But the words ain’t mine, I just pass ’em along For Betsy C and her friends, I sing this song

This is a lapsize lavender quilt made for a person relocating away from Virginia to freezing cold New England.

I was inspired by Rob Appell’s State Map Applique Quilt https://mansewing.com/2018/01/state-map-applique-quilt/ but instead of using a jelly roll of coordinated prints, I used novelty fabrics with themes that would mean something to the recipient.  I blew up the outline of our Commonwealth (omitting the peninsula that hangs off MD on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay).  I then calculated the desired width of the strips by dividing the total number of strips into the widest length.  I sewed the strips together and traced the outline on the back to make a gigantic Virginia shape which was then appliqued on the background fabric.

So left to right:
The Virginia house was red brick.
The recipient lived in an historic city full of lovely old buildings.
Her favorite getaway was to beaches of Florida prolific with seashells.
The office theme was based on all the paperwork she had to complete constantly,
The next strip was a friends theme as she was a very good one to all.
The grape theme indicated all the vineyards in Northern VA and the dogwood strip of course reflected the state flower.
The black strip has her favorite drink that she would always have with dinner (although she liked margaritas on the rocks and not frozen as indicated on the fabric).
The middle strip had dog bones and pawprints to represent her beloved fox terrier.
The fabrics were then repeated in reverse order.
Because the recipient was moving up north where winters are long,  I used a variety of polar fleeces to make the backing to keep her extra-warm  One can see on the solid fleece that the quilting really pop, whereas it just blends into the fleece prints.

And I’ve been k-kicking the new k-knowledge An emcee to a degree that you can’t get in college

This is yet another Webster University Gorlok quilt.  I really loved making this one as I discovered an extra-fun design from Sew Adorkable.  Back in the day when our calculators could just do simple operations, we used to write words using the number pad and then flipping the calculator upside down.  Basically any word using only the letters B E H I G L O S could be written.  The girls tended to type in 0.7734 (when the fours used to be written with  2 vertical and one horizontal line rather than the modern 1 vertical, one horizontal, and one diagonal)   and the boys would write 58008 and variations thereof.

Image result for calculator words

In any case, the recipient’s name is Bobbie and of course her name can be written on a calculator.  She had several Webster World Works shirts with numbers on them and other Webster items as well.  Not all the numbers on the keyboard hav an actual number shirt but she did have a mousepad we used for the decimal point key and the bottoms from drink koozies that were used for the dots on the division sign. I was also supplied with a couple of Webster totebags that we incorporated as well.

The mousepad was difficult to applique and didn’t look great when it was done so I embellished the circumference with a gold lace.  All the quilting was just machine-stippling.

And then someone snuck into my quilt studio and decided to help….
I  rarely take photographs of myself but our Main Campus asked the various departments to depict ourselves doing something fun and/or silly.  As I explained in the statement that was submitted with the pictures, quilting is fun for me and I know the design was silly but I couldn’t resist as I am sort of a geek at heart.

You act like a diamond waiting to be set In a gold ring, as if I bet

This quilt is for a a husband and his new wife  who is the proud owner of a lovely diamond. 🙂

This is the Ampersand Quilt mashed up with a word search game.  The bride and groom are both Ivy League graduates in the humanities studies.  The words run horizontally, vertically, diagonally in all directions.

I love bright colors and was thrilled that the couple did as well.  I was told she loved yellow and disliked pink, just the opposite of my taste. The letter tile fabric has been out of print for about 10 years, but thanks to Fabric Place Basement in Alexandria, they happened to have some in stock…not any more I bought it all!

This quilt contains 900 squares as it’s 30 x 30.You can see humanities themes in the squares:  houses, alphabets, written words, books, crosswords, games and lots and lots of yellow.  I pieced it using a gridded fusible interfacing and simply quilted in the ditch.

Ponce De Leon constantly on The fountain of youth, not Robotron

This quilt was made for a baby boy named Leon. He was born on March 15 of this year. His mom used bright vibrant colors for the nursery.

As any student of history or Shakespeare knows, March 15 is the ides of March, the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Senate.
The design was inspired by the 2002 USPS stamp designed by Michael Osborne.  With 3 of the letters overlapping in the words love and leon, it was an easy switch.  The N is the logo that media network NBC used in the mid 70s.
“Beware the ides of March.” (Shakespeare, 1998, 1.2:103).

I’m flowing prose to cons and cons to pros I’m like Toucan Sam when I follow my nose


This quilt was made for the first child of parents with very eclectic tastes.  The parents are big fans of Dr. Who and Star Wars as well as being birdlovers of the toucan species.

Making a tardis quilt took some work on graph paper but as it was all rectangles or squares, it was not terribly complicated.  Instead of pure white fabric that would have better emulated the warning sign, I found the I Love Mommy/Daddy fabric in blue shades.  It also comes in pink for girls.


The two upper windows of the police box revealed parrot fabric which is as close as I could originally find to actual toucan motifs.Then I discovered that Kelloggs Cereals had licensed their characters and I was able to find a Toucan Sam polarfleece which made a great backing.


I was also able to find a small tardis repeating design fabric for the lower panels.  It was a very stretchy Lycra so it had to be backed as I would do with a t shirt.  This quilt had a variety of different materials. The parrot windows, the planet background fabric, the Police Box sign (which I actually used Star Wars designs) are all cotton.  The warning sign and the cobalt blue are flannels.  And as mentioned before, polarfleece and Lycra were also incorporated.

‘Cause I don’t need a magic potion Let me talk about back field in motion

This quilt and these pillows were made for field hockey girls who recently graduated from high school. two of the players are going to matriculate at the University of Delaware, one at the University of Maryland, and one at Lafayette.

The M and UD pillows used the uniform skirt from the middle school at Worcester Prep and all but the last pillow on the right used the upper school skirt for the piping.  All 3 WP pillows used Mallard W logo shirts on the reverse.

The 4th pillow was for the girl who attended Cape Henlopen High School and is matriculating at the Lafayette. The shirt that has a flag shaped into the state of Delaware was designed by her for a major field hockey tournament. The printed colors are actually field hockey sticks set together horizontally.


The quilt is for a Worcester Prep grad who is becoming a Blue Hen this fall.  Like her friends, she is a talented field hockey player.  As usual, I retained the collar and buttons from the polo shirt to add a bit of interest.

Shea Stadium, the radium, E-M-D squared Kicked out of the Palladium, you think that I cared

This is a quilt for a dad who coaches his son’s baseball team.  It’s been so long since my own played baseball so I am not sure if this is travel, Babe Ruth, or some other type of league for middle schoolers.

The dad coaches the Mets but LOVES the Bronx Bombers, hence the choice of NY Yankees fabric

Since this is meant as a lap quilt, we used polarfleece as the backing and sashing.  Polarfleece plus batting makes it very easy to see all the quilting that was done (in this case, tons of stippling).

There for the blue of the sky and the sea and they bind our hearts so true…..


This is another multi-year accomplishment from the Kappa Needleworkers.  This is an interest group of the Northern Virginia Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma.  These ladies get together once a month to put a quilt together (that’s why it takes a couple of years for each one to be completed). This quilt is hand-pieced, hand-appliqued and hand-quilted.  After the quilt is completed,  it is raffled for an entire year to raise money for Reading is Fundamental (RIF), the Kappa Kappa Gamma philanthropy.

On location, touring around the nation Fitz Family always on vacation

These two quilts are memorial quilts dedicated to a special husband and dad.   The father’s favorite souvenir was a shirt from wherever they traveled.  As the father was an USAF officer, I incorporated many patches from various military units and uniforms on both of the quilts.

The first quilt was made for the daughter.  Both dad and daughter are UVa Cavaliers which is commemorated in the patch in the left column. This patch was actually the front section of a baseball hat.  Both dad and daughter were big Redskin fans.

The second quilt was made for the son.  Since he still has the same surname, his quilt has the family coat of arms in the top row as well as 2 blocks celebrating the family’s Hibernian heritage. I also added the various patches from a Falls Church High School hat.

The son’s quilt had a fabulous backing made from a cotton with large scale motorcycles in various colors.  It would have been great to have them driving around the front of the quilt but they were too large so to the back they went.  Unfortunately the photograph was very blurry so it couldn’t be included.   An all-purpose patriotic star design was used for the sashing/borders and binding.

Sweet and sour like a tangerine Fresh like a box of Krispy Kremes

This Lavender Lapsize quilt was made for a young lady about to embark on her college adventure.  She was a Chantilly Charger from the class of 2013 and is about to become a Radford Highlander.  This was an interesting quilt to do as the girl loves purple so we wanted to make sure that the sashing fabric was not too close in shade to the various purple shirts.

Like a lot of high school girls in Northern VA, she wanted to include a hand-painted shirt in her quilt. She must be a huge Justin Bieber fan as she made a shirt showing the Belieber Infinity symbol. The shirt is in the upper left corner.

Haha, who knew Krispy Kreme made boxers as well as doughnuts?