Monthly Archives: January 2020

Bushfire Tree Blocks for Australia

Currently many quilters are making tree theme quilt blocks to donate to the Woolongong Modern Quilt Guild in Australia. This chapter of the MQG is making quilts for the families who lost their homes in the currently raging bushfires. As a native of California, I am too familiar with the devastation of wildfires and am happy to contribute a few blocks to the cause.

Here is some of the information as posted by the Woolongong MQG on their Facebook page. If you hop over to their Facebook page, there are some blocks shown for inspiration. You will likely see many on the other quilt blogs right about now. Side note – if you are following RSC2020, this is the perfect month to make the tree blocks since the scrap color for January is green.

How you can help:
We have decided to make tree blocks. The tree is a symbol of growth and nourishment. A tree symbolizes the generations of a family; a tree sprouts from a seed, the roots provide strength and stability, and whilst the new sapling is young and vulnerable they are protected by the other trees until they grow and flourish. In time the branches spread and then create new fruit that gives life to the next generation.

There is no restriction to one type of tree block. We would love our quilts to be beautiful and diverse just like our wonderful communities ….. If you would like to help, please make a tree block of a generous 12.5 inch square using a low volume / white or pale grey background. Once completed please send to:

Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild
PO Box 54
Jamberoo New South Wales 
AUSTRALIA 2533

We are going to distribute the quilts made to the families who have lost everything. We would like to ask that blocks be mailed for arrival by the end of February. We thank you in advance for your support#bushfireblocks

For my blocks, I chose to use the tutorial written by Kirsty Cleverly over at Bonjour Quilts. It is a bit different than some of the other blocks and I like the look of it. Plus, they come together quickly. Aren’t they cute? I like the three tones of green in each one.

There are certainly other tree blocks you might choose to make. This pine tree block is really cute and simple. The tree portion (it was drafted for a pillow) creates a 12 1/2″ block which is great for this. The Tree of Life block is traditional and lovely but oh my, so many HST’s. If you are interested though, here is a tutorial over at Fat Quarter Shop.

Created by Linda, FlourishingPalms.com

Post Update: I just learned of an incredible tutorial for another tree block! Designed by Linda at Flourishing Palms, she created the tree to emulate the shape of Australia. I love it! Click here for a well written tutorial for this cool block.

I know there are plans to set up a station at QuiltCon in February to collect blocks. If you know someone going to the show, or if you are going, it might be nice to gather blocks from quilters local to you and contribute them there. This will certainly will save on mailing expenses. Our local guild is making blocks and I am hopeful there will be quite a few to mail in. (If you happen to be a local member, please bring your blocks to the Tuesday night meeting in February!). Hoping you’ll be moved to make a block or two for this worthy cause – Happy Weekend everyone!!

Linking to my usual places including Brag About Your Beauties over at From Bolt to Beauty and Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts and Oh Scrap! at Quilting is Better Than Housework.

It’s the Weekend!

My husband retired in July of 2019. It has been such a fun adjustment for both of us. He is just getting to the point where he doesn’t automatically think he will be going back to work on Monday. We often have to think twice to remember what day of the week it is. Mostly, it is like life is all one long weekend, which is awesome!

Snowing lightly right up the road.

This weekend we decided to spend a few days up the mountain at our little bungalow in Downieville. We haven’t been here in a couple of months what with the holidays and general busyness. We had hoped for a snowy weekend but it doesn’t seem like that is going to happen. There is a dusting of snow just a bit higher than us. Maybe it will get cold enough to snow a bit lower. I hope so!

This morning we took a nice long walk between rain showers. Because we are on the river up here, winters are very damp and chilly. All the moisture in the air creates the perfect environment for all sorts of moss and lichen to thrive here. The oak tree trunks and lower branches are covered right now. It dries out quite a bit when the weather is warm and then greens up in the cool of winter.

My little office away from home. 🙂

I love being up here. It is so quiet and really relaxing. This afternoon I will sit in my cozy little kitchen and list a stack of patterns in the pattern shop I have. It has been a while since I worked on that shop and I have hundreds (truly – hundreds!) of patterns to list.

Later today I have a date with a good book and a sweet quilt. I am currently reading Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. This has been in my stack of books to read for a long while now and it is really good. This quilt is one we keep up here and I love it. This was the first time I did a block of the month and it was hosted by Aurifil some years back. The bright colors are unusual for me and it makes me happy!

This town is tiny and I could smell someone baking something yummy this morning. Of course this makes me crave something home baked. We don’t keep very much in the way of a pantry up here but I do have flour and sugar. I think I will make beer bread this afternoon. We brought elk chili (from the freezer at home) up for dinner. Don’t you think beer bread will go great with that?

Anyway, that sums up the weekend for us! Last week I did quite a bit of quilting on my Squared Away quilt. I would estimate I am about 1/2 way to finishing. So that is the goal for this week. Finish the quilting and then move on to binding it for the first finish of the year. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!

Camden Road QAL – New Kits!

Being the start of the new year, there are all sorts of fun quilting challenges, projects and quilt alongs to take part in. Today is the kick off of a fun quilt along, the Camden Road QAL. Hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs and Cindy of Hyacinth Designs, this might be just the project to start your new year right. The pace is a bit quicker than Cheryl’s Mosaic Mystery QAL which I have been sewing along with since late summer. As you can see in the picture above, the Camden Road pattern is gorgeous!

Prints from this kit are a burst of color!

Cheryl, the designer of the Camden Road pattern, curated several kits and asked if I would stock them. She based the kits on a floral print by Pat Bravo called Femme Metale Boho. (This vivid print with berry, teal blue and orange is available in the shop). From there she gathered other Art Gallery prints that look fantastic with the Femme Metale print. These kits are helpful for quilters who don’t enjoy putting their fabrics together.

Each kit creates a different look depending on the background fabrics used. For the purposes of this post, I am showing the kits in the smallest size of Camden Road – finishing out at 45 1/2″ square. The pattern also has options for a lap size and twin size quilt. What do you think of the version above with its mint green and off-white background fabrics?

Here it is with a background in Macadamia and Linen, which are a soft beige with pink tones and a creamy off-white. With these background fabrics, the look is warmer.

This version is lots of fun with two print backgrounds. The teal blue has tiny plus signs and the inner background fabric is a tone on tone white dotted fabric. Using small prints like this adds movement to the overall look of the quilt.

The Camden Road pattern is fat quarter friendly, uses lots of flying geese blocks and is a sure success. Cheryl Brickey is a pro at pattern design and her instructions are very clear. Through the 28th, the Camden Road pattern is 25% off if you use the promo code, CAMDENROAD. Click here to take advantage of the sale. For more details on the quilt along, click here.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. Hope your week is off to a creative start! I took Julia back to the university yesterday and she started classes that afternoon. The holiday break went so quickly – now it is time to get back on track.

January Monthly Goal

Happy New Year Everyone! Last year I set and linked up an OMG with Elm Street Quilts exactly once, in January. I finished the goal, so that was a good thing. I didn’t remember to link up the finish though. And that was the end of my organization plan for 2019! Anyone want to take bets on whether I can do a bit better in 2020? Who knows? I am going to give it a shot though. So many times I flit from thing to thing which doesn’t make for a lot of finishes. Hoping this will help me get a few things accomplished.

Progress shot of my Squared Away quilting.

This month I plan to finish my Squared Away quilt. Last week I got it basted and I have been quilting it with straight line patterns. It is going well and I would guess I am 30% done? So it should be easy-peasy to finish quilting it and get it bound. I really like the look of this so far and it is going well.

2020 Monthly Color Challenge Block.

I also got my first block done for the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge hosted over at Patterns by Jen. I was a lurker with this challenge the last two years, watching others make these fun blocks. So I am joining in. One block a month is attainable and while it likely won’t make a dent in my scrap bins, at least I will use a few! This month is yellow. It was actually tough to find two yellows to use together as apparently all of my yellow scraps are exactly the same value. This looks pretty good though. Side note – when I was looking at my scraps I couldn’t remember where the heck any of them came from. Then I remembered that Mari sent me lots of yellow pieces last year when I lamented not having a yellow bin. So, Mari – do these look familiar? Did you give me these???

Did you see this great story in the news? I love stuff like this!! To whomever left this woman a tip of $2020 – you are amazing!! I would rather read about these sorts of events than politics any day of the week.

OK – that is it for now. Today I have a Chemex Cozy to make for a customer. I am also hoping to get outside and help Ray with some yard work – the last four days have been migraine days so I have been a couch potato. Maybe some fresh air will do this quilter good. How about you?