Baby Quilt 1 – Nautical Theme

Currently, I am working on several baby quilts, not to mention the other quilts that are not.  Honestly, I’m not positive how many WIP’s; it’s somewhere between 5-10. That’s the most I’ve ever had!!

My very close friend’s daughter, Erica, who is the mom to be, is expecting a baby boy around Thanksgiving. Did you know that pirates are a very popular theme for babies now? She purchased a onesy with a scull and crossbones on it from Nordstrom’s at the sale. And, this motif is really popular.

So I let Erica and her mom pick out the pattern, which is a simple charm square quilt with a nautical theme.

The scull and crossbones fabric will be the backing fabric and the binding.

Here are some close-ups of the fabrics.

And this is the layout as of now. I’m sure I will change it around a bit by tomorrow. I was itching to start sewing tonight, but I know, I am more pleased with my layouts when I reexamine them the next day. So I will wait.

The other two baby quilts in progress are; a low volume quilt with coral and Aqua squares, (Mom’s choice – Lisa). The pattern is by Brenda Ratliff from@justabitfrayed, and Pink Castle Fabrics. This pattern also uses text fabrics. It’s perfect for my cousin Jordan, and his wife Lisa, and their little girl; Marigold Louise from LA. Everyone is calling her, Goldie. She is so cute!!

The third baby quilt is for my friend Tom and his wife, and their second child, Clara. The pattern is spools of thread. I chose that pattern, because they own Colonial Needle and Presencia Thread. And, I am a huge fan of their products.

Today I am linking up with Lee at Freshly Modern Pieced.

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!!

A Visit to Colonial Needle in White Plains, New York, Give-a-Way, Part 2

The rest of the Colonial Needle story…. 

Two to three years ago, Colonial Needle acquired the North American Distributor of Presencia America, an outstanding thread manufacturer to their company. Presencia, located in Valencia, Spain is the maker of a wide variety of high quality threads. Below are photos of the threads and a thread color chart. This is what a quilter would use for piecing in their sewing machine. 

They also make this thread in cones for those who prefer that, or are longarm quilters.

I have tried this 100 % Egyptian, cotton thread and do not get lint, or what I call quilt dust bunnies, above the needle shaft or in the bobbin case, which is such a pleasure.

A lot of color choices.  Who doesn’t love that?

Both the embroidery thread and the Perle thread, is also 100% staple cotton. This means it’s not fused, extremely strong, colorfast and shrinkfast. And wait until you see proof below of that later in this post. I was wowed.

The embroidery thread has the same special aspects as the thread described above. It is really bleachfast. 

In fact, Jim and Tom showed me a minor’s jacket that had been through about 50 washings and quite a few bleachings. The ball of thread is three-ply Perle thread. Note the Ralph Lauren Polo Logo is as bright as the day it was new.. 

Now I’ll show you why I was wowed. When I came home, I compared it to other thread I’ve used for machine applique and hand quilting,that has been washed many times. Mine was faded in comparison to the Presencia. Check out the color of the perle thread ball that is the same color used to make that logo.

The interesting thing about the hand quilting thread is that it is thinner, but still 3 ply. Thinner individual threads, are used but into a three ply finished product. It comes in 40 wt., 50 wt. and 60 wt.

The photo above shows the crochet thread above, and the Perle thread I have been referring to. The Perle thread that is 3 is very thick, and best used for using for hand stitching in crazy quilts, or as an alternative to embroidery thread. The 5,7, and 8 is good to use in the top thread in your sewing machine, but too thick for the bobbin.  The 8 is mostly recommended for Sashico.

The 40 wt. is perfect for hand quilting. The 50 wt. is used for machine piecing and machine applique. The 60 wt., is finer, although 3 ply as well the others, and is used for hand applique.

Colonial Needle a wide variety of notions, and other sewing products,including thimbles, felting, cross stitch kits, hoops, pins, measurers and knitting and crocheting supplies. They sell to independent shop owners. 

In Part 1, I promised I would re-post the very help Colonial English Needles chart, and here it is. I also posted it on my pinterest page,



The team at Colonial Needle put together in incredible gift basket. I took a few photos so you could really see the variety of products and how much is in this very large and cool basket.

Our cat Biscuit isn’t sure he wants to give it up.  But I know he is convincible. He is a true quilting cat and you will see more of him in posts. His little sister Emma is pictured on the masthead sitting on my quilting basket.  

All you have to do to enter, is subscribe to my blog and like Hudson Valley Quilts and Colonial Needle on facebook, and let me know in my comment box.  

Since we’ve been discussing this unusual cold weather, and this is optional, tell me what city you live in, and how cold it’s been where you live. We are in Ossining, New York and it reached -16 F with the wind chill factor.

I will announce the winner of this gift basket on Sunday, January 12 at 12:01 AM. It will be posted on the blog. But please leave your e-mail address, so I know where to send it.

Stay warm. Happy quilting. Have a great weekend!!