Episode 154: The Ho-Ho-Ho (belated) Episode

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I recorded this before Christmas, but never got around to posting it. Hope you had a great holiday–and are, for that matter, still having a great holiday.

Finished the Christmas Tree quilt–before Christmas!


And here’s the back (for some reason I can’t get the image to flip, so please turn your screen on its side):


That’s it for now. More soon!


24 Replies to “Episode 154: The Ho-Ho-Ho (belated) Episode”

  1. Can’t wait to listen! Good for you for getting that Christmas quilt done before Christmas! I love it! And how cool to work on it with Will. He will always remember it.

  2. The tree quilt looks lovely! Will must be so proud! I enjoyed you latest podcast. I just finished listening to 11-22-63, a Stephen King book. It was my first King book in a number of years and a long one, over 30 hours. I had lots of podcasts to listen to when I was done. So glad that one was yours!

  3. Kona cottons use a slightly larger in diameter / thickness of thread than most quilter’s contest… I think it also has a looser weave but that could be my imagination … I just think it is not as fine a finish as most quilters cottons. Kona use to be woven in a different country then where it is being woven now… It was woven in Thailand and is now woven in Indonesia. Not sure if the quality has changed that much.

    Moda produces solid color line of fabric … do not know if their is a price difference or a quality difference. Have not used this line myself as none of the stores near me carries it.

    Quilting my quilt … I kind of divide the quilt in as a NINE PATCH sections. I do the center section first then the right side and go back to the left. Then I do the bottom center right then left… top of the quilt is done last as I often turn it upside down to do the quilting be careful to be consistent in direction of my motifs… some times that make a difference sometimes not…

    OFF now to pick up my NEW to me antique mechanical sewing machine SINGER 301….


  4. So glad to hear you had a wonderful house remodel/ appliance installation experience. Those projects can be wonderful or the total opposite depending on your contractor. Your quilt is fantastic and, making it with your son is fantastic!

  5. Your Christmas tree quilt looks great! Your description of baking with only 4 digital numbers was very funny. I am glad your actual baking in your new oven will be with all the numbers.

    I can’t remember if you are an Ann Patchett fan, but I am enjoying reading the essays in her book, ‘This is the Story of a Happy Marriage’. Also, thank you for getting me hooked on the BBC Homefront podcast. I wait impatiently for each week’s omnibus episode. So much so that I have started in on the Archers, which I had saved since October…..

    Dresden Plate and Double Wedding Ring…..hmmmm – you may need some smaller palette-cleanser quilts to keep your motivation going.

  6. I happened upon your podcast about a week ago and since I now know you love comments, I thought it wouldn’t be fair to keep listening without letting you know I’m “tuned in.”

    There is a lot to say, and I’ll write more later, but for now, big greetings from the suburbs of New York City from a “gal” who also just entered her 50s and is a recent convert to quilting. (I have eight started and two completed ones, and enough fabric hidden in a closet for about 20 — is that normal?)

    Thanks for being you (ramble on) and, to answer your recent questions:

    My mom was a avid seamstress but never quilted. I recently inherited her sewing machine and even carried it as a carry-on — like a purse on my arm — on the airplane back from her funeral. (I took up quilting to make good use of it.) I am learning quilting from the online community and am SO GRATEFUL for it!

    People who know me as a lawyer look at me very strangely when I mention quilting or they see all the pieces strewn all over my dining room. “Don’t you have better things to do” — they are saying in their heads. No, I don’t.

    You often ask rhetorical questions and I have one too — do people hide their fabric from their husbands? Admittedly I do. He is not against quilting, but I don’t think he is on a “need to know basis” regarding how much money I actually spend on fabric.

    Best regards,


  7. Frances,, Your Christmas tree quilt is so sweet..love your color choices.
    I’m a long-time listener of your podcast and especially enjoyed your last one about the stove installation. This is my first comment to you. The podcast.inspired me to comment on two things: gloves and knives.

    I had always used gloves for FMQ. Recently I started using two squares of shelf fabric .. That rubberized stuff..don’t know what it’s really called. Ann Peterson of Craftsy fame recommends using it. Each square is about 4 x 6. It’s great.. You don’t have to take off your gloves to pull up your bobbin thread, etc.

    Another thought also came to me after listening to this podcast ..about your new knife..well I hope that was in the box under your tree. It’s another Craftsy tip..they offer a free class on using knives. I found it most helpful..I learned we shouldn’t use the blade of our knife to slide off of the cutting board what we just chopped. It dulls the blade!

    Happy new year to you, Kitty

  8. Glad you are using my method if making HSTs. It is really quite economical in terms of time.

    What is going on with Kelly V’s blog/site? Do you know?

    I like American Made Brands solids. I also like Art Gallery solids. Neither are as popular or as widespread as Kona, but they don’t fray as much.

    I am not much of an FMQer, though I have strong opinions about everything. 😉 When I do quilt I either start on a side corner or in the middle. The idea is to smooth the excess out as you quilt your quilt. I don’t think it matters much, though I find it easier to quilt from the center out on large quilts for some reason.

    1. Hey Jaye! I was thinking of you last week as we were in Northern CA from Christmas to New Year’s staying at the Russian River. Brrrr!!! Beautiful!!! When we looked across the bay towards the GG on 580, I thought, Hey! We are in Jaye’s neck of the woods.

      I took a break from blogging for awhile. I miss it. I am so happy our favorite podcaster’s keep on giving us such great content. Thanks Frances.

      1. Hi KellyV!

        It was cold over that spate of time! I am sorry I missed you, but I stuck pretty close to home. You might want to check your domain, because I think it has expired. Take care!

  9. A contractor showing up on time? It IS a Christmas miracle!!

    Love the tree quilt. What a special memory you have made with your boy.

    Also, please give The Man a nickel for the knife. My darling mother is superstitious about it being bad luck to give a knife as a gift, so you must pay for it. I tend to disregard such things, but last year we gave the in-laws a beautiful carving set and my middle child promptly sliced his hand open with it while helpfully washing the New Year’s Day dishes. So.

  10. Ok Frances, I do enjoy you SO much and my gift to you is a comment! (Well, not that I think my comment is worth so much but that you enjoy them none the less!)

    A new stove! Mavel Tov! It is a miracle of lights, having good workers and a great stove! Ha!

    Jenny is right, go give The Man is nickel right now.

    I adore your Christmas quilt and love that Will helped with it. Now that’s and heirloom quilt, one that he may perhaps hang in his home for his family to enjoy years from now.

    OK I have to work on these round robins that I never should have signed up for because I know myself and hate obligation sewing, ah, a New Years resolution, no more joining!

  11. I think I’m always the last to comment. Better late than never? I’ve always been a Kona girl but I too am falling out of love with it for the very reason you mentioned. The fraying is excessive. I shall look for and try the ones Jaye has mentioned. Thanks for posing the question.

  12. Love the tree quilt! Border fabric is really fun!
    I have used Bella Solids as well as Kona. I don’t think Bella frayed much. I just looked at my doll quilt that is in progress and it has a little bit but not much. I have had way worse fraying for sure. The doll quilt has been in and out of a Ziploc bag a lot and also had at least one seam ripped and there is really only a tiny bit of fraying.
    Looking forward to finally listening to the podcast all the way on my way to get kiddos from school.

  13. I’ve taken to using Moda Bella Solids lately. I share your frustrations with Kona, and my experience has been that they often seem to be off-grain (the grain goes at a slight angle from the selvedge). So a straight cut from selvedge to selvedge produces a lot of fraying. A few times I have done a tear from selvedge to selvedge to square it up but that can result in a bunch of waste. Frustrating!!! Moda Bella seems better to me so I am going with that for now.

  14. I have tried both Bella Solids by Moda and Cotton Couture solids by Michael Miller and like them better than Kona because of that fraying issue. The other fabric that I think frays too much is Stonehenge!

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