Monday, February 25, 2013


You know how you see a new Block of the Month project and think "Oh, it's only one block per month. I can do that."


I'm sure I'm not the only quilter who has eight BOM projects underway. I've spend all weekend catching up on my Blocks of the Month.  Being a "visual" person, I listed all of my BOMs on my project white board:

The Twisted Amish, 3D Sampler and Patchwork Party projects are one, two and three years old respectively. I've been working on the Farmer's Wife for three years -- but now that Marti Michell has written a conversion chart for the blocks to use her templates, it is going much faster.

Six blocks this month:

The Patchwork Party BOM also uses Marti Michell's templates.  I love her technique, the pieces fit together like a dream!

Here is the latest Designer Mystery block:

I'm so glad I went ahead and pieced all the setting blocks.  Two more months and this one will be ready to put together and quilt!

Here is one of the two block parties I joined this year at Ruth's Stitchery, Ryokan:

The newest in my BOM gallery is "Vintage Memories," using a gorgeous new collection by Marcus Brothers, "Gallery in Red and Blue" by Faye Burgos.  I'm not a "blue" fan, but I had just finished a red and white quilt, so I decided to go with the blue colorway.

I'm hoping that having the list right there next to my cutting table will encourage me to keep up with all these BOM projects this year!  For additional accountability, I'm linking up to Sinta's BOM Rehab at Pink Pincushion.

Only two more days to get your February UFO photos in for the parade!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bag It! Giveaway

I recently test sewed a bag for Sara Lawson of "Sew Sweetness."  This is a great bag, with a unique closure that twists to lock.  Hence, Sara calls it the "Locked and Loaded" bag.

Here is the photo of my sample bag:

Sara shows photos of several other sample bags on her blog post here.

I love that she included an adjustable strap.  I don't like to carry a shoulder bag -- they always make my back hurt.  Do you have that problem?

Sara recommends "ByAnnie's" Soft and Stable interfacing.  This type of interfacing looks like very thin foam rubber with fine knit fabric on each side.  It really makes the bag stand up nice, without being heavy.

The Locked and Loaded bag also has a zipper pocket inside.  If you've never put a zipper pocket in a bag, Sara's instructions make it easy peasy!  Of course, I hope she has amended the pattern to remind the maker to put the zipper against the BACK side of the bag, rather than the front.  We'll just pretend I meant to do that.

This bag is larger than a purse I would normally carry, but it will make a terrific knitting bag!

You say I mentioned a Giveaway?  Right-o.  How about a pattern of your choice from Sara's collection of bag patterns?

Just go here and look over her patterns.  Then come back and leave a comment telling me which is your favorite.  If you're the winner, Sara will email you a PDF copy of the pattern of your choice!

Giveaway ends Sunday, March 3 at noon MDT.  If you're a no-reply commenter (or anonymous) please be sure to include your email address in your comment.  Of course, international entries are welcome!

Linking up to "Weekending" at 1/4" mark.

Only three more days to finish your February UFO.  Send in those photos by Thursday to be included in the 13 in 2013 Parade!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday and Why I Don't Like It

Oh, it's not WIP Wednesday I don't like.  It's this quilt, the April project for Jelly Roll Party:

And again, it's not this quilt design I don't like.  Or the fabric I don't like.

It's the combination of this pattern and this fabric.

The pattern is "Garden Paths" by Amanda Murphy.  The sample quilt is made with Amanda's "Veranda" collection for Robert Kaufman.  It is a lovely collection of multi-colored floral and citrus-y prints.  I am using a new line from Moda, Sakura Park by Sentimental Studios.

Sakura Park Jelly Roll
(photo lifted from Suzzett's Fabric)

I chose this fabric because "Veranda" is no longer available, and I think it's important to make shop samples from fabric that is available at our host shop, Ruth's Stitchery.

Here is the photo of the original sample quilt:

As you can see, the original fabric has a wide variety of colors and prints.  Sakura basically has three colors, pink, blue and green.  I chose the pink tone-on-tone as my accent color.  It is turning out to be a really, really PINK quilt.

Plus, once again, a photo highlights a piecing mistake I made:  twice, I have the same green prints adjacent to each other.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday, the QuiltCon edition, at Freshly Pieced.


Sigh.  I have to finish this sample, but I do have a "Veranda" jelly roll.  "Someday" I will make the quilt again using Amanda's fabric!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Monday!

It's a holiday -- no mail in the US today while we celebrate the namesake of My Little Sailor's ship, the USS George Washington!

The Front Range Modern Quilt Guild celebrated its second "birthday" on Saturday.  What a bash!  Prezzies for all, cake, the Madrona Road Challenge pillow exchange -- too much fun!

Michael Miller company graciously provided fabric packs of the blue colorway of "Madrona Road" by Violet Cross to hundreds of modern quilters for this challenge.  I think every guild member who received fabric made a pillow:

Here is the pillow I made for friend Kari:

See how much I love you, Kari, I paper-pieced this block!  It's from Nancy Mahoney's "Kaleidoscope Quilts."  I even did some hand-quilting around the white triangles (sadly not visible in this photo.  The light in our meeting place is bad bad bad!).

You might not know, but the pillows Kari made were selected from dozens of entries to be displayed at Michael Miller's booth at QuiltCon in Austin, Texas this week.  Well done, Kari!

Just look at the pillow Angela made for me!  She really went above and beyond to make it special,  surveying my friends as to what I like:  "Marti doesn't like blue" (oh, no, the fabric is blue, what will I do?)"  "Marti talks ALL the time about Her Little Sailor.  (I know he's on an aircraft carrier.  In the Western Pacific.)

Angela printed out a photo of Jacob's ship and traced it to cut out the ship's profile from the text print.  In the lower right hand corner, the text reads "Prince of the Pacific Northwest."  What she didn't know is, My Little Sailor was born in Tacoma, Washington -- he is truly a Prince of the Pacific Northwest!"

She fashioned a lighthouse from the herringbone print, and fussy cut a flower to form the light.  She then quilted yellow "light rays" emanating from the light.  And "waves" on the blue "water."  She even stitched the ship's CVN number, "73" on the "island" of the ship!

I should have taken a photo of the back -- she attached a metal snap to close the cover.  Clever, huh?

I gotta tell you, when she presented it to me . . . well, let's just say Mary Kay waterproof mascara really IS waterproof!  Thank you, Angela, I will treasure it!

Let's take one more look at all 26 pillows.  A couple of people purchased fabrics from the orange/pink colorway to match the wishes of the recipient.  And every single pillow is incredible!

What a display!

So how's your February UFO coming along?  I've only received a few entries for the parade, so this is your official "nag nag nag" statement!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mystery WIP Wednesday

I "sort of" had a day off yesterday -- both my "deadline" quilts were in limbo.  My 100 Blocks sample quilt was waiting for some Moda Bella Solids to arrive at Ruth's Stitchery, and my Scrap Squad quilt was at the quilter's.  So I pulled out this mystery quilt from last year.

I've already made this quilt once, in batiks.  But when I saw Betty's quilt in reproduction fabrics, I just had to make it again.  I had the blocks complete, so I thought I would be able to finish it before today's Block Party. Here is where I was when I went to bed last night:

I should be able to sew twenty blocks together before noon, right?

Except I forgot the sashing had starred cornerstones:

This is where I was when I had to leave for my quilt group:

There is one more border, into which the stars extend.  I will wait until the blocks are all sewn together before deciding what fabric to use, or if I should make it scrappy.  Ohmigoodness, I see a piecing mistake in the top row, second block from the left!  And now I see another mistake on the second row!  That's what I get for sewing at night --glad I don't have the block sewn together yet!

Here is the same quilt made from just three (maybe four) fabrics.  Really looks different, doesn't it?

Linking up to the new WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Is there a WIP on your design wall this week?

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, February 11, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I've finished piecing my February UFO.  It's a Buck-a-Block project using Thangles triangle paper.  This quilt is Series #3 from 2006 -- more proof that fabric doesn't go bad with time!  I don't know if Thangles paper is still available, their website hasn't been updated since July of 2012.

I started the Buck-a-Block project at Omega's Quilt Shop near my home in Colorado Springs.  Sadly, the shop closed before the project was complete.  At the store closing sale, I bought enough of the fabric to complete the blocks, but not the setting kit.  I had a setting pattern from the January/February 2007 Quiltmaker magazine, so I plugged the block into EQ7 and played around with some designs.

The main fabric is a Faye Burgos design for Marcus Brothers Textiles.  If you look closely at the blue fabric, you can see there is a bit of green and a bit of gold in addition to the red and blue:

The red fabric is a classic from Robert Kaufman called "Fusions."  It is still being printed, and it also comes in  a matching green and matching gold.  So I plugged gold and green into the EQ7 block and came up with this:

If the blocks are rotated, a secondary pinwheel pattern emerges:
I had three blocks left to make, but didn't want to use the Thangles.  I like to use the EZ Angle tool to make my half square triangles (HSTs).  I misread the size and made 44 HSTs that are too small for the blocks.

I thought to make the quilt with just nine blocks.  But when I realized I had enough of the blue fabric left to make the last three blocks, I went ahead and made them.  I decided to make the leftover HSTs into Flying Geese and use them in the border:

I finished the top with just enough blue fabric to make Susie's Magic Binding.  The quilt will finish at 46" X 58" -- a good lap sized quilt.

This is my 5th finish for 2013!  Next up is the April Jelly Roll Party sample!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, February 8, 2013

February UFO in Electric Quilt

The best thing about being on Quiltmakers' Scrap Squad is, it has forced me to use my Electric Quilt (design) program!

I cut this pattern out of the January/February '07 Quiltmaker, called "Right & Left."  Since I didn't buy the setting kit for my Buck-a-Block quilt, I had to come up with a setting design on my own.  Remarkably enough, the red fabric in my Buck-a-Blocks is a standard Robert Kaufman fabric, "Fusion."  Kaufman has issued seven versions of this fabric in various colors over the years!

EQ7 has a built-in block design just like "Right and Left."  All I had to do was adjust the size and change the coloration.  EQ7 even includes cutting directions and yardage requirements!

Here is my design in EQ7:

And here is what the first few setting blocks look like:

Really, there is more difference between the gold and the green -- it's hard to take good photos at night.  I think it is so cool how the secondary pattern develops.

Tomorrow I'm off on another road trip, this time to the Rocky Mountain Sew Expo in Denver.  I'll make it a quick trip to beat tomorrow night's snow!

How is your February UFO project coming along?

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday and Modern Quilt Guild Retreat

Doncha just hate it when all your current projects are "secret?"  That's what is happening with me this week. I spent most of the day playing with designs for my 100 Blocks magazine sample quilt, trying to use Electric Quilt without having time to learn how!

To reward myself for finally getting something that looks like an acceptable layout, I took out my February UFO project.  It's a Thangles "Buck-a-Block" project from 2008.  The shop that was hosting it went out of business, but we were able to buy enough fabric to finish the blocks.  But I failed to buy the setting kit!

Here are the blocks I have completed -- there are three more:

If you place your blocks "on point," the quilt will be larger, without needing more blocks.  Slick trick, huh?  I don't want this to be a red and navy quilt, so I am going to pick up some of the subtle colors in the blue print for the setting design.  Would you believe green and gold?

I had a lovely weekend with my Front Range Modern Quilt Guild peeps at The Hideaway.  Here are just a few of the incredible projects quilters pieced this weekend.

Abby is working on her Madrona Road Challenge pillow.  She appliqued three Dresden Plates on a patchwork background.  I tried to trick her into saying it's for me, but she is too clever for me.

Chris made this adorable skirt for her daughter, using a charm pack of "Simply Color" by V and Co.:

She also finished piecing this Christmas UFO:

Jodi is hiding behind her BOM quilt:

Mary completed the February Jelly Roll Party quilt that she had just started that afternoon!

And Traci started and finished her Scrappy Trip Along, made of Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt:

Andrea always gets a lot done at our weekend retreats.  I think she finished three tops and quilted two this weekend!

Sisters Abby and Beccy had a great time sewing with their Mom.  Beccy traveled from Omaha, and their Mom came all the way from Ohio to join the retreat!

Peg won the "Grand Prize" for completing the most projects during the weekend.  This is just one:

FRMQG members also pieced blocks for a charity quilt from solids and a white background.  Enough to make two quilts!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday, guest hosted this week by Jenelle of Echinops and Aster.

Speaking of WIPs, I've already crossed off two on my February list!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, February 4, 2013

BOM-day and Parade Giveaway

Wow, January went fast!  It's the first Monday of the month, which means it's "Block of the Month" Monday.

One of the new Blocks of the Month at Ruth's Stitchery is "Ryokan" by Joe Wood for ThimbleCreek Quilts.


A "Ryokan" is a Japanese Inn.  I thought since My Little Sailor is stationed in Japan, this would make the perfect gift for him when his tour in Japan is ended.

Each block is a "house," with an Amish-style quilt block on it.  Here is my first block:

The house is made from leftover Japanese Taupes, and the star block is of Moda marbles.

I also made three more Farmer's Wife blocks today.  Marti Michell has written a series of conversion charts that use her templates to make the Farmer's Wife blocks.  SOOOOO much easier than using the templates that come with the book!

I was so pleased that there were 15 entries for the first "13 in 2013" completed UFO parade.  I thought and thought "what should be the giveaway for the UFO parade?"  I didn't want to add to the winner's UFO collection!  I finally decided a Schnibbles pattern and charm square collection wouldn't result in too much pressure for the recipient!

And Moda's new "Love Letters" fabric seems appropriate for February.  Chosen by the Random Number Generator, our winner is #9, Debra.  Remember Debra's stunning "Easy Street?"

Debra, I'm sending you an email asking for your postal address.  Congratulations!

I hope you'll come back tomorrow to see the photos from the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild's weekend retreat.  SOME people got a lot done (but not me)!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature