Wednesday, August 31, 2016

First Round (ding)

Ta-Da!  Here is the first round border on my Medallion project.  I was keeping it under wraps so I wouldn't influence the sew along, but now that they have a star border theme, I can share mine.
Here it is in the planning stage.  I tell you it took many, many calculations to get that accommodating strip the right size to fit the already pieced stars.
I had this one awkward area that kept bugging me.  Can you spot it in the photo above?

Here it is
So I un-stitched it.  Painful when it is hand sewn.
and here it is - so much better to me.  What do you think?  Would you have changed it?
Whew - that was a close one.  I always say to students "if you don't like it now, you won't like it later."

I just finished this book and I literally could not put it down!
In in, Anderson mentions a "room of quilts" that his mother created at their NYC home.  I found these photos on-line.  Incredible!
There are quilts on the ceiling and floor~   amazing!

I have stepped up my hand quilting to complete my Alice Payne quilt.  Woohoo - on to the borders.
I really do love this fan in the corner to honor Alice's fan border quilting.


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!