Monthly Archives: February 2023

SAHRR Round 5 – Square in a Square

Square in a square quilt block – that is my kind of block. Easy peasy. It is also the block of choice for round 5 of the stay at home round robin event. Emily at The Darling Dogwood chose this round. Her example of the block is extra adorable because she appliqu├ęd flowers to the center of each block. I strongly suggest you take a look if you haven’t seen them yet. She is so creative!

This is where my quilt is so far. It is kind of wild but I am enjoying it. It has been a long while since I have used any batiks and I forgot how much I like them. For this week, I did two plain 4 1/2″ strips up each side. Then I attached a row of square in square blocks to the top and bottom.

When I made the S in S blocks I chose to use a green center (because they were already cut in the stack of fabrics I am using up). Then I used blue smaller squares for the corners (because, guess what – they were already cut)! I did have to trim the polka dot squares for the fourth corner – they were cut but were a 1/2″ too big. These came together so quickly since I didn’t have to cut fabric.

Wonky Flying Geese

You might notice I haven’t yet incorporated the flying geese blocks. They are a little bit weird looking and I can’t decide if I want to use them or now. For now, they can sit and wait. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t???

We had a lot of fun helping our son and his wife move into their new house last weekend. It is so exciting to see them settling into the house. Still lots to unpack and organize but they made huge progress last weekend.

Of note is the quality packing job I did with their tray of flatware. Haha.

We had hoped to see the girls this week but the never-ending virus has descended upon their house once again. Big sister had a fever Saturday through Tuesday. We thought it was one and done but little sister decided to join in and spiked a fever today. Ugh. I remember those days of seemingly endless viruses, fevers and runny noses. I feel for the girls (and for their parents).

Rather than close on that dreary note, I will instead share this cutie pie. Little sister has it in her head she must get out of the car and watch the bus take her big sister off to school. This slays me. She truly loves her big sister.

OK – back to the sewing room. I am going to baste a comfort quilt and get it finished up. I will share it soon.

Happy Sewing everyone!!


Linking up with the usuals – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Flying Geese, Mountain of Mulch, Woodland Gardens and Baby Gifts

This has been a fun week. I like when there is a little of this and a little of that. Maybe I just have a short attention span. Actually, I don’t have a super long attention span so it is likely that is why these sort of weeks appeal to me.

We had dry (but cold) weather this week so Ray and I did a lot of work outside. My muscles are feeling it but that is a good thing. The perimeter of our property is surrounded by wooded land. The previous owner went with the ‘au natural’ look which is fine to a certain extent. But we wanted to clean up the many, many trees that were down and left to rot. That way we could have some walking paths through the trees. To that end, Ray did loads of chain saw work and even pulled a dead tree down using his car. (That was a bit unnerving!)

We have had an arborist out to take out some larger trees and to clean dead limbs off of others. He and Ray struck it off well and now we have a source of free mulch when we need it. This week the arborist dropped off another load for us. This is so useful when there is lots of property to be maintained.

This mountain of mulch won’t last too long around here!

Lenten Rose, Primrose, Astilbe, Caladium and Snowdrops

Here is the start of my woodland gardens! Not pictured are a bare root rose, two hydrangeas and a rhododendron. All of this was planted except the caladium which will be started in small pots and transplanted when the weather warms up. I am so excited to see some blooms come spring time.

For now, the primroses give me a little burst of color.

SAHRR 2023, round 4

This week’s round for the Round Robin event was decided by Anja (AnjaQuilts). She has declared it to be the week of flying geese blocks. I decided to get all fancy schmancy and try making the Stroked Flying Geese that I saw on a tutorial at Art Gallery Fabrics. They are super cute but the middle stripe is uneven which is a bit bothersome. So…… this is my plan. Today I will try making them again today and if I can get that stripe to be more even, great. If not, I will declare this was on purpose and these are improv geese. More on that as I make some progress. Either way, I am not going to sew this border on. Instead, I’ll wait to see what next week’s round is and decide if I want to combine the rounds.

Who likes a striped binding??

I am sticking to my plan of sewing my stash but come on…. I am out of stripes and who doesn’t love a striped binding? I ordered a 1/2 yard of each of these and they are set aside for use as binding.

On a recent Instagram post I asked everyone if this wall quilt should be finished with a circular quilting design or matchstick quilting. Most people called for circular and I was going that way as well. However when I looked closely at the fused arrows, it seemed like the fuse was not super tight. Matchstick to the rescue. This quilting will reinforce the fused arrows and it looks cool too! The quilt won’t be handled or laundered so this should be great. (Not sure if you remember but I bought this Alison Glass kit of laser cut, fusible pieces at a quilt show last fall – for a buck!!)

Another project that happened was stitching and assembling two cloth books. My niece is having her first baby this spring and I plan to send these off to her. I love these soft books for babies. The colors are bright, the pages won’t tear, and the story is simple. I had the pieces all cut out so this was super quick.

Well that was my week in a nutshell, or a blog post. This weekend my husband and I are heading north a bit to help my son and daughter in law move into their first house. I am so excited for them – home ownership is a huge step in life.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Linking to my favs – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Round Robin, a Comfort Quilt, Princesses & Goats

Well, where to start with this post? How about with the SAHRR? It is coming together nicely with two more rounds to add on. (Remember this is the Stay at Home Round Robin hosted by Quilting Gail. This year marks the third year of the event but the first time I have participated.

Hourglass blocks were the choice for this round. Chris @ Chrisknitssews took us through making these symmetrical blocks. Of course it is up to each quilter how to use them. I made tiny hourglass blocks to utilize the HST’s that I already had. Then I bordered them with strips of batik to get them to finish at 4.5″. At first I was going to put them on the darker blue batik because the colors are so vibrant on the dark background.

However, when looking at the quilt top I decided not to put two dark blue rounds side by side. Instead, I placed the hourglass blocks with the turquoise blue batik. Maybe I will continue to alternate the shades of blue.

16 patch blocks on point

On to the next project. Sometime before we moved I saw a post on Instagram from a woman who wanted to give up some blocks to anyone who would make a comfort quilt with them. I offered and she sent me two sets of blocks. The blue and light brown 16 patch blocks were one of the sets. These blocks had been made quite some time ago but after trimming them and reinforcing seams here and there, I put them together in this simple setting. They look sweet and with the added border, the top is just large enough to be a cozy lap size quilt. I need to look through my yardage and find something for the backing but the rest of this will go together quickly.

Spring has arrived in central California. Julia is happily working with mama goats and their babies. She is having a really busy term and the time she gets with these little guys make such a nice break in her day. Those rolling hills in the background are so pretty!

Soaking up some sun.

My son and his wife took the girls to Disneyland for the first time. It was princess heaven.

I thought the variety of expressions on A’s little face were so funny.

Posing with a princess and holding their dresses just so.

Little sister decided she needed a full hug.

The girls had a quick cuddle while riding the monorail into the park. I love this picture!

OK – that is enough for now. Feels like I have lots to work on this week. Hopefully you are all involved in a project that is causing those creative juices to flow! Linking up with a few favorites. Check the out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Make sure to check out the Quilter’s Color Mixer event coming on March 30th. It is going to be a great opportunity to learn all about color and placement from some really talented instructors. For more details on the event, click here to read my previous post.

Color Mixer; Learning More About Color & Fabric

The topic of today’s post is so exciting to me! I have mentioned many times before my difficulties with selecting color, choosing fabric pulls, and understanding the values of various colors. Over the last five years, I believe I have improved. When I look at quilts from some years back and those I have made recently, I see a larger variety in scale and value. But could I learn more or improve? You know it. Fabric selection and especially color palettes, make or break the quilt (in my opinion). It seems like this knowledge knowledge of color and placement is intuitive with many quilters but it isn’t for me.

In order to improve my abilities, I have just purchased the upcoming Color Mixer class being put on by Creative Spark. When I saw this opportunity pop up in my email it seemed so perfect for me. The live event is on March 30, 2023. After the event, recordings of each talk will be available online for quilters and sewists who purchased a spot at the event. This means if you are unable to attend on the 30th, or cannot watch the entire event that day, it is forever available to you beginning April 2nd.

The keynote speaker for Color Mixer is Jean Wells, founder of the super popular Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show in Oregon each summer. Jean has written many books and is an extremely talented quilter. Honestly, hearing her speak was one of the main draws for me in buying a ticket for this event. Here is the panel of talented quilters who will be giving talks on various subject revolving around color. The collective wealth of talent here is amazing.

There is a tremendous amount of knowledge to be gained by listening to classes given by the quilters on this panel. If you would like to read the specifics about the talk each of these quilters will be giving, click here.

To explain the event a bit further, the live event lasts four hours on the 30th. There will be break out sessions with several talks scheduled for each time. You’ll choose those you want to listen to on the 30th and then when the recorded event is uploaded on or after April 2nd, you can catch up and listen to the rest of the talks. For me, I am most looking forward to listening to Marci Baker, Debbie Maddy, Jennifer Sampou, Cheryl Brickey and Maria Shell. But each of the speakers offers something interesting and helpful. If taking an online class is unfamiliar to you, I wouldn’t worry too much. Creative Spark has great support throughout the event and will be helping attendees get to the class they want.

Here is the schedule of events –

Quilt classes are a lot of fun and I have taken some that I really enjoy. But I am not one to go to any of the really big quilt shows (think QuiltCon) due to the cost of these events and the fact that I truly dislike crowds. This is our chance to hear some of the same designers and teachers who teach at the bigger shows for a really reasonable price and from the comfort of your home. This is my kind of event!!

No event is complete without a swag bag and prizes. There is a grand prize which each student is entered into the drawing for. Also a (virtual) swag bag is provided to each attendant. Fun stuff!

Hope you will join me in attending these classes! If you click here or on the color wheel above, you will receive a discounted price of $29.99 for the event. Are you as excited as I am? Let me know which instructor you would most enjoy learning from in the comments below!

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(Likely, you already know this but I am an affiliate and thus will receive a small payment for each person signing up through my post. This happens at no expense to you.)

SAHRR Round 3

I was happy to see that Wendy (Pieceful Thoughts) chose stars (of any sort) for round three. Her example was the friendship star and I decided to go with that block. Friendship stars are sweet and very simple to make.

Isn’t this adorable?

Remember I am using blocks from a tossed aside project. Have to say, I am enjoying having these forgotten HST’s to work with. It is so much easier to cut tiny HST’s from oversized blocks. The bits for this block were cut at 1 1/4″ so they finish at 3/4″. For me, that is very tiny! The finished friendship star measures 2 1/4″.

Before adding the round of stars, I first stitched a border of turquoise to the quilt. I am trying to grow this quilt and will (probably?) keep putting borders on between the pieced borders. With this round of stars the quilt measures 30″ square. There are four more rounds to go.

I wanted the stars to be set into a darker blue. I also decided not to put very many on with this round. The quilt needed to be calmed down a bit. The navy blue border with just a few stars was the ticket. So this round is actually done with a couple of days to spare! Now to wait until Monday to see what comes next.

This popped up on Instagram a few days ago and it sure made me laugh. Likely more than a few of you can relate, right?

Linking up with Pieceful Thoughts today. Hop over there and see lots of interpretations of the SAHRR quilts. Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Modern Wall Quilt

Isn’t that a boring title for a post? I don’t know what to call this quilt. Maybe after you look at the photos and read the post you’ll come up with a clever name for it.

Love this quilt book!

I bought a book for making baby quilts a couple of years ago. There are a few quilts in it that I thought would be very fun to make. There are ten projects, each one by a different designer. C&T Pubs just happens to have the book on sale right now. Make Baby Quilts includes designs by Camille Roskelley, Allison Harris, and Latifah Saafir – among others.

The Sweet as Pi pattern really drew me in though. Sure, it would be wonderful as a floor mat for a baby. Designed by Malka Dubrawsky, it is a strong graphic pattern and the colors could be changed as needed. But I decided to make it as a wall quilt.

Cutting the strips was easy. Choosing the colors – not so easy! I knew I wanted the colors to be bold and to have a strong presence in the quilt I had just made for our bed. After some back and forth with a stack of solids, these are the fabrics I selected. Assembling the wedges was a breeze. This all happened in early fall. With the holidays and all those silly viruses we all had, it was shelved until recently.

One wedge of the circle

Ignore the wrinkled appearance of this wedge! I was taking pictures to communicate my project to my son in Brooklyn NY. There are instructions for creating the template to cut the strip pieced wedges but I wasn’t getting it. Thank you FaceTime! Kyle was able to take a look and tell me what I needed to know!

Too long!

Somehow I made the template slightly longer than it should be. My sweet husband was able to trim it just a smidge and it was perfect.

Thread decisions

Once it was put together and basted, it was time to select threads. I normally quilt with a neutral thread and if this was to be a floor mat for a baby, that is what I would have done. However using gray or off white just didn’t cut it for these colors. Each stripe was quilted with a matching thread. I quilted a spiral in the yellow section (center). Then I switched to straight line quilting for the other stripes. No marking was done. It seemed if this was going to be on the wall, above the bed, no one would be face to face with it. (Unless the viewer chose to stand on the bed to get a closer look – haha). Viewing from a fair distance, the placement of the quilting lines wasn’t a huge deal. I basically set the width by using the outermost part of the walking foot as my guide.

It is done!!

Total honesty here – all the while I was working on this quilt, I never once considered the how heck it would be hung on the wall. It is quite large (approx 40″ across) and with a hanging sleeve on the back, it wouldn’t have laid flat on the wall. I was at a loss for a while. Then I thought about making some sort of circular frame with wire. I had florist wire but it was fairly light weight. So I measured out four (very long) lengths and twisted them into one piece to give it more strength. Then I pinned it around the circumference of the quilt. I wish I had taken pictures of this but I totally forgot. I sewed the wire to the back – butting it up as close as possible to the binding, being careful not to go all the way through to the front of the quilt. This kept the quilt flat and held it’s shape perfectly.

Hanging it was a bit of a chore. Ray was standing on the bed with level, screws and screw gun. He had to put screws all the way around because I really wanted it flat on the wall. Success!

I love it! The wall hanging contains many of the colors of the rather bohemian quilt I made for the bed so it just works.

I love looking at the quilt and the wall hanging together. Makes me happy!

It was my goal to finish this wall quilt in January and it is down! I checked it off the list of unfinished projects which is always a good feeling before moving on to the next thing! Now that you have seen it, what do I call it? Many of you are so clever at thinking of names for your finished quilts. This is not my strength. Help a girl out?

Linking to my favorites – check them out at the top of the page, under link ups!

(Note – this post contains affiliate links. Should you purchase something via the link, I will receive a small compensation at no cost to you.)