Tag Archives: pretty gemstones

Gemstones is a Finish!

Never have I said good bye so many times. This is getting ridiculous. But last night I finished my Pretty Gemstones quilt. How could I leave and give it away without sharing it? There aren’t that many quilt finishes in a year (for me anyway) to skip one!  This will be a quick post, because you know, the wedding and all.  So much to be taking care of around here.

In all it’s glory, here is the first quilt finish of 2017! By the way, pictures were all taken indoors and late at night so they are not of the award winning quality that you have come to expect from me.  😉

This quilt was made with a pattern called Pretty Gemstones. It was designed by the wonderful Cynthia Brunz of Quilting is Better than Housework (which is absolutely true!)  It was published in McCall’s Quilting magazine in the January 2016 issue. The pattern is a breeze to make. I love a pattern with sashing. It means that my less than perfect piecing doesn’t make me go crazy because there are no corners or points to match. (I can be so lazy!)

I started this quilt last January as one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects. But to be honest, I didn’t always follow the color prompts of the challenge. I was trying to use colors that are reminiscent of gems.  I think this came off quite well. There is are blocks which represent sapphires, rubies, topaz, tiger eye, amethyst and rose quartz. I skipped many of the suggested colors because they didn’t work for this project. I am pretty sure that is allowed but, if not, please don’t tell on me.

The sashing is done with Kaffe Fassett’s solid (the color is Ecru). I found it difficult to work with this fabric. It is a thin cotton and has a great deal of give to it. It became almost stretchy, especially the long strips for the sashing. Honestly, I doubt I would buy it or recommend it to a friend. (Sorry Rowan Fabric and Kaffe.) I had to starch it and while that helped, it didn’t completely solve the issue. This is the second time I used these solids.  The first time was in the jelly roll quilt I posted about here. I had quite a bit of trouble with awful stretchy waves in this project too. Part of the problem on the jelly roll quilt was I had to rip out stitches several times which distorted the strips. Now I also think it was this fabric. Seriously, it is very thin. After trying it twice, I doubt I would purchase these solids again. I have used Kaffe Fassett’s gorgeous print cottons and they are wonderful. It is this line of solids (and his stripes) that I am not a fan of.  For the backing I pieced the sashing fabric with a deep purple remnant that I picked up a while back. See the label on the back? I am trying to be more diligent about labeling my quilts. The purple fabric was also used to bind the quilt.

I quilted it with a motif of interlocking squares and rectangles of all sizes. This is the first time I have used this pattern and I loved it. The boxes are very forgiving. One interesting thing I noticed is that I can control the machine better with a square pattern than a round. Circles are more difficult for me to keep a consistent speed with as opposed to square. It felt more relaxing to quilt the squares.

On the plus side for Kaffe Fassett solids, they are quite soft – especially after washing. This quilt crinkled up so nicely after a quick rinse. No color bleeding issues either. Yay for Color Catchers!

Finally, take a close look at the quilt. See my rather silly error?  I didn’t catch it until about 1/3 of the quilting was done. Yikes!

I am giving this quilt to my new daughter-in-law’s parents. We wanted to bring them something as a thank you for the events they are hosting for this weekend’s wedding as well as to welcome them into the family. I hope they like it.

I am not going to promise this is the last post for the week. It probably is. But who knows?

Linking up with the lots of fun places. Check out the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

If you are shopping for a new Craftsy class, this weekend is a good time to do so. From Friday, January 13th through Sunday the 15th, the classes are Buy One, Get One. BOGO deals are great – two for the price of one! Check it out here.

(Note – I am a Craftsy affiliate. I am paid a small stipend for purchases made after clicking through the links on my site.)

Scrappy Finish for the Month

As with last month, I finished my scrappy blocks just in the nick of time. I finished with only one day to spare. September has come to a close. Time moves at a dizzying pace sometimes. Anyway, I played with some deep red scraps and added gold accents where I could as this was the RSC16 color scheme for September. This is a combination I really like. It worked better for my scrappy HST’s than it did for the gemstone project. The gemstone project requires I cut 3 1/2″ blocks and I didn’t really have very many deep red scraps that were big enough. I had tons of strings though which I used for the scrappy HST’s. Here you go. Take a look.


I love these colors. They add a richness to the project. What do you think?


I was playing with these blocks on Tuesday when Julia was recuperating on the couch. We looked at colors trying to decide the last two colors to finish this off. Of course I don’t know what the October color will be for RSC16 but I think I am going to do a set of deep purple blocks and a set a very pale yellow. (Unless, of course, Angela comes up with some crazy colors for the month of October that appeal to me more. We shall see. Also, I cannot decide if I should keep the multi colored scrappy blocks that are in the center. Do those stay or do they go?

As I said, I didn’t have much to work with for the Gemstones quilt. I do like the blocks but was only able to make two.


Here is the sum total of what I have thus far.


I definitely want to add some deep yellow blocks to this. I don’t know if I have the right scraps and may have to splurge on a fat quarter or two to supplement. Kind of silly to buy pieces for a scrappy project but I think it is calling for yellow.  Also, it might need some blocks with a deep, midnight blue. Do you agree??

Glad I am keeping up with these, though just barely!  I look forward to finding out the color for October and deciding if it works for either project, now that I am coming close to completing both of them.

Happy weekend everyone!!

As always, I’m linking up all over the place. My favorites are listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups.


July’s Scrappy Projects

This month I barely made it in time! I kept thinking about working on my two scrappy projects but there was always something else going on so I would put it off. But I squeaked them in. Part of the problem was that this month in RSC16 land, the color is hot pink with a lime green accent. People have been making some really awesome blocks with this combination but it just wasn’t calling to me. So I decided to change it up and pulled out my bin of red scraps instead.

Red scra[

Once I made that change I was able to get into the idea and worked first on my made fabric. Scraps came together well as the red bin is packed with scraps to choose from. For the Gemstones quilt, I wasn’t sure how any red blocks to make. I started with two. But I like the addition of the red so I will need to make two or three more. Looking at them all together, I am getting excited to finish this one up. Remember there will be sashing between the rows when I start to piece the top.


Looking at the scrappy HST’s, I am at somewhat of a deciding point.


I think it is time to commit to a layout. The layout will determine how many of any one color I will need. Well, unless I choose to go scrappy and not group by colorway. Above is a scrappy layout without grouping colors. Below is one where I am keeping colors together.


If I keep colors together, I think I need to sketch this out and try to plan how many blocks of each color will are needed. Do I break the colors up in any one row, or make enough that the row is cohesive. Decisions, decisions… I think I will do some planning using the Quiltography app that I recently posted about.


Alternatively, I could use a simpler layout. With this one, it feels like each row should be one color. Planning is still needed though. Luckily, I have been saving any chunks of the scrappy made fabric in case I need to make more of any color. It won’t take any time to add blocks here or there.

I am strongly leaning toward the first layout shown above. However, I am equally enjoying the scrappy look and the more organized, cohesive look. Will you throw in a vote? Striped layout or the diamond? Scrappy or organized colors? I am curious and would love to hear your thoughts.

This is the hottest part of our summer thus far with triple digit heat all week and into next. We were able to escape some of the heat while at the coast for a few days. Now that we are back home,  Julia and I have been hunkered down enjoying the AC. It is just awful outside. Julia has been trying out some fun techniques with her water colors, making stencils with painters tape. This one is an interpretation of the Seattle skyline with the Space Needle featured.


She is also working on some lettering. Yesterday she was channeling Walt Disney.


I am pleased to see  her enjoying other activities and relying less on technology. Three more weeks and school resumes. Hard to believe but summer is winding down. Hope you are staying cool these days!

Linking to Oh Scrap and Crazy Mom Quilts, both of which are listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups.


Turquoise or Aqua, Scrappy Projects

The RSC16 color for June (according to Angela over at So Scrappy) is aqua. She suggested adding a pop of lime green but I am pretending I didn’t hear that part. 😉  I love the aqua part though. My blue scrap bin is overflowing and the lid no longer closes (literally) so I was happy to use a few scraps up.

This week I finished up the turquoise gemstones and they look so pretty. Turquoise, as in the actual gem, isn’t one of my favorites. But these blocks are. What do you think?


Now that I have so many blocks done, it is becoming difficult to lay them all out. (My design wall is not huge and the light in the sewing room makes for terrible photos.) But here is a sampling of them to give you an idea. I like this more and more with each month! I will have to find another way to lay them out. I suppose I will be crawling around on the floor with them next month!


After working on the Gemstone blocks (the pattern for which was designed by Cynthia Brunz and published in an issues of McCall’s Quilt magazine), I played with more aqua scraps to create some scrappy HST’s. These are so much fun to make. The process is very relaxing.


I have added these four HST’s to the pile which now consists of 24 eight inch blocks. As before, it is really fun to play with different layouts. This is a favorite of mine.


I am drawn to this configuration. Next month when July’s blocks are added to the pile, I will crawl around and arrange all of the HST’s and see where I am at that point. But this arrangement is high on my list! We will see after I add a few more rows to it.

IMG_6250There you have it! The scrappy updates for my June RSC16 projects. I am kind of hoping that July will be some shade of red. We haven’t done that this year and I want to create some ruby gemstone blocks.

If you haven’t already entered, I have a giveaway happening this week. Saturday, 6/11 is the last day to enter. Hop over and see!  Have a great weekend all!


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As usual, Craftsy has another great sale going on. Classes are 50% off beginning today, June 10th and running through the 13th. You know how I feel about their classes – I love them. If you haven’t tried one, now is the time.

(Note: I am a Craftsy affiliate and if purchases are made by clicking on the link I provide, I will be paid a small commission.)

Emerald Green

Green is by far, my favorite color. I love all shades of green so it was very easy for me to sit down this morning and pull out my green scrap bin to make my RSC16 projects for the month of May.


I decided to make my blocks for the Gemstones quilt first. You might remember that this pattern was designed by Cynthia over at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework. I’m not sure why, but I hadn’t thought to chain piece these blocks before. This morning I had a revelation though and zipped through the blocks in no time at all.


Love the emerald tones in these blocks. I wanted to use only greens that evoked an emerald gemstone so my options were a bit limited. They look so pretty though!


When I was taking photos (which is becoming a challenge as the blocks stack up) I noticed that I stitched the sashing to the wrong edge of these blocks. I will have to rip those seams and fix that.

Next I moved on to my scrappy blocks that were inspired by Victoria Findlay-Wolfe’s book, 15 Minutes of Play. These blocks are so satisfying. It is playful and freeing to make these because there is really no right or wrong. I branched out and used different shades of green for these, reaching for whichever scrap seemed to fit.


Now that these scrappy blocks are accumulating, it is fun to play with the HST layout. Endless possiblities.


Here is another idea.


The scrappy HST’s remind me of crazy quilts. I am playing around with adding some random stitching to the scrappy side of the HST to give it more of the crazy quilt look. What do you think? I did a few zig zag seams on two of the HST’s. I could also do a blanket stitch which would be characteristic of those quilts. Also, if I do this, maybe I should use some Sulky Rayon threads so that there would be that great sheen Sulky has as well as add more body to the stitching. Opinions please? Finally… should I do these little stitches now or when I actually quilt it? If I do it now, I will have to figure out how to quilt it such that it doesn’t interfere. I could focus the quilting on the polkadot side of the HST’s. Decisions, decisions, decisions!


Glad to have my scrappy green projects checked off the list for this month! Though I must say, it didn’t make the slightest dent in my green scrap bin. Not one little bit.

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

Craftsy Update:  In a continued celebration of their birthday, Craftsy is offering some of their most popular classes for 50% off. Sale begins Wednesday, May 18th and runs through Sunday, May 22nd! Check them out. I have taken some quilting classes purchased at Craftsy and feel that that the caliber of the classes is first rate! (I am a Craftsy affiliate, meaning if you click through my link and make a purchase, I will receive a small payment.)

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RSC16 – Orange

I have finished up my monthly scrap challenge projects. April was declared as the orange month. Angela, of So Scrappy, suggested including accents of black; like a Monarch butterfly. While this is a nice idea, it didn’t work for any of my projects. Plus, orange and black makes me think of Halloween, which just doesn’t feel right in April.

I made my improv HST’s and I love them! I am totally enjoying the process of piecing all of these scraps together and slicing them right back up again into half square triangles. I have the HST’s sized at 9 inches right now.


Half square triangles can be arranged in an endless number of ways.


Each arrangement brings an entirely different look to the project.


Just changing the perspective on this arrangement (setting the blocks on point) changes the look.


All of those gray dotted blocks would provide great negative space to quilt! Even with all of these choices, I am debating cutting them again to make quarter square triangles. I haven’t decided yet but I think I may want to have the blocks a bit smaller than nine inches. With quarter scale triangles, I could do an hourglass pattern or a ribbon pattern (some call it a DNA quilt pattern.) So many ways to do this! I will wait until I get a few more months done and then maybe it will make itself known to me, as these things often do.

For the Gemstones quilt, I took a suggestion from Cynthia Brunz and used rust colors instead of brighter orange tones. The suggestion was absolute genius. These blocks call out Topaz, or Tiger’s Eye, and what is better for a quilt called Gemstones?


I will confess that I had to go buy a few fat quarters to be able to use this colorway. I only had a few in my stash. Aren’t they gorgeous though?

I added the green sashing strip to one side of each block so I could see what that framework would look like. It’s perfect! At this point, I have made blocks to represent Amethyst, Topaz, Sapphire, and  Rose Quartz. I still need to make blocks in Ruby Red and Emerald Green.  What other gems need to be included? Maybe a lighter green for Peridot?


Finally, I used the last of the orange patchwork squares to make a little hot pad. I will pop this in the mail to my sister who seems to have a thing for orange right now.


I used two layers of Insul Bright for insulation which makes it a bit stiff to handle. I found it was challenging to bind. Or maybe I just didn’t pay close enough attention? I machine stitched it to the front and back and it only looks ok. Should be alright since this will end up in a kitchen drawer and not under anyone’s close inspection!

Scrappy projects for April are complete! This week I will continue to work on the Stepping Stones QAL.  I was very happy to see (on Instagram) that Sandra over at Musings of a Menopaulsal Melon (probably the best blog name out there) joined in. She is making a great quilt using a neutral palette.  In addition, I am working on a mystery QAL over at The Inbox Jaunt. More on that later this week.  Finally, I will be hosting Free Motion Mavericks for Muv this week. I hope you will come back on Thursday and link up your FMQ projects!!

As always, I am linking this post up with all of my favorite spots. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.


Purple Scrappy Projects

This week I discovered that I have almost no purple fabric; scrappy, yardage or otherwise. I don’t know why. The purple section on the shelf is nearly empty and my purple scrap bin is the same. I will soon have the pleasure of shopping for a few purple blenders to build things back up.  But first, let me show you what I managed to cobble together for the RSC16 for the month of March.

My blocks for the Gemstone quilt are starting to accumulate. Here are the newest additions in all their purple splendor.


This quilt is going to be so pretty. The first three months look wonderful together. Remember that each block will be sashed in the pale green so they will be floating on the green background.

IMG_20160314_4691Because most of my purple scraps are strings of various widths, it was easier to work on my improv project. I made a slab of purple fabric using all sorts of tiny pieces.


Check out my teeny tiny HST’s on the lower right. Those were fun to put together. Once I had the slab done, I decided to start making blocks out of the slabs I had made thus far. I wasn’t sure what size I wanted to cut them to, so I practiced with an old rainbow slab I made a while back. I am going to make HST’s which will combine the made fabric and a simple gray polka dot fabric. Once I decided on the size block (9″) I started cutting the blue, pink and purple slabs. You’ll notice a substantial color difference in both of these shots. The photo above was taken on a rainy day when I had to rely on terrible lighting. The shot below was taken today with wonderful sunlight streaming in. The color below are much more accurate. (Thankfully so.)



I am loving how these are coming together.


I was careful to preserve the parts of the made fabric that I wanted to show up in the HSTs. My little girl, the pink pinwheel, the tiny purple HST’s, and the little deer on the edge of the other pink HST. For now, I am going to aim for four or five blocks from each color, which will give me about 50-55 blocks. Then I can lay them out and see what it still needs. I have plenty of the gray dot fabric for the project.

Cutting the made fabric slabs left me with a number of large scraps. I will hold on to these and can stitch them back together as needed for extra blocks when I lay this out.


Linking up with my usuals, including Oh Scrap and So Scrappy and looking forward to seeing what everyone is doing with their purple scraps this month!

Scrap Challenge Rebel

If you follow along with Angela’s Rainbow Scrap Challenge, you probably know that this month’s color  is mocha. Angela suggested adding bits of pink if that felt like a good idea. Hmmm….  neither of my scrappy projects for this year call for brown. So I rebelled and just sewed pink. Call me crazy.

I love both of my projects. They are coming along nicely now that I have two colors to look at.

Here are my blocks for the Pretty Gemstones quilt.


The pink looks great with the sage green solid corners. They look wonderful mixed in with the blue squares from January. I already know I am going to love this quilt. 🙂


I made two rather large pieces of “made” fabric, just like last month. I don’t have a huge amount of pink scrap but I found enough.


I love the scraps that are in this piece. The windmill block is made from those little triangles that were snipped off of my row of heart blocks when making my BOM for Classic Stitches last February. It is just peanut sized, measuring two inches square. There are pink dotted triangles that were saved from my Allison Glass mini quilt swap last  spring. And, my favorite, the little girl looking into her jar of fireflies from a piece of Wee Wander, Wander Woods. I fussy cut her and will be sure top keep her intact when I make a block from this piece. It might be a trick to keep the tiny pinwheel and the little girl whole but that is my goal.

imageThis second piece has more kidlets and a deer from the Wander W!oods piece. Check out the tree that looks like it is in blossom on the lower right. The pink plaid in the center is a piece of vintage fabric from the bundle of fabrics that were given to me last spring. There are a few fun posts about this fabric here and here. I love seeing bits and pieces of past projects popping up.


I am almost certain that I am going to create HST’s with these fabric collages. I bought a pall gray dotted fabric and I am thinking I will use that for the “other” side of the HST. My next decision is how big to cut the HST’s. I need to do a little thinking before I start cutting, but they will be on the big size.  If I actually make any of the HST’s between now and next month, I will post them with my March scrappy post.

February was all about pink scraps for me. I am sure that at some point Angela will call for a pink month and I will have to substitute something else in that month.

Linking to Oh Scrap!, So Cute Tuesday, Linky Tuesday, and Let’s Bee Social. Find these links at the top of the page under link ups.

Icy Blue Finish

I have just a small finish to share this morning. For RSC16, I am making two projects. The first is the pattern, Pretty Gemstones, created by Cynthia Brunz and recently published in the McCall’s Quilting magazine. The second project is still a bit undefined. However, I know that it will be based on “made fabric” as taught by Victoria Findlay Wolfe in her book, “Fifteen Minutes of Play”.

At this point, I am making four squares of each color for the Pretty Gemstones quilt. I completed the Icy Blue color for January.


On each corner you’ll notice a very pale green rectangle. That green is a Kaffe Fassett cotton, called Ecru. I totally don’t get the name because Ecru makes me think of an off white color. At any rate, it will be the background fabric. I bought the end of the bolt at my local LQS, which always gives me a sense of satisfaction. She gets rid of a small amount and I get 15% off.  Win Win!  I defintely have enough to complete the project throughout the year and not be in fear of being unable to match it. These blocks take no time at all to stitch up and the effect will be fun at the end of the year.


With the exception of the one darker blue block, I tried for pale blues with gray and light purple tones to them. I want this quilt to have a cool tone to it which means I may skip some of the colors during the year. Definitely orange and brown, as they are such a warm color. I will make four of each and then may have to go back and augment certain colors to complete the quilt.

The next project, using made fabric, needs a bit more definition. I have really enjoyed reading the Fifteen Minutes book. So much so that I have been through it twice already. I have done almost no improv work but she makes it so simple. I have been sewing scraps together like crazy.


The biggest hurdle for me is to make everything lay flat. She talks about this in the book and basically says to chop of the parts that ripple and reattach them elsewhere.  I am getting better at it though.


I want this quilt to be really bold. I am thinking of creating fabric in the color of the month and then squaring it to about 13 or 14″. Maybe I will make HST’s with the improv pieces, using the same color for the other side of each one. I think using big, blocky HST’s might make a fun quilt, and there are endless ways to lay it out. I am still not quite sure though. So, I made two pieces of scrappy, icy blue fabric and will leave them be until I have a few more colors created.


In the next picture you can see a bit of rippling. I will slice it up a bit and reattach it so the piece calms down a bit.


Both of these RSC quilts are great fill in projects. I can pull out the bin and sew for a while without having to think too hard. Neither take lots of time and the results from both will be a lot of fun, with the added bonus of using up scrap.

One more thing – remember the baby bird quilt I made using orphan blocks that I had thrifted? I linked that post over to Muv’s Freemotion Mavericks linky party and this week she featured my project.I am flattered! Thanks Muv! I brought the quilt over to a local organization in our town, called Kare Crisis. Kare Crisis is a house that is open 24/7 and they will take care of any child ages 0-5 years if the parent is in need. They do not define the crises, rather it is up to the  parent to decide. Sometimes it is just a matter of having a sick baby and the mom needs to go to work. Sometimes it is something far more serious.  They also provide a safe place for supervised visitations. It is an awesome resource and the director, Lynne, was thrilled to have the quilt for babies to use.

Happy weekend everyone. It is raining hard this morning. After I run Julia over to school, I will spend some time in the sewing room.  Hope you are doing the same, wherever you are.  🙂

Linking with Angela at So Scrappy and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.