Patriotic Postage Stamp QOV

22 10 2014

From time to time, I longarm quilt tops made by members of the Fayetteville Quilts of Valor group. You can read about the Quilts of Valor Foundation here.


This remarkable quilt top was made by Susan. It contains over 700 2″ squares which she cut from the small scraps left over from other QOVs. Susan espouses Bonnie Hunter’s method of cutting her scraps into strips and squares of useable, standard widths.

Did you notice the wonky gold stars sprinkled throughout the quilt?

The quilting design is freehand meandering with five-point stars in honey colored polyester thread.

Any soldier would be proud to receive this wonderful quilt!

“Sparkling Pines” Published!

21 10 2014

Have you seen the Dec/Jan 2015 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts?

QQ Cover dec jan 14 runner

My design, “Sparkling Pines” is on pg. 28!

QQ dec jan 14 Sparkling-Pines-FLAT-600px

As the article says, you can “brighten your table this holiday season with this simple, sweet table runner.”

While cutting out the fabric pieces for my runner, I also cut enough for one lucky blog reader. That’s right, you could win a kit for “Sparkling Pines!” Leave a comment below if you would like to be entered in the drawing which will be held in one week on October 28.


“Table Tiles” QAL

20 10 2014

I have two “Table Tiles” runners to show you today. Interestingly, both quilters elected to use black and gray fabrics as was published by McCall’s Quilting, Oct/Nov 2014.

I love looking at Stephanie’s runner. She used such different fabrics than I did. It’s sophisticated yet playful!

Table Tiles finish, Steph Alexander

Take a look at Judy’s table runner. She modified the design by adding sections of gray print at both ends of the runner and by using the same black and gray fabrics (rather than a scrappy palette).

Judy Ehmer's Table Tiles

If you are participating in the “Table Tiles” QAL, I would love to show your project to my blog readers. Please send a digital photo to aby.

More “Slant Six” Quilts

17 10 2014

Hooray! More of you are finding time to finish up your “Slant Six” mystery quilts.

First up, is Jenn’s quilt. She found tractor fabric at Loving Stitches quilt shop, and made this quilt for her young son who adores farm machinery. She plans a black chicken wire inner border and a green print outer border.

slant six, finish Jen Johnston

Here’s Suzie’s patriotic quilt. I love the movement added by the flag print!

Slant Six finish, Suzie Hardy

Chris was super energetic and made two quilts. “Slant Six” is lovely in purple and green. The striped fabrics add so much interest to the quilt.


The border of Chris’ second quilt is brighter than the full photo shows and lends a playful air to the other fabircs.

DSCN6733     DSCN6740

Close-up of Chris’ quilt

Judy’s quilt is finished, too! The yellow and green fabrics remind me of a spring meadow.

Judy Ehmer's Slant Six, finished

Judy Ehmer's Slant Six, close up of quilting

Close-up of Judy’s quilting

What about you? Have you finished your “Slant Six” quilt? Send me a picture, please. ( If you missed out on the mystery quilt clues this summer but would still like to make the quilt, click on the Mystery Quilt tab in the header of the blog. You’ll find links to all the clues. This is a quick and easy project; you have time to whip up several for holiday gifting!


Scrap Bag Inspiration

15 10 2014

While attempting to neaten my studio, I came across a plastic bag of scraps, origins unknown. I think some of the scraps are from Kristin, some from Trinity, and some from the guild’s free table. But I can’t be certain.

I decided to press the fabric scraps and cut the useable pieces into squares or strips. Pieces too narrow for string piecing will fill doggie beds for an animal shelter. Fabrics that I don’t have a use for will go back on the ‘free table’ at guild.

Scrap bag inspiration

Oooooh, do you see that interestingly colored striped strip in the center of the picture? Wouldn’t that make fun center squares for “Uneven Nine Patch” blocks? The strip measured 3 1/2″ x width of fabric, so I was able to cut twelve 3 1/2″ squares from it. I also found coordinating pink, green, yellow, and purple fabrics in the scrap bag.

scrap kits

I cut and pinned together kits for making the “Uneven Nine Patches.” Each kit contains 4 rectangles 2″ x 3 1/2,” and 4 squares 2″ x 2.” Along with the striped center square, these kits will be my Leader/Ender project as I’m sewing other “more important” projects. Click here to read Bonnie Hunter’s explanation of Leaders/Enders. This method of making a secondary quilt saves time and thread; I love it!

I plan to use the 12 blocks in a baby quilt for our local hospital’s NICU.


After making the blocks, I searched for suitable sashing and border fabric. I had purchased some yardage of pastel birdhouses, so I auditioned the blocks against it. Maybe a pink border?

DSCN6537 Well, it’s okay, but not super terrific, in my opinion. What about a floral border instead? The floral print actually contains all the colors of the stripe print in the centers of all the blocks! It has been sitting in my pink/purple fabric container for awhile now begging to be used.


About ten years ago, this style of quilt—scrappy blocks, print sashing, print border—was considered “modern.” By contrast, today’s modern quilt often utilizes a solid color for background or negative space. Since this will be for a modern baby, I nixed the birdhouse fabric in favor of wide white sashing with floral cornerstones and border. I cut the sashing 3 1/2″ wide so the quilt, with 3 1/2″ borders, would finish at 36″ wide.


I used white thread and a variety of quilting motifs: meandering in the outer border, figure eight loops in the white areas, continuous curve in the cornerstones and a star burst design in the patchwork blocks.


I had almost enough floral fabric for the backing. More scraps from the scrapbag came to my rescue!


I wonder what’s lurking in your scrapbag. Take a look, you might discover inspiration for your next quilting project!

“Can You Find Nemo?”

14 10 2014

On my recent trip to New York, Marie guided us to The Witch’s Stitches in Big Flats. Some tropical fish fabric caught my eye because my little grandson loves Nemo, the clown fish of Disney fame. I purchased a yard of the fish fabric and a yard each of an orange print and a green print.


This is a super simple quilt; it’s meant to be dragged around, not saved as an heirloom. I fussy cut 8 1/2″ squares from the fish fabric and 2 1/2″ wide strips from the orange and green prints. The quilt is 48″ square, the perfect size for napping under, or sitting on top of at the beach.

Construction tip: To avoid matching seams of adjacent blocks, sew green strips to the sides of the blocks first, then add strips to the tops and bottoms of the blocks. On the alternate blocks, sew orange strips to the tops and bottoms of the blocks first, then add strips to the sides of the blocks. Look closely at the illustrative photo below since “a picture says a thousand words.”


At Golden Lane quilt shop I purchased another tropical fish print for the back of the quilt. The quilting design is a freehand water-y meander. Fortunately, just enough orange print remained to bind the quilt.


I’ll give this quilt to Aidan on his birthday and ask, “Can you find Nemo?”

“Table Tiles” QAL – Quilting

13 10 2014

Happy Monday! I hope you had some time over the Columbus Day weekend to work on your “Table Tiles” project. I’ve heard from a couple of you . . . that you are progressing in the sewing and quilting steps. That is great! Could you please send me a picture of your quilt? I’d like to post pictures of the QAL participants’ projects on Oct. 20 and 27. (


You can hand quilt 1/4″ away from the seams, or you can machine quilt as I did. I freehanded a gentle wave on the seams joining all the 3″ blocks with black thread. If you have a Bernina, experiment with the serpentine stitch; it will sew a gentle wave if you increase stitch length and width.


The backing of my quilt is a lovely robin’s egg blue fabric also acquired in Kenya. Previously, I used most of the yardage as backing for a lap quilt, so I had to insert a black strip between two long, blue scraps for my “Table Tiles” project. (The figurine was purchased at the Masai Market in Nairobi; it’s a visual reminder to pray for the people I met in Kenya.)

Leave a comment below to say how you are progessing with your “Table Tiles” project.


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