

8. Don’t be a no reply blogger. I learned this from  Molli Sparkles. I reply to all comments by e-mail.Then I answer questions in the comment box, and via e-mail. One exception – if I have a large response during a give-a-way. I make every effort to e-mail everyone, but sometimes it’s hard to write back to 200+ e-mails. 

If the winner of a give-a-way is a no reply blogger, I try my best to find them. After a week, I have to pick another winner. If you do offer give-a-ways, follow-up with the winner to make sure they received their prize. 

In one instance, the sponsor of a give-a-way had a family emergency and had to go out of town immediately. The prize went out a week late. Fortunately, the winner and I were in e-mail contact, so I gave her the heads up, and it wasn’t a problem. 

9. Write about what you know about, and what you love. Another Mollism. I never write about paper piecing, or review quilting books or patterns that use paper-piecing. I am a dyslexic, lefty, which makes it a difficult and frustrating process for me. (Not everyone). I stick to machine piecing and hand applique, and leave the paper piecing to those who are in love with it, and do it so well. There’s something in quilting for everyone. 

10. Connect and participate with other quilt bloggers. Thank you Jess@Elven Garden. I belong to a guild an hour away from our home. And I participate with a small group of women who I have worked side-by-side with for over four years at Pins and Needles in Mt. Kisco, NY. Deb and Lisa, (25+ years of teaching experience), provide help, support and suggestions during our Friday morning clinics. As much as I love them, they are not bloggers. 

That said, quilt blog world was an enigma to me when I began two years ago. Leave comments for bloggers whose work you admire. If you feel uncomfortable leaving questions in the comments box, send them via e-mail.  Thank them. Be positive, because quilt blog world is a friendly and positive place, and people really like to keep it that way. 

Participate in linky parties and quilt-a-longs. Linky parties are easy and don’t take a lot of time. Be sure to comment on at least three other people’s posted links. Before the New Blogger’s Blog Hop last year, I didn’t know what a linky party was. Fortunately, a lot of kind bloggers responded to me and explained how they work and how it’s a good way to learn, meet and be inspired by other quilters. You will meet many others who are like minded.

11.  I don’t follow this as well as I should. Try your best to be consistent, (Thanks again, Jess@Elven Garden). I used to post every Monday and Thursday. 

Several months after I began blogging, my part-time job outside my home picked up, and I received more paid writing assignments from Make Modern, a new quilt e-zine from Australia. I am trying to get back on a regular schedule and set up posts in advance. But, as I said before, we are quilt bloggers, not emergency room doctors and nurses, and I’m not going to berate myself for increasing our family income. Priorities and life balance rule here.

A great example. We don’t have kids at home anymore, and a lot of quilt bloggers do. God Bless you working moms because I am in awe of you all. You know where your priorities are, and so many of you never cease to amaze me at how you juggle it all. Quilting, blogging, designing and taking care of all your kiddos, husbands, pets and your home. I promise, If you go for 10 days without a post, the world won’t come to an end, and readers will forgive you for it. They will even stick with you. Thank them.

You are about to begin an amazing journey. I wish you all the best of luck. If you have a question, feel free to ask and write me at 

Displaying 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Button (300px).png

Most of all, have fun!!

Happy quilt blogging!!

Bloggers Quilt Festival Spring 2015 Entry

I was so excited to see the hand quilting category in Amy Ellis’s Spring Bloggers Quilt Festival. Her blog, Amy’s Creative Side has been sponsoring this festival for several years. She runs the festivals during fall and spring quilt market. There are many wonderful online stores and vendors who offer prizes to the winners. 

I finished hand quilting this single size bed quilt in January, 2015. It took about a year to complete. I worked on it off and on.

Hand quilting is not as difficult as most people think. Once I got the hang of it, I really fell in love with it. It puts me in a very zen mood. It does take a long time to do, and I machine quilt most of my quilts. But I always have one on the side to do by hand. 

I like having something to hand sew when we’re watching TV, or listening to music. And, although it’s a bit cumbersome, it is portable!! I bring it to the pool in the summer, and work on it in the warm sunlight between swimming, reading, and visiting with my friends and neighbors.

The pattern I hand quilted on this piece is called the Bishop’s Fan. It’s one of my favorite patterns. The curves are very gentle, and it softens a quilt that is pieced using all straight seams or is angular. 

I try to make my stitches as consistent as possible. But this is hand work, and it’s not always perfect. The imperfections really do give it a hand made feel. Over the many years I’ve been hand quilting, my stitch length and spacing has soared – practice really helps.

It’s easy to see the fan shape in this photo. I mark the quilt before I begin the sewing using a template bought from a store, and use a number 2 pencil. I wash the quilt when it’s finished, and the pencil markings that haven’t worn off come right out in the wash. 

I used Prescencia Thread 60 wt., hand quilting thread, which is my favorite. I chose a neutral color that would show the stitches and pattern, but don’t scream with color and overshadow the fabrics and distract from the overall pattern of the quilt.

There are many types and brands of “quilting between needles.” I mostly use Colonial Needles, number 10. They also make a hybrid needle, which I use too. The eye is bigger, but the shaft of the needle is skinny, so it quilts through the three layers smoothly and easily.

It’s easy to see the stitches on the front and back in this photo. I love this backing with the little hearts.

I dedicated it to our cat Emma. She sleeps on it when it’s on the couch. We use it too for naps, and sometimes when we watch TV or read.

Check out all the beautiful quilts that other quilters have made. Click this link to link-up up with Amy’s Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival, Spring 2015. I promise you won’t be disappointed. The quilts can be entered into one or two of several categories during May 15 – May 21. You can vote for your favorites beginning on May 22. There are many great entries to inspire and delight you, and you’ll enjoy discovering new blogs and quilters.

Happy Quilting!!