Category Archives: Scrappy Quilting

String Frenzy Book Tour

Today is my stop on the String Frenzy Book Tour!! You may have already read a few posts about this new book by none other than Bonnie Hunter. Bonnie, queen of scrappy quilts, has been at it again and this new book is the result of hours and hours of work. If you are new to my blog, welcome! I am so glad you’re here and hope you will take a few minutes to look around.

One of the things that impressed me about the book is Bonnie’s level of detail. She discusses the basics on block construction, string blocks, crumb blocks and foundation piecing. Lots and lots of great information for the beginner to intermediate quilter which is right where I fall.

Once she provides a good basis of instruction, she moves into the patterns. This book contains twelve unique quilt patterns with wonderful instruction. The difficulty ranges from advanced beginner to intermediate skill level.

I haven’t made a scrappy quilt in a very long time, which is made abundantly clear by the overflowing scrap bins and the pile of scraps not put away (for lack of a bin to fit them into)! While I didn’t have time to make an entire quilt, I did want to try one of the patterns. Making a table runner seemed more manageable with the other projects I have going on right now.

Daybreak from the String Frenzy book by Bonnie K Hunter

For my project, I selected the Daybreak pattern. I liked the tiny four patch blocks and the string pieced sashing Bonnie used in this pattern. These four patch blocks each finish at 2 1/2 inches. I used strip piecing to make these which was pretty darn quick.

Little four patch blocks.

When I was reading the book I decided rather than going with a totally scrappy look, I would choose a couple of colors to emphasize. My choices were green, blue and purple.

Scrappy four patch blocks

Then I decided I would use a pale green for the setting triangles within each block.

The borders were all pieced using my abundant supply of neutral scraps. I cut them into strings of varying widths and sewed large sections together. Then these were cut into strips measuring 2 1/2″ by 8″.

Finished! My version of Daybreak, just three blocks in all!

This is the finished project! I had intended to use it as a table runner but I really like it and am debating putting a sleeve on the back and hanging it in my sewing room. The finished measurements are approximately 12″ x 32″ and I have a spot on the wall that might work just fine. I need to think on that for a bit.

Quilting it was enjoyable. It has been a while since I have done any free motion quilting. I stitched in the ditch around the five on-point blocks within each block because I knew I wouldn’t be quilting those. I wanted to leave them alone. Additionally, I used loops on the low volume scrappy sashing and some wavy lines on the light green triangles.

As it should with a scrappy quilt, every bit of fabric came from my stash. I didn’t take a photo of the backing but even that was in the closet! Yay for using up some fabrics that have languished for a long while.

All in all, this is a great book. Lots of fun ways to use scraps and if you don’t want to make the entire quilt, go for a mini, a table topper or a runner. I love making smaller projects because there is a satisfying finish and practicing my FMQ is so much easier on small quilts.

Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour and look at the projects made by the rest of the gang. Here is the schedule:

Friday, 4/5: C&T Publishing at ctpub.com/blog

Saturday, 4/6: Pat Sloan at ilovetomakequilts.com

Sunday, 4/7: Sandra Clemons at makeitblossomdesigns.com

Monday, 4/8: Susan Arnold at quiltfabrication.com

Tuesday, 4/9: Bernie Kringel at needleandfoot.com. (You are here!!)

Wednesday, 4/10: Bonnie Hunter at quiltville.blogspot.com

Bonus!! C&T Pubs has generously provided me with an e-book of String Frenzy to give to one lucky reader. Leave me a comment and let me know if you are a scrappy quilter. Do you make lots of scrappy projects? What is your favorite way to use your scraps – and what constitutes a scrap? Will you save a 1.5″ square? How small is too small?? Looking forward to hearing back from you. Giveaway open until Friday and I will draw a winner over the weekend!

UPDATE: Giveaway now closed. Winner was comment #6, Sandy M! Congrats Sandy. Enjoy the book! ūüôā

Sale happening in the shop this week!!


Calling to all customers!! I have all Michael Miller fabrics on sale at 50% off through the weekend! Yep — Such a great deal. Hop over the shop and take a look. I am sure you will find something you love. Prices can’t be beat. Shipping is a flat rate of $6.99 no matter how large the order is. Happy Shopping!!

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It’s the Little Things

It all adds up, right? I have had a lot going on but each is a small-ish project. Somehow this has filled my days over the past week or so. It’s all good though – creativity takes many forms and, for me, it is always quite satisfying.

Little four patch blocks.

I am working on a project for an upcoming book review. You’ll see the review and more of the project in a couple of weeks or so. But these little scrappy blocks are a lot of fun. The four patch blocks are 2″ finished. I don’t usually opt for small piecing (and for many, this isn’t very small at all!).

They are fun to make and I think the project is going to look really good. Plus I am using up a few scraps. I have not touched my scrap bins in many months so this makes it extra satisfying!

Binding a quilt for our guild

In our local quilt guild, there are many ways one can help with the community service projects. My usual choice is to bring home quilted pieces and machine bind them. Very quick to do and it enables me to contribute. Since we have a guild meeting a week from today, I thought I should finish this one up. That way I can bring it in and grab another one to take home.

A new QAL coming up soon!

My friend Sandra over at MMM! Quilts is hosting her 3rd annual QAL. She is so much fun – which I am sure you already know. She had curated a blogger bundle for me last year (the November bundle). Some of her readers asked if she would do a QAL using the bundle. She graciously agreed and this Beothuk Star the resulting event. Because there are only five or so of those November bundles left (should anyone else want to make it with those fabrics) she and I decided to create a second bundle for the QAL. Sandra curated this one as well and it is so bright and cheerful.

This bundle is built around the Sunny Side Up piece of fabric in center, by Maureen Cracknell

I really love this bundle! The reason there are two of the teal pieces is because one is used as the binding. If you are curious to see it close up, it is available in the shop now.

The other bundle, based on the November Blogger Bundle

Above is the other kit being offered for this QAL. It is based on the November blogger bundle but with two changes.

Additional pieces needed for the November blogger bundle

She needed another fat quarter so the pink and blue triangular print (Mosaic) was added. To have enough for the background, the amount of the sandy off-white piece was increased. This means if you have the bundle already, you might choose to purchase the kit extension for that original bundle. It is available here. Of course it isn’t mandatory. You could certainly use a different background if you have one you prefer. You could also add one complementary fat quarter of your choosing.

Crushed walnut shells – a new item in the shop

I have been adding a few different notions to the shop lately too. Most recent are these bags of crushed walnut shells for filling pin cushions. Yesterday I bagged up a number of them so they are now available too! Each bag holds six ounces and each order will be for two bags (so twelve ounces total).

Handmade Point Turners

These are not yet available but I am excited to show them to you. I asked my woodworking spouse to make a point turner for me. I have seen them and thought maybe I could be using something more effective than the chopsticks I currently use. (Chopsticks are a reasonable choice but the ends of mine are more square than round so I can’t obtain as sharp a point as I would like. He asked me what I thought I wanted and I described the one on the far left. He said ok but when he made that one, he also made two more so I would have something to compare. His designs are so much better (why doesn’t that surprise me???) I like using the fully rounded handle of the middle one. The piece on the far right has a nice point to it but the handle is flatter and it isn’t quite as comfortable to use. So, I am going for the one in the middle. I also like the extra bit of length on that one. They are really pretty aren’t they? Do you use a point turner? What works for you?

Last, but certainly not least, I have a fun event coming up next week! I have written before about the issues with a lot of us using social media for inspiration. Sometimes it is great to see all of this amazing work out there. Other times, it is kind of a downer and leaves us feeling ‘less than’. I know we are not ‘less than’ but it can feel that way seeing so much amazing work and then looking at our progress and feeling a little bit defeated. In an effort to show the real side to all of us, let’s share some of the ridiculous. We have all goofed. We have all made a project and thought, ‘nope, I’m not sharing this.’ Here is the chance to get real. What better day to open the event than on April Fool’s Day!! Think about this and write a post sharing a mistake or misunderstanding you might have had about our craft. Mine is quite ridiculous and I am sure it will entertain you. Share it next week and link up with me. Prizes will be awarded – just by a random drawing – no judging here! I think it is a great way to all get on the same level with our art by sharing these imperfections. If you have questions, leave them in the comments. Hope you will join in!!

Linking up with my favorites. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Special Pattern Sale, From My Carolina Home

This week I have enjoyed promoting the August Blogger Bundle curated by Carole Carter of From My Carolina Home. ¬†It has been such a successful bundle. ¬†Maybe with all the ¬†kids going back to school, we have that feeling of summer winding down, knowing the cooler weather of autumn is just around the corner and these colors were extra appealing to us? ¬†I am not sure but this bundle is by far the most popular of the blogger bundles this year. ¬†It might also be that Carole captured everyone’s attention with her gorgeous placemats and the related tutorial she kindly shared with everyone. Maybe it is the improv table topper she has promised to share with us. (She is sharing it over on her blog today – the photo above shows a scrappy binding which leaves me wanting to see more). ¬†Or is it the teaser she left about a tablescape with the placemats she intends to share on Monday. She has done her magic with this bundle of fat quarters!

It turns out that one of Carole’s readers mentioned she was buying the bundle to make a quilt with. ¬†Of course, this got Carole’s wheels turning. ¬†(She is always up to something creative!).

Placemats made by Carole of From My Carolina Home

After hearing this plan from her reader, Carole thought of the patterns she has designed and which of them were most suited to this bundle. ¬†She would like to offer them at 30% off today and tomorrow only! ¬†You might remember when Carole first published Scrap Dance and then Scrap Dance Tango. ¬†They are both really pretty quilts which one could make entirely with scraps and a background fabric. ¬†Or…. ¬†you might just choose to make them with this wonderful bundle of autumnal fabrics Carole curated. I think this is a great opportunity to pick up one (or two?) of Carole’s patterns. ¬†Summer is nearly done and with the cooler weather we will all be in the sewing room a bit more.

Scrap Dance, Designed by Carole Carter, From My Carolina Home

Take a look at the quilt made with her pattern called Scrap Dance. ¬†It is just gorgeous and with the fabrics in this blogger bundle it would be perfect for the fall season. Made entirely with HST’s and squares, the piecing does not seem terribly complicated. You know me, I don’t do complicated. ¬†ūüôā

Scrap Dance Tango, Designed by Carole Carter, From My Carolina Home

This is Scrap Dance Tango.  The version shown in the pictures is quite scrappy but again, with the bundle you would have a very pretty, autumn inspired quilt. With this quilt, she shows a scrappy low volume background which is lovely.

Here is the thing Рthe blogger bundles were quite popular so there are only a few left.  They are on sale through the end of the day, while supplies last.  If you decide to give this a go, hop over and grab a bundle.  I do have a limited amount of the golden textured solid which would be a pretty background fabric.  It is the floral that will be the limiting factor for the bundles.

Maybe you already bought a bundle over the past several days? ¬†If you didn’t know exactly how you planned to use it, I would encourage you to take a closer look at both of these patterns. ¬†One thing I appreciate about Carole’s patterns is that she includes so many options for the size of the project. ¬†Maybe you just want to make a table topper or wall hanging? ¬†There is also the choice of baby quilt, lap quilt or twin size bed quilt. ¬†It is totally up to the maker! ¬†As I said above, these two patterns are 30% off through tomorrow morning, making them a steal at $6.30 each. ¬†No coupon code is needed, the prices reflect the discount. For more information, please check out Carole’s post this morning.

So which one appeals to you most?  I have to say, I am leaning heavily toward the Scrap Dance pattern.  I just love the look of the secondary patterns created with this pattern. Ok, thank you again for your loyal support of my shop. I hope you realize how much I appreciate all of you!!  Hope you have all had a lovely weekend.

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Playing Catch Up

Well, I did great for the first three months of the year. My two RSC18 projects were worked on each month and one was finished in time for the next. ¬†Somehow April and most of May slipped by and I didn’t work on either of them. Knowing myself, I figured I had better get caught up. ¬†Once I am too far behind, it becomes very easy to talk myself into skipping it altogether. We know what happens next don’t we? ¬†The blocks I did make end up in orphan block land, a very sad place to be.

While I am not totally caught up yet, I feel much better with the progress I made. To remind you, I am sewing along with Angela and Mari’s Squared Away BOM and I am making nine patch blocks for a separate project. ¬†April’s color was yellow with a touch of gold. The block tutorial for the month was the 4X Star, also known as the Carrie Hall block.¬† These made for super easy piecing ¬†as only squares and a handful of HST’s were required for each one. ¬†I love both of these blocks – note that I used the same golden fabric for the four squares in the center but it looks quite different on each one. I was having a really tough time finding scraps of yellow for April because I only had such a small amount of yellow. ¬†Mentioning this to Mari, she sent off a huge packet of yellow scraps. Though her idea of scraps might be different then mine because she generously sent a number of fat quarters. So, Mari’s tutorial, Mari’s fabric….. I wonder what it would take to get her to come to California to cut my pieces and stitch them up? Thank you Mari!

May’s color is pink and rose. ¬†This was easier for me as I have plenty of pink scraps in my stash. ¬†I don’t know if I really went with rose but I like the combinations I came up with thus far. ¬†The block for this month is by Nancy Cabot, called Baton Rouge Square. ¬†Mari describes it as a package with ribbons tied at the top. ¬†I like that! Again, these are easy blocks to construct as long as you watch the direction of each HST. ¬† At this point, I still need to make one more of each block for both April and May, and I will be good to go. ¬†June’s block will pop up on Saturday so I better get these done!

Here is a shot with all of my Squared Away blocks to date.  Looking good, with the exception of the missing pink and yellow blocks!  I am thinking of placing them on point and sashing them with a gray that is a tad darker than the background color I am using. But there is plenty of time to figure out those details.

Finally I did make a few nine patch blocks. ¬†I haven’t made the wonky stars in pink yet, but these are quick and simple to put together.

Now I am off to the sewing room to make a custom Chemex Cozy for a customer in Virginia. Time to get busy.  Also, come back on the first of June as I have some updates about my shop to share with you.  Until then, happy sewing!

Linking to Let’s Bee Social and Needle & Thread Thursday. ¬†Info on both of these is found at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

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Catching up on RSC18

First of all, thanks to everyone for the get well wishes.  I am feeling better and have spent the last day or two getting caught up on things.  Whenever I spend time down due to some illness or other, it is always so satisfying to get back to normal and have a regular day.  Do you know what I mean?  It makes me appreciate normal.

squared away

Today I am sharing my RSC18 projects to date. ¬†I finished the green blocks on the last day of March but never took pictures or posted them. The block for March is called Red Cross and dates to 1897. ¬†I don’t get the name but it is a fun block to make. ¬†Luckily I didn’t sew any bits together with the green HST’s pointing the wrong way (unusual for me, I know!) The color was to be light or bright green and this was easy as my green tub is truly overflowing. Like January and February, I tried to keep to the same scrap for each of the Squared Away blocks. Two of the greens look very similar (the lower two) but I am fine with this.

squared away

This green and yellow fabric is striking -somehow I have no idea where it came from.  Usually I can remember but not this time!  I love sampler quilts but sometimes they have a very busy look to them. I think using the gray background and keeping the fabric the same within each block is going to add order to the quilt.

Squared Away

Here are the blocks together, though none have been squared yet. ¬†There is a third purple block but my OCD self couldn’t take the picture with an extra block hanging out in space. ¬†Oh dear, what is wrong with me anyway??

I have said this before but it bears repeating. ¬†Mari, designer of the quilt for Squared Away, does an excellent tutorial and I appreciate the bit of information she provides about each block. ¬†If you haven’t sewn along with her before, I highly recommend her block of the month projects. Organizing, writing, preparing for this sort of event has to be incredibly time consuming. ¬†Thank you Mari!

RSC18 nine patch

 

 

As I make the Squared Away blocks, I have also been pulling smaller scraps from the bins and making nine patch blocks.  These finish at nine inches each.  In February I did a few wonky stars to go with the purple set.  I really like these and will make more as I go along.  I am unsure what I will do with these.  Maybe just sash them in black and use it as a donation quilt.  The nine patch blocks are a breeze and this uses up more of the small scraps in each bin.

RSC18 nine patch

The wonky star blocks add interest to this project.

I need to pull yellow scraps for April.  This could be a challenge because I have so few yellow scraps.  There are some charm squares I might be able to utilize, depending on the cutting instructions for the April block.

Another project I worked on this week was cleaning up my shop.  I have deliveries tomorrow and next week. Hurray for new fabric!!  There was a stack of 1/2 and one yard cuts that were end of the bolt so I did some measuring and pricing.  Each of these is listed in the Bargain section of the shop.  Come take a look, maybe you will find something you like!

Enough for now. ¬†I have lots to do. Hope you are all enjoying a ‘normal’ day too.

Linking up with a number of blogs, including Finished or Not Friday.  See the list up at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

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Scrappy HST Finish

This finish was long in the making. ¬†I started making large (9″ square) scrappy HSTs in the beginning of 2016 as my RSC16 project. ¬†They were a lot of fun to make and I easily finished the quilt top by the end of the year. Then I promptly pressed it, hung it neatly in the closet, and closed the door. It languished for all of 2017, poor ignored quilt top. ¬†I think I left it there because I felt it was too small and I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to make a stack of 5″ squared scrappy blocks. ¬†Without any plan, I figured I would somehow use them for a border. ¬†After making the blocks, I figured out the size rectangles I needed to space between the squares to create the border. ¬†For the most part, this worked ok. ¬†But you know me and quilt math….. ¬†When I laid out the border and it looked like I would be coming up short, I just expanded one or two of the scrappy blocks to compensate. ¬†I hope this doesn’t offend anyone. ¬†It doesn’t bother me. ūüôā

In fact, I love it. ¬†I am wild about this quilt. ¬†It is my kind of project. Imperfection works in this sort of quilt. ¬†I am pleased with the colors, the polka dot background which provides a nice spot for the eye to rest, the border of gray dots between the HST’s and the scrappy border – all of it! ¬†This one took a long while to come together, but it was worth the wait!scrappy HST¬†I took it to the long arm shop and quilted it with a meandering loopy motif. ¬†Some little spirals, some large loops and some small ones. It left the quilt with a nice, cozy drape. This was a lot of fun to quilt and took no time at all.

For the backing, I chose Newsprint in a wide back. This was designed by Carrie Bloomston and is probably my favorite backing. When I ordered my first bolt of it, I was pleasantly surprised to sell the bolt within weeks.  I just received a second bolt so I have it in stock again.  Because it is such a fun print, I also take the wide back and cut fat quarters and 1/2 yard pieces. Each of these (wide back, fat quarter, and 1/2 yard cuts) are available in my shop.

scrappy hat quilt

The binding is a print by Lotta Jansdotter called Aliisa from her Lemmikki line. I really like this fabric but looking back, I don’t know if it is the best match for the quilt. ¬†The color is “slate” but when it is next to Newsprint and the gray dotted background, it has a very blue tone. ¬†Because the quilt is so scrappy, I decided to go with it anyway. I like the angular pattern of the print. So, I think it is ‘good enough’. ¬†I did go back to the listing though and update my description to explain about the blue hues this fabric has. If you are intrigued by this one, click here to see the shop listing.

I can happily check this one off the list and report I am down to three unfinished quilts in the closet.  Well, that is not including either of the RSC18 projects I am working on. Not too terrible!

Tomorrow I am off to see my kids in Vermont. ¬†Probably no blog posts until I get back – unless I change my mind. ¬†ūüėČ I am so excited to see my grand daughter. ¬†She started walking last week and it will be so fun to watch her toddling around. ¬†Like I mentioned in my last post, any Etsy orders placed by 3:00 Friday (today) will ship. ¬†If placed after that, they will ship on Monday, April 2nd. ¬†The last time I was gone like this, I promised to refund half of the shipping charge for orders placed in my absence – sort of a thank you for being patient and waiting until the 2nd for shipment. ¬†Same goes with this trip! ¬†Place the order and just know I will pay half of your shipping cost. ¬†Thanks so much for understanding!. It is a bit difficult to be a grammy to a little girl in Vermont when you live in California!

 

Linking to Finish It Up Friday and a few others.  All are listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Squared Away in Purple

It is already mid-February and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month is purple. On Tuesday I set aside my doll quilt projects and pulled out my purple scrap bin. It was time to get to work on some scrappy piecework.

The second block for the Squared Away BOM, hosted by Mari of Academic Quilter and Angela of So Scrappy,¬†was released last Saturday.¬† For this month, Mari chose a block called The Wishing Ring.¬†Let me say, this is a great block – not fussy at all!¬† My kind of quilting.¬† ūüôā

I have decided that, as much as the scrap bins allow, I would like to use one fabric throughout each block with the same gray background throughout.  I think it will look more cohesive.  Luckily I had some reasonably large purple scraps so it worked for this month.

I had some fun playing around with these blocks. I think it would make a great quilt on its own. I have not made a quilt with just two colors but maybe someday….¬† I like it. ( Though I doubt I would choose purple for a whole quilt.)¬† There are some fun secondary patterns that appear with this block.

squared away blocks

Putting the January and February blocks together looks like this.¬† So far, so good!! I still have the purple bin out on the sewing table.¬† I started cutting three inch squares and playing with them yesterday.¬† Once I figure out what to do with them, I will show you. ūüôā

Have a good weekend everyone. We are enjoying spring like weather so it should be a nice one!

Linking up to my favorites.  Please take a look at the Link Up tab at the top of the page.

 

 

 

Using Scraps – Light Blue

Last year I didn’t participate in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge held each year by Angela of So Scrappy.¬† I did participate in 2015 and 2016 though – it is a great way to use up scraps.¬† This year I plan to follow along with the BOM hosted by Mari of Academic Quilter, Squared Away.¬† I sewed along with Mari during her first quilt along, Classic Stitches, back in 2015.¬† I had a great time and loved the clear directions Mari provided with her posts each month so I am happy to sew with her again this year! If you want to see the row quilt I made, click here.

Here is the first month’s block, Red Cross.¬† According to Mari,¬†the block is a Clara Stone block that dates to 1906.¬† Traditionally, this block is made with red, but since the color this month is light blue, that’s what we made it in.¬† I have a large piece of pale gray solid fabric (I am fairly sure it is a Moda Bella solid but I don’t know which one)¬† I have set it aside in the hopes it will be enough to use as my background color for this year.¬† We are making three 10″ blocks each month which will make a nice size quilt by the end of the year.

I am happy with the look of this first batch of blocks and they came together easily.¬† Not to say I didn’t have to rip one apart though.¬† I had one corner section pointed the wrong way.¬† It hung on my design wall for quite a while before I noticed it.¬† At least it is early in the game and was a quick fix.

RSC16 Scrappy HST Quilt Top

I am also making little 5″ square crumb blocks.¬† I want to finish this scrappy HST quilt I started in 2016.¬† I really like it but feel it would be nice to have it a bit larger before I finish it.¬† I am going to make a border by alternating five inch crumb blocks of all colors with the gray polka dot.¬† I think the gray polka dot will be rectangles, not squares, to make the border more interesting.¬† I have to look at the math on that, certainly not my strong suit as you all know!!

RSC18

I don’t plan to take all year to make these crumb blocks though (by following the color schemes of RSC18).¬† I hope to get this one finished earlier in the year.

Did you see the giveaway I am hosting on Facebook today and tomorrow?¬† Go check it out – might be your time to win.¬† ūüôā

In other wonderful news, I just had SIX days migraine free days in a row!¬† It was heavenly, like a gift, you know? It has been many months (probably didn’t happen at all in 2017?) since I had that long of a run.¬† Unfortunately, I woke up last night with a zinger but I was able to sleep it off and I feel reasonable this morning.¬† It will be a good day to take it easy and play with my scraps.¬† Fortunately, one doesn’t need to think too hard to make crumb blocks.¬† ūüôā¬† Hoping you have a lovely weekend and are able to enjoy some creative time!

Linking to Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt as well as a few others.  Check the Link Ups tab at the top of the page!

Dog Days of Summer

It is so hot outside, really just too hot. As I write, the thermometer on the deck reads 95 degrees, in the shade. This means it is about 100 billion degrees in the sun. Hence the reason I am inside playing on the computer! When it is like this, I try to go out early in the morning to do any chores that need to be done. Yesterday I was out early, dropping Julia off at the high school. ¬†(She is volunteering as a teacher’s assistant for a class taught by her English teacher to a group of exchange students from France.) After dropping her off, I worked in the garden, dead heading roses. We have a nice selection of roses which we have to keep inside the fenced area to protect them from the ever hungry deer that wander our property.

The roses are slowing down a bit due to the heat but we still have some really pretty ones.

I spent about an hour working in the yard and while I trimmed and clipped, I listened to a recent podcast from While She Naps by Abby Glassenberg. ¬†Episode 100 was an interview with Alissa Carlton of the Modern Quilt Guild. Even though I was familiar with much of the origin of the MQG, it was interesting to hear Alissa’s perspective as one of the founders of this ever growing organization. The podcast was made even more interesting when Alissa talked about her other job as a casting director for the reality TV show, Project Runway. I recommend this episode (and really, all of Abby’s podcasts) as it covered a lot of interesting topics.

This girl’s been working. Check out these boots.

Because Julia was working at the high school for the day, I helped her out by feeding and cooling off her girls, Ella and Daisy. Ella and Daisy are two market hogs Julia is raising as a project for 4-H.

Measuring Ella to monitor her growth.

This has been a great experience and I think she enjoys it for the most part. As with any animal project, she has had a few issues to deal with. ¬†Ella, the show hog that Julia has been training to show at our county fair, is oddly uninterested in eating. ¬†She isn’t gaining near the weight she needs to gain to qualify for showing at the fair and for selling at the auction at the end of the fair. This is baffling but Julia is treating it as a science project and trying her darnedest to get Ella to gain weight. She is mixing raw cow’s milk with her feed three times a day to entice Ella to eat more. (She gets the raw milk from her very kind 4-H leader who has a dairy cow.) She also makes tons of scrambled eggs to mix into Ella’s feed to make it more desirable. ¬†So far, Ella isn’t having any of it. She snacks a bit and then gives the rest to her roommate, Daisy. ¬†You can see where this is going. Daisy is gaining all kinds of weight!

Ella and Daisy keeping cool in the mud.

Besides concocting these meals for Ella three times daily (which Daisy eats for the most part!) Julia also has to keep them cool during these dog days of summer. Pigs do not tolerate heat well as they have no ability to sweat.  When Julia and Ray built the pen for the girls, they put misters in which is a great help. Julia also goes out multiple times throughout the day to hose both pigs down.  They LOVE this and it is adorable to watch how the play in the spray of the hose and try to drink the water.

If Ella’s slow weight gain continues, Julia will end up showing Daisy at the fair and auctioning her off instead of Ella. ¬†Daisy is bred as a feeder pig, to be raised for meat. ¬†She will not do well when shown at the fair but whomever is kind enough to purchase her at the auction will have a freezer full of great quality pork. Ella will be fed out until she is large enough and has put on enough fat to be butchered. It isn’t what Julia expected but this is life, right?

Even with all that has been going on around here, I had a bit of time to sew this week. I wanted to catch up on my blocks for the Sewcial Bee Sampler. Hosted by Maureen Cracknell and Sharon Holland, this has been such a fun project. They created it to increase the connection amongst the on-line quilters and it has been really successful. Check out the #sewcialbeesampler on Instagram – there are more than 6,400 photos posted to it.

I have fallen behind on my blocks but I did get a few made this week. I tried to combine solids with fabrics by Maureen Cracknell, both her Garden Dreamer fabric line as well as the earlier line, Fleet & Flourish. But I was running dangerously low and still have several blocks to complete.  I had a funky size scrap of 1/2 of one Ex Libris panel by Alison Glass that I have been hoarding. I knew I would find the right thing to use it for and this is it. The colors work perfectly and I can fussy cut the bits of the panel to use just the parts I need.

Here is another block with a bit of Ex Libris in the center.

Sewcial Bee Sampler, 20 of 25 blocks

I had all of the blocks thus far completed arranged on the floor to look at the flow of color. I need to make sure the last five blocks are made with colors that balance well with what I already have. I think I want to frame one more with the light green and another with the mustard yellow. ¬†As I looked at these, one block jumped out at me – How come I didn’t see the mistake??

I need to spend a few minutes taking apart the upper left corner. Oops!! There is one more block to be released this week and I have four that I still need to make. Then we will sash the blocks and start assembling the quilt top. I really love the blocks I have made thus far – this one is a keeper. It should finish at 72″ square.

Linking up with Oh Scrap and a few others.  Please check out the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

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Summer Flowers

I started a new project! Over a year ago I received a stack of Kaffe Fassett florals from somebody. It was during the first round of #getyourquiltywishesgranted on Instagram. I wish I could give proper credit but I just can’t remember which kind quilter sent them. She had offered them up if anyone wanted to use them and I was the lucky recipient. Then, as often happens, they sat on the top shelf in the closet for about 18 months!


At the April guild meeting, they announced a class to be held for using up scraps. I have no shortage of possible ways to use scraps but this pattern looked cute and what is better than a day sewing with friends? I signed up. Yesterday was our sew day. A woman, Doris Javier, from a neighboring guild, had designed the pattern and she was there to teach. The pattern itself is extremely simple to construct; basically cut lots of rectangles and sew together in pairs. Then arrange in one of a number of designs and stitch into blocks. When I first started joining the rectangles, I was not consistent about the direction In which I placed the floral fabric and the background. Of course, it needs to be consistent so that the angles run the correct way. Luckily, I was eager to see how the block would come together and tried to lay some out right after I pieced the first couple. So I have a few that are slanting the wrong way and will have to be used in something else. Maybe I will piece the backing and use them for that. Because the rectangles are sewn together on the bias, much like binding strips, I now have a large stack of triangles to use up. They are all stacked in pairs and I will chain stitch them into HST’s to be used at some point down the road. Love those little bonus HST’s!

It has been a long time since I have sewn with a group and I had forgotten how much fun it is. Even with people you aren’t well acquainted with, there is already a common bond with our shared love of stitching. One of the best things about making a particular pattern with a group of people is seeing all of the different fabric combinations created by each of us. Each unique combination gives the quilt a whole new look. When I gathered my fabric together, I based the pull on the Kaffe Fassett scraps but didn’t have quite enough of them to make the whole top. It was very easy to add other brightly colored floral scraps to round things out. For the background, I selected a textured solid made by Red Rooster – it was the last bit I had in my shop and works perfectly with the florals. The look is so summery.


I made significant progress yesterday. I have a large stack of rectangles made and paired into blocks. It takes four of these to make a full block. I didn’t sew too many complete blocks together because I want to lay them out and check the distribution of color. At this point though, it shouldn’t take too long to complete the quilt top. I would estimate I have half of the rectangles pieced. With one more session in the sewing room, I should be able to chain piece the rest of them.


The group in class yesterday agreed to try and get at least the quilt top finished before the guild meeting in September. I am sure I can complete the top but would be even more pleased to get the quilt itself completed. We shall see how my projects go this summer!

Quick side note: I am thrilled with the number of readers joining in with the sew along that is just beginning. If you haven’t read the post yet, click here. We will be making a simple shirt to wear and I will break it down into a few simple steps. We are just getting started so I t isn’t too late to join in. Read the post, order your pattern and select your fabric. The next post will be up on June 15th! Let me know if you have any questions.