Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Join the Great Paper Piecing Project

As many of you know I've been working on Judy Neimeyer's Bali Wedding Star.  This is a paper piecing project extraordinaire!  I'm loving every minute of it but I have gotten feedback from several quilters in my world that they could NEVER do this.  Many of them have stayed completely away from paper piecing just because they don't  believe they can do it, so...

I have decided to start the Great Paper Piecing Project!  Over the course of this project, we will make 6" blocks of various designs.  We will start with a simple one and work our way up to a complex design.  You can make these blocks from your scrap bin so there will be no fabric cost involved.  There is only one item that you should purchase before starting on your own Great Paper Piecing Project -- Add-a-Quarter Ruler.

You can purchase this ruler in 6" and 12" lengths.  For the blocks in this project, the 6" size is sufficient but if you are going to make blocks larger than 6" after you become a paper piecing pro, you may want the larger size as well.  You will also need a piece of cardstock.  An old greeting card works great for this.  Judy Neimeyer turned me onto cutting a piece of template plastic to the size I need.

So gather those two items and join me as I provide step-by-step tutorials on paper piecing -- we're going to start simple... but you will be totally impressed with yourself as we progress to more complex blocks.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jelly Roll Race...

This Is Sew Broadway in Crookston, MN hosted a spectacular quilting retreat last weekend.  It was three days of quilting fun!  Several of us participated in a Jelly Roll Race.  One of the quilters showed us a youtube video of this race and we decided to re-create it.  Unfortunately I didn't win the race  :( -- but I did finish an entire quilt top for a lap quilt in under an hour.  And since this is going to be an annual event at our February quilt retreat I plan to go into Jelly Roll Race Training and they'd better watch out next year!  I have a dozen grandchildren that will be getting jelly roll quilts while I get ready to be next year's winner!

If you would like to see the youtube video that inspired us, here is the link...

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Different Layout for Four Block Wonder

Everything has been posted for the Four Block Wonder quilt now and they are available at  I have had a few people ask for a suggested layout that would make the quilt smaller but still utilize the four blocks.  What you see here is my suggestion.  The blocks are still 12" finished but there are obviously fewer of them.  This quilt measures 66" x 66" and will make a great lap quilt.  Hope this helps!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Four Block Wonder Sashing, Cornerstones and Borders

The Sashing and Cornerstones instructions have been posted today.  So have the Border instructions.  We're getting close to finishing our Four Block Wonder!

When I first started quilting, I absolutely hated doing sashings because working with long strips of pieced fabric and trying to get everything to line up was next to impossible for me.  As a result, almost all of my early quilts have no sashings.  This is a shame because I think sashing really makes a quilt sometimes. 

And then I watched an episode of Fons and Porter Love of Quilting on PBS.  They demonstrated a technique that I call "Sash As You Go" -- because it's kinda like quilt as you go.  I sat with my mouth hanging open thinking, "Why didn't I think of this?"

The directions for the Four Block Wonder sashings is based on the sash as you go technique.  No more looooong sashing/cornerstone strips with seams to match. 

Download all of the pdf files for this project at

Monday, February 6, 2012

Block 4 will have you seeing stars!

This is the fourth block in my Four Block Wonder quilt.  It consists of variable stars set in alternate corners so I've named it Slanted Variable Stars.  Like the Dutchman's Puzzle block, you will make flying geese units -- but nowhere near as many as before!  This is the final block needed to create our design, but you will be making twelve of these instead of four.  Keep going -- we're almost there -- and the next step is the sashing and cornerstones.  I have a slick little trick coming up to deal with those! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Four Block Wonder is on Block 3... Get the pattern for free!

The Bear Paws block is the next installment for our Four Block Wonder quilt.  This block is truly impressive to look at but is constructed completely with squares and half square triangle units.  The pattern is available at

Oh, by the way, I am still making good progress on my Bali Wedding Star quilt as well.  I finished another block yesterday.  Now that I've mastered the techniques, this went together quickly.  This will is going to get finished for sure now that I've got it!

Friday, February 3, 2012

More Bali Wedding Star Progress...

I got my first block finished -- YAY!!!  I struggled a bit because I want everything just right but now that I've done it, I'm finding that the second block is going much faster and easier.
I have to say that Judy Neimeyer's method of gluing your curves before sewing is spectacular!  I never would have thought of this.  You just put a small amount of Elmer's school glue (the glue stick that goes on purple and dries clear) in the seam allowance area and adhere the curved pieces together.  It is so slick... no pins and the the curves are beautiful.

Now that I've accomplished the first block and now the second is coming along so much quicker, I actually believe I can get this quilt finished soon.