Lovey Blocks

Sawtooth Stars
Sawtooth Stars

There never seems to be a shortage in people who need a nice hug in the form of a quilt. I made three blocks for two different projects over the weekend.

I started the stars weeks ago by making Sawtooth Stars with a four patch in the middle. I made one when I did the Star Sampler and really liked it. The problem with the version for this lovey was that I tried to use the Deb Tucker ruler AND include the 4 patches in the middle. It was too difficult for my brain to process.

For a few weeks I did nothing, but when I got the call for the heart lovey block and I knew I had to get my act together and get those star blocks done. I decided just to make  some basic Sawtooth Stars with super great fabric. I hope that these work out well.

Lovey Heart Block
Lovey Heart Block

I got an idea for a heart block as soon as I heard the maker wanted hearts. I knew that machine applique’ was the best way to go. Fast, too.

At first, I thought I would just do the large heart, but when I finished, I thought it wasn’t enough, so I added the blue hearts. They were made from scraps, but they added something to the large heart. I think the little hearts added interest.

If you are asked to make a block for a lovey quilt, please consider making one. One block and little bit of fabric can make all the difference in the world.

FOTY 2015 Begins

FOTY 2015 Begins
FOTY 2015 Begins

Yes, I have cut off FOTY 2014 and started in on FOTY 2015. I have yet to put FOTY 2014 together, but that task is coming soon. I have to clear off some of the ‘debris’ before I start on another project as design wall intensive as the FOTY quilts tend to be. At the moment, both design walls are filled with other projects.

The important part is that it is 2015 and FOTY 2015 is in progress. I had a number of pieces of fabric that I had pressed, but hadn’t cut into, so those fabrics were the start of this version of the series. Also, with all of the sewing I did on Sunday, I had a lot of squares of ‘previous’ fabrics to add to the stack.

FOTY 2015 Annotated
FOTY 2015 Annotated

I decided that I liked the idea I used in FOTY 2012 where I had smaller patches for fabrics already in my stash that I pulled out in that year. This time, the sizes will be a little different: 5.5″ x 3″ rectangles and 3″ x 3″ squares. They should fit together nicely.

I have already had the first batch of patches on the design wall and taken them off again and started on the second. We are off to an excellent start!

Christmas Pillowcases

7 Christmas Pillowcases
7 Christmas Pillowcases

Last year, I thought about making pillowcases for all of the nieces and nephews. It didn’t get done. I didn’t do it. I made an effort, though. I pressed a bunch of Christmas fabric at some point and it has been hanging over a piece of furniture for months. For some reason, I decided to get those pieces of fabric out of my life. Well, not out of my life quite yet, but into a form where I can get them out of my life in December.

I made 7 pillowcases on Sunday. I don’t really like making pillowcases, but making them in batches is much better than one at a time. I get a feel for the cutting and once I deal with the cutting issues, the sewing is much, much easier. The sewing is actually really easy – 5 seams and the pillowcase is finished.

Design Wall Monday

Design Wall - 4/27/2015
Design Wall – 4/27/2015

I am a little short of content, though more is in the works, so you get to see my design wall again.

1. Hot four patches. I still want to make a lot more of those and make a 4 patch quilt. I like what Bonnie Hunter has been doing with Four Patches lately.

2. Flying Geese Exchange with TFQ.

3. First batch of FOTY 2015 patches! This is the first glimpse. Stay tuned for more.

4. Turquoise and red Four Patches.

5. Stepping Stones block in process.

6. Four completed Stepping Stones blocks.

7. Another Stepping Stones block in process.

8. Box Full of Letters blocks.

9. A few more Flying Geese from our exchange.

10. More turquoise and red Four Patches.

My last update wasn’t that long ago – a month or so. I am linking up with the Patchwork Times by Judy Laquidara.

EPP Details

Half Hexie Stars - Late April 2015
Half Hexie Stars – Late April 2015

I have made my half hexie star project larger. I like making the stars and, as I have said in the past, they are great for a traveling project. However, I seem to be obsessed with making the ‘top’ piece larger. I don’t know why, but when I sit on the couch to watch TV with DH, I add a star or a row of stars to the larger piece. It wasn’t in my plan to do that, but I can’t seem to help myself. Even the sleeve from the Russian Rubix is languishing, because of this new obsession.

I really need to keep this project going through 2017, so that I have something on which to work when I travel with DH on his rounds to the various parlors. I can’t just zoom through it.

The other night I sewed a row of dot-stars (I decided to make the piece have a stripey effect with stars made from dots on white alternating with the other scrappy stars) together and then added them on to whole piece (see top of picture). Yesterday, I laid the piece on the bed to see how big it needs to be. I estimate that it needs to be 2.5 -3 times as wide as it is now to be a bed quilt with a bit of drape over the sides.

Friday night I pulled out a lot of the center papers, because I was running out, so now there is just a row of papers left around the outside. I got a little over enthusiastic with that process and pulled out half of one on the edge. I didn’t want the stitching to come out, so I sewed the blue batik star to the purple star to keep the purple seam from being lost. That is why you see the blue batik star sticking up, seemingly at random, on mid-bottom right. I didn’t really mean to add another row to the top.

The lavender dot in the lower right hand corner is just clipped to the piece so I remember to place that star in that location. I need to sew it to a white dot star before I sew it to the whole piece. It isn’t hard to inset the stars, but it is less work to sew two together and then add them at once.

EPP Stitching
EPP Stitching

What I really wanted to talk about was thread. I have a hand sewing kit I use when I sew on the couch that has random bits of thread and everything I need to do almost any kind of hand sewing. I don’t always have the exact color, but usually I can find one in there that will work for whatever my project is.

At some point I ran out of Aurifil #2600 and never replaced it. I could just walk upstairs, wind a bobbin and voila. Sadly once I have parked myself on the couch there will be very few steps added to my FitBit. As a result I haven’t replaced that thread.

I am using an Oliver Twist thread that came with a pack of those threads when I bought them several years ago. It is quilting thread, I think, so fairly thick. I don’t think it is ideal, but it doesn’t fray like some others, though it is hard to thread.

I am curious to know what thread you use for EPP?

Marbella Dress Pattern

Marbella Dress
Marbella Dress

A few weeks ago, I heard about the Marbella Dress pattern from Itch to Stitch and went to take a look. I thought it might be a good pattern for a dress for Political Wifery, but didn’t really do anything about it.

This past week I realized that I have three weeks to get my clothes, shoes and accessories in order for Grand Parlor. I will definitely be able to wear one of the dresses from last year, but another one I have worn several times so it is out. Two others are now too big and I don’t have time to get them altered, though that is on my list.

I turned my attention to the Marbella Dress pattern window that was still open in my browser. Since I had last looked at it, they had added a large format file that comes with the pattern. That means no cutting and pasting of pattern pieces together. Also, it took only 2 yards and I have some quilting fabric that could be used to try it out with before buying some super nice fabric to make the actual dresses for Grand Parlor.

I had a plan.

I knew I needed to buy lining (I prefer my dresses lined) but knew I had enough fabric for a test run. I started plowing through my ‘backings’ fabric stash to find some larger pieces. We all know that they will be Philip Jacobs or dots. Philip Jacobs won, because I want to make a bold statement. I don’t want to look like a crazy person, but I want to look different and more elegant than the other ladies. Also, I may not even be wearing these test dresses to the event.

Philip Jacobs Floating Mums
Philip Jacobs Floating Mums

One fabric is called Floating Mums Taupe. Taupe, I know. I don’t know why I bought it except that I really liked it and thought it had the elegant feel of a NYC Park Avenue living room.

The other one is daffodils on light blue (tending towards turquoise) scattered over the fabric. It seems to be part of a group of fabric of which I did take a photo.

So I got the pattern printed at a ‘copy store’ and took it to my seamstress. I know you are disappointed that I am not making it myself. I still plan to make that skirt. I just don’t have the time right now.

She took the measurements and will do a test run. It should be, sans lining and zipper ready to be tried on next week.

Creative Prompt #307: Mirror

Mirror Mirror

Magic Mirror

The Mirror newspaper

mirror universe

Mirror – 2008 movie directed by Alexandre Aja. With Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton, Amy Smart, Cameron Boyce

Mirror app


CRAN Mirrors. The Comprehensive R Archive Network

Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze

Definition: “A mirror is an object that reflects light in such a way that, for incident light in some range of wavelengths, the reflected light preserves many or most of the detailed physical characteristics of the original light. This is different from other light-reflecting objects that do not preserve much of the original wave signal other than color and diffuse reflected light.

The most familiar type of mirror is the plane mirror, which has a flat screen surface. Curved mirrors are also used, to produce magnified or diminished images or focus light or simply distort the reflected image.

Mirrors are commonly used for personal grooming or admiring oneself (in which case the archaic term looking-glass is sometimes still used[clarification needed]), decoration, and architecture. Mirrors are also used in scientific apparatus such as telescopes and lasers, cameras, and industrial machinery. Most mirrors are designed for visible light; however, mirrors designed for other wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation are also used.” (Wikipedia)

mirror sites

funhouse mirrors

The Mirror is a very popular sailing dinghy, with more than 70,000 built. The Mirror was named after the Daily Mirror, a UK newspaper.

Independent student newspaper of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

A rotated version of, kind of google tricks. Provides you with a reversed Google site, known as Google backwards.

Mirror Lake Trail

wall mirrors

compact mirror

Magic Mirror TV

Mirror Isles – Draknek’s Domain

Mirror by Sylvia Plath

The Mirror Awards are the most important awards for honoring excellence in media industry reporting. Established by Syracuse University.

At Man in the Mirror, we have a vision to see every church disciple every man.

Mirror Visions – Trio of singers (soprano, baritone, and tenor-pianist) associated with Yale University, performing new musical works that are often different.

Ripley’s Mirror Maze in Myrtle Beach.

smoke and mirrors

Mirror Kisses A modern male emotional empowerment music movement.

Mirror Show Management

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and get familiar with your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

We are also talking about this on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CPP

More O9P

Octagon Nine Patch full- April 2015
Octagon Nine Patch full- April 2015

Another part of the wackiness of the weekend was adding to my nine patch stash for the Octagon Nine Patch. I made some progress on adding to my nine patch pile.

when I stand next to the piece, I feel like I am making progress, but when I look at it in a photo I post here, I think I will never be finished. I guess that is why I take photos, then I can compare. For example, this photo with the last one.

Octagon Nine Patch - detail - April 2015
Octagon Nine Patch – detail – April 2015

One part of my attitude is that people comment on how small the blocks are. Yes they are on the smallish side, but are by no means miniatures.

I think I need to sew some parts together pretty soon. That will make the piece much smaller, of course, but will also enhance the feeling of accomplishment.

Box Full of Letters Progress

First 3 blocks - Box Full of Letters
First 3 blocks – Box Full of Letters

I have been preparing for the CQFA Retreat. I have been putting projects, supplies and parts into project bags in preparation to grab and go.

I was all over the place sewing over the weekend and this was part of the wackiness. I don’t know why, but I decided to sew a couple of the blocks rather than waiting until the CQFA Retreat.

I guess they look ok. I am not completely invested in the project yet, but I have some ideas and I want to move forward. It might be a palette cleanser

Finished: Russian Rubix

Russian Rubix Completed (front)
Russian Rubix Completed (front)

Normally, I don’t like to post until the quilt is completely done, but the binding on is good enough for me this time. I never thought I would finish the binding on this monster, but I finally did. I am only half way through the sleeve, but that will be finished soon.

I started thinking about this quilt in July of 2013, so it is under 2 years that it took me to complete it. That is pretty good for a quilt this size.

I am pleased with how it looks. I don’t find the grey background to be too depressing and the back is very fun. Both Kelly and Gerre asked me about the barcode fabric. It is from Timeless Treasures and I bought it awhile ago I found some on Etsy a few weeks ago when Kelly asked.

Russian Rubix Finished (back)
Russian Rubix Finished (back)


Various & Sundry #5 – Mid-April

Stay tuned for a special event coming on the blog on May 9.

Purchase some gifts for Mom at my Cafe Press Shop. Cafe Press is having a 20% off sale April 19-23 with the coupon code, MOMSROCK. Restrictions apply. Thanks for your support!

I finally found instructions for the folded Starburst Wreath. I made a large one a long time ago with a friend and several smaller ones as gifts thereafter, but time goes by and I sewed more than I folded. I kept looking at the large one I have in my workroom and decided I wanted to make another one. I am no longer able to contact the friend, so I started looking on the web. My first search terms were not finding what I needed and I gave up, but the other morning I tried again on Pinterest. After a couple of tries, I was successful and now have the directions again. Hooray!!! Look for some folded paper stars coming to a blog near you!

Other Artists
I love the pattern/block design Bonnie Hunter showed on Instagram recently for Four Patches. These aren’t my colors, but I can easily imagine it in brighter colors.

SherriD reviews a recipe on her blog for a breakfast treat. The review was really great and made me think of quiltmaking patterns and how some of us need more direction in our patterns than others.

Patterns, Magazines, Books & Projects
If you have been following along with the Twilter Round Robin, you will be interested in Molly’s finished-or almost finished- top. I also love the word Rosevale which is mentioned on her blog. It reminds me of Anne’s, of Anne of Green Gables, imagination.

I just love this chicken imagery. I am not much of a chicken-as-decorative-image person, but this one is bright and cheerful.

Exhibits, Tutorials and Events
Quilting Daily had an article about using MistyFuse.

Jolly Jabber update: English Paper Piecing with Jen Kingwell

Not Fade Away: Sharing Quilt Stories in the Digital Age is a two-day conference presented by the nonprofit Quilt Alliance. This biennnial educational event is for all who care about documenting, preserving and sharing the stories of quilts and their makers. Come meet filmmakers, artists, curators, historians, educators and fellow quilt afficionados. Enjoy a power-packed weekend of learning, socializing and sharing at the Not Fade Away Conference in conjunction with the Sacred Threads Exhibition in our shared venue, Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia. ”

I wonder if this applies to the general quiltmaker, someone like you who just makes quilts?

Not Fade Away Conference tickets are now on sale.

Judy Martin will be giving the keynote address at this June’s NQA show in Little Rock, Arkansas. She says she has long had respect for the National Quilting Association and all they do to promote quilting. You can read more about the show and the NQA at  In addition to the keynote address, she’ll also be doing a lecture the next day.

July 17-18 in Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia and take a look at the full information.

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum’s April 2015 Quilt of the Month is Hexagon Mosaic by Grace McCance Snyder. One of Nebraska’s most famous quiltmakers, Snyder has been recognized for the technical complexity and quality of her quilts.

Kathy Matthews put up a Double Churn Dash block tutorial. Those tiny Churn Dashes are pretty cute!

Websites, Articles and Information
Quilting Focus is a new website for quiltmakers in NZ. Our own, Ms. Lottie of The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady fame is one of the teachers (owners??).

Article about Why Thread Matters from Jillily Studios.

Judy Martin and her husband Steve Bennett were interviewed about their game, Quilt Show. Have you played it? You can buy the game directly from their website.

Need standard bed sizes?

I found a more definitive article on Jenny Doan. Yes, I am fascinated!

Want to read about <sniff> the downfall of Etsy?

Fabric, Tools, Supplies & Embellishments

Perhaps you have the Apple watch on your ‘must have’ list. Not me as I cannot see the screen, but if you are on the fence, take a look at the quiltmaker’s version. I don’t know if it means anything that it was posted on April 1, 2015….

Kitty has some brief reviews of apps to help you draft quilt blocks.

I have been thinking about tools lately. I have had a number of my tools since I started quilting back in the Dark Ages. My mat is most on my mind. With these thoughts swirling around my mind, I came across this article about ruler inaccuracy from the Badass Quilters Society.

I was VERY disappointed in the recent Jo-ann fabric Daffodil Dash. I was so excited to get some 50% off coupons and it turned out I was unable to use any of them. Everything I wanted and needed was already on sale for a much lower percentage off. I guess the coupon did the job, because it got me in the store and I did buy a few things, but not everything. I have always been skeptical of Jo-ann’s coupons and their real value, but I have been sucked in recently. I am back on the skepticism bandwagon.

Multi-Color Donation Quilt

Multi-color Donation Quilt- April
Multi-color Donation Quilt- April

I finally got my act together to put the postage stamp blocks together. I really was feeling like I didn’t have anything to show at the BAMQG meeting, so I decided on Friday night to get these blocks together. I used leftover pieces from another quilt for the sashing. I really didn’t think about the piece too much; I just sewed. Yesterday morning I finished the border and made the back.

Gerre and I made them together back in February. We used them pieces as leaders and enders as needed when we made the Hawaiian quilt. I don’t see any mention of these blocks, so who really knows?

I wanted to try a different setting that the other versions of the postage stamp donation quilt tops I have made. I was going for a row quilt kind of look. I used different widths of sashing for the vertical pieces, because I used what I had. It isn’t my best work, but it was very intuitive and quick. I think that it was kind of amazing that I was able to let the control go and just put the piece together. You can see that there are squares of the same fabrics near each other. Normally, I would have spread them out. Essentially, I just put the blocks on the floor and sewed them together. Kind of bare bones sewing. I hope someone will like its quirkiness.

To be honest, I haven’t really sewn seriously for quite a while. I have sewn a couple of EPP stars and used the opportunity of this piece to make some more O9P nine patches, but nothing else. It felt really good to throw this together. Very freeing.

Multi-color Donation Quilt back (April)
Multi-color Donation Quilt back (April)

The back is made from greys that I pulled out of my grey bin. They are older fabrics in the depressing color range of grey. Summer is coming and I find myself divesting myself of colors deemed too depressing and working with even brighter colors than usual.


Creative Prompt #306: Knickers

Don’t get your knickers in a twist!

traditional golf apparel

There’s a saying in the UK that when you’re scared, you just need to put on your big girl knickers and get on with it. It’s about being brave, being strong and just doing it. (Big Girl

Betabrand Black Bike to Work Knickers

Kitsy’s Knickers –This blue cloth armor of item level 621 goes in the “Legs” slot. It is looted from Drakonid Monstrosity.

Knickers is the Dining Room at Bucknell Golf Club and is open during the golf season for breakfast and lunch to both the general public and all Club members.

Juggler Knickers combine the benefits of compression and the power of an ice bath in a single piece of gear.

knick-knack KNICKERS by anna maria horner.

“The Power Of Orange Knickers” song by Tori Amos

Bike knickers, known as cycling breeches in the UK, were designed and created for cyclists, for use in touring, randonneuring, or commuting.

The Queen’s Knickers by Nicholas Allen

Before or after you hit the links, a stop at Knickers Pub is an essential part of the Coral Oaks Golf Course experience.

Jolly St. Knickers Run Sunday, December 14th, 2014.

Medusa In My Knickers

Knickers – 2007 movie

French Knickers


Knickers of Hyde Park

Knicker suits

Definition: “1:  loose-fitting short pants gathered at the knee;2: chiefly British :underpants
Origin of KNICKERS knickerbockers
First Known Use: 1881″ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online)

Knickers is the correct terminology for a women’s undergarments, the undergarment which is not a bra.(Urban Dictionary)

Kitsy’s Knickers (WOW) – This blue cloth armor of item level 621 goes in the “Legs” slot. It is looted from Drakonid Monstrosity.

The T. Barry Knicker Company has custom made classic golf attire


Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and get familiar with your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

We are also talking about this on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CPP

Seeing EPP Progress

I added two stars to my larger piece.

EPP April 2015
EPP April 2015

I feel like adding only two stars to the larger piece is major progress. I like the symmetry of the [kind of] rectangle. Somehow this looks like I am making something.

My plan is to make the piece big enough to cover a bed. I will slowly make the stars as I travel with the Grand President (HA! DH) then add them to the piece when I am at home.

I know it seems like I should be able to take this piece with me. It is, however, 1.5′ x ~1 foot and I want to keep it as flat as possible because of the cardboard EPP templates still inside. Making one at a time is better for travel.

I have a bin of stars that I have been making. I pulled out my bin of stars and picked some to add to the piece later. I made the stars and stored them in the bin thinking that I would just make the stars and put them together eventually. I couldn’t wait, thus I started putting the piece together into what you see above.