Archive for the ‘Quilts’ Category

November is my month for my Ten Make Two Quilting Bee.  Inspiring me was this string block I made for our Little Blue Cottage Quilting Bee.  Please ignore that the white doesn’t line up, I’ll tell you how I avoid that now in a minute.  I had been wanting to try this technique.  It’s simple and fun.


There are a few tutorials online for this.  Film in the Fridge and P.S. I Quilt are the ones I used.

I think by now everyone should have received the natural Carolina Chambray that I mailed out for the middle section of the blocks for some uniformity.  The Raindrops little tidbit that I added doesn’t go in my blocks.  I had hopes that everyone would generously add an extra strip of one of their fabrics that went into my blocks could be sent my way for making some extras and help create some more cohesiveness to the finished quilt.  Please don’t feel obligated!

I couldn’t decide on a colorway, so it works out perfectly that we make two blocks.  I’ll just make two quilts!  I’ll either produce some more blocks with my stash and the extra tidbits sent or come up with a layout that works with ten blocks.

aqua/turquoise and red colorway:

(ignore the raindrops, they don’t go in)


Here’s mine:


And for the second block the fabulous colorway that Tacha used:


I didn’t get to that block today due to the fabulous weather and the need to get out of the house due to the crud.  Here are some of the fabrics I used for Tacha’s blocks as an example (thanks for the inspiration Tacha!):



Hmmmm…so I guess I’d like no other solids,  and that’s about it for limitations.  I don’t mind some light blues in the aqua/red block.  You can pick the size of the paper squares, I used 7 inches.  No larger than 7 inches please, but you can go a bit smaller.  Somewhat wonky lines are ok.

Some tips that have helped me:

-Make your strips between about an inch and two inches.

-Don’t forget to lengthen your stitch back to 2.5 when it comes to sew the 4 squares you produce together.

-Steam is not your friend until you have all strings sewn to the paper square.

-Starch is helpful in the final press.

-I used the basting spray and LOVED it (I complained about the price, but way better than the glue stick).

-Lining up the chambray bit can be tricky and please don’t fret if it doesn’t line up in your final block.  This is what I find helps.  Spray your chambray string and lay it spray side up on your work surface.  Position the paper over it to center it on the diagonal.  Way easier to get it right than laying it on the paper.

-Make sure your first fabrics are seamed 1/4 inch from the chambray and straight, this will help with the points matching when the four blocks are sewn together.  I used a lot of pins to make sure the blocks would sew together square.

-Don’t forget to shorten your stitch or the paper will be difficult to remove.

-Hold the end of you strip and perhaps give it a bit of a pull to realign it when sewing, they tend to migrate.  This might have to do with the short stitch length, or maybe it’s just my built in walking foot.

Can’t wait to see what you all do!


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My home is a disaster.  Everyone is sick.  So I sat down and put together my quilt top for some sanity.  I’m hoping this fabulous Halloween weather will hold so I can get some photos outside tomorrow.


I ended up adding a row to make it square.  This will actually be the first quilt I’ve ever made for myself.  I’m looking forward to cuddling up on the couch with it.  Mine all Mine!


So this week it’s time to stitch the rows together to finish the whole quilt top!

I pin the intersection of the blocks only when I piece the rows.  I pull a bit if needed to help them through and line them up.  I’m going to be lame and not reinvent the wheel with a tutorial of stitching the rows together, there’s plenty of info out there and I need to get ready for Trick-or-Treating with my little SQUID MAN!

Be thinking of your quilt backing, that comes next week.  I’m thinking some of the new Amy Butler, this one is perfect.

Happy Halloween!

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Hope everyone had some time in the week for a little catch up and to muck about with their designs.  I left my camera at work, so we’ll have to make do without photos of this step, but I think it will be easy enough to envision.


We’ll sew our squares into rows this week.  I sew my squares across, you may prefer up and down, it makes no difference.

If I had my camera I could show you how much the design POPS when the rows are sewn.  I was seriously impressed, as I was a bit uncertain about this newer to me design.

What is important (to me at least) is matching the ends of your squares so that your points look crisp and your rows line up.  Some people pin, I simply match up my squares (right sides together of course) and start my stitching.  After about five stitches I make sure my bottom corners are still lined up and I hold them together till I get to the end of the square with my stitching.

If they don’t seem to be lining up (which they should if they were cut the same size), then I lift my presser foot with the needle down and pull the corners of the squares together.  Now holding the corners together I continue to sew.

Once at the end I press.  If I plan on quilting stitch in the ditch I press my seams to the side to offer more material layers for the stitching.  I actually quite like this type of quilt stitched this way.  I believe stitch in the ditch is rather under rated.  It really allows the design itself to shine.  However, if I choose to free motion ( I mean, pay someone else to kill their back), then I press my seams open.

I’ll leave the arguments of ironing seams open or to the side to people who care.  I find either way fine and easy enough to match seams.


I got some other things brewing that are on my camera, especially samples we’ve been producing at Fabric Crush, that I’ll share later.

We did receive a Thank You card from our little friend Darma for her birthday gift.  Had I know she was having ponies at the party I would have whipped up some Heather Ross, but I went with Fairies.


I love this line for making pillows. I’ve made it before in this colorway:


The details are sweet.


Wee man had to get into the scene.  Christmas in October highwaters…I suppose I should get around to sewing some new pjs for the kid.


I had been wanting to get a picture of our sunflowers this year and never got around to it.  They were as tall as the house.  Here they are in the background, heavy with seed.  Our resident squirrel, Hazel is very fat this year.

4036505936_95da4da5a5Happy Saturday!

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This is as good as a photo gets in your dark bedroom.  Roan’s snoozing in my bed, and there’s no way in Hell I’m going to chance waking him.  I think crappy photos of quilts from a distance are actually quite good in helping “see” the design anyway.


Below is my usual design, and though I like it, I’ve just done it too many times.


I probably will crash on the couch to watch cartoons with the little guy when he gets up.  You can get a lot done when you for no reason what-so-ever are wide awake at 3am.

I’ve read The Stranger and filled out my city voting ballot.  Ordered this delightful home decor owl fabric with Christmas presents in mind, and now that I am fully caffeinated I thought I would set us to work on the design of our Value Quilts.

That’s all we’re doing this week, because I need a break to catch-up on my quilting bees.  This might provide some time for some of you to catch-up too.  Head over to the Value Quilt Flickr Group, test out some designs, see what resonates.

I am curious what you think of the top design?  I can’t fit all the blocks, so I’ll have to add as I go.  There are a few blocks that don’t have enough contrast of light and dark, but I think I’m going for it anyway.  I did place a few of the squares to make the diamonds all one color.  Looking at the photo makes me see some other areas where I’ll do some more of this.

Off to look at House Blocks, not my favorite, I always feel so inadequate when I produce them.

Have a great weekend.

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How are you all getting on?  I don’t know if I get the hang of this Kindergarten/Work thing, it really cuts into your sewing time.

This week we are going to iron and square up our blocks.  Then you may play with your arrangement.

I love what I call my “lap board” for this next step.  The one in the link is a bit bigger, which would be nice and free shipping today only.



It’s an ironing board on one side and a cutting board on the other.  Our next step is a bit time consuming, and boring.  I like to catch up on some TV whilst I do it and this little contraption is perfect.


I like to cut the chain apart getting rid of all the threads and then iron the squares to set the seam before cutting them in two.  Certainly you could iron the squares while still chained first.

I iron my seams open.  I have also done it to the side.  I suppose there are arguments to each system, just do what works for you.


If you are perfect you can skip this step.  I find squaring the blocks to be the most time consuming of the whole process.  Taking the time to do it will make all the difference in your corners meeting.


Like the picture above, line the diagonal line of your template up with that of your block.  You are going to square up the first two sides of the block.  Try to place the template close the first two edges.


This next step is a bit difficult to explain, but the picture above shows the line-up.  Now that you have two clean edges, place the template so that the measured corner of the template is on your cleaned squared corner.  Pay attention that the diagonal of the template and block is still lined up and cut the other two edges clean.

I bring my original 6 inch squares to 5.5″.  You will be so pleased when you have a neat pile of perfect squares!

Now you can place with the placement of the blocks on your wall and see what you like.  Next week we’ll sew rows.

Happy weekend!

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Ok Friends.  The moment you have been waiting for is here.  I know I’m a day late and a dollar short, all due to working at this FABULOUS store.

Hope you have cut yourself some squares!  I went a little crazy.


This week we’ll pair up our squares and sew them.  Then cut them into their new blocks.


No worries on making fabrics match, we’re going to think in values, or the degree of lightness or darkness of a color.

Cut your fabric squares. I used 6-inch squares, but you may go smaller or larger.

Divide them in piles into light, medium and dark. Like below:


You have a ton of Mediums you say? Our eyes tend to like Mediums. Most likely your stash is made up largely of this value.

You won’t immediately know into which pile to place some fabrics. The questionable squares will be sorted out in the next step. One will always be lighter.


Now you need to pair TWO squares.

Pull a square from one of the Light, Medium or Dark piles and match it RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER with another value, until you have one big stack.

This is an easy way to weed out the questionable (is it Light, Medium or Dark?) valued squares, by mating what you have left.

Remember, value is relative.  When you hold those last stragglers up to each other, one will ALWAYS be lighter.  You might have to rematch a few to pair all your squares.

Each pair will now need a line drawn diagonally from one corner to another on the wrong side of the mated pair. Pencil is the recommended method, but I use pen, make your own calls on this.



Sew a quarter inch seam on each side of that line.  I don’t pin, but you might want to if your blocks aren’t staying square. I chain piece when I do this step.  If you need some photos of this and the pinning, Stitches In Place does a fabulous job.

With your rotary cutter and ruler, cut on the penned line to make two blocks.

If you get a moment, I would love to see what you’re up to!  Our Flickr group is HERE.  I really wanted to include discharged blocks as my light, but time didn’t allow…would love to see this if someone has the time and motivation!

I decided with everything going on that I wasn’t going to reinvent the wheel. All text and photos have already been done, so if you care to skip ahead because you have time, the whole process is HERE.

I am so excited to have a weekend with my family.  We are super busy tomorrow, but Sunday I hope to fit in football, beer and sewing.  Have a productive week you all!  I’ve really enjoyed the emails.

BTW, totally quilting unrelated, if you are any of these things:  someone who likes to laugh, waste time that you could spend sewing on the computer, or possibly white, go check out the blog Stuff White People Like.  You will be humored, I promise.

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I haven’t run for days…lazy.  So I might be adding some fluff to my middle section, especially with all this beer I love.

But I am productive.  Three Quilting Bee Blocks and two pillows in two days.  That’s my marathon.


I funked up Rachel’s String Block for the Cottage Quilting Bee.  Sorry about that Rachel, the white is off, but I’m a newbie and fully hooked on this!  Check out her tutorial.  I think this will be my block for my Ten Make Two Month.  Sorry in advance to those of you having to make two.  You all can damn me now.


I decided instead of blending my little corner studio in the living room or the livudio as we call it, that I would make it stand out.  I already had the red metal drawers and made myself a pillow for my booty and painted my chair black.  I’m lovin’ all the red and purple popping up all over the place.

Purple center side:


Red center side:


I believe I’ll go check out the swivel chairs at IKEA this week, maybe it can add some more fluff.

My Ten Makes Two Blocks for By Needle and Thread just pressed!

They look awesome in person.



Oh, but wait!  I finished this for my friend’s birthday.  She has the most awesome hand painted pillow with a Virgin of Guadalupe on it.  I thought this would pair up well.



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