Feb 08

Books on Monday – Quiltmaker’s 1000 Blocks

This will be a short review due to the nature of the book. Today we are looking at Quiltmaker’s 1,000 Blocks: A Collection of Quilt Blocks from Today’s Top Designers edited by Carolyn Beam, Paula Stoddard, Diane Volk Harris, Denise Starck, and Amy Rullkoetter. (The link below will benefit this blog.)

If you are a fan of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks magazines, this book is for you. Especially if you missed a couple issues. This book contains all the blocks from the first ten issues.

The book is arranged by type of block, just like the magazines. The blocks are numbered in the book like in the magazines, but they have been re-numbered for this book. (The patterns are on a CD instead of on sheets in the back of the book. Otherwise this book would be HUGE!) They are arranged by type of block, just like in the magazines. There is a section each of appliqué,foundation-pieced blocks, mixed technique blocks, and pieced blocks (by far the largest section!).

There is also a section with information about settings and yardages for making these blocks into quilts. And it ends with an index of designers. (Just a couple of notes on the index: 1. The numbers after the designer names are page numbers and 2. You need to add 2 to the page number to actually find the designer’s block. I was more than a little frustrated until I figured that out!)

Am I glad I bought this book? Oh, yes! This is true even though I own all ten of the magazines. 1000 blocks in one book that will take up a bit less shelf space.

Quilt on!

Feb 06

Oops, I Did It Again!

Before I get to my oops, let me just mention that I did successfully complete Benson’s dog bed.

IMG_3715I was not terribly happy with the appliqué work I did, However, done is better than perfect so…


Benson visited for the first time tonight right after his first obedience class. He’s adorable. He hasn’t really taken to the dog bed yet, but he was in a different house for the very first time. Hopefully, he will like it eventually. My son-in-law seemed to like it though!

My husband met Benson for the very first time tonight. They hit it off quite well.


And Benson ruled the couch while his mom and dad went out to dinner and we dog sat.IMG_3723Now for the oops. Instead of working on something on my finish it list (although I did cut block 12 of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM), I started a new quilt. I have had a layer cake of Kaffe Fassett Romance fabrics which I’ve wanted to use since I first got it. I paired it with an ash Kona cotton layer cake, and started this:

IMG_3718The pattern is one which came in a Jolly Bar (the Fat Quarter Shop’s own 5″ x 10″ precut) of First Crush by Studio M, and, yes, I did buy the Jolly Bar (on sale) to get this pattern. Since I had layer cakes, I am making this larger than the pattern. I must admit that I’m loving this quilt so far. (The yellow is not quite this bright.) I think I will move some of the yellows around before I sew it together, but first I need to make some more half hearts.

Tomorrow most of my work will be hand work since I will watch that major sports event that is happening. Not that I really care about the game, but I sort of know one of the many analyst/reporters for the game. He attended our church (and met his wife, who sang on my husband’s worship team, there) while he played on the University of Michigan’s national championship team. This has been his first year as a commentator, so I’d like to see how he does. So hand piecing it will be!

Quilt on!

Feb 02

Some Progress Somewhere

Saturday I completed Block 12 of the 2012 Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM! I wanted to run right downstairs and get started on the finishing kit so I could get the top done.IMG_3709

However, I didn’t exactly do that. The most recent addition to our family needs a bed. So I started Benson’s dog bed. I’m guessing I will get it finished tomorrow or Wednesday. At least, that is my hope.

Other than that, not much has gotten done quiltingwise. I do need to get block 12 of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM cut out so that I can do some hand piecing over the next few days, especially if I decide to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday.

But at least I’ve made some progress somewhere.

Quilt on!


Jan 27

Yes, I Am Doing Something.

Okay, I confess that somehow not much is getting done right now. I think part of the problem is that my eyes are bigger than the time that I have. And there are too many mysteries I want to do right now. And I know I can’t do them all. I started cutting the fabric for the Gyleen Fitzgerald mystery from Facebook and just got bogged down in the 2 1/2″ square cutting. I just ordered the Accuquilt die for that so I’m guessing I may go back to that sometime in the future. I just don’t have it in me to do it right now. I am printing and saving the clues though just in case…

There are two more mysteries I really want to do are Charlotte’s Scrappy Stars Around the Corner and Pat Sloan’s and Jane Davidson’s The Splendid Sampler Quilt Along. I just don’t think I can do everything! Sigh.

As far as mysteries in progress, I finished Block 11 of the 2012 FQS Designer Mystery BOM .

IMG_3706I have already made pretty good progress on the twelfth block also. No pictures though.

Why did I start the twelfth block of this one instead of starting the twelfth block of the 2011 FQS Designer Mystery BOM? Well, that is a sad story. You may remember that in my quilty resolutions post I mentioned having misplaced one of the finished blocks for this quilt. The good news is that I have found it! Unfortunately, when I went to get the two block 12 kits (for the 2011 and 2012) to cut them out for piecing, I found that I did not have the 2011 block where I thought it was. Thankfully, the wonderful folks at the Fat Quarter Shop sent me a PDF of the pattern. I’m pretty sure that I will have plenty of fabric from the leftovers from all the other blocks to make the twelfth. I just haven’t dug it out to do that yet. And I do want to get the top of the 2012 finished and off to the quilter soon.

I also have another dog bed to make. Our youngest daughter and son-in-law have recently adopted Benson, a five-year-old part beagle, part basset hound. We haven’t really had a chance to get to know him yet, but he seems to be a sweetie. I’ll use the same pattern I used for Loki’s bed, and I even found the same fabric in purple for Benson. The gold for his name is still part of the fat quarter that my now son-in-law gave me for Christmas the Christmas he was just the fiance. I’ll post pictures when I finally get it finished.

I also have a quilt I really want to start, but I’m making myself wait until something is finished. This may be a bad idea on my part. I think one of the reasons I’m not sewing more is that what I really want to do is make a quilt out of my Kaffe Fassett layer cake. I may just whip up the dog bed and then start this new quilt. We’ll see.

I have completed the crazy quilt stitching on twelve of the 36 blocks so I am going to change threads. The other two colors I’m going to use are a variegated lavender and a dark purple. I need to get back to that too. Sigh.

Anyway, this was just a brief update.

Quilt on!

Jan 25

Books on Monday – Next Steps in Machine Quilting

Welcome to Books on Monday on the fourth Monday of the month! I’m having a bit of difficulty getting used to the new timing, but I know it is for the best. Honestly. Now if I could just get myself blogging about any (which is very little right now) progress I am making, this blog would be a bit more interesting. But I digress…

Today we are looking at Next Steps in Machine Quilting: Free-Motion & Walking-Foot Designs, Professional Results on Your Home Machine by Natalia Bonner. The link below is, as usual, an Amazon Associate link that will benefit the blog if you use it.

This is a very recent release, and I would have hesitated to purchase it if it hadn’t had the magic words “walking foot” in the title. Since I’ve been doing quite a bit of wallking foot quilting on my machine recently, I jumped at this one. And I’m not sorry I did.

I reviewed Natalia Bonner’s Beginner’s Guide to Free Motion Quilting: Professional Quality Results on Your Home Machine here. Below is an Amazon Associate link for that one which I’m adding largely so that you can see the awesome design similarity in the two books. They definitely go together.

And there is a Kindle version too.

These two books look gorgeous together. Even though orange and neon green are not my favorite colors.

The book starts with and Introduction and a brief section on Machine Quilting Basics. Natalia points the reader to her earlier book for more of the basic information. Then she moves right into the designs and how to do them. Throughout the book she includes some Natalia’s Tips where they are appropriate and there is a section on choosing designs which is quite helpful.

So here are the sections in this book:

  • Introduction
  • Machine Quilting Basics
  • Machine Quilting Designs – This is broken into sections for Allover Designs and Background Fillers, Borders and Sashings, Square Blocks and Cornerstones, and Triangle Blocks
  • Choosing Designs for Your Quilt
  • Quilting Patterns – Full size patterns for quilting.
  • Resources
  • About the Author

This book is, for me, a keeper. It will go right on my shelves next to her earlier book and probably come off the shelf quite frequently as I work to improve my FMQ skills.

Quilt on!

Jan 15

Q1 Finish-A-Long Projects

This is my official list for the Q1 Finish-A-Long. It is also, coincidentally, the projects I plan to enter into my LQS’s UFO finishing contest. We shall see how it goes.

IMG_3696Yep, there is my official list. Scrap in a Box is waiting for a backing, layering basting, quilting and binding. Just to remind you what Scrap in a Box looks like:

IMG_3667Next is the Christmas table runner I hand pieced many years ago. I thought I’d get it quilted and done last spring, but it didn’t happen. It needs to be layered, basted, quilted and bound. I’m not sure why it is taking me so long to actually do this!

christmasrunnerThird on the list is the one I’m calling Mrs. B’s Crazy Quilt which was started by a friend’s mother that I’m quilting sort of like a crazy quilt using my machine’s decorative stitches. I need to finish quilting and binding it. Here’s a sample picture:

IMG_3653sLast but not least (maybe least likely though) is my 2012 Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM which needs quite a bit of work. I need to finish piecing the last two blocks and then piece the top. I’m currently planning to send it out to be quilted and then I’ll need to bind it. Here’s the most recent block finished:


For the three projects that I’ll be quilting myself, I’m planning to use the skills I’ve picked up from the two Craftsy classes I’ve been watching recently Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot and Next Steps with Your Walking Foot. Even the idea to use the decorative stitches on the crazy quilt came from those classes. (Note that those links are Craftsy Affiliate links and will help to support this blog if you use them.)

So this is my plan for the first quarter. Let’s see how it goes!

Quilt on!

Jan 12

Books on Monday – Foolproof Machine Quilting

Yes, I am aware that it is Tuesday (and maybe even Wednesday for some of you), but I thought I’d get this out there anyway. Starting today, Books on Monday will be happening only twice a month on the second and fourth Mondays of the month. I need to spend more time actually quilting than reviewing books. So mark your calendars accordingly.

Today we are looking at Foolproof Machine Quilting: Learn to Use Your Walking Foot Paper-Cut Patterns for No Marking, No Math Simple Stitching for Stunning Results by Mary Mashuta. The first link below is an Amazon Affiliate link to the paperback book version. The second link is for the Kindle version.

This book is a great companion to the two walking foot quilting classes I have recently viewed via the Craftsy platform (Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot and Next Steps With Your Walking Foot). The number of different kinds of motifs that she quilts with her walking foot is very impressive.

My one concern is that I don’t think (for me at least) I would feel very confident about trying some of her methods without having already watched Jacquie Gering’s videos on Craftsy. This may just be me, but I felt like some of the description or instruction in this book was unclear or lacking some detail. Especially the part about planning how to take your motif around a corner. I would really have appreciated more words with that one. Maybe a few more pictures too.

Not that this book lacks pictures! There are lots of pictures and examples of the quilting. My favorite line from the book is “Quilters are visual, and I know that some of you will only look at the pictures.” It explains why there are so many awesome pictures.

She does do an excellent job of explaining how she uses freezer paper and shelf paper to make her templates (and why) and how and why to use the walking foot for quilting. Her introductory and beginning pages are quite thorough. Maybe my real concern is just that I really needed a few more words or hints on how to round corners!

Anyway, here are the main sections of this book:

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Why the Walking Foot for Quilting?
  • Chapter 2: What Can You and Your Machine Do?
  • Chapter 3: Selecting a Project and Supplies
  • Chapter 4: Preparing the Quilt Top
  • Chapter 5: Creating Your Own Quilting Designs
  • Chapter 6: Let’s Quilt!
  • Chapter 7: Bordering Your Quilt
  • Resources
  • About the Author

I know this is sort of a wishy washy back and forth review, but I do think the early chapters of this book are more helpful than the later chapters as far as thoroughness of descriptions. Maybe if you’ve worked your way through the first few chapters (and you’re not me) you don’t need as much as written description.

Quilt on!


Jan 10

What I’ve Been Up To

It’s been a quiet week around here. I have done a little more machine crazy quilting, but I only have one picture here.

IMG_3690This is a picture of a stitch that kind of got squished together in the middle. I may need to try my MuVit foot next. I’m just concerned that it will limit my choices of stitches. I guess I won’t know until I try it! Also, it is almost time to switch threads.

I’ve been watching Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot on Craftsy. (Note that the link is a Craftsy Affiliate link and will help to support this blog if clicked.) This is the class that got me inspired to try the crazy quilting with the decorative stitches on my machine. And the gentle curves quilting on the placemats for the church auction. And the quilting on the quilt that I made for the auction.

I’ll check back with a weekend update later.

Quilt on!

Jan 04

New Year’s Sew-In Results

I started the New Year’s Sew-In with some exciting mail. First, I won a prize from Sandy at Quilting for the Rest of Us.

IMG_3669And a couple of things I ordered came. Thread for the crazy quilt (the one on the right is variegated)

IMG_3671and some precuts.

IMG_3672Not a bad start to the sew-in.

I started on New Year’s Eve working on some hand piecing

IMG_3674which I finished on New Year’s Day.

IMG_3675On Saturday and Sunday, I also got in a bit of time with my machine doing some crazy quilting. Here are the fronts and backs of the blocks I did. (I forgot to photograph the back of the last one.)

IMG_3677 IMG_3678 IMG_3679 IMG_3680 IMG_3681 IMG_3682 IMG_3684 IMG_3686

IMG_3689And here is an interesting stitch I found.

IMG_3676I also tried the stitch editor to put a couple of stitches together.

IMG_3685I also did something that felt a bit scary. I updated the software on my machine for the first time. Luckily it went very smoothly, which I expected since the update has been available since September.


Jan 04

Books on Monday – Sister Quilts

Books on Monday is back, at least for the next few weeks. Then I may run out of books, but for now, at least, I have three.

The first book is Sister Sampler Quilts: 3 Modern Sampler Quilts with Paired Sister Blocks by AnneMarie Chany, who also blogs at Gen X Quilters. (Reminder: the link below is an Amazon Associate link which, if used, will help support this blog.)

I put off purchasing this book for a long time, because a book that has only three quilt patterns in it seemed like a waste of money. However, the more pictures I saw (on the internet, of course) of the the three patterns in the book, the more intrigued I became, and after Christmas I caved and bought the book. Now I have some quilt plans (like I needed more).

The idea of sister blocks is that each quilt has two of the same blocks made differently – either different fabrics or reversed values. The settings are very modern with lots of negative space. And they are gorgeous!

One of the things I really like about this book is that instructions are given to make each block in two different sizes, 9″ and 12″. (Right now there is a Big Sister, Little Sister quilt bouncing around in my head waiting to come out!) This makes it possible to make different sized quilts just by varying the block size.

All of the blocks are traditional blocks. The directions for making them are clear and well-illustrated. If you want to see more pictures than you can in the Amazon Look Inside feature, you can see many more on her blog. She is even hosting a Block of the Month right now for the third quilt in the book, Bonfire.

Here’s what’s in the book:

  • Introduction
  • Getting Started
  • Chapter 1 Sisters Ten Sampler
  • Chapter 2 Vice Versa Sampler – my personal favorite
  • Chapter 3 Bonfire Sampler – her current BOM
  • Chapter 4 Tutorials – basically her how-to section which includes a Scant Rant.

There you have it!

Quilt on!

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