Monday, February 6, 2023

Make-A-List Monday - It's Crunch Time!

Hi, all!

I have come back to the real world with a bang and a half, realizing that I've got a bunch of quilt-top-making to get done in the next couple of weeks!  But before I elaborate on that, let's see how my list (from two weeks ago) went....

1.  Finish the pattern testing quilt top.

Done!  And I can even share a picture of this one - Paper Hearts by Kelli Fannin Quilts!

If you love the look of half square triangles, but don't like making them, this is definitely the quilt pattern for you!

2.  Finish writing the first two tutorials.

Done!  The tutorials for these two quilts have already posted...

...AND I have the remaining four planned and in draft form on the computer, waiting for the photos I will take while making the prototypes!

3.  Graph out a fourth quilt for the series.

Done!  All the quilts are lined up and ready to be made!

4.  If time permits, cut out the third quilt.

Done!  And not only cut out, but well on its way to becoming a finished flimsy!  That should happen tomorrow....

5.  Keep up with walking, yoga, and Italian!

Walking and Italian are coming right along, but yoga has taken a back seat while we were traveling, and I haven't gotten back to it yet.

So I'm really pleased with the progress I've made on the writing of the tutorials.  Now I just need to get the actual physical making of the quilts rolling!  Here's what I'll be working on this week....

1.  Finish the third prototype quilt top.

2.  Cut out the fourth prototype quilt.

3.  Start piecing the fourth prototype quilt and TAKE PICS!

4.  Pull fabrics for the fifth prototype quilt.

5.  Pull fabrics for the sixth prototype quilt.

5.  As usual, walking, Italian and hopefully some yoga!

Enough to keep me busy and then some, but hopefully if I knock some of this out, I'll feel a little less stressed.  Right now I feel like I've got a train breathing down my neck, pushing me down the tracks.  Not a pleasant feeling, but I'm sure if I can get some things done, it will get better.

Oh, and I did get a nice surprise this past weekend - and it has a funny story.  Right before we went on our trip to Florida, my husband texted me and said he had a "new doorstop".  I thought he might mean the dog so I went into his office, only to find him making very sour faces at his work computer.  It was dead as a doornail.  The IT guy said he could bring him one in Florida, so no problem there.  When he got his new computer, he was so excited - a new MacBook Air with an M2 processor.  Doesn't mean much to me, but he was really excited!  He was comparing it to my laptop, looking at the size, the weight, the screen size - and then he asked me how old my laptop was.  I guessed five years, about the same age as the one he had that had just died - but no, it was an early 2015 - 8 years old!  He suggested that we get me a new computer so that I didn't drive him nuts when this one finally gave up the ghost, so when we got home, we went to the Apple store and got me one just like his work computer.  It's sweet!  I particularly love the fingerprint touch id button, and the keyboard has a nice bounce to it when I type.  And the battery!  On my old computer, the battery ran out after two hours working by the pool on vacation.  I have charged the battery on this computer one time since Friday!  I can tell we are going to be very good friends......

So now, I really want to know - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Sunday, February 5, 2023

Something Old, Something New - An Oldie, But A Goodie!


Hi, all!

As I write this, I am sitting by the pool on an airport hotel rooftop, enjoying sunshine, blue skies, lovely warm temperatures, and the sound of airplanes taking off in the background!  My husband is in meetings all day, and I can't think of a better time and place to write some of these upcoming tutorials, so here I am.  

I have to admit that I have been putting off writing these tutorials for a couple of weeks now, but being able to do it out here takes out all the drudgery!  So now, let's move on to this week's quilt!

Seven years ago I posted a tutorial for this quilt, and it rapidly became one of my most-requested tutorials.  FaveQuilts picked it up and it was actually in their list of top quilts requested several years running!  It is such an easy and quick quilt, perfect for beginners or for a (very) fast comfort or gift quilt.  It's called the Easy Peasy Giant Disappearing Nine-Patch Quilt!

Now, if you're unfamiliar with a disappearing nine-patch block (also known as a D9P), it's really simple.  First you make a basic nine-patch block, and then you cut it up and sew it back together in a different pattern.  It's a great way to make a simple quilt that looks a lot more complicated than it is!  

The quilt top in this picture literally took two and a half hours, from picking out the fabric squares to hanging it on the line for pictures!

There are lots of different designs for D9P blocks, but this quilt is made with one of the most basic designs, just really large.  Here's the tutorial for this quilt!  


This year's version of the quilt looks different, but gives you a good idea of the variety you can achieve just by changing up your fabrics.  For this one, I used a layer cake plus plus a coordinating solid for the center squares of the original 9-patch blocks.

Easy-Peasy Giant Disappearing Nine-Patch

Size:  approximately 57” x 71”
All seams are 1/4”

Fabric Requirements:

45 10” x 10” squares.  

This is a great pattern to use a layer cake!  I used 40 pieces from a layer cake, and added 5 10" squares in a coordinating solid for the center squares of the initial 9-patch blocks (approximately 5/8 yard of fabric required).  You can also cut your own squares and use it to showcase beautiful large-print fabrics.

Block Construction:

For each oversized nine-patch block, select nine 10” print squares.  On a flat surface, arrange the squares into three rows of three squares, with any fabrics that you want to be dominant in the quilt in the four corners of your block, as those fabrics will remain uncut at the cutting stage.

To piece the block, first sew the squares into three rows.  Press the seams to one side, pressing in the opposite direction for the center row.  Sew the three rows together to create your 9-patch blocks.  Press these seams toward the center, then press the block and set it aside.  Repeat the process, making a total of five blocks.

Cut the blocks into quarters by cutting in half from top to bottom, then side to side.  


Because of the large size of the blocks, it’s easiest to find the center by measuring the center row of blocks, dividing by two and cutting that far from the side seam of the middle row.  If you have sewn an accurate 1/4” seam, that measurement should be 4.75”.

Arrange your new, smaller blocks into five rows of four blocks apiece. 

Sew the rows, pressing the seams in opposite directions.  Then sew the rows together, nesting the seams for matching corners.   Press the entire quilt top.

Voila!  You’re done!!

Credits:  Original pattern by Vivika Hansen Denegre; featured in Modern Patchwork 2012


I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I do - it's great for pulling a quilt together quickly, and looks wonderful in batiks or large-scale prints.

It's also perfect for that random layer cake you have laying around!  Or dig into your larger scraps and cut a bunch of 10" squares - this can be a real scrap buster.  If you want a larger quilt, just add another 9-patch block to the mix to add another row for length, which will take it to a good twin-size-ish size!

See you next week for another easy quilt - this time it will be a new design, I think!



Friday, February 3, 2023

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Pattern Testing Is Fun!


Hi, all!

It's been a great week, and it's drawing to a close - and it's Friday!  We all know what that means, too - it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on!  Are you ready? Let's go!


Since I've been gone all week, I haven't done any sewing to speak of.  Mostly I spent my spare time by the hotel pool while my husband was working....

Not such a bad way to spend a day, is it?  And I managed to get all six of the tutorial blogposts started.  One has posted, one is ready, and the others need photos and finished quilt tops - so I've still got a lot of work to do!

And I do have a quilt to share today - well, a top at least.  I tested a beautiful, fun quilt for Kelli Fannin recently, and I don't think I've shared it yet!

The pattern is called Boulangerie, and this is my version of it.  Kelli's pattern has twelve blocks - ten donuts, a cinnamon roll and a cup of cocoa - but I decided to make mine a little smaller because I wanted to be able to hang it on a wall.  Kelli's pattern makes it very easy to assemble this quickly, and it's so fun choosing fabrics for the donut toppings.  She's just released it recently in her online shop, so check it out!

And as I was getting the link for her shop, I noticed that she has also released the most recent quilt I tested for her - Paper Hearts!

Isn't that a gorgeous pattern?  And the best part? It looks like a LOT of half square triangles, but it isn't!  This quilt was so much fun to make, and now I want to make it in other color ways - maybe even a reverse coloring, with a light background and dark motifs.  Who knows?  The possibilities are endless!

So - - - can I 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!