Monday, April 29, 2019

Make-A-List Monday - Chasing A Wild Hare!

Hi, all!

Well, it's been an unusual week here - I started seeing a few squirrels, chasing a wild hare or two...

...and last week's list kind of went out the window!  But before I share what I did do, let's look at that list and see what I missed...

1.  Keep working on the vintage quilt repair.
Shamefully, I didn't work on this one.

2.  Continue making blocks for Hygge Sparkle Pop.
But I did do this one!  

3.  Start cutting fabrics for a special project.
I didn't do this one, mainly because one of the fabrics I ordered was put on back-order.  Fortunately I have a little time before this one is needed.

4.  Get some more day lilies and replant a pair of galvanized tubs.
I did do this one!  Look how pretty...

5.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
Another quiet week, which means we've got a chance to get caught up on cutting scraps and rebuilding our finished quilt stash!

OK - and here's what else I worked on this week...

First off, yard work (!)

Yard work definitely isn't my favorite thing to do, but for some reason this year it is calling my name!  I planted some gorgeous orange azaleas in this bed (which still needs weeding, but I need to buy mulch first...)

...and speaking of weeding, I did weed this huge bed outside my front porch!  Wow, do my arms hurt!!

I made a back for the Hygge Sparkle Pop quilt from that pretty blue  hydrangea print...

...and then the wild hare showed up!   I have needed to clean off my sewing table for a while, and I got in the mood to do it, so I took advantage of that and started.  I found two sets of blocks from projects I had started, then lost "that loving feeling" - so I decided to turn them into something else!

This pretty top is finished!  I swapped for the beautiful asian print which we had in the stash at church - it blends beautifully with the gold-dusted solid hourglass blocks!  I finished it off with some Kona Espresso bordering the koi print and the outside.  Now to find a back!

And these HSTs made it to the design wall, although I'm still trying to work out a design.  I've had a couple more ideas that I want to try out before deciding!

So it was a productive week, if not on the things I originally planned to work on.  Let's see what's on tap for this week now!

1.  Definitely work on the vintage quilt!

2.  Finish the solids HST quilt top.

3.  Quilt the Hygge Sparkle Pop quilt.

4.  More yard work - unfortunately mulch won't spread itself!

5.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

I'm going to try to stay on track this week - no promises, though!  

So now, the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Sunday, April 28, 2019

Hands2Help 2019 - Meet Guest Blogger Joanne!

Hi, all!

I'm so glad you're here!  It's time for another guest blogger and today I'm pleased to turn the blog over to Joanne!  Joanne has been involved with Hands2Help for many years now, and was actually the one to give me a push to feature the rectangle in my series of pre-H2H tutorials this year!  She has long been a lover of rectangles and is here to share more about them with us today - so without further ado, here she is!


Thank you Sarah for offering me the opportunity to be a guest blogger this year for the Hands2Help Challenge.  In the past I have shown my simple bricks pattern and done a wee little tutorial showing just how to assemble the block. 

Among the many reasons I like this block for community outreach quilts is that it involves straight stitching. No need to worry about points disappearing on stars or wobbly pinwheels. As you build the block it is what I call self correcting. By that I mean that each addition should match evenly with the previous section.

A brick is a special rectangle and this year we have been celebrating the rectangle during Sarah's weekly tutorials leading up to the challenge. If you take two bricks and stitch them with a quarter inch seam along the long side the result is a square. Bricks can be virtually any size from 3/4" x 1" to 5" x 9 1/2" and up. This makes them adaptable to many sizes of scraps.

My first 30 or so simple bricks quilts were all made the same way and used scraps. I experimented with colour a little in that I used established colour schemes. The one below is a pink and pastel green one. I will admit I have yet to make one that has no established colour scheme. I am a controlled scrappy person.

After I had exhausted my need to make the Simple Bricks1, I moved on to Simple Bricks2. Again using a controlled palette of colours. 

For this one you select two colours. The centre two bricks are one colour and the surrounding bricks are the second colour. Alternate blocks reverse the colour placement. This can also be done in one colour with alternating light and dark centres. These require more attention to where you are going and may not be ideal for charity group sewing if you have a variety of experience within the group.

This year I have started to experiment with a new Brick pattern I am calling Simple Bricks3. This one requires a good understanding of value and a very repetitive placement of those values. Here is a single block. 

The two middle bricks are light. Above and below those starter bricks are a medium/dark brick. On the sides you will have two bricks sewn end to end with a light and a medium/dark. But the direction that you put these side bricks is important. Note that I have the medium/dark on the top on the right side of the block and on the bottom on the left side of the block. 

To assemble the quilt top arrange the blocks so that the middle two lights are vertical and in the next block horizontal. The result is shown below. This was my first Simple Bricks3. 

If you use 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" bricks the block you get will be an 8 1/2" square (unfinished) block. Each of the Simple Bricks3 needs four light and four medium/dark fabrics. Using that information you can make any size quilt top. For this one value placement is very important and remember to alternate the direction of the centre pairs of light bricks.

I have not exhausted the possibilities for this arrangement but can see me thinking about the possibilities for Simple Bricks4 in the days ahead.I hope you will give this block a try. 

Piecefully, Joanne


I still have a box of 2.5"x4.5" bricks left over from last year's tutorial - now I need to try out these new blocks!  Thank you, Joanne, for giving us some more inspiration for using rectangles.  It's a versatile shape for quilting and a great way to use up fabric scraps!

Keep working on those H2H quilts, folks!  I love seeing them show up on Instagram - there's so much beauty and love in them!  Oh, and FYI - I did visit every blog that linked up last week, but unfortunately, was unable to leave comments on some of them.  I did want you to know I was there, though!  



Friday, April 26, 2019

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Feeling a Little Hygge.....

Hi, all!

Once again, Friday has rolled around and that means one thing - it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on!  After putting my nose to the grindstone on Thursday, I'm ready - are you?  Let's get started!


First of all, I need to share my internet research with you.  Maybe you've heard the word "hygge" but don't know quite what it means. Here's what I found out...


A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.

When I went to Ohio last fall, I found a beautiful bundle of Essex yarn-dyed linen...

...which of course had to come home with me!  I've been looking at it on my shelf since then, reveling in the beautiful soft colors and textures of the linen.  It always reminded me of that word "hygge" because it always made me feel content and cozy.  This week I didn't have an ongoing project, so I decided it was time to put that fat quarter bundle to work.  One of my favorite quilts is the postage stamp quilt, which goes together fairly quickly from a fat quarter bundle, so I grabbed it from the shelf and started cutting!  And here's my finished top...

Sorry for the less-than-optimum picture - clouds and rain and lots of wind came in while I was working on finishing this on Thursday, so I couldn't get a good picture outside.  But I'll be sure to get some good pics once it's quilted!

And I had some leftover 5-patch strips after finishing the blocks for this quilt!  Rather than throw them in the orphan block box, I decided to put them to use.  I got a new chair yesterday, and it looked a little plain, so here's what I came up with...

A simple little pillow, about 11"x15", with an envelope closure and binding on the edges!  And not only one, but two - one for each of the chairs in the room!

And you know the very best thing about this project?  I have absolutely no scraps left over!  Not one!

I also want to share a friend's whoop whoop moment, recorded last Wednesday night...

My friend Mary has been working on string blocks for about two months now, and last Wednesday night she put her finished blocks up on the design wall!  She finally has enough for a whole quilt!!

So - - - can we get a whoop whoop??


And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?

What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share!  We want to dance right along with you,

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, April 24, 2019

I May Have A Scrap Problem... Some Inspiration!

Hi, all!

It's been a busy week in my hometown (any Garrison Keillor fans out there?) and so I haven't done much in the way of scrappy sewing.  I did cut up some scraps...

...a task which I had been neglecting for far too long! Unfortunately, this barely made a dent in the stack, but at least it's a start.  I also did a bunch of scrap cutting and sorting at church last week, which is probably why I didn't feel like doing a lot of it at home.  That's no excuse, I know!

So in the absence of any scrappy progress, how about some inspiration?  I did find some lovelies on Instagram this week...

Look at that fabulous star quilt!  This would definitely eat up some of those pesky scraps...

And isn't this neat?  A great way to set "made-fabric" blocks!

These three quilts were made for the survivors of the Christchurch bombings - aren't they wonderful?  Probably not technically scrappy, but they definitely made me start thinking of ways to recreate them as blocks!

This quilt probably isn't intended to be scrappy, but I can see the possibilities, can't you?  It's a beautiful thing, in any case!

Keep working with those scraps!  I'm going to try to quilt my table runner this week so I'll have something pretty to show off next week.  Wish me luck!



Monday, April 22, 2019

Make-A-List Monday - Plugging Away!

Hi, all!

Welcome to another beautiful week!  After a weekend of highs in the 40's (WHAT???) the sun has returned and the weather is finally looking like late spring!  I got a wild hair today and decided to plant some more pretties in my front planter - after all, it needed weeding, and if I had to do that, I needed an incentive...

Lowe's helped out with a great sale on Stella d'Oro day lilies, and I splurged a little bit on some gorgeous yellow azaleas and the prettiest orange azalea I've ever seen - I can't wait until they bloom out!  

And I actually got them all planted, too!  I've learned the hard way - I don't buy any more than I plan to put in the ground right then.  Yard work is not my favorite thing to do, although I do love the results!  So now my front flower bed has five burning bush shrubs, four Stella d'Oro day lily plants, and four azaleas, two each of yellow and orange.  I feel so accomplished!

So let's see how last week's list went, now that I've showed you just a little bit of what else I've been working on...

1.  Put some serious time into repair work on the vintage quilt.
Done!  I've finished stitching the popped seams (I hope!) 

and have marked all the places that need more serious patching. You can see all the work that's yet to go by counting all those pink post-it notes!

Fortunately, the quilter who made this used a blanket as the batting layer... the quilt is much more repairable than it normally would be.  There are only a couple of places where the inner blanket needs repair, as you can see here.

2.  Try out my double wedding ring templates.
Done!  I had fun with this, although I don't think I'd want to do a whole quilt - at least, not yet!  But I think this will make a nice table runner!

3.  Clean out the grandkids' toy closet.  (It hasn't been done in a long time and there's a bunch of stuff they're too old for in there!)
Done!  I winnowed out all the toys they didn't play with any more and that were too young for them, and re-organized it all... now it's a little easier to find what they want to play with.  And as a bonus, I took this big bag of toys to the place where the littles do their speech therapy, to replenish the toy closet there!

4.  Paint the stair risers while my hubby is out of town.
Oh well, I didn't get to this one.  Someday...

5.  Post the non-blogger Hands2Help updates that have been hitting my inbox this week!
Done!  You can see all their beautiful quilts in this post.

6.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.
It was a quiet week - I guess everyone was busy getting ready for Easter!

But meanwhile, I did a few other things this week, like cut up a bunch of scraps....

...start on a new quilt I'm calling Hygge Sparkle Pop (I'll explain that after I finish it!)...

...and saved a LOT of money at Joann's today as I purchased some large yardage pieces for backings for the quilt ministry!

And one final fun thing that happened last week...

We had an unexpected visitor!  Buttercup found a low spot in her fence and went between hers and ours until she found another low spot, then started feasting on our (apparently much greener) grass!

Her companions (JJ, Flash, and Thunder, left to right), were not impressed!  But they did come over to say hello (and to munch on some bananas I cut up for them!)  Buttercup's owner came over and rescued her, and fixed the fence.  Now she just comes over and looks wistfully across the fence at all our nice green grass.....

So that was my week last week.  Pretty full and eventful, and that doesn't even include Easter Sunday!  This week should be a little easier - here's what's on my horizon right now.

1.  Keep working on the vintage quilt repair.

2.  Continue making blocks for Hygge Sparkle Pop.

3.  Start cutting fabrics for a special project.

4.  Get some more day lilies and replant a pair of galvanized tubs.

5.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that come up.

Some big projects that will take some time, so I'm keeping the list short this week.  Still enough to keep me busy, though, I'm sure!

And now the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Sunday, April 21, 2019

Hands2Help 2019 - Meet Guest Blogger Sharon!

Hi, all!

Happy Easter!  I hope you have all had a beautiful day - I plan to spend it with family, hunting eggs and eating lots of fabulous food. It's always a big day for us!

It's also time for us to meet another guest blogger in this year's Hands2Help Challenge!  Sharon, who blogs over at Vrooman's Quilts, is a fabulous scrap quilter, a wonderful supporter of the Challenge since it began, and to top it all off, she has the greatest address EVER!  I want to live on Quilt Lane too!  If you've never visited her blog, you really should - she's a constant source of inspiration and wow, does she keep her scraps neatly organized!  You'll be amazed!  So now, I'm turning the blog over to her....


I would like to thank Sarah for inviting me to host a spot for Hands2Help.  I have actively participated in this project since it's beginning  and Sarah has done a fantastic job in making this grow each year.  Now she has shared so many wonderful quilts using up your scraps each year for this and this year was no exception with dedication to rectangles.  BUT.....

I want to dedicate my post to the lonely square.  We are always looking for fast blocks that are easy to make, use up the scraps/stash on hand, and (the key) easy to quilt math.  I find so many quilter who are afraid of quilt math.  Using a square makes this so much easier - and they can make some beautiful quilts.

The Postage Stamp is a great way to use up a lot of squares.  You can have fun with color mix, sashing, and various settings.

You can take advantage of large and specialty prints and make them stand out by the type of sashing you use.

How about we flip just one corner?  It can be a precise size or you can try some using up some of those 'odd' tid bits.  Have fun playing with layouts or the classic Bow Tie.  

You can flip two corners as well.  Opposite corners  for X's and O's, Stretch Stars, or fun mosiac.  Corners on one side make easy stars - use same size flips or fun stretchy ones with those odd tid-bits.

You can flip three corners to create some pretty flowers.

Of course the Snowball Block with four flip corners.  How you chose to create the 'ball' with size flips and how you chose to set them into a pattern - they all make wonderfull quilts.

There are many other ways to play with a square - be creative.  You will find they make lovely quilts and will help you feel more at ease in using your 'quilt math'. 

There are a lot of patterns on-line for 'nickel and dime' quilts (charms and layer cakes), but you can cut your own stash and scraps.  My favorite book is the "BIG Book of Nickel Quilts" by Pat Speth.  I actually own all the BIG books as they are great resources.

I have a tutorial on my blog  today  (I had the wrong month marked on my calendar for my post - so early - but done) to make the Double Square Block by making the 'tulip' unit.  You can find it HERE.

Sewingly Yours,


So many fabulous ideas!  I particularly love the dark ring quilt, and may have to put that on my bucket list - it looks like a good scrap buster, doesn't it?

Have you been waiting for just the right inspiration to dip your toe in the water?  Now's the time!  You can still sign up by clicking the button for the Hands2Help 2019 page right under my blog header, scrolling halfway down the post and filling out the entry form.  (Be sure to click Submit at the end to complete your entry!)  After all, the more, the merrier!