Monday, March 31, 2014

March in my rearview....

I can remember hearing "In like a lion out like a lamb" when I was little.  March is a blustery, bi-polar month of winter weather clashing with desires for spring.  Even in my corner of the world - the weather started out icy and is ending in showers.....could both qualify as lions other than the trees and pastures are all turning green and springy.

My month has been full -

In addition to attending the Dallas Quilt Celebration; having all of my boys home for a whole week; attending two musical in the city; teaching a demo at Happiness is Quilting; spending a day with my local guild making our annual mystery quilts; and spending a day with my beloved to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary;  I quilted 13 quilt...

March 2014 Tops to Treasures

And sent and received the most wonderful pin cushions via the Fab Little Pin Cushion Swap (FLiPS) on Flickr.

Little Pink Buggie

I made and sent this little pink VW bug and received....

FLiPS rec'd

this perfectly pieced rainbow wheel of flying geese!

The revised and expanded pattern (More information about making different sized quilts and less information about specifically how to cut it out) is ready for the print shop - I've given it to my local guild, along with the quilt, to raise funds for next years programs.  Raffle tickets for the quilt, and paper patterns go on sale in June.

and "Atlantic Waves" published in McCalls Quilting

Hot dawg. Made and quilted by me. Published in McCall's Quilting, May/June 2014

Hearty Good Wishes

Then came home to roost  - soon to be the resident quilt on my son's bed/my guest room when he goes off to college next fall.

And tomorrow the calender starts anew with the month of April.  I hope yours is wonderful.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

S'more Rows.7 Mountains Around the World

Mountains Around the World
(row 9)

This row is made up of  6, 10" x 10" finished blocks (If you measure the block from edge to edge it will measure 10 1/2" X 10 1/2".  The extra 1/2" is for the seam allowances.)

The Around the World block is a staple of traditional quilting.  It is often made by cutting up a bunch of squares, tediously arranging them on a design wall, and then carefully sewing them back together.  That is certainly an option...but I want to try something different.  The directions that follow will show you how to make this classic block with jelly roll sized strips.
Fabric Requirements:
  • Color #1 - 1/4 yard - I used Bella Neutral (SKU#9900-12) 
  • Color #2 - 1/4 yard - I used Bella Peacock (SKU#9900-230)
  • Color #3 - 1/3 yard - I used Green Squares (SKU#37076-15)
  • Color #4 - 1/4 yard - I used Bella Mustard (SKU#9900-2130
  • Color #5 - 1/8 yard - I used Orange Star bursts (SKU#37075-13)
Cutting Directions:
  • Color #1
    • cut 3, 2 1/2" x width of fabric (wof) strip
  • Color #2
    • cut 5, 2 1/2" x wof strips
  • Color #3
    • cut 4, 2 1/2" x wof strips
  • Color #4
    • cut 2, 2 1/2" x wof strip
  • Color #5
    • cut 1, 2 1/2" x wof strip
Break time!
At this point I am dying to show you what a whole quilt of this block would look like. 


Nice isn't it?!  This quilt is made of 42 Around the World blocks, and would finish out at 60" x 70".  A good sized throw.  I don't think it needs borders.  I love that "mountains just keep going on and on and on" look.

Fabric requirements for this are
  • Color #1 - 1 yard
  • Color #2 - 1 1/2 yard
  • Color #3 - 1 1/4 yard
  • Color #4 - 1 yard
  • Color #5 - 1/2 yard
now back to work....

 Sewing Directions:

Look at the drawing above.  Notice that there are two A rows (top and bottom), two B rows (second from top and bottom), and one C row.

Because all of the blocks are the same we can construct them with jelly roll sized strips and then sub cut them into  the pieces we need.

  • Row A
    • Gather
      • 1, 2 1/2" x wof of each color
    • Sew strips together along the long edges, so that they are in the order below.
    • Iron seam allowances toward the bigger number (from 1 toward 5)
    • Your piece should measure 10 1/2" x 42 ish"
    • Sub cut into 12 units each 2 1/2" x 10 1/2"
    • Place remnant, 10 1/2" x 12 ish", to the side.
  • Row B
    • Gather
      • 1, 2 1/2" x wof strip of colors 1, 3, and 4
      • 2, 2 1/2" x wof strips of color 2
    • Sew strips together along the long edges so that they are in the order below.
    • Iron seam allowances toward color 4
    • Your piece should measure 10 1/2" x 42 ish"
    • Sub cut into 12 units each 2 1/2" x 10 1/2"
    • Place remnant, 10 1/2" x 12 ish", to the side
  • Row C
    • Gather
      • 1, 2 1/2" x wof strip of color 1
      • 2, 2 1/2" x wof strips of colors 2, and 3
    • Sew strips together along the long edges so that they are in the order below.
    • Iron seam allowances to one side...the same side.
    • Your piece should measure 10 1/2" x 42 ish"
    • Sub cut into 6 units each 2 1/2" x 10 1/2"
    • Set remnant, 10 1/2" x 27 ish" aside.
  • Mirror units
    • Gather
      • 12 strip sets of row A
      • 12 strip sets of row B
    • Iron - Ya, I know it is a pain, but it really will help.
      • In order for the seams to align sweetly you are going to have to re-iron half of your sets.
      • Take 6 row A and 6 row B and iron the seam allowances in the other direction.
    • Sew 1 row A to 1 row B from pile with allowances sewn in opposite directions.
    • Repeat 5 times for 6 units ironed one way
    • Repeat process with remaining pieces oriented the other way.
  • Final units
    • Gather
      • 6 mirror units (A + B) ironed one way
      • 6 mirror units (A + B) ironed the other way
      • 6 strip sets of row C
    • Sew one of each unit together to make final blocks.
    • Repeat 5 times for 6 blocks
  • Assemble quilt row to look like picture.

Friday, March 14, 2014


I've been thinking about what to tell my demo attendees tomorrow.   (If you haven't heard I am doing a demo at Happiness is...Quilting tomorrow between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm...the topic is Perfect Piecing)

I compiled a short list of tips that, time permitting, I will print out on index cards to give my "fans". However, I am not so sure that is the best thing I could share with them, there is something more tugging on my heart, something more important.

One of my all time favorite books is Euclid's "Elements".  It is my standard for directions.  Euclid lays out his definitions at the beginning of each section, declares his intentions at the beginning of each law, and then succinctly proves it to be so.  Q.E.D.  He never leaves his audience confused or unclear as to the veracity of his goals.  "Elements" is one of the books that would bring me comfort on a desert island.

In keeping with Euclid, I offer you a definition....a place to start.

"Perfection" is the complete and utter attainment of a goal. It is something free from blemish or error.

If you plan to loose 30 pounds in two months and you do it you have in a sense attained perfection. You can pick and choose goals; accomplish each without error; and live a perfect life.  It sounds so easy...and we all know that it isn't exactly the case.  Our hearts tell us it is something more.

If you can pick and choose what areas to seek perfection in...then what keeps us all from declaring ourselves perfect.  Why don't we stick to our own goals and call it good?  Why do we strive after something that someone else declares the goal and curse ourselves when we can't do it? I don't get it. "Perfection" shouldn't be so arbitrary.

And in walks Jesus!  (Thank you God!)

I believe in the Bible. You don't have to, it is up to you. I do. It tells me that God is perfect. He is without blemish.  He is unchanging, complete, and true. In Him there is no lie.  In Him and through Him all things that are, are.  He made the world and everything in it perfectly in the garden of Eden.

Unfortunately that perfection that was Eden didn't last.  Not God's fault.  I don't claim to understand it, but I know that it was no surprise to Him.  He knows the end from the beginning and chose to do things this way. The perfection that was Eden is a shadow of a memory to us.There is something of it that still our hearts...that tells us there is indeed such a thing as perfection.  That is what keeps us striving for it. That is also why we never attain it.

Knowing all of this from before the beginning God planned a way to fix it.  He sent his perfect and only son, Jesus.  Again, I don't understand all of the whys - the cost of the ticket back to Eden is a perfect (there is that word again) blood sacrifice.  God chose Jesus as the subject of that sacrifice.  Jesus died on a cross to pay the price for all of us to attain the perfection that was Eden, the perfection of being face to face with God.

And what does all of this have to do with piecing a quilt?

As long as there are people there are going to be different ideas about what perfect is. Quilts win ribbons because they appeal to someone's idea of perfection, and that someone is always changing. I can loose a lot of sleep worrying about whether or not my work is up to that constantly moving standard, or I can rest and rely on God's. I need to relax and enjoy the ride.

Quilters need to do that too.  The goal of "perfect piecing" is not perfection.  The goal is piecing a quilt better than I did before...and enjoying the process.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Precision Piecing

Good morning my blogging friends,

Hurry Up Spring!

This Saturday, March 15, 2014 I will be presenting a demo at Happiness is...Quilting in McKinney Texas.  This month's topic is precision piecing.

QF Friendship Stars

I would not hold myself up as a precision piecer.  Life is too short for me to actually care all that much about how straight my seams are; however, I have learned a few things about it over the years.

In the process of quilting over 1000 quilts I have gleaned a few tidbits, a few pearls of wisdom that might be of use to other quilters. It is these that I will share free of charge between the hours of 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

If you could share just one tip about precision piecing what would it be?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dallas Quilt Show 2014

I spent yesterday at the Dallas Quilt Show with my mom.  We had a lovely time.

x Plus One

There were thousands of beautiful quilts to look at.....and I only took one picture.  I had to share this giant block with my quilty friends in Blogville.

x Plus One

This is what the maker had to say about it.  

I like the idea of one giant block.

If you are in the area the show lasts through 4:00 pm Sunday.  The vendor mall seemed to have an abundance of wool and yarn  - as well as the sort of things you would expect at a quilt show.  Some of my favorite vendors are  
    • Goodies Unlimited Soaps & Balms
      • booth #021
      • Mom and I have looked forward to restocking our linen closets with their wonderful soap for years.  We especially like the Angels on High scent.
    • Happiness is....Quilting
      • booths #201 & 202
      • Yes, yes these are my friends.  Of course it is one of my favorite booths.
    • Linda's Electric Quilters
      • booths #174 & 175
      • These wonderful people sold me my longarm 7 years ago.  They are wonderfully helpful and friendly.
    • Martelli Enterprises
      • booths #156, 157, and 158
      • Honestly, at first glance you will say they are over priced, over the top tools worthy of Tim the Toolman.  However, once you get past that they produce some the best tools in the industry.  I love my cutting mat.  You can actually iron on it and it will not warp!  I love their fussy cutting system and non-slip tools.
    • McCord Works
      • booth #235
      • This lady's work is unbelievable, and drop dead gorgeous.  She makes crocheted jewelry that makes me think of silver mounted spider webs...minus the creepy spiders.  It will take  your breath away.

Monday, March 3, 2014

I get by....

We all know that quilty friends are the best kind of friends....especially with dead lines looming.

I'm taking this moment to thank mine.


Granted, I did bribe them a little bit.  I told them they could have the finished quilt for the 2014/2015 Frisco Quilt Guild raffle quilt.  That means that come June you can purchase $1 tickets for a chance to win it.

Stay tuned to our guild web page if you are interested in a chance to win this quilt.


I also kept them supplied with chocolate and treated them to dinner made by my sweet heart.

He fixed Saffron Chicken, a mixed green salad, 3 Bean Salad (made from plain M&Ms, pretzel M&M's and peanaut M&M's) and....German Chocolate cake for dessert.  (Are you catching the chocolate theme here?!)

See that bowl in the picture below?  That was full of his delicious 3 Bean Salad.

And then I brought out my "stash" of left over fabrics from other Moda Bake Shop projects and let them have whatever they wanted.

I think the end result was totally worth it.


Thank you Sue, Carol, Jeanne, Lillian, Lee Ann, and Martha.  You have blessed my socks off.

This pattern is now available on Moda Bake Shop.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February in My Rearview

Oh February, you are shorter than every other month, colder and darker too.  Good riddance to you for another year...and thanks for the memories.

February started off with a bang...

Muir Woods my honey and I headed off to San Francisco for 4 days and 3 nights of adventure.  I'm still thinking about the fun we had, how much it surprised me, how much I might actually like to do it again.  You can read all about it here.

We got back just in time for me to put some finishing touches on a few Moda Bake Shop projects...which haven't published I will keep them for later...but trust me, they are both something special.

Next up a new PC for my business...I'm working with it now...this  one is much peppier than the last. No more power naps.  Life is good.

On the road to OBU

A quick visit from my beloved oldest he could go on a college visit with son number 2.  (Read more about it here.)  From left to right in the photo my boys are the first and third.  The four boys have known each other since they were little... Noah was 6 and the other three were 2 when they met.

A demo at Happiness - I shared the latest step in S'more Rows.  We made trees with paper piecing.

And I only had 6 quilts cross the bars of my long arm.

Feb 2014 Tops to Treasures

I also received a swap mini for DQS14....

My birdies!  #DQS14 partner sent me the delightful birdie quilt being modeled by Jack.

"What ya doing?" #lickslastlonger

Coco had to get in the post too...silly cat.

All in all it was a very sweet, if somewhat hectic month.  I hope yours was happy.

Happy Valentine's Day