Interior Design

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Today I linked up with Jo's Country Junction
Jo is having a quilt along for her amazing Double Wedding Ring Quilt and I'm going to attempt to link up and quilt along with her.  I loved loved this quilt and I have the magazine and plenty of scraps!  Can't for next Wednesday.  In the meantime, I need to find the magazine and see if I want to have templates made.  I'm also going to look for my Quick Curve ruler to see if I can use that for cutting out the templates.  Wish me luck!  Have a great quilting day!  Carol

Saturday, July 7, 2018


One day, I decided to sort out bins of fabric that have been accumulating heaven knows what.  I found 13 pinwheel blocks that I had made during the Celtic Solstice mystery from Bonnie Hunter.  That was at least 5 mysteries ago and I never finished that project.  Looking at them I could see why.  I was fairly new to quilting at that point and they were terrible!  None of the points came together in the middle.  But, I'm not one to throw things out, especially when it comes to fabric.  I thought, "these would be perfect for centers on Bonnie's Tile block from May/June 2018  QUILTMAKER magazine."  It was all the rage a couple of months ago!

So, I rummaged through my purple bin, cut loads of 1.5" strips and started sewing.  These little blocks sew up fast!  I looked through my stash and found 2 yards of this OMG polka dot fabric.  I call it an OMG fabric because its, OMG why did I buy this?  I don't even like this fabric!  It was on sale of course and I thought at the time it would make a good baby quilt.  From that two yards I cut the border, 12 more alternate blocks and pieced the backing!  Yay, just a bit left to cut into 2.5" squares for a future use.  All in all I figured I used up about 4 yards of fabric in my stash! 

As I said before, the pinwheel points didn't exactly come together but I quilted them with orange peels and its hardly noticeable! 

Another trip to the stash found about a 1/3 yard strip of a purple batik for binding!  That little quilt is done!  

Saturday, February 17, 2018


I've owned a Decorating Den Interiors franchise since 1984 and have been a very successful, award winning interior designer for 34 years.  Back in 1984 I was a Captain in the US Air Force Reserve and I had a part time job managing the reserve office at Eglin AFB.  My job was being upgraded to a full time position for an NCO and as an Officer, I wasn't eligible to apply for it.  It was at that time that I read an article in a WOMAN'S DAY  magazine about a woman who owned a Decorating Den Franchise.  I showed it to my husband and said, "I think I could do this."  I sent off for information and then proceeded to consult with some local business owners for advice. 

There was a well known woman realtor in town so I asked her what she thought about buying a franchise.  I'll never forget it.  Her name was Betty and she said to me, "if you don't take risks, you never get anywhere!"  

Quilting is like taking a risk.  You need to venture out of your comfort zone at times and try new things.  In 2010, when the economy was soured and my business was struggling, I saw an ad in the newspaper for a beginning quilting class at a local quilt shop.  I was an accomplished seamstress growing up.  I made all of my own clothing and sewed for others.  I dabbled in quilting a pillow and reading magazines but when I purchased my business in 1984, sewing for myself ceased to happen  I never sewed draperies for my clients but knowing how to sew certainly helped me along the way.  And I was always good with colors and fabrics. 

So in 2010, with a bit of time on my hands, I signed up for that quilting class and never looked back.  It reawakened my sewing skills that had been buried for many years.  Each week, we would go home with two blocks to make for a sampler quilt.  I would complete those blocks immediately and then couldn't wait for the next weeks class.  I loved playing with all the fabrics in the shop and I soon learned that quilting is also an expensive habit.  That beginning quilt must have cost me $300 with all the supplies I had to buy for it.  I was set on a journey of love for the rest of my life! 

When you become a quilter you take a huge risk!  You accumulate a large stash of fabrics and continually buy more.  You buy expensive sewing machines and quilting machines and your house becomes a disaster area with quilts and fabrics thrown everywhere.  The end result of completed quilts and stockings and pillows and pin cushions is so rewarding! 

So I'm asking, have you taken a risk?  Are you stuck in a comfort zone of always using a simple pattern or the same colors over and over?  Do you have stacks of fabric in your stash that you are afraid to cut into for fear you will ruin it?  Is your UFO pile of completed tops stacking up because you are afraid to learn how to quilt them?  I encourage you to step out of that comfort zone and try something new!  Taking risks will get you somewhere! 

Thanks for reading!  Carol

Saturday, February 3, 2018


There are many ways for a quilting round robin.  You can see many options here on pinterest.  When I was guild president several years ago, our guild had a lot of 12.5" blocks that had been made for some such contest or donation.  So I took the blocks, distributed them to guild members, and then embarked on a round robin where every month, I would add a different row to the block so at the end of about 6 months, every one had a charity quilt to donate.  I learned a lot that year about adding rows to blocks.  When I wound up with an unusual size, I then had to add a coping strip.  You can find out about coping strips here.   In addition to using the odd squares, I made everyone trade their block each month so you had to come up with fabrics coordinating with someone else's idea.  Since then, I've taught a round robin at guild about 5 years running.

At the first of the year, I start looking for ideas on how to do the next round robin for the Silver Threads Quilt Guild.  If I can find a pattern in a magazine or free online, I often use that pattern and adapt it, giving credit to the designer at the end.  I wont share my source of the 2018 Round Robin but I will say that I am very excited to share my blocks with you!

This quilt is going to be a great stash buster!   Every row will be made using 5" squares or leftover charms plus a couple of yards of  neutral scraps or yardage.  The minimum size is around 50 to 60", great for a charity or lap quilt.  If you are a collector of batiks, assorted 5" batik squares is perfect for this quilt.  I don't have a lot of batiks so I'm using cottons in blues/whites and yellow with some yardage I've had a while.  The center block was so easy and looks so pretty, I might even make two!  Who doesn't have a pile of 5" squares hanging around in the stash?

Here are the directions for the center block for Round Robin 2018. We will be using all 5" charms and trimming to size. For the center block you will need: 
4 dark 5" squares 
4 med 5" squares 
4 light 5" squares, 
4 light 4.5" squares for corner blocks. 

Pair a dark square with a medium square, right sides together. mark a diagonal line and sew 1/4" on either side of the line. Cut apart in the middle and you will have 2 HST. Make one more set for a total of 4 dark/med HST. Trim to 4.5" . 

Pair a dark square with a light square and repeat process to make 4 HST, trimmed to 4.5" 

Pair a light square with a medium square and repeat process to make 4 HST trimmed to 4.5". 
Arrange the blocks as shown to make a star. Wasn't that easy? 

And here it is:  

Happy Sewing!  Carol

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


January 2018 has flown by but there is one more day and lots of sewing planned today.  On Ringo Lake is my major UFO that I am working on and I"m ready to see some progress.  I have 17 blocks made and most of the parts done for the rest of the blocks so I vow to work on that today.  I wont finish but I want to put a big dent in it before February arrives with new challenges.  
Speaking of new challenges Alicia has posted the fabric requirements for her free Quilt of Valor 2018
Alicia Quilts .  I think I might do this as it is all scrappy and I have a lot of patriotic fabrics stashed away.  
There is also the American Patchwork and Quilting UFO challenge that I'm participating in.  My goal is to finish up some of those languishing projects and get them quilted.  Here is the project sheet  here.  
One of my major goals in 2018 is to get this blog up and running with daily postings, or near daily postings.  And here is my progress on Ringo Lake, see below.  I like to sew things together as I go along to see how it is going to look.  I selected to use a constant sashing which I have plenty of and reserve the sashing from Bonnie's directions for a border.  I'm making this a queen size for my bed.  You can never have too many bed quilts!  The paisley on the bolt was purchased at a bolt sale from Quilting Treasures at the LQS.  Isnt it perfect for backing and final border?   Happy quilting!  Carol

On Ringo Lake in progress!

Monday, January 29, 2018


In 2017, I finally finished my Sew Simplicity Quilt by Jacquelyn Steves.  I even quilted it myself on Platypus, my platinum 16 quilter.  I am so pleased with it!  I had fun with this because I made it with my friend Barbara from the UK.  We became friends while her husband was stationed with the RAF at our local AF Base.  We each made one and they look entirely different! I think it turned out beautifully! 

Sew Simplicity Quilt

And quilting closeup!  


My philosophy on selecting fabrics and colors for a quilt is a five part process that I have shared in my recent postings. Let me restate them here
FIND FIVE FOR FABRIC FREEDOM 1. find your fabric; 2. find your theme; 3. find your neutrals; 4 find your accent fabrics; and 5 find your pattern.
In the case of the fabrics and blocks I've been working on I already had a pattern in mind. A friend and I had agreed to take advantage of Jacquelyn Steve's free Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM. You can visit the pattern at
The center 6.5 inch block of Jacquelynne's quilt could be either applique or a fabric. I'm not all that fond of applique and when I saw the fun floral fabric at the LQS,I thought immediately how much fun it would be to fussy cut the flowers for the center block. So in this case, the pattern came before the fabric.
Most of the time, I think I find the fabric first and then search for a pattern to go with it. In my travels and visiting local shops, I look for what is on sale. If I think it is a good buy and I like the fabrics, I will buy 1 to 2 yds, depending on the pattern repeat. I have a set of fabrics in my stash that I purchased on a New England vacation in 2013. I tuck these fabrics into my mind and then I search for patterns through magazines and books. I think I have hit on a pattern that will be wonderful for this set of fabrics. On the other hand, I have bought patterns that I like and I'm not sure I've ever made them. I do make bags from patterns, many of them. My husband continually asks why I can't throw the magazines out. You all know the answer to that one. We save them to find patterns to use for fabrics we have. And the books, I have many many books and buy more. After all it is like reading a novel and you learn so much. And, unlike a novel, you will read it again. I hope you have enjoyed my take on finding fabrics and mixing and matching colors. Its been fun.Next time, the reveal!   Carol