Tag Archive | Sew Alongs

Have a Safe Holiday and Snapshots Review

We are going to see how well we remember our swimming skills this weekend.  My kids tell anyone and everyone that “they can swim”, … but they would sink like a rock I’m afraid.  Going to practice, practice and practice this weekend until we are sick of chlorine.

I have been doing some sewing and quilting, here and there.  I find it harder to set aside time to upload pictures and write out these blog posts.  I really want to share as I go along, but a lot of pictures never make it here because I end up finishing my blocks while I procrastinate!

Here you go!  Blocks 4 and 5 of the Snapshots Quiltalong are done!

Puppy Love!  We are going to look for some blue translucent buttons for his eyes…

Snapshots 4 Puppy

Kindred Kitchen!  I added a little back stitch embroidery to the front of the apron to make it stand out from the background.

Snapshots 5 Apron

Here they are all together … waiting for their ice cream treat next month!


I also sent off my U of H schoolhouse gift quilt (Arkansas Crossroads) to be quilted by Linh at LiMa Sews.  She has turned it around for me so fast, it is already on its way back to me this weekend!

Since I was shipping her a box anyway…  I threw in some small quilt tops.  This is truly a feeling of accomplishment when a quilt flimsy makes it from the corner of my cutting table to Linh.  It is a real milestone and feels GREAT!

From top of the stack to the bottom … Fig Tree Pears window valance for my kitchen, Fig Tree mini sampler made into a baby play blanket (butterflies, flowers, sun), Yellow/Gray Sunshine baby quilt (also a gift that is long overdue) and the Arkansas Crossroads schoolhouse gift quilt.

Ready to Quilt


Again – have a wonderful weekend and a safe one too!  I’ll see you again soon with some finished projects!


Family and Farming

We had an exceptional Easter holiday, with our family joining us at home to let us host them for lunch.  Normally we go elsewhere, but the kids wanted to have the holiday at home this year.

I enjoyed putting together their Easter baskets and then getting up at 4 am to wrap them in plastic wrap and setting them out.  I know Easter baskets and egg hunting aren’t the reason for the holiday, but we had a great time doing it all…:

Easter Baskets 2

Stuffed Baymax and Wall-E were just sitting around, not part of the basket, but had to be included in the picture 🙂

Easter Baskets

Today, I also got to enjoy a special lunch out with my husband to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary.  He was super sweet to bring me a rose and a card when he picked me up from work:Rose
















When I came back to the office, I had a package waiting for me too!

FQS Delivery

Is everyone ready for Farm Girl Fridays?  (Click here to see about the new Sew Along by Lori Holt)  #FarmGirlFridays

I have no idea when I will have time, but I have the book – so there’s a good chance I’ll give it a go…

Farm Girl Vintage book

Have a great week!


Sherri’s Progress and My Block 9

I wanted to share progress pictures from Sherri who is doing the Reach for the Stars sew-a-long.  She’s keeping the pace and has completed blocks 5 and 6.

I don’t know what I did wrong with transferring her pictures, but her individual block pictures keep coming out super small.  But her group photo looks great!  Block 5 is that pinwheel bear paw block and Block 6 is the bottom left block.  Love them all in this picture, especially with the striking sashing attached!  You can really see the quilt taking shape now!  Thanks for sharing Sherri!

RFTS 3-30


I didn’t snap a picture of my Block 9 this weekend, so here it is now.  This is the last published block at the moment.  This may be one of my favorite blocks so far, and it was probably the easiest.

Picture taken on my desk, excuse the media cords cluttering it up.

RFTS Block 9

That’s it for tonight!  See you again soon!



Break in the Action

Hello!  I’m not sure why things are so hectic lately, but I can’t seem to get any quantity of time at the sewing machine lately the past month.  I have been working on some projects, which I will share one today and another tomorrow.

For now, I’m trying to get ready to go to a 4 year old’s birthday party – then move on to a birthday party for two 40+ year olds.  My brother and I share a celebration each year at my parents house – usually on the Saturday that falls closest to his (since he is after me).

But for my progress work … I have added three more Great Granny Squared blocks from the pattern book by Lori Holt of the same name.

GGS Blocks 5

I have started with a fat quarter bundle of Bluebird Park by Kate & Birdie Paper Company.  As I work more with the blocks, I feel like I want some more punch of color – more blocks that have saturation included.  I remember that somewhere … SOMEWHERE … I have either a small bundle or a layer cake of Birds & Berries by Lauri and Jesse Jung.  Very similar colors and I think it would be the perfect match for what I want:

Birds and Berries

Now, I just have to find the time to go through all my boxes and closets to find this fabric … 🙂

Another progress report is from Jennifer Thacker who is sewing along with a small group of us doing the Reach for the Stars quilt, as featured in a 7 part series in Quilters Newsletter.

Jennifer has completed Block 3 and it is just beautiful!  I love her fabric selections in the block.  Jennifer doesn’t have a blog of her own, and I am so glad she is letting me share her progress with you on mine!

JT RFTS Block 3

Have a wonderful Saturday and first weekend of Spring!  I woke up sneezing about 10 times in a row, so that’s how mine is going.

See you tomorrow with my next update!


Busy, busy, busy…

I wish I could say that I had been sewing in secret and that I had three finished quilts to show off…, but that just isn’t the case.  Not much time devoted to my hobby at the moment.  Last week, I did get done with the 9th block in the 2013 Designer Mystery BOM by Fat Quarter Shop.  It is the last house block in the row quilt.  The last three blocks are a mystery to me.  We have had three basket blocks, three star blocks and three house blocks.

I was only having to look for one piece of fabric to make my two blocks from one package this time.  The facing of the house between the door panel and the roof line called for a 6″ square of fabric, and I only had a piece big enough for one.  No worries though, last month’s package had a perfect piece that I used.

Here’s version 1 of the block:

2013 DMBOM Block 9 v2

And here’s Version 2:

2013 DMBOM Block 9 v1

And here they are together on my driveway!

2013 DMBOM Block 9

The more I look at my six house blocks, the more I know I will embellish with some creative embroidery when I’m done.  Little doorknobs, and maybe some flowers in the window boxes.

Jennifer Thacker from Houston has also been getting some sewing done.  She has completed Block 2 of the Reach for the Stars pattern.  Her block is perfect!  Love the paislely center in its frame… take a look:

JT RFTS Block 2

The next edition of Quilters Newsletter will be in my mailbox soon – I got the digital edition email yesterday.  Three more ready to go!

Finally, I celebrated a birthday yesterday.  I had a great day, surrounded by wonderful friends at work and family at home.  One of the ladies at work made me a beautiful pink fondant covered cake, with hand crafted roses.  The kids had fun lighting and relighting the candles last night.

I am truly blessed.

Lighting the Cake

Thanks for stopping by today!


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!