December 31, 2011

You're a grand old flag

I saw a very cool flag quilt in Volume 2 of Better Homes and Gardens Sew Scrappy magazine. Around the same time, French General's Panier de Fleurs collection had arrived at our quilt shop. I knew that I had to make this flag quilt using the gorgeous reds and blues from French General. Just one problem - the kaleidoscope blocks were made with templates, and I try to avoid having to use templates. I found a set of acrylic templates to make the block and tried my hand. My points came nowhere near meeting in the center!

So my grand old flag project was shelved. Until I ran across this post on Pam Kitty Morning's blog. She was also doing a kaleidoscope block and had found a kite shaped ruler, but she also linked to Sugar Stitches blog, where Jennifer had held a quiltalong using another ruler, called the Kaleidoscope Smart Plate. I ordered a smart plate and waited anxiously for it to arrive.

With the Smart Plate Ruler, you make ordinary pinwheel blocks using half square triangles and using the lines on the ruler as a guide, trim off the edges to make a PERFECT kaleidoscope block!

I whipped this together in less than a week. Thanks to PKM and Jennifer, I have a beautiful French General flag quilt. My final finish in 2011.

Happy New Year everybody!

November 8, 2011

And now for something completely different

2011 seems to be my year of conquering old BOMs. Here is one I started in 2007. I am a huge fan of From My Heart to Your Hands sampler patterns designed by Lori Smith. I own a few of her patterns, but the idea of making all those fabric selections was daunting. Then I happened upon Homestead Hearth's Special Programs page and saw they were doing Golden Memories as a Block of the Month program and one of the choices was reproduction fabrics. I signed up immediately!

The first kit of 3 blocks arrived in August 2007 and I immediately pieced them together, loving all the fabric choices. Then - as is my tendency - I started another project, put the new blocks aside as they arrived and collected them in a project box. I even pulled it out last year and gave some thought to completing all of the alternate blocks, which looked very tedious to me. After an hour or so cutting 1-1/4" strips, the project went back inside the box.

This year, though, I decided to finish. I made all 31 tedious alternating blocks and now I am working on the 32 sampler blocks.

For the most part, I really like the fabrics included in the kit, but at the same time, some of the color combinations are not pleasing. The fabrics in block 5 did not look good laid out on my sewing table, and they certainly did not look any better after I sewed them together. Here is my modified block on the left next to the center that I would have ended up with had I used the kit fabrics. I decided to substitute from my stash if I didn't like fabric combinations, and it's been a lot of fun changing fabrics around and using some of my favorites from my collection.

November 3, 2011

Can you resist smiling?

OrangeWhen you see this color?   Seriously - can you?  I can't... of course orange is my favorite color.  This is the second finish from my September retreat.  I made all the blocks while there and then assembled them when I got home.  This is a great project to use when you are borrowing a sewing machine - no worries about your seam allowance because you square up the blocks after putting them together.

I used Elizabeth Hartman's Crazy 9-Patch Lattice pattern.   Check out her blog Oh, Fransson! for many other very cool quilt patterns that she so generously shares with her readers.  AND I see she's coming out with a new book in May, which I know I will be buying because I loved her first book.

I've made this before in green for my niece.   It's a great way to use color blocks in a quilt and for some reason, I never stop buying orange fabric.


October 31, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I love looking through the pictures each time the festival is presented.   It's full of very inspiring photos.   Go to Amy's Creative Side and take a look.  Click the festival button below to see all the great quilts!


My entry is the beautiful Eventide I finished in April of this year.  The pattern is one from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co., and her version was so pretty, I had to copy it using the 3 Sisters collection Luna Notte.   I made this quilt as part of a sew along sponsored by Thelma of Cupcakes 'n Daisies.   Having the sew along really helped to motivate me and keep me on task to finish this quilt by the deadline.  (I'm so bad at deadlines!)

After I finished, I passed it off to my awesome long arm quilter, Jenny at Jenny's Doodling Needle.  Jenny did a fabulous job with the quilting and now my binding is on and I'm loving this quilt even more.




October 9, 2011

My Chocolate Truffle

I recently had the pleasure of attending a small quilt retreat with some friends.  We had a wonderful time sharing tips, inspiration, good food and many laughs.

I was able to finish blocks for 3 quilts while I was there.  Here is the first one I put together when I returned home.  I used the Thimbleblossoms pattern Red Velvet, and the stone fabrics from Fa La La and La Petit Ecole for the centers, a dark brown for the star points, and background fabrics from almost every French General collection.

I can't call this Red Velvet, so how about Chocolate Truffle?  I still need to decide on an outer border, but I love how elegant and understated this quilt looks using a very limited color palette.

I almost never make the same pattern twice, but this one is an exception - it's super easy to make and a great retreat  project (I made the first version while on retreat, too!)

September 6, 2011

Ruby Tuesday

Yes, I know it's been FOREVER since I updated my blog.  I'm still getting caught up on some old and new blocks of the month.   This seems to have been the Summer of UFOs for me.

But everyone needs a little something to spark their creative juices.   I am totally in love with Bonnie & Camille's upcoming fabric collection, Ruby.   I bought a fat eighth bundle.   I made this.  Bliss.   Oh wait - that's their last collection!  I love the addition of grey to this new line and I love the brighter green.

The pattern is Basket Case by Cluck Cluck Sew.  Leaving off the borders (which would mean waiting until October for Ruby yardage to hit stores!), the quilt measures 50 by 70 - perfect width to use a white Minky dot on the back and have a cozy, snuggly quilt.

And next I've pulled out ANOTHER old UFO - I have all the blocks done and now I just need to put it together with the pieced sashing.   I forgot how pretty these blocks are!

August 7, 2011

That's all folks...

Well, all of my blocks for my Moda U Selvages quilt, anyway.   I need to piece the settings for this quilt, but I will leave that for another day.  I'm happy to say that all of the blocks are now done!

July 28, 2011

Three More

Three more sets completed for my Moda U Selvages quilt.  Only 6 more sets to finish and then on to the pieced setting!

It feels really good to finish such an old UFO!

July 24, 2011

Time Machine

Here is another block of the month project from 2008.   This one was the Moda U Selvages project.   My shop did 2 versions of this quilt - a more somber coloration using Blackbird Designs fabrics, and this brighter version using American Jane fabrics.

In keeping with my BOM track record, I made the first two months' blocks and then put the rest in a box.  I've spent the last week making all the alternate setting blocks - 48 teeny 9-patches, which are shown here with the 2 sets of blocks I'd already completed.   I'm making good progress on this one!

July 17, 2011

And then along comes Mary

I don't have such a good track record with Blocks of the Month.  I'm sure it stems from me being a "start to finish" quilter.   I like to finish a project before I start on the next one.  So making a block and then waiting an entire month before the next one arrives (at which point I'm already immersed in another project) pretty much resigns the rests of the blocks to a project box.

I was going through my fabric closet last weekend and discovered some BOM treasures.  Most of them are complete KITS by now!

I signed up for this Mary Engelbreit BOM from In Between Stitches when I visited Nicole in April 2008.  When I found the box, I discovered that I had already completed 7 of the blocks!

This week I finished the last 5.  And then I made 2 additional because I didn't like 2 of the blocks from the kit, but I got it done, it's cute and I still love the fabrics.

Next up - the Moda U Selvages BOM - also started in 2008.

July 9, 2011

#99 - Come on Down!

I used the random number generator, which picked #99 out of 127 comments left.   So my winner is the commenter who wrote:

Placemats? You mean you would let people spill food on these placemats? No way!! I'm going to pull fabric from my stash right now! How cute to hang as a mini quilt from Memorial Day through Labor Day or even ALL year! Thanks for the pattern AND the recipe! Yummy and light!!

Posted by: Elaine Morgan | July 06, 2011 at 08:07 AM


Elaine - please send your mailing address to me at and I'll get your prize out to you.

Thanks to everybody for all the nice comments and for stopping by to say hello.   And a special thank you to Monique Dillard for providing the free pattern and the ruler for me to give away.

July 7, 2011

4th of July Fireworks Blog Hop, Day 4

I apologize - I sort of spaced and missed posting yesterday (it's Thursday already???)  I hope you had a chance to stop by Lisa's blog to see her cute potholders!

Today, be sure you visit these 2 blogs.
Quilter's Window - Denise,
A Quilting Life - Sherri,

I took pictures of my quarter square triangles while I was making my flag quilt, but forgot to post them.   I see that Sherri from A Quilting Life has posted some great pictures, and is much more thorough with her explanation.

There is one thing I wanted to address.  I had a commenter ask me how the Fit to be Quarter ruler compares to a tool she already has, the Precision Trimmer 6.  I also own the PT6 and the PT3.  The difference is - MORE OPTIONS!

The Precision Trimmer 6 allows you to trim quarter square triangle blocks for finished measurements in 1-inch increments from 1" to 6".

The Fit to be Quarter ruler allows you to trim units in 1/4-inch increments for finished units up to 9".   Need to make a 6-3/4 inch quarter square triangle?  This is the tool for you!

Also, check out Monique's blog today for a demonstration of how to make combination units that I see all the time in sampler blocks.  Now Monique has given me a very cool and accurate option for making them, too.

July 4, 2011

4th of July Fireworks Blog Hop - Day 2

Welcome back - I hope you are enjoying the blog hop so far.  Monique offered to design a little pattern that utilizes her super cool Fit to be Quarter ruler, a pattern that I could make and also give away on my blog.   If you would like Monique's pattern, click this link Download 4thofjulyflag.

I think I may have squealed when I saw how cute this flag is.  I dove right into my Prairie Paisley stash to make this flag.  Although it's too late for Independence Day, wouldn't it be perfect to show your patriotic pride year round?  Or as my friend Julie suggested, they would make cute placemats.

Monique has given me one Fit to be Quarter ruler to give away during this blog hop.   I'm going to go one step further and give my winner a kit to make this flag quilt.   The same fabrics I used to make mine - backing and binding included.  Everything you need except the batting and thread.  Please comment before midnight on Friday, July 8 and I will draw a winner on Saturday morning, July 9.

I'd also like to share an easy and delicious summer recipe with you.

Lemony Icebox Pie

  • Combine the cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla in a large bowl.

  • Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Pour into pie crust. Refrigerate overnight.

Also, be sure to stop by Sherri's blog today, Little Bits of This and That to see what she has to share with you.

July 3, 2011

4th of July Fireworks Blog Hop!

Monique at Open Gate Quilts asked me to participate in a 4th of July blog hop.  Please stop by the featured blogs each day this week to see what everyone has to share with you.  Monique is the featured blogger today and please come back to see what I have to share with you tomorrow.

Monday, July 4
Open Gate - Monique,

Tuesday, July 5
Stashmaster -  Lisa -
This & That - Sherri,

Wednesday, July 6
Sweetwater - Lisa,

Thursday, July 7
Quilter's Window - Denise,
A Quilting Life - Sherri,

Friday, July 8
Cupcakes 'n Daisies - Thelma -

June 28, 2011

Almost Planetarium

I'm a big fan of Elizabeth Hartman - I love her blog and her book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork.  I've poured over the book many times and each time I see something different.   When I first looked really closely at her Planetarium quilt, I really liked how the quarter square triangle/hourglass blocks had a very blendy quality to them.  I couldn't quite make out the block design, although it was a quilt block basic.

I've had a stash of Kaffe Fasset and Martha Negley fabrics for some time and this pattern made me pull out my stash to finally use it.  I needed to do some serious fussy cutting to get the right part of the florals into my blocks, but I am really happy with the result.   I used white Essex linen for the sashing and pulled some fun colors for the frames around my blocks.   Definitely a bright, summer quilt, even though it was impossible to get a photo of the true colors of this quilt.

I only made 9 blocks instead of the 16 shown in the book.   I also realized too late that I'd only used 2 fabrics in each block, where the designer used 4 fabrics.   So that's why I'm calling mine "Almost Planetarium."

A tool that was indispensible to me while making this quilt was Monique Dillard's new Fit to Be Quarter ruler.  I loved using it and it will be a staple in my ruler collection.  Please stop by next week for the 4th of July Fireworks Blog Hop.  Monique invited me and a few other quilters to demonstrate the ruler, share our 4th of July memories or quilts or recipes and I know you would all love an opportunity to win a Fit to be Quarter ruler.   The fun starts on Monday, July 4.


June 16, 2011

A quilt for Ruth Jon

IMG Ruth is my mom's cousin, so I'm told that makes us first cousins, once removed (thanks, Debi - I always get that confused!)  I always thought of her as my aunt.   She came to live with us after she graduated from high school and was with us for about a year.   She helped my mom out with 3 kids and did many fun things with us.   One memory I'll never forget is her taking me to have my very blonde hair dyed pink (a pink rinse).   I think I was 3 or 4, about the age I was in this picture.  Isn't it just like a favorite aunt to let you do something your mom would never let you do?

My family spent a lot of time with her and her husband Ron when I was growing up.   She hosted my bridal shower, which seems like a million years ago.

And by the time I had my last baby, she and Ron were ready to retire.   They moved to Arizona and love the lifestyle (and the weather) there.   My mom goes to see her once a year or so.   This January when mom went, Ruth asked my mom if she thought I might be willing to make a quilted wallhanging for her kitchen.   She sent mom home with a swatch of her valance fabric, and mom handed it off to me when she visited us in February.

Of course, I am happy to make a quilt for someone as special as Ruth.  I drew a blank at first - her soft pastel southwest palette was not something I'd worked with before.   But my sis-in-law suggested using batiks and *bam* a pattern came to mind immediately.

I have wanted to make this Mexican Stars quilt by Southwind Designs for ages after one year at retreat when several gals were making it.

The next time I worked at the quilt shop, I picked up some fabulous batiks in just the right colors.  Julie has some great ones.

It seemed like a straightforward pattern - the centers of the stars are all 9 patches, right?   So I just make nine 9-patch blocks and go from there?  I looked at the cutting instructions and the center square was cut 1-1/2" - now wait just a darn minute - you mean I have to cut the squares and sew them together?   No strip piecing?   Well, no - can't have that and I spent an entire Sunday afternoon making 9 perfect, strip-pieced 9-patch blocks.

After taking a look at how the quilt is assembled with overlapping stars, I realized I made a dumb "I thought I knew better" mistake and I had cut everything out all wrong.   I went back to following the pattern and within a week I had the top done.  The right way.

This photo shows the "before" picture (and the colors are more true in this version).  The technique uses folded fabric in the corners and after completing the top, you fold the corner back and top stitch it down, giving a nice rounded curve to the piecing, which you can see in the second photo.

Now, off to the machine quilter and hopefully I can present it in person this summer when Ruthie comes back to the Pacific Northwest for a visit.   Love you, Cousin!

June 3, 2011

The Challenge

Our shop owner Julie asked each of us to make a quilt from this book using of one of our older charm packs.  During the Western Washington Shop Hop this year, the quilts will be displayed together in a group.

I made the design Greta, using a charm pack of Odyssea.  It was quick and easy to piece, and what a great use of just one charm pack and a little bit of yardage!  I quilted this myself with straight lines.   It's super cute (if I do say so myself!).

If you're in Western Washington for the Shop Hop June 22 through 26, stop by Keepsake Cottage and see all the cute charm quilts and lots of other good stuff on display at the shop.


May 26, 2011


Sorry for the delay in revealing my finished Pinochle quilt.   We attended a family wedding this weekend and it took a lot of my time and most of my mental faculties getting the family ready.   Now that we're back (the wedding was beautiful!), I can take care of some things that have been sitting idle for a while (like my blog!).

Pinochle was designed by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts and is in her book Fat Quarter Winners.  I used a mix of French General fabrics - Rural Jardin, Rouenneries, Maison de Noel and Maison de Garance, with the bird print from Rural Jardin as the border.

This quilt was a lot of fun to make (I happen to love half square triangles!) and I'm very happy with the results.



May 13, 2011

Yes, I really *did* finish Rotue 44

Last September I joined my two best blog buddies, Thelma and Nicole, in Illinois to take some classes from the fabulous Carrie Nelson.  I started two large quilts - Ashcombe and Route 44 - and one Schnibbles quilt, Darcy.  I finished Darcy (not that big of a feat because it's a Schnibbles, it's tiny!) and Route 44.  Only time will tell if I finish Ashcombe.   I'm not loving the fabrics I chose.   Maybe I should recut and make one like Thelma's, which I absolutely adore.

I did, however finish Route 44, which I made using a stash of old Amy Butler fabrics that I very nearly let go in my stash sale last summer.  Thankfully I kept looking at the pile and thinking how pretty they were and using them really made this quilt work for me.   I added a frosted dot from Lakehouse Fabrics as the setting and borders.

One of our fellow students in the Route 44 class was LeAnne Olson, a longarm quilter who's name I have seen in quilting magazines.   I asked for her card, thinking that having a machine quilter who also made this quilt right along with me would be a great way to bring this project full circle.

LeAnne gave me permission to use her beautiful photographs.   It's been so dreary in the Seattle area that any time the clouds have parted enough to allow a photograph, I'm at work!   So here are some shots of my quilt - one of the Amy Butler fabrics was a random stripe with all the colors from the prints, and it made the perfect binding for this quilt.

Not only do I love the beauty of this quilt, it is priceless to me because of all the fond memories it evokes of my trip and friends (new and old).

I'll be back soon with pictures of my (finally) finished Pinochle quilt top!

April 27, 2011

Fat Quarter Winners Blog Tour - The One Where Lisa Drops the Ball

IMG_0254 I was behind the eight ball.
I dropped the ball.
I blew it.
The buck stops here.
In other words, I didn't finish my Pinochle quilt.

Sorry to disappoint - I did get the first row completed (one-third done!).   I hope you will stop by again to see the quilt top once it's finished.   I really like the way it's turning out with a mix of French General collections.   I have some pretty Rural Jardin prints picked out for borders.

April 25, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Thanks to everyone for stopping by to enter my contest to win Monique's fabulous book and rulers.   Using the random number generator, my winner is commenter #26 who wrote:

Wonderful progress. I really love the colors you have chosen for this quilt!

Posted by: RC | April 21, 2011 at 02:30 PM

Congratulations RC!   Your prize package will be in the mail for you shortly.

I hope everyone had a nice Easter weekend.  We joined family for Easter dinner and had a nice get together.

I'm really sweating my Pinochle reveal on Thursday.   Despite having a free weekend, I did not get any sewing done.   (hanging head in shame)

I do have an excuse - I was having too much fun with this.  :)

April 20, 2011

Fat Quarter Winners Blog Tour - Interview with Monique

Photo I did make some progress on Pinochle this week, but don't really have much to show.   I got all the larger half square triangles arranged on my design wall so I could get a pleasing mix of the reds and blues.  I'm going to be much more random in my placement of the smaller HSTs.   I'll show you my "random scrappy" method next week.  I took advantage of a Joann's sale this weekend and bought enough plain white flannel to re-cover my design wall.   Soon there won't be any green or blue flannel stars behind my quilt blocks!   Now to find the TIME to actually do it!

But back to the Book Tour.  This week I had the opportunity to ask Monique anything I wanted and so of course, I chose my favorite topic - FABRIC!

My first question is - how did you embark on the fabric designing journey?   Were your ideas brought to the fabric company, or did they approach you?

The first thing that I did was come up with an idea.  I was thumbing through a book one day and I thought "This would be wonderful fabric!"  As I kept looking, the idea started to grow.  I wanted to use antique tiles, tapestries and textiles as inspiration.  The next step was to get my ideas on paper for the fabric companies to see.  I think that this was the hardest part.  To get the ideas in the computer, manipulate the colors and prints and then get it presentable to the fabric company.  Once I figure this out, I approached the fabric company about my ideas.  From what I understand, the fabric companies get hundreds of fabric proposals a year.  So, I decided that I wanted to present them with something that would stand out from the crowd.  What I did was I created a proposal.  In the proposal, I included fabric swatches like paint chips.  I had several different designs that I wanted to feature and included different colorway.  The other thing that I did (and I think this is what really helped me) was to feature several different quilts using the fabric swatches.  In other words, I created virtual quilts and put them in the proposal.  I wanted the fabric company to see what I would do with the fabric. 


How do you design a fabric line?   Do you start with one focus print and then design coordinates around that one fabric?


I think that I do things a little different from others.  I like to decide on my colors and then pick prints from there.  Then I try to pick prints that are different in scale and have different elements that I can draw from.  I make sure that I have tone-on-tones, small prints, large prints and a main print to choose from.  I also like to bring a border stripe in so that there can be another choice for borders.


How do you come up with your color palette?   Do you only choose colors that appeal to you, or ones that you think would popular with quilters?


Choosing the color palette is more complicated than you would think.  The issues are that yes, you want to do what appeals to you but you also want to make sure that it appeals to others.  The other idea that I wanted to make sure that was incorporated into my fabric is that the lines would coordinate.  I want the customer to be able to use leftover fabric from the previous line(s) with the latest line.  So, that makes it more complicated in what you bring in and what you eliminate. 


Is there anyone's stash that you would love the chance to raid - either a real life quilting friend or someone you've seen on a blog?


Yes, I have a friend that loves blacks and reds.  I'm sure that her stash is fantastic and would love to get in there.  I've seen glimpses of it but I think she's afraid that I might sneak some out.  :)


What's up for your future?   Any new fabric designs coming soon?   And what can we expect to see from you at Market this Spring?


I'm planning on continuing to design fabric, books, patterns and rulers.  I truely love what I do and am glad that people like it too.  For Spring Market, I am promoting Fat Quarter Winners, will have a couple new patterns including an applique quilt and my new ruler.

And getting back to Fat Quarter Winners and Monique's rulers, she has generously offered a copy of the book and a set of rulers (Fit to Be Square, Fit to Be Geese and Mini Fit to Be Geese) to each of us to offer to one lucky blog reader.   Please leave a comment on this post and I will draw one name to win this fantastic prize package.   Edited to add:   I will announce my winner on Monday morning, so please continue to comment on THIS POST through Easter Sunday and I will add you to the drawing.

Also, be sure you visit my fellow Blog Tour friends for more chances to win!

Monday - visit Nicole at Sister's Choice Quilts

Tuesday - visit Monique at Open Gate Quilts

Wednesday - visit Thelma - Cupcakes 'n' Daisies

and Thursday - come back and see me for my winner and Pinochle reveal

I hope you have enjoyed our blog tour so far!

April 13, 2011

Fat Quarter Winners Blog Tour - Tutorial Week

Thanks for stopping by today.  My tutorial uses one of Monique's great rulers, Fit to Be Square.  I'm not a huge fan of square in a square blocks, but only because I could never get the accuracy I liked from the block.  Construction of the block using Monique's tool produces a perfect square in a square - every time!


For my demo, I'm starting with 3 squares - one center square and two, slightly smaller outer squares.  First you will cut the outer squares once diagonally so you end up with 4 triangles.

Sew 2 triangles to opposite sides of your center square and press your seams (mine are pressed open, naturally!).

Now sew the remaining triangles to the other 2 sides of your center square and trim your dog ears before pressing.  You will end up with 2 dog ears at each corner, one small and one large.  I use my scissors to trim these off at the sewing machine.

Now press your block and you will end up with something that looks like this - a square in a square block with extra fabric around the outside.


Now here is where the magic happens.   Take Monique's ruler and lay it on top of one of the points of your block, thusly, and trim along the top edge of your ruler.   Then rotate your block and repeat this for each of the 4 edges and guess what?  You will have your perfect quarter-inch seam allowance.


I'm afraid I have no progress to show you on my Pinochle quilt this week.  I'm trimming all the half square triangles for my blocks and throwing them into a colander so I can randomly draw them out and pair them for my scrappy blocks.

Keep checking in with my blog buddies to see their quilts coming together.

Nicole, Sister's Choice Quilts - Monday

Monique, Open Gate Quilts - Tuesday

Thelma, Cupcakes 'n' Daisies - Wednesday

and finally, Moi - Thursday

See you in a week (if not sooner)!

April 7, 2011

Fat Quarter Winners Blog Tour

Pinochle Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my first post in our month-long promo of Monique Dillard''s beautiful book for C&T Publishing, Fat Quarter Winners.  Nicole, Thelma and I were so excited when our new friend Monique told us about her upcoming book release that we decided to help show off some of her beautiful quilts by making our own versions and featuring them on our blogs.

Yes, it's true, I was the lucky one who gets to make Pinochle - the quilt all of us wanted to make.   Here is the quilt as it appears in Monique's book.  Beautiful and elegant, isn't it?

I wondered how my choice of fabrics - French General reds and blues from various collections - would work in this quilt that Monique showcases using just one color family.   Would my blue fabrics stand out too much?   Would it have the scrappy, playful feel that I wanted?  Take a look at my test block and I think you will agree that it is a good fit with this pattern.

First There are a *LOT* of half square triangles in this block, and a lot of seam matching.  I started quilting after watching Shar Jorgenson's PBS show, Quilting From the Heartland.   She pressed her quilt seams open, and since I was comfortable with that technique because of garment sewing, I have always pressed my quilt seams open as well.  I've even inspired some of my quilt shop coworkers to press their seams open, too.   It's very helpful when you have a lot of seams coming together - the points match and the block lays nice and flat.

The most common question I get asked when I mention that I press my seams open is, "Don't you burn your fingers?"   Nope, never have.   How could I?  I've never touched a hot iron!

Back So looky here - a picture of the back of my block.   I never thought I'd be showing THIS on my blog!

Like Thelma mentioned in her post yesterday, one of the things I love most about Fat Quarter Winners is that Monique has a chart with each quilt pattern that shows a variety of sizes you could make using the pattern and the fabric requirements to do just that.  I'm actually going to make my Pinochle quilt smaller than the pattern shown - 9 blocks that each measure 16" square, which will make my finished quilt 60" square and a great size to hang in my office at work.

I hope you have enjoyed the first week of our book tour.   Please stop by next week when each of us will show our progress, and feature a tutorial for some of the techniques Monique uses to make these quilts.

Nicole will post on Mondays

Monique will post on Tuesdays

Thelma will post on Wednesdays

and check back with me on Thursdays for my weekly post.


April 5, 2011


Finished Oh Eventide - so beautiful to behold!    Here is my finished top.  I really enjoyed this project, every step of the way and I don't think I would have finished it without this sew-along.

So big thanks go to Thelma for all her work coordinating this super fun blog project, and also to the other participants who helped inspire me and keep me on task.   I couldn't have done it without all of you!   Please visit Thelma's blog, Cupcakes 'n Daisies, to see the parade today and see how great all the finished quilts look!

Also - please check out Monique Dillard's blog as she introduces you to another great quilt from her soon to be released book for C&T Publishing, Fat Quarter Winners.  Check back with me on Thursday and I will show you my next project using a pattern from her book.


March 31, 2011

Stack of deliciousness

French I've had these French General fat quarters in my possession for some time now, but I have waited to find just the right pattern to showcase them.

The right pattern just fell into my hot little hands, by way of a new friend I met while visiting Illinois last fall.  My new friend, Monique Dillard, has been designing beautiful patterns and cool tools for years now.  In fact, Nicole and I did a sew along in 2007 using a sampler pattern of Monique's - Country Gatherings.   Here's a link to my quilt from Monique's design, Imaginary Friend.

Monique's exciting news is the April 2011 release of her book from C&T Publishing, Fat Quarter Winners.  Some awesome patterns and really unique techniques for putting those fat quarters in your stash to good use.  

Friends Nicole, Thelma and I want to congratulate Monique on her book, and feature some of her patterns, techniques, and interviews on our blogs so you can see just how beautiful and fun they are to make.   Please join us next week and throughout the month of April to see us introduce our projects to you, introduce Monique to you, and - did I mention? - there will be PRIZES!

March 28, 2011

Eventide Progress

Borders I made great progress on my Eventide quilt this week.  Look!   A border!  There may even be 2 borders.   And a finished quilt center.   Stay tuned for my reveal next week.   Do you ever have so much fun making a quilt, you don't want it to end?   That's how I feel about this one.   Except if it never ended I couldn't move on to my long list of quilts that I want to make....

And today I leave you with my first ever Stashmaster Fitness Tip.  Riding a stationary bike, while good cardio exercise, is not the most exciting endeavor.  Knitting may seem like a good choice to pass the time while on a recumbent (seated) bike.  However, please pay heed to where your ball of yarn is, or it may get in front of your wheels and end up hopelessly wound around the hub and bike pedal.   Not a pretty sight.   Trust me.

March 25, 2011

Gift for a friend

Pillowcase On rare occasions, I sometimes *do* make something other than a quilt.   Last week I finished this cute ruffled pillowcase for my friend Diane's birthday.   The pattern was a freebie that came with Lecien's Flower Sugar fabric.   This project did not go smoothly, but the end result and the wonderful hug I got from my friend were priceless!

March 22, 2011

Move along, nothing to see here

I didn't have anything to show for my Eventide weekly update.   I have finished all the blocks and have started to sew the center rows together, but I don't have a photo to share - sorry!

I'm still hoping I can finish in time for the reveal.   Oh, good - I just looked at the calendar and we have 2 weeks left.   Now I know I can finish in time.

I'll be back soon with a picture of some sort, I promise!

March 17, 2011

Begosh and begorrah

DSCN0165 Here is my sweet little Irish lass before she left for school today.   Isn't she the sweetest little leprechan?  Happy St. Patrick's day to all!

March 15, 2011

Eventide Tuesday - getting there!

Week4 I'm sure I could have completed more of my Eventide quilt, but the mess in my sewing room has been nagging me.   The piles and random bits of fabric everywhere were really stifling my creativity.

So Friday after work, I set to work in my sewing room.  By Saturday afternoon, every bit of fabric was corralled and cataloged - a place for everything and everything in its place.   Ah... so much better for the flow of creative juices.

I have finished all but 7 of my Ohio Star blocks for Eventide.  I need to finish a birthday present for a friend this week and am working extra hours at the quilt store, so I may not make much progress, but I'm still hoping to finish in time for our April 5 reveal (my boys' birthday!).

Thanks for pulling us all together to work on this great quilt together, Thelma.   I am really enjoying watching everyone's quilt evolve and to see it in different fabric choices.

March 7, 2011

Eventide progress, week 3

Eventide I didn't have a lot of time to sew this week, but I made a few more of the smaller star blocks for Eventide.   At least it's something!

February 28, 2011

A birthday and Eventide progress, week 2

Girls First things first - happy birthday to my darling daughter, who would be turning 11 today if it were February 29.   But since it's not a leap  year, we celebrated her bithday yesterday (well, all weekend, actually!).  She had a birthday sleepover on Saturday night, a family party on Sunday and she took 3 dozen chcolate cupcakes to school yesterday.

Here's my daughter with her two cousins - a blonde, redhead and brunette.   The blonde one is my Lily.  They are all wearing their "nerd glasses" after seeing Gnomeo and Juliet in 3D and a dinner at Red Robin.

Week2 I didn't make a lot of visible progress on Eventide this week - I was sick 3 days last week, and then there was all the birthday celebrating.   I have all my block components (quarter square triangles) finished, I just need to put them together into blocks and work on the borders.   I'm having a lot of fun with this quilt.   I love the 2 sizes of stars and the soft, romantic colors of Luna Notte.

February 21, 2011


Eventide I fell in love with this quilt when Carrie brought hers for show and tell in Illinois last fall.  I was so stricken by the soft floral beauty of this quilt that I knew I had to make one, just like Carrie's.

I laid in a supply of Luna Notte and waited for the pattern release.  As soon as I saw it available on the Fat Quarter Shop's website, I bought a copy of my very own.

When Thelma proposed the idea of a sew-along, I had to jump right in!   Well, that, and the horrible demise of the project I had started one week earlier using Pom Pom de Paris (but I can't talk about that right now, I'm still in mourning over miscut flying geese...)

I love Ohio Star blocks, and this quilt has 2 sizes.  My pieces are all cut out and production has begun on several thousand quarter square triangle blocks.  I've misplaced my favorite tool for trimming 3" QSTs - Marsha McCloskey's Precision Trimmer 3.  Have torn my sewing room apart.   Three times.  I tell you - I've got some bad ju ju going on down there.   But Eventide seems to be progressing nicely.

February 1, 2011

McGuffey in Central Park

Mcguffey First off - where the heck did January go??    I can't believe it's already February.  I did put the final border on this quilt Monday, so I'm claiming this as a January finish - my first one in 2011.

I used Kate Spain's wonderful Central Park fabric line and made the Big Schnibbles version of McGuffey.   I cut my strips 3" in order to be able to show off the Central Park fabric.  I also used the Lumiere de McGuffey variation that Carrie Nelson provides on her blog so I could feature stars in the center of the blocks.  Maybe this should be called McGuffey in Central Park, Under the Stars?

It was a fun quilt to make - bright and cheerful fabrics for a gloomy, gray January.