First on today’s agenda is a brief advertisement about Craftsy’s one day sale!

#ad Craftsy is really thankful for you, and they want to show you just how much! For 24 hours only, shop their most popular online classes for just $14.99. Check them out! Just click on the link below!


And along with that sentiment, let me use this space to update you on my Learning About Walking Foot Quilting project. I know, you didn’t know I had one of those but after last week’s book review, I decided to see what else I could do to learn about quilting with a walking foot. Strangely enough I already had Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot taught by Jacquie Gering in my Craftsy class collection, so I have been watching that during my exercise bike riding stints. I also recently purchased Next Steps With Your Walking Foot also with Jacquie Gering and I’m looking forward to going through that one once I have completed my current class.

I also recently watched Garden of Quilted Possibilities (w/ Edyta Sitar) and really wanted to make that kit ASAP, but I definitely need to finish some things first. End of #ad.

Although no actual quilting happened this past Saturday, I see that I have not updated with progress from the previous Saturday, so here it is:


Yep, that’s all there was. Four of them. They are part of the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM. Of course, I did have to make all those HSTs before I could assemble the block.

I have also almost completed the Diamond Dash quilt for our church auction. I debated putting some pinwheels made from the waste HSTs into the outside sashing but have decided to stick with the plain white sashing. I also do not plan to use an outer border at this point. I’m planning to finish the top today and, hopefully get it basted so I can walking foot quilt it and get it done! Here are some pictures from the construction and pinwheel debating stages.





 One of my friends who is also a reader here suggested that I have guest book reviewers for Books on Monday over the next few weeks. That would be lots of fun so if you would like to contribute a quilty book review, please email it to gretchen@120blocks.com and I will happily add it to the site to go live during one of my hiatus weeks.

I guess that’s it for today so…

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Machine Quilting with Style

This is the last book review this calendar year, I’m afraid. The next couple of months are going to be busier than usual, so I need to scale something back! Plus, I’m running low on books to review & my local library does not stock many quilting books. Sigh.

Be that as it may, today’s selection is Machine Quilting With Style: From Walking-Foot Wonders to Free-motion Favorites by Christa Watson. The first link below is to the book version. The second is to the Kindle version. And, yes, as usual both are Amazon Affiliate links.

This is where I confess that I hesitated to review this book once I realized that Christa is a Twilter (a quilter on Twitter or the Twilter FaceBook page), because I worried about the possibility (before spending much time with the book, that is) that the projects wouldn’t appeal to me and I’d feel like the quilting lessons/directions were redundant with all the books I have.


I started looking at this book yesterday morning and polished it off this morning. Okay, true confession: I did not read every word of the directions for each project. I don’t always do that when I’m doing a project, so why would I do that for a review?

Next true confession: There are a couple of projects I do not think I would ever make because wonky (even the tiniest bit) makes me cringe. (I am not sure how I ever became a precise person because basically I am lazy, but there it is. Can’t. Do. Wonky. Not even a teeny tiny bit.)

Next true confession: There are a couple of very modern projects in this book that I am very tempted to try at some point. Not in the near future mind you, but someday. When did I become this modern?

In case you haven’t noticed this already, this review is a bit different than my usual reviews. I’ll list the sections at the end of it, but for now I’ll just tell you what this book seems to have done for me. As in, I think it is going to save me money.

Having come to the difficult decision that this year’s church quilt is not going to be finished in time for the church auction, I decided to quickly put together a machine quilted throw-sized quilt and then have it longarmed so there is at least some kind of quilt in the auction. That is almost assembled and you’ll see pictures in a later blog post.

But today as I was looking more closely at Christa’s book and all of the different walking-foot quilting ideas, it suddenly occurred to me that I have my new machine and I haven’t even tried out the Mu-Vit™ foot yet. And maybe I should. And save the quilting money. (You may or may not remember that with my previous machine I had some bad experiences with my walking foot that led to me doing straight line quilting without a walking-foot.) So maybe what this book has done for me is give me the confidence to actually quilt this quilt myself. Or the inspiration or something like that. Stay tuned for the quilt reveal later this month (or week, if I’m really disciplined).

What it (unfortunately) hasn’t done is basted the quilt for me. I hate basting.

What is inside this book:

  • Introduction
  • You Can Be the Quilter
  • Walking-Foot Wonders (Here’s where I start since I have not yet mastered feeling comfortable with free motion quilting!)
  • Free-Motion Favorites
  • Finishing Touches (A few quilting basics in case you missed them somewhere in your quilting education.)
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author

Quilt on!

Slacking Apology

I have apparently become the worst slacker ever. No update after last weekend’s sewing. No Books on Monday. No blogging at all.

Let’s see what I can do to remedy that.

Late last week we headed to the Chicago area to spend a couple days celebrating our eldest daughter’s birthday. So fun to spend time with her and the granddog. Part of the celebration was a showing of Ghostbusters at one of those movie theaters that serves meals while the movie is being shown. That was a first for me! Other than a Cheesecake Factory lunch and viewing of Scream and Scream 2 (DH had never seen either of these), we  mostly just hung out with DD, and, of course, there were presents.

We got home Saturday evening in time to catch the start of the Michigan – Minnesota football game. The football sewing did not go well. Actually, what happened was that I realized it hadn’t gone well the previous weekend and I’d cut some of the strips too short for the pineapple block. I’ll have to dismantle that a bit before I can make any progress on it. Sigh. Probably not during the Michigan – Rutgers game tomorrow. I think I’ll work on the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM during that game.

This year’s church quilt is a queen-sized wholecloth quilt. Unfortunately, this week we realized that with only four of us regularly hand quilting it, it will not be anywhere close to done by the time of the auction. This being the case, we scaled back our efforts and are aiming for next year’s auction for this quilt. I am not happy to give up, but it would take more hours than my aging body is willing to give me on that quilt to get even close to finished. And I’m not sure we could even then.

Feeling a bit guilty about this, I am putting together a quick throw quilt top which I hope to get longarmed and bound in time for the auction. It won’t be at all the same kind of thing as the usual quilts in the auction, but it will be something biggish to auction off. I’m using this Diamond Dash tutorial from Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company:

I’m using a layer cake and a jelly roll, but not the ones I originally planned to use when I first saw this tutorial as I want to keep that for me! This layer cake is La Fete de Noel from French General. The jelly roll for the diamonds and sashing is just an off white, maybe snow from Robert Kaufman. I’ll post pictures once I get it finished or at least a little farther along.

And now you are all caught up!

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – The Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop

I originally borrowed The Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop: Timeless Techniques for Modern Designs by Kevin Kosbab from my local library. I figured I really didn’t need another appliqué book and the designs looked a bit modern for my usual taste. But I did want to read it, and it is not often that I find a quilting book at our library. So… Once I started looking at it closely, I realized I did need it and it now resides on my Kindle. Yeah. So much for avoiding overcollecting books. The links below are the links to the paperback version (first link) and the Kindle version through my Amazon Affiliate account.

This is a beautiful and well-organized book. One of the things I like best about it is the organization, so we are going to start right out by looking at the Table of Contents (which I may annotate a bit more than usual).

  • Introduction: Give Appliqué a Chance (Here Kevin presents arguments for why everyone should at least try appliqué, all the different kinds of appliqué. He almost convinces me!)
  • Appliqué Basics (This section includes “Choosing an Appliqué Method,” “Tools and Materials,” and “Basic Techniques.” If you’re unsure of how to appliqué after reading this section, don’t worry. Each method has its very own section also.)
  • Raw-Edge Appliqué (Included in this section are: “Why Raw-Edge Appliqué?” “Tools and Supplies,” “Techniques,” and four projects.)
  • Prepared-Edge Appliqué (This is prepared-edge appliqué for either hand or machine stitching. It includes: “Why Prepared-Edge Appliqué?”, “Tools and Supplies,” Techniques,”and four projects.)
  • Needle-Turn Appliqué (This is apparently his favorite kind. At least, that’s what he says. Included in this section are: “Why Needle-Turn Appliqué?”, “Tools and Supplies,” “Techniques,” and four projects.)
  • Resources (This even includes a “Books and Apps” list!)
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index (I love a book with an index!)

Now, if you are already an appliqué expert, you probably won’t feel the need to check this book out, but I’m still trying to convince myself I need to try this so I’m glad to have it.

Quilt on!

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – American Beauty BOM

bloggersquilt festival

Welcome to my second Blogger’s Quilt Festival quilt. I’m entering this one in the Large Quilts category because it is very large! So large that it is a little tricky to get a good picture of it! As you can see by the three pictures below.




In 2010, my LQS, The Quilting Season, offered the Marti Michell Block of the Month American Beauty made using some of her Patchwork Templates. I decided to do it even though the colors weren’t exactly something I could use, because I wanted the piecing practice. There was a choice of white borders and setting triangles or black. The white just looked too much like a wedding.

I started it right away but fell far behind. Most of the blocks are hand pieced, because I had a job that required me to sit and wait a lot, and my boss had told me to bring a hobby I could do in between bursts of busyness. There are several posts about this process, in case you are interested.

Once all twelve blocks were pieced, I put off finishing the quilt for a very long time. The sashing and its fussy cutting of the stripes intimidated me. IMG_2565

Then I made a cutting mistake and had to find more of the pink floral that is the cornerstones. I bought quite a bit extra so it also became the binding because I liked the way it looked better than the black and green stripe that had come with the setting kit.


This is a queen-sized quilt and was machine quilted by Crystal Smythe of Longarm Lyrics. I completed it April 2 of this year.

Quilt on!

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Nephew’s Wedding Quilt

bloggersquilt festival

My first quilt for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival this fall is the quilt that I made for my nephew’s and new niece’s wedding. I guess now that they are officially married I’ll change the name of the quilt to Rob’s and Kristina’s Starfield. The quilt is based on the quilt called Starfield by Felice Regina at Sew Scatterbrained. And by based on, I mean it is the same quilt but with lots of extra white space to bring it up to queen-sized.

When we got the word that Rob and Kristina were planning an October wedding (back at the end of June), I immediately started communicating with them about what kind of quilt they wanted. I sent Kristina a link to my Quilty Gorgeousness Pinterest Board so they (she, really, as these things usually go) could give me an idea of what they liked. She sent me the Starfield picture and another that was all rectangles and squares. I immediately went about finding a pattern for Starfield (I bought it on Craftsy) and trying to decide how to enlarge it to be a queen-sized quilt, because (to me anyway) if you’re making a wedding quilt it should fit on a bed. Just my own quirk.

The first part that I made (in blue with a touch of rose, per Kristina’s request) was the center block. I posted this picture on Facebook without mentioning who it was for or anything. The first person to like it was Kristina. I figured this was a good sign.


Meanwhile, I was trying to decide whether to add more blocks to the quilt or more white space. I forged ahead making the blocks even before I made that decision. The original design has nine blocks so I made those. First up was four of these:


Then came the last four, which were these:


I love all these star blocks! They are so gorgeous. I am not sure I won’t use some of these again in other quilts.

Here are the 9 blocks on the design wall:


I decided that I really liked the idea of more white space rather than more blocks. (I guess somehow I seem to becoming a more modern quilter in my old age.) I figured the easiest way was to add white to all the blocks to make them about 30″ each.  Once I had done that, the top was too big for me to easily photograph it before sending it to Yessant Habetz at Sewing Habit, LLC for longarming. I couldn’t afford the time or cost of custom quilting (and my free motion quilting skills are nonexistent) so I went for a pinwheel vine-looking overall pattern. Here it is (the backing fabric is actually dark blue):


I spent all last weekend binding this baby. Monday was its bath day and there were a few moments of crisis after the first wash when I saw some blue running around some of the stars in spite of using 2 Color Catchers in the wash. I immediately (without drying) threw it back into the laundry with 4 Color Catchers and it came out perfect. What a relief! (The 4 Color Catchers were still pretty blue however!)

Here it is on the chair in the living room before I managed to cram it into a large (what a misnomer!) flat rate priority mail box for its trip to Arizona.


Here it is on the railing where all my quilts pose at one time or another:



But here is the best picture! Here are the newlyweds (the wedding was last night) holding their quilt! (I’m not sure why the lovely Kristina is hiding behind the quilt, but she is a bit shy.)RobandKristinasQuilt

Check out some of the other Blogger’s Quilt Festival Quilts before you

Quilt on!

Saturday Catch Up (last week and this afternoon)

I’m about to sort of do a burst of posts because I’ll do this one and then a couple for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. I did just realize that I never let you know how last weekend’s football sewing went. I did warn you, though, that hand work would be binding the quilt for my nephew and niece-to-be. And that’s what it was. Not just football, but all day and evening Saturday, a hunk of Sunday, and Monday morning. But more about that in a future post.

Today is a bye week for the team we usually watch, so instead of working on a BOM, I worked on my Pineapple Block from the Pepper Cory class I took at AQS Grand Rapids. Here is how it looks (only finger pressed) now:


I wanted to make some progress on this one because I’m hoping to make it into a pillow soonish. I’m also hoping to spend part of this evening and tomorrow sewing some small, quick projects. We’ll see how that goes.

Quilt on!


Books on Monday – Creative New Quilts & Projects from Precuts or Stash

This week we are looking at a relatively new book, Creative New Quilts & Projects from Precuts or Stash by Wendy Sheppard. Yes, the following link is indeed an Amazon Affiliate link, use of which will benefit this blog.

This book is a book of patterns for 11 projects. Other than the Introduction, which includes definitions of the various precuts and some hints about making your own, there are no techniques to learn. Also, not all of the projects are quilts. There are also wall hangings, place mats, table runners, and pillows here.

I like Wendy Sheppard’s designs, so these are a nice addition to my ridiculously extensive pattern collection. But I’m afraid that this is a very brief review. If you like these designs, you’ll love the book and use it. I’m thinking that my first project from the book will be the pillow that is the last project in the book – Flight of Colors Pillow. And yours?

Quilt on!

Quick – Last Saturday’s Update!

I just need to show you what I did last Saturday during the football game (which, admittedly is not much because the game was so exciting I forgot to sew some of the time).

I had made finishing this block take forever with the multiple piecing mistakes I had made. Here’s the one I found last week:

These geese and trapezoid units (all four of them)


should look like thisIMG_3396

and now they do.

Here’s the finished block as it looked finger pressed on the floor.


And here it is nicely pressed on the design wall. The colors are off a bit in this second picture. Maybe the difference between the Ott light upstairs and the flourescent tube lights in the basement.


Today instead of starting the next block in the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM, I’ll be hand stitching the binding on my nephew’s wedding quilt. I got it back from the longarmer yesterday. Look how gorgeous the quilting looks on the back of it!


And the backing is darkest blue, not the charcoaly color it looks like here!

Okay, I’m off to get back to binding!

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Pieced Flowers

Today we are looking at a very scary book – Pieced Flowers by Ruth B. McDowell. This is from all the way back in 2000!

There are all sorts of stunning pieced flowers in this one. (Maybe that’s to be expected in a book with this title!) Note, not paper pieced. Just pieced. Some with curves and very tiny pieces. And that is what makes this book scary to me. All those little pieces and templates (which is how you make the little pieces). Not a fan of templates.  I wish these were paper pieced – not that they all could be.

The book starts with a Preface, gorgeous pictures of the flower blocks (all of which have a curved piecing and a straight piecing block), and a bit about fabric selection, quilt designs, and quilting. Then it’s right to the blocks. The flowers covered are Campanula, Columbine, Cosmos, Daisy, Day Lily, Hollyhock, Iris, Morning Glory, Rose, and Sweet Pea. (And, yes, they are in alphabetical order in the book.) After all the blocks, there is an Appendix with incredibly helpful piecing tips. I strongly recommend reading the Appendix before trying any of the blocks.

These are some very creative designs! They are gorgeous. Once I get over being intimidated…

Quilt on!