My Next Obsession

If you know me at all, you know I can never do anything halfway.  If  I like something, I love it.  If Becky has 2 plants, I think 20 would be better.  My next obsession is going to be New York Beauty.  I’m ready to make something hard and I’ve always disliked foundation piecing so I’m going to make myself like it to the point of making a New York Beauty quilt.  Here are the books and articles I’ve collected through the years plus I have a stack of magazine pictures somewhere.  This is my very favorite book published by Quiltmania of the Bill Volckening collection of amazing quilts.



And here are some of my favorite quilts in the book.


Here is my first block and the start of my second.  It’s slow going, trying to teach an old dog a new trick but this old dog is determined.


I will continue to work on the easy shirt quilts because who could work on something like this full time?  On Monday a friend came to sew with Connie and me – we taught her to make a 1600 jellyroll quilt so I made another one, too.  Since I hadn’t made one for quite awhile, it was really fun again!  Here’s my 1600 quilt.


No farming today – it’s raining again.

36 thoughts on “My Next Obsession

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gayla – sad! I was hoping maybe they’d be going to Mpls or Chgo and I’d drive to either city to see them.

  1. Gayla kenyon

    I am lucky enough to live in Colorado. The RockyMountain Quilt Museum’s current exhibit is the Volckening Collection. Needless to say I now want to make a New York Beauty. What about the Linda Hahn book? Any good?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gayla – how I envy you being able to see these quilts in person! I am not familiar with that book – I will look for it. Do you know where these quilts go next for display?

  2. Mary C.

    I salute you! I would like to tackle a New York Beauty one day but haven’t worked up the courage yet. Enjoy!

  3. Lisa

    Hey girl!

    Don’t forget to look at Pat Sloan’s version, Cottage Beauty! I adored the soft colors she used!
    http://www.mccallsquilting.com/mccallsquilting/articles/Cottage_Beauty_America_Loves_Scrap_Quilts_2011

    It appeared in America Loves Scrap Quilts 2011 and I believe the issue can still be purchased.

    I haven’t had nerve enough to try to make a New York Beauty yet, so you’re ahead of me!

    Keep up the good work! I love your posts & hearing all about the babies (4 legged ones).

    Lisa in Louisiana

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lisa -Pat’s quilt is so beautiful – I’m going to look for that magazine. Thanks so much for the heads up!

  4. Jo Kramer

    Mary. I hated paper piecing until I figured out that I it works better, at least for me, to copy my pattern onto old fashion tracing paper. I run it through my printer. It’s not the easier but it works. Then I can put the fabric on top of it, hold it up to the light and I can see the line through the paper and know that I am hitting the line. Bonnie Hunter told me that. It made paper piecing tolerable and even, dare I say, enjoyable. Try it if you haven’t already!!

  5. Deedee

    Your pieces are beautiful . The foundation piecing is painful at times but the points and small pieces come out magnificent !! Have fun!

  6. Launa Peters

    Mary, Got my cataract removed this AM…..now I’m busy with all the drops……..
    Have Valorie Wells’ and Stone’s books……. Your solid fabric block looks wonderful…great combination.
    Need to select fabrics for Taryn’s basket later……
    Your shirt quilt turned out great….
    Don’t forget about the North Dakota donuts!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Oh, that’s right – Connie was going to write about those donuts, wasn’t she?

  7. Felicia Hamlin

    Hi Mary, I admire somebody who tries hard things and sticks to it. But frankly I thought that you knew all types of quilting. Good for you, your beginnings are very nice. Felicia

  8. Diane

    Your beauties really are beautiful!! Good for you trying a new project–it keeps the brain churning:) Where are the “babies” who usually “help” you? Squeak is always on something I’m doing!!
    My Nana made a Pickle Dish quilt for my Mom and Dad’s wedding. It looks like the picture with the red and gray sashing. Is there a difference between Pickle Dish and NY Beauties? Can’t wait to see your finished result:)

  9. Jean

    Circles! I’ve never been able to make circles and I have tried. There are a few cats and dogs in shelters that are sleeping on my quilts that were supposed to have circles in them. What is a 1600 quilt? I owe you an email or three Mary. Will be in touch with all the boring details soon.

  10. Ann Barlament

    You are full of surprises…I thought you would be more attracted to the eclectic ones. The first time I tried paper piecing, I hated it. Then on of the gals from Glad Creations gave me some tips and I liked it better. Especially when I decide to make a miniature quilt, like Storm-at-Sea and I’m fussy cutting fish hooks to go into my squares….it impressed the Fisher-women that received the table topper!

  11. Carol

    Love the solids, love the colors so far, can’t wait to see what’s next! My sewing room is wrapped in plastic while the addition is being built, emptying mom’s house, and heading to son’s destination wedding next week (Savannah Georgia), and then moving mom in with us…..so I live in the imaginary world of other people’s sewing accomplishments and processes! Keep me going, Mary, post more beauties as you churn them out!

  12. Kathy Sims

    Hi Mary, I have loved your patterns for years and now I love your blog. A little tip for making New York Beauty blocks, Freezer Paper! The arc sections are pieced by ironing them to freezer paper, stitching right next to freezer paper that is folded back. Then when the section is done just peel it off, no picking paper out of your stitches. I first learned this from a Judy Matheson book on mariner’s compass blocks. I have taught this technique and would be glad to send you my instructions I pass out to my students. Let me know. Keep up the quilting! Kathy

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy – this sounds intriguing. Send me the instructions and teach me how!

  13. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Hi Mary,

    I have all those books too! I agree with you about the Volckening book: it is fabulous. Good luck with your own Beauty, it looks like you are off to a good start.

    1. Nancy bryan

      Good luck Mary. Looks hard!!! But I know you will be able to do it. I’m into making handbags. Using cork fabric. Love to make purses.

  14. Sharon Geiger

    I applaud your willingness to try something new and exciting. I don’t have the patience for hard or difacult patterns. I only do those that are easy or of medium difficulty. I hope you show your progress. I also enjoy reading your blog.

  15. Mary Hanson

    I am also just newly obsessed with this pattern. I thought a table runner would be great…

  16. Sharon Hultgren

    Hi Mary! You might consider Foundation by the Yard made by Benartex! The New York Beauty really works well!! And! You don’t have to pick the paper out! 😊

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