Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Catch up time!

Life has been busy.  I've been working more so have less time to post.  But I have been keeping up with my quilting and blocks.  So for the next few days I'm going to try to post them to catch you up.

Here's July:

July's block  is in celebration of the 4thof July and gives the illusion of fireworks.  You can use any appliqué technique you are the most comfortable with -there is no right or wrong with this block!  If you are unfamiliar with appliqué, you can look up YouTube tutorials on the different techniques on the internet.  For those totally unfamiliar with appliqué, here are just two of the many ways to appliqué.

July 2012  Fireworks Star

12 1/2” unfinished block

#1 Fabric (background):  Blue Stars
Cut  1     14" X 14”
#2, 3, and 4 Fabric:  Your Choice White, Bright Reds and Blues
Cut one square of each color, larger than the templates

Note:  Fabric #1 is intentionally larger than 12 ½ inches as sometimes there is shrinkage when appliquéing.   Position the stars on the background in any arrangement that is pleasing to you, but make sure the stars are at least 1 1/2 inches from each edge. 

Hand Appliqué:

1.       Trace templates onto paper-side of freezer paper.  Cut out templates and iron, wax-side down, onto the wrong side of chosen fabrics 2, 3, and 4 with a hot, dry iron.  Cut fabric around the freezer paper. Make sure you cut a 1/4 inch from the edge for a seam allowance.



2.       Turn seam allowances over the edge of the star and press.  Pin your star to the background fabric #1.  You may find it easier to first fold the seam allowances under and sew them down to the star using a basting stitch.  You can then sew this unit to the background block and remove the basting stitches once it is sewn down.

3.       Once your star is attached to the background block, cut a slit in the back of the background block and remove the freezer paper.  Repeat for remaining stars.  Trim block to 12 1/2 inches.

Heat and Bond/Machine Appliqué:

1.       Trace the templates onto the paper side of Heat and Bond and cut out on the lines.  Place with plastic side down on the wrong side of fabric 2, 3, and 4 and iron according to manufacturer’s instructions.

2.       Cut out on your traced lines.  Peel paper off the template and position your star on the background fabric #1.  Iron according to manufacturer’s instructions.


3.       Sew along the edges of the star with white thread using a button-hole stitch using either your sewing machine or by hand.  You could also use the zigzag stitch on your machine, but please use thread that matches each of your fabrics.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's been awhile

I've been working on lots of different projects these past few weeks. Some are for the county fair, others for gifts. I even put together two blocks since I 've been here last. Here are some of the things I've been working on:

This is a cute little coin purse I made for my secret sister at the guild:

It's a very easy pattern:  http://sewtimeless.net/?p=502

This one is for the fair, but mostly for a college friend of mine who is expecting her first baby.  We don't know what it is yet so I made it yellow and green and call it "Baby Packer" for her love of Green Bay!!

My mom gave me a bag of recipies that were from my grandmother.  There were a good 20 pound cake recipies in there so I spent a few weeks making the different recipies.  I think I found a winner that I'm going to enter into the fair!:

 This one is a sweet little doll quilt that I'm entering into the fair.

Monday, June 25, 2012

June's Stashbusting

I've been trying to use only stash, but needed to buy some white to do it properly. I took my blue stash and pulled coordinating fabrics and cut them all up into 2 1/2 instrips. It barely made a dent in my stash, but it did help.

I've been making lap/baby/wall hanging sizes all year and I had so many strips that I decided to properly stash bust, I need to make it a full size quilt. Problem with that, I got bored very quickly. I wanted to get this thing done and move on to projects I need for this week (I'm a bit obsessive in that I need to finish one project before starting another, or nothing gets done).

So some playing with blocks on my EQ, addeding some sashing and I have something I'm pretty pleased with. I have enough fabric to add one more border, and when I decide who is going to get this and quilt it up, I may or may not add it. Right now, it's a good queen size at 90X90. One more blue border would make it King size at 101X101.

It is pretty simple.  Cut 2 1/2 inch strips of white and colored fabrics.  Sew one white and one colored fabric together.

Add another set of white and colored fabric.  Make many, many of these strips, mixing the colors around for a nice variety.

This strip set should measure 8 1/2 inches wide.  Cut blocks 8 1/2 inches from each strip set.  You should get 4 - 5, depending on length.  Then  cut the blocks on a diagonal.  It will make a difference whick diagonal you cut on and you will need some triangles cut on each diagonal.   Lets say, the diagonal below - from left to right - is set A.  Cut and equal number from right to left (set B).  Make sure you keep your sets separate.

Starting with set A, sort your triangles based on if they have a white strip at the bottom, or a colored strip at the bottom.  Then mix up each pile to get a good assortment.  You will need to place one triangle with a colored bottom strip and one with a white bottom strip together.  (This placement will be similar to below).  Repeat for set B.

Once you have all  triangles of one set sewn together, again mix them up, flip half of them, and sew them together to make a square.  Repeat for the second set.


(Set A)

(Set B)

Then start arranging and sewing to your liking!  Here is how strip set A and B will look when done.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hot Star

It's time to get out those bright, hot colors in your stash! Use our ideas of colors or choose from your own stash. Either way, this is one hot block! You can use marbles, solids, hand dyes or other fabrics that look solid for a great look.

June 2012  Hot Star

12 1/2” unfinished block
Fabrics to make this block:

#1 Fabric: Kona Solid Black
Cut 4 3 1/2" X 3 1/2"
Cut 2 4 1/2” X 4 1/2"
#4 Fabric: Hot Pink
Cut 4 2 1/2” X 2 1/2”
#2 Fabric: Bright Yellow:
Cut 1 7 1/4" X 7 1/4"
#5 Fabric: Hot Teal
Cut 1 4 3/4” X 4 3/4”
#3 Fabric: Hot Purple
Cut 1 5 1/2" X 5 1/2"
Star Point Units:
1.     Cut Purple Fabric #3   (5  1/2 inch) square on both diagonals to make four quarter-triangles. 

2.    Sew one Kona Black Fabric #4  (3 1/2 inch) square to one step 1 quarter-triangles using a scant 1/4 inch seam as shown below.  The purple triangle should extend 1/4 inch beyond the black square.  Press to the black and trim excess.

Repeat three more times for a total of four units.
3.      Cut Bright Yellow Fabric #2  (7  1/4 inch) square on both diagonals to make four quarter-triangles.

4.     Assemble one of the yellow quarter-triangle from step 3 with one of the units made in step 2 as shown below and sew with a scant 1/4 inch seam.  Hint:  Match the triangle tips and begin your seam at the triangle tips.  The yellow triangle should extend beyond the black square 1/4 inch.  Press to the black/purple unit and trim excess yellow tail.

Repeat three more times for a total of four units.

Square/Triangle Units:
1.     Cut Fabric #1  Kona Black  (4  1/2 inch) square on both diagonals to make four quarter-triangles.  Repeat for the second square.

2.     Sew Hot PInk Fabric #4  (2 ½ inch) squares to one of these quarter-triangles  as shown below, using a scant 1/4 inch seam.  The #1 Black quarter-triangle will extend 1/2” beyond the #4 square.  Press toward the black fabric. 

3.  Sew a second quarter-triangle to this unit.  This triangle will extend beyond the unit 1/4".  Press toward the black fabric and trim all tails.  When completed, the #4 fabric will appear to “float” between the black triangles and there will be 1/2” between the corner of the square and the edge of the unit. 

Repeat three more times to get a total of 4 units.


1.     Using your completed units and the remaining Hot Teal #4   (4  3/4") square, assemble the block as shown below.  Use a scant 1/4 inch seam.  The Square/Triangle units will extend 1/4" beyond the Star Point units by 1/4”.  After sewing, trim these tails.

Here is a doll quilt I made using 6 inch blocks. It's not quilted yet, but you get an idea how to arrange the blocks!

And here's one done in different fabrics:

I hope you enjoy this block. It can be a bit of a challenge to new quilters, but it will be worth it!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

This and That

I've been working a lot the last few months (as a substitute teacher).  Between meetings and kids getting sick (there has been another outbreak of flu here), they've been keeping me hopping.  That leaves little time for quilting when I get home...  I'm exausted!  No wonder I've been so late in getting my BOM done on time!

Here's another reason:

Pathfinder trying to get into her nest (bottom shelf of bookcase)

Willow stretched out on my cutting table.

When I get some time to actually get into my sewing room, the creativity takes over and things get, well....  messy....  My girls take advantage of it and find nice comfy places to sleep.  Pathfinder especially, sheds alot and the fabric in the "nest" she has made herself needed to be washed to get rid of all the cat hair.  She and Willow are true "Quilt Cats" who love fabric and make themselves at home in my quilting room while I'm working.

Next, I had a specific project to make for my mom's birthday. I went looking for my pattern for "Goose" clothes to make for a ceramic porch goose.  I haven't see the pattern since I cleaned my room at Christmas.   Hmmm... while I'm looking for it, I cleaned my messy room and washed fabric.  Now I'm ready to go again.  Still haven't found the pattern, but I'm hoping it'll turn up soon.

So, now that my room is ready for some creativity, I started on my May quilt.  I made this cute baby quilt for the little girl who visited me to tell me she'd be here soon.  (Those who know me, know I occasionally have visions.  I'll check them out with the people involved and they'll ask me how I know that.  I can't explain it.)  So, here's hoping I don't jinx it and she'll be here soon.  I'll quilt this cutie up when I'm informed she's on her way.  I already have the diaper bag planned.

This keeps me on track with my goal of one quilt a month.  Now that my May quilt top is done, it's back to working on the BOM.  It took me two days, but I finally have the pattern worked out and the sample made.  Next is writing it up and making up the samples for the guild.  Here's a peek at what I've come up with:

And here's all six of the blocks done so far:

Time for a break now before the marathon writing sesson begins, It's my turn to bake cookies for coffee hour at church.   Hmmm... cookies.....  Yum!  These came out great last time I made them, so I'm baking them again:

Chocolate Chip Coconut Bar
1 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. white sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. unsifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. coconut
1 c. quick cooking oats
12 oz. chocolate chips (I used the dark chocolate - yum!)
1 c. chopped nuts

Mix butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Blend in flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in an ungreased 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 30–35 minutes until lightly browned. (I had to bake it longer) Cool. Cut into bars. Store in a covered container.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Memorial Star

Originally known as Decoration Day, the practice of decorating graves of soldiers began with ladies of the south during the Civil War.  By 1873, it was decided to make May 30th as a day to honor those who died in the Civil War.  After WWI, observances were held to honor all Americans who died in any war. 

To remember the beginnings of Memorial Day, we chose Civil War reproduction fabrics.  Please use the fabric s that has been provided as a reference for your fabric selections.

Memorial Star

12 1/2” unfinished block

#1 Fabric:  Antique Eggshell
Cut   4     3  1/2" X 3  1/2"
Cut   1     7  1/2” X 7  1/2"
#3 Fabric:  Blue and Off White Shirting:
Cut  1   3  1/2" X 3  1/2"
#4 Fabric:  Antique Eggshell
Cut 4      2” X 2”
Cut 1      4  1/2” X 4  1/2”
#2  Fabric:  Dark Blue:
Cut 4     4” X 4”
#5 Fabric:  Civil War Red
Cut 4     2  1/2” X 2  1/2”

Quick Method Flying Geese:

This method will allow you to make 4 geese at once.  You can find tutorials on this all over the internet.  My measurements are a little different as I prefer to square up my geese instead of them coming up short!

1.       Draw a diagonal line on each of your #2 Dark Blue 4 inch squares. 

2.       Lay two of these dark blue squares right sides together (RST) on the #1 Antique Eggshell  7 1/2 inch square.  Place the blue squares on opposite corners with the drawn lines lined up on the diagonal. Note:   the dark squares will overlap slightly in the middle.   Sew a scant 1/4 inch from the line across both dark blue squares.  Repeat on the other side of the line.


3.      Cut along the marked line and press toward the #2 Dark Blue triangles.  You will have two units.  Set one unit aside for a moment.


4.      Place one of the remaining dark blue squares RST on the remaining corner of the antique eggshell triangle.  The blue square will slightly overhang between the two dark blue triangles.  Make sure the drawn diagonal line on the blue square lines up as shown below.  Sew a scant 1/4 inch away from both sides of the marked diagonal line.


5.      Cut along diagonal line, and press toward the dark blue triangle.  You will have two units.  Square up these units to 6 1/2" X 3  1/2".  When squaring up your units, don’t cut off all the dark blue at the top of your Antique Eggshell triangle!  Make sure you have 1/4 inch of dark blue at the top of your goose.  Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the second unit you set aside earlier.  You will have 4 flying geese.  How easy was that?



6.       Repeat steps 1 – 5 with the #4 Antique Eggshell  4 1/2 inch squares and #5 Civil War Red 2  1/2 inch squares.  Square up the flying geese units to measure 3  1/2” X 2”.





7.       Using your completed units and the remaining #1, #3, and #4 squares, assemble the block as shown below.  Use a scant 1/4 inch seam.

First assemble the center of the block:


This unit will measure 6  1/2 inch square

Then assemble the rest of the block: