Addition to Block 49 – Cups and Saucers – BlockHeads2

***Sorry for not adding the block directions, a wee distracted with the historic flooding around our area. We are high and dry in our 90 year old home, but many people we know have lost furnishings, some their homes, cars, boats, farms have lost livestock, work travel routes are 2 hours instead of 20 minutes. Roads have washed out, bridges too, closed roads and long work arounds.  Epic flood miles upriver and miles downriver, add the devastation caused by smaller rivers that feed into the Missouri River. Hard to wrap my head around all of it.

Here is the link to the block, again so sorry I forgot. 


Block 49 – Cups and Saucers – BlockHeads2

Greetings – according to the calendar – Spring is just around the corner!

You won’t want to hear this, but I love Winter, so this years winter was a favorite for me. I had no scheduled travels, was home to make soups from scratch, sew and stitch, just perfect for me. Think of this along the lines of ‘something for everyone’.

It is my turn for Block 49 – Cups and Saucers.

I’ll begin by showing you the back side of my block for pressing and using my clipping trick at the seam intersections.  This allows me to distribute thickness at the seam intersection, and press seams the way I want to press them.  I began clipping because . . . I learned to make quilts by hand, not by machine.

With hand-piecing one sews from dot to dot and NOT across the seam allowance.  In the 1980’s I had to figure some things out for myself,  which lead me to pressing seams the way I wanted to, so I could hand quilt ‘in the ditch’.  Using the clipping trick allowed me to have a ditch for quilting (by hand or machine) where I wanted it to be.

That is all, simple, right?

Cups and Saucers – back of block for pressing

I also used no-waste Flying Geese method for the Flying Geese in this block.  Since I’m old fashioned, I’m not a fan of flippy corners.  There are many ways to accomplish anything in quiltmaking.  Aren’t we lucky to have ‘choices’!

Here is my Block this week:

Block 49 – Cups and Saucers

I hope you like it and enjoy making it, and maybe you do not recognize the fabrics?  A new line named ‘Shelbyville’ will be available in August 2019.  Wait till you see the rest of it!

Happy Wednesday!

***Sorry for not adding the block directions, a wee distracted with the historic flooding around our area. We are high and dry in our 90 year old home, but many people we know have lost furnishings, some their homes, cars, boats, farms have lost livestock, work travel routes are 2 hours instead of 20 minutes. Roads have washed out, bridges too, closed roads and long work arounds.  Epic flood miles upriver and miles downriver, add the devastation caused by smaller rivers that feed into the Missouri River. Hard to wrap my head around all of it.

Here is the link to the block, again so sorry I forgot. 


Simple Friendships II – part 1

Today is the day, as I told you I would Blog about my projects for our ‘Kim and Jo’ book, Simple Friendships II.

I’ve said before, I don’t design on the computer, I use my design wall and play with blocks, audition fabrics, then determine which choice, and proceed.  I also take pictures with my iPhone, so I can look at the possibilities, the camera sees things differently, than I do.  I find it very helpful in decision making.

First Project – Churn Dash block used in my ‘Sparkle’ quilt

I selected the palette from ‘Jo’s Shirtings’ for my quilt. Shirtings backgrounds with the soft reds, charcoal, and medium light browns were selected from various lines, old and new.

The picture below shows the blocks on my design wall, partially atop a medium light brown print from ‘Jo’s Shirtings’.  Seemed a wee bland on the light brown.  How to problem solve – don’t toss the light brown, how about cutting some strips from the charcoal check, then what . . . try a stair step concept alternating the charcoal check and the medium light brown print, add the soft red cornerstones, and then I loved it!

Traditional with a fresh take? Sounds good to me.

Now to sew to make rows and assemble the top while on the design wall.  I know many of you make stacks and sew from stacks, I don’t do that. There are always options and choices, no right or wrong.  This is what I do, and am not changing now, seems to work for me.  <g>

arranging sashing strips to form stair step sashing, will add a border

Final result:

beauty shot – love it!


Next up – ‘Yesterday’ quilt, Ohio Star block

I wanted to make this quilt to use during Christmas Season, I think I would like to use it over the cupboard door in the dining room. A quilt I love to use at Christmas does not have to be red and green.  Just pretty and the red is perfect at Christmas in our 90 year old home, furnished with antiques mostly from PA and OH, and good reproduction furniture also from PA, OH, VA and New England. That is also another story of 20 years of collecting.

The border fabric is close to 20 years old, an early Baum print.  The gorgeous red print setting fabric is from ‘New Hope’ – love, love, love that line.  The Ohio Star blocks are from assorted fabrics old and new, my goal was to have the feel of an antique quilt with vintage charm.

one plan is to fold it over the cupboard door

Here is a close up of the corner of the quilt.

close up of some fabrics

Picture from our book:

Yesterday quilt


Harvest Home quilt is next

The ‘Hearth & Home’ block is used in my ‘Harvest Home’ quilt.

This quilt was made to be used on our harvest table.  I have Polish Pottery dishes and also some reproduction redware dishes, I felt no border was needed.

with Polish Pottery

with Redware pottery

and of course with Yellowware pottery, as shown in our book.

Harvest Home with Yellowware pottery

Pretty versatile small quilt treasure.

Gaggle of Geese quilt.

Love the block, now what to do?  Played on the wall of course to see what happened with turning the blocks.

auditioning two ideas at once

Across the top is four blocks with the larger dark triangles pointing toward the center, three blocks across.  I continued with that concept into the center row. Bottom row started playing with the blocks turning the dark corners toward the center.

There was something about the light triangles coming together that bothered me (probably a Jo thing), so ended up going with the bottom arrangement.

Here is my quilt top sewn together. Decided I didn’t want a border for this one, the lights and darks are balanced and a border skewed that for me.  I went with the no border option.

Gaggle of Geese top

Gaggle of Geese beauty shot – so pretty!

That is four of my seven projects this afternoon.

Will blog about the remaining three projects soon.  Enjoy your weekend!

Warm Wishes from snowy Nebraska!

7:30 am 1/12/2019  8″ to 9″

approx 1pm – after lunch out today, east entrance to Arbor Lodge Park, the line is the antenna on our Pickup.  Mother Nature puts on a most beautiful show!

Stars and more Stars

Greetings in the New Year!

I have great hopes of finishing projects this year, making a dent in WIP’s, and of course start new ones, we always have to do that.

Below I want to share a little story of 4″ sawtooth star quilts.  ‘Hickory Road’ arrived here toward Fall last year.  Since I’m shifting gears a wee bit, you know like off the road for teaching travels, 2016 was the last year.  It really is time for Russ and Jo to do some traveling with no work involved. And, of course, have time for friends and family visit. A little road trips with friends, coffee, lunch, an afternoon of stitching, maybe happy hour?

Trips to see friends and family in other states is on our agenda this year.

I’m happily designing fabric lines with Moda, and also happily publishing through Martingale.  This has made my life much easier.  I’m also going to the Ambassador Wellness Center (aka gym) for walking and using machines, per a coach, every other day. Eating better, the trick is to stay healthy, not to take meds if possible.

And . . . I need to sort through close to 25 years of accumulation (TMI), purge old paperwork, stacks of old magazines, sorting through file drawers, figure out what we have to keep forever, what to keep for 7 years, and what can be sent to recycle.  I won’t mention closets but they need attention too. The studio is a top secret mess.  I think if I spend an hour here and/or there it will get done, eventually, and that is perfect for me.

I did a purchased book purge, donated them to the IQSC in Lincoln.  They then sort the donation, if something is in there that they don’t have in their library, that is where the book goes.  If they have it, the books are priced and sold in their gift shop.  That is a big win-win for me.

So . . . need to get back on track . . . my thought is to use a block from a recent book with Martingale in a project, you have the directions to make the block, then you can make the quilt too!

The first top I made with ‘Hickory Road’, of course in Jo fashion, I threw in some pieces from ‘Spice It Up’, ‘Jo’s Shirtings’ and from ‘Reflections’.  It is all about color for me, not just the line.

Hint – sort and store fabrics by color, then it is so easy to use older pieces with a new line.  Kind of justifies fabric purchases when you use it, not your fault if you didn’t realize you needed to buy less.  That is my story and I’m sticking to it.  But, then there is always the next quilt is my justification, most always scrappy!

You will find the block in ‘Jo’s Little Favorites III’ with Martingale – quilt is named “Star Shine” – 4″ sawtooth star. You bought the book, now use it in other ways, could end up being a very favorite book.

JLFIII – Star Shine

Here is my top, recently sandwiched and am in the process of hand quilting it.

Sawtooth Stars

Now, if you tip the book quilt for a straight set, not on-point, voila!  Make 12 blocks, but change the background to the dark fabric, the star points are the light fabric and a medium fabric in the center. Add a narrow border, maybe 2″ finished?? (cut 2 1/2″, maybe you want yours wider?).

Finally below is the second quilt I sewed with ‘Hickory Road’ and once again added blues and a brown print from ‘Timeless’ line, and some more brown prints and background prints from ‘Spice It Up’. These 4″ blocks are two fabrics this time, with light backgrounds.

‘Hickory Road’ Stars

‘Hickory Road’ will ship to your local or fav quilt shop this month, now you are prepared!  Still a Girl Scout.

Wishes for loads of good sewing projects and finishes in 2019!


Wagon Wheels journey in 2018 – a wee bit long

Once again we were fortunate to be able to travel to France in Spring 2017 to travel with our Aussie friends Linda and Paul Collins.  We attended the most wonderful show in Nantes, hosted by the famous Quiltmania Magazine and book publisher.  Was fortunate for a beautiful side trip to Brouage.

And a few other meanderings as we were gone ‘a while’.

Every two years, Brouage hosts a most wonderful reproduction quilt exhibit in 2 halls, made by a group of ladies.  They are given 2 years to make their reproduction quilt for exhibit, most have been made ‘entirely by hand’  . . .  you know, hand pieced, hand appliqué, assembled by hand and hand quilted.  This old fashioned girl was smitten.

I saw a certain quilt that I felt I needed to make one for me.

After returning home and sharing the pictures with my sewing friends, one said I think American Jane (a Moda designer) has a pattern for that.  Here it is:

Spinning Wheels

My friend ordered us patterns, because if you can buy the pattern why draft it?  Would have to dig deep in my old skills to draft.  I learned to draft from Jinny Beyer’s book in the 1980’s.

When the pattern arrived, it is for paper foundation piecing, no problem.  I did not want to machine piece, I wanted to hand piece the blocks.

So . . . I made templates.  How easy is that!


Next I pulled fabrics to make 4 blocks, as I wanted to see how it all went together.  I marked the fabrics, cut out the pieces adding seam allowance, enjoyed hand piecing the quadrants.  Then selected the strips to join the quadrants, used a ruler to mark those, adding seam allowance, and assembled the first 4 blocks.  Was so much fun to see them come together!

Next I auditioned additional fabrics for the next 12 blocks.

auditioning the fabrics for each block

The light is the center, the next two fabrics are the wedges that form the wheel, the bottom larger piece is the block background.  I had to see what things look like.  This is not the final selection, but always a process.

auditioning Background fabrics

Next I moved the background to the top of the piles to see if I had a nice variation of fabrics.

Next the marking and cutting began. I carefully stacked pieces for each block and placed them in a mesh bag for travel.

pinning the spokes to the center quarter circle

Lots of pins to hold the pieced arc to the center quarter circle to stitch.

other side of the pinned spokes to the quarter circle

This is what the back side looked like, because you need to know, right?

ready to pin the background

Ready to pin the background to the unit and stitch.

hand pieced 48 quadrants, 4 per block for 12 blocks

This vacation included a 4 day drive to Portland, Oregon to attend Spring Quilt Market in 2018. One night was spent on the Columbia Gorge and visited the museum, followed by 4 nights in Portland (always fun, right?).  And the food!  Quilt Market was fun too!

Then the vacation part . . . first to visit friends south of Eugene, OR.  After the visit we finally made it to Crater Lake, roads were open to the Visitors Center, a most gorgeous view, so happy we finally got to see it.  Our past trips, the park was closed due to late snow.  Meant to be in 2018!

Meandered down to northern California to reach I80 across Nevada, it was an absolutely gorgeous drive that time of year (May), and the Nevada  ‘sky’ was amazing, seems I took a few pictures (not sharing though).  Had no idea northern Nevada was that beautiful (thinking desert like the cowboy movies LOL).  Felt it would be boring, not at all!  Maybe the time of year had something to do with it?

On to Utah to visit Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, both so amazing and very beautiful, a day in each. Very, very happy we were able to see them!  Words do not describe the view, pictures do not capture the colors like the eyes.

Next up . . . Santa Fe, NM for 4 nights,  a couple road trips to nearby towns, including a wee bit of shopping, and of course good food.  We love Santa Fe, has been entirely too long since we’ve been there.  Close to 20 years.  We would go after Christmas for a week, it was magical.  Love the luminarias. When driving around the area it felt spiritual.  Maybe it was being winter that made it feel different than late May?  Still wonderful in May!

Denver was next as I needed to see my cousin Fred (our moms were sisters and we grew up two doors apart).  We spent for 3 nights in Denver, I needed a really big catch up. Denver is also a great city, and Fred gives the best car tours, and finds really good places for us to eat.  Always more to any story, but it doesn’t matter here.

Finally the last leg home to SE Nebraska, 23 days and 5,400 miles under our belts. I’m fortunate that Russ loves to drive, which freed up the time for me to stitch these block units.  I did drive a couple of times for an hour or so.  Seems my hands were itching to stitch instead of drive.  And, I had a goal of having the 48 quadrants pieced when we arrived home.  FYI – I do love to drive on long trips too.

After getting home the next step was the block bars selection, all had the same red print in the center, and yes I hand pieced the bars part too.

The part I machine pieced was joining the blocks and adding the borders.

close up

Close up of what I call Wagon Wheels.

And . . . now my quilt!

Wagon Wheels – a beautiful journey for me

No I did not hand quilt it, I have a few other projects for handwork and lots more project that need attended to.  I sent it out to be beautifully machine quilted by Lori Kukuk in Kansas.

This quilt has miles of memories in it, that is what I love about quiltmaking.

So happy with my journey, hope you enjoy it too!