Sunday, March 31, 2013

Scrap Basket Sunday

Ah, ha!  I'm not the only quilter who dedicates Sundays to scrapping!  Kim at "Kim's Big Quilting Adventure" has launched a "Sunday is for Scraps" link-up.

Scrap Basket Sunday

She's calling it "Scrap Basket Sunday," and invites you all to dig through your scraps and make a few "scrappy" blocks each week.  Kim is making the quilt on the cover of Kim Diehl's book, Simple Graces:

I thumbed through Kim Bracket's newest book, Scrap Basket Beauties:

Martingale - Scrap-Basket Beauties (Print version + eBook bundle)

Then I remembered a box labeled "Apple Core."  It's been sitting on a high shelf in my sewing room for years, really, years.  I took it down and discovered I had cut a pile of apple core pieces using Shar Jorgenson's Apple Core template:

Apple Core

(By the way, if you're interested, it's on sale right now!)

Here is my stack of apple cores:

And here is the strip of sewn-together cores:

Thanks, Kim, for the motivation to work on this 10+-year-old scrapple project!  Reader, if you'd like to play along with Kim's "Scrap Basket Sunday," go here to share your link and see what others are making.

I have a special foot for my machine that makes sewing the curved seams of the apple cores a snap.  Come back Tuesday for my Tuesday Tool post featuring the Curve Master presser foot.

And remember, this is the last day to submit your March UFO for tomorrow's 13 in 2013 UFO Parade!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Giveaway Winner and Tuesday Tool

Giveaway Winner

Sorry I'm tardy in posting today's giveaway winner.  I was distracted sewing the next block for Sugar Block Club !

Trusting to good old Mr. Random, the winner is:

There were 30 comments, and the random number generator chose the 30th comment!  To further prove that random is as random does, the winner is Susan, who won one of my earliest giveaways!  

I love Susan's conversation starter.  Who would you want to talk to?  I'd like to discuss leadership with Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton.  Susan, this autographed copy of Gudrun Erle's book will be on its way to you soonest!

Table Talk: Runners, Toppers and Family Treats

Tuesday Tool

Today's Tuesday Tool is the Tri-Recs ruler designed by Darlene Zimmerman and Joy Hoffman.  I pulled it out for my next Scrap Squad quilt.  The pattern calls for paper pieced triangles within squares, but really, with this slick little tool I can make them faster and just as precise.

My test blocks finish at 12".  The block is based on a 9-patch, so each segment must be 4.5" raw-edge-to-raw-edge.  The square-within-a-square block is cut from strips which are 1/2" wider than the finished square. So I cut 4.5" strips of my purple fabrics, then lined up the 4.5" line of the triangle tool with the lower edge of the strip.  Cut on either side of the triangle:

Then flip the tool and line the left side up with the previous cut.  Cut on the right side and repeat across the strip:

The strip width for the "recs" triangle is the same as the center triangle.  Fold the strip in half with wrong sides together and cut both layers at once to get two mirror image "recs."

For each square, cut one triangle and two "recs."  

The beauty of Darlene's ruler is the "magic angle" on the "recs" triangle.  See how it nestles right in the corner of the triangle piece?

The pointy end of the "recs" triangle extends exactly 1/4" above the edge of the center triangle:

Stitch a quarter-inch seam along the long side of the triangles and press toward the "recs" triangle.

Repeat on the other side.


Here is my test block:

My blog post for Quilty Pleasures won't be published until mid-May, so this project is going back into hiding until then!  Go to Quilty Pleasures later this week to see Nicole's version of the same quilt.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, March 25, 2013

Design Wall Monday and . . . Spring?

The weather app on my iPhone read 12 degrees this morning.  Must be Spring in Colorado!

Isn't it nice that we can stay inside and quilt today?  It's Design Wall Monday, here's what's on my design wall today.

First up, the Quilt Block a Day for Spring from Anna Lena Land.  I missed doing the Winter Block a Day, so I am glad to get started on the Chevron Quilt this season.

I'm going to use dots for my blocks (hey, doesn't that sound like Dr. Seuss?  Blocks of dots!)  If you'd like to play along, go here to read Karen's tutorial for the Chevron Quilt.

I'm starting my second Scrap Squad quilt.  The son and to-be-daughter-in-law of my friend Susan want a purple quilt for their wedding quilt.  So I gathered all the purples in my stash, added some provided by Shayla at Quiltmaker Magazine and started cutting.  Come back tomorrow for my Tuesday Tool tutorial on the Tri-Recs ruler.

Remember last summer when I knit 16 hats in 16 days?  Never again!  So I'm knitting one hat per month for Hats for Sailors.  Here is the description of this project from the Ravelry group, Hats for Sailors:

We are providing hand-knitted and crocheted hats for sailors in the US Navy one ship at a time. It all started with Shanti who writes the blog Adventures in Paradise and had the idea to provide a handmade hat to every sailor serving on the ship she would be commanding. Lynne, her mom, made that idea a reality with the help of knitters and crocheters from all over the world. We continue to knit and crochet hats for sailors on other ships. It is cold on the ships and they can wear the hats when they are off duty. The color and design of the hat are the choice of the knitter/crocheter, but ALL HATS MUST BE 100% WASHABLE WOOL. Both men and women serve on the ships. We have two deadlines each year - Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. If you have questions about the project or want to know where to send the hats, email us at You can also read our blog at Hats for Sailors.

I forgot to post a photo of my February hat, here it is:

The yarn is "Rustic" Wool Aran from Queensland collection.  The pattern is "Windy City Hat" by Jodi Haraldson of A Caffeinated Yarn.  Pattern free on Ravelry (but you have to join Ravelry to down load the pattern).

The March had is another Ravelry pattern, Berruti by Wendy Neal.  This yarn is leftover Bergere de France Irland from making Pop-Up mittens years ago, sadly it is discontinued..  I had to curtail the rib pattern because I was running out of yarn, but the hat fits a largish head perfectly!

Tomorrow is not only Tuesday Tool day, but giveaway selection day!  Go here to comment, then come back tomorrow to see who won Gudrun Erle's book.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Friday Finish

All three things on my "March Deadline" list are finished!  Wheee!!

The first finish was my contribution to a Round Robin Row quilt for a friend from Idaho quilt camp.  So no photos of that one!

But the next is the May Jelly Roll Party sample:

The pattern is "Grandma Mary's Five Patch."  Jelly roll is "Terrain" by Kate Spain for Moda.  If the pattern isn't available at your LQS, here is a link to SweetJane's etsy shop: We'll be making this quilt May 3 at Ruth's Stitchery in Colorado Springs.  If you're in the area, some join us!

The third, and the big, finish is my 2010 Colorado Memories Shop Hop quilt.

There were seven shops participating in the shop, each designed a unique block.  Since the quilt has 14 blocks, about halfway through I decided not to make duplicates.  So some of the blocks are from Marti Michell's Encyclopedia of Patchwork Blocks.

If you click on the photo, you can see the background fabric has images of Colorado.  The state Capitol building, Garden of the Gods, miners, mountain goats, the "Welcome to Colorado" sign and a hot air balloon! How to quilt this one will be a challenge --- I don't want to distract from the Colorado scenes.

Oh!  These are quilts #11 and #12 for 2013!

Linking up to Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday at Sew, Love, Live, and Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Speaking of finishing -- have you finished commenting on my most recent giveaway?  Go here for a chance to win Gudrun Erle's "Table Talk" book!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday Giveaway

Do you recognize this table runner?

If you shop at Ruth's Stitchery, odds are you do.  Ruth's has sold more than 1400 (that's one thousand four hundred) copies of this pattern from Gudrun Erle!  (photo from Gudrun's etsy shop)

We were lucky that Gudrun agreed to stop off in Colorado Springs on her way to Quiltmaker's Block Party in Portland this week.  She taught two of her newest patterns, Slivers and Peek-a-Boo.

Slivers - Table Runner Pattern  Peek A Boo - Table Runner Pattern

Look at the fun we had!

Barb made the large size "Slivers" in Christmas colors:

And I made the smaller sized one in Autumn scraps:

Neither of us finished our table runners in class, but I bet Barb's is finished today!

Gudrun graciously signed a copy of her book, Table Talk.

Table Talk: Runners, Toppers and Family Treats

Which I am offering to one of you!  This book has lots of table runners and table topper patterns, as well as some of Gudrun's favorite recipes.

If you'd like this book for your own, please comment on this post and tell me a favorite dinner table conversation starter.  My favorite is "What did you learn today that you didn't know yesterday?" Giveaway ends Tuesday, March 26 at noon MDT.  Remember, if you're a no-reply commenter, be sure to include your contact information.

So, today I learned that it's worth buying the right tool for the job!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Monday, March 18, 2013

Design Wall Monday

My March "Quilt To-Do List" is almost complete!  I have only to sew the blocks together for my March UFO and I'll be free to sew whatever I want for the rest of the month!

Here's what's on the design wall today:

It's the Colorado Shop Hop quilt from 2010.  The background fabric was custom-printed for the shop hop, and it highlights scenes of Colorado.  You can probably pick out the State Capitol building.  Do you see the "Welcome to Colorful Colorado" sign?  I drive past it every time I come back from Idaho.  There is also a hot-air balloon, reminiscent of the Labor Day Balloon Festival.  And do you see the Sculptured House, which featured in the 1973 Woody Allen movie, Sleeper?"  DH and I saw that move at a midnight Woody Allen festival in 1976.  The tickets cost 99 cents, and we paid in pennies harvested from our penny jar!

The May Jelly Roll Party Quilt is "Grandma Mary's Five Patch."  I chose this one for May because in the US, Mother's Day is the second Sunday in May.  And my mother's name is Mary.

As I put this quilt together, I realized it is the third one I've made from Kate Spain's "Terrain" collection.  Must be my favorite, huh?

I also finished test-sewing another bag for Sara of Sew Sweetness today. Come back Wednesday to see the new bag, and enter the giveaway for one of Sara's patterns!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Scraps Score

Whew!  See this?  It's a completely empty scrap bin!  Score!

An entire day of cutting, cutting, cutting, and here is the yield:

I cut a 12" high stack of 5" squares; two 8" high stacks of 2 1/2" strips; a 6" stack of 2 1/2" squares; 4 1/2" squares; 3 1/2" squares; 2" squares; 1 1/2" squares and 1 1/2" strips.  I also cut some 5 1/2" and matching 2 1/2" squares to make a specific scrap quilt (photos to follow next week).

Plus, a big ol' bin of "strings!"  Strings are strips that are narrower than 2", but not long enough to be useful as 1 1/2" strips.  I used "strings" last summer to make this quilt:

I think it's my favorite of all the quilts I've ever made.  Now I have enough strings to make at least one more just like it!

Tomorrow is "Design Wall Monday," hope you'll come by to see what's on on my wall this week.

From the desk of your auntmartisignature

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy Worldwide Quilting Day!

Yes, it's our day -- quilters, that is.  It's Worldwide Quilting Day!

To celebrate, I did a little stash enhancement.  Crafty Laine in Monument had an incredible sale, plus they offer a discount to Front Range Modern Quilt Guild members on our meeting day.  What's not to love?

I think I was quite restrained, I only bought one piece of fabric.  (OK, and some more magnets to make another Petrillo bag. And a pattern.  And a fat quarter bundle.  But still!)

This is "Period" from the Comma collection by Zen Chic.  I also bought the pattern to make the X & + quilt. I bought the jelly roll in February from High Prairie Quilts in Parker.  Now that I look at the pattern more closely, I see that it calls for fat eighth cuts, not a jelly roll.  Lucky for me, I happen to know that my fav etsy shop, FreshSqueezedFabrics has the Comma collection!

This is my last Pink Castle Fabrics Stash Stack Club.  I had to cancel my membership when my credit card was compromised.  I'm so glad I got the purple stack, because my next Scrap Squad quilt will be made with scrappy purples!  (BTW, Wells Fargo called me when only  two very small purchases were made on my card. Guess they knew I wasn't in London!)

Before my credit card bit the dust, I tried out the Moda Club from Sew Lux Fabrics & Gifts in Durham, NC.  I couldn't resist stashing the Seascapes collection for a future Sailor's quilt.  That pattern is the design for the next Fat Quarter Fun class at Ruth's Stitchery.

Last Saturday I took an all-day EQ7 class from Barb Gardner at First Stitches in Canon City.  If you ever get a chance to take a class with Barb, go for it!  We learned so much, I can pretty much design a quilt using Electric Quilt now!

Oh, and the shop had a fabric collection that was new to me, Silvia's Garden by Silvia Vassileva Studio for P&B Textiles.  I found another shop in Colorado that ordered the entire collection, so that is on my next shop hop list.

I'm in love with this new book by Emily Cier of Carolina Patchworks:

Emily is a master of modern quilts -- the book also has a companion workbook:

(photos from Emily's blog)

My best purchase of 2013 is a new camera strap.  Custom made by Crafty Coley, it's my favorite color, and it makes using my camera so much more comfortable.  Coley has an etsy shop as well as a Facebook presence, and she sells lots of custom-made items -- check it out here.

Tune in tomorrow for "Sunday is for Scraps."  I've been cutting scraps into usable sizes and shapes all week, come celebrate my progress with me!

From the desk of your auntmartisignature