Tag Archive | Sew Alongs

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!


December (Finish) to Remember

I told myself I wouldn’t post again until I got this quilt top done.  Added the bottom border yesterday and snapped a few pictures before getting it all wrapped up for my Dad’s birthday gift.

I didn’t have access to my husband’s phone, which has a much better lens on the camera.  It looks like I have a ‘dream’ filter on mine.

I present to you – NANTUCKET!

Nantucket 12-19-2013 2

And again!!

Nantucket 12-19-2013 3

And a third shot, just to be repetitive:

Nantucket 12-19-2013 4

LOVE this quilt!  As I worked on the bottom border, I had to piece more 9 patch units due to the extra inner round of neutral border blocks.  I had a charm pack and went through that for all the neutrals and tans for the alternating squares as well.  In fact, I added a few neutral fabrics from my stash to get me to the end.  A great cream/white toile print and a couple of shirtings from some manufacturer other than MODA (amazing that I can really, really tell a difference in the fabric.  It was quite a bit thinner!).

There were a few prints from the Midwinter Reds collection that I had held out of the quilt up to this time, because I felt they were too equally white/red and would muddy up the design.  However, I love the few that ended up being scattered about.

I did a fussy cut of this floral one and I love it!!  Also, the print of the white ‘x’ on the red background (see the block just above the fussy cut flower) wasn’t used until the bottom border either.  I have some yardage of that print and I plan to bind the quilt in it.


Nantucket 12-19-2013 1

I am so thoroughly happy that I did Nantucket, but I am soooo ready to move into a new project.  After Christmas.  I can’t wait to share with you in 2014!

I hope the weekend is the start to a great holiday week for you, if you are celebrating for Christmas.  My family will be traveling here, there and everywhere on many different days over the next two weeks.  I hope to survive intact.

Thanks for visiting today!


Catching up on … everything

Oh my – it was a busy week.  I didn’t mention it before, but my family (including parents and brother) spent the entire Thanksgiving week in Disney World and just got back yesterday.  So, I am catching up on mail, blogs, TV, sleep, laundry, healthy meals, etc…

It was a magical experience and Oliver celebrated his 7th birthday while we were there.  I’ll pull out some good pictures to show you on the next post.  This is a quick update to get me back on a roll.

I appreciate the comments that you guys sent in about my neutral border addition for Nantucket.  I completed the other side today and was able to get some pictures taken just before the sun went down tonight.

Nantucket Progress 12-01-2013

Still liking it?  Yes.

Nantucket Sides

Just need top and bottom done now…

Nantucket Left Border

It will be a race to get it done for Christmas.  My Dad turns 71 on Christmas Day and I really want to have the top done for it.

But, returning a bit to our trip to Walt Disney World (WDW) … I am not a fan of flying.  I spent years traveling as a software consultant and flew about 3 out of 4 weeks each month for work all over the country.  Sometimes in big planes.  Connecting flights.  Most of the time it started with ‘puddle jumpers’ between a small regional airport to DFW airport.  I was even a Platinum member with American Airlines a couple of years.  First class upgrades at no cost – that kind of stuff.  But after the birth of my first child – I no longer wanted to step on an airplane.  I have, in fact, not flown in just over 7 years now.  I have driven from the Carolinas to Texas multiple times and back, and now we have driven from Texas to WDW Florida and back this past week.

All of that is to ramp up to the photos of my travel sewing project … Yoyoville by Bunny Hill Designs!

WDW Travel Kit

I thought I had plenty of squares cut up and inside my little box – but I found out by the time we arrived in Florida – that I could have completed all of my blocks if I had been more optimistic of my goals.

As it turned out, what I thought was a LOT of squares, was only 35.

WDW YoYo Progress

Got those done with no problem at all.  I need to count all of my blocks now to see how many I have left to do for the main portion of the quilt.

Don’t they look great though?  Tapestry fabric collection for the yo yo circles and a fabric from the most recent Honeysweet for the background (both by Fig Tree Quilts).

WDW Yo Yo Completed

It was already dusk outside when I took my pictures.  So they look a little darker than they are.

I am also happy to announce that we are finally homeowners once again!  We closed on our house two days before we left for our trip.  We have been renting our home for over 3 years and we now own it.  We love the location and are looking forward to getting some professional renovation designs drawn up.  The house is over 70 years old and has a few items to fix – but we love that it is our family home and – like a great quilt – we will make it our own!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  I’m enjoying catching up on my blog reading.  You guys have been busy!

Take care,