Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Are you interested in a UFO Challenge for 2015?

I'm coordinating a UFO Busting effort on my blog this year and thought it might be fun to have one just for CSQ members. Is anyone interested is doing that?

It would be a fun way to encourage each other to finish (or get rid of) some projects and clear a little space for even more new projects. I'm not proposing anything fancy just a little bookkeeping as we go through the year.

Here's how it would work. This week we all count up all of the projects we have in process. It could be quilting projects, embroidery projects, knitting projects......whatever you want to count. Post in the comment on this post how many you have. Each month I'll put up a post where you can identify how many you've completed and how many you started for that month. I'll keep a running tally and we'll see how we do at the end of the year.

For myself, I have 31 UFOs (all quilted items) as of today. I believe my oldest one is a Cathedral Window quilt from about 2000. I'd really love to get that one done this year.

How about you? How many projects do you have (and you can categorize them if you want) and what's the oldest one?

Friday, December 26, 2014

CSQ in the News

CSQ was front page news in the Herald-Progress newspaper this week. Karen was interviewed by news reporter, Paige Baxter and did a fine job representing Country School Quilters. Thanks again to EVERYONE who made quilts for our special project and a big thank you also to Susan and Cathy for delivering our quilts. Quilts for Veterans is an on-going project.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Block instructions from the December meeting

At the December meeting Karen started a new series for our meetings called Back to Basics. With each meeting she will go over some basic quilting skills and have a block pattern. If you missed the December meeting here are the instructions for the block to construct for January.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Veteran's Quilt Delivery

A car full of quilts!

Last Thursday Susan Ryan and Cathy Williams delivered about 40 veteran's quilts to the hemodialysis unit and the oncology floor at McGuire VA Medical Center. Most of the patients in these units are outpatient and come back on a regular schedule for treatment. Dialysis patients can come 2 - 3 times weekly for years. They handed out all of the quilts and the patients were very grateful and appreciative that we took the time to make something for them.

Cathy Williams with the cart of quilts ready to go!

Cathy and Susan said that the patients and nurses were grateful for the quilts and most said that they would bring them back every time they came for treatment.

Susan told me one particularly touching story. The chemo nurse asked for 2 quilts for patients that were to arrive after them left. She called Susan later to tell the story of one of them.

When this particular patient came in for treatment he was very depressed and sad. His wife was in tears. They had been for all of his appointments that morning and had been told nothing but bad news. The nurse gave him the quilt telling him a little about it and out group. As he was getting his treatment he was studying the quilt and reading the card and suddenly realized that it was hand made. He started crying and said he was so grateful that someone cared enough to make a quilt for him. It was the one thing that turned his day around.

It's stories like that that make it all worth while. I asked Susan about the make up of the patients and some indication of the  quilts that they liked best. She said that there were less than 5 female patients (as we expected) but that the guys did not shy away from floral fabrics. Many of the recipients were able to pick their quilts and several picked floral quilts. Every quilt, no matter the color or design went to a grateful recipient.

So let's get busy and make more quilts! I've started taking tops for quilting again. I will miss the January - March meetings but Becky has agreed to take tops for me and I'll pick them up from her.
Thank you to Susan and Cathy for delivering the quilts!
Vicki Welsh

Sewing Friday and Saturday

We had a nice group for Sewing this weekend. There's always room for more people though so please consider joining us at the next Sewing Friday and Saturday, January 9 & 10. It's a great opportunity to put some tables together to baste a quilt. You can come for an hour or for both days.  For inspiration here are some of the projects that we worked on this weekend.

Miriam A. is making a quilt with these red and cream Ohio Star blocks.

Becky B. put together tis top from blocks collected at the December meeting. This is going to be an awesome veteran's quilt.

Nancy P. is making this disappearing 9-patch for herself.

Julie is working on a wool applique quilt.

Estelle P. finished the 3rd (and last) veteran's quilt from donated blocks. She's officially over these blocks and was excited to start cutting fabrics for an apple core quilt made with homespun plaids.

Sandy A. made these blocks that will be used to make a Christmas table runner.

Carol C. started a quilt for her grandson. It's a flannel quilt that is constructed on the serger.

I've been making these blocks all year at Friday and Saturday sewing and I finally got the top together!
Mark your calendars for January 9 & 10 and join us at out usual meeting place!

Friday, December 12, 2014

CSQ helps WHEAT!

We love getting together for our annual Christmas pot luck and CSQ members once again showed that they never forget our community. We donated bags and bags of groceries for WHEAT.

Cathy Williams is our WHEAT coordinator and was thrilled to see the back of her van completely filled with donated food from CSQ members.
Thank you CSQ members for your continued support of WHEAT and many other community service projects!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

December Meeting Info - Our Annual Holiday Pot Luck!

Our December meeting is our annual pot luck and collection for WHEAT. The meeting is December 9 and we will start at 6:30. Bring your favorite dish to share along with show-and-tell.

We will also collect food for WHEAT again this year. Here's a list from Cathy Williams of items that WHEAT needs. She also said that they will take large sacks of rice or beans as they repackage those into smaller bags.

The following items are needed for WHEAT's twice monthly Open Pantry. We fill bags with very basic items to promote wellness and help families be less food insecure in Western Hanover County. We currently are assisting 140 households and welcome your partnership:

1 lb. boxes of noodles
spaghetti sauce
cans of tuna or chicken
cans of vegetables
bags of  dried beans
cans of fruit, some low sugar or sugar free
boxes of breakfast cereal, oats or pancake mix (please include syrup, some sugar free)
boxes or envelopes of stuffing or instant potatoes
envelopes of dried milk
boxes of mac 'n cheese
small jars of jam or jelly
gift cards to any area grocery store
quart storage zip bags (Carolyn, please give me your snack bags)
prayer for us and your neighbors

Blessings To You, 
Cathy Williams, WHEAT's Open Pantry Coordinator
WHEAT    P.O. Box 171, Beaverdam, VA 23015

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


This month we are stepping way out of the traditional quilt block box and will be making CRUMB BLOCKS. 

1. A small piece broken or fallen from cake, bread, or other baked goods.
2. A small fragment of scrap - (that's us!)
We usually throw away our smallest scraps of fabric, but Vicki shared some of hers with me and they are just perfect for this project, so let's try making an ART QUILT and see what happens, okay? 
There aren't many rules for making these blocks; just take a pile of fabric crumbs and sew them together until they are the desired size, in this case the trim size is 6 1/2". Don't worry about the width of your seams and any thread color is fine. Just have fun sewing fabrics together. 
I have made a Crumb Kit for each of you, using Vicki's beautiful hand dyed fabrics along with a few others I've thrown in. If you need or want to, just add a fabric of your own to the block you are making. (batiks would be a good choice)
The directions are pretty simple.
1. Sew two pieces of fabric together and press open (pick a light and dark).
2. Trim one side (any side) so it is straight.
3. Sew a fabric to the side you just trimmed and press open.
4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until the block is slightly bigger than a 6 1/2" square.
Here are step by step pictures:
 A pile of fabric crumbs
 Sew 2 pieces together - light & dark
 Trim one side
Add piece 3 to the side you just trimmed
 Trim a straight line (it could be on any side)
Sew another crumb to the side you just trimmed
 Trim to make a straight edge
Sew another piece (here I sewed two blue crumbs together)
Sewn and ready to cut a straight edge 
 Here I made a unit of crumbs to attach to the first section
 Keep sewing crumb pieces together until the desired size
 The blocks will be trimmed using a 6 1/2" square
 Ready to trim
 Finished block trimmed to 6 1/2"

 Doesn't it look good with black sashing - wonky, of course!
I'm hoping we can make an ART QUILT with our CRUMB BLOCKS.
Perhaps it can be a fundraiser quilt for The Virginia Quilt Museum. 
Please, return the blocks at our December meeting.
You do not have to trim the blocks - I'll be glad to do that when I add the sashing.
NOTE: We will not have a Block of the Month for December.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tuesday Meeting and batting

The Tuesday meeting is going to be a demo of screen printing. I'm going to bring a few basic inks and some screens and will have some fabrics you can screen print and take home with you.

Don't forget that we now have a roll of batting to be used for charity projects. If you need me (Vicki Welsh) to bring you fabric please call or email me by Monday evening and let me know what size you need. I don't want to put my number on the web but it's listed in the white pages if you don't have it.

We will also be discussing how/when we want to deliver quilts to McGuire.

Looking forward to seeing you Tuesday night!

Taco Soup

Friday and Saturday were our usual fun days of sewing together. Lots of sewing progress and just as much visiting.

Nancy brought soup for our lunch on Saturday, and boy, was it good. Here's her recipe:
(Rosemary is Nancy's cousin, and a former CSQ member, before she got too busy to sew!)


1 pound hamburger brown & drain
1 onion
2 16 oz. cans pinto beans
2 16 oz white corn
l large can diced tomatoes
1 pkg original buttermilk ranch dry mix
1 pkg taco seasoning dry mix

I cooked the onion and hamburger together and then added the seasoning mix to the hamburger.

I found you can taste the taco seasoning better when added to meat.

Do not drain the beans, corn or tomatoes. 

I cooked mine on the stove top in a Dutch oven.  You can also use a Crockpot.

Combine everything together and cook until you feel all ingredients have blended together.

Sour cream and shredded cheese on top can be added or anything you like. 


Monday, November 3, 2014


Sewing is THIS Friday and Saturday. 9 a.m. - until 3 or 4.
Come to sew and visit one or both days and bring your lunch or go to Subway, or Domino's which are nearby.

I'll bring my laptop to give a Triangulations demo.

Hope we have a roomful of sewers!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Our September block of the month was so simple and fun. Thanks to everyone who made a set of blocks. In case you missed it the directions are as easy as covering an 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper with strips of fabric of various widths and angles. We each used bright strips and made two blocks - one vertically and another one horizontally. Sew with a small stitch (press as you go) and when the paper is covered you're done sewing. Trim block to paper size then remove papers. We used bright fabrics with black/white prints to give it some zip!

Before and after trimming. 

We received a nice stack of blocks at our October meeting, so it appears most everyone enjoyed making these blocks and I had fun sewing them together. The rectangular shape is rather interesting to work with and alternating blocks like this made a nice size for a veteran.

I thought all this wildness needed taming so I added a border. After auditioning several fabrics decided on a dark fabric that reads like a solid, so it doesn't complete with the activity going on within the blocks.
Close-up showing 3"  border
Now with the borders added it looks like this:
 Veteran Quilt approx. 48"- 63"
We have 16 blocks that were not used in this quilt, and they are begging to be joined with more blocks, so if you made blocks and didn't get them to the meeting, or didn't make blocks, there's still time.
The blocks for the second quilt have a lot of PINK in them, so you might want to keep that in mind as you make more blocks. 
Stacks of leftover blocks (16) 
Happy sewing everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Batting for charity quilts

In our meeting this week we had a long discussion about the batting that we buy for the veteran's quilts and whether we wanted to use that batting for other charity quilt projects. After discussion we decided that we would keep the king size rolls of batting specifically for veteran's quilts and would purchase a queen size roll (30 yards) to use for other charity quilts. We will see how it goes with one roll and make decisions about purchasing more batting as needed.

I was authorized to go to Virginia Longarm to purchase a roll of batting and did that today. They were out of stock of the queen rolls but when I told them what it was for they offered us an "irregular" roll for FREE! I don't know what's wrong with it. It might have some holes or some thin areas but I'm sure there's plenty of good sections for us to get a lot of charity quilts!

If you need batting for charity quilts just send me a message before a meeting (like at least a day before) and I'll cut the batting and bring it to the meeting for you.

If you happen to be at Virginia Longarm to drop off or pick up a quilt please thank them for their generous donation and support!

About quilting. I will continue to quilt the veteran's quilts that are withing the 48 x 60 size range. I'm not able to quilt any other quilts. I'll start taking veteran's quilts again in January so if you are working on quilt tops please hold them until the January meeting!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014


·                   2 cups sugar
·                   1 cup shortening
·                   2 eggs
·                   2 cups applesauce
·                   4 cups flour
·                   2 tsp. baking soda
·                   2 tsp. baking powder
·                   1 tsp. cinnamon
·                   ½ tsp. cloves
·                   6 Tbsp. butter
·                   ½ cup heavy cream
·                   1 cup packed brown sugar
·                   2 tsp. vanilla
·                   2 cups powdered sugar
1.          Preheat oven to 375 F
2.          In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
3.          Cream sugar and shortening together.
4.          Add eggs and applesauce and mix well.
5.          Add in dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
6.          Drop small spoonfuls of batter on greased cookie sheet.
7.          Bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes.
8.          While cookies are cooling, prepare frosting.
Caramel Frosting
1.          In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, heavy cream and brown sugar.
2.          Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture just begins to boil; remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool, then stir in the powdered sugar.
3.          Spread frosting over cookies

Makes about 90 cookies, dropped by full teaspoon.
In my stove, the cookies needed to be baked the full 10 minutes (need to start to brown, since they are so soft).
I cut the ingredients for the Caramel Frosting in half. That was enough to frost all but a few. I didn’t have “heavy cream”, so I used coffee creamer.

I washed & cored mixed kinds of apples (do not peel) and cooked overnight in crook pot. NO INGREDIENTS ADDED. (This is what I now call “fried apples” Husband is diabetic & loves them)
To make the applesauce, I blended “fried apples” until peelings were completely cut 

Monday, October 13, 2014

REMINDER for Oct. Meeting

We will be collecting quilts for veterans at our October 14 meeting.
Please don't forget to bring your quilts and be sure to have the labels sewn on. 

Here are 15 that I've been keeping at my house.
Looking forward to seeing everyone at our meeting.
Bring lots of show & tell!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Meeting reminder!

Please bring any complete veteran's quilts to the October meeting.

The program this month is all about quick Christmas gifts to make.....because it's time to get started on those projects even though we will probably wait until December 15th.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Orange County Quilt Show

The Orange County Quilt Show is next weekend if you are looking for something quilty to do.

Orange County Quilt Show
October 4, 10 - 5
October 5, 11 - 4
Prospect Heights Middle School
Admission: $5

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Two More Quilts for Veterans

Annie is our west coast CSQ member and a very active participant in giving quilts to our veterans. Annie mailed 2 quilts earlier this month and there was a delay in their arrival which had Annie and I both a bit nervous, especially when the tracking number showed no progress for nearly a week. She put in an inquiry at her post office in Vashon Island, WA, and the internal tracking by the USPS showed the box was in Maryland (for a week?).  Finally, it arrived and we were so relieved.

The sturdy box looked fine, except for this big hole which tells a story of something causing it to have been delayed. (Perhaps catching on something and falling off the conveyor belt?)

I opened the box and wasn't prepared to see all this gorgeousness!

Two beautiful quilts with RED MINKY on the backs and beautiful quilting.

Quilt #1 is the mystery quilt designed and offered by Vicki - directions can be found
on Vicki's blog. Annie enjoyed piecing this quilt as did many of us - very attractive quilt,
Annie - thanks again, Vicki, for such good directions.

Quilt #2 is another beauty! The center design is made with HST (Half Square Triangles). I'm sure Annie used "Triangulations" - as she's the one who introduced me to this fabulous software and she's a pro at making HST quilts. I should have taken a close-up but it was another cloudy day and the lighting wasn't that great. Wow - and look at her border!  Perhaps Annie can leave a comment telling us more about this quilt pattern. 

Here are pictures of the quilt backs - even though the colors are not correct. 
They are both RED, not that rosy pink color. Just look at the quilting and think Minky softness.
We are all so grateful for our cyber friendships.
Thank you, Annie!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Veteran's Quilt

At the last meeting we discussed the veterans quilts and, I believe, we have found the perfect home for our quilts. We have been asked to adopt an outpatient unit at McGuire. They have many dialysis and chemo patients that do not get the attention of the admitted patients. These patients also get cold during their treatments. The hospital will label the quilts and keep them at the hospital for them to use on every visit. When their treatments are done the patients will get to take the quilts home with them.

We can deliver the quilts at any time and the hospital will take care of distributing them to the patients. We can deliver multiple times a year so that we do not have to store all of the quilts for a year.

To prepare for the first delivery we would like to have all of the completed and labeled quilts brought to the October meeting. We should have 30 or more quilts ready already just based on the ones that I've quilted. What a prolific group!

For inspiration here are more of the ones that I quilted in the last month. These are all out for binding.