Snow Day = Sew Day

27 02 2015

I’ve been working on my “Grand Illusion” quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter. By clicking the “Grand Illusion” icon in the right sidebar, you’ll be linked to Bonnie’s blog post that contains links to all the clues of her 2014 mystery quilt. This past Tuesday was a snow day in Fayetteville; all activities involving driving were cancelled, so I stayed home and sewed.

I placed my 25 patchwork blocks on the design wall and moved them around  to intersperse the various center Four Patches. This block-to-block arrangement is so intriguing, I was almost persuaded to simply sew the blocks together without sashing.


In a previous post I explained that my quilt will be different than Bonnie’s layout, and I asked your opinion on a light gray sashing. We all agreed that sashing would allow the blocks to shine. Upon reflection, the gray seemed a little bit light. So I looked at the remaining yardage from my fabric draw for the quilt and considered a muted teal print (by Denyse Schmidt). Calculating the amount I’d need for cutting 2 1/2″ wide sashing and inner border, I discovered that there was just enough!


I cut cornerstones from a black print, and sewed away while the snowflakes fell.


Next – figuring out the pieced border. I turned my blocks differently than Bonnie’s original pattern. I like the red triangles appearing like Prairie Points next to the teal border. I remade the Four Patch corners for the border, using colors that would contrast with my border arrangement.


Now I’m wondering if I need an outer border – perhaps a black print. Our retreat group will attend the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival today in Hampton, Va. I’ll take a look in the plethora of vendor’s booths; perhaps I’ll find a border that is just right for “Grand Illusion.”

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

26 02 2015

A Aby and Kathy

These quilts are the result of a fabric challenge. In December 2013, for my birthday, Kathy gave me a mini charm pack (2 1/2″ squares) and four fat eighths and two fat quarters of Snowman Gatherings designed for Moda. She kept the same amount of fabric for herself and embroidered two snowmen/friendship panels which she found in a quilting magazine.

Without collaborating or sharing our progress, we agreed to make small quilts and reveal the results during a quilting retreat this week.

Here’s my quilt in progress.

A Aby's snowman in process

And here’s a close up of the finished project. My quilt is a little larger because I wanted to use all the 2 1/2″ squares. My hang-up for finishing the quilt was taking time for the hand embroidery. I discovered that the embroidery did not take as long as I thought it would!

A Aby's snowman quilt

Here’s a close up of Kathy’s quilt. The mini stars, which finish at 2,” are absolutely precious. We are both pleased as punch with our snowmen quilts!

A Kathy's snowman quilt

Have you accepted the challenge of working with a friend on a common project with a common fabric?

“Nancy” Quilt Finished!

24 02 2015


I’m happy to report that my “Nancy” lap quilt is finished! Photographing the top on a breezy day certainly adds movement to the patchwork. You can read about the inspiration for this quilt and my method for making the blocks here. Incidentally, Lynn Harris, who designed “Nancy,” has written “Every Last Piece;” it will be available from in mid-May.


I used a lime green thread to quilt an all over design that resembles the lines on a contour map. This thread choice was good in that it blends well with all the fabrics, BUT since I was quilting in the evening, it was very hard to tell where I had already quilted. It blended almost too well. However, I cannot think of a thread color I would prefer for “Nancy.”


I really like this design which utilized many scrappy strings, and I will probably make another very similar. Now begins the hunt for a lime green fabric. Or perhaps I could use a different color for the large triangles. What color would you advise?


“Slice and Dice” Workshop Results

22 02 2015


On January 31, I presented my workshop “Slice and Dice – Uneven Nine Patch” to about 20 members of the Tarheel Quilters Guild here in Fayetteville, NC. Some of the ladies completed their quilts and showed them during our recent guild meeting.

The fabrics Donna used are so striking! We all agreed that a man would appreciate receiving this quilt.


Karen’s quilt, on the other hand, is soft and sweet.

Janet waits in the wings to show her fall-themed blocks; she’s going to make a table runner.


Ollie’s project is quilted, bound, and ready to give to a charitable organization.


Two more lovely quilts.


Way to sew, ladies!

You will find a link to instructions for “Slice and Dice” on the Patterns page of this blog.



“Prism” Table Runner – Friday Freebie

20 02 2015

Surprising news . . . the “Prism” Table Runner is featured on McCall’s Quilting blog today! Each Friday, Kathy Patterson, McCall’s blog/web editor, provides a link to a free quilt pattern. Today she pictured my “Prism” wall quilt that was published in the March/April 2014 issue of McCall’s Quilting, and she shows a bright “Prism” table runner she’s making for her kitchen.

Here’s a picture of my spring-y runner.


Click here to link to the McCall’s blog so you can access the free pattern for “Prism” table runner.

Owl Tote Bag

20 02 2015

Invited to attend a baby shower tomorrow, I inquired on the planned nursery theme and colors. Pink, Gray, and White with an Owl theme was the reply. A cursory search in the stash yielded about a yard of an owl home-dec print (leftover from making my granddaughter a book bag several summers ago). Perfect colors and motif, and perfect fabric for a tote bag!

Owl bag, quilting

To make the home-dec print stiffer, I quilted it onto a piece of dense batting from the Warm Company, 70% cotton/30% polyester.

The instructions for making this basic tote bag are given in my “Unlimited Possibilities Tote Bag” pattern. You’ll find a link for this on my Patterns page.

Owl bag, lining

For the bag lining, I selected a mottled pink “sunrise” fabric that has been languishing in my stash, awaiting a worthy project. The owl print pocket is the perfect size for keys or cell phone. Modifying the instructions, I cut 4 1/4″ wide quilted strips to make the bag’s handles instead of covering 1″ wide nylon webbed strapping with fabric.

Owl bag, finished

This bag helps illustrate my word for the year, Celebrate. “Owl” celebrate the birth of a baby girl; welcome, little one!


Quiltmaker Bitty Blocks – February

17 02 2015

On the first Monday of each month this year Quiltmaker is publishing a free mini block on their website,

The block for February is a 4″ on-point basket. Just darling! Paula wrote a tutorial here for making the block. Other options for making the 1″ finished HSTs are found here.

Here’s a picture from the Quiltmaker blog showing bitty bowties (January’s block) and bitty baskets (February’s block).

hangingbaskets-QM bitty blocks

You can search more on-line pictures of the Quilt Along with #qmbittyblocks.

Here’s my bitty basket block, weighing in at 4 1/2″ square, unfinished.

QM bitty basket

Are you following along with Quiltmaker’s row by row quilt, making bitty blocks this year?


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