Saturday, January 26, 2013


thank you to our friends across the street.

Several weeks ago my husband had two total hip replacement surgeries.  Oh, yes, he is doing very well.  Enjoying his freedom of movement and no pain.

During this time we still had lawn to mow and trimming to do.  Our wonderful neighbors across the street came to our rescue.  Not only did they mow and trim, but as the season progressed, they fertilized and did the fall over seeding for us.  Thank you so much!!!!

We wanted to do something for them to let them know how much we appreciated all of their efforts to keep our lawn maintained and looking so nice.

I decided to make them a quilt.  I chose to use a split 9-Patch block and designed it into a double star pattern.  It is a controlled scrappy block made with batiks.

Finally, I had it finished and  we gave it to them today.

They said they liked it!!  It was such a good feeling to give them something that I had created.


Monday, January 21, 2013


The Chattanooga Modern Quilt Guild is only a little over a year old and we have just now established our logo.   One of our members, Pam McCallie, designed this for us and another member, Debra Nance, stitched our badges for us.

Pam decided that it would be fun if each member designed an "alternate" logo that could be swapped around as our profile picture on our blog site each month.

So she designed a challenge for us and gave each of us a packet of fabrics to use to design our blocks.  We turned these in at our January meeting.

These are my two blocks:

Do you see where these will be inserted?  I think it will be fun to watch as each person's blocks show up.
The other purpose for these blocks is to make a Door Banner to hang while we are meeting.  Our group meets in the classroom at Sew Bee It Quilt Shop and there is always traffic in the store while we are meeting and hanging our banner will let others learn about us.  Maybe they will want to become part of our membership.


Friday, January 18, 2013


I have found a neat little block to use as an insert block or as a filler block.  It could be used in the body of the quilt or out in the border.

I made this practice "Pod Block" by using pink print for the pod and my neutral for the background.  You could choose to do this in reverse if you wanted.

I prepared my fabric by spray starching it so it would be sturdier to work with.  When cutting a gentle curve you need to have a very sharp blade.  This would be a good time to replace a blade in your rotary cutter.  The trick to getting a smooth cut is to apply as little pressure as necessary to make a smooth cut.

You could make your pods any size you want but for practice these are the measurements I chose.  Just remember that your background strips must be at least 3" longer than your pod fabric.
Cut a 2.5" strip of fabric for the pod and two 3" x 11" strips of background fabric.

The next step is to cut a gentle curve through the pod fabric.  Begin this cut near the center of the bottom and progress to near the center at the top.  The closer to the edge you curve the wider the pod will be.  This must be a gentle curve.  If you are right handed this first cut will be on the right side, and, conversely if you are a leftie, it will be the left side of your strip.

Rotate the strip 180 degrees to cut the opposite side.  You need to leave 1/4" seam allowance from the center on this side.  Begin about a 1/4" from the previous cut and follow the gentle curve to the top ending about 1/4" from the other cut.

Center the pod vertically on one background strip, with both fabrics RIGHT side up with the background raw edge running through the center of the pod.  Of course, the lefties will do this on the left side first.

Using the pod as a template, cut the same curve into the background fabric.  Discard the small piece of background fabric underneath the pod.
Lay the two pieces side by side and make a mark on the background fabric at the top right corner of the pod.

Flip the pod right side down on the background fabric, matching its top right corner with the mark, and pin.

Flip the pieces over and sew with the background fabric on top. Drop your needle into both fabrics.  Using your "down needle" feature on your sewing machine is helpful.  Be sure to remove the pin before you start sewing.  Taking your time and moving slowly without bunching up your fabric sew the two layers together.  I use an accessory for maintaining my quarter inch (or you may have a quarter inch foot with a flange) which makes it easy to keep both fabrics together and at a quarter inch.

Press under the pod fabric.

You will now repeat the process for the second side.
Take the sewn piece and place it on the second background piece.

I am showing you the reverse here so you will remember to cover at least half of the pod before you cut.  Now turn it over and using a gentle curve follow the curve of the pod as your template and cut this side.

Continue the same as you did for the first side by marking the point on the front, pinning it, then sewing with the background fabric on top.

When you finish, trim your block to size.  I try to line up my ruler down the center of the pod and measure off from there.  This gives me a centered pod.  Should you want a little wonkier look you could skew your ruler and achieve that look.

I am planning to use this "pod" block for some small projects coming up.  Can you imagine some "floating leaves" with these pods cut using a skew of your ruler?  I think it would give the impression of falling leaves,  ummm.

If you like this little block, you should check out Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen's book, Quilting Modern, for lots of wonderful techniques to use in your traditional or your modern quilts.  This is one of my favorite books of late.


Monday, January 14, 2013


My Modern Quilt Guild is participating in a challenge sponsored by Michael Miller fabrics.  It is called the Madrona Road Challenge and was offered to us by the national Modern Quilt Guild.  We submitted our request and we were accepted to participate.

Michael Miller Fabrics has provided us with fabric from their new line called "Madrona Road".  Each guild sets up its own guidelines for the challenge.

Our challenge is due at our next meeting in February.  The challenge leader distributed 3 fat eighths of fabric with a fat quarter of Kona snow fabric and gave us the rules for the challenge.  Since we are turning these in at the next meeting, I will have to wait until then to show you the finished blocks.  However, I will show you the three fabrics that were in my packet.

I have designed my two blocks as well as the "extra"  that our leader suggested we do.

We must use all three of these as well as the Kona Snow.  We cannot add any extra fabrics.

We are using the book  Quilting Modern  this year as our guide for all of our programs.  The leader chose the Log Cabin unit for us to use to design our blocks.

So this Monday will be my challenge work day.  LilBit is keeping me company.


Friday, January 11, 2013


One of the most popular blocks I have seen is the Shaded Four-Patch.   More and more often I am seeing it in patterns in magazines and online.  

Here are a couple of my projects using the Shaded 4-Patch block.  I have used it many times and always find it fun to work with.

  I wanted to share making Shaded Four-Patch Blocks my way.

Start by cutting 2 squares that measure 2".  Cut two rectangles that measure 2 x 2.75".  Sew these together as you would a 4-Patch.  Press under the rectangles.

Using the EZ Angle Ruler, line up the 1/4 inch seam line just above the corner of the 2 inch corner square.  This eliminates drawing a line on your block.
I do this from the finished side of the piece.  Cut with your rotary cutter.  Reverse the piece and cut the other side the same way resulting in two triangle pieces.

The next step is to take a square that measures 3.75 inches and cut it on the diagonal.

Now attach the triangle to the pieced triangle piece to form the Shaded 4-Patch block.  This one is 3.5" unfinished and will finish at 3" in your project.

I hope this has been helpful.  Using the Shaded 4-Patch is a lot of fun because it lends itself to many different layouts.  This is a very useful block to have in your repertoire of common blocks to use when designing or making a quilt.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Here we are in January 2013.  A New Year and a continuation of many good years.  This year promises to be an exciting time for my quiltmaking.  I am delving into doing more Modern Quilts. 

Thought I would give you a little history lesson to help explain the name of the first finished quilt of 2013.


January is often considered the month for deep reflection. We look back at the year behind us, bemoaning our regrets and celebrating our successes. And then, we look forward to the future year. We make well-meaning resolutions and hope for the best. So, in this way, we’re all a little bit like Janus, the Roman god for which January is named. Janus is usually depicted with having two heads. that face in opposite directions. One looks back to the year departed, and one looks forward to the new and uncertain year ahead.

Janus also represented transition and was called the "god of doors".  This is where I am - making a transition in my quilting style and opening some new doors for creative expression.

The back of this quilt came from "the drawer".  You know, that drawer that is full of parts and pieces of projects that never made completion?

I reached in the drawer and drew out the largest piece I could find and used it as my starting point for piecing the back.  I continued to pull pieces from the drawer.  If the piece was too long, I cut it off.  If it was too small, I added strips to it.  Eventually I had it completed.

All of these blocks are very traditional with lots of calicoes and prints.

Now let's take a look at the front of this quilt!! This is from Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr's pattern called Deep Breath.

"Janus:  From Traditional to Modern"

I enjoy piecing my backs as well as my fronts and this seemed to tell the viewer what kind of quilter I am. . . a little bit traditional leaning toward the modern.

This quilt was completed entirely on my domestic sewing machine, a Bernina Artista 640E.

The straight line quilting in the neutral squares stands out from the pebble quilting in the pieced units.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I wasn't able to get this posted in December so here it is now.  I am anxious to get back to regular blogging.  My computer buddy should have my computer ready soon.

I have some really great friends and two of them came over for our regular Tuesday morning for some stitchin', some chattin', and some giftin'.  These two gals are really great quilters and they both come up with the cutest ideas.

Look at these precious place mats that Linda made for me.  Don't they just scream "Merry Christmas"?

They are just so cute!!

Sharon makes all kinds of cute purses, totes and little bags.  This one has pockets on the inside and is the perfect size for sewing supplies or as a little clutch to carry when I don't want to carry a large purse.  I have been carrying this thing every day since she gave it to me.
Inside was this Flexion Pen.  It is for marking fabric and you remove the marks by ironing it.

What a fun morning we had.  It was such a cold day outside but we had all the warmth of friendship inside.