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)

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Sew Along Week 4

Can you believe we're already on Week Four of the Schoolgirl Sampler Sew Along?  A third of the way through if you get through this week. Make blocks 19 - 24 on pages 49 - 51 of  the Schoolgirl Sampler book. I spy a few more easy blocks this time. 

(Thanks to Sue Bennett for sharing her blocks!) 

Go to the files in the groups or check my website (sew along page) for more info on making the blocks for this week. If you have trouble with Block 23, there's a tip in the file for sewing this a couple of other ways that may help. There's probably a reason they call it Devil's Claws, LOL. 

When I started this sew along I suspected I would have my work cut out for me helping everyone stay organized and motivated. So many little blocks! I have to say, everything has gone rather smoothly and there's a wonderful camaraderie in the Facebook group. Everyone is very encouraging and I think the beginners are comfortable showing their blocks and asking for help if they need it. 

I think it's been a great chance for quilters to interact with others at this time when we can't sew together in person. A lot of you have told me your piecing has improved and you've learned new tips and tricks. Everyone is more than willing to share their own ideas and techniques and that's been great. Thanks, everyone!

Friday, January 15, 2021

Sew Along Week Three

 Join us as we make Blocks 13 - 18 in the Schoolgirl Sampler book for our sew along. 

If you're not following along in the Facebook group, go to my website (sew along page) for more info on making the blocks for this week. Some of you may want to purchase a Bloc Loc or other ruler to help you with accuracy as you make those tiny Flying Geese. Details are in the file.

This month, by request, we're also restarting one of my Mystery Quilts form 2018. It's a fun one called Friendship Garden. 

Some of you may remember working on this in my groups a few years ago. I've introduced it again to take the place of monthly challenges in my groups this year. Some new members in the group who missed out asked if we could do it again. Why not? Usually, we make quilts each month from one of my recent books but this year I started a new Facebook group just for my Schoolgirl Sampler book so there's your other challenge. I'll add a file with directions on my website under the Mystery 2018 page on the 15th of each month - January through June. 

If you don't care for applique, there's an alternate 8" Star block you can use to replace it. Looks something like this. (One more little project I still have to finish . . . .)

And remember, it's not too late to join the Schoolgirl Sampler sew along. Just get the book and jump in and start with the blocks for Week One. We're making them in numerical order so it's easy to catch up.

I really love seeing all of your pretty sampler blocks every week! Always so many pretty fabrics that are new to me. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Mystery Repeated

Hello, Quilters - Due to a request from some members in my Facebook group, I've decided to repeat the monthly patterns for the free Mystery Quilt we did in the online groups in 2018. This is a great opportunity for those of you who are new to my Mystery Quilt projects and may have missed out on some of the earlier ones. This time, however, I'll post the monthly patterns on my website.

The first step will be posted on my website (link below) on Friday, January 15, and then the 15th of each month thereafter, through June. If anyone is interested, look at my website, find the Mystery quilt 2018 page at the top and read the Intro to the 2018 Mystery Quilt so you can become familiar with how it will work.

Notice that now there will be two separate Mysteries going on, each labeled by year, so be sure you click on the correct page and download the correct instructions for each one you are participating in. See my website for details

This will be fun and I hope you pick out some of your favorite scraps and join us. Also, be sure to come back on Jan 15 for Week 3 of the Schoolgirl Sampler Sew Along. Lots going on to keep yourselves busy this winter . . . .

Friday, January 8, 2021

Sew Along - Week Two

Week Two of the Schoolgirl Sampler Sew Along: Make blocks 7 - 12 on pages 43 - 45 of  the Schoolgirl Sampler book. Two easy blocks this time!

(Blocks by Sue Bennett)

Go to the files in the groups or check my website (sew along page) for more info on making the blocks for this week. There's a sewing tip in the file for Week 2 that may help if you have trouble with basket blocks. It's all about lining up the pieces correctly so your points don't get cut off. 

If you haven't yet, it's not too late to join the sew along. Just get the book and jump in and start with the blocks for Week One. We're making them in numerical order. 

It's been fun to see all of your finished blocks from last week! I can't believe there were so many pretty fabrics I had never seen before. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Ready, Set, Sew . . .

Happy New Year! If you're joining the Schoolgirl Sampler Sew Along, you'll find all of the block patterns in my Schoolgirl Sampler book.  

Week one (January 1) - Make blocks 1 through 6 on pages 40 - 42 of the Schoolgirl Sampler book. Have fun! 

(Blocks made by Sue Bennett) 

If you're making the quilt as shown in the book, there are 92 half-square triangle blocks used in the sawtooth border. If you have time, make a few of these each week or whenever you can. It will make it a little easier to have some finished when you put the borders on the quilt. 

If you're interested in sewing along with new friends, join my Facebook Schoolgirl Sampler group. Each week I will also list the blocks we'll be making for that week on my website Sampler page

Oh! Wait - There's another new project for 2021! Join me in making the 2021 Mystery Quilt in my Facebook Small Quilt Lovers group. It's simple, fast and easy (and scrappy!). We'll make a few blocks each month and finish up in April or May. This month, make some half-square-triangle blocks.  The monthly patterns will be posted in the Facebook small quilt group files and also on my website on the Mystery Quilt page. If this doesn't keep you busy and distracted this year, I don't know what will . . . . 

My best to all of you in 2021. New year, fresh start, new quilting adventures. 

Stay safe and healthy. Be kind; be grateful. 

Take time for yourself and enjoy the  journey! 


Related Posts with Thumbnails