Quilt projects I’m working on

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I would share a couple of the quilt projects I’m working on right now plus let you know about poor Rusty’s grooming visit.

Another Table Topper for Fall

I finished up another Four Patch Star table topper made with brown and yellow prints that are great for fall.

another four patch star table topper

When I’m working on a small quilt project I will continue to use my vintage 15-91 Singer sewing machine. This is my favorite sewing machine to do quilting with. This was one of my sample quilt blocks made from scraps so once again I didn’t have enough fabric for the binding but I found a brown tone on tone that worked perfectly.

Four Patch Star table topper sewing machine

Long Arm

I bought a used Nolting Long Arm sewing machine in January and I haven’t used it much yet. I quilted a small baby quilt on it and also my Summer Picnic quilt before we bought the house we are in now and had to get ready to move. I know I have mentioned it in my emails but I don’t think I have done a blog post on it. I’ll have to do that.

I used my long arm to quilt the Four Patch Star quilt. We have been here for 2 months and I am finally using it! This is only the fourth quilt I have quilted on it. I had to pull out all of my notes and the user manual. It still takes me forever to load the backing and quilt, I know practice will make it faster.

Four Patch Star on longarm

Four Patch Star Quilt

60″ x 78″

I added a small sashing between the quilt blocks.

Dog on the Four Patch Star quilt

I will be writing up a pattern for making this beautiful quilt. I used the slice and dice method but it could also be made the same way as the Easy Four Patch Table Topper. If you are anxious to make the quilt block, I used 10-inch squares and sliced at 2 7/8 from the center. The block will be 17 1/2-inch unfinished.

Four Patch Star quilt on bed

Mixing Batiks with other fabrics

The quilt top is pieced entirely with batik fabrics. Several years ago I bought a whole bolt of this batik and I finally used the last of it for this quilt. Did you ever see the Musical Notes Pillow tutorial I made with it?

I often mix batiks with other quilt fabrics. I had enough of this pink yardage for the backing and binding. I also like to sew my binding on with my sewing machine. When I get to this point I just want to finish the quilt.

Close up of Four Patch quilt backing

Rusty goes to the groomer – not good

Many of you enjoy hearing about Rusty and I thought you would enjoy this photo of him. We had a scare on Friday as I took him to a groomer and twenty minutes later I got a call that he had 2 seizures and they weren’t able to finish grooming him. I was so scared! We are only 5 minutes away and I started thinking about what might have happened.

This happened when they were using a blow dryer for his undercoat. I should have remembered that he is scared to death of the vacuum cleaner.

I have been trying to get him to socialize with the dog next door and when he tries, he ends up doing this weird spasm and noise which sounds like he is dying. Anyway, when I talked to the groomer more and did a little pantomime of what he does (yep, I bet I looked weird), she said that is what he did.

She was able to take him back and trim his nails and he was wonderful for that but…..they will not groom him unless he is on meds. I will continue to give him his baths as I don’t want to do that.

Closeup of Rusty

Rusty is getting much better about posing for me.

Rusty closeup dog

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Connie with her dogs

About Connie

Hi, I’m Connie Kresin Campbell, the quilter, writer, and photographer behind Freemotion By the River. I enjoy inspiring others with my quilt tutorials and patterns. You’ll also see my sweet adopted dogs from time to time.

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  1. Charlotte Henson says:

    I noticed that you were using magnets on your long arm. Where did you find those? I am sure that would have to be very strong in order to hold the top in place. Love your sewing studio!

    1. Those are 18inch magnetic tool holder magnets from Harbor Freight.

  2. I love the Four Star Patch Quilt. Can’t wait for the pattern to come out!
    Also do you have a pattern for that memorial quilt you made of Mr. Mickey? I just lost my cat Pancake July 28. She was such a sweet cat, lovable and always full of mischief.

  3. I’m a little behind on my emails and just seeing now about Rusty and his visit to the groomer, how traumatic for both of you. I’m sure you will be able to keep him looking handsome on your own. This latest quilt project of yours is gorgeous, love the batik colours you have used. Looking forward to getting the pattern.🥰🇨🇦

  4. Debra Graham says:

    I completely understand. We have had several dogs and our most recent dog Juno hates the vacuum. She attacks and bites it when it is running. I have to put her outside when I try to do that chore. Hence she hates the blow dryer. She is bigger than Rusty and would not be groomed I am sure. So we take her to a DIY bath place. The Tubs are raised so I don’t have to bend over so much and all the mess stays there. They provide the shampoo and a towel. (I take more towels). After her bath I try to get her as dry as I can and then we go home. Then at home I brush her and clip her nails. (she lets me do that too). So glad Rusty is Okay he is sure a cutie.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Hi, Connie,
    Wow such a scare with Rusty, but now you know why it all happened and have made a plan how to take care of your little loved one. He sure is a handsome dog. I love the patterns above that you have done and showed on this news letter. Thank You so much!! May your journey with the long arm go very good.
    Elizabeth (Liz)

  6. I would have been scared too. Sure glad Rusty made it through. Thank you for caring for him so tenderly.

    God bless you and keep you, and Rusty.

  7. Poor Rusty! Hopefully he’ll become less frightened as time goes by with lots of love. The quilt is really pretty. I like that narrow sashing, and have been planning to do that on a baby quilt I’m working on. Mixing batiks and other fabrics is something I’ve always done, and I love how beautifully batiks tend look in the mix.

  8. Juanita Hooker says:

    Rusty looks like he has grown. And so cute. I love your emails and your blog. Thank you.

  9. Beautiful quilt! So happy to see Rusty looking well. Hope he doesn’t have any more episodes! He looks like a lovely, sweet friend!

  10. So they need to use the blow dryer on his underside? Can’t they just cut/trim him without using the blow dryer? Or could they just towel him down afterwards?

  11. So sorry about the groomer. She was probably as scared as you! His eyes look wonderful! He really loves your quilts! You’ve done such a great job with him.
    I made the Easy Four Patch and it was so easy! Now that I did the test blocks I think it’s the next one up! So many quilts so little time. So can we send our quilts for you to long arm? LOL Looks like you are goin to have lots of fun with this. Congratulations!

  12. Your quilt is so pretty. The blocks look like colorful crystals and are such a nice size. There is definitely a learning curve with the longarm. It’s so different moving the machine rather than the fabric. I know you will pick it up quickly. I use a clamping system for loading my quilts which definitely increases the speed when loading the quilts.

    That had to be scary for you and for Rusty. I’m glad that it turned out well. Like you, I would have second thoughts about attempting that again.

  13. Poor Rusty! It’s tough being frightened of simple (for us) things. I’m sure your calm and loving home wel help him grow less frightened. He’s so handsome and your quilts look great with him. Good luck with your new longarm.

  14. Kathy Everson says:

    Such a handsome boy you have there. I know how it is when they are afraid of the groomer. My Sammy doesn’t like it either but he’s getting a ;ittle better.

  15. Robyn Lidstone says:

    So sorry to hear about Rusty’s unhappiness at the groomer and glad he’s okay. He seems to like posing with your quilts, so in time he might advance to being “mates” with the puppy next door.
    I love the Fall table toppers – such vibrant colours. The quilt is amazing and you are obviously getting used to the long-arm quilter.
    Special thanks for sharing these lovely designs, Connie.

  16. Debbie Ness says:

    I see you ‘float’ your top and batting also. That’s the way I was taught and I do like it very much. Question-what are the black bars that you are using to hold down the hanging top and batting? When I get to the bottom of the quilt, it gets a little sloppy and I have not found a good way to keep the end tight. Thank you for taking the time to give me a tip.

  17. Priscilla says:

    Hi Connie!
    I am so sorry to hear that Rusty had a tough time at the groomer’s. Poor little guy. Bless his heart. I hope he is feeling better now.
    Your quilts are lovely! I’ve been dreaming about getting a long arm, but I have no idea how to load a quilt or even run the machine. I have lots to learn ahead of me!
    I love your fall table toppers! I live in the upper Mojave Desert in Southern California. Every year about this time, I’m tired of the hot weather. But this year, it’s been tough for everyone with the heat and storms. Fall is such a comforting time! I’m really looking forward to it getting here!
    Have fun!

  18. Thanks for the picture of your Singer 15-91. Just a week ago I purchased a Singer Featherweight 221-1, which I have been wanting for a long time. It sews like a dream and I am truly in love—76 years old and still going strong! I’m so glad to see Rusty posing & smiling on your beautiful quilts…he looks so happy. Appreciate how you keep me motivated to try new patterns. Love it!

  19. Sherry Ellison says:

    Rusty is happy with you and Builder Bob. He may become friends with the neighbor dog. I don’t think he will adjust to any groomer after his seizures. Your quilt is very pretty. How you have time to sew so much and long arm quilt is amazing dear.

  20. Judy Fields says:

    I love reading about your dogs, especially after I had my Sadie put down (which I told you about). I wish our animal shelter had dogs, other than pitbulls. I would love to rescue one. Love your emails.

  21. As always, your quilt is beautiful. I really like the colors. Michigan, too, is getting much needed rain and it is just a very relaxing day. Poor Rusty. One has to wonder what his prior life was like. He is so fortunate he has you and your love. He really is a beautiful dog.

  22. Love the quilt! The colors are so happy. It looks really nice on the bed. I can’t wait to read your post regarding your longarm. I’ve always wondered how much of a learning curve there was to be able to operate one. Rusty looks great! What a shame that loud noises and the neighbor’s dog scare him. Hopefully he’ll settle down as he realizes you have given him a safe environment.

  23. Dear Connie, Yes, Rusty is posing so nicely and is so happy with you and your family. Grooming can be tricky, and I’m so sad to hear his experience did not go well. Bella does not like the hair dryer at all. She runs in circles and up the walls when I try to use the dryer on her after her baths here at the house. Sometimes it’s just better to let her air dry and use the towel to get her as dry as possible. Bella and Luna do not always like to go to the groomer either, and I don’t like the fact they are caged. They shake and get nervous, but the groomer is so good to them. They go about every 7 weeks. It gets expensive. The groomer is very experienced and they have been going to the same lady for several years now. Hopefully, the next time around will be better for Rusty. Maybe try another groomer and let them know not to use the dryer. Bella and Luna do not like going to the vet either. Your quilts are so lovely and Rusty loves to pose now for you!

  24. Rusty is so sweet! Glad you rescued him: he is lucky to have you as his “parents. Good luck on your long arm journey. I love these table toppers!

  25. Judy - Michigan says:

    I love the new quilt Connie and the table topper. I will anxiously wait for the pattern.
    Have I missed the new studio tour. I want to see your new space but have been in and out lately and maybe I missed it.
    Hope Rusty is doing better after his ordeal!

  26. Robin Beers says:

    Tell Rusty he looks beautiful. What a scare. I had an Irish Setter that had seizures sporadically for a period of time. We had meds for them. After a while they went away. She lived to the age of 13.
    Love the colors you used for your table toppers.

  27. Good morning Connie, love how your quilt turned out. With all your moving houses, I am absolutely amazed that you are able to complete anything let alone all the great work you do. thank you for sharing, I need inspiration.
    Poor little Rusty. Seizures in pets are so scary. I had a little kitty when the children were small. A dear little girl lived 14 years and sadly passed with a seizure. That was new for
    her and the vet did not understand why this happened. Medications may be the answer for him. So sorry for the anxiety this caused. We love our little furry friends and it is so hard because they cannot tell us what is wrong.
    Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer.

  28. Connie,
    The Four Patch Star Quilt came out beautiful! Love the colors. Your choice for the background and backing are perfect. Have fun with the longarm.
    I also had a dog who had seizures. Our vet put him on a daily medication and the seizures stopped.
    Rusty still looks cute. Hope he does well.

  29. Poor Rusty. I am glad he is okay now. Wish I had a long-arm. Maybe in my next life. 🙂

  30. Kimmylouwho says:

    Poor Rusty! Anxiety induced seizures? I’d talk to your vet about it. I had a dog with seizures due to valley fever, and the medication worked very well and made no change in her personality. Seizures can be life-threatening, so I hope he gets the medication he needs. Ps good luck as you practice on the long-arm! I’d love to have classes on the long-arm, but I never see any fabric store offer that.