Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015 and a Tutorial

The last day of the year and my grandson Griffin's 11th birthday! This is probably not a block you expect to see on my blog. It is going to be a Legends of Zelda quilt for Griffin's birthday, though it will be a little late. I have to thank Jamie from my Penn Oaks guild for setting me on the path to find the patterns. If you are interested you can go to and get the patterns for free.

The pattern is made up entirely of 1 1/2" squares. Needless to say I was not looking forward to cutting them out. I saw this in my LQS,  the Quilt Block in Exton and decided it was worth a shot after one of the owners, Jan gave me a little tutorial in the shop. All I can say is Oh.My.Gosh how did I not know about this before now? Not only can you make squares but diamond too.

It is so simple to use too, that is what makes it special!  Take a piece of fabric, this is about 1/2 yard and fold it in half so both of the the selvedges meet at the right hand side (do the opposite if you are left handed). I did iron the fabric well before I started so the squares would not be wrinkled. That bugs me but it is not required.

Next lay the ruler on your fabric with the fold at the bottom and the selvedge at the right, with the fold on the "0" line, see above.

Trim the selvedge edge to get a nice clean cut.

It will look like this. I moved the selvedge edge so you can see but in real life I would not disturb it.

The grooves to cut are marked in 1/2" increments but there are directions to be able to cut 1/4" too. To make it easy on myself, I used washi tape and marked every 1 1/2" so I could just cut and go without thinking. Next cut all your strips every 1 1/2".

Once all the first cuts are made, you carefully pick up the ruler and turn it so the lines are running perpendicular from the cuts you just made, making sure the bottom edge is on the "0" mark. You will do exactly what you did the first time, making a clean cut first and cutting every 1 1/2".

Voila! I have 196 squares cut! Each stack was 4 pieces (remember we folded the fabric in half) and for this demo I cut 7 strips. I dare say I think it is one of the quickest methods I have ever used. The best part is there is no waste!

They came out perfect! If you only buy one new thing this year (or next) make it this one! I have a million ideas swirling in my head! Think about cutting up all your scraps!

Back to the blocks.....As you can see even the white sections are pieced individually.

First you will cut out a piece of lightweight fusible interfacing (I used Pellon 906F) I don't remember the kind she recommended but I couldn't find it. The key is you want it to be very lightweight to reduce bulk.
Draw a grid on the FUSIBLE side using a Sharpie every 1 1/2". Following your pattern lay the corresponding color on the grid.

Press it with the iron, make sure you press or the squares will get all mangled up.

Now you will start by folding on the lines of the interfacing (right sides together) and sewing a 1/4"seam allowance.

Continue all the way across until it looks like this.

The next step is to trim off just a smidge of that edge that you just sewed so you can press the seams open. The directions say to use a ruler but I found it easier to do it freehand.

Press the seams open all the way across the piece (not my favorite thing to do).

It will look like this. Turn it and do the perpendicular lines exactly the same way you did these.

The one on the left is before it is sewn and the one on the right is after it is sewn.

This is what it looks like from the back. This method is such a time saver, imagine trying to sew all those little squares together one by one, ummmm no!

On to the next block. I am trying to finish this up by the end of January. My first goal of the new year!
If you have any questions ask and I will try to help.

Cameron, Finnegan and Jaxon with mom mom

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

End of Year Post

Warning warning Will Robinson!  this is a picture heavy post! I love this pincushion so much I made it for my friend Ellen and now my friend Stephanie made one for me! I have used it a few times now and it is very functional. She knows my colors well!

Ellen, John, Jasmine and Emery

Our big family party has come and gone......

Finnegan and Madison

the weather was crazy.......

Colin, Jaxon, Cameron and Nancy

70* in december!!!!

Family members!

We were on the porch and the deck!

My personalized mug rugs were a hit!

My friend Cheryl gave me this adorable handmade pendant.

My daughter and DILs all got a Diva wallets that I made, a scarf and a Longchamp bag that Cheryl embroidered for me.

The inside of her diva wallet...




Colin, Cameron, Jaxon, Bob and Nancy

Lots and lots of family pictures. Four generations all together, the circle of life. Gosh I think my husband is handsome! (-:

Jaxon, Dylan and Mary

and lots of people to hold all the babies!

My goal for next year is to try and blog a bit more. I am starting a big project and will have a tutorial tomorrow as a means to keep me on task. So come back and see what I am making......


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Fallon, Griffin, Elliot and Madison
Cameron, Jaxon and Finnegan

I took a minute from my holiday preparations to wish you all a Merry Christmas from my family to yours! I hope to blog before the end of the year but with house guests and hosting 2 large parties that may not happen!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Quick Gifts

I am in the midst of a busy week so this will be a quick post. I have some other things to show you but they need a proper post. Grandchild concerts, babysitting and book club are taking a front seat today.
We exchange gifts with our neighbors, easy usually handmade, baked type gifts every year. I have been in a time crunch and was making good, but boring banana bread. Then I saw this!

I am sort of personalizing them for each neighbor (6) and am about halfway there.
Update*****The pattern can be found on the site

We only have 2 children in the neighborhood. I thought a rug mug might not be at the top of their list! I made some cute little bags and filled them with some candy and little girl things. These only took 5 minutes, it took longer for the iron to warm up than it did to make them!

Do you have a favorite go to quick gift idea?


Monday, December 14, 2015

A Really, Really Random Post

I know I have been missing from this blog for a while. It was not planned but just happened. Be warned this is a picture heavy post,

I actually had my house decorated early this year. We are having my husband's (almost) entire family over for Christmas Eve, all 60 of them! Nine others are out of state and won't be here. Think about that 69 people!

I am sure you have seen these all over blogs and Pinterest. They were the fastest and easiest thing I have ever made! I already had the jars, trees and Kosher salt on hand. All I had to do was go to a craft store to buy the little figurines.

Not that I am any authority, but this is my quick Martha-like decorating tip. If you have plants around your house put in some holiday floral picks and you have instant fun! I got these dots a few years back at Target. I love how they look with the lime green plant.

My mother in law is coming to stay with us and she is a Scrabble fan, so I always put these out for her on this gorgeous pie crust table that she gave me.

It was so fun to pull out this quilt I made last year. I hung it in the living room and it really looks amazing!

Yesterday was my birthday. My friend Cynthia sent me this beautiful pillow that she made! I have others that she has made over the years and I always look forward to putting them out. She also sent me those cute napkins that I will be using this week for book club. Thank you Cynthia!

Saturday night I went to see the Nutcracker with my daughter, Caitlin and my granddaughter, Madison. Maddy gave me this gift from her and her brother Finn. I makes me cry to look at it, how lucky am I! The little tag was added to let me know she made sure not to use Christmas wrapping paper for my birthday present!
Next weekend I get to go see It's a Wonderful Life with my grandsons Griffin and Elliot.

My friend Barb of Fun with Barb, sent me some gifts as well. This was a party favor she had at her recent Christmas dinner party. What a great idea!

It was filled with all kinds of goodies. Just imagine filling it with small things for those hard to buy people (teenage boys).

A cupcake paper makes it even cuter!

She also sent me some cool retro fabric that needs a special project to showcase these designs.

I love those Christmas fabrics that are so my colors. The notebook and needles are a very fun touch! Thank you Barb!

Remember the Kaffe Mini Quilt Swap I was in? My swap partner, Anneliese sent me Mary, Jesus and Joseph that she made all the way from Austria! How sweet to get an unexpected gift! Thank you Anneliese!

My husband outdid himself this birthday! This is a great selection of Blueberry Park to get me started on my next project after the holidays.

Do you still send thank you notes? I hope that it nevers go out of style though I am afraid email is doing just that. I splurged on these Kate Spade (I had a coupon) note cards and love the creamy color and weight of them. I save everyone I get. I have the very last one my grandmother sent me for my birthday with $5 tucked in "to get some milk and bread"!

At Thanksgiving I gave the grandchildren some cotton squares on freezer paper and some markers. I asked them to draw pictures of themselves and all the adults. They missed 2 people, once they are done I am sewing them together for a fun little quilt.

I also need some help. My grandson Griffin is into The Legends of Zelda. I want to make him a quilt for his bed and I found this fabric. Does anyone know if there are any patterns or something for me to follow to make a presentable quilt?! Jamie???? I am counting on you!

My life feels like this room looks right now......I was so ahead of the game and now I am not. I am not good with disruption or major changes, I know that about myself.

This past week we had not 1 funeral but 2. My sister in law lost her father, she called me the night we came home from the wake of our dear friend Mary. I still feel so sad for everyone who lost their family member, it's a hard time of the season to say good bye and brings up many memories.

I will leave you with a pretty picture of my Beyond the Cherry Tree runner that looks fantastic on the table with the Christmas trees and (out of site) candles.
I told you this was random.........