First Year Quilt: Part Five – The Finale

A quilt from start to finish takes innumerable hours, resources and patience. The quilt I’m sharing with you today was purchased in 2013 from a shop, which is no longer in business, called Acorn Quilts. I’ve absolutely enjoyed piecing it together; watching it blossom from fabric strips in a package

IMG_5117to a finished quilt.

The quilt, known as the First Year Quilt, was finished in May. With so many activities and obligations on my calendar the quilt has had to wait patiently for this day to arrive. Rather than bore you with any more details, you may read about those by following the links at the bottom of this page, I will now share with you my finished product.


First_Year_Quilt_2My Favorite Block in the First Year Quilt


First_Year_Quilt_4First Year Quilt Top


First_Year_Quilt_6Back of First Year Quilt

Well there it is! After only three years it has finally been added to my finished quilts list. I hope you have enjoyed following along with this saga. If you missed a few steps along the way here are the promised links.

Thanks for sharing your time with me. I really appreciate your visit. If you like what you have seen and read, why not become a follower or better yet share my blog with your friends. Also, I love receiving input from my readers. If you feel inspired, leave a comment. I would enjoy reading your input.

I look forward to your return visit.

Cindy Anderson




Looking Back

It’s Almost Over

2015 is about to become history. Before it does let me take you on a pictorial journey of In A Stitch Quilting’s last 12 months. Enjoy!

Kari M’s Pretty In Pink
Kari M’s Pretty In Pink
Kari M’s Pretty In Pink
Cari M's Pretty in Pink
Kari M’s Pretty in Pink
Four Score Quilt
Four Score Quilt - Stitched and Quilted by Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting
Four Score Quilt – Stitched and Quilted by Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting
Four Score Quilt
Four Score Quilt
Deb G Memory Quilt
Deb G Memory Quilt
Deb G's Memory Quilt - Quilted by Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting
Deb G’s Memory Quilt – Quilted by Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting
Deb G's Memory Quilt - Quilted by Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting
Deb G’s Memory Quilt – Quilted by Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting
Deb G's Potted Flower Quilt
Deb G’s Potted Flower Quilt
First Year Quilt
iPad Tote # 3
Mr. J’s Quilt Top
Surprise Quilt
All That’s Left
Four Square
Remnants of the Past
The Blue House

While this was just a sampling of the activity that took place in my studio during 2015 I hope you found it to be enjoyable.

Cindy Anderson

First Year Quilt: Part Four

IMG_5117I’ve been working at constructing a quilt top and backing for the First Year quilt pattern I purchased from Acorn Quilts. Links to my previous posts can be found here:

IMG_8741When we last visited, the center panel for the backing had been finished.  My next task was to add enough fabric to the center panel to reach the dimensions of 74″ x 74″. Note: 8″ of the additional fabric are required to properly secure the quilt on my long-arm quilt machine. Here’s how the center panel looked.

IMG_8763Deciding which fabrics and in what dimensions I would use them was my next step. The process of selecting fabric for my project is one of my favorite tasks. I could sit for hours with bolts and bolts of fabric mentally painting a picture of how they would best be combined. The hours and hours spent in contemplation would not mean that I am indecisive. Quite the contrary. Typically I can walk inside a fabric store and in very short order know exactly what I want. The extra time is simply because I enjoy creating with color so the longer it takes the more entertainment I can derive from it.

Below are the fabrics I chose.


Who knew that while learning math in school I would be using it years later in my quilting. From simple computations to very complex, they are all a part of this craft. For those that design their own quilts many utilize computer technology. I’ve never had the chance to experiment with such tools. Then on the other hand I’ve never tackled the art of designing complex quilts. If I make a design from scratch it’s usually a very simple one requiring only a paper and pencil.

To calculate the fabric needed to finish the quilt backing for this First Year Quilt all I had to do was a few simple subtraction and division calculations. The existing center panel measures 29 1/4″ x 50 1/2″. The desired end result was 74″ x 74″. Through my simple subtraction equation I was able to determine that I needed to add 23 1/2″ to the length and 44 3/4″ to the width. Next I had to decide if I wanted to add the extra fabric evenly on all four sides. Some people might decide to offset the panel either to the left or right and or either the top or bottom. Exactly centered would be the easiest. Here is where one can add a bit of artistic flair.

Typically I like my things to be neat and orderly which also transfers over to my quilting. Feeling the urge to stray from my natural tendencies I contemplated placing the panel off-center. After-all, if it didn’t turn out exactly as I had imagined this was going on the back of my quilt. It was never meant to be the main focus so why not experiment.

When deciding how much fabric to add to each edge I let the available fabrics dictate my decisions. Here again is where I was able to draw from my artistic leanings. To select which fabric went where I laid the center panel out on the floor. Then one by one I auditioned each of the fabrics on all four sides arriving at what I felt was the best outcome. Next I pondered how much of each fabric I would want to be visible. From there I cut the required lengths of fabric and stitched them to the designated areas. When I was finished I had a quilt back perfectly sized for my First Year Quilt top. After carefully pressing the backing making sure each seam laid in the correct direction my quilt backing was finally ready to join the quilt top already waiting for time on my long-arm quilt machine.

IMG_8941Here’s a quick look at the quilt backing.

In the next update I will be finishing up the quilt. Until then have fun quilting! Oh, and if you have time share your thoughts on my progress by posting a comment.

Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting

First Year Quilt: Part Three










I’ve been slowly making progress on my First Year Quilt by Acorn Quilts. To date I have completed the quilt top and am now ready to assemble the backing. If you would like to look back at my previous posts check out the following links here, and here.

I had quite a bit of fabric leftover when I finished making the quilt top. Not wanting to waste them I decided to stitch together the remaining remnants.

IMG_8756When I was finished I ended up with 29 strips measuring 55″ long. I neatly stacked all 29 strips into one pile. Beginning with the first two I began the laborious process of creating what would be the center panel of my quilt backing. Using a 1/4″ seam I sewed those two strips together. After reaching the end I clipped my threads.

From the machine I carried the fabric strips to my pressing station. There I placed the strip flat on my pressing board and used my 1990’s Rowenta iron to first set the seam by making one pass of the iron over the unopened strip. Next I laid the strip, right side down on the pressing board and using the tip of my warm iron, gently wriggled it along the seam pressing it open. I chose to press the seam open rather than two one side or the other because I wanted to reduce the bulk created by the multiple intersections as much as possible. I had been concerned that this process of pressing was going to be difficult, thinking that the multiple seams might not want to go in my intended direction but I think the gentle wriggling helped to make the process go smoothly. After successfully assembling the first two strips I went on to add the remaining 27.

After completing this step I pressed everything once more then squared up the ends. The panel at this point measured 29 3/4″ x 52″. Originally I was going to stop here and add the additional fabric needed to bring the backing to 74″ x 74″ but I was feeling a bit adventurous so I decided to cut my panel into four equal segments. Once doing that I planned to spin each of them 180 degrees then sew them back together. Turning them 180 degrees didn’t seem to be enough of a change so I shuffled them around and spun them every which way until I was satisfied with the visual appearance.

Sewing them back together was a bit more labor intensive than I had anticipated. Cutting the panel was the fun and easy part. Matching up and pinning the 28 seams was the time-consuming one. Since I wanted to achieve the best possible outcome I coached myself to proceed with care. To distract myself I put a DVD into the player and let it roll while I worked.

When the last stitch was applied I snipped the threads and began the process of pressing open each of the seams. Once I had this part finished I turned my new panel right side up and grabbed my measuring tape. My refashioned center panel now measured 29″ x 50 1/2.”

IMG_8763This seemed like a natural place to stop so I set my things aside and took a break. So what do you think?


First Year Quilt: Part Two

The kit for this quilt has been moved from my old house to the new one and finally to my Little Cabin in the Woods. I first mentioned this project here. When I last shared my progress the pre-cut fabric strips had been starched, carefully pressed and trimmed to size.

IMG_5117IMG_5140_1Since that previous post I have been very busy assembling the quilt blocks. The pattern is a scrappy log cabin. All of the blocks have a red center. Twenty of the center squares measure 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. The remaining sixteen squares have a center of 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″. The shop I purchased the quilt kit from was called Acorn Quilts. The author of the quilt included wool fabric to construct an acorn shaped applique for the center of each of the 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ squares. While I am sure the acorns were very meaningful to the pattern’s creator, given the name of her shop, I don’t share the same enthusiasm. I have elected not to include them on my quilt.

Also changed was the order in which the fabric strips were added to the centers. The instructions and the included photo told the quilter to add the dark fabrics on two of the log cabin sides and light fabrics on the remaining two.

IMG_8886The segregation of colors or shades creates an auxiliary pattern. While the original pattern or arrangement is what initially caught my eye I chose not to follow the directions. Instead I began each square by first surrounding them with one round of each of the required light strips, then dark strips. I repeated that rhythm one more time. The finished quilt top looks very different from the pattern but I am overjoyed with the outcome.

IMG_8733Recently I assembled the thirty-six blocks first into rows and then the rows into a quilt top. The quilt top currently measures 65 1/2″ x 65 1/2″. The top has been carefully pressed and added to my stack of quilts waiting to be finished.

The next step would be constructing the quilt’s backing fabric, but that’s being saved for another post.

Here’s a photo of the quilt top before sewing the rows together.

IMG_8741So what do you think so far?

 Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting

First Year Quilt: Part One

In May of 2013 I stumbled upon a quilt kit at Acorn Quilts (no longer in business). The kit included pre-cut fabric strips, one each, from the bolts of fabric the owner had sold her First Year in business.


Acorn Quilts First Year Quilt
Acorn Quilts First Year Quilt

The minute I walked into the store the quilt caught my attention. I made several trips around the shop absorbing all the colors and patterns; all the while keeping my eye on that quilt. Something about it had grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. Not wanting to make a hasty decision I decided it was best to ponder the quilt’s purchase.

My husband had traveled with me to the fabric shop. Upon returning to our car I shared with him how I had fallen in love with one particular quilt. Since it was now almost lunch time we decided to share a bite to eat at a local restaurant. As we ate our meal I couldn’t get the quilt out of my head. I just knew I had to have one.

Not surprisingly the first place we went after lunch was back to the fabric shop to purchase the First Year quilt kit.


On 6/5/2013 I published a post mentioning the quilt for the very first time. Other than moving the quilt kit from one house to another, not much had happened to it until recently. In February of this year I attended a sew day organized by one of the Madison quilt guilds. The First Year quilt was one of two projects I took with me. I ended up passing over the first project when I discovered the fabrics needed to be pre-washed. With #1 eliminated that meant the First Year quilt would get all of my attention.

IMG_7889I worked diligently all day starching and pressing the fabrics along with trimming 3/4’s of the fabric strips to size. Within a few days of returning home I finished cutting the remaining strips and even managed to get one quilt block assembled.

IMG_7898Since February no further progress has been made. As I find time to continue working with the quilt I will post updates. Thanks so much for sharing your time.

I Can’t Decide


Decisions, Decisions

I’ve been participating in A Lovely Year of Finishes since January.  To date I have declared and finished the following projects:

Ever since completing my Miranda Day Bag I’ve been pondering what to choose for my June challenge.  My To Do List is filled with suitable options as is my stash of projects to quilt.  With so many choices it’s been extremely difficult to decide.  I find myself flip-flopping from one item to another.  Just when I think I have made up my mind I come across another idea and that sends me into a tailspin.  The problem is I want to finish everything on my list but that’s just not humanly possible.  Obviously I will have to narrow down my options.

Here are a few of the projects I have pondered:

If you scroll over each of the photos you can see what their names are.  Aside from those projects one of the other candidates is the June Block Lotto over at the Madison Modern Quilt Guild.

I’ve Chosen

After weighing my options the one that jumps out at me the most is my daughter’s Picnic Blanket.

My Daughter's Picnic Quilt
My Daughter’s Picnic Quilt

She designed and assembled it herself.  I believe it may have been way back in April that she delivered it to my home for quilting.  Since the picnic season is upon us I believe her Picnic Blanket is screaming the loudest.  To satisfy that small voice telling me to “get it done” I am electing the Picnic Blanket as my June project.


As mentioned in my post of January 3, 2013 one of my goals for this year was to establish and maintain a list of finished and unfinished projects.  Putting together such a list took quite a bit of research.  After rummaging through my stash of patterns, books and kits my scribbled notes were entered into an Excel Spreadsheet.  From that spreadsheet I put together this document.

Periodically throughout 2013 and beyond I hope to update this document.  I will use this resource to hold myself accountable.  My intention is to finish as many items on this list during 2013 as possible.  Hopefully the 2013 finished projects will far outweigh the volume of items I might add during the year.  So without saying anything more here’s the result of my research:

*Quilt Tops Ready for Quilting*

Bear’s Paw Quilt by Eleanor Burns from the TRIO of Treasured Quilts Quilt in a Day Series

Simple Times quilt by American Crib Quilts

*Fabric and Quilt Patterns Purchased For*

Autumn Quilt by Heart To Hand (added 2012)

Christmas Fun by Life’s A Stitch (added 12/2012)

First Year Log Cabin by Acorn Quilts (added 2012)

Heart & Home by Heart To Hand (added 2012)

Snowy Days by Heart To Hand (added 2012)

The Bundling Board by Primitive Pieces (added 2012)

The Log House by Washboard Quilts by Pat at Life’s A Stitch (added 9/2012)

*Quilt Pattern Purchased For*

Cathedral by Villa Rosa Designs (added 2012)

Civil War Battle Series # 2 by Clothesline Quilts

Courthouse Square # 169 by Country Threads

Family * Home * Friends by Cottage Creek Quilts

Full House by Schnibbles at Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co.  Purchased at Life’s A Stitch.  (added 2012)

In My Folk Art Garden by The Cinnamon Patch.  Purchased in Colorado Springs.  (added October 2012)

Joyful Welcome by Threads That Bind

Martin’s Pennies by Civil War Legacies

Snow Drifts by Hanging by a Thread

Sundance by Villa Rosa Designs (added 7/31/2012)

Tall * Small by Waltzing with Bears (added 2012)

*Fabric and/or Craft Pattern Purchased For*

Chelsea Tote by Lazy Girl

Elf Mittens by Button Stitch Designs.  Purchased from Life’s A Stitch.  (added 2012)

Encore Purse Insert by Studio Kat  3/19/13 Update:  Fabric purchased

Just Swell by Camille Roskelley for Thimble Blossoms.  Sewing Machine Cover (added October 2012)

Little Cupcake Tote by Penny Sturges for Quilts Illustrated.  Purchased from Nanas Quilt Cottage in Colorado Springs.  (added October 2012)

Margo Handbag by Lazy Girl.  Purchased from Life’s A Stitch.  (added 2012)

Patchwork Ironing Board Covers by Cotton Way.  Pattern purchased from Mill House Quilts (added 2012)

Penny Mats thru the Year, January, April and November by Buttermilk Basin.  Purchased from Life’s a Stitch.  (added 2012)

Sunflower Pillow by The Cottage at Cardiff Farms (added 7/31/2012)

Sunny Days Table Runner by Buttons for Hillcreek Designs.  Purchased from Backyard Quilts. (added 2012)

The Sammi Grace Bag by Fishsticks Designs

Tweety Birds by Creative Fiber Expressions (added 7/31/2012)

I also have fabric purchased to make three children’s quilts.  These quilts do not require a pattern.  (Two of these quilts are now finished.  One remains to be quilted.)

*Finished Items*

My Colorado daughter’s king sized quilt (Finished September 2012)

Garden Party Table Runner by Mary Cain.  Pattern purchased from Mill House Quilts.  (Finished 2012)

Hold Anything Bag by Dancing Crane Designs Pattern purchased from Mill House Quilts, fabric purchased from Backyard Quilts (Finished November, 2012)

Sandy Quilt # 1 (Finished January 2013)

Sandy Quilt # 2 (Finished 1/28/2013)

Sandy Quilt # 3 (Finished 2/25/2013)

Sandy Quilt # 4 (Finished 3/17/2013)

Tag Along by This & That.  Purchased from Life’s A Stitch. (added 2012) 3/19/13 Update:  Fabric ordered from Fabricworm.  Finished

May Night from the Pineapple Passion Collection by Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan published by That Patchwork Place.  Finished 4/25/2013

Miranda Day Bag by Lazy Girl  3/19/2013 Update:  Fabric purchased 5/6/2013 Update:  Project started  Update:  Project completed 5/28/2013