Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

Hello!  Today I'm sharing a quilt that I made way back in 1994 to celebrate Hanna's 1st Birthday.
"Sue Confessions"
I free motion quilted "Bubble Gum Bubble Gum in a dish...."  and other things in the border.  Luckily you can't see how bad that quilting is.

My use of unusual backings goes way way back.  This is a Gloria Vanderbilt print.
 I'm not sure when the selvage crazy started, but in 1994 I removed the selvage and machine appliqued it to this block.  What is "total action zepel?"
Evidently I thought is was okay to machine buttonhole stitch as an embellishment while quilting.
 I was delighted to take a second look at this cute old quilt.
As usual coco was on hand to lend her critical eye.
Hooray!  Gwen Marston has a new book out.   I got a surprise copy from Gwen and posted on Instagram.  Get your copy and read my reveiw here on Amazon!
 Sneak Peak - This is the layout of the book.  Great photos and inspiration!
Bird News
Hello there stranger...who are you?
This is a Juvenile Bluebird.  In the next photo you can see he's losing his baby feathers.   These are such curious birds.  They just crack me up. 
 Surprise -  A sibling!
On a sad note, during the heat wave this poor little snake tried to cross the blacktop driveway.  It was so pretty and tiny.
Here is my specimen shelf by the kitchen sink.  I just can't help picking things up.  There is nearly always a hummingbird at that window feeder.
My favorite is this wispy little nest.
Happy Sewing to the Swappers!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

On Your Mark, Get Set - SEW!

The Civil War Swap is CLOSED - I have sent an email out so if you didn't get one it means I didn't get an email from you.

The Modern Swap Group has about 10 spots left email me if you want a spot.

Making the Broken Dishes Blocks:

Method #1 - This is my preferred method, as it made the most accurate HST.

Trianges on a Roll - Thangle Method

Here is a link to Amazon.  You may also find them at quilt shops.

Place fabrics with right sides together and pin the paper to secure it.  I like to leave a little around the edges.  Be sure to line it up straight on the grain.  We don't want wonky blocks.
 It is so easy to follow the arrows - you won't miss a minute of the Olympics.
Use a sharp rotary cutter and ruler to carefully cut the units.
Once you have removed your papers, you are ready to press - please use starch as it helps keep them square.

Press toward the red (in both groups).
Please trim your dog ears before you continue.
Arrange your block before sewing.  I sewed several incorrectly while watching TV -  is is easier to mess up than you think.
Press the first units before finishing the block.  I used to try to skip this step - but don't it makes a real difference.
Press the last seam open for a nice flat block.

Method #2 

Making 8 HTS at a time.  This works well, but it is necessary to mark the fabric and trim each unit.

Start with a 6 inch square of each fabric.
Mark a diagonal line cross-wise from each corner - sorry, it's a little hard to see.
Stitch on both sides of the drawn line.  I'm using white thread so you can see it - please use red for modern and off white for repro.
Cut the units apart using a good sharp rotary blade and ruler.
Press well to the red side.
Measure!! and trim units as needed - be sure to keep the angle square.  2 1/2" unfinished.
Snip those ears.
As in Method #1 - arrange and sew
 Press sub-units
 Press the last seam OPEN.
Ta Da!

If you like to do them 2 at a time that is fine.  If you have another method of making HST that is fine too as long as your measurements are correct.

Here is some inspiration!

 I love these used as a border in a medallion.
I have unlocked my Pinterest Board and you can see more here.


  • HST units are 2 1/2 inches unfinished.
  • Broken Dishes block is 4 1/2 inches unfinished.
  • Use your very best sewing skills.
  • Press as you go.
  • Do NOT trim the final block.
  • Make 2 sets of 40 blocks - 40 with one combination and 40 with another.
On you Marks, Get Set......SEW

Have fun and thanks for swapping!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Fun With Barb Block Swap 2016

**Updated August 16th  The Civil War Group Swap Group is Closed.   There are about 10 spots open in the Modern Swap**

The Olympic Event you've been waiting for!  Sign ups start today for the Fun With Barb 2016 Block Swap!  #fwbblockswap2016

As you have probably guessed, the theme block this year is broken dishes.   Hip Hip Hooray!

The other theme is RED.  woo hoo!

Here are blocks that I've been making.  (I know that muslin looks white, but it's just the lighting - it is unbleached muslin.)

Today I'm just providing inspiration and a chance to sign up.

I will have 2 groups of 40 swappers again this year.
  • Civil War Reproduction Group using a Red Print and Muslin. 
  •  Modern Group using solid Color and solid Red.
The Basics:
  • You are agreeing to make 2 blocks for each swapper for a total of 80 BLOCKS.
  • International swappers are welcome - we will work out postage.
  • Blocks will be DUE OCTOBER 15th.

This block is very versatile and fun!
I've been working hard to find you great setting ideas.  I will be unlocking my secret Broken Dishes Pinterest Board soon.

Take your Mark
Get Set 
Email me  Let me know which group you would like to be in.   I will confirm on Tuesday by email.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Quilt Show Report!

Reminder:  August 15th Swap Post and Sign ups

My local guild, The Clamshell Quilters had their bi-annual show "Quilts all Around the Town" this past weekend.   The creativity of the show is why I decided to be a member 2 years ago.

The show is set up like a town, with themed shops.  Members hang and decorate their shops.  We also donate and arrange all the flowers in the show.

Hanna and I were the owners of Oh Baby Baby!
 The little dress in the corner was Hanna's coming home from the hospital in 1993.
Quilts of Valor
 This was around the corner, but still part of the Christmas Shop.
Fall Harvest
This was Hanna's favorite quilt - She just may start quilting one day.....
This was Viewer's Choice - the only award given and so well deserved.
 My Happy Town was part of The Art Gallery.
 Block Party was one of my favorites.  It was presented by Steven, our past President and Quilt Show Co-Chair.
Far East Shoppe
Antique Shoppe
Radiant Stars - I loved their props.
The Paper Moon was a great touch.
My Star quilt was part of Paper Pieced Goods on Watercolor Way.
Mother's Garden was on Clamshell Cove Rd.   I had a little gallery talk about it.  Don't you love the "Do Not Touch" sign?
South of the Border  (you can see my Hot Flash) around the corner.
 This was a lovely shop - Memories with Memoral Quilts.
Here was our Chocolate Lovers Basket.  Hanna and I had fun putting it together and the winner was thrilled.
 Here is a Halloween basket that we didn't win.
 The Movie basket we didn't win.
 The other Halloween basket we didn't win......12 baskets - we were skunked!
The show also had raffle quilts, boutique, vendors, mystery bags, Hoffman Challenge exhibit, demos and a magazine giveaway.

Have you ever seen such a clever way to have a guild show?

Congratulations to all the guild members who put on such a great show~