Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year In Review

A look back...

Since I had taken a quilting break through part of 2010-2011, I wasn't quite sure how to begin again. I still felt the need to stick with the materials I had on hand; and therefore, it was clear that I would need to figure out how to proceed.

Many people have already discovered how enjoyable SCRAPPY quilting was, and since that wasn't an area I had worked in, thought, why not try it!! Here is what transpired...

Click on the images or links below for more details on these projects: 
 Images--for my original blog entry   /   Links--for the designer's website/blogs

Storm at Sea
John Flynn's, "Storm at Sea" was such fun to create. I love it when any fabric choices made can still turn out a great look!!

Visit his website to see more color choices and the quilting lines used to create a perfect flow for that stormy sea.  Or check out the opportunity to attend a quilting seminar next summer, in Montana.

Fabric scraps taking over your life... then this scrappy method is just one medicine the quilt doctor would prescribe for you!!
String Quilting Primer
I really enjoyed this process... actually it is quite addicting, so be advised that this may affect you the same way!!!

Bonnie Hunter's, "String Quilting Primer" instructions are great to get you started. For more quilting fun, check out her books, free patterns, and her 10-day Bali adventure in 2012 on her website.

Here are two more inspiring sites to visit for this technique, a guild challenge and a video:  SelvageBlog, Quilty.

String-X Quilt!
Bonnie Hunter's, "String-X Quilt!" instructions are great to get you motivated to try more string quilting.

This design was fun, with the added challenge of setting my blue pieces into a uniform effect.  I still like a balanced look. Not yet ready to try going totally random.

Four Patch & Furrows

So many great free patterns on Quiltville, I had to chose a few more to try. This one used up more of those scraps.

This one challenged my color selection process, and in time, I dug up enough yardage to create the furrow section. It was a joy to make. Check out the instructions for "Four Patch & Furrows!


Scrappy Mountain Majestics!

This quilt was really fun!! This was my second favorite design from the scrappy quilts. 

Bonnie Hunter's, "Scrappy Mountain Majestics!" instructions are super easy. These start out with 8.5" blocks. There are several options to reveal different looks--like creating magic, it is!!

Crumb Chaos
I found Patti Chartrand's "Crumb Chaos" featured on the Quilting Gallery and it looked so delightful. However, this technique has my lowest votes, as it simply isn't for me.

If you have lots of tiny pieces and love this technique, the results can be truly awesome. 

Check out the tutorials for Bonnie's "Crumbs, Crumbs, Crumbs" and Patti's "Crumb Chaos" on their blogs: Quiltville, Patti's blog. 

Thanks for stopping by to read my blog!! More to come, next year!!

I wish you all a very bright future as the year "2012" dawns. May it bring peace and prosperity to all. Cheers!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!! I will be back next week to do a Quilting Review of 2011 and what may be ahead for my quilting journey in the New Year.

May you enjoy the festive energy of the season and carry it forward with you into 2012.  Wishing 2012 will be a very fabulous and magical year for you....

Sunday, December 18, 2011

No More Crumbs!

I have one more quilt top to show you this year. It started with crumbs... There are many great sites where this technique is explained; however, the place that inspired me started here. The project is called Crumb Chaos. For the photo that got me interested, please click here.

Basket of Scrap Pieces

After having used up a lot of my scraps, I figured I should give this crumb technique a try!!  So, with any remaining strings, I started adding bits and pieces. 

Adding Pieces to My Strings

It wasn't long before I had used up the strings and got frustrated with the messy pile, so I organized my pieces. This helped me sew up the remaining tidbits. Some pieces I cut up for my pillow stuffing, as this process was very tiring for me.

Sorting Scraps into Categories--By Size

When I first began, I thought I'd make 6.5" blocks, but it seemed a size I couldn't get too, so easily; so I opted to try 5" blocks. I had made several of these and then wanted to go smaller. That was when I decided I'd make them 3.5" in size. The really nice 5" blocks I saved, so I had 14 of these. The rest were the small size-3.5".

Blocks in Progress!

Crumb Blocks--finished size: 3.5"
The reason I decided to make the blocks 3.5" was to put them into a nine-patch block style. For placement of these blocks, I found a nine-patch design that I liked. With this nine-patch variation, I came up with my own layout for my crumb blocks. 

This meant I would need 196 crumb blocks. But, I was pretty much done with my scraps and tired of this process, so I replaced several blocks with 3.5" fabric pieces to complete the 49-block square, I desired. (In this example: Crumb blocks being replaced with: green, yellow, and red polka dot squares.)

Replacing Crumb Blocks with Plain Blocks

To sew them together into rows, I numbered each block. This makes it easier to get the order correct.

Numbering Block Placement

I always mark the side I need to stitch with a straight pin, so I can chain-piece them together without worry of getting block direction mixed up.  
Pins Mark the Edge to be Sewn

Here is how the finished 49-block piece turned out as shown hanging on the fridge door. (This one has 4 blue, 4 purple, 5 red polka dot pieces; and 36 crumb blocks.) 

Completed Block--49 small blocks in all!

Now, all I needed to do was sew these four large blocks together.  Oh, boy! I couldn't decide on fabrics and border styles, and finally got tired of using the seam ripper, so this was what I eventually ended up with...

Crumb Chaos Quilt Top

I added a 5" border and was able to use  four of my 5" crumb blocks for each corner. I had added a mock piping in white inside the border, and one in red polka dot around each corner block.

Mock Piping and Border Corners

Am I happy with the results... well, not really, but I am quite certain that this scrappy style isn't for me. But, I did give it a try, and that was the whole point of this adventure.

 My Finished Quilt Top
 Crumb Quilt-- (approx. size: 52" x 52")

Thanks to Patti Chartrand for inspiring me to try this scrappy technique as showcased on quilt gallery website and to Janet Wickell for the "More than a nine-patch" quilt block design.
If you wish to share your quilts, or the places that you love for this technique, I'd love to hear from you. Hope you enjoyed this project. Until next time... cheers to you all!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Majestic View

Time usually seems to fly when one is interacting with a fun activity!! Doesn't it? So it is already time to post my final scrappy quilt made from quiltville website/blog.  The pattern instructions for this quilt is available for a free download.

Some of the steps from this design are shown here, and if you are interested, please visit the links above to see more on this pattern.

I used fabrics in neutrals, greens, blues, and purples. It was a great design to use fabrics I already had on stock.  
  • Cut 8.5" squares of fabric, in both darks and lights. I made the lap size quilt which needed 64 squares in total.
  • Lay a light and a dark fabric with right sides together and cut into two triangles. Then sew together. After sewn, press and trim to an 8-inch block.
  • From these blocks, a variety of designs can be achieved by how the two fabrics are placed together before cutting into the strips.
  • After deciding, place two blocks with right sides together again, light facing dark/dark facing light; and cut each set of blocks into 2-inch strips. Then these strips are rearranged before they are sewn together to make the new blocks. 

Cutting the Blocks--Triangles

Cutting Blocks into Strips

Arranging the Strips

Rows--Block Assembly

This project: 8 blocks wide by 8 blocks long; 64 blocks in total. 
Borders (unfinished size): inner border: dark purple-2"; outer border: purple/green-4.5".

Borders to Complete the Quilt

 My Finished Quilt
Scrappy Mountain Majestics (approx. 57" x 71")

Thanks to Bonnie Hunter for inspiring me to try these scrappy quilt techniques!! It is always a joy to work with those fabrics already in my stash. There is a huge variety of free patterns on her site. Also, she has several great books available for purchase.

Please visit her website or blog, for more details on this or any other pattern for using up your scrappy fabrics. 

Hope you enjoyed this project. Until next time... cheers to you all!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Four Patch Magic!

Here is my third scrappy quilt from  It is called, "Four Patch and Furrows". I started with two inch strips in a variety of colors. From these strips the four patch blocks are made.

Strips--Four Patch

The second part is making the half-triangle blocks, and then arranging them to complete the quilt top.

Blocks--Half Triangles & Four Patch

I usually sew my blocks together in rows and continue until all the rows are attached. Here are three rows ready and waiting to be sewn together.

Four Patch and Furrows

This quilt top is really too large to display on the loveseat below, so I have it folded in half to show how colorful it turned out. Since I had cut lots of strips, I was able to bring them into the quilt in the border.

Quilt Top--closeup

It is always a fun project when one can use up old fabrics from the stash cabinet.  I have been enjoying this SCRAPPY quilt journey.
My Quilt Top
Four Patch & Furrows -- (approx. 63" x 75")

Please visit Bonnie's website or blog, for more details on this pattern. I have one more to share next time.

Hope you enjoyed this project. Until next time... cheers to you all!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Strings with an X-Factor!

It's time to share my next SCRAPPY quilt design!! This one is also from Originally, when I first looked at Bonnie's site, I picked out two of her free patterns to try. I had just enough of the thin, blue fabric to use for the foundation material.
Scrappy Strings

Once again, I began covering my foundation pieces with fabric strings (1.5" wide and less), until completely covered. After all the pieces were done, the ends were cut down to form a point.

Foundation Fabric Covered with Strings/Ends Cut to A Point

To see the overall effect and help me decide what fabric to choose for finishing the blocks, I laid them all on the floor (my design wall).

Pieces Laid Out As Per Design

I had several shades of blue in fat quarters, and cut out the required pieces. Only after they were cut out, did I work out the placement for the blue fabrics. I ended up with an overall balanced theme that I was happy with. The next step was to sew the blue triangles to the main pieces.

Sorry for the poor photo. I don't usually stop sewing just to wait until the next day, for daylight, for better photo ops.

X-design Construction

Here is a closeup, to show you a better view of the X-block.

Quilt Top--Closeup

One thing I had difficulty with was choosing the fabrics for the borders. When doing scrappy quilts, I think staying with the fabrics I have, should suffice. But, not always does that plan work out as one thinks.

Therefore, it took some time to work out what I would do. That was when I decided to add a strip of orange mock piping. And, much later, I added the white and orange borders.

Mock Piping and Borders

This project: 48 single blocks in total. Four blocks sewn together were trimmed to 14" square. Borders were cut at: white-2.5"; orange-3.5".

My Finished Quilt Top
String-X Quilt!  (approx. 50" x 63.5")
Thanks to Bonnie Hunter for inspiring me to try this scrappy technique for quilting!! I will be posting two more of her quilt designs, coming soon...
Please visit her website or blog, for more details on this pattern.
Hope you enjoyed this project. Until next time... cheers to you all!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Going Scrappy!

What does one do--when their fused applique supply has run out and the fabrics in the stash are not the latest designs?  One would be... go buy more! Another would be... just use what one has at home. 

Well, my dilemna was eliminated when I figured it was time to go SCRAPPY!!  So, I can experience for myself what those quilters that love scrappy quilts are talking about.

So, after going through my fabric pieces that I had sorted into separate colors to use for applique and those smaller fat quarters and other remnants of fabric. I started cutting them into strips and squares. I will deal with those squares in another posting.

Cutting the Fabrics into Strips

I did an online search, and came up with some great ideas! This is what I did with that mess of strips...

The website that got me started had me inspired to try out several variations, that will begin with this posting. And, who don't love a FREE pattern to try out a technique, not yet tried. 

The pattern is called: String Quilting Primer

The Block

I used a foundation piece (blue) to sew the strips onto, which was a very thin fabric that I had no other purpose for using. And, I also used the same fabric for the center strip in each block. My foundation piece was 8" square. After trimming it was 7 1/2" square. In total, I made 48 blocks.

Starting With Center Strip

Foundation Fabric Covered Completely
Trimming the Block - 7.5"

Looking Beautiful--Not Bad From A Pile of Strips

After I had sewn the strips onto the 48 foundation fabric pieces, it was time to decide where to go from here. Originally, I had thought I'd make two smaller quilts, but decided to use them all in one quilt top, instead.

Assembling the Blocks

Then, I added the same fabric as was used in the center of each block and added another border to finish at 50" x 64". That is where I'll leave it, for now, ready to quilt later.

Adding the Borders (width: light pink 2"; bright pink 3")

My String Quilting Primer Quilt Top
Finished Quilt Top  (approx. 50" x 64")
Thanks to Bonnie Hunter for inspiring me to try this scrappy technique for quilting!! I will be posting three more of her quilt designs, coming soon...

For more on Bonnie's quilts, visit:

Hope you enjoyed this project. Until next time... cheers to you all!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Motivation Please Kick In!

After my "2010 Quilt Technique Challenge" was over, and many months later, it was a challenge just to find where to start again. 

One of my favorite things about quilting that I still enjoy is--cutting fabric!! And, I still want to use up (at least attempt) my fabric stash. I do have lots of fabrics that have been in the fabric cabinet, long enough.  Therefore, finding projects that are not brand-name, trendy, or design specific, I will try to use up those old fabrics, before buying new ones.

So... why not sort through those old magazines and quilt books to see what would spark that new direction. It didn't seem to be working, and that was when I decided to cut up those old magazines and make a collection of ones that brought some inspiration.

Binder 2--Patterns

Storm at Sea was the project that would begin my 2011 quilt journey. It is from an old magazine: Love of Quilting--September/October 2006. Designed by: John Flynn.

Storm at Sea

Here is how it went together:

Light/medium fabrics:
-- cut strips, squares, half-square triangles; cut strips, squares, diamonds; cut strips, squares, squares, half-square triangles.

Dark fabrics:
-- cut strips, squares, quarter square triangles; cut strips, triangles; cut strips, squares, quarter-square triangles.

Needless to say; further, a lot of cutting from approximately 16 different fabric colors. Did I say I love cutting?  And, so it was.

Storm at Sea-Instructions

At the time, I didn't take many pictures, or if I did, can't seem to find them. Or, perhaps I did not take any of the quilting process. Sorry, about that!

My projects, for the most part, will only go to the finished quilt top stage, unless they are small quilts and I feel like finishing them, as I go. Finishing them may mean buying new fabrics, so that stage will be done later on.

Here is the quilt top shown on the floor:

Storm at Sea - approx. 40”w X 52”L

For more on John's quilts, visit:

Hope you enjoyed this project. Until next time... cheers to you all!

Monday, November 7, 2011

What's In A Name?

There are a lot of terms used in quilting.... and many of them I haven't explored yet. So, if I may, I will revisit the process of writing up blog entries to show you what I have been doing with my time this year and see if I can't get you excited at trying some new techniques for yourself.

In this process, since my last post in December 2010, it looks like I need to figure out how blogger has changed and get up to speed on giving my blog a new look. Thanks, for your interest in what I discover along the way.

Terms such as: strips, strings, crumbs, and scrappy have got my attention. As I dialogue my projects over the next few weeks, I'll show you what my sewing machine has been busy at stitching up!!

Let's begin the adventure.......