Quiltmaker Blog Tour – Up and Coming

28 04 2017

Exciting news! Next week is the blog tour for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, published bi-annually. This is Volume 15, and my block, “Cameo Appearance,” is included.

My day on the blog tour is Tuesday, May 2. Be sure to read my blog post on that day and leave a comment for a chance to win a free magazine. Also make a mental note to check out the Quiltmaker blog each day and register for quilt-y prizes. Each day of the blog tour, the Quiltmaker blog will list links to about 10 block designers’ blogs. Speaking from experience, it is fun to tour each of the blogs and read about the inspiration behind the innovative blocks.





Jelly Roll Quilt Along, Step 3

24 04 2017

Have you started on your Jelly Roll Second Quarter Challenge? If you need an idea, why not quilt along with me? I’m making a “Jelly Roll Tile Mosaic” with easy-peasy units: strip-pieced rectangle units, strip-pieced Four Patches, and strip-pieced Nine Patches. Granted, the fabrics and colors in my jelly roll (“Figures” – an older line from Moda) lend themselves to this design. If your jelly roll has lots of colors and busy prints, you may wish to search for a design that is better suited.

We are up to Step 3 in the Quilt Along. I was able to strip-piece some of the Nine Patches using remainders of the dark print strips with light background strips. However, I had to piece some of the Nine Patches from leftovers the old-fashioned way, sewing nine  2 1/2″ squares together. I made a chart to help me evenly distribute the colors of each block. I wanted the center 2 1/2″ square to be the same color as the dark print in the Four Patches in each block. And I wanted the four dark squares in the Nine Patch to be a different color than the dark print in the rectangle units. With this plan, I can use all three of the major colors of my jelly roll in each 12″ block.


                     Rectangles     Four Patch    Nine Patch(4 sq.)    Center(1 sq.)

Make 4           Coral               Yellow             Navy                           Yellow

Make 4           Navy                Coral               Yellow                         Coral

Make 4           Yellow             Navy                Coral                           Navy

Strip-piecing directions are as follows:

For the 1st and 3rd rows of the Nine Patches, you need 20 1/2″ long strips. Sew a light background strip between 2 dark print strips. Press seams toward the dark fabric. Cross-cut at 2 1/2″ intervals. This yields 8 units, enough for 2 blocks.

For the 2nd (center) row of the Nine Patches, work with 10 1/2″ long strips. Follow the chart and sew a dark print strip between 2 light background strips. Press seams toward the dark fabric. Then cross-cut at 2 1/2″ intervals. This yields 4 units, enough for 4 blocks.

Sew the 3 rows together to make a Nine Patch. You need 12 Nine Patches, 4 of each of 3 color combinations (in my case).

Follow the chart above and group the pieces needed for each of the 12 blocks: a set of 4 rectangles units, a set of 4 Four Patches, and 1 Nine Patch. Lay out the components of one block and assemble in 3 rows of 3 units each. Press the seams of the 1st and 3rd rows toward the center. Press the seams of the 2nd row away from the center Nine Patch. Pin and sew the 3 rows together.

Hooray! Twelve “Jelly Roll Mosaic Tiles” blocks completed!

Step 4 will be sashing and border(s). Stay tuned!



Piecing and Quilting at Lake Gaston

23 04 2017

Last week I visited my friend, Judy, in the Lake Gaston area of southern Virginia. We are participating in a block exchange with eleven other ladies who each promised to make 540 “Flying Geese” blocks, finishing at 2″ x 4,” by February 2018.

This is my first time using the Bloc Loc “Flying Geese” square up ruler. I love it; my blocks measure a perfect 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2.” Click here to read Rita Hodges’ (of Red Pepper Quilts) rave review of Bloc Loc rulers. Click here to see the Eleanor Burns’ method of making “Flying Geese.” Eleanor also makes a square up ruler which some of the exchange participants are using for “perfect” blocks.

Besides working on our “Flying Geese” blocks, chatting, and looking at quilt magazines, Judy and I hosted a longarm machine quilting workshop for her local longarm group on Monday. Judy invited the ladies and prepared lunch; my part was teaching the class. I shared my favorite freehand designs for edge to edge, blocks, and borders. We talked about pantographs as well as longarm quilters who inspire us.

On Wednesday I shared my trunk show, “It’s Not About the Quilts,” with the Lake Gaston Piecemakers. This is a large collection of friendship quilts I have acquired over the 29-plus years of Army travels. Signature quilts, farewell quilts, block exchanges, group blocks of the month, round robins, and group projects have all found their way into my collection. It was a joy to share my quilts and my memories of special quilting friends with the Piecemakers!

New Home

21 04 2017

Several of you have inquired, and I am delighted to say, “Yes, we have moved into our new home!”

I am working on airing my quilts since they have been cooped up in storage boxes for about nine months. 

We love living with a view of our quarry/lake “out in the country,” knowing that “town” is only two miles away. 

We feel blessed to be settling into our retirement home and happy that, Lord willing, we won’t have to move again!

Brittany’s Wedding Signature Quilt

12 04 2017

Look what’s on the design wall!

My young friend, Brittany, and her mom are designing a “Trip Around the World” wedding quilt. The batik fabrics are similar to the colors of her wedding, and guests signed the ecru 4″ squares provided at the reception.

I love Brittany’s eye for color and shading. Although, she is (up to this point) a non-sewer, she is willing to try her hand at sewing the blocks into rows and then sewing the rows together. I foresee spending many happy hours together in my sewing room chatting, pinning, sewing, and pressing.

Jelly Roll Quilt Along, Step 2

9 04 2017

I am really excited about my Second Quarter challenge project, “Jelly Roll Mosaic Tiles!” I hope you will quilt along with me as I make a 12 block quilt. The previous blog post detailed strip-pieced rectangle units. Are you ready for Step 2? It’s easy – strip-pieced Four Patches.

You need to make 12 sets of Four Patches, 4 identical Four Patches per set. You can use jelly roll strips or half-strips left over from Step 1. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll write instructions for using the entire 41″ length of the 2 1/2″ wide strips. You need 6 light background strips, 3 medium print strips, and 3 dark print strips (peach, yellow, navy). Sew a light background strip to each of the 3 medium print strips, and also sew a light background strip to each of the 3 dark print strips. Press seams toward the darker fabric.

Trim off the selvages and cross-cut the strip-pieced units at 2 1/2″ intervals. You need 16 two-sie units from each strip set. Make Four Patches by sewing dark two-sie units to medium two-sie units. You need 4 identical Four Patches per block. They measure 4 1/2″ square.

Pin each set of 4 identical Four Patches together. And you’re all set for Step 3!

Tarheel Quilters’ Guild Quilt Fest 2017

7 04 2017

You are cordially invited to the quilt fest sponsored by the Tarheel Quilters’ Guild held in the gym of Methodist University on Ramsey Street in Fayetteville, NC. The quilt show is open until 7 p.m. Friday evening and from 9 to 5 on Saturday.

I am so excited to relate that my quilt, based on block designs from Lori Holt’s “Vintage Farm Girl” book, took second place in the Lap Quilts category. Come to the quilt show and see it in person!