One Year Ago...
I was making Skinny Log Cabin quilt blocks with the Creative Grids USA 10" Log Cabin Trim Tool Duo that my mom gave me for Christmas. These blocks were so much fun to make and addictive! This Creative Grids USA ruler has options to make both "standard" and "skinny" log cabin blocks. I chose "skinny" so that I could use up my narrow "string" strips of fabric that I am continually accumulating. This quilt is made entirely from my scraps!
I first made a couple of test blocks before committing to a whole quilt. Once I had a system going, it was easy, mindless sewing. I would chain piece 6-8 blocks at a time, then trim them all down. I had my big bag of scraps and then sorted whitish strips and colored strips in two separate bins (actually plastic drawers) to swap back and forth when sewing. A rotating mat is very helpful.
There are seemingly endless possibilities with this ruler. Once you decide how you want to make the blocks, then the fun begins deciding how to lay them out. Below are some layouts that I tried (before all of the blocks were made :-)
They all look good, and I do believe I'll be making more log cabin quilts. I decided to quilt my quilt with the edge-to-edge design Chevron Feather. It's just a perfect combination of feathers and swirls and movement.
This quilt won 2nd place in it's category in our local farm show this past summer. And finally, I'll answer the question everyone asks about this quilt - Those strips are half an inch wide!
One more pretty picture:
This Christmas Santa brought me a new book and ruler. I'm finishing up some other projects first, but I couldn't help trying just one block from the new book. I'm planning something really cool with my batik stash.
Thanks for following along with me in 2021. Looking forward to good things to come in the new year for both you and me! Thanks for visiting!
Two Small Quilts for Thanksgiving
It's Thanksgiving night. I hope you have all enjoyed the day with family, friends, and a delicious meal; the dishes are done, and you are putting your feet up. This year I completed a couple of small quilts that I consider to be "Thanksgiving" quilts to decorate our home with. The first is this table runner. The pattern is Twinkly Stars in the book Trendy Table 3 from Anka's Treasures. I couldn't resist this wonderful star design. It's made with charm squares from the fabric line October Morning by Kim Diehl.
Of course, I had my Creative Grids tools to help me: The Folded Corner Clipper and the Half Square 4-in-1 Triangle Ruler.
I custom quilted this project, and I really love how it looks on my table!
The next project is a wall hanging. The fabrics are various prints from JoAnn's, and the pattern is called Raspberry Stars from Cut Loose Press. The Creative Grids USA Cat's Cradle Tool is the key player in piecing this one.
I'm pleased with the final result of the custom quilting on this quilt as well. I actually pieced this in 2018 but just quilted it about a month ago. It is hanging in our living room, but only for a short time until the Christmas decorations come out.
Jack Doodle has been stealing my seat on the couch these days. He is a good foot warmer, though. I suppose I should be thankful :-)
Stop back again soon!
Little Koala Quilt
Today I'd like to share about this little cutie I made about a week ago. This is the pattern Koalas by Elizabeth Hartman. I'm a sucker for her patterns. They are adorable. I've made several, but all small versions. To me one koala is very fun, but a whole quilt of them might make me a little crazy. Following instructions closely is essential with her animal patterns with lots of different sized squares and rectangles.
This style of piecing mostly uses what I call the "snowballing" technique - drawing a line corner to corner on the square, lining it up in place, sewing on the line, cutting off the excess, and pressing. The Folded Corner Clipper from Creative Grids USA is the most helpful tool for this job! Instead of drawing the line on the fabric, just line up the square where it needs to be, line up the Folded Corner Clipper, rotary cut, sew, press. I previously made Elizabeth's patterns the usual way drawing the line, but instead I used this tool for the koala. I am so happy to say that I achieved much, MUCH better precision piecing. Some of the squares were 1", and it worked great!
Without a doubt, I have better results sewing using the 1/4" foot on my machine as a guide along the cut edge than I do stitching on a line. Some lines are wider than others, some lines can be crooked or wiggly which can leave you guessing!
My mom gave me an unusual piece of fabric a few weeks ago that she thought was colorful and just my style. She was right! And I loved the idea of using it on the back of the koala. This project was made using all fabrics from my stash! I quilted it with straight lines, random directions, random widths apart, not planned at all, simple, different. It's cool.
I encourage you to try the Folded Corner Clipper Tool. I use it to make all of the bias cuts for joining together binding strips for my quilts also.
My daughter Niobe is off to college now, and her walls are bare. I gave this little quilt to her to brighten up her dorm room. Of course, she loved it!
Thanks for visiting!
Scrap Crazy Mama Bear Paw Quilt
The story of this quilt began back in 2017. A year or two earlier I entered a contest on Facebook to win the Creative Grids USA Scrap Crazy 8 template set, and my name was chosen! The funny thing is Creative Grids didn't even have to mail the set to me, I just drove down and picked up my prize from Karen Montgomery (designer of the templates) at her shop The Quilt Company. I already made a couple of quilts with the templates and absolutely love using them with layer cake squares, but I also wanted to try making a quilt with my abundant scraps. These muted, dark colors are not my favorite, but I had a lot of them from various projects over the years. I thought I'd see what I could do with them.
I pulled some scraps I wanted to use and started drawing out an idea to make my version of the traditional bear paw quilt block. I purchased the background fabric, but all of the other colored fabrics were ones that I already had stashed away. Some of them I cut to 10" blocks and then cut the individual pieces. Others I would cut a strip the correct width for the different size pieces and cut as many as I could get. There are 5 pieces that make up this Scrap Crazy block.
This is the block that I came up with. I also wanted to make something different for a border using the templates, and the picture below is the block that is repeated in the top and bottom borders.
I posted the progress of this quilt on social media, and it caught the eye of some folks who encouraged me to write this as a pattern for Cut Loose Press. I decided to go for it - what did I have to lose? It makes me sound way more important than I am when I say (and it's true) that this is my best selling pattern. I also went on to write a couple more patterns for CLP.
That's the Cut Loose Press Scrap Crazy Bear Paw pattern! I showed this quilt off last weekend at the St. John's UCC Quilt Show and taught some ladies how to make the Scrap Crazy block. It was such a fun experience! Here are a few more pictures of the Scrap Crazy Mama Bear Paw Quilt that started my journey in pattern writing.
I quilted this myself with an edge-to-edge design. It is a large leaf design which is a good scale for a large block like this, and it is nature-y which seems to fit the theme, like a bear in the woods. Started in 2017 and finished in 2021.
You will be seeing more quilt patterns from me in the future (at least that's the idea:-). It's just taking longer than I planned!
I just love this picture in front of the Tulip Poplar behind our house. Take time to enjoy the beauty of autumn. Thanks for visiting!
My Moda Love Quilt
A few months ago I was talking with a friend about not having a land line telephone anymore, and the question came up: "What about the phone jack in the wall?" I told her my solution and realized that I hadn't shared my Moda Love quilt on the blog yet.
Aunt Brenda gifted to me a charm pack and some extra coordinating fabric for my birthday a few years back, and I decided to make a Moda Love quilt. The fabric line is Block Party by Sandy Gervais, and the pattern (which can be made with a layer cake, charm pack, or mini charm pack) is a free PDF document from Moda that can be found here. I sorted my 5" squares into color groupings and even used the pattern print-out as a coloring page.
This quilt is a lovely arrangement of squares and half square triangles, not too complicated but so pretty! I custom quilted it, and I love the illusion that curved quilting gives to the straight piecing in the center star.
This was a project that I made just for me, but I wasn't sure where I would hang it at home. When we cancelled the land line and took the phone off the wall, I knew just what to do to eliminate that eye sore! My husband hung this quilt over it.
This ugly thing is still there in case we need it but out of sight, out of mind! So, if you've got something unsightly on the wall, make a pretty quilt and cover it up. Enjoy the free quilt pattern, and thanks for stopping by!
Turnstyle - Niobe's Quilt
This is a story about a very special quilt. Usually I keep this blog all about quilting with maybe just a sprinkling of personal stuff. In this post I have more personal stuff than normal to share, but let's start out with the details of this quilt.
This quilt was made for my daughter Niobe to take to college. (If you know my family, you may be thinking, "Huh?" Keep on reading for the personal stuff, remember?) Niobe chose the pattern Turnstyle designed by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side. It is a really great modern design, and the pattern was written well. The blocks went together without any difficulty.
Turnstyle was one of my first "pandemic quilts" of 2020. If you're a quilter, you probably have several of those yourself! I didn't have the fabric purchased yet, but superstar quilt shop owner Sarah at The Foot helped me with some virtual fabric shopping and special delivery. She chose fabrics from the shop that matched very well to the quilt on the pattern's cover photo. She did a wonderful job!
I pieced the top and wanted to do something special for the back. With the scraps we made some letters using the patterns in the book Spelling Bee by Lori Holt. I made Garry and Lydia each sew their own names so that they could be a part of creating this quilt, kind of like signing their names. Yes - they sewed the letters, and those aren't really for beginners!
I quilted it with an edge to edge pattern called Chicken Wire. Niobe knew that I wasn't finished with the quilt on time to make it to college - college was virtual because of the pandemic, and she never left home. I did finish it as a surprise for Christmas. It was the best present. I thought we would gift the quilt and then put it aside with going-away-to-college stuff I'm collecting, but Niobe hasn't really let go of it since receiving it.
Niobe (pronounced Ny-O-bee, because I know you are wondering about that) is my transgender daughter who came out early in 2020. This has definitely been one of the biggest challenges we've faced as a family, but during this time nothing has been more important to me (us) than being sure that Niobe knows that she is loved no matter what. Most people didn't realize that she struggled through some dark days. Since making this change in her life, Niobe is much happier and has plenty of hope for the future. She is attending full-time college virtually at home and also has a part-time job. Niobe is a very caring, sensitive, intelligent, funny, courageous person who makes the world a better place :-)
I have been thinking a lot about why I am sharing this here. I suppose because I want to encourage everyone to be kind to other people, treat them with respect, get to know someone who is different than you are. This doesn't have anything to do with politics or religion. I'm not an activist or a spokesperson, just someone who wants to genuinely care about other people, and I don't just mean people in the LGBTQ community. Take time to get to know someone before making assumptions. Try to see things from a different perspective, even if you don't agree with them. Who's right; who's wrong - does it always have to come down to that?
I had - still have - a lot to learn, being the mother of a transgender person. My relationship with my daughter is not something I'm willing to sacrifice and so much more important to me than the difficulties we face.
One thing I would like to share that I did not understand, and maybe you don't either, is how important it is to use the preferred name and pronoun of a transgender person. Not doing this can be very painful to them. Those words mean a lot. To be willing to change your language shows that you really care. Making this change can be REALLY HARD with someone that you've known for a long time. It will be difficult - you will feel strange - you will mess up. Just make a quick, sincere apology and move on. Take a second to think about your words before you speak them. That's always some good advice, right?
If you've made it this far through this blog post, I thank you! Everything I've shared here has been approved by Niobe. If you have any questions, let's have a private conversation about it.
Niobe kept asking, "When are you going to put my quilt on your blog, Mom?" To her, this quilt is much more than something to keep warm with at night. I encourage you to take the time to really listen to others, get a fresh perspective, look for some common ground, care about them, love them, - maybe even make them a quilt! Thanks for visiting!
In this post you'll get to see two quilts of the same design made with different fabrics. That's always fun! Fabric selections can make quilts look so different, and we all have different tastes in colors and patterns - that's where our creativity can really shine! This pattern is called Pirouette designed by Daniela Stout of Cozy Quilt Designs.
This first quilt is my mom's, and I don't have a clue what the fabric line is (perhaps from Eleanor Burns?), but it is very traditional with some florals, checks, paisley prints, and a gorgeous border stripe. Mom's friend Margaret at The Little Foot Quilt Shoppe helped her get those perfectly mitered corners. Great job!
Mom's queen sized quilt is quilted with an edge-to-edge design called Cupid with cream colored thread.
My Pirouette quilt was made with a layer cake collection from Missouri Star Quilt Company that was an odd mix (that I really like!) of digitally printed fabrics, some prints with a little metallic in it, and even batiks. I used a Moda Grunge for the "cornerstones" and white background.
My corner isn't nearly as special as Mom's, but I did want to show the whole back of mine so you can see the very cool effect of using ombre wide backing fabric. Pretty neat!
We both used the Creative Grids Folded Corner Clipper to help piece the quilt blocks. It really helped us achieve more consistency. There is A LOT of corner clipping in this pattern, but it was enjoyable to make. I bet you're wondering what the repeating block is - and no it's not squares on point :-)
My quilt is on our couch right now. Mom is still stitching the binding on hers.
I hope you enjoyed the mini quilt show and found some inspiration here. Thanks for visiting!
My Tulip Market Quilt
I just love my newest seasonal quilt! The pattern is called Tulip Market from Coriander Quilts. I purchased it at The Little Foot Quilt Shoppe along with the different green fabrics for the leaves and stems. The tulips are made with a jelly roll of solids that I purchased from Craftsy back when they sold fabrics. The background was clearance fabric from Connecting Threads. Everything came together beautifully. I stitched the quilt top a few years back but quilted and finished it just about a month ago.
The quilting is with a light green thread and an edge-to-edge design called Antwerp. In case you are wondering, Antwerp is a city in Belgium, but all I can think of every time I hear the word is "twerp" which is a silly or annoying person. Despite the unusual name, it is a flowy tulip-like pattern with some swirls and leaves which suits this quilt perfectly!
This quilt has reached its destination hanging behind my longarm, brightening up my basement studio where I also spend a lot of time now that I work from home.
Oh, look at that pretty quilt on the quilt frame and that wall of Creative Grids rulers off to the left. It's a happy, inspiring place!
Thanks for visiting!
Winter is almost over, and I'd love to show you the Snowflake quilt that I made before it's too late! I know everyone is longing for springtime, and I'm ready to put all of the snowmen and snowflake quilts away.
My Instagram feed was flooded with snowflake quilts being made in a quilt along last fall, and I really wanted to make one for myself. The pattern is Snowflake designed by Modern Handcraft. There are options to make it totally scrappy, with four different background colors, or with one solid background. I thought black would be stunning, and I do think it is. My snowflake is not white, though. I used a very light blue fabric that has a pearly frosted look.
Half square triangles are an important element in constructing the quilt top. I used my Creative Grids 4-in-1 Triangle Quilt Ruler to get the job done.
This is definitely not a traditional kind of quilt pattern. It divides the quilt into equal size rectangle units which are made with combinations of half-square triangles, squares, and rectangles. All you have to do is follow the diagrams and keep the rectangles numbered - very easy to construct! See some of my rectangular chunks below.
I quilted the snowflake on my longarm with an edge-to-edge snowflake design, of course! And the backing on the quilt is a colorful snowflake pattern that I couldn't resist.
This quilt was made with the intention of hanging it on the wall for the winter season. It is decorating my basement "studio" behind my longarm. I do love it, but it is time to put it away until next season.
Spring is almost here, and a new spring quilt is almost complete to display in this one's place. I'm ready for something more colorful. I'll share it with you soon!
Thanks for taking the time to visit. Have a great day!
My Hollow Star Quilt
Hello! Today I'm sharing some pics of my Hollow Star quilt. I have quilts everywhere in my house, but I have never made one for my own bed! This is the first! We have had a quilt on our bed for maybe two decades now that my mom purchased at an Amish quilt auction, and the fabrics are shredding. It is definitely time for a fresh quilt!
The pattern for this quilt is Hollow Star by Krista Moser. It features the Creative Grids 8-1/2" 60 Degree Diamond Ruler. Please click the link to Krista's website and check out her fun patterns. I love them all. She takes fabulous photos of her quilts. It is a joy just to browse her pages.
The finished size of the quilt pattern is 81 x 84, but I needed a bigger quilt for my queen size bed. So I enlarged the pattern by adding some extra stars. This thing is huge! I'm not sure what I was thinking.
The fabrics are a mixture of batiks that I purchased at a sale at The Quilt Company a few years ago, not knowing what I would be using them for at the time. I didn't have quite enough of the background fabric, but I improvised with an off-white batik you can see in some of the star centers.
I quilted with a pale yellow thread using the pantograph Leaf Crown. I have a purple batik fabric for binding that still needs to be stitched on.
Here's something you'll never see in the pages of Better Homes and Gardens - a CPAP machine on the nightstand in the pretty bedroom photo shoot. Well, this is real life, and that is the best picture I could get without rearranging the furniture. I think it's lovely.
Here's our kitty Butterscotch who likes hanging out with us and the quilts. Thanks for taking the time to visit. Enjoy the day!
This is me...
I LOVE to quilt, and every day I must sew for my sanity!