Friday, January 18, 2013

Great Paper Piecing Project 3 -- Pinwheel Square

Now that the process is becoming more familiar, it's time to get a bit more complicated with our designs.  More pieces on this one but lot's more interest as well.  Just keep following those basic instructions and this will go together for you without a problem.  Go to to download the project. Check out some of the other patterns and projects that are available while you're there.  They're all free!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Double Pinwheel Whirls Block -- Project 2 in the Great Paper Piecing Project

This fun block is the next step in my Great Paper Piecing project.  It's a fun block that is still very simple but the added dimension gives a bit more flair than the Pinwheel Block.  The cut sizes for the patches are included in case you want to pre-cut instead of using the scrap method.  I personally don't usually pre-cut my patches unless I'm making more than one of the same block but some people prefer the more precise cutting method.
Go to to get the free pattern and instructions!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Great Paper Piecing Project RESTARTED!!!

Last year I had ambitions of creating an ongoing paper piecing project where I share some of my favorite paper-pieced blocks with other quilters.  Those ambitions were overshadowed by life in general but now I'm ready to start anew.

Go to my website and you'll see the image above there as well.  Clicking on the image will take you to a free pattern and some pretty darn good directions on basic paper-piecing technique (if I do say so myself!).  I include LOTS of pictures and step-by-step instructions to get you started on your own paper-piecing project.

Going forward, I'll be sharing more of my favorite blocks.  We'll start out pretty simple and who knows exactly where my project will take us?  I plan to progress to more complex and detailed blocks and maybe by the end of my project, I'll be ready to design a whole paper-pieced quilt to share with everyone.  So get clicking and find your way to my website.  Come back here and share your input and progress with your own project.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

No, I Didn't Fall Off the Face of the Earth!

2012 was an eventful year.  Lots of things happened in my life during that time.
  • I moved... TWICE!  Talk about work.  Truth is, I still have fabric and quilting supplies in boxes.
  • I got a new job!  The economy being what it has been, I'm lucky to have found a job.  I actually found one that I like and has great benefits to boot.  The only downside... not as much time in my sewing room.
  • The engine in my car went kaput!  That was a bummer.  I found a decent used Lincoln Continental that I really like though.
  • I got a new grandbaby!  Gotta love those grandchildren.  I have a thirteen now. 
  • I had a fender bender one week where I backed out of a parking space and into a pickup truck.  No injuries but a real pain in the rear.  The next week a neighbor came around the corner and took out both doors on the drivers side of my decent Lincoln.  Thankfully, no one hurt again and insurance claim went smoothly.  Lincoln is still decent and runs really well.
  • Bought the cutest little puppy as a Christmas gift for my daughter and her children.  I'm the best Grandma EVER...
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all that happened last year.  Unfortunately, my blog and my website fell off the radar for me.  I have totally neglected them.  So -- New Year... New Start.  I'm kicking things up again.  Not like before.  I tried to do things like Cupcake of the Day and Block of the Week before.  I had more time and I totally enjoyed these things.  I just don't have that time anymore, but I still enjoy working on projects and trying to help others.  I will be blogging regularly -- not daily, hopefully weekly, but definitely regularly.

To get back on track, I'm going back to where I left off.  My last post on my website... was the first installment of the Great Paper Piecing Project.  You can go there now and download a simple paper piecing block with some pretty darn good step-by-step directions.  There are lots of pictures and plenty of advice on my favorite paper piecing technique.  I'll be posting more projects in the coming days and weeks. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Waste Not... Want Not... Quilt MN 2012

My determination to use every scrap of the Quilt MN this year has led me down a path I've never taken in my quiltmaking years... absolutely NO PATTERN!!!  I seldom actually follow a pattern from beginning to end.  My general belief is that patterns are guidelines, not gospel.  As a result, my quilts are always a bit different than the pattern maker intended.  Even my own patterns evolve as I make a project.  I start with the basic concept and change things as I go along.  The final result is always different than my original idea.

So -- trying to figure out how I was going to use all these printed panels was a challenge.  I dived in with the star blocks that I demonstrated earlier but when those were finished, I just didn't know what to do.  After giving myself a headache, I decided that I am just going to piece fabrics together with no concept of what the finished product will be.

These 11" x 15" printed panels have posed an unusual challenge.  I didn't want to just put the small printed pictures right up alongside the large ones so I had to find some way to separate them.  I finally decided to just start sewing and I ended up with a row of fabric.

I started with the large printed panel and added blocks and fabrics to build out the row.  I will have to do some trimming and squaring up before it can actually be placed in a quilt, but it's a good start.  I found it to be a bit boring though so I decided that the next row should have more piecing involved.  What you see below is the second row constructed.

This row has more interest (in my opinion anyway) and if you look closely, you will see that I used some scraps to create fill in fabrics.

I purchased two charm packs on my shop hop and as I started putting this row together, I decided to incorporate some of them.  The block shown above started with the 5" charm square in the center.  Because I had already trimmed the small printed pictures, I had to enlarge the charm square to be the same size.  I used some scraps to to this as shown.  It looks pretty good just laying on my mat but the little strips on the border of the block are too narrow.  They get lost in the design when it is sewn into the row.  I won't do this again.  If I decide to use this block again, I will trim the charm square down some so the borders show up better.
So -- progress.  Two rows done but I need to come up with some ideas for separating these rows. 
Time to put my thinking cap on!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thinking through what to do....???

Well as I fondled the fabric from the Quilt Minnesota shop hop, visions of quilt blocks danced in my head.... what to do with these printed panels and coordinating fabrics.  Well, obviously I have to make some blocks!  Remember though, I don't want any waste.   Aha!  Patti Anderson's No-Waste Flying Geese method to the rescue!!!

Here is the link to the most spectacular method of making flying geese EVER!!!

Keep this sheet handy because the way they are written you can make absolutely any size flying geese you want!

Here are the step-by-step photos of my No-Waste Flying Geese.

This method results in 4 perfect flying geese that are just the right size because the cutting directions begin with the measurements.  I wanted my geese to be 2 1/2" high and 5" wide finished size.  That means at this point they measure 3" x 5 1/2" because of seam allowances.  So I cut 4 corner squares 3"x3" and trimmed my 5" printed panel picture to 5 1/2" and laid them out.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Quilt Minnesota 2012

The fabric for Quilt Minnesota 2012 is all about the outdoors -- obviously.  We love our little piece of the world up here and with 10,000 lakes, boats are a given.  Our state bird, the loon, is also a featured player.  I really like the woodsy feel that these fabrics bring every year and I faithfully purchase some of these Northwoods themed fabrics every year.  Since they are outdoorsy all the way, the quilts I make with these fabrics tend to go to the men in my family. 

Because fabric costs have risen quite a bit this year, I didn't purchase as much fabric as I have in years past on my annual Shop Hop.  This means I have to be a bit more frugal when it comes to actually making my blocks.  I want to get at least a full-size quilt out of the yardage.  I know I have enough to do this, but there can be absolutely no waste.

So, here's my challenge to myself.  I am going to create this quilt with as little throw away as possible.  Since I'm working with printed panels with 11"x15" and 5"x5" pictures, I may be biting off more than I can chew...