Tag Archive | Reach for the Stars

Weekend – Day 2

Would it surprise you that my laundry still needs folding, but I have blocks to show you anyway?  It doesn’t surprise me a bit – but it is still early on Sunday.  Might get to that laundry yet.

Block 6 from Reach for the Stars is, to me, the easiest block so far.  Four HST units in the corners and 5 hour glass blocks.  I pretty much made up my own directions and used the easy method for hour glass blocks and cut my squares at 5 1/2″ (probably could have been 5 1/4″, but I wanted to be sure to have enough room to trim evenly).  I still need to add the black sashing, but here’s the last block for now – until a new issue of Quilters Newsletter arrives!  (Please, please, please ignore my ugly foot in this picture).

The outer corner fabric is from Palm Court, the two light fabrics are from Little Black Dress II and the other black/tan fabric is a new addition from Little Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings and it is called Raven Star Shower.

RFTS Block 6

While organizing a few boxes in my room (my daughter wanted one of my prized FQS boxes to paint and decorate as Ariel’s Grotto) – I came across a fat quarter bundle of Bluebird Park by Kate & Birdie Paper Co (for Moda).  I thought instantly that it would make a great choice for my ‘first’ Great Granny Squared quilt.  Here’s the unbundling on my cutting table:

BP FQ Bundle


I already had quite a bit of grey polka dot yardage from Vintage Modern (Bonnie & Camille) and it goes wonderfully with this linen-look collection.  I couldn’t wait to make my first block!

Here’s the first fabric on the ironing board:


BP Fabric 1

I asked Nora to select three more that were of different colors and got my cutting done in no time.  (not for the entire quilt mind you, but enough to get a block done and have some instant smiles)

The fabric collection has cute pictures of rabbits and hedgehogs.  The rabbits are making an appearance in my first block:


And here is the final block, squared up to 12 1/2″ unfinished.  I’m sure this would go much faster if I had everything cut now and decided on all the combinations of fabrics, but that isn’t really how I roll.  There are a total of 20 blocks in the quilt top and it calls for a few more fat quarters than I have in this bundle.  I’m going to mix in some Wishes fabric by Sweetwater.  I have two charm packs of it and many of the colors will go great.

GGS Block 1

My Avalon house block will have to wait until later tonight, or this week.  I really had to get this one block done – it is so Springy!  Plus, I have a couple of housewarming quilts that need to be made in the next couple of months and I think this will be one of them.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend and thanks for stopping by for a visit!


Weekend – Day 1

I’m so glad there are two weekend days.  The first one usually gets lost with TV, feeding everyone, a unproductive nap that leaves me more sleepy than before and just a little sewing.  I still have 5 1/2 hours left in ‘the day’, but there is still one more meal to provide and laundry piled up on the bed to fold.  I hope to get my Avalon block pieced tonight though, so another post may be warranted tomorrow!

Today, I got a small bit done.  Very small.  I added four sashing strips to Block 5 of Reach for the Stars.  I took the opportunity of changing the sheets on my guest bed to lay out all of my blocks now and take a quick picture:


RFTS Blocks 03-01

I’m still so in love with this quilt and can’t wait to see it grow over the year.

Last night, I decided to add a decorative yo-yo to Block 5, using the background fabric from the block.  I like the results.  A little surprise!

Block 5 with YoYo

I also started getting nervous about the state of my focus fabric, which is mostly obtained from a panel I purchased in the Palm Court collection by Benartex.  It isn’t the easiest fabric group to find, but I had purchased it, and other items from the collection, from Rossville Quilts.  I decided to get another panel so I could make it comfortably to the end of this quilt with as much fussy cutting as I wanted.

Here is the new panel:

New PalmCourt Panel

And here is my Swiss Cheese panel, with still a bit of undisturbed design in the center that I will utilize soon.  Maybe I can find a way to use the stripe portion too:

PalmCourt Panel Swiss

Hope you are having a quilty weekend, or doing something that makes you happy!



Another Clover? Am I crazy??

First up, is my completed Block 5 for Reach for the Stars.  It went together great.  I ignored the directions for the most part and made my HSTs with 2 1/2″ squares sewn together on both sides of the diagonal, trimmed down to be 2″ unfinished HSTs.  Not much waste at all.  The large, focus HSTs (four of them) – I still cut as directed because of the fussy cutting and I wanted as much of the floral motif to be in the block as possible.  I changed up the fabric choice a little in the center.  It was originally all the same light background.

I brought my block to work today, so I could take a picture on our conference table and do my post during the lunch break.  Black print is from American Gothic, the light background is from Little Black Dress II (ordered me some more of that one!), floral is from the Palm Court panel (really looking like swiss cheese now!), and the center swirly black/white is from Downton Abbey.  I didn’t have enough of the sashing fabric, so I’ll have to add it later this week when it comes in.

RFTS Block 5

Reach for the Stars – Block 5
12 1/2″ Unfinished

I also decided on my backing fabric.  I wanted to make sure I would be able to get enough when it was time, so I placed my order with Rossville Quilts for multiple yards of this SKU from the Palm Court collection by Benartex:


Black with the same floral motif as the panel and a hint of gold metallic tones.  I have a fat quarter of this one already, so I know it will go just perfectly.


Look at what else I got in the mail yesterday!  Lori Holt’s new booklet!!

GGS Book

She is showcasing her upcoming collection called “Vintage Happy” and I am definitely going to make the feature quilt in it.  Fat Quarter Shop is kitting the quilt, and they say you will have enough leftover to “start” the bonus quilt also (the one with the dark navy background on the cover photo above).  I think this fabric will play nicely with my other Lori Holt hoard of fabrics, and even with Happy Go Lucky or Avalon (which I may have a few bits of as well).

Here is  picture of the inside cover, giving you another look at Vintage Happy:

GGS Inside Cover

Did anyone else pre-order the book – or also planning on getting this?  You may recall my participation in the AYOS sew along this year, where we did the CLOVER pattern by Miss Rosie’s Quilt Company.  It is also based on an album block.

Clover Borders Grass


The difference here is that Lori has you square off each block in her method, and add sashing, etc…  She also adds another round of squares.  I struggled a lot with Clover because of the long diagonal row piecing you had to do.  However, I loved the result!

Well, back to work work work work work.  I hate how it interferes with my play time!

All the best,



Progress Parade – Reach for the Stars

Hi!  I feel a bit back to normal after doing some much anticipated piecework yesterday.  I had missed it and wished I had a few more Saturdays to keep it going.  Alas, work is back again tomorrow and today we try to focus on housework and homework.

I found Block 4 of Reach for the Stars to be much more complicated than it needed to be.  Here’s the center of the block:

My problem with the piecing was with the two longest white print strips in the center.  The middle section should be 6 1/2″ unfinished, but they wanted you to cut those strips 7 1/4″ long and then add triangles to the end.  I sewed, unsewed, sewed, unsewed, cussed a little, put it down, came back and decided that I knew how to make what I needed – just in my own way.  I cut the strips down to 6 1/2″ long and then sewed a square of fabric to each end, on the diagonal and did the stitch and flip method.  Perfect.  Easy.  The same thing applied to the other strips they wanted cut at 7 1/4″.  Just cut them 6 1/2″ and sew the squares on the end and trim the corners off.  Trust me on this.

JG Block 4 Closeup

Here is my finished Block #4.  I used more of my panel piece from Palm Court in the center, the black polka dot from Little Black Dress II, the small cream/black floral from American Gothic, and the light outer border and sashing strips are also from Little Black Dress II.    One of the interesting aspects of this quilt design is that four (?) of the blocks use a lighter sashing, and the others use almost a solid black.


JG Block 4

So, that brings me to my center medallion and four blocks done.  I’m pretty sure the other two blocks in this months issue of Quilters Newsletter will go much faster.  I wanted to tackle Block 4 for two reasons yesterday – I can hardly stand to go out of order and I wanted to get the most difficult one done first.

Now – for a special progress parade from my two newfound quilt friends who are also doing Reach for the Stars!

First up is Jennifer Thacker from Houston, Texas.  Jennifer searched out for all of the original inspiration fabric and found most of it.  She has her center medallion done here:

JT Center Med

Jennifer Thacker – Center Medallion

And has also completed her Block 1 (another tricky one I think)…

JT Block 1

Jennifer Thacker – Block 1


She’s off to a great start.  I’ve invited her to a play date soon, and maybe we can work on this project together!  I would love a grown up play date!  Think about it Jennifer!


Sherri Crisp, from Knoxville, Tennessee is going gang busters on this quilt!  She started off on the center medallion as well, but then reconsidered her fabric placement and unpicked it to add more contrast.  Here is her parade of blocks!!

Sherri Crisp Center Medallion

Sherri Crisp – Center Medallion


SC Block 1

Sherri Crisp – Block 1

Sherri Crisp - Block 2

Sherri Crisp – Block 2

Sherri Crisp - Block 3

Sherri Crisp – Block 3


Sherri Crisp - Block 4

Sherri Crisp – Block 4


Sherri Crisp - Group Photo

Sherri Crisp – Group Photo


Ladies – keep them coming!!  Finally, please hop over to Dawn’s blog, First Light Designs, to see her activity.  She loves this quilt so much, she is making it twice!!  In two different color ways!  Please check it out!  (for some reason my hyperlinks are not obvious anymore since my blog upgrade… so here is the URL for Dawn’s blog:  http://firstlightdesigns.com/)


I hope to see you again soon … I have my BOM delivery from Fat Quarter Shop due early this week … another Avalon house block to put together and I’ll be 75% of the way through the blocks!


Have a great Sunday and end to February (can you believe it??).  Thanks for stopping by!



Reaching it! Block 2 done

Same song, second verse.  First – another ‘ice’ day for the kids and I stayed home Tuesday.  Doing more work this time than playing unfortunatley.  I did get Block 2 pieced though in my Reach for the Stars project.

Only one more block to do from the second issue in the project series … the third issue is waiting with the next three blocks already.  Left to right, the first three issues of Quilters Newsletters that is running the Reach for the Stars project:

QN Mag 1-3

Once I saw the first issue, I immediately went online and subscribed for a year to the magazine so I would have home delivery of the next six to complete the quilt.

Block 2 was not as hard for me as Block 1 (see prior post).  I had decided to not spend my time figuring out the shortcuts for the sub block units (like the hour glass ones you see below).  I just cut as the directions indicated, bias edges all OVER the place, and went for it.  I’m very shocked that it came out perfectly!  Those little triangles started off as squares and then were cut on the diagonal twice to yield 32 of them.  The hour glass units are 2 1/2″ unfinished.


I need to find a handy cheat sheet for making common quilt units that provide the cutting instructions and various finished sizes.  That would be really handy.  Any suggestions are welcome.

Here’s a closeup of Block 2, with more fussy cutting in the center.  I used the “grunge” fabric choice from Little Black Dress 2 for the background in this block.  The black/cream small prints are from American Gothic and the center is from Palm Court.  The polka dot is also Little Black Dress 2:

Block 2 Closeup

So – here’s what I have so far! (Why is this picture blurry!  Aaarrrggg!  Next pictures will have to wait until a bright day outside)

Med with Block 1 - 2I guess I’ll have to move my center medallion block off the design wall to make more room now.  I really like looking at it though.  I think this may be my favorite all time quilt project.

I was eager to catch up with Dawn over at First Light Designs – but as I was loading up my pictures last night – I saw that she just posted AGAIN!  She now has the first three blocks done in addition to the center medallion.  Check out her post – her pictures are stunning!  She also offers an alternate way to make the hourglass blocks without the bias edges and small triangles.  Looks like it worked great for her too!

We are also joined by two non-bloggers, Jennifer from Katy and Sherri from Knoxville.  Anyone else out there Reaching for the Stars??

Have a great week!


Productive Weekend

I received Block 8 of Fat Quarter Shop’s Designer Mystery BOM in the mail on Saturday afternoon.  No one told me and I just noticed it sitting on my cutting table Sunday morning – but that didn’t keep me from getting it done today!

Block 8 is the second of three house blocks in the mystery BOM.  This one is designed by Minick & Simpson.  I made quick work of the cutting and labeling – 2 sets of course!


Look at all my scrap goodness I get to keep:


My husband is expecting a new smart phone this week, in which I will get his ‘old’ one which is much more advanced than mine.  The pictures will be much clearer going forward!

Here’s the complete house block.  There’s another one just like it – but you can get the idea.


Cute block – right?  I see opportunities to embellish with some embroidery maybe later after I see everything revealed.

But just getting one (two) blocks done wouldn’t make this weekend that productive.  I was also able to complete the first official block of Reach for the Stars!

(I’m also taking these pictures at night, which don’t do them justice)


I tried to figure out the sizes of the HST blocks within the pattern, but I just wasn’t that smart.  The corner blocks were easy, they are 3 1/2″ unfinished.  The middle section measures to be a 3 1/2″  x 6 1/2″ rectangle unfinished.  However, when I tried to figure out the middle HST inside that rectangle, I guessed too small (2 1/2″ square).  The outcome wasn’t that bad and I still like it.  You will notice below that my square in the square doesn’t extend to touch the sashing.

Also, you will notice that the square appears to ‘float’ behind the fussy cut center.  It really isn’t suppose to do that.  BUT – I was at least consistent in my error and since I gave myself oversized pieces, I just trimmed down to size and it still all fit together.  I’m happy with it.  Love how it looks next to my center medallion.



This, for me at least, is truly a challenging quilt only because I don’t have anything to synchronize to as I go along.  The next block I’ll follow the cutting and piecing as indicated and see how I measure up at the end.  Maybe my 1/4″ seam is better than I know.  Dawn, at First Light Designs, has already completed this block as well.  Check out her post to see a very alternate and beautiful color scheme!  She has great piecework!

Hope you were able to squeeze in some quality quilting time this weekend as well.  It’s back to work tomorrow for me though.  Thanks for stopping by!


Rare Ice Day!

Well, Houston got a teeny tiny taste of the northern chill that is happening this winter.  We were hit with freezing precipitation overnight and all schools were closed today.  Rock-Paper-Scissors and I was the one staying home with the kids.

I plan to make the most of it.  A little work, a little playing with the kids and a little quilting.

I got my fat 8th bundle of Little Black Dress 2 yesterday in the mail, so I was able to complete the center medallion of Reach for the Stars.  I also added the first outer sashing strip.  Right now it is 26″ square unfinished.

RFTS Center Done

I have to wait for my extra yardage from FQS to put on the second sashing – but no worries – I am now officially 6 blocks behind on this quilt.  I have enough to work on while I’m waiting.

My Quilters Newsletter magazine came in the mail yesterday also and it has the instructions for Blocks 4 – 5 – 6.  When I say ‘instructions’, I mean that they put a picture of the block with the pieces labeled and the cut sizes of the pieces and that’s about it.  There’s no measurements given for the sub-blocks as you go along, like I’m so used to with the FQS patterns (and a lot of patterns actually).  That was a challenging part of completing the center because it was so large and a little complex with the side triangles and such.

If you are making the quilt and have just started – I’m happy to share the sizes of any sub-blocks if you need them.  Also, I wish I had thought before I cut when I went to make the HST for the outer ring.  The instructions for cutting have you sewing the two smaller triangles together to make a single HST.  I should have used large squares and sewn them into two units – but it’s done now.

I also wanted to share a picture of this project from Sherri Crisp, from Knoxville, TN.  She’s quilting along too!  So happy to have some other people to bounce ideas and pictures around with.  Sherri is doing hers with a fantastic rich brown paisley focus fabric and creams.  She is also, so far, doing it by foundation paper piecing.  I have never used this technique, but it is on my bucket list for this year.  I can’t wait to see hers develop also.  She doesn’t have a blog, but I asked her if I could share her pictures as we go along.  Thanks Sherri!

Sherri Center

Stay warm and thanks for visiting today!


New Year – New Project!

Although I am really, really enjoying the progress I am making on BOM and UFOs … I was too eager to get started on this project as well.

I had originally had my eye spied on Pam Buda’s collection, American Gothic – but didn’t know what to do with it.  I have never made a black/white/neutral kind of quilt.  I had lots of inspiration (like this post from Nicole at Sisters Choice, and this post from Thelma of Cupcakes and Daisies), … but it wasn’t until the Oct/Nov 2013 issue of Quilters Newsletter that I started my planning.


The pictures in the magazing are much more impressive than what I can display here with my old phone camera.  The picture below, found on the Quilters Newsletter website here, shows the quilting design as well which is spectacular.  If I make it to the end of this project – this may be one that I have custom quilted.

RFTS Closeup

So – I started my fabric selections (this one was done in a past Maywood collection called Paisley, of which I have only located one print).

Reach Stash

I started with American Gothic, but I added in some Kim Diehl cream background, some of the black/white prints from Downton Abbey (LOVE), some new items from Inkwell by Judie Rothermel and a couple of charm packs of Little Black Dress 2 by Basic Grey.  For the large fussy cutting areas, I was able to locate the collection and more importantly, the panel print for Palm Court by Benartex.

Reach Stash 2

Four of the Inkwell prints by Judie Rothermel in front, with a print from Downton Abbey in the back:

Reach Stash 3

So … to get started – the first pattern release with the center medallion set on point.

Here were my fabric choices for that block:

Reach Getting Started

I was so hyped up to get cutting, that during the cutting spree, I did slice off a bit from the side of my left index finger.  I promptly got the bleeding to stop, bandaged myself with a princess band-aid and kept going!

Here is my block up on the design wall.  I have the center star done and pieced, but the outer star components are just layered up there.  I fell in love with the black polka dot from Little Black Dress 2 – but I didn’t have enough to make those corner pieces.  I have a fat 8th on order from The Green Fairy and I’ll be able to get this block finished up during the week!  That polka dot will also make an appearance as part of the sashing and as pieces in most of the other blocks as well.

Reach Center Design Wall

How do you like it so far?  If you want another spin on this, take a look at the blog post from Dawn at First Light Designs.  She’s also doing this quilt – but in some really soothing, but vibrant blues and greens.  Her first block is perfect!  … As I was typing this, I see that she has posted again today – with new blocks for the quilt!  Take a look!

Thanks for visiting – please stop by again!


FQS DM BOM Block 7 Done!

I have actually gotten through several tasks this weekend, enough to fill two posts – but I’m breaking it up into two.

The first activity I did was to complete Block 7 of the 2013 FQS DM BOM.  It is a house block and went together really quick.  I used my new Alphabitties notion from FQS and I liked them!  I will continue to use them on these patterns for sure – take a look below at my pieces all labeled and ready:

FQS DM Block 7 pieces

I didn’t even have to think twice before I grabbed my parts according to the pattern and ran them through the machine.  And for some reason, they cling a little to the fabric due to static electricity I think, so they don’t slide off as easily as I thought they would.  The tiles are printed the same on both sides also.

After a short amount of time – I had Block 7 done!

FQS DM Block 7

And, as per my routine, I was able to make two blocks from the one package:

FQS DM Block 7 twice

This was probably the highest residual month so far.  Look at all of these leftovers for my stash, even after making TWO blocks!

FQS DM Block 7 leftovers

Yes, I made a few HSTs from the trimmings, but I’ll just hang on to them and see how I can use them later.  They are 2″ unfinished.

LOVE these bright colors … BUT … because I LOVE variety also – here is my change of pace project that I also started this weekend.

Remember back late last year, I blogged here about a new magazine quilt pattern called REACH FOR THE STARS?  It is being published in the Quilters Newsletter magazine over 7 volumes.  I have the first two magazines so far, and I have the center block almost completed (pattern in first month).

RFTS Cover Quilt

I fell in love with the neutral color scheme and fussy cutting and wanted to try and match it as closely as possible.  I started with American Gothic from Pam Buda and never stopped!  I had added bits and pieces here and there from other collections and designers – but this is just a teaser for my next post!  I’ll show you my fabric selections and the center block next time!  I hope you will come back and see!  Perhaps sew along?  There are at least two other ladies that I know of that have started on this quilt also.

Until then – thanks for visiting and have a great remainder of the weekend!




Fell hard, fell fast!

I don’t subscribe, or even normally buy a copy, of Quilters Newsletter.  But the latest issue had a quilt on the cover that I couldn’t pass up.  I found my copy at Joanns Fabric, but I know FQS is carrying it right now as well.  It comes packaged with a bonus CD with other quilt patterns.

The cover photo is a quilt made by Terri Krysan and is called REACH for the STARS (picture from October/November 2013 issue):

RFTS Cover Quilt

The fabric collection she mentions is unfamiliar to me .. Paisley by Maywood I think?  I couldn’t find much on my internet search.  It is a georgeous group of fabrics and patterns.  But that was no matter, because I knew which collection I was going to use … American  Gothic by Pam Buda for Marcus Fabrics!  The link takes you to the Marcus Fabrics page for this collection. 

I grabbed the picture below from Pam Buda’s blog entry where she announces the arrival of the collection last month in our local quilt shops.  Click here to go to her blog post.

American Gothic Bundles

I loved her neutral/black/white color scheme but I had not settled on a pattern yet.  I love how these colors work together in varying tones and contrast and the fussy cutting opportunities in the Reach for the Stars pattern will make it extra special. 

Close up picture also from Quilters Newsletter website.

RFTS Closeup


I grabbed the two photos of Reach for the Stars directly from the Quilters Newsletter website.  This is also being presented in a monthly quilt series of which this is Part 1 of 7.  Guess I have 6 more issues to buy now!  Perhaps a subscription would make sense at this point.  Those crafty marketing people!!

So… what to do?  I went through and meticulously assigned the fabric requirements for the entire quilt to the individual fabric SKUs for American Gothic and placed my order with FQS for delivery early this week.  I really needed another light fabric to coordinate (the most outer border fabric) … and I decided on ‘Perfect Pairings – Cream Paisley” by Kim Diehl.  I just hope it goes as well and I think it will, based on the pictures on FQS.



Has anyone else fallen for this pattern yet and plan to make it?  There was no kit available in the magazine – it was strictly up to you to pick your pallete and your fabric and get to it.  I hope to do the first block this week.  Keep you posted!

Thanks and hope you are having a great Monday!