Sep 26

Books on Monday – Addicted to Scraps


Yesterday, just as I was wondering what book to review today, the doorbell rang and I got an Amazon delivery. (I still can’t get used to the Sunday deliveries.) It was Addicted to Scraps: 12 Vibrant Quilt Projects by Bonnie K. Hunter. I figured it was a sign, so today we are looking at it. Below are the Amazon Affiliate links – first the paperback, then the Kindle version. And yes, there is a Look Inside, so check them out!

There are some gorgeous scrap quilts in this book. There are about 6 that I definitely want to make and another two or three I would be interested in making with a more controlled color palette.

The book starts with a Dedication and Acknowledgments. Then it is on to the Table of Contents and the Foreword. The Table of Contents is beautiful because there is a row from each quilt below the title and page number for that quilt. This makes it very easy to find the quilt you want to make even if you don’t remember the name of it.

The Basic Sewing Guidelines come next and they include a bit about That 1/4″ Seam Allowance, The Scrap User’s System, and Specialty Rulers.

The Projects are next. The directions are well-written and well-illustrated, which is what you expect from Bonnie Hunter.

The projects are followed by About the Author and Resources.

Got some scraps? Want to use them? I recommend this one!

Quilt on!

Sep 25

Lots of Saturday Progress

Saturday (yesterday) was my most productive quilting day in a week. Most of the rest of this week the extent of my quilting was spending time hand quilting the church quilt. Necessary progress being made there, but Saturday was progress on my personal list of things. (Well, I also managed to finish the great magazine destash project.)

Thing #1 – many years ago (like in the mid 1990s) I bought two panels t make cloth books with the Christmas story for our church auction. I think I bought them at Minnesota Fabrics – and that hasn’t been around here in forever. The bag with the panels sat around for a long time, but sometime after 2004 (which I know because the pins used were my quilting pins & I didn’t start quilting until 2004) I must have pulled the bag out, cut out the panels and interfacing, pinned one of the books together and even sewed one page. On Saturday, that book got completed.

fullsizeoutput_1e46I also got the setting triangles for the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM pressed and trimmed. fullsizeoutput_1e47Then it was game time, which for me includes some hand piecing. I got the wreath finished.fullsizeoutput_1e48By shortly after the game was over, I had completed the entire rosette. (By the way, the light in my sewing room is very bad right now. The colors in the above picture are closer to real than the following picture.)img_5009After that, I got all of the triangles sewn onto the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM blocks, and put them on the design wall. Note that you can’t see block 12 because the cutting table is in the way. img_5011Before I took the picture and looked it, I was thinking that I might need to add some space between the blocks, but this is growing on my. I’m not even sure my idea about some aqua flying geese in the outer border might not happen. Maybe just a narrow border of the background fabric and an aqua binding. Even if I do that, though, I will not meet my goal of having this completed by the end of the month.

img_5010Just a reminder of the Fat Quarter Shop’s original setting plan for this quilt. I like mine better so far, I just don’t know for sure what I’m doing next. Yes, I’m taking suggestions.

And that is Saturday’s progress. If anyone has any great ideas for the rest of the setting of the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM, please let me know and

Quilt on!

Sep 19

Weekend Update

Yes, I do sound like a Saturday Night Live sketch. But it does describe this post pretty well, so…

Saturday was football sewing day. I am including the first picture because it shows very well the color of the star points. I know that they look black in many of the other pictures, but they are, in fact, dark purple.


Below is how far I got during the game. Three more stars to add before stitching this wreath to the center. That will complete rosette one.img_4996

And, yes, I do think that sewing the Y seams is probably more difficult than paper piecing, but I still want to do it this way!

After the game, I also got into the sewing room to cut triangles for the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM blocks. And Sunday evening I sewed these to stripes to them. They are unpressed in this picture so you are looking at the wrong side of the stripey fabric. Hopefully I will get them pressed tonight and start sewing them to the blocks.img_4997

I have also been going through old magazines, tearing out pages and putting them into notebooks. I am saving special editions of some magazines, but for the most part I am not keeping whole magazines. So far I have gone through all my American Quilter, Quilter’s Newsletter, McCall’s Quilting, Fons and Porter, Easy Quilts, and American Patchwork and Quilting magazines. Yes, this does mean that I’m in the home stretch now!

What have you been up to?

Quilt on!

Sep 17

Farewell Summer & Weekend Plans

Yes, it is time for the Craftsy Farewell Summer Sale! This is a supplies clearance sale, and I must admit to being sorely tempted in some areas! (Does someone want to explain to me why I keep being drawn to kits? Sigh. The Tula Pink Butterfly quilt kit is so cute – but I already own the pattern and am using those fabrics in La Passacaglia!

Other kits I’m craving (no links because I just don’t want to spend the time doing that right now because I do want to get to quilting today!): the RJR Handspray Compass Roses Quilt kit (90 x 90 quilt for $139? Sorely tempted!), Andover Sun Print by Alison Glass Fabric & Eclipse Pattern Quilt Kit (stunning and bright!), RJR Malam Batiks Amazon Star By Jinny Beyer Quilt Kit (Judy Niemeyer and Jinny Beyer and a huge quilt for less than $200!!!!), plus all sorts of supplies like Aurifil thread! Click on the link above to check it out and try to resist – or not! (Yes, that is a Craftsy Affiliate link.) This sale is for this weekend only!

On to my weekend plans! I spent a good chunk of this week trying to choose the best fabric for between the stars in La Passacaglia. I had two ways I could go:



Or prints.

I chose the greenish blue solid on the upper left. It is now Inklingoed, cut, and ready to go for this week’s football hand piecing. If I get that wreath put together and attached, I will have completed Rosette 1 and can start the next one.

Before the game starts at 3:30, I hope to cut a bunch of setting triangles for the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM. In the wildest reaches of my imagination, I get the top finished and the backing pressed and get the whole thing over to the quilt shop to go out to the longarmer by shop close Monday evening. Not likely, but a girl can dream. That way it could possibly be done by September 30 for a third quarter finish.

In other news, I’ve been dismantling my collection of magazines. I’m saving patterns that I might like to make or look at for inspiration in plastic sleeves in binders. I’ve been working on this for weeks. You know you are looking at old magazines when you see ads for EQ6! Or articles about this new software just for quilters.

What are you up to this weekend?

Quilt on!

Sep 12

Books on Monday – Dresden Carnival

Yes, it is the second Monday of the month and time for books on Monday! This week we are looking at Dresden Carnival: 16 Modern Quilt Projects – Innovative Designs by Marian B. Gallian and Yvette Marie Jones. (The authors are a mother and daughter.) Yes, those are Amazon Affiliate links below. The first is for the Kindle version; the second is the paperback.

I must admit to having a fondness for Dresden plate quilts, especially nontraditional ones so I adore the patterns in this book. I can’t picture myself doing needle turn appliqué as described in the book, but there are lots of ways around that!

The first section of the book is Appliqué Basics. It includes a section on Tools and Supplies and one on Appliqué Techniques. The second section is the Projects section. Some of the projects have bonus projects along with them and the last project has a bonus technique – binding. The book doesn’t have a complete how to make a quilt section which makes lots of sense to me. If you are making a Dresden plate quilt, you probably have some other books to help you with that.

For me, this book is a keeper. I love the patterns and the variety in the patterns. My favorite is Peek-a-Boo Violets, in case you were wondering.

Quilt on!

Sep 11

La Passacaglia Progress

I feel good about the progress I made during football watching. I got the wreath attached and all ten stars made.

img_4962 img_4964

That took until after the end of the game. Which is a good thing because I have not yet cut the diamonds to go between the stars in that wreath. I haven’t even chosen the fabric yet. I haven’t even really made up my mind whether I want to stay with the pink focus from the star centers (the points are a deep grapey purple, by the way) or go back to the greens and blues or what. Here are some of my fabric auditions for those diamonds.img_4965

This is the same fabric as the centers.img_4966

A little orange and white.img_4967

Not feeling this one at all. img_4968

Maybe if I fussy cut to get mostly the orangey centers…img_4969

Not a fan of this purple thing at all.

img_4970Not quite as bad, maybe.


Maybe if I’m staying with the reddish orangeish this might be a winner.img_4972

This is the same fabric as that wreath. Too much of a good thing.img_4973

I actually kind of like this one. Not sure why. If only there were a bit more blue.img_4974

Here it is closer up.img_4975This might be a little too dark.


Maybe more red than I wanted, but maybe not.img_4977

I’m not a fan of this one, either. Maybe the pink/orange route is a better way to go.

What do you think?

Quilt on!

Sep 10

Beginning La Passacaglia

As I mentioned earlier, I did not get any hand piecing prepped in time for last week’s Michigan football game. Yes, I did make a lot of progress going through stacks of magazines and dismantling them, but I wasn’t going to be able to work on those when I drove my DH to his meeting on Tuesday evening, so I had to get my pieces prepped by Tuesday evening. This involved really learning to use Inklingo and becoming comfortable with it.

Are you shaking your head in confusion? I don’t blame you. I like hand piecing. I like it a lot. Maybe that would indicate that I should like English Paper Piecing but, to be perfectly honest, it is just not me. I find it tedious and it seems to me to lack precision. (Just so you don’t picture me as a type A person or anything, I guarantee that quilting is the only part of my life where I crave precision!) I also don’t like the idea of whipstitching an entire quilt together. Or taking out all the papers afterwards. (Yeah, I know. I like regular paper piecing and the taking the paper out there doesn’t bother me. Am I supposed to make sense? Really?

Back to Inklingo. Several months ago I had tried to begin printing the pieces on the dark fabric, but wasn’t having any success. The freezer paper kept coming off (my first hint that my Oliso iron wasn’t doing its job as well as it had been) and I couldn’t see the printing. Any of it. So I emailed Linda Franz, the awesome creator of Inklingo, and her answer was to print on the freezer paper instead of the fabric on the dark fabrics because you really don’t need the stitching lines on both pieces of fabric. So, that’s what I did.

I also got better about following directions and printing test pieces so that I would know what color ink to use for each fabric. That helps a lot.

So by Tuesday evening, I had some pieces prepped. Here’s what I got done:


The inner star. Yeah, I know. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to fussy cut this, but I haven’t quite gotten to the point where I want to mess with that yet.img_4956

The ring around the inner star.img_4957The first wreath for around the inner star. Today I will start with joining this to the center and move on to making the next wreath of stars.

What are you working on this weekend?

Quilt on!

Sep 06

Labor Day Sew-In Wrap Up

Yesterday being Labor Day here in the States, we had a virtual Labor Day Sew-In (#LDSI). I actually sewed a little. Then the rest was prep of various sorts.

First, the sewing. On Friday evening, I sewed bandanas for the two granddogs to wear to show their University of Michigan pride. (Yes, I went to Michigan State, but since I never paid attention to sports when I was there & married a Michigan fan whose grandfathers both were professors and his father taught in the English Language Institute while it still existed & he had been a Michigan football fan since the age of 6 – well, let’s just say my attempts to push MSU on the girls did not take, and I eventually decided to cave.) IMG_4953I found some patterns on the internet, but I really only used them to decide what size to make the square before I cut it in half. I figured that making them reversible (the back is a solid maize) would be quicker than hemming them. I’m pretty sure I was right.IMG_4954And here is Loki modeling his. I still have Benson’s here, so I don’t have any pictures of that adorable guy in his bandana. Sorry.

The original plan had been to try and get the first rosette of La Passacaglia prepped on Friday night also so I could hand stitch on that during college football games on Saturday, but I just ran out of time. I realized that I needed too much time to learn more about how to use Inklingo so that the prepping would all go smoothly and I wouldn’t waste as much fabric. So, instead of sewing, I went through more magazines to dismantle them and save the patterns I want to keep. I did that during Saturday and during free time on Sunday, and I didn’t even make much of a dent in the piles. AAAAAAAARGH!

And, during Labor Day itself, I got started for real on the La Passacaglia prep. I do not picture myself as an English paperpiecer – although the patterns appeal to me and I like handwork, something about it just screams “Gretchen, this is not for you!” Inklingo, on the other hand, allows me to just do regular piecing. By hand or machine. So first I figured out what I would need to pring and then I got started. I printed the test swatches on my fabric (except the dark solid), and then I got to work on the dark E triangles. I have 84 of those completed and want to do 16 more so that I have one hundred. (Sorry, no pictures. Dark purple triangles. Not exciting.)

Today I am hoping to get the other pieces cut for at least one rosette so that I can stitch this evening when I drive DH to his meeting and watch Criminal Minds on Netflix. Maybe there will be pictures tomorrow.

Quilt on!

Sep 03

AQS Show – My Thoughts and Purchases

Just a few thoughts about the show in general.

  1. I wish that AQS had put the names of the people who made the challenge quilts and the names of the quilts instead of just naming the guild and the challenge. I really missed that this year.
  2. It seemed like the Author’s Showcase was smaller this year, and that there may have been fewer vendors.
  3. The space for eating was definitely smaller and there was no dessert stall. I missed that whole dessert thing.
  4. The doughnuts were still awesome for breakfast.
  5. It seemed to be well-attended but not overly crowded.

And here are some great insights I had at various points throughout the show.

  1. Cindy Needham is an awesome teacher.
  2. My machine quilting apparently looks better the next day. I could not understand what Cindy Needham meant when she said it looked like I was doing well and finding a rhythm. To me, it looked like a mishmash. When I looked again the next day, I did see what she meant. IMG_4934
  3. I love to look at all the intricate quilting in the show quilts. I love taking pictures of it. I love looking at the pictures once I’m home. All that being said, I don’t think I would enjoy doing it and don’t see myself headed in that direction. I like soft cuddly quilts. Most of those heavily quilted quilts look stiff. Also, let’s be real. I’m pretty sure I don’t have the patience to do any of that heavy quilting. Or the practice that comes with them.
  4. Oh, I’m not good at quilting curves or loops. It all has points when I do it.
  5. I love getting together with my Twilter friends. Best part of the show!
  6. I forgot to show you the storage on the back of my sewing table! IMG_4941 IMG_4942Now, for the purchases. Don’t get too excited. There wasn’t much. After all, I just purchased sewing furniture.

IMG_4940I bought Cindy Needham’s Ultimate Stencil collection. I actually ordered them and her husband mailed them so they were here a day or two after I got home.

IMG_4950I picked up the Edyta Sitar Specialty Set of Accuquilt Go! dies. I have wanted it since it was announced but this was the lowest price I had yet seen. It is never discounted.

Both of those items were fairly pricey so that was it. Honestly!

Quilt on!

Sep 02

AQS Grand Rapids Show #6

This will be the last day of quilt pictures. Really. Honestly. IMG_4707This one is called Nine Lives Animal Shelter by Ann Horton of Redwood Valley, CA. It’s cute and all, but

IMG_4708this little guy who looks so much like my granddog Benson is why I took the pictures. I may or may not have sent them to my DD and DSIL with the caption “Benson on a quilt!”

IMG_4758This stunner is Afternoon Delight by Kathy J. Havelka of Louisburg, KS. This is another one definitely a Sue Garman pattern, a block of the month. And, yes, I really want to make this one. Cost is holding me back for a while, but I wouldn’t be surprised….

IMG_4791Another stunning blue and white quilt! This one is Sarah’s Revival in Blue by Gail H. Smith and Karen C. McTavish of North Barrington, IL. Where are the closeups?

IMG_4793Stunning quilting!IMG_4794More stunning quilting. And just so you know, this is another Sue Garman design. Her version is in red. Apparently I really am a Sue Garman fan.

IMG_4806This one is Odyssey by Julia Wood of Alexander City, AL.  IMG_4808Here’s a bit of a closeup.

IMG_4637Here is Discontinued Pretties by Birgit Schueller of Riegelsberg, Germany. Stunning as hers usually are.IMG_4638A little closeup of her quilting.

IMG_4614Here’s your dose of humor for the day – A Slice of Pi by Connie Kincius Griner of Burlington, NC. The digits of pi are quilted into the borders.

IMG_4874And, finally, here is Technicolor Deco by Shirley Gisi of Colorado Springs, CO. So bright!IMG_4875Some of the quilting up close and personal.IMG_4876More up close and personal.

So that is it for the quilts from my pictures from this show. Believe it or not, these are not all of my pictures!

In the next post, I will discuss some of the things I learned at the show and my purchases. (Don’t hold your breath for those, there are not many. Nothing like last year!)

Quilt on!

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