Monday, November 30, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Well, we had our Thanksgiving meal on Sunday and it was wonderful. The kids had a BLAST!

We watched football all afternoon (and into the night!) and did our normal Sunday stuff.

I worked on getting borders on one of my 1930s 4 Patch quilts.

I made these two quilts from Mary's patterns: Easy Double 4 Patch, and Double 4 Patch. It's funny, you can't really tell them apart except that I know they're different, so I know the secret is that there are two slightly different set of blocks in them.

Easy Double 4 Patch

Double 4 Patch

Now that I have the borders on one, I'm going to try and get borders on the other and then one of them will be quilted for my daughter. I think the other will go to charity.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Twister Quilt Tutorial

This tutorial is for a quick baby quilt called Twister Quilt. I'm using stash, so it's geared toward that, but I will give you directions for using a purchased layer cake as well.

First of all, you'll need 12 10" squares for a baby quilt.  I also make a large lap quilt using 42 10" squares. If you're like me, and you're out to do a little stash busting, this is a great project.

I pressed a bunch of KP kids fat quarters that I had and I cut two 10" squares from each fat quarter. Then, I cut a 6" strip from the remainder (I cut on the cross grain, so my 6" strips were 6" X 22"). There's not much left of a fat quarter when you do that. Keep the 6" strip and I'll show you what to do with that later.

When you have your 12 squares, sew them together this:

Next, use a piece of yardage (3/4 yard) to cut a 6" border.

Cut four 6" WOF (width of fabric, so they should be roughly 42") strips and then cut two 6" X 38 1/2" and two 6" X 40" inch pieces and attach to your quilt. I attached the sides and then the top and bottom, but you can do it either way. If you decide to do it the other way, you'll need to measure and fit your borders accordingly.

Here's a picture with the borders on:

Whose piggy toes are those?????

Next comes the fun part. You'll need this ruler:

It's called The Twister.

This ruler has been one of the best investments I every made! It's been a HUGE stashbuster! If you'd like to see another picture of what this quilt looks like when it's finished, pop over to Mary's blog. She just quilted one up that I sent her last fall.

There are actually two sizes of The Twister. The one I'm showing here starts with 10" squares (think Layer Cakes, or major STASHBUSTING!) and then you cut 8" squares which, of course, finish at 7 1/2". There's a smaller size that starts with 5" squares. I haven't used it yet.

You'll need lots of room to cut this quilt...especially if you make a large one. This one is just a baby quilt, so it's not that bad.

Place the ruler so the black lines are on the seam so:

Here's what it looks like with that first block cut out.

Then, you march down the row like this, cutting each block:

Last block cut.

Now, you need to lay your blocks all straight and get ready to sew them together.

I like to cut each row and then sew it together, but you can cut out the entire quilt and then sew. You just need to be careful that you know which block goes where. This is where a design wall comes in handy, but I find that the floor works just fine!

A note about directional fabrics...You can use directional fabrics in this quilt. You just need to realize that they will be tipped a bit.

Here's my first row all sewn together.

Now is the time to talk about bias edges.

Because these blocks are cut at an angle, the edges are all bias, so handle with care. This isn't a quilt that you can start and then stuff in the back of your closet to be rifled through seven or eight times before you finish it.

If you need to put it away, try to stop after you have your border on your 10" squares and not after you've cut out a bunch of the bias edge blocks.

Be careful when you're pressing and if you have to rip out seams, be EXTRA CAREFUL.

Keep cutting rows and sewing them. After the first row, you'll get these little bonus squares. I keep them and cut them down to 4" to use in other scrap quilts (keep in mind that they have bias edges as well). You'll get ten bonus squares with this baby quilt.

You can also use them in the border, but I'm doing the border a bit differently this time.

This is what the quilt looks like when the middle is finished...Cute, huh?

Ready for the final border?

Remember those 6" strips that you cut from your fat quarter? Go get eight of those and sew them all together. Cut them into four borders: two measuring 38" and two measuring 41 1/2". Add the side borders, then the top borders. Your quilt should look something like this:

It finishes at 41" X 48 1/2".

Once you've done one of these quilts, it goes together really quickly. And as I said, it's a real stashbuster. I used around 1 1/3 yards on the front of this quilt.

Goodness...Doing this tutorial REALLY makes me appreciate all the tutorials that are online! It takes a lot of thought and preparation!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will consider The Twister ruler. It's fun, fast and a GREAT stashbuster.

Have a quilty day!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sewing and Baking

My hubby had a medical procedure on Wednesday and he wasn't feeling well for Thanksgiving, so we postponed our Thanksgiving feast until tomorrow.

So, today, I baked pies and got things ready for the big dinner.

I also worked a little on the borders to my 1930s 4-Patch quilts. I'll try and get some pics on tomorrow. I'm not sure if I like how the borders are turning out, but, that's okay for now. I'll wait 'til they're all together and then see.

I'm heading to bed early so I will be fresh for tomorrow's cooking. The kids are excited and so am I.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Procrastination Challenge

Oh My Goodness! I LOVE the internet...LOVE blogland...LOVE the instant access to quilters...Love it, Love it, Love it!

I found a Procrastination Challenge over at Prairie Moon Quilts.

She's doing SO well with her challenge, I thought I would join in.

I only found it last night, but I think I'm going to count the quilt that I've been putting off doing the binding.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Joey's Brown Bear Quilt

I got Joey's quilt basted.

I did it from a kit that I bought at my LQS, Bismarck Sewing and Quilting.

I also bought the backing there. It's flannel and I LOVE it!

And this is my Joey. He's so only boy in the middle of all these girls! And, much to his father's chagrin, he has a doll that he LOVES, lol. It's name is Purple Baby Birdie.

I love my little boy. He's so like his father! It will be interesting to see what kind of a man he grows into.

Another Finish

I finally finished this quilt for my aunt. This definitely falls under the category of "done is better than perfect."

If you remember, this is the quilt that I discovered had the binding problem.

It's one of those quilts that has had quite a few mishaps...which I'm not going to go into. Suffice it to say, it's finished!

Here's a close-up of the quilting. I did a loopy flower thing in the border...

...and some straight-line quilting in the main part of the quilt.

My aunt is in a nursing home as she is crippled from Rheumatoid Arthritis. I hope it reminds her that I'm thinking of her.

Hope you're all having a wonderful day!

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

Are you all on board with the new Carolina Christmas mystery?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Finally...a Finish

Finally, I have a finish to blog about!

This is my Purple 1930s Quilt (original name, isn't it). I started this quilt from some 4-Patch blocks that I had on hand and then I made the other blocks to go with them. I'm not sure that I like the quilt that much, but it's done...and done is better than perfect.

I have several quilts that are pieced and that I need to finish, but I finished this one just now, and I had to put it up.

This is a quilt that I did and I stitched in the ditch a couple of years ago.

I took it out several weeks ago and let it float to the top of my consciousness, so to speak. I thought about it for a long time, trying to think about how I would do some FMQ on it and finally came up with this idea. It's a good try and it's FINISHED! Woo Hoo!

Here's a photo of the back which I think is almost cuter than the front!

So glad to finally have a quilt finished.

Hope you had a quilty day!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

ANOTHER Giveaway

Another giveaway over at Pieceful Days.

Pop over and see what all the fun is about.

I did get some things done today, but I didn't feel really well, so I didn't get as much sewing done as I wanted.

What did you get done today?

Violin Recital and Burning Bridges

First of all, the recital is OVER! It was fun, stressful, scary, etc.

Now, I can focus on Thanksgiving and other things!

A few pictures...with the caveat that my hubby--while I LOVE him dearly--is NOT a very good photographer.

First of all, my motley crew: Josiah, Sophia, Mariah, and Olivia. Obviously not sitting in birth order, lol .

Here are some pictures of the recital yesterday. Olivia was the very first performer with her violin solo. She was disappointed that she made a few bobbles, but I think she did well. Doesn't she look so brave up there?

After a few performers, Olivia and I did a duet together. That was REALLY fun.

Then, Olivia had her piano solo. She had taken lessons for a few months last year, and then we just started lessons again with Kristi (our violin teacher) a few weeks ago. Kristi didn't really expect Olivia to do a piano solo, but Olivia wanted to. It made me SO proud of her! She's so courageous and uninhibited. I LOVE that about her.

Finally, I was one of the last performers with my violin solo. (I always forget how heavy I am until I see a picture, lol.)

So, what about the "burning bridges?" you may ask.

Well, Friday evening, I got out a few quilts that only needed the binding sewn on. One of them was actually a quilt that I had sewn down the corners of, so it only needed the sides finished! BUT, what should I find on closer inspection?

GASP!!!! HORRORS!!!! Is there ANYTHING worse than realizing that you have a WHOLE LOT MORE WORK to do on a quilt that you had in your mind you could finish up in a jiffy?????

So, I let it sit for a you're supposed to do when you find that kind of a mistake. And, this morning, I started working on it again...and decided...that I just needed to take the binding off, reposition it, and do it all over again. But, I was tempted to just take off a little section at a time, reposition and then sew it. BUT, I got to thinking that if I did that, I might get to the end and not have enough binding because of all the wrestling with it. SO....

I cut the binding. That way, I won't be tempted to "go back" to my original thought, take it off a little at a time, and then hope it all comes out in the end.

And while I was taking pictures, I noticed my beautiful wedding rings and thought I would put a picture of them here for you.

Here's hoping you have a quilty day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another Wonderful Giveaway

There is so many wonderful giveaways out there! I just found another one.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Playing, Playing, Playing for Grown Ups

My best friend got a Grace frame!

It's so funny because I only infected her with the quilt pox about a year or so ago. When I infect someone, I infect them GOOD!

So, I had to go to her house and play today and BOY WAS THAT FUN!

She had already put the frame together, so we made the leaders and put them on; loaded some scrap fabric and an old fluffy blanket for the batting; and started playing while the little kids were playing games of their own...You see, between the two of us, we have nine children age 13 to one (and we both homeschool, so they're all home all day, he he he).

I won't be able to go over for a play date again until next week because my daughter Olivia and I have our violin/piano recital on Saturday. My daughter is taking violin and piano lessons and I take violin lessons, too. Our teacher has a recital for her students twice a year, so it's kinda fun to stand up there and play for everyone. I always get lots of funny looks because I'm the only adult student that she can actually convince to play in the recital, lol. But, I figure I want other people to KNOW that you CAN teach and old dog new tricks!

Tomorrow, we need to make cookies and practice a little and make sure everything is ready so we're not running around tomorrow trying to get last minute things done and we can be CALM on the day of recital.

I am hoping to get a little quilting done tomorrow between making cookies and practice. I don't want to over practice, but I have a solo piece and Olivia and I are doing a duet, so I have two pieces to make SURE I have memorized.

Hope you're having a quilty day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not Able to Comment

Has anyone else had the problem of not being able to comment on some other blogspot blogs????? It's SO frustrating, because I would LOVE to comment on every blog that I stop at, but for some reason, I'm not able to comment on the blogs that have the comments at the end instead of as full page or a pop-up window.

I FINALLY figured it out in my blog. I couldn't even comment on MY OWN BLOG and thank you all for YOUR wonderful comments.

But, I changed the setting, and now I can. I'm hoping to maybe email some of the blogs that I visit regularly that I cannot comment on and maybe ask them to change so I can comment to my heart's content, lol. Heaven knows, if there's one thing I'm not short on, it's opinions...I have LOTS to comment about, lol.

Have a quilty day!


That problem seems to have been fixed. It was evidently a glitch with BlogSpot which they knew about when I actually sat down and researched it. I haven't come across a blog lately that I cannot comment on.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bismarck Tuesdays

Today was "Bismarck Day." That's what Tuesdays are called at our house.

You see, we live in the middle of does nearly half of the other 650,000 residents of North Dakota. We live in the south central part of the state, and the nearest "city" of any size is Bismarck...which is 60 miles away. So, going to Bismarck becomes an all day event. There's none of that "running to the store" to pick up something that you forgot.

On Tuesdays, my daughter Olivia and I have violin lessons and Olivia also has piano lessons. So, we also do all our errands on that day as well.

I didn't get much sewing done, but I did get the first border on Carolina Crossroads and I'm working on the second border which is going to be pieced from the left-over bits of the blocks from the quilt. I think it will be cute.

I'm hoping to get the borders on tomorrow and then begin looking for the backing. Not sure what I'm going to do about that, but I'm determined to do this quilt ENTIRELY from STASH! OH, SO EXCITED!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Area 51 Challenge

I LOVE the blog-o-sphere! You can find challenges, quilt-a-longs, exchanges...whatever you're interested in.

I found a lady who's determined to get those UFOs DONE! She's calling it the Area 51 Challenge, and I think I shall join her.

She's REALLY trucking along. I don't think I'll be able to finish as many as she has in the last five weeks or so, but I'm going to focus on getting those UFOs out of my life.

Carolina Crossroads Flimsy

I finished Carolina Crossroads this week end!!! Woo Hoo!

Here's a picture of the top. I'm going to get the borders added and get this quilt quilted as soon as I can.

What all did you get finished this week end?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Off to Quilt Guild

I'm off to quilt guild this morning! Woo Hoo!

My girls were going to go, but they weren't feeling too well last night before bed, so I'm not sure if the will go or not. We'll see.

Our guild is about an hour away, so we'll need to leave pretty soon. I need to decide what I'm going to work on today! I think I'll take my Carolina Crossroads quilt and see how much I can get done. Wouldn't that be exciting if I could get it done today????

I think I'll take my camera and take some pics.

Have a quilty day.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Carolina Crossroads

Well, I got my Carolina Crossroads quilt out a couple days ago and started working on it again. I had forgotten how pretty it's going to be!

I'm making this quilt for my sister who loves purple. It's made from Civil War Repro fabrics. I would love to finish it by Christmas.

It's from a pattern by Bonnie Hunter. She's an amazing quilter who does all scrap quilts. Carolina Crossroads was a mystery quilt. She'll be putting it in her next book, so if you like the pattern, watch for her book. I'm not sure when it's coming out.

If you like her style, she has another mystery quilt starting soon, so pop on over for the fabric requirements and quilt along with us. It starts the day after Thanksgiving.

Here's another picture of this pretty quilt:

I've only finished one little corner, so that's why the picture's so close up, lol. Soon, I'll be able to show more of the overall effect.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lucky Winners

Here are the names of the four winners. Each of you will be receiving five of the fat quarters.

Dee in SE South Dakota
Leslie TH



Dee, Cindy, and Leslie have contacted me and their packages went out on 11/13. I still need to hear from Janice.

Blog Ring for Dakota Quilters

If you're a quilter with a blog in North or South Dakota, I invite you to join the Dakota Quilters Blog Ring.

Click here to join.

When you get to the page, put the name of your blog in "Site title." Next, write a quick description of your blog. You don't really need to put key words in there.

Next, where it says, "Site entry URL" you put the URL of the main page of your blog. The next box you can leave blank.

Put in an abbreviation of your blog name in "Site ID" and put in a password.

Under "Name (name of site's webmaster)" put your name (unless someone else takes care of your site), and put your email there under "Email (email address of the site's webmaster)."

That should get you signed up. I'll approve it and you'll get an email with the code to put into the sidebar of your blog.

Let me know if you need help with that. I would like for the button to go in your sidebar, so it's easy to find when people are surfing through the webring.

I wanted to start a blog ring for North and South Dakota quilters so we could keep in contact and visit each other's blogs regularly.

If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I've figured out that there are just some fabrics that I will NEVER use.

These are examples of that very thing.

They're just the cutest flannel plaid fat quarters, but I just haven't "bonded" with them, lol. I got them in a brown bag special, so it's not that I picked them out once and now I'm saying, "WHAT WAS I THINKING????" (Of course, I've done that before...more than once!)

You can see that I've divided them into four groups.

Make a comment and I'll put your name in a drawing. I'll randomly draw four names at 6pm tomorrow evening and you could soon be the proud owner of five cute little fat quarters.

Veteran's Day

Thanks so much to any veterans or family of veterans who would happen to read this. I am so thankful for your sacrifice for our country and way of life.

We're so blessed to have been born in this country and I appreciate that you protect it for me and for my family.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Labels DONE

OK. They're done. I said that I would post pics, but there's really nothing to see.

All I did was fuse a 4" X 6" piece of interfacing to a 4 1/2" X 6 1/2" piece of plain muslin. I made 12 of them.

Now, when I finish my next quilt, I'll have NO excuse not to finish it up and sew it on.

Quilt Labels

OK. I admit it. I've NEVER sewn a label on one of my quilts........There! I said it!

After reading all the admonishments about how I need to label my LEAST put my name and the date on it...I have still always found plenty of reasons why it just doesn't happen.

BUT...all that is about to change.

I'm not letting myself sew one more seam before I fashion at least 10 or 12 labels to sew on the quilts I'm currently working on.

Today, I'm going to get some interfacing. I already have yards and yards and yards of white muslin. Tonight, I'm going to make labels. I'll take pictures when they're finished.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Well, I don't have an actual design wall...YET. It's coming.

But, I will tell you what I'm working on right now...

These cute little blocks are from a quilt I am piecing from a free pattern on Mary Johnson's blog. It's called Double Four Patch.

My block size is different, and I'm doing something different with the border. Plus, it's in these GREAT 1930s repro fabrics. Gotta LOVE it!

I already made another of her quilts which I'll post later.

To see what other quilters are up to, check out Design Wall Monday on Judy Liquidara's blog.

Have a quilty day, everyone...I probably won't be thinking quilty thoughts until much later tonight...lots to do today.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Another Use for Machingers

Do you know about Machingers? They are a type of quilting glove. There are many kinds. You can even use those garden gloves from that have the little grippers on them. Anything that can help you grip and move the quilt along while you're FMQ (free motion quilting).

I recently bought Machingers and I really like them because they don't make my hands so hot while I have them on.

Well, I found another use for them! Of course, many of you out there probably already use your quilting gloves for this purpose, but it was new for me, lol.

Anyway...I don't know about you, but it seems like I have to wrestle my quilts to get the binding sewn on. So, while I was wrestling my Quilts for Kids quilt this morning (and it's only a small baby quilt!), I had the thought, "Why not use my quilting glove to move it along?" So, I tried it...and it worked!

As You can see, I also use my walking foot when putting on binding. Again, I'm sure that you all know that, but one of the purposes of this blog is to pass along the tips that I've learned to new quilters, so they don't have to "learn from the school of hard knocks."

Have a quilty day!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


OK, time to post some pics! Woo Hoo!

A finish.

This is a doll quilt that I made for my friend's little baby who is turning one year old on Thanksgiving.

As you can see, it's a cheater panel. My daughter Olivia picked out the fabric and Sophia was going to sew it up, but I ended up doing it.

This is one of my first attempts at free motion quilting (FMQ). It's a pattern from Leah Day at Day Style Designs called Chained Lollipop. If you're learning to FMQ, you NEED to go to her blog. She is AMAZING!

I also finished quilting a charity quilt for Quilts for Kids. I still have the binding to put on. I sent a request here and they sent me the fabric which was already cut and ready for me to piece. However, I neglected to read the instructions concerning the binding. I was supposed to baste the quilt so that I could bring the backing around to the front and make the binding that way.

That's okay, lol. I get to use some of my stash for the binding now. I'm going to attach it to the back and then sew it to the front with a decorative stitch. I think it will be cute. I'll post pics of the binding when I'm done.

No Buy Challenge

I belong to a Yahoo!Group called Stashbusters. If you're not familiar with Yahoo!Groups, it's like an online discussion group. Stashbusters is a BIG group with LOTS of members who are trying to get that stash down to a manageable level! There is also a Stashbuster wesbsite if you're not into Yahoo!Groups.

I'm joining the No-Buy Challenge this year, which for some reason, begins November 1st, 2009 and lasts through October 31, 2010. During this period of time, I pledge to buy no fabric except for "B-word" purchases: Background fabrics, Binding fabrics, Border/Sashing fabrics, Batting, Backing fabric, and BOM program (if you are already enrolled).

So, I'm sending in 12 charms (which are 5" squares) and then I have to send in a charm for each yard of fabric that I buy throughout the year. They draw quarterly and at the end of the year for winners and at the end, they announce the NO-BUY QUEEN. Fun.

When there's an unpleasant task to do, it's more fun to do it with a friend, don't you think?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Goals for 2010

I LOVE this time of year! I love making goals for the new year.

Over the next several weeks, I'm going to be thinking about what kinds of quilty goals I have for 2010.

I want to get rid of every stitch of fabric that I don't LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. My plans are to continue to make up some charity quilts with the fabric, and some of it, I will actually be giving away.

I want to get my sewing room built and finished. Obviously, a lot of that goal is out of my control, but once they finish with the basement, I will need to furnish the room and KEEP IT ORGANIZED!

I want to start my own quilt guild.

I would like to start a beginner's quilting class.

These are some of the things that I want to do, so I guess it's a good start.


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