“Shoo, Fly, Shoo!” Update

18 07 2019

I’ve been adding “Shoo Fly” blocks to my collection. The bright triangles add zip to the less bright “Four Patches.” It’s fun to see them lined up on the design wall! In the final quilt design, I’d like an even distribution of colors, so arranging the blocks in rows by the color of the triangles, helps me see what colors are needed.

If you’d like to join Bonnie Hunter’s “Shoo, Fly, Shoo!” Leader/Ender challenge for 2019, click here for information and a tutorial for her blocks. (My block design is slightly different.)



Subliminal Quilting

16 07 2019

A young friend of mine recently graduated from West Point, and his mother made him a quilt to commemorate his achievement. The fabric line is “Kansas Winter” which Kathy purchased about ten years ago. And the quilt pattern, “Perpentual Motion,” is published in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Quilt Sampler magazine. The pattern was designed by Lou Shafer and Jan Bressler of JanniLou Creations.

My gift was the quilting. I texted Josh pictures of four pantographs that I thought would compliment the quilt. He chose “Bell Blossom” designed by Hermione Agee and distributed by Urban Elementz. The star shaped blossom gives a nod to the patchwork stars in the quilt and echos the lily design in the outer border. (Excellent choice, Josh!)

Another choice involved thread color. I generally like “Magnifico,” a shiny, non-metallic gold, for quilts with a Civil War feel. However, Kathy and I felt that an old gold of “So Fine!” was a better choice. It, too, is polyester but looks like cotton, so it blended better with the muted colors of the Kansas Troubles fabrics.


Because of the extensive patchwork, the muted colors of similar value, and the blendy gold thread color, it is difficult to see the pantograph design on the front of the quilt. But this subliminal quilting adds texture that invites a closer look.

Congrats Josh for your achievements, and all the best as you move to your first duty station . . . with this quilt, a warm memory of home, tucked into your duffel bag.

“Shoo Fly” Leader/Ender Challenge

8 07 2019

For the past 9 years Bonnie K. Hunter has issued a Leader/Ender challenge for her blog readers (quiltville.blogspot.com). She generally posts an idea for using scraps each July 4th. Bonnie chooses a block or a patchwork element in the public domain so as not in infringe on anyone’s copyrighted design. The challenge for 2019 is “Shoo, Fly, Shoo!” Click here to link to Bonnie’s blog post and read her tutorials for two sizes of “Shoo Fly” blocks.

After reading her blog post, I decided to use the squares, already cut, from my scrap user’s system, to make a slightly different size “Shoo Fly.” My “Four Patches” are made from 1 1/2″ squares, and the half square triangles are made from 2 1/2″ squares.

Perhaps you wonder what the advantages of Leader/Ender sewing are. Here’s a link to Bonnie’s explanation. I plan to make “Shoo Fly” blocks as a secondary project as I sew on several primary projects. In addition, I want to make a block a day even on the days I don’t have much dedicated sewing time. I plan to make a lap quilt of these “Shoo Fly” blocks, and I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Are you joining Bonnie’s Leader/Ender challenge this year?

“Uncle Sam’s Bowties” QAL

3 07 2019

I hope you are celebrating the USA’s Independence Day in grand style! We are hosting a family reunion/cook-out tomorrow, so I’m blogging today just prior to company arriving.

Some blog readers have joined me in making simple “Bowtie” blocks as a Quilt Along (QAL). Participants can choose any colors or styles of fabric they wish. I’m working on red, white, and blue “Bowties” as part of an exchange with Block of the Month students at Sew There! Quilts and More in Angier, NC.

Since I will trade most of my blocks, I’ve not settled on a final design. I think I would like a sampler of sorts with only one of each print or tone-on-tone.

The Bowtie is quick and easy to make; it’s not too late to join in the fun. For each block, you need 2 light background 3″ squares and 2 colored/print 3″ squares as well as 2 colored/print 2″ squares. Click here to see a tutorial for putting the pieces together.

If you are participating in the QAL, please leave a comment below detailing your progress.

Happy 4th of July!

Sneak Peek

29 06 2019

Aren’t these colors bright and summery? My friend, Colleen, would say I kicked the crayon box! Actually, I opened my Pandora’s box of strips and strings with the confidence a quilt was hiding in there.

This quilt will be published in a January/February issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine. Although I can’t show you the entire quilt just yet, I can give you the hint that the back is lime green and this outer border is 6″ wide, foundation pieced on old telephone book pages.

Summertime, with its busy schedule of vacations and swimming pool outings, is a great time to work on a simple foundation piecing project during the odd minutes you do have to sew. Cut paper 6 1/2″ wide, and cover it, sew and flip style, with strips and strings. Reduce your stitch length and increase your needle size so the paper is easily removed. By the end of the summer, I bet you’ll have pieced enough units for the border of a scrappy quilt such as this.

“Aquatic Critters” Published!

24 06 2019

Fun news today — my quilt “Aquatic Critters” is published in the August/September issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. In planning this issue, the editors requested quilts relating to a “back to school” theme or quilts suitable for a toddler’s nap time at preschool. Isn’t the school bus quilt with black button wheels on the cover adorable?

In searching for nap time quilt fabric, I was drawn to the Stonehenge Kids Undersea 3D collection by Linda Ludovico for Northcott. The bright, primary colors of smiling sea creatures appeals to youngsters (and oldsters like me). Interestingly, some of the critters look dimensional when viewed through 3D glasses.

The quilt goes together quickly; the central panel is flanked by simple patchwork blocks and the porthole print. I quilted an edge to edge watery design with light blue thread.

Wouldn’t you be happy to nap under this quilt? I would!

If you would like to win a copy of this magazine, leave a comment below. The drawing will be July 1. Tell me who in your acquaintance would particularly love an “Aquatic Critters” quilt.

Bowtie QAL

18 06 2019

I hope you are finding minutes, here and there, to work on Bowtie blocks for our Quilt Along.

You know, there are only five short seams in each block, making this a great Leader/Ender block. When you come to the end of a seam in your primary patchwork project, slip pieces of a Bowtie block under the presser foot to continue chain piecing without cutting your machine thread. You will be surprised how quickly and effortlessly your stack of Bowtie blocks will increase!

Have you decided what you will make with all your blocks? Wall quilt? Table runner? Or, for the ambitious, a lap quilt?