Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Valentine Mystery - Step 2

Instead of writing everything here on my blog and trying to get all the pictures to fit, I decided that it's a little easier for me to upload the directions for the 2022 Valentine's Day Mini Mystery Quilt as a .pdf onto my website.  Also easier for you to print out. So, for the remaining steps, click here to go to my website and then go to the Valentine's Day Mystery page and download the file. 

You're going to take the 3 1/4" squares of light fabric and 3 1/4" squares of red fabric that you cut last week and make some hourglass units. The directions in Step 2 will give you a couple of options for making them.




I'll show you how to put the blocks together next Wednesday, January 26. Have fun! 



Saturday, January 15, 2022

Valentine Mini Mystery Quilt

To combat all the gray days and winter doldrums here in northern Illinois, I decided to whip up a simple little Valentine's Day project just for fun - and as a Mystery sew along for my Facebook group. If you'd like to join in, here's Step 1 for the 2022 Valentine's Day Mini Mystery Quilt. Look through your pinks, reds and shirtings or light prints and pull out some scraps of fabric to make the blocks. You don't need much. 


This will be a pattern for a quick and easy little quilt for you to display around the house, on a table or doll bed or hanging on a wall. Won't take you much time at all. Over the years, I've found that there are two things that help us to successfully finish a project - taking it in small steps and sewing along with friends. Always more fun in a group.

Cutting instructions:

From a pink print, cut

            4 squares, 2 ½"  x  2 ½"

From a red print, cut

            4 squares, 3 ¼"  x  3 ¼"

             1 square, 1 ½" x 1 ½" 

From a light print (or 2 different light prints), cut

            4 squares, 2 ½"  x  2 ½"

            4 squares 3 ¼"  x  3 ¼"

            4 rectangles, 1 ½"  x 4 ½" 



Here are all the pieces you should have cut. Borders will be an option later.


That's it for this week. You can see that I used two different red prints and two different light prints for a little variety. You may cut yours from the same red print and the same light print if you choose. Use the same print for your four pink squares, however. Place these pieces inside a zip lock bag and put them where you won't lose them. Next week I'll show you how to make the blocks. You'll also need a coordinating fabric or two for border(s) to finish the quilt. We'll talk about border options in 2 weeks.

                         Hope you all have fun!

-Kathy



P.S. Friends, just so you know - I set the comments on my blog to be moderated so that every time you post a comment I have to approve it before it appears. This may take me awhile until I see it. I have been getting so many stupid spam comments from nasty people that I have no choice. So I apologize if it is an inconvenience for you. It's so annoying but I am not going to let the spammers win . . . .






Thursday, January 13, 2022

Dear Jane Progress

Seems like I'm off to a great start this year.  Considering I started my Dear Jane journey in 2010, that's only 11 years to get the center completed LOL . . . . 



I'm hoping that, in between sewing hexagons for the sew along that started in January and the upcoming little Valentine's Day Mini Mystery Quilt, maybe I can get some more triangles finished (31 down, 21 to go plus the 4 corner blocks). Oh dear. It always sounds so daunting. I make some progress and I feel good about it, but then - there's still so much more to do. How DID our friend Jane Stickle even manage this? And in the 1860s no less, without the EQ Dear Jane software for help with directions and paper piecing! I know for a fact I could not have done it without that help. 

                                  

                                     

                                 


                                    

I keep my poster up in my sewing room for a constant reminder.

                           

If you are thinking about making a Dear Jane quilt but can't find the book . . . .  Did you know that Brenda Papadakis, who wrote the Dear Jane book, has come out with a second edition of Dear Jane? It's the 25th Anniversary edition. The original one with the yellow cover has been out of print for quite a few years and is really hard to find. My own copy is all dog eared and marked up after ten years and so I treated myself to a brand new one (with a blue cover LOL). Hopefully, this will renew interest in The Quilt and some of us will get inspired to finish the ones we've started when others begin theirs for the first time. 


                                
If you feel you need a little motivation to work on your Dear Jane or maybe begin one, here's a post I wrote several years ago about my journey.

                             

Oh yeah! Join me this month in my Facebook group for a Valentine's Day Mini Mystery Quilt.



This little sew along begins on Friday, January 14, 2022 in the group. It will be another small and simple design and won't take you too long. We'll do this in quick steps every week so it won't interfere too much with hexagons or anything else you're stitching right now. Bring out your pink and red reproduction fabric scraps along with some shirtings or light  prints. I'll give you the cutting directions on Friday. The following week we'll make the blocks and the week after we'll put the quilt together. Simple and fun and you'll be done in time for Valentine's Day. You'll need one pink print, one red print and one or two shirting prints. If you like scrappy, then choose two different reds and a couple of different lights for variety. But use the same pink fabric. Have a fun weekend! 



Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year


We're kicking off our Hexagon Sew Along in my Facebook group today!

Those of you who know me know how much I love snow. I know, I know, it's so messy, cold and bothersome and everyone hates it. But I missed having snow at Christmas this year. No winter wonderland like we've had in years past . . . .. But more snow is supposed to be on the way!


Pics from other snow-filled years.



If it does snow, today will be a perfect day to begin a sew along. I'll be staying home, sewing hexies, all nice and cozy . . . . split pea soup simmering in the crock pot. My mother always made pea soup on New Year's Day - it was a tradition her mother taught HER - that it was supposed to bring good luck in the new year. I say we need all the luck we can get in 2022 so pea soup it is. While waiting for the soup to cook, I'll be serving up some of these yummy hexies I made.


If you're not on Facebook, read about the group sew along on the Hexagon page on my website and perhaps do it alone -  www.countrylanequilts.com 

I'm making scrappy hexagons from a variety of reproduction or Civil War-type prints and will probably sew them onto light background squares. I prefer the look of  the hexagons lined up on backgrounds. Plus, it's a lot easier than connecting all of them with spacers. 



I actually love the scrappy ones better than the other ones I'd already made. I'll save them for a rainy day . . . .



I've got my "sophisticated" set up here near the sofa - My supplies are all in one place in a project box from the Dollar Store, paper plates keep my pieces organized. Hexie shapes cut out and waiting to be basted over papers. Wonder clips to keep 7 hexagons together for sewing into a flower. I'm ready.
Where's the remote?? 






Happy New Year! Stay safe and healthy in 2022. Have fun sewing hexies! Looking forward to seeing your hexagons in the Facebook group.






Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Sentimental Quilter Hexagon Journey

Oops - I missed posting something here for Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you are still having an enjoyable holiday. I planned to post something but everything and time just got away from me. Even though we had planned a small and simple gathering with the family, it was still a very hectic time.



If you've enjoyed sewing along with me this past year making my sampler quilt, some of you may be interested in another sew along I'll be hosting beginning January 1 in my Facebook group.

We'll be doing a Hexagon Sew Along in 2022, learning some simple English Paper Piecing and making hexagons for a quilt of your choosing. There are two hexagon quilts in two of my books you can make OR you can simply make some hexagons and just put them together as you wish.


If you have my Small & Scrappy book, you can choose to make this quilt.


This one is in The Civil War Sewing Circle book.



If you don't want to use one of my patterns, then choose another or make up your own design. I'm really looking forward to doing this. These are easy and fun and if you like hand piecing I know you'll enjoy taking a little hexagon journey. Beginners are welcome; there are instructions in the FB group files to help you get started. Lots of videos available on YouTube if you are not on Facebook. Some have asked me to do the sew along here. It's difficult to run a group sew along without a platform in which people can participate. I cannot run a group on my blog or my website where there is no way to interact. Facebook is really the only option because of their group feature. I can easily use their group feature to connect with quilters and they can post photos of their work, interact or ask questions and show their work.


FYI - I so understand why many of you don't want to join Facebook. I get it. But you can get a FB account and use it to join the group and not do anything else on Facebook. That's what I do. I don't accept friend requests or do messaging so I'm not really involved with the Facebook community at all. I set my settings to Private, turn off all notifications and news features and just connect with the quilters in my groups.


I'll try to post pictures of my progress but you really miss out on some of the inspiration if you can't see what others are doing. I hope you'll consider joining us in January! You can find a little guidance on my website under the Hexagon Sew Along page - countrylanequilts.com














Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thanksgiving Wishes

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! 




It's been some year, huh? Instead of focusing on all the negative things that have disrupted life and made things a little more difficult this past year +, I keep trying to remind myself of all of the blessings and abundance that surrounds me. When I'm thankful, I open myself up to finding joy and focus on appreciating goodness whenever and wherever it appears.






It's also been quite a year with the Schoolgirl Sampler sew along. I so enjoyed seeing all of your finished quilts. Something to be grateful for! I know that quilt kept many of you busy and distracted this year. There'll be more quilting fun next year and I'm looking forward to having you join me in sewing a few more projects in 2022. I'll be hosting a new Sew Along in my Facebook group using English paper piecing to make a hexagon quilt. 




You'll have a choice to make one of the two hexagon quilts from my books (or both!) or a different one of your choosing. One is the Hexagon Flowers quilt from that oldie but goodie book - The Civil War Sewing Circle. This book, unfortunately, is out of print but I know some of you have it. If you don't already have a copy, there are some floating around or - you can buy the digital version (on sale now!) from my publisher.  This is always a great option for out-of-print books and international members who would like to join us but can't easily get copies. 


                              



The other quilt that some will be making is the Hexagon Garden quilt from my book Small & Scrappy. I have copies of this book available on my website and Etsy shop.  You can find it online or on Amazon as well. 







Some of you have already made these quilts years ago (I know, I know, The CWSC is an old book, LOL, but still one of my favorites and my newer followers haven't done any of the quilts from it . . . ). Also, if you don't have either of the books, no worries - you can still join in and sew some hexagons and put them together any way you please. This time, why not just make a different hexie project? Make up your own design if you don't care for mine. I'll be making something a little different myself, based on an antique hexagon quilt I saw online. Join us. It'll be fun and relaxing and a great way to start off the new year. Like gratitude, sewing by hand can be meditative as well. 




Although we'll begin this sew along in January, for those who are new to English paper piecing, I'll give some instructions to make the hexagons and flowers in the FB group after the Thanksgiving weekend. There'll also be some tips and a list of supplies you'll need so you can prepare a little before January comes or maybe even put some items on your Christmas list. 



I hope some of you will participate and have fun making a small project with me. The rules will be posted in the group and I'll try to remember to post some info here too for those of you who can't do Facebook. 


Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday! Thanks again to all of you who have supported me so much over the years through this blog, my books and clubs and my small quilt groups so I can do what I love and hopefully pass a tiny bit of inspiration along to you. You are all really special to me and I'm grateful for the many friends I've made on my quilting journey.









Sending wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!




Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Nine-Patch Quilts

I love simple nine-patch quilts. A couple of years ago, I bought this small quilt on eBay. It was listed as an antique crib quilt. After it arrived, I could tell that it clearly was not an antique quilt. But it was cheap enough and cute enough that it didn't really matter. I really loved the primitive look of it. I think the blocks may be antique but on close inspection the rest of the fabric doesn't seem that old. The blocks may have been cut down from a larger quilt and made into a small quilt. Anyway, I created a pattern if anyone is interested. Pretty easy to figure out but see my Etsy shop if you need more directions. It's just too cute so I know I have to reproduce it someday. Maybe even make a larger quilt? Hah - like I don't already have enough of those that are unfinished. The pile keeps building.



Anyway, in the Facebook group, we're making some different little nine-patch blocks for fun. Inspired by a fragment of an antique quilt I spotted online. 



The antique quilt used various darker prints for the nine patches and pink squares for setting. So that's what I'm doing. Don't you just love the scrappiness? The squares are cut 1 1/2" for a 3" finished block (3 1/2" unfinished). Then I cut the setting squares 3 1/2" x 3 1/2".  Such a simple but sweet doll quilt. 


The lines are my marked quilting lines. I used a Clover blue washable marking pen (below). I'll just quilt Xs through the blocks. Hoping to get it quilted soon if I don't get inspired by something else . . . . Lately, my head is all over the place. I've got a million ideas and I want to make everything I see.  I really need to just settle on one project and get that one done. Too many things going on . . . . 



FYI - I use a white Clover washable pen for marking on darker fabrics. Stencils from The Stencil Company. 


YLI hand quilting thread, John James and Richard Hemming needles. Try various sizes until you get a feel for the one that's right for you. Remember that sometimes a longer, sharper needle will work just fine if you can't use a small "between" needle. And the sharper needle will be easier to push through some fabrics. Trust me, the Quilt Police don't really care.




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