Saturday, September 11, 2021

Wool Applique

This month was kicked off with a sew along in my Facebook group for the Window Box quilt from my book A Prairie Journey.  I posted some info about it here a few weeks ago.

It's an easy and fun quilt. The adorable needle case was a gift from a friend, Jennifer M.  It's a Wagon's West design by Martha Walker.  You might be able to find it here. She's got lots of cute wool patterns. 

We've had a lot of fun working with wool. Here's what I've done on mine so far. It's slightly different from the one in the book that Marian made. I decided to try a dark background.

Fuse the shapes down on the background.

Then stitch around the shapes. Doesn't take long at all.

I hadn't done any wool projects for a few years and had some trouble keeping my stitches straight and even. But I found this tip - using masking tape to keep the stitches aligned. Worked for me. I do much better when I have a line to follow.  I'm going to try to put the flying geese borders on it this weekend. 

If  you have the Prairie Journey book, there are a couple of other wool quilts in that book you may want to try. 

The wool applique on this one was done by Karen Schultz.

The wool on this one was done by Sue Bennett.

The sew along just started in September, so if you have the book try a little wool applique and join us! 

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There are also some simple wool patterns available on my Etsy site. It's been fun making this sew along quilt and I think I'll be doing a few more soon if time permits. 

My Wool Penny rug looks cute on a prim doll bed. 

A couple of wool ornaments  (they make cute pincushions too)

Wool Scissors cases

Tree skirt for a mini Christmas tree.


Gather Together table mat.

Have a great weekend. If you haven't tried working with wool yet, go buy some pretty pieces and get started on a project for fall. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Small Quilt for September

These are all the little quilts in the Schoolgirl Sampler book that we've been working on since June.

For those of you who are following along in the Schoolgirl Sampler sew along this year, the little quilt for September is the Whirlybird quilt on page 33. It's a simple block and one of my favorites. Marian Edwards, who made the quilt in the book, used the same block with matching fabrics throughout.  You can make it the same way or scrappy if you like. It's fun to play around with different fabrics and see what happens. 

I took one Whirlybird block left over from my Sampler quilt and decided to make a little coaster/mug mat. This seems to be an obsession for me lately.

They're so simple and easy. Take an orphan (leftover) block or make a fresh new one. (The Schoolgirl Sampler book has directions for 72 little blocks!) Add a tiny border if you feel like it.  Layer with batting and backing. Quilt a few simple stitches and add a binding.

Or no binding. The little log cabin mat above does not have a binding. I simply cut a piece of fabric the same size as the block for the backing, then layered the front and back (right sides together) with a piece of batting the same size on the bottom. Sew all around with a 1/4" seam. Leave a 2" space for turning the piece right side out. Then slip stitch it shut after turning, press and stitch inside the logs and an X through the middle. Stitch 1/8" away from the edge. 

Also no binding on the little Whirlybird one above. I tried something similar but a little different. I sewed a 3/4"-wide pink border on the sides of the block and then the top and bottom of the block. Then I layered it with a backing fabric cut the same size, right sides together. Place a piece of batting (also cut the same size) on the bottom. If you do it this way, the batting will come out in the middle, like when you're making a pincushion. I stitched the three layers together, leaving a 2" hole for turning. After sewing, I turned it right side out (through the hole), slip stitched the opening closed and pressed the border so it just looks like a binding. Simple and easy. 


I love making these little things. The pink mat below was made last year.  A few weeks ago I decided I needed a matching one in blue to go with a blue mug. Too cute, don't you think? These took a little longer because I sewed a 1 1/4" binding all around.

Sometimes a pretty little thing that's simple and quick is just what you need to perk up your day. And they're great for gifts too. If you start now, you'll have time to make some before the holidays. Add some cocoa packets or tea and/or a mug or cookies and you're all set with a pretty homemade gift that anyone would love to receive. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

A New Sew Along for September

My new Facebook group is starting a sew along on September 1 for the Window Box quilt in my book A Prairie Journey. We did this as a small quilt group challenge a few years ago when the book first came out. If you missed making this one, here's another chance to get it done. Marian Edwards made this adorable little quilt for the book a few years ago and I always regretted I didn't have one to call my own. So I'm making it too. It's pretty simple and with those colors I thought it would be a perfect fall project. You can make the applique in wool or cotton, whatever you're comfortable doing. This is going to be a lot of fun! If you have the book, grab some wool or fabric scraps and sew along with us. 

You're welcome to join the group if you love making these kinds of things, but you must have the book to follow along and make the quilt. 

(Courtesy Library of Congress)

From the Prairie Journey book: Gardening was an essential part of frontier life. The early homesteaders cooked meals that were prepared from food that was harvested from their own gardens. The "kitchen garden" was a necessity if an entire family was to be nourished. But flower and herb gardens that contained plants for medicinal purposes flourished as well.  Perhaps a primitive window box filled with wildflowers found on the prairie would have given a warm touch to a rustic log cabin or sod house.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Posy Baskets Quilt

 I love basket quilts! The new small quilt challenge for this month from the Schoolgirl Sampler book is - Posy Baskets on page 36. (The sampler sew along group is still open. You can jump in and start at any time if you have the book for the blocks and patterns. There are quite a few quilters who've joined after we started in January.) 

Posy Baskets quilt made by Sue Bennett. 

We're working our way through the small quilts in the Schoolgirl Sampler book. This colorful, scrappy quilt is one of my favorites and is perfect for a summertime project. And, of course, you have to make it with scraps, scraps and more scraps which only adds to the fun. This might be a good opportunity to go through your scraps and sort and clean them up a little. It's fun and relaxing and you never know what you'll find. If you've been feeling stuck, sometimes a little playing around with fabric is just the thing you need to get your creativity flowing again.  

Even if you don't have a plan, playing around with scraps and making tiny things is a good way to get motivated to start something new. I get lazy and unmotivated at times but give me a basket of scraps and sometimes wonderful things happen. 

Little log cabin pattern is now available in my Etsy shop.

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I recently started a new Facebook group for those who are most familiar with my books and quilts. The old group had become a free for all and was difficult to manage. This one is much smaller and will be focused on my quilts and my favorite style of quilting -  using reproduction fabrics. We're taking a more relaxed approach (instead of doing frantic monthly challenges) and occasionally making simple little quilts with our reproduction scraps. You'll have to prove you're a fan and not a spammer if you request to join. Here's the first quilt - 

Quick and easy and lots of fun.

Simple is good. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Make a Little Pinwheels Quilt

 For the second quilt in the little quilts sew along from the Schoolgirl Sampler book, the Facebook group is making the Pinwheels quilt on page 22 of the book. 

This one was made by Marian Edwards for the book. It's a fun little quilt that uses two Schoolgirl Sampler blocks. I think it really shows off her scraps and makes the pinwheels look as if they're spinning. 

There are a few different pinwheel blocks in the book and if you like you can choose one of them and make your own design. 

And, if you don't have time to make a quilt for July, how about some little fabric pinwheels?? 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Small Quilt Sew Along - Patriotic Stars Quilt

Today we kicked off the Small Quilt Sew Along for the six small quilts in my book Schoolgirl Sampler. We'll be starting with this one, the Patriotic Stars quilt on page 26 of the book.

Patriotic Stars quilt made by Sue Bennett

Each month we'll have a theme. The theme for the first month is:  Make a quilt with patriotic blocks or fabrics or make a row quilt using different blocks in red, white and blue fabrics. I thought this would be a great quilt to start with so it could be ready to display on or around the Fourth of July. 

The Schoolgirl Sampler Sew Along Facebook group will be making all six of the small quilts from the book.  One per month. I hope some of you will join us.  The directions for the blocks to make the small quilts are in the book.


I know this is going to be a lot of fun. If you want to purchase a book, check your local quilt shop, Amazon, Martingale or other online shops for copies.  Check my website or Etsy shop for signed copies

Click the link to see more info and join the Sew Along Facebook group.   I'll also list the quilt we're working on each month on the Sampler Sew Along page of my website so those of you who don't do FB can follow along too. Enjoy sewing some cute little quilts!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Small Quilts Sew Along

I hope you've had fun following along and making the Schoolgirl Sampler quilt. I've seen some gorgeous finished quilts! And such a variety of colors and other small touches to make them all unique. 

Beginning in June, the Schoolgirl Sampler Sew Along Facebook group will be making the small quilts from the book.  You're welcome to join us as we choose one quilt to sew each month through December 2020. 

Which one will be first??

Since January, quilters in the group have been sewing alongside each other, making all of the 4" blocks and then assembling the large schoolgirl sampler quilt. The book also contains six small quilts made with some of the blocks used in that quilt.

You'll need the book to participate since the patterns and block instructions are in the book. I was out of books for awhile as more were being reprinted but copies are back in stock if anyone is interested in a signed book. Check my website or Etsy shop. Or, check your local quilt shop, Amazon or Martingale to find a copy.

Click the link to see more info and join the Sew Along Facebook group   I'll also list the quilt we're working on each month on the Sampler Sew Along page of my website so those of you who don't do FB can follow along.