Friday, April 2, 2021

Add Sashing to Your Sampler Blocks

Well, people, we're coming to a close on this Sampler Sew Along. Last week was Applique, this week you'll add sashing to your blocks and begin to put them together. We'll talk about the borders next week. If you have the Schoolgirl Sampler book and are following along, read the instructions on pages 14 - 15 in the book and see the tips in the file for Week 14.  



I recommend sashing the blocks individually instead of sewing long strips of sashing between the rows of blocks. I learned how to do this while making my Dear Jane quilt - 



Make sure your blocks measure EXACTLY 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" before you add the sashing.  (In putting my Dear Jane blocks together, I used to hold my breath and was always amazed when they came out exactly as they should. Will you look at that . . . . )  Add the sashing to each block on your sampler quilt the same way. Sew one strip to the side of the block and sew the strip with the cornerstone to the bottom of the block. But please read the instructions in the book as well. 


My Schoolgirl Sampler books were sold out for awhile but they've been reprinted and are now back in stock. So if you would like to purchase a signed copy, they're available on my website and my Etsy shop again.   

                                      

Those of you who are following along with me on the 2021 Mystery Quilt - all of the block units from previous months have now come together to make this cute scrappy quilt - 



Directions for this Mystery are in the files in the Facebook group and on my website. 

                                 



"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
~Anne Bradstreet, 17th century poet

                           

                             Easter, the season of rebirth and renewal. The message is all about Hope, Love and Joyful living.      


Thinking of making a carrot cake this weekend. Haven't made one in years. If I can find a good recipe for cream cheese frosting.


   Carrot Cake


3 eggs
1 1/4 cups oil
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

                     4 carrots, grated                     

                          

Hoping you have a Happy Easter!





Friday, March 26, 2021

It's Applique Week!

If you've been following along and making the Schoolgirl Sampler quilt with me since January, you should be finished with all the blocks or pretty close to being finished by now. This week is Week 13 -  Applique Week! I'll show you how to do the center section in the file in the Facebook Sampler group. The same file is on my website under the Schoolgirl Sampler Sew Along page.  But please also read pages 12 -13 and 76 -77 in the book. The file contains other suggestions for making this section if you're not fond of applique. 




Applique is fun and if you haven't tried it, you're missing out. Sure, it takes a bit of practice but everything does. I designed this quilt with simple shapes so it wouldn't be that difficult if you're a first timer. 

Make sure you study the directions for starch and template applique in this week's file and practice making some leaves or peels. See if this is something you can do. If not, watch some videos on YouTube or experiment with a few different applique methods to find one that perhaps suits you better. All I can say is I dreaded the "A" word a few years ago. Could never do it well. A friend taught me how to applique this way and I never looked back. It's so easy and it sure saved me in making my Dear Jane quilt. 


Here are few extra Peony blocks from the Peony Star quilt in my book Remembering Adelia -


Easy prep


Toothpicks are your friends . . . .



Some other simple applique quilts from my books and patterns. It doesn't HAVE to be difficult to be cute. 









There are so many applique projects I want to make. Hoping to get to do more of them soon.



Here are a few of my favorite resources for learning applique -


 You can find the Applique Made Easy book on the left on Amazon ridiculously cheap. It's an older book, but still great. Kim Diehl's book has some good freezer paper and wool applique directions. The DVD on the bottom by Karen Kay Buckley is excellent. A bit pricey but definitely a game changer for me. It's like taking a private class. That you can revisit again and again. While you're at it, pick up some of her Perfect Circles -








Have a good weekend! If I got you thinking about maybe learning to do some applique, practice making some peels, leaves or hearts. Once you conquer a few basic shapes, you can do just about anything . . . . 


                       







Friday, March 5, 2021

The Sew Along Continues . . . .

I know, I know! I've been extremely remiss in my blogging obligations for a few weeks. Again. It's difficult to come up with inspirational things to write at times. As they say, I'd rather be quilting . . . . 


(This week's blocks brought to you by Sue Bennett)

If you're following along, we're on Week 10 and you'll be making blocks 55 - 60 this time. There are tips in the files I've been uploading each week and rereading some of them may help if you get stuck. If you can't download the files in the online groups, go to my website and check there. 

I can't believe we're almost finished making all the blocks. This really hasn't been too difficult, has it? I can't believe some of the beautiful blocks I've seen posted on Facebook.  All the wonderful fabric choices! Here are a few for you to drool over - 


 Charlotte's blocks


Charlotte's blocks



Karen's blocks


Karen's blocks


Marian's blocks


Marian's blocks


Jennifer's blocks


Jennifer's blocks


Robin's blocks


Robin's blocks


Jeanne's blocks


Jeanne's clever take on Block 35!



Ann's blocks


Ann's blocks


As for me, I've been making some really good progress on my Dear Jane triangles. The top triangles are done and I hope to finish up all the ones on the right side of the quilt this weekend. Still have a few hearts to applique  before I complete everything on that side. Saved the best for last! 





A few mistakes here and there. Oops, not going back. A few tweaks as well to  make it easier instead of frustrating. You never know if a block is actually going to turn out okay when you finish. I breathe a huge sigh of relief if it all comes together in the end. But all in all I think they're pretty good. Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I skip the little extras things that Jane included that I think really don't matter. Like a miniscule appliqued triangle here and there. Who's to know?? The Dear Jane Police??  



Those of you who have started and not finished yet or who want to make this quilt -  Do you know about this page? I follow many of her tips for making my blocks and they're very helpful. When I first started my DJ quilt, Brenda Papadakis, who wrote the book, used to have a Dear Jane website with all sorts of tips and tricks to help you make the blocks. Those are gone now and so you're basically on your own if you try to start. If I didn't also have the software I'd probably be stuck quite a bit. That Quilt is a very good resource and has made my journey a little easier. She breaks each block down into simple parts. (Well, okay, maybe they're not all simple but at least understandable . . . .) Just thought some of you would like to know this if you haven't run across it yet.

Here's even more inspiration for you. Marian Edwards finished her Dear Jane quilt recently. Can you believe how beautiful it is?  All hand pieced and hand quilted. Whew. Congratulations, Marian! You did a fantastic job. 



Have a good weekend! 





Sunday, February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! We had a Pincushion challenge in my Facebook Small quilt Lovers group today. I hadn't done any cross stitch in awhile so decided to add a bit to my pincushion this year.  It was so relaxing. I think I need to do some every now and then. Maybe finish one of the samplers I started many years ago. 


Here's a little heart quilt I made last year. I made the framed one on the lower right. The red heart appliqued on pink was a little gift made by my friend Jeanne Lucas. 


Oh, I also was able to finish that little heart quilt made from four patches last week. Another one I kept putting off. I left it sitting out unfinished on the dining room table for a few weeks so I could remind myself to actually get the quilting done by Feb 14. It worked! 



I got a little sidetracked and forgot to post something on the Schoolgirl Sampler Sew along here. Just a reminder - we're on Week 7 and you're more than halfway there if you're still following along.  See some tips posted in the file on my website  on the Schoolgirl Sampler Sew Along page. 


Sue's blocks for Week 7


If you're following along on the older Mystery Quilt from 2018 that I'm rerunning every month on the 15th, Clue 2 will be posted on my website on Monday, Feb 15. 






Saturday, January 30, 2021

Sew Along - Week 5

We're moving along on the Schoolgirl Sampler Sew Along. It's Week 5 and I can't believe so many of you are participating and continue to stay motivated. This week's blocks are posted in the Facebook group files and on my website. Except for those tiny half-square triangles, the blocks are not difficult. Just take your time and make sure you cut and sew accurately. A scant 1/4" seam may help your blocks come out well. But just do whatever works for you. 


(Blocks by sue Bennett) 

I thought you might like to see some blocks made by others in the groups - 


(Blocks made by Robin McGuire)


(More Blocks by Robin)

*  *  *

In other news -  we're also working on our new 2021 Mystery Quilt. You can find the monthly patterns in the Facebook group files or on my website under the 2021 Mystery Quilt page.  The patterns will be posted on the first of each month through May 2021. Simple and scrappy and easy to make. Just grab some scraps and download the pattern for the first step that was posted in January. I will post Step 2 on Monday, Feb 1.


I am also re-running an older Mystery from 2018 based on requests from some group members who missed it the first time around. So it doesn't get too confusing, look for those patterns on my website under the 2018 Mystery. Patterns will be posted on the 15th of each month. It's a fun one too!




We're supposed to get some snow today and tomorrow. Looks like it will be a good weekend to stay in and do some sewing. Plenty to do! Did I mention we're also doing a February Valentine challenge?? Make a pinushion with red or pink fabric for our parade on February 14. Lots of small block inspiration in the Schoolgirl sampler book  . . . 


Last year's pincushions. 





(Patterns for heart quilts available on my website or Etsy shop)









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