A Bit More Catching Up

Another finish! That makes 5 since June! I never do this! I usually just start stuff and finish them in dribbles, one or two a year! (The one or two a year are the finishes, not the starts unfortunately!)

This finish was very predictable. It is the Carpenter’s Star Christmas Tree Skirt for my youngest daughter and her husband.



I am pretty sure I am never making another Christmas tree skirt! Trying to sew the binding around the hole in the middle is not the least bit fun and it didn’t turn out very well either. Also, the greater than 90 degree angles and I did not do as well as I had hoped we would after I watched every video I could find. It might have helped if I hadn’t bound it in the same Fairy Frost as the snow colored parts of the quilt because that is a very thick fabric and a bit tough to manipulate and ease into things.

I will be handing off the two Christmas tree skirts on Friday. Just to remind you how different the tastes of my two daughters is, here is another picture of the eldest daughter’s Christmas tree skirt:


At the risk of offending either of my daughters (or my son-in-law), I have very different feelings about these two tree skirts. I am very proud of having actually been able to make the Christmas Celebration tree skirt for my eldest daughter. I think it looks elegant and like it was much more difficult to make than it really was. I had fun making my youngest daughter’s and son-in-law’s tree skirt and it makes me smile to look at it. It feels bright, Christmasy and homey to me.

And now, maybe you know whose tastes are more like mine. ;-)

I also completed Block 5 of the 2014 Designer Mystery BOM from the Fat Quarter Shop. I do love these colors!


And I got a very small start on Quilting Monkey #1 – The American Beauty BOM. Back in April of 2012 I posted about having assembled these setting triangles for the 12 blocks and how I needed to trim them. Last night I trimmed the first two. The template is very slippery so I’m not very excited about doing the rest, but it will make a nice leaders and enders project to sew them onto the blocks.


Other than that, most of the quilting I’ve been doing is hand quilting the church quilt, which is really not very likely to get finished in time this year. Too much other stuff going on!

How’s your quilting going?

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Thoroughly Modern Dresden

Today we are looking at another of my acquisitions from the fall C&T Publishing sale. The book we are looking at today is Thoroughly Modern Dresden ● Quick & Easy Construction ● 13 Lively Quilt Projects for All Skill Levels by Anelie Belden. The link below is, as usual, an Amazon Associate link.

When this book arrived, I began looking at it and reading the directions. I was immediately confused by mentions of templates to be used when there was no actual template sheet in the book. After looking closely at the Table of Contents, I realized my book was missing the template sheet. I sent an email to C&T and got a lovely email in return telling me a new copy was on the way. (And I hadn’t even put my address in the email!) I was very impressed with the customer service!

All of the quilts in this book are indeed made of some variation of the Dresden block. Some of the Dresdens are pointed, some straight, some rounded, and some three-sided. I am amazed at how many different styles of quilt are made out of these Dresdens and Dresden blades. And, yes, there are several patterns in this book I want to try.

Let’s look at the contents of this book.

  • Introduction
  • Dresden Beginnings – includes the history of the block and a description of what the author means by skill level.
  • Tools and Supplies
  • Anatomy of the Dresden Design
  • Dresden Blocks and Designs
  • Dresden Block Construction
  • Projects
  • General Quilt Finishing Instructions
  • Dresden Templates – How to make and use them. The actual templates are a pullout in the back of the book.
  • About the Author
  • Resources
  • The Template Patterns Pullout

If you ever want to make a Dresden quilt of any kind, this book will thoroughly prepare you for the experience.

Quilt on!

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry #2 – Small Quilt


At 60″ in diameter and (if I’ve done my math correctly) 188.5″ in circumference, “Janni’s Christmas Celebration” tree skirt qualifies as a small quilt, I guess.

IMG_2323Last year about this time, my eldest daughter asked if I would make her a red and gold Christmas tree skirt. We looked online and found the Christmas Celebration pattern by Judy Niemeyer. I will admit to being very nervous and intimidated by this pattern as I’d never made one of her patterns before.

IMG_1442I think that this year’s updated version of this pattern has a different cover, but it’s the same pattern. But back to my story.

I was a little nervous about doing this tiny pointy paper piecing, but the cutting and paper piecing directions provided were amazing. Even the curved piecing was not as scary as I expected it to be.

Here are some pictures I took along the way:


I got started with the first section (above) and the finished first sections are below.



Above is the beginning of the curved flying geese sections which did have me a bit worried but once I got going they turned out fine as you can see below.


  The next few pictures show the sections as I put them together to make the wedges.






Below are the first two wedges joined together.


Below is the completed top before I sent it off to be quilted by Crystal of Longarm Lyrics.


Below is a picture of the beautiful golden swirls that Crystal quilted into the tree skirt. I took the picture from the back because it is easier to see the quilting on the plain backing.


And here is another shot of the completed tree skirt!


Name: Janni’s Christmas Celebration
Size: 60″ in diameter
Pattern: Christmas Celebration by Judy Niemeyer
Batting – 100% cotton
Quilting: Machine quilted by Crystal of Longarm Lyrics in swirls.
Quilt on!

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry #1 – Hand Quilted


It’s Blogger’s Quilt Festival time! This year I am posting two quilts in the festival. This one is in the hand quilted category.


Now, if you are a regular reader of this blog, I’m betting you know what quilt this is. Yes, it is the famous Wedding Quilt, renamed “Spotts Sea of Love” upon completion. There’s an entire category on this blog called Wedding Quilt Progress if you really want to delve into its history, but here’s what we used to call the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version.

Our youngest daughter became engaged in mid-December, 2012 and, of course, asked if I would be making a quilt. Duh! By mid-January, she and her fiancé had chosen the pattern and colors for the quilt (the pattern is Aegean Sea by Judy Martin from the book Stellar Quilts). I asked them if they wanted it machine quilted, in which case they could have it by their wedding day, or hand quilted, in which case I guaranteed it by their first anniversary. They told me to do whichever I preferred so hand quilting won!

Star Blocks for wedding quiltThese are the first units assembled for this quilt, the stars for the centers of the super blocks. They are purples and yellows. All the fabric in this quilt are batiks.

IMG_1239Here are some other building blocks of this quilt.

Grand BlockThis is the first completed Super Block. See the other stars hanging around waiting for their turn.

IMG_1280These are the borders.

IMG_1356And here it is as I worked on it in my first hoop. That hoop was kind of flimsy and this very heavy quilt ended up destroying it so I got a different hoop to finish off the quilt.

IMG_1801This is the quilting in the large areas between the superblocks. Otherwise, the quilting is all stitch in the ditch. I wanted to emphasize the Greek Key kind of designs (or square spirals as my son-in-law calls them), because they were one of the reasons the newlyweds chose this pattern.


It was hard to get good pictures of this quilt. Here it is on my bed, but still not easy to see.


Here it is with the new owners as quilt holders in the family room (currently the theater room) of their new house. This was taken before the room was painted red and the furniture moved in. The newlyweds moved into their newly purchased home the week after their first anniversary.

Name: Spotts Sea of Love
Size: 90″ X 90″
Pattern: Aegean Sea by Judy Martin from the book Stellar Quilts
Fabric – batiks
Batting – wool
Quilting: In the ditch and some marked straight line and medallion
Quilt on!

Craftsy’s Halloween Flash Sale


(sponsored post)

Take advantage of Craftsy’s Halloween Flash Sale happening now! Enjoy scary-good savings on select fabric, yarn and kits that are vanishing quickly. Hurry, this limited-time offer expires Friday October 24, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop Craftsy’s Hallowen Flash Sale fast while supplies last!

Talking it up Tuesday

Today’s post is a bit of an advertisement, but the only thing I’m earning by posting it is sister points, so I hope you will bear with me on this.

My sister and brother-in-law recently began a new venture, turning their home in the San Francisco Bay area into a bed and breakfast. Their home is a stunning place to stay with views of the ocean from nearly every room (including 2 of the 3 bathrooms – but one of those is the master bath). They are also fun people to visit (way more extroverted than I am). Just know that one of those rooms (most likely the first) is mine if I’m in town!

If you are headed to the San Francisco Bay area, you may want to check out these links.

Harbor View from Asia – Queen Bed in Half Moon Bay

Cozy Africa Theme – 2 Twin Beds

Southwest Harbor View – Queen Bed

HMB Harbor Views – Two BR – Sleeps 4

If there were just a few more sleeping rooms, I’d suggest a Bay Area Twilter retreat! Also, in speaking with my sister, she says any friend of mine gets a discount (not sure how much), so make sure you tell her you read about it here for your discount!


Quilt on!

Books on Monday – The Loyal Union Sampler

Before I start today’s review, I want to mention something about my reviews. No one sends me books to review. I purchase each and every book that I review myself (or I have purchased them in the past).  If it turns out that you buy a used copy of a book that I reviewed on Amazon.com and it happens to be my copy, I’m not making money on something that was given to me to review. I don’t know why I felt like I needed to say this, but I did. Now on to today’s review!

Today we are looking at The Loyal Union Sampler from Elm Creek Quilts: 121 Traditional Blocks Quilt Along with the Women of the Civil War by Jennifer Chiaverini. Like a previously reviewed book (Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler), this is a quilt inspired by one of Chiaverini’s novels. This time the novel is The Union Quilters: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel. (The second link here is, like the following link, an Amazon Associate link – usual disclaimer here. The first link is a link to my review of previously reviewed book.)

Like the previous book, this one is a sampler quilt, so it is patterns for 121 blocks that measure 6 inches, finished. The vast majority of these blocks are pieced blocks, but there are a couple (actually 3, I think) appliqué blocks. There are some truly awesome blocks in this book that I intend to use in a quilt sometime. Seriously.

The bulk of this book is the block patterns. There is a section discussing the novel and its relationship to this sampler, but that is about it for written material. The block patterns appear to be well written and easy to follow but I have not yet tried to make one. They appear in the book in alphabetical order by name.

I am not going to list the entire table of contents here because it lists each block by name, but here is the condensed version.

  • A paragraph under the title of the table of contents that describes how to find each block in the quilt.
  • The Union Quilters and the Loyal Union Sampler – tells about the novel and its relationship to this sampler.
  • The block patterns listed individually.
  • General Instructions – discusses sashing, borders, and quilt assembly.
  • The Gallery – photos of various versions of this sampler
  • Template and Foundation Patterns – the ones you need for these blocks are all here.
  • About the Author – you know what this means!

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Color Essentials

This week we are looking at another book I purchased from C&T during their fall sale – Color Essentials: Crisp & Vibrant Quilts by Amanda Murphy. Below is a lovely Amazon Associate link, which, as you know, gives you the opportunity to purchase a book and support this blog with no extra cost to you.

This book is beautifully done. The pictures are gorgeous and colorful. The quilt designs are modern and colorful. The production value of the book itself is high quality.

But I kind of felt a bit like this book was a Kona solids commercial, which is not necessarily awful but if I had known that, I would not have paid big bucks for it. (Okay, I didn’t, because I bought it on sale, but maybe you get my drift.) I don’t like to pay for advertising. I still resent it that there are commercials at the movies. I don’t have a problem with a book on using solids and color theory as long as you don’t mention a fabric line by name.

That being said, if that aspect doesn’t bother you and you want to use solids to make modern quilts, this book has several lovely patterns. Alternate colorways are shown for each quilt, to help you picture how they would look in other colors.

So, on to the Table of Contents!

  • Dedication/Acknowledgments
  • A Rainbow of Possibilities (This is the section on color. It is illustrated heavily with pictures of Kona swatches. Even the color wheel has Kona palette notations.)
  • Try It! (These are the small projects, pillows, table runners, and place mats.)
  • The Heart of the Matter (the quilt projects)
  • Quilting Solids (a note from the longarmer who quilted the quilts)
  • Quiltmaking Basics (a VERY brief discussion of the basics)
  • Supplies/Source List
  • About the Author (On the same page as the supplies list and to the left of it, so I would have expected it to come before the list in the table of contents, but it didn’t and I’m probably being too picky.)

After reading/looking at this book, I hesitated to review it because I don’t like doing reviews that are negative, and it feels like I’m being more than a little negative on this one. But then I looked at the quilts again (and again and again) and thought maybe you ought to know that the quilts are gorgeous. I just have a problem with the fact that the title of the book makes it sound like you are going to learn lots and lots about color – and I didn’t feel like you really will. (The second half of the title – Crisp and Vibrant Quilts – is definitely true though!)

And that is all I’m going to say about that!

Quilt on!

Sunday Updates

To my very great surprise, I got the call last Tuesday that the other Christmas tree skirt was now quilted and ready for me to pick up. It was too late in the day for me to do that on Tuesday, but on Wednesday morning I rushed over to pick it up. I love the star quilting on it. I’ve made its binding (I did that yesterday) but I still need to figure out how to do the greater than 90º angles in an octagon before I sew it on to the quilt.

I’ve also made some progress on two of the Designer Mystery BOMs I’m working on. Here is Block 6 from the 2012 Designer Mystery BOM. I had thought I had it finished on Tuesday, but when I went to press it I realized that I had rotated a couple of the patches incorrectly so I had to unsew and do over.


Here is Block 3 from this year’s Designer Mystery BOM. Once it was cut out, it went together pretty quickly.


I have started Block 7 of the 2011 Designer Mystery BOM and should maybe finish it sometime this week. Although I don’t chauffeur my DH to rehearsal because he isn’t leading worship next week and that is when I usually get some hand piecing in. The other time that I do some hand piecing is during University of Michigan football games but this next week is a bye week so I have no idea whether any hand piecing will happen after all.

I am, however, machine piecing this year’s BOM, so I have high hopes that I will get Block 4 completed before Block 5 arrives this week. Once it gets here, I may even whip that out too! Who knows?

Quilt on!

Craftsy 5 Million Members Sale


Craftsy is celebrating reaching 5 million members with a sale.  Get up to 50% off select online classes for a limited time only! Hurry, this offer expires on October 13th, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop Craftsy’s 5 Million Member Flash Sale now and save! (And, yes, I am a Craftsy affiliate and would appreciate you clicking on the link to shop or sign up as a new Craftsy member.)

Happy learning!

Quilt on!