A Star is Born

After receiving my star making template I delved head first into making stars.  I wish now I would have made large solid stars for my first one as it would give me an audition of the block without the complications associated with pressing.

Making the centers spin on this is not working for me and I will have to figure out what I need to do differently.  I think the next one I make I will make my triangles and then sew the triangles together instead of piecing the 30 degree pieces to make a 60 degree, and then a 90, and then a 120…etc,  going around the star I think was the wrong approach.

This template is made by Csoki-folt and is called the Capella 10 inch template.  I think I will get my moneys worth out of this.  It makes a perfect block, but you must mind your 1/4 inch seam.  You need to make it a scant seam, meaning stitching just outside (by a thread) of the 1/4 inch line.  If you fail to do this, you will give your seam ripper a workout!  (Don’t ask me how I know.)

If I ever make a large bed size quilt using this pattern I will have to have some kind of place to lay it out and be able to sew while looking at it.  Otherwise, all the angles and flips/flops my mind will not track, kind of like an old VCR!  Too much snow globe in the noggin sometimes!

The reason this template works so well is due to the lines for your strips.  Without the lines on the template,  it would be impossible to layout and cut.  I am going to experiment one day with this and add some highlighter tape and stager the strips in the stars for a stair step affect.  Not sure if that will turn out.  I will try it out on my scraps.



Not sure about the background fabric I will use for this.  There is really nothing that goes with this in my stash except some white and I  really don’t like using white because I have children and they cannot keep their mitts off with their grubby hands!  (I cant name them, who doesn’t like to pet beautiful fabric!). I know I will have a lot of left over fabrics and may do a piano key border around the edge or perhaps make this a row quilt on the diagonal. That is still to be determined.

Fun learning something new, something no one else has done.  This template came from Hungary and we had to pay in pounds.  It translated to around 30 USD for those of you interested.

Earlier this week as I mentioned in my previous post, I abandoned my fabric diet for a day and and purchased a kit online.  It hasn’t arrived but was on sale and looks very advanced.  I really like doing really advanced patterns because the payoff is beautiful.  The only thing I dislike about a kit is if I have a cutting accident, and it leaves me short, with nothing for a replacement.  Cutting is my nemesis in quilting.


This kit is now sold out where I got it, but is probably still available in other places.  Be careful as it is expensive because it includes the foundation papers.  I admire quilts with such great contrast!  This is called Fanciful Flight by Jacqueline de Jonge.

My volume of sewing this week is not as high as it has been.  The last two days my feet have hurt so bad.  Something is causing inflammation on my heels.  It feels like they are bruised with blood blisters (much like when you were young and going barefoot and stepping on a rock and getting a blood blister/bruise on the bottom of heel.)  If I elevate my feet, they throb with pain.  Pain taxes my system and pills are not my go to, so I do without pills and keep the pain.  Perhaps I will fudge on my no pill rule and do some Aleeve before the end of the day.

Sad, because all the cold weather we have had, this symptom had gone away.  One warm humid day of 73 degree weather and bam, it came back that fast and doesn’t want to leave.  I think there is something putting a lot of pressure on the nerves in my heel.  I think I may have nodules growths causing my pain and this is associated with arthritis.  These nodules are on my knees, my toes, my knuckles and are quite disfiguring.  It limits your mobility, and the one on my knee has spread greatly, it is from giving so many baths to the children being on your knees on the hard tiles, those gristles bursted and are now large under the ligament that hold my kneecap.  Thankfully the ones on my hands do not hurt, only when you press on the gristle under the skin.  I hope I get as much quilting in now, while I am healthy because I fear my hobby will diminish as I age.  I know of no one in the family that has had this and this is something inherited. But in the past people did not speak of their aches and pains, they just lived with it.  And here I am complaining to you, and there is nothing you can do!

I am off to do laundry and vacuuming, Chicken and Dumplings from scratch for supper.  The rest of the weekend is to be determined.  Have a great weekend and thanks for reading my blog!



Busy in the sewing corner!

I just finished the Mirage quilt made from the butter and eggs pattern.  You can click here to read about that.  Shifting gears quickly as another baby is due and the colors are seafoam.  I finally made it to my LAQS.  They have not seen me since Nov when I purchased a few pieces for On Ringo Lake.  I have been trying to use up what I have.  I had no seafoam.  I found some beautiful fabrics and then pulled the rest from my stash.  All are not pictured below as I am not certain of the direction I am going to go with this star quilt.


I am using my new template!   The video made it look easy, so there is a learning curve and my angles in my mind have a hard time going at my normal pace.  Slow and steady wins the race eh?

I have starched and pressed the fabric and have cut them into 1 3/4 inch strips WOF.


There are 4 strips that need to create a strip set.  I have selected these and am ready to set the template in and cut.


I have successfully cut to partial stars out of one strip set.

You know I like un-encrypting the mystery behind a template.  Sometimes they are difficult to use and confusing.   I have laid the cut strip set on the mat, and now know you can save yourself about $30 and use the lines on your mat.  For confusion sake I may try this, I am undecided yet.  The try out period is not over so I am on the fence about the future of the template.


I am also working on a garlic knot pattern that was given to us free for a workshop we signed up for.  Free fabric came with sign up and the red was provided by the workshop. Now I am working on the homework before the workshop.  We are having a garlic knot swap at the end of the workshop and I want to participate but yet cringe at the 1/4 seam allowance rule and how the inexperienced people (not quilters) will give blocks that do not meet those dimensions.  It is up to those attending the workshop to bring their variants of black with white and white with black fabric.  It will make it scrappy, supposedly.

Three fabrics all cut at 2 1/2 inch sewn in strip sets.  The red will be the outer part of the block.  The white with black stars will be the center of the block.  They are telling me there will be enough for a 40 block swap after you sew and cut your 5 strip sets, 15 pieces of red, 10 pieces of black, and 5 pieces of white.  I have cut them and the numbers are not coming to 40, more like 20.  We will see how this develops.  I got this done and also noticed that my selvages were not in total alignment all the way to both ends and so there was some fabric loss.

The pressing instructions were provided and have followed those.  I am ready for the workshop on March 3rd.


Once you show the workshop attendee what I have sewn here they give you precut bars of red that would be 4 1/2 inches long by 2 1/2 inches.  This was very easy, the hardest part was pressing.  I am certain there will be a story behind this and will post all about that after March 3rd.  Thanks for reading my blog, and have a great Fat Tuesday!

Butter And Egg Mirage

In my last couple of posts you have seen snippets of fabrics, quilt tag making, reference to the butter and eggs free pattern, and now I have named this quilt Mirage.  When looking at this with the fabrics used, it has a mirage effect on the eyes.

I started with my fabrics, and the theme was aqua and lime!


I chose the pattern of butter and eggs.  You can find this pattern at quilterscache.com


Here is the top waiting for the quilting.  This quilt I used Misty Fuse and raw edge appliquéd to the blocks using the appliqué stitch on my machine.  I chose a yellow thread for this.

I made my own quilt label, much like a clothing tag.


And stitched on the binding, after quilting.  The light was just right coming in the window to really show the texture created in the quilting.  I quilted this with a white thread.  It is very imperfect as I am still getting used to my non-hopping foot.  Gosh I miss that thing so much I may have to get one just like it.  That hop helped me keep my rhythm with my stitch length.


The front and the back with texture and tag goodness.  This quilt is done and scheduled to be delivered tomorrow!  Now I am off to plan the next baby quilt.

I just love doing baby quilts because you can sample the patterns that are on your bucket list, but they are small enough you do not tire and actually finish them quickly.  This quilt was easy and did not take long.  I just had interruptions of cooking, cleaning, working my 40 hours, plus, bathing.  Life would be boring without those interruptions, no?  Thanks for reading my blog.

Please visit my other blog thecookbookproject.wordpress.com

I share my recipes with all.  My latest recipes are Southern Buttermilk Biscuits and Whipped Cream Poke Cake.

Handmade Quilt Tags: Traditional Meets Modern

I am not certain if I have ever seen this before, or if it has been done before.  I know identification of Quilts has been around for centuries, not new.  I know there are many quilt labels with lots of information on them.  Some are quite large.

I wanted to create a tag much like a clothing tag, something attached to the quilt with a simple few words.  You can purchase tags, but you only get a few and they are relatively expensive.  I find it odd that someone will make a homemade gift and then purchase a tag that says its homemade, an oxymoron don’t you think?

Here are a few steps to create your own tag.  You can run this from corner to corner on the back side of your quilt, or where ever you want it.  I chose a different way which worked too.

First you will need to get your hands on some gross grain ribbon or twill tape.  (These are free when you purchase a fat quarter bundle and a great way to recycle them just turn the print to the inside)

Next stitch one end to tear-away stabilizer.  Below I used a piece that had a good spot left in it.


Next, using your decorative letter stitches, embroider a message in your twill tape.  I kept my simple.  You could put the name of the quilt there, the date, a person’s name, and the list goes on and on.  After stitching the desired text, I cut my tag about 4 1/2 inches.  This will vary depending on size and amount of text.  Oh, and tear away the stabilizer!


Next you will choose the spot you want the tag on your quilt, garment, or homemade craft.  I chose the back side of the quilt and pinned it in place.  This step can be tricky.  Make sure once your label is done it is readable!  I also staggered the twill tape to make it easier on my machine, this is another option totally up to you.


I then stitched my binding on as usual.  I attached the binding to the back side of the quilt over this pinned on label and sewed it all together.


I then hand stitched my binding to the front and now the quilt is tagged.  And voila a new way to do a traditional quilt label!


I feel like my noggin really accomplished something today!  A win for me and passing the win onto you!  Thank you for reading my blog!

Being Volunteered!

I belong to a sewing club that donates to the community whenever possible.  We had a very large donation sewing event at the beginning of the month and this week was our follow up meeting to discuss what could be changed, what could be better, what the takeaways are, and planning for future events.

This year I will be doing an FMQ demonstration at one of our monthly meetings.  Communicating lots of information in a short period of time.  And was volunteered for that.  I am comfortable doing this and agreed as I have been doing this for years.

I was also volunteered to demonstrate a snap press that no one knows how to use.  I have taken it home, done some research, made some suggestions for more dies and am waiting to give this demonstration.

I was also volunteered to teach a class on how to make an iron caddy tote.  Since I do not have a pattern and winged it for my previous ones, this will be a bit of a challenge.  Everyone wanted it.  So again I agreed.

Thursday was our meeting.  Because I forgot my camera, and I am responsible for updating the website (yes I volunteered to do this too) they decided it was necessary to purchase a camera as a club asset so if this happens again, anyone can grab the camera and point and shoot.  I kept getting volunteered by others to research a camera.  I turned that down, but they kept volunteering me.

And due to my class of the iron caddy tote which requires lots of materials, those were discussed and everyone wanted the kits pre-made up with all the stuff already done.  All the batting cut/purchased, all the insulbrite cut/purchased, all the aluminized cotton cut/purchased.  So, more pressure.  But I kept getting volunteered to be the purchaser and kitter to make things as easy as possible.

They wanted me to research the dies/snaps/grommets for the snap press and because I started the ball rolling I agreed to this too.

I had turned in a donation quilt.  No one in the group new that I was the one that turned it in.  When asked by the sewing president everyone volunteered me again.  I said no and was starting to notice that no one else in the group wants to educate themselves to educate others.

Predominately it was one person who kept saying my name over and over voicing her opinion on what she thought should be done.

Have you ever been volunteered to do something?  It happens occasionally right?  And because you have one task volunteered, you accept, no biggie.  You put on your big girl pants and buck it up!  But what happens when there is a group of 16 people who keep volunteering and using the same people over and over?  I say if you don’t show up to the meeting you automatically get volunteered but then that would not be fair as I know all too much about the unsightliness of being volunteered too much.

The favorite part of the meeting is when we get to show and tell what we have made or what we are making.  I am beginning to dread this part because every time I bring something, someone wants a workshop or demo on the subject.  They want me to show them how to make a sweatshirt….they want me to show them how to make a denim purse, they want me to show them ________________ fill in the blank.

Now I communicated after the meeting, and after it hadn’t set well with me, and after I gave it much thought on how to handle this.  I almost feel like I am a dog, and they are my masters.  I was warned by a loved one that this would happen….he was right.

So I had to put my foot down and am very prepared for the next meeting.  I told them when you have too many irons in the fire, one can spontaneously combust or burn out.  To prevent that the volunteering of others needs to stop.  Or, I told them the next favorable option for me was to quit.  The next person that tries to volunteer me, I am going to turn it around on them and volunteer them and see how they like it.  Treat others as you want to be treated.  I am glad they see me as a valuable resource, but most of this stuff is on the internet and can be accomplished on their own.  I don’t think I will be bringing anything else to show and tell unless it is extremely complicated.  This group does not want to do those kind of crafts.

If you have any advice, I would love to hear it in the comments section.  Soap box done.

Twelve Percent

January has flown by and the old saying goes, Time flies when you’re having fun!  I must be having lots of fun.  Can you believe that 12% of the year is already behind us?  I think back to what I have accomplished this year so far.  I have progress but am dabbling in this and that.  Progress in that regard to hard to claim.

I have pieced my On Ringo Lake Top.  Linking up with Bonnie Hunter one last time for this mystery quilt experience.  If you are interested in seeing all the finishes and progress for this mystery quilt click here.


I have started free motion quilting on this gem, and got all of the sashing quilted with a squiggle.


I have about 10 blocks quilted all the same and do not really like it, thread color and design.  I will progressing with a different design, but have not determined what the design will be.

I am currently working on the butter and eggs baby quilt.  I got that jewel in the state of saying it is now a top.  I really like the mirage effect this has and am glad I chose for the melons to cut special directional fabric as I did.


And yesterday I joined the sewing club I am in and enjoyed a day of Jelly Roll Racing.  I got to sit next to a young woman who had never sewn in her life and was able to accomplish a quilt top.  It is a wonderful feeling to pass on the knowledge I have.  Life them becomes eternal.  This poor woman, if anything could go wrong, it did for her.  The dreaded bobbin run out, and then the machine she was using belongs as an asset to the sewing club.  Whomever borrowed it last time, did not know how to thread it and a long piece of thread was tangled in the piston mechanism that runs the needle up and down.  Thankfully someone had hemostats to remove a good 8 inches of thread that was caught in the worst place.  I could not get it all out, and thankfully someone had machine oil and so it started working again.  We all had problems threading the dang needle.  I am so glad I have a needle threader on my machine.

The jelly roll that I sewed yesterday (I wish I had a picture) was of monopoly fabric!  It turned out sew neat and I wanted to keep it, but it was strictly for donation.  So be it, someone will be the recipient of it and they will need it far worse than I.  Here is the grand picture of a snippet of the race quilts done that day!


And then I came home and decided to sew my last homemade jelly roll.  Turned out very vibrant and colorful.  Those of you that have a large stash, you can make your own jelly rolls, and these jelly roll race quilts are so quick, and great in a pinch.


Also, yesterday, our group starts a block swap of the garlic knot pattern.  This involves three colors of black with white, white with black, and red.  The club purchased the red as it is a hard color to match.  So all the quilt blocks we will be making next month with have different black and whites but the same red.  I think the dark to the outside is going to look funny.  We will see.  So I have my strip sets starched and pressed ready to get set and go on that for next month.


Lots of sewing going on here, productive, but no finishes yet.  February, even though a short month will be high on the productivity scale I do believe.

I have also gotten a new magazine and been cooking a few new recipes from that.  I have made my rendition of skillet cornbread and you can visit my other blog and get the recipe here.

Be looking for a post soon about a cookie made in the 10 inch cast iron skillet, a huge cookie served like pie wedges….delicious!  Thanks for swinging by and reading my blog!  Keep quilting!

Confession of a Fabric Snob! And A New Plan!

Yesterday I posted about a moroccan tile pattern I was going to try.  My plan was to purchase some black patterned fabric to start this pattern.  I went shopping and realized I have become a fabric snob!  I went to Joann’s and Hobby Lobby and was not satisfied with their selection.  I refuse to shop at Walmart and have not done so in 17 years.  Their fabric dept suffered greatly when I made this decision.  Years ago I had a conversation with a quilt shop owner about not purchasing fabrics at those locations.  She too denied those merchants.  She called me an official fabric snob, and we giggled about it.  So, off I  go to the quilt shop Tuesday.

In the meantime I wanted to try my version of this pattern with some fabric for practice because I have plenty of it.  The pattern was for cutting up charm squares which made the finished quilt as well as the pieces very small.  I try not to put a lot of work into piecing of a quilt which is gifted to a coworker.  You never know it could end up at the Goodwill in a couple of years.  So on the same concept of the pattern I used the drunkard’s block accuquilt die.  Those turned out cheeky!  But the dimension of it coming to the rectangles was too half moon-ish.  My idea is not going to work.  My day of play has led to greater things.  Discovery…..brainstorming….recalling, and voila I have figured out a new plan.

Switching gears before you start is not hard.  I still need to purchase fabric and this will let me know how much.  After looking at my pattern really closely, the drawing for the half moon triggered a memory of watching a youtube episode of quickly quilting.  I couldn’t remember what they called their version of the pattern.  But this is the effect I will be getting, just using an easier method with no template costs.  Click here to see their tutorial and quilt backdrop goodness.  When I had originally come across this pattern, some weeks later I was at Marcia Hohn’s Quilters Cache and found out what the old fashioned name was for this block.  Her version is much, much easier and it is free.  The pattern is called butter and eggs.

Yesterday I took all my fabrics from the great stash and pressed what I would be using, dropping my swatches over the wooden clothes dryer (I just love this thing, especially during strip cutting).  Today I will start cutting my fabrics at the Quilters Cache specifications.  I have always wanted to do this quilt.  But, doing it baby size it will not take as long and I get that checked off my bucket list.

In summary, I wasted gas, wasted a 3 1/2 inch strip of fabric and a 4 inch strip of fabric in  the havoc of trying to design my own block.  I haven’t had this happen in a while, and even though I have nothing to show for yesterday stitching, I enjoyed this process I call quilting, and have a better plan!

A decision and a little play time

So my last post, I knew what I would be working on but there was no definition.  Makes it a bit hard to make something when there is NO thought in your process.

In May of this year I will be doing a demonstration how to use a snap press.  The stitching club I belong to owns this piece of equipment as an asset and it is the industrial version.  No one knows how to use it.  I knew what it did but had never used it and so I volunteered to learn about it and demonstrate how to use it.  Very user friendly piece of equipment.


In my schpeel for this snap press, I had to brainstorm what one would use it for.  Before I recommend to my peers what it can do, and what it can help make, I had to use it for myself with a little project on the side.

I had run across a WordPress blog that offered a free pattern for a dishtowel.  Click here for that pattern.  Making a dish towel for some is no big deal.  Others see the idea of making a button hole and run the other way.  I deemed this a perfect use for the snap press.

I had a piece of brand new chenille fabric with no use other than to donate.  HA, now it will not be a donate but utilized for these ever so useful items in the kitchen.

And here is the easy snap to install which took about 5 seconds per side.  Easier than a button hole, and no hand stitching.


On Thursday about 2 hours after I wrote my blog post, a special registered letter arrived that required my signature.  It was from Hungary!  I knew exactly what it was.  I had ordered the ruler for the Capella 10 inch star pattern.  If you are up for a wonderful video to see how they use this ruler click here.


So I will be making a quilt using this.  Probably a baby size with only a row of stars, or partial stars.  That will be coming soon.


And in my post The Next Quilting Challenge I announced the colors of a baby quilt I will be making of the lime and aqua colors.  I have pulled from my stash and realized I need some form of black or black print.


I have chosen to make the Moroccan Tile pattern by Anka’s Treasures.

A splash of black will really make this pop.


I will be breaking open the newly sealed companion set by accuquilt for the drunkard’s path dies which will get me going towards the Moroccan Tile pattern, but doing it my own way.  I will be fetching some black fabric, hopefully tomorrow.

Right now I have all these deadlines and it kind of gets in my mojo and makes it hard to focus and shift gears towards a goal.  I shift gears too much which is unproductive and makes too many UFOs and PHDs.  Just speaking of them drives me nuts.  A deadline is a deadline.  I want to get these quilts done before babies are born.  I supposed the babies will not care.  All they will want is sleep, milk, burped, and a clean diaper.  But I think giving a baby quilt to expecting parents builds their anticipation.  All the baby accessories to use but no baby.  Two baby quilts by April should be no problem provided my sewing machine does not break down!  Thank you for reading my blog and stay tuned for more Quilty posts!

My next quilting challenge

In the mix of quilting, sometimes life happens.  Projects become PHDs (projects half done).  In my case I am still quilting the Orange On Ringo Lake quilt.  A few blocks every night, with more machine stitches accomplished on the weekend.  This is going to be put aside for a bit.


In my post of expectations for 2018, I knew I would be doing a couple of baby quilts.  The jury is still out what I am going to do for either of these quilts.  Today will probably become a gathering day for one.  I found out yesterday that the color scheme for one of these babies is lime and turquoise.  I will be shopping my stash trying to figure out this challenge.  Perhaps one side will be turquoise and neutrals and the other lime.  I have never attempted these colors together.  Maybe I shouldn’t pick neutrals but go with black to really make it pop.  What pattern am I going to use?  I will be brainstorming on this one, probably using my Pinterest account to see what I have pinned in the past for baby quilt ideas.  I love a good challenge, don’t you?

I have three upcoming workshops, one for the jelly roll race, one for the garlic knot swap, and one for the iron caddy tote.

I have started gathering supplies to make another iron caddy tote but this time making it into a lunch bag with oil cloth goodness.

I have also come across a jelly roll with 50 strips all in earth tones.  Beautiful colors and will get to this one someday.

I was also deciding about labeling my quilts.  The labels you buy pre-made are a tad expensive, and I would use many, so I came up with my own label to make.  Whichever quilt is finished next is going to get this label.  I have spent $2.00 on this plus tax and should be able to get 15 labels out of the 2 bucks.  I will probably date it and say “made by me”.  I look forward to sharing all of this with you. Oh sew many irons in the fire, and so little time!

Patina Quilting

After finishing my On Ringo Lake Top I took a bit of pause to figure out how to free motion quilt this gem.  Because I was a tad too bright/strong in the orange dept, I knew I needed to tone this down.  But how to tone down orange?  How about another color in the quilt that is complimentary.  I knew I could use a neutral but also knew that would give the orange a washed out look.  My other options were brown or turquoise.  I went a shade darker and chose turquoise.  I am hoping this impacts the quilt positively and breaks up the monotony of too much orange.  When looking at my quilt top it reminds me of copper.  What do you get when copper tarnishes?  A nice patina, provenance…… and the color turquoise.



I am attempting to scribble out the orange with this ribbon candy loop de loop.  I have chosen to squiggle this on all the diamond sashing pieces.  One more to go and I am still brainstorming for my next free motion quilting option.  I want to accentuate the 9 patch so maybe a floral there.  I am thinking of keeping the turquoise and running that through the flying geese with a trident style loop de loop.  I am still looking at this with a very open mind.  I have gotten out my Saran Wrap and laid this out on top of the block and ran my permanent marker over the Saran Wrap to mock stitches.  TBD….to be determined!

Thank you for reading my blog!