Category Archives: Sewing

Decisions Decisions

Time for a skinny border

Are you needing a project for a cold and snowy day?  Me too!  While it snows and the wind blows making it feel like 5 below zero outside,  I’m digging  into a holiday project.  Check out this festive, holiday quilt top!  It had been patiently waiting back in the project box last week while we celebrated Christmas with family.

After dishes and laundry this morning,  I reached into my pile of UFO’s  in the project box – looking for the perfect project to work on during my vacation day.  I just love creating holiday quilts and this one pops with bright colors!

I had completed the center, feathered star block using a “no Y seam” technique between Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas.  Then, put it away for a week and waited for another chance to spend a day (hopefully) finishing this quilt top in time for NEXT year!  In order to make the quilt larger, I decided to use two different prints for large setting triangles.

Center feathered star square

The first layer of setting triangles pieced after the feathered star is made of a fun red and white snowflake print.  I found a bold, paisley print in holiday greens for the second set of setting triangles.   This took the size of the green, red and white center, feathered star block from a 24 inch square to 47 inches square in no time.

Setting triangles Accent colors

Now, it’s time for a 2 1/2 inch border before deciding if it is big enough to stop piecing and start quilting.

Border choices

Which color should I use? Red or white?  Let me know your thoughts.  While I’m waiting to hear back. I’ll find another seasonal UFO and work on that for a while.

Time for a skinny border

Easy Hunter’s Star


I just had to have another project to get going on the Standard.  Sew….. I happened to find some cute sock monkey fabric and decided to find some complimentary fabrics for a baby shower quilt. The sock monkey fabric will be the backing.


The pattern I chose is Hunters Star – the same pattern I used for the parents wedding quilt. Jenny Doan from the Missouri Star Quilt Company, has a fantastic tutorial on YouTube for creating a Hunters Star quilt using half square triangles.  Here is the link:


It all starts with 5 inch strips- some will turn into 4 patches, and some will be sewn into half square triangles.


You can see how the arrow appears when the star  and 4 patch are lined up correctly.


It takes 16 half square triangles to make one star, and that has been the most time consuming part of this project.


I plan to do the quilting for this one myself, and with the deadline two weeks from now- I better get back to business on my day off!

Treadle Fun

Today I played on my OLD Standard Treadle for some fun.  It is amazing how nicely it works after all these years !


I have decided to do an entire quilt top on this machine and will be updating this site with my progress on it.


Today I put together 12 square in a square fussy cut owls- they are so cute peaking out aren’t they?


I’ll even try chain piecing some squares with no electricity required…


What a HOOT


Welcome to Modern Quilting

I am venturing into the land of Modern Quilting with fabric choices in bright polka-dots, set with solids.  I have also chosen to make a modern design for this new quilt top.


I found these great polka dot prints in a jelly roll, and thought immediately that they would look fantastic set with some solids – like grey and yellow for a modern quilt.


The Chevron is still trending, so I decided to create a “fat” and “thin”  chevron using the grey for the wider chevron shape and the 2 1/2 inch strips from the jelly roll for the more narrow chevron shape.  As you can see there are many 1/2 square triangles involved in this project. and I have found an EASY way to make them.


It starts with two 2 1/2 in strips sewn right sides together on both edges.  See a future post for details.

I am happy with the first two blocks, what do you think???


This finished size is a rectangle – GASP- so, non-traditional of me!

Stay tuned as I will be finishing this (hopefully) in the next week or 2 or so………

Pet Project – Puppy Quilt

After the Y-seams, the rows are connected and I custom fitted a triangle piece to even up the edges.
Now for the border and backing!
Straight seams are easy!
DSCN0880[1]I actually quilted this one myself, with the feed dogs down and free motion foot on.  I may have done a bit too much, but I am happy with the end result. The backing is a cute all over print that can disquise my amature free motion work! – Now all we need is the pup.





Quilting up a Puppy Project


OK – we are currently pet-less if that is a word, and I am thinking that it is time to get a puppy for our house.  The kids are grown and moving out, and I need some replacement for that missing time and attention given to the kids!!  So, I found this cute stack of fabrics with a puppy print and decided to make a tumbling blocks quilt – puppy sized.


This was my first attempt at a tumbling block quilt, and I think that the project would have been better with some higher contrast fabrics, or better planning in placement.  The hardest part? Y-Seams.  If you know of a pattern without using the Y-seam, let me know!

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The best part was seeing the seams aligned after sewing down one side, then pivoting 1/4 inch before the corner, then sewing down the other side.  – all this piece needs is a little press with the iron.

Finished Y-seam
See the next post for my progress!



Batik Scrap Quilt Finished!

DSCN0890[1] There isn’t anything fancy about this border, but the BEST part was finding a great batik backing in a complementary pattern.

DSCN0891[1]Don’t you just love the little circles?  The colors are a perfect match, and I quickly attached the binding – no hand stitching on this one.  I attached the binding on the back, then folded it over to the front and did a machine stitch all the way around – SEWEASY!

What do you do with Scraps?

Make another quilt!  The left-over fabric from a queen sized Tennessee Waltz quilt I made a few years ago is the perfect amount for a small quilt.

scrap strips
scrap strips

As you can see, I have a batik with greens and blues, some red with a flower pattern, and white strips too.  My first thought was to do something with the strips sewn together – like a Lone Star or something, but I also had a bunch of left-over half-square triangles.DSCN0792As you can see, this creates some more possibilities.

I decided to go with the triangles, and made this using just the white and batik!


I stopped at a small size; 23″ X 28″ and have enough batik and white strips left to do something interesting with the border, starting with a 2 1/2 inch strip of white – then I’ll add another border.


Presidents Day Project

I had a bag of red, white and blue pre-sewn fabric strips sitting….wait, you’ll never guess –  in a box which was in a closet down in the basement for ohhhhh, about a year.  Just waiting to be made into a patriotic quilt for a local Quilts of Valor group.

width of fabric strips – sewn in groups of 3

The only thing that each of these strip sets has in common is that they are composed of three different fabrics, and that they are all mainly red, white and blue.  The width of the individual strips varies as well as the seam – so making anything with exact matching was completely out.


For this project,  I modified a pattern that makes use of fabric strips and decided to go with a completely scrappy look.


The strips had to be sewn together to get a width of 12.5 inches.  I then cut the strip sets into 12.5 inch squares.  This required quite a bit of squaring up since the strips were a bit wobbly – but I can’t complain – someone had sewn the sets together for the QOV group as their gift of time.

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Two 12.5 inch blocks are then placed right sides together but with one of the two squares turned a quarter turn so that the stripes are perpendicular to each other.

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This 12.5 inch block is then sewn together along the 4 outside edges of the block with a 1/4 inch seam.


Once the seam is sewn all the way around the block, the large 12.5 inch block is cut into 4 blocks.  To do this, I place a ruler from corner to corner and cut first one way, then from the opposite corner to corner making an X cut through the center of the square.


The triangles from this “X” cut are pressed open at the seam, and the resulting 4 blocks ( from the original 12.5 inch square) each have a unique pattern.  You can see that the stripes switch directions in the middle of the block.



DSCN0851 I decided to go with a random pattern when putting all of the blocks together, so that with the variation in strip width and variation in fabrics, the scrappiness – is that a word?- would work in the overall pattern.

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The resulting quilt has 36  twelve inch (finished size) squares in six rows of six.  While not in a specific pattern, it has some continuity as the strips end up forming square shapes or “arrows”.  For a border, I used the left-over strip sets created by the QOV group.  Unfortunately, they were not long enough, so – again scrappy and a bit hodge-podge, but all in all a good day’s work.


It is my wish that this finished quilt keeps a deserving veteran warm and cozy!

To find out more about a QOV group near you, the requirements for quilts, and how you can help, click the link:

Good Luck with your project – let me know how it turns out!