Blocks 1 and 2

It’s week 2 of my block of the week challenge, following SewMamaSew’s Modern Block of the Month.  Blocks 1 and 2 are done!  Here is a pic of the completed block 1: photo-68

And block 2, which was super-easy:


The process: cut three fabrics into strips of various sizes, sew them randomly together, cut into fourths, and sew back together till you have a piece approximately 9.5 x










Then, sew a 2.5 x 12.5 strip of a fourth fabric to either side.

photo-67 Voila, complete!



Golden Shadows

For my next project, I had pulled out a set of charm squares with the intention of making a shadow quilt.  I loved some of the examples I saw online and thought it would be a great way to highlight some pretty fabric.  Here’s a sample of what I chose.  photo-44


I pulled a marbled gold from my stash for the shadows and bought a speckled beige to do the sashing.






Cut, measure, sew and the first two blocks came together easily.  Except, they didn’t look shadowy at all!  In fact, my husband thought they were rather ugly.








So, I decided I would simply frame the squaresphoto-45
in the gold color and wing it from there.  I carefully measured and even more carefully sewed the one inch borders before I realized that I could make my job so much easier by cutting larger and trimming after they are sewn.  That should have been obvious from the get-go, but oh well.  At least I only did two before I picked up on that!


Here are all nine squares framed, but not yet trimmed, along with one of the original shadow blocks that I might use on the back.  If you are comparing my photos, you might notice that the butterfly squares in the first picture didn’t make the final cut.  This was a charm pack of twenty; two each of ten different patterns.  All of the patterns look Spanish or Moroccan to me, except for the butterflies.  The colors match, and the scale of the pattern matches, but the pattern itself just didn’t seem to fit.  So, realizing that I had many more layout options with nine squares as opposed to ten, the butterflies (along with the other leftover squares) went into the scrap box.  photo-42


Still not sure what kind of layout this will wind up in.  Or if it will be a mini-quilt or really big pillow.  I’m kind of leaning towards pillow today.   Any ideas (or tips on where I went wrong with the shadows), please send them my way!



Second Tier

photo-14With Hurricane Matthew quickly approaching, I needed to do a lap quilt that would go together quickly, so it would be ready for some hand-stitched binding before the storm hit, giving me something to do when we had no power.  (Yes, that is a run-on sentence).  I dove back into the box of squares I had won over a year ago and found a cute Disney princess print.  My daughters are too old for the princess thing, but I happen to know an adorable three year old.  Unfortunately, none of the princesses were centered on the fabric, so the squares all needed to be fussy cut to get the most princess and least amount of blank space and other princess’ body parts.

As I was cutting, my younger daughter walked in and identified the princesses for me. Cinderella was easy to pick out, and there was one precious square of Belle.  I recognized Rapunzel, but had no idea that she was a princess- lucky her! (Well, maybe not so lucky since she was trapped in a tower).  The last one?  Tiana.  According to Wikipedia, she is “Princess Tiana of Maldonia, a fictional main character who appears in Walt Disney Pictures’ 49th animated feature film The Princess and the Frog”.  So, my daughter said, “These are kind of the second tier princesses, other than Cinderella”.  And so the quilt was named.

photo-17There was a pattern I had been waiting to try with fussy cut squares.  It is the Candy Wishes quilt by Jo Kramer for the Moda Bakeshop.  My squares weren’t “candy” sized, and I had less of them than called for, but this pattern was very easy to adapt.  I picked a beautiful purpley plum color from my stash to go with it, and started cutting and sewing.  Look how beautifully they all lined up (for once!)

With one day left till the storm hit, I hit a small snag: no good fabric for a backing.  So while the lines at the gas station ran down the street and the shelves at Walmart had been emptied, I went to Joann’s Fabrics, where I was most definitely the only person in the store.  But look what I scored: photo-24  A new pattern with a whole bunch of colorways.  The color fades in and out and is meant to look hand printed.  Much easier on the eyes than a small repeating pattern and doesn’t need to be lined up perfectly (trust me, it wasn’t!).

The quilt was quickly basted and needed to be quilted equally as quickly.  After playing around with the sewing machine, I decided to use a pretty cross-stitch straight across the solid rows.  I love all the decorative stitches on my machine!  This gave it the little girl look I was going for.

photo-20And then finally, the binding… A pretty pink and grey that matched nicely with the pink in the princess squares.


Now all I had to do was wait for the power to go out.  One last look at the radar and…

Matthew was not going to hit here at all!  We were too far south!


Back on the Chain (piecing) Gang

A Catch-Up Post

It’s been a year and a half since the last post and SO much has happened!  I finished up that Hogwarts quilt and then had to pack up all my sewing stuff. Our house was going on the market in April which meant it needed to look like a house, not a sweatshop.  We finally moved into the new house in October and I had to immediately start planning for my daughter’s bat mitzvah in February, which took up all my spare time.  Then setting up and decorating the new house, putting together the library in the kids’ school and getting my oldest ready for her summer in Costa Rica and then a semester in Israel all came one after another. During all this, my grandfather passed away, which was quite hard to take; he was my last grandparent.  When I last went up north, my father sent me home with that churn dash quilt I had made for my grandfather. That reminded me that, after over a year, it was time to get back to sewing.

I started looking through my files of “quilts I want to make”, and decided to make a version of the Fair Isle quilt from the Moda Bakeshop by Leah Douglas.  I got right to work cutting, thrilled with the color palette I had picked.  And then the chain piecing began.  The first few strips came out beautifully and then I decided to sew the first couple together, which is when disaster struck.  Well, in the scheme of things, not really disaster, more like a Homer Simpson “doh”. None of the rows lined up.  Not even closely.   Those blasted quarter inch seam allowances that I can never seem to get right!

In anger and frustration, I put all the cut pieces into a Ziploc bag, sealed it up, and hid it in a drawer! Wanting to do something I didn’t care if I screwed up, I went through my piles of 5 inch squares that I had won years ago.  There was some cute fabric featuring Christmas  M&Ms and since I don’t celebrate Christmas, I had found my fabric.  I found some green with gold polka-dots yardage in my stash and just made a simple bordered square for a mini quilt top.  It all lined up, I felt better and put everything away for the day.  And then I remembered that I wasn’t supposed to start any projects until I finished the quilt for my father and stepmother…

So, this was quilted with diagonal straight lines and then bound with more of the grey fabric.  Here’s a pic:

quiltdad14  Yes, it still looks like cigarettes.  Oh well.

Next post will have a lot more pics of the current projects…






I love contests- almost any kinds of contests.  And I really love to win.  So how excited was I to be one of the winners of the Online Fabric Store’s fabric give away?  5 bags of cut squares showed up on my doorstep yesterday!  The best part was that I had no idea what to expect.  Some of them were my favorites- Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry and Michael Miller.  Some were my kids’ favorites- Hello Kitty and Sponge Bob.  And some were things I never would have picked, like this whole bag of patriotic fabrics!


When I buy (or win!) fabrics I love, I always feel that I have to do something really special with them.  Then I realize that my skills aren’t up to the challenge, so the fabric just sits there in my stash (at some point all this out of production Michael Miller and Amy Butler will be worth a fortune!).  Getting fabrics that I wouldn’t have picked frees me up to play with them- NO PRESSURE!  So I dove right into the red, white and blues and am trying to decide on a great pattern for lots of 4 inch squares…