Too busy

I made the test block today for Maureen’s quilt (and added a border to make a doll quilt) and it just was too busy for me on the block edges and the Star kind of gets lost.

So I sent Maureen a few other options ….

And after some back and forth … we decided to go with this.

You’ve got to love HSTs … so MANY different options for laying them out. No changes to the number of HSTs needed or the number of blocks. I just have to tweak the instructions for Mom.

King size

I really dislike making king size quilts and need to make two for me …. and my sister wants one too. She’s a bit picky but Mom and I have been talking about making her one if we could agree on the pattern and find fabric – she wants only 2 fabrics – a blue and a white. I spent time looking through blue and white quilt photos today and Mom and I discussed several options – only my sister didn’t really like any of the options. She DID like the idea of a LeMoyne Star quilt like my green and blue one only it has to be in two colors/two fabrics. Do you think I could convince Mom to make a zillion half square triangles?!?

Split shift

I’m back on a stay up all night, sleep all morning schedule so I end up working a split shift – a few hours in the afternoon and then coming back downstairs to work after Keith goes to bed. It works for me when I don’t have any morning appointments but I’ll have to reset myself before my trip to Mom’s next week. Today I finished up the Friendship Stars and I’m ready to start the alternate 9 patch blocks – maybe that will happen tomorrow. Someone asked were the stars going to all be green. Nope – they’re all different colors and the 9 patch squares will be too.

Our power went out between 6 and 8:30 pm so I wasn’t able to cook dinner – we both grabbed something that didn’t need cooking and I’ll fix the pork tomorrow. While we were waiting for the power to come back on I played with another Friendship Star variation. I really got in the zone making these stars and maybe one day I’ll make a quilt just with them. I like alternating light and dark versions of the same block in quilts so I don’t end up with so much background fabric. I’ll save this idea for later.

After coming down and finishing the last few stars, I loaded and quilted another one of the HeartStrings group tops sent to me by AnnG. Pantograph is Seaweed – another favorite of mine for HeartStrings quilts. Lots of great texture. This leaves me with 2 to get bound and I’ll try to get them done before my trip.

Now it’s time to knit!

A new start

I have plans to get two group HeartStrings tops quilted this coming week but since I finished up a few things on my August “to do” list I decided I would start a new quilt. I was tempted to grab a 3 yard bundle – so quick and easy but I wanted to make one of the many quilts I’ve drafted but not yet pieced and it had to be from scraps, not fat quarters or other precuts. I’m on a mission to try and tame some of the scraps around here and even though this will be my 12th quilt since the beginning of the year from the scrap and string bins, there’s absolutely NO difference in how full those bins are. I’ve settled on this Friendship star quilt. I’d intended to make a bedsize quilt from a large set of fat quarters when I drafted this so it will be downsized to a throw size.

Most of my scraps are sorted by color but I’ve got a couple bins of “mixed” scraps that coordinate so I started digging through them and cutting.

I’ve got a set of green scraps pressed and ready to cut when I get back downstairs later tonight. I’m cutting fabric for the stars first although there are extra squares cut from each of these fabrics that will go into the 9 patch blocks.

I should make the background scrappy too but I’m going to make it a little easier and use a single fabric. I’ve got to decide between these although I’ve pretty much decided the one on the left is too busy for this quilt.

Double Irish Chain

Here’s my simple quilt based on the vintage one shared yesterday. Who knows when or if I’ll ever get around to making it but I’ll share some brief notes for now.

Quilt Notes

  • Quilt size is approximately 58 x 78
  • Block size is 10 inches finished (10.5 with seam allowances)
  • Strips and small squares are cut 2.5 inches – I’d sew strip sets for the checkerboard block.
  • Center square in alternate block is cut 6.5 inches
  • Blocks are set 5 across and 7 down
  • Border is cut 4.5 inches


I was scrolling around online and came across a brick quilt that got me thinking … it used two bricks but the quilt was sashed and even though 2 my last few quilts were sashed, you know I don’t like doing sashing so I got to thinking about my Forest Bricks quilt and how that one is constructed. Just a strip on either side of the brick and the blocks are turned horizontally or vertically and there are NO seams to match up. Easy!

Brief instructions for Forest Bricks can be found online at this link.

So if you were to use two bricks, you’d just add another strip between them. Of course, my “bricks” in this one are more like strips that are cut 3.5 x 9.5 but that’s OK too. If you like a smaller block you could use bricks that are cut 2.5 x 7.5 and strips cut 1.5 x 7.5 and that would give you a 7 inch finished block (7.5 with seam allowances). Again, a great thing about this one is no seams to match up PLUS it would use a lot of scraps or leftover Jelly Roll strips. I wouldn’t put a border on, I’d just bind it in the same fabric as the sashing strips. I might just end up making two of them … eventually. For now it will go on the “to do” list. You can find brief notes on this quilt by clicking here.


The Sashed Whales top has been assembled. As I mentioned when I started this one, it’s a remake of a quilt I made the first year I was quilting and I recently “rediscovered” some of my old quilt photos and decided to remake this one for our July Precut Challenge. I will be adding this to the website eventually but here are a few notes to get you started if you want to make your own version.

> Quilt size is approximately 46.5 x 60.5
> Focus fabric squares are cut 10 inches and they’ll finish at 9.5 inches
> Strips for the sashing and nine patches are cut 2 inches.

Stephanie has pulled “orphans or spare parts” for our August precut and for me that means I’ll work on a doll quilt or two from the leftover bits of other quilts as Stephanie commented below!

Our target for August is Orphans or any other spare parts like part blocks, strip set ends, random HSTs, leader/ender pieces, swaps, embroideries, and various other sewn together bits and pieces. 
Mary often makes her ends into a doll quilt (great idea!), and I did some pet crate quilts a while ago from some of mine. 
This time I might gather together some that go together nicely color-wise and make a random rows Strippie.

If you have a shining halo with no spare parts in your stash, you can choose your own adventure for August.

More Circle of Nine

Usually when I can’t sew for a prolonged period of time, I end up shopping for fabric online but just having packed up my overly generous stash that’s NOT going to happen so I’m just playing with quilt ideas. Who knows if any of these will be made in one form or another but if not, they might inspire a future quilt of mine or inspire someone else.

This might be a little busy as designed and I’m almost thinking that using lighter colored fabrics for the checkerboard so it fades a little more into the background might work better … but then I look at it again and think I kind of like it as it is.

I didn’t work too hard today but I did pack up most of the books in the library. Even after donating 10-12 bags of books, I still have a lot of them. Keith will need to get me just a few book boxes so I can finish up since most of them fit in all the empty bins from the sewing room. We also enjoyed watching the Lightning game as they won the first one in the series against Carolina. This is the beginning of round two so hopefully they’ll continue on and go all the way to the finals!

Churn Dash

I’ve also been planning another Churn Dash quilt … so today while I was waiting around for another inspection of the crawl space issues, I modified the quilt design from yesterday. Using a 9 inch finished block … those squares in the chain block would be two different sizes. The 9 patch would be pieced from strips or squares that were cut 2.5 inches. The framing rectangles and squares would be cut 2 inches. A couple borders would bring this up to the donation size I like.

If you’re wondering about the crawl space issues – we’re in the process of working with the Association and getting quotes to resolve the issues. Our buyers have until next Friday to decide if they are moving ahead with the purchase otherwise we go back on the market. It’s complicated, expensive, and a hassle but not a disaster … we’ll work through the problem and get the house sold. The move goes ahead mid June regardless and I need to keep packing!

Half Square Triangles

I’m not a huge fan of making 2 inch finished half square triangles but I thought I had an Accuquilt GO die in that size. When I went to make my Friendship Star and Rail fence quilt last year, I realized it was a 2.5 inch finished HST so I used Thangles to make the HSTs for that quilt.

However, ever since then I’ve been thinking about a quilt I could make using the 2.5 inch HST die. I typically like to use 3 or 4 inch HSTs but for some patterns that makes a larger block than I’d want. Tonight, I was playing around with stars and chains and I think a 2.5 inch HST would work great in this one. The squares and rectangles would be cut 3 inches wide. Block size would be 12.5 inches finished (13 inches with seam allowances). Of course, if you like making 2 inch finished HSTs you could always use them. It would be a smaller quilt – 50 x 70 but that’s a nice size too and you could add a border if you wanted it larger.