Monday, April 28, 2008

star quilt along, week 1

Welcome to week one of the star quilt along.

A few items of business before we get started with our block for today:

-The quilt top is 85" square.

-It consists of 12 setting blocks and 13 star blocks.

-Each block is 12.5" unfinished, resulting in a 12" finished block.

-A quarter inch seam allowance is used throughout the project.

-About the fabric: for the background, I would buy around 6-7 yards for this project. I haven't kept track of how much I have used for this quilt, but if you are worried about running out, get a few extra yards. Buy something you love, so if you have tons extra, you can use it for another project. I used quilters only cotton from JoAnn's in the color parchment. (I buy nearly a bolt at a time.) For the pink parts of the quilt I used fabrics from my stash. Fat quarters and fat eighths work well for these pieces. For the setting blocks, I used at least a yard of fabric, but less than 2 yards.

Now on to our block...

cut one square 7 1/4" from the background fabric

cut it in half diagonally twice, making quarter square triangles

cut one square 3 7/8" from the background fabric
cut six squares 3 1/2" from the background fabric

cut five squares 3 7/8" from the colored fabric

take one square background fabric and mark a line in pencil from one corner to the other. pin that background fabric to a colored square of fabric, right sides together. sew two seams- one on either side of the pencil line using a quarter inch seam.

cut apart on the pencil line.

press open and this will form 2 squares

take the remaining 4 squares of colored fabric, cut them in half on the diagonal

to make 8 half square triangles

layout as shown

I added a few close up shots on how to sew this segment together. This will also be used in several future blocks in the quilt along.

Square up your block-trim to exactly 12.5". This is an important step, so later, when you are assembling your blocks, they will all match in size. This makes the assembly of the quilt much easier.

If you have any questions, I will attempt to answer them in the comments section.

If you are joining in, leave me a comment, and I will add your name to the sidebar and a link to your blog, if you have one.

Thanks for quilting along with me.

Friday, April 25, 2008

seeing stars

I've been busy working on the next quilt along. This time I am trying to get the top done before posting the instructions. I have 2 more stars to make, then I need to assemble all the pieces.

As promised, it's a bunch of stars...

with some setting blocks (I think that's what they are called) and some sashing.

We start on Monday.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

50 cent lounge pants

It's very possible that I am the last craft blogger on earth to make the Amy Butler lounge pants out of a thrifted sheet. Even though I am late to the party, (not a surprise) I am so glad that I made it to the party at all. The pattern is in this book, which I checked out of my local library.

These lounge pants are dandy. And just like everyone else said, so comfortable. They are easy to make, even if you are intimidated by patterns. (That's me.) I bought the sheet for $1.00 and only used half of it. I used the decorative edge of the sheet for the cuff, so no hemming required. That's what I'm talking about. Instead of using a drawstring, as suggested in the pattern, I made a casing and used elastic. Now, my biggest dilemma is whether or not to use the rest of the sheet to make another pair of lounge pants or to use it for a quilt back. I'm pretty sure I know what my answer will be.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

finished is better than perfect

I believe I read that statement concerning the making of a dear jane quilt, but I will also adapt that statement to making rag rugs. Originally, I was going to make the rug with vertical stripes, but then, through a series of not so exciting events, I settled for this. Completion. I think I like it.

Tutorial here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


A few weeks back, Katherine and I arranged a little swap. I saw the sweet little needlebooks she had made, and I couldn't get them out of my head. (Before I started blogging, I had never heard of a needlebook.) She was kind enough to offer to send me one of my choosing. I never knew a needlebook would make me giddy, but this one does.

Her attention to detail is amazing.
Thanks Katherine! I love it.

And as a side note, it works for a hand puppet in a pinch, according to my little 5 year old. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

quilt in a bag or hurray for spring

First off, thank you for all your great names for the baby bricks quilt, and for your help with the math measurements. I am going to name it Strawberry Trifle. Thanks Anina for the great suggestion. I loved all your names. You all are certainly more clever than I am when it comes to naming quilts. Thanks for your input.

For today's featured quilt, I present to you raspberry lemonade. (My husband named this one.)

Hurray for spring weather which allowed me to take some photos outside. Finally.

It measures approximately 64" square.

I pieced the back using 3 strips to mimic the pattern from the front.

I used polka dots on the binding.

I folded it up...

and made a matching bag for portability.

Isn't that fun? This would make a great gift, if I were so inclined.

But I am not feeling so inclined.
This one will be living at my house.
Actually, I'm going to put it in my van so I have a quilt ready for a picnic at any given time. Because I do believe that we are approaching that time of year. Finally.
Hurray for spring!

Friday, April 18, 2008

I can't think of a name for this quilt.

In my sidebar I called it baby bricks. Anyone want to help me give it a better name? I tell you, when it comes to naming quilts, I pretty much stink.

This is a little baby quilt...made for 3 reasons:

1. I had extra strips cut, I think there were still some leftover from this quilt.

2. I wanted to do a trial run of a brick quilt, mainly to figure out the size that I need to make the 1/2 size bricks on the end of each row, which I never did figure out. There is a free pattern to download here called Amy's Lotus brick path quilt that just has you cut off the extra length, but I don't like doing that because then when sewing the strips together, there is nothing to keep you honest. My seams end up getting skewed and I end up with a trapezoid shaped quilt rather than a rectangle. Not good.

3. And most importantly, I wanted to make some cute quilts to help disguise the ugly ones that I will be donating to the Linus Connection.

Here's the back....

and a closer shot of the fabulously cute binding.

The quilt measures 35.5" x 41.5".

Each brick was cut 4" x 7" can anyone tell me how big to cut that alternate half brick? It's absolutely driving me crazy.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

the answer

Wow, that was quite a response to my guessing game!

Here's the breakdown...

12 baby quilts

9 lap quilts

7 twin quilts

2 full
2 queen
2 king

for a total of 34 quilts.

27 of these were made by me

1 was bought (before I knew how to quilt)

6 were received as gifts (thank you Clair and Linda)

1 of these will be given as a gift

2 of these will be given to charity

So the surprise was that there are fewer than I expected.

Nana Nancy asked how many I have made total and how many I have given away. Total made is about 70. And out of those, I must have given away about 43 (soon to be 46).

My winners are:

dee (please send me your info, since there is no link)


country mouse.

Each will receive a set of the 10 fat quarters. (And I still have 1/2 yards of each, so I hope to make a quilt out of those same fabrics, eventually.)

Thanks to each of you that guessed. This was a lot of fun! I so enjoyed reading each and every comment. And thanks for leaving such encouraging words. They mean so much.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

how many quilts?

Monica left a question on my last post, "honestly, how many quilts do you have in your home?"

To that I say, what a good question. (I immediately went to count.)

I will give you the answer, but first, I thought it might be fun to let you guess.

I am counting baby quilts, lap quilts and bed quilts. Doll quilts and wall hangings were not included in the final tally. Only finished quilts are counted.

The person who guesses the closest or correctly will win this stack of 10 fat quarters.

No anonymous comments and only one guess per person please. Also, make sure that there is a way for me to contact you in the event that you should win.

My son said that the number was quite a surprise and I had to agree.
I'll close the contest sometime on Thursday.

Now give it your best shot! I can't wait to see what you guess.
edit: the contest is now closed.

Monday, April 14, 2008


This is the 3rd quilt made for my monochromatic challenge. (Previously made: yellow and green.) I love making these quilts. I really do. I think that once I finish all the colors (still to come: pink, brown, cream, purple, orange, and red) I will start all over again. It's amazing how many blue scraps I had (a lot) for the amount of blue quilts that I make (very few). Still haven't figured that one out.
I used free-form piecing (my favorite), this time in a wonky court house steps pattern. Each block is about 15" square. I started this it during spring break about 3 weeks ago.
It has a pieced back, which I love!!!
I branched out with the quilting this time: no stippling, just a series of wavy lines.
I like the effect a bunch.
And polka dots for binding. Yay.

It measures 44" x 61". This one is going to reside in our very chilly and very blue basement. I haven't washed and dried it yet, but I am sure that will all the quilting, it is going to be one very puckery quilt.

Up next for the challenge (I had my son pick a random color out of a basket): brown. Hmmm.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

another start

This is quilt #5 that I started last week.

There are more shades of blue and green coming into the mix, this is just the start. I am hoping for a cool watercolor effect when it all comes together. I have wanted to make my own bento box quilt since first laying eyes on this one. All the fabrics have been in my stash for about a year, I suppose. You see, that is the reason (partly) for all this starting madness that I have going on. Ultimately, I am hoping to clean out the stash a little bit...well, a lot. And then when I read this post, well, that was the final shove that I needed to start my own.

With all that we had going on this weekend (an out of town friend visiting, a fantastic Phil Keaggy concert, church and a baby dedication for my nephew) I am pretty surprised that I found time to start another quilt, but you know, there is ALWAYS time to start another quilt in my world. :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

friday favorites

Roxanne started Favorites Friday a few months ago. Isn't that a great idea? Here are a few of my favorites today.

Mountain Dew to go with my breakfast....(although this isn't specific to Fridays.)

After the amount of sleep I got last night, it looks more like this to me....

I was up from about 1am-4am...not with the kids or anything...I just had too much running through my little brain. Inspiration overload is fun, just not in the middle of the night, you know?

And I am in LOVE with this quilt top! I made this yesterday. I started it in the afternoon and I finished it up before bed.

I didn't even need to use the flash for this photo despite the overcast weather this morning. :) It's pretty bright, isn't it? I haven't been this excited about a quilt top in a long time. That means that as it progresses into a finished quilt, I am sure to love it more and more. I am calling it raspberry lemonade. (I am trying to get more creative with naming my quilts. I aspire to be half as clever as Susan is at naming her jewelry + photos.) It measures 64.5" square.

What are your favorites this Friday?

And just a bit of blog business....I will be answering questions in the comments section, so if you ask a question, please check back for a response. We'll give that a shot and see how it goes.