Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Free Trade

It just amazes me how many different star blocks there are, and how much a block can change with just one turn of a couple half-square triangles.

I've looked ahead and there will be many more star blocks.  I probably should pay attention to which fabrics I've used for other stars, but I haven't been.  I should probably try to start deciding what blocks will go together for quilts, but I'm not.  I'm just enjoying choosing fabrics and piecing the blocks.  I'm actually finding it to be relaxing and full of creative energy.  No worries other than actually finishing it before midnight.  This is a 10-inch star and is block number 60 of 366, only 306 blocks to go!  I'm linking today with Made by Me Wednesday, Whatever You Want Wednesday, and WIP Wednesday.  I was hoping to have my I.S.T.H quilt ready to show, but it is far from being finished I will head back to the sewing room to see how far I can get.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Burgoyne Surrounded

My schedule today has been a bit odd.  Instead of working in the morning I switched to the evening shift so I could chaperon my son's ski trip.  The ski trip was canceled last night due to the RAIN we are getting instead of snow.  So, I spent this morning basting two quilts so I can machine quilt them (on my sewing machine) and then I made my block.  Thank goodness I finished the block because now that I am done working I am tired.  Funny how I get so used to my schedule.

Today's block is another big one...15 inches, and it was a chain piecing dream!  Even though there were a lot of pieces it actually went together quickly.  My husband was looking at this block tonight and he suddenly realized he had a blanket when he was little that had the same characters in it...circus animals and clowns.  What is old is new again..isn't that the way it works?  This is block number 59 of 366.  Don't forget to enter for the Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate give away here.  I am linking with Fabric Tuesday.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fifty-four Forty or Fight

Today's block as you can see uses the templates.  The last time I used them I wasn't fond of them.  I will be able to practice using this template again as it will be in six more blocks this year, and four of them are in May.  The weather should be better by then (we are expecting some sort of winter storm tonight until Wednesday), and using it probably won't bother me much then.

I think when the pieces are sewn together correctly it makes for nice star points (thus the reason for using a template).  :)  I actually really like this 12-inch block...and wouldn't this be amazing as a bed-sized quilt?!  Oh the wheels are turning.  This is block number 58 of 366.  Don't forget to enter the Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate give away you can find here, you only have until Friday!  I will be linking with Judy for Design Wall Monday.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Clay's Choice and Commenting Problem Fixed

I was informed today by a very sweet reader that my comments weren't working for the Fat Quarter Shop give away you can find here.  They are working again, and if you weren't able to enter before, please go back and enter now! :)  Thank you so much Pam for letting me know there was a problem AND how to fix it!

Today's block is Clay's Choice.  It is an 8-inch block and is number 57 of 366.  The finished blocks are begining to stack up, so much so that my husband and son actually got excited about them tonight.  There are quite a few 8-inch blocks, and I think they will really make a fun quilt.  Of course I am getting very itchy to start putting some of these together because for years I've been the queen of unfinished projects.  A lovely stack of fabrics arrived this week for finishing the quilts, but I am still going to wait for a while.  I'd hate to get to the end of the year and have a block I wished was in a quilt that was already finished.  

And I pretty much blew the stash report right out of the water this week, BUT, a person can't finish something and add it to the used stash if they don't have borders or backing for a quilt.  I also found a great sale on the Toy Box fabrics, and as I am horribly afraid I won't have enough fabric to finish these quilts, I had to purchase some...about 11 yards worth.  They didn't have the whole line so I am still looking to add some more.  I have great plans for the borders for these quilts.

The Stash Report:

Used this week:  0 yards
Used year to date:  2.5 yards
Added to this week:  20 yards
Added to year to date: 42 yards
Net used for 2012:  -39.5

One of these weeks the tables are going to turn on the Stash Report...I promise!  I'm linking with Judy today at Patchwork Times.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Barbara Frietchie Star

Today's block is another something fun in a star block.  It is a 12-inch block and is number 56 of 366.

After finishing this block literally 2 seconds ago I realized something, I need to do some studying on flying geese units.  I need a much better way of putting them together...or maybe I just need a ton of practice at doing them, but for some reason they frustrate me, and I don't like being frustrated.  Maybe I should start a flying geese quilt out of scraps so I could try out every known way of making them, and by the time I've finished I should know how to put them together easily and correctly.  Do you have a favorite way of piecing them or a great tutorial you've seen?  I finally figured out the 1/2-square triangle and they are no longer a problem, now I just need to master this.  Happy Stitching!! --Kristen

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me and a Give Away For You!!!

Yep, today is my birthday, and I celebrated the whole day.  My husband and son spoiled me rotten by simply taking me to a quilt shop so I could get the borders and backing for my son's quilt and then out for dinner.

Unfortunately you can't tell how purple the middle fabric is, but it matches perfectly with the purple in the quilt.  I was really happy I could find these fabrics, I think they are going to work well.

Today's block is Dolley Madison's Star.  It is a 9-inch block and number 55 of 366.  I'm really enjoying this theme of something in a star.

Now for the give away.  I had so much fun making the Full House quilt I'm actually going to make another one.  I received a second Full House pattern in the mail this week with an order, and I thought I would share it with one of you.  I was also thinking about how much I enjoyed receiving a $25 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop for Christmas this year.  So for my birthday I'm also giving you a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter shop!!!! :)  You can pick what you want to spend it on, and I get to know that you are enjoying doing it!

So here is how you can enter to win:

1.  Leave a comment telling me when your birthday is (you don't have to include the year).
2.  Become a follower of my blog or let me know you already are a follower.
3.  Blog about the give away and leave a comment with the link.
4.  Put a message about the give away on Facebook and leave a comment.
5.  If you don't blog or have Facebook, send an email to your friends telling them, include me in the email, and leave a comment.

Everyone has multiple chances to win.  This give away is not sponsored by anyone, I just want to share some of my happiness from today with you.  I hope your birthday this year is as happy as mine has been.  I will use the random number generator next Friday, March 2 to choose the winners.  I'm linking with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Martha Washington Star and Some Major Progress

Have you ever spent an entire day doing something so fun that it just seems to be unreal.  Now what might be really fun for one person may seem like shear torture for another, but today I spent an entire uninterrupted day in my sewing room and it was wonderful.  Days like this are few and very far between.  I think the last time I did it was maybe 13 years ago.  So it has been a long, long time, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I finished all 30 blocks for my son's quilt.  I can't even tell you how many blocks I pieced today, but the excitement grew as each one was finished.  I now have to pick them all up off the floor and do some rearranging so the colors are distributed evenly and then the rows will be sewn together and it will be ready for quilting.  We did some quick math and there are only 1380 pieces in this quilt.  It will be nice when it is just one big quilt.

Today's block is the Martha Washington Star and is an 8-inch block.  I love stars, and I really love making stars that have something interesting in the middle.  It is number 54 of 366.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Washington's Elm

Today's block is another huge 16-inch block, and the more I think about it, the more I'm realizing I need to start these bigger ones earlier in the day.  I end up working until the last minute on them every time.

This is block number 53 of 366.  I'm thinking that these larger blocks will quickly make a bed-sized quilt.  I did also finish seven blocks for my son's quilt, and I will have pictures of hopefully a completed quilt top tomorrow.  I'm linking today with WIP Wednesday and Made by Me Wednesday.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cherry Tree

Today's block has a reference to President's Day as it is the Cherry Tree block, reminding us that George Washington could not tell a lie.  It is a 7-1/2 inch block and was a joy to sew together.

It is block number 52 of 366.  It was easily completed early in the day which left more time to sew some 2-inch squares together for my son's quilt...

All 400 of them.  Each block has 20 two-inch squares in it, so I do have a ways to go yet before it is finished.

This quilt has been a work in progress for a very long time.  Tonight when I put my son to bed I told him I was going to stay up for a bit and work on his quilt.  He looked at me and said "wouldn't it be cool if I woke up in the morning and it was on my bed all put together?"  Unfortunately as desperately as I wish that were the case, it isn't going to happen tonight as I only made three blocks before I decided it was getting too late.  Give me a few more evenings and it may be a possibility.  I'm pretty sure once he gets this one, no one is ever going to have a chance at it. :)  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Monday, February 20, 2012

Design Wall Monday, Thimbles, and Texas Treasure

I started out the day finishing numbers 117 through 119 hexie flowers for the Vignette Hexagon quilt.  I got so excited about the fact that I was this close to 140 that I sorted and individually bagged all the flower pieces for the remaining 21 flowers.  I'm so close, if I can just sit still long enough to get them all put together.

Bonnie at Quiltville's Snips and Quips is having a Thimble Linky party today which I am finding very interesting.  It is fun to see what thimbles people use and why.  I've tried pretty much every thimble out there, and every time I'm in an antique store I look for the "old" thimbles to see if I can find a really pretty one.  I've never actually purchased an antique one, but I do have my grandmother's thimble which is very special to me.  

I always use a leather thimble and the one I use has the entire fingertip covered.  It seems I tend to use the side of my finger a lot, and when I use the thimbles that don't have the entire fingertip covered, I end up having a very sore finger at the end of the day.  I also found that as I tend to have a longer fingernail, the leather thimble is only one I can stand to wear as it doesn't get underneath my nail.  I wear my thimble so often that there have been times when my son has had to tell me to take it off because I don't need to wear it while I eat.  I used to find the thimbles I like in quilt stores (the early 90's) and then would order them from Herrschner's when quilt stores no longer carried them.  I've only recently found them in a quilt store again.  They are fairly cheap at $2.99 a thimble and they do last quite a long time for me.

Now on to my horror story for today.  Today's 12-inch block has a lot of tiny pieces, and when there are a lot of tiny pieces that makes for a lot of seams, which in turn makes for a lot of headaches.  In fact, this block could lead a woman to take up paper piecing and like it.  :)  I finished it, but I'm not happy with it.  As a matter of fact it has been finished for hours, and I'm so unhappy with it I actually considered not posting a picture of it.  But there goes the daily sewing of a block, blogging about it, and then posting a picture.  So dear reader, here is block 51 of 366.  Please excuse my ugly block.  This one is definitely going on the bottom of the pile, and I am fairly certain it will be never placed in a quilt.  I think it will be my reminder that as hard as I try, not all blocks are for me, and I need to accept that and move on.  

I'm linking today with Judy for Design Wall Monday, and Bonnie for Thimbles Up.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mountain Homespun

Today we hit a milestone as it is block number 50 of 366.  The stack of blocks keeps growing as does my excitement for finished quilts with them.

Mountain Homespun is a 9-inch block and requires an accurate 1/4-inch seam allowance. :)  It was an an enjoyable block to make as I rarely work with strips that thin.  Seems I'm broadening my horizons on a daily basis anymore, and I can't wait to see where I am headed.

Now for the stash report:

Used this week:  0 yards
Used year to date:  2.5 yards
Added to this week:  0
Added to year to date: 22 yards
Net used for 2012:  -19.5

I did order some fabric this week, but it hasn't arrived, so I'm not going to count it yet.  Hopefully I will finish a few quilts this week so I can offset the incoming. :)  I will be linking with Judy for the stash report.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Saturday, February 18, 2012

FNSI and Mosaic

I was busy last night, and I probably stayed up a little too late, but I had a lot of fun sewing.

This quilt is called Grandma's Attic from This and That.  It is a pattern for charms, but I didn't use them, I used some yardage I had from Buggy Barn.  It isn't supposed to have a border on it, but I'm thinking maybe I should add one.  I'm going to wait a bit to decide.

Then I cut 409 more 2-inch squares for my son's quilt.  I soon realized that 409 squares is a lot of squares. Hopefully tomorrow I can get the sets of four together and then get back to piecing the blocks.

And here is my block for today.  It is an 8-inch block and is number 49 of 366.  I didn't care much for the piecing as everything is on the bias, and I think that is just because I wasn't in the mood for sewing on the bias tonight.  Another day I'd probably have no problem with it and would make a whole quilt with them.  Have a wonderful Saturday/Sunday and Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Friday, February 17, 2012


As I was stitching this block tonight I kept thinking I had seen it before, but I knew I had never put one in a quilt.  I finally realized I had knit a bedspread with this pattern in it a couple of years ago.

It is an easy block, but has a fun zig zag to it.  I know there are a lot of different ways this block could be used in a quilt.  If you put the zig zags horizontally it would look completely different (kind of like Charlie Brown's shirt).  And what fun would it be to have the pattern go the length of the bed?  It could be used in a two color quilt or every zig zag a different color (which then would remind me of Joseph's coat of many colors).  I am definitely going to be putting this block in my "needs to be a bed-sized quilt" pattern list. :)  It is a 9-inch block and is number 48 of 366.  I am linking tonight with Can I get a Whoop Whoop!   Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Thursday, February 16, 2012

True Lover's Knot

Today's block is a big fun one.  It is a 14-inch block and is number 47 of 366. 

This block looks a whole lot more complicated than it actually is.  The best part, it could all be chain pieced which made it easy to put together.  Another good thing, its early and I'm thinking of heading right back down to the sewing room. :)

Tomorrow night is another FNSI, and there is still time to join.  I have my Friday night carefully planned.  I have a class from 6:30 to 8:30 and at 9:30 Gone With the Wind is on TV.  The plan is to be sewing for the whole three hours while watching Scarlet and Rhett.  :)  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Watercolor Heart

As I made my block tonight I sat and thought about how my grandmother and I used to collect stamps.  My grandmother was a great letter writer and always sent the perfect card.  She also opened the mail for my grandfather and uncle's business so she had access to some great stamps.  Every Monday night she would bring me a few of the best.

I've been thinking for the last few weeks that making a postage stamp quilt would be a lot of fun.  You could make really elaborate designs with the tiny squares or do a random one with a strip from each fabric in your stash.  After going through my stash this weekend I thought it would really be fun to do that, that is after I have all my quilts cut out because I would never want to end up 1-1/2 inches short on something.  :) This block is 6 inches and is number 46 of 366.

I'm linking today with WIP Wednesday.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be My Valentine

Be My Valentine is definitely an appropriate name for today's 8-inch block, number 45 of 366.  It is another variation of a log cabin block and you know, I'm really starting to like these for never having done them before.  I'm also thinking four of these would make a really cute wall hanging, and even just this one would make a fun pillow.

I also tried some machine applique with the tops of the heart, and I found it rather enjoyable.  There are about four Don't Look Now! designs that I would love to try, but she uses machine applique, and I've always been a bit leery of it.  I'm thinking now I might just have to attempt one of her patterns.

I'm linking today with Fabric Tuesday and Pat Sloan.  Happy Stitching and Happy Valentine's Day!!  --Kristen

Monday, February 13, 2012

Design Wall Monday, Log Cabin Heart, and My Way of Doing Hexagons

How's that for the world's longest blog title? :)  Evidently it must mean I have a lot to talk about today.

First off is the design wall.  I did finish another block for my son's quilt, and then I realized I didn't cut enough half-square triangles, and then I realized I didn't have enough 2-inch squares for the corners...and then I realized I only had 5-1/2 inch strips left and you can't get 3-7/8 strips and 2-inch strips out of 5-1/2 inches.  After a major panic attack and cleaning session, I did find another fabric that I had bought with the rest of these and just never cut (I think the cutting became tedious and I gave up.)  Lesson learned, keep all of the fabric for a project TOGETHER.  Oh well, I found it, and my sewing room is neat and organized so everything is good.

Today's block is 4-1/2 inches, is called Log Cabin Heart, and is number 44 of 366.  Less than a week and I will be 50 blocks into this project.  :)

Now for the hexagon flowers.  When I put my hexagon flowers together I start by sewing all the outer hexagons to the center one.  This way I don't have to stop and start my thread, I just keep sewing all the way around the center hexagon, and I can take the time to match up my designs on the outer petals.

I will usually have about 10 with the middle's sewn before I start working on making them a complete flower.

The seams are then easy to stitch, you do one, knot and snip your thread and move on to the next seam.

You can quickly move around the flower and within minutes all six seams are done.  Because you already did the matching of patterns when you sewed around the center hexagon, you don't need to worry about which hexagon to add next.

I was in the car for an hour and 20 minutes on Saturday and finished 6 hexagon flowers this way.  I can't wait to hear how it helps you make these cute flowers quicker!

I'm linking today with Judy at Patchwork Times.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rail Fence and Some Hexies

I spent a large part of the day in my sewing  It is never a fun thing to have to clean it out, but it always feels good to have an organized space to be creative.

Today is a 12-inch Rail Fence.  I think this would be a fun block to use for a quilt could line up the stripes different ways and make some interesting designs.  I actually think it would take longer to figure out your block placement then it would to piece the blocks.  It is number 43 of 366.

Here are hexies 111 through 116...I can see that 140 flower mark getting closer and closer.  I worked on them in the car yesterday as I didn't get anything ready for binding.  I will have pictures tomorrow of how I put them together, which really seems to speed up the process (at least for me).

I almost forgot my stash report for this week, which isn't much, but should definitely be improved next week.  I am linking with Judy at Patchwork Times...

Used this week:  0 yards
Used year to date:  2.5 yards
Added to this week:  2
Added to year to date: 22 yards
Net used for 2012:  -19.5

It is the beginning of another week...and a holiday week at that.  :)  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Some More Progress and Underground Railroad

Today was an eventful and fun day.  We traveled to my son's last basketball tournament of the season.  They played well and won a game, so we all had a good time.  I worked on some more hexies, but I will show those tomorrow.  When I got home I was motivated to see some progress on my son's quilt...

I finished six more blocks today.  As I don't have a picture of the finished quilt, I didn't realize that when I put the blocks together the squares on the corners would line up.  I didn't take a lot of time laying them out now, but they are striking.  I still have a lot of blocks to put together, but I know the whole family is really looking forward to this one being completed.

Today's block, Underground Railroad, number 42 of 366, is a 12-inch block, and I really wish the photo did the fabrics justice.  I used Darlene Zimmerman's fabrics yesterday and today and this one is a lot brighter in person.  It went together easily, and I would love to do a whole quilt with this block too...however, my husband nervously asked me tonight just what we are going to do with all these blocks (I don't think he ever thought I would make it this far).  I just smiled and said, "wait and see."  :)  I'm actually thinking of heading back to the sewing room to see if I can finish just one more block for my son's quilt...Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lincoln's Cabin Home

I wonder if Honest Abe's real house was as hard to build as this one was.  I should have known because I've heard all about how fun this block is for the Just Takes 2 quilt.  That one was paper pieced so I was pretty excited when I saw this block was pieced...that is until I had to use templates.

Maybe it was just too late in the day to be working on it...or maybe I was just too tired, but those templates were something else.  Oh well, it's done and I will move on, except I have to make another one of these blocks for my Just Takes 2 quilt.  I'm going to wait until tomorrow to decide which way to make it.  This is a 9-inch block and is number 41 of 366.  Happy Stitching!! --Kristen

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lincoln's Platform

Today's block is one that I can honestly say I have never seen before, at least not with the squares around the border.  I love this one, and I think what really makes it for me is the fabric.

I have no idea why I chose to use 30's fabrics for this project, but I have to say, I am so glad I did.  They are just so cheerful and happy, and how could a person not smile when they look at them.  I can imagine being a little girl and choosing some of these fabrics for a special dress, and I know these blocks are going to make some wonderful quilts.  I did notice that it really is a necessity to have your seams right at a quarter inch to have the squares and the sashing line up.  Now how do you suppose women long ago kept their seam allowances the same, especially if they were hand piecing. They really were talented weren't they.  This is block 40 of 366 and is a 10-1/2 inch block.

Have a wonderful Thursday evening or Friday where ever you are in the world, and thank you so much for sharing these blocks with me!  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kansas Troubles

I never looked at the name of this block until I went to type it now, and it fits.  I had no trouble getting it together, it was actually rather easy, but I did have trouble getting the light just right for the photo, and that is all my problem not the camera or the block.

And well, Benny decided he needed to help too.  As you can see it is a huge block, 16 inches in fact.  As I was working on it I started thinking that it would be fun to make it into a pillow, but then there are quite a few of these bigger blocks and what fun would it be to put them all into one quilt.  Not so many blocks would be needed, and I could easily have a bed sized quilt or a really nice wall hanging with just a few of them.  We will see, I'm getting a little ahead of myself here.  But it is always fun to dream. :)

Here it is minus Benny.  It is block 39 of 366.  I'm linking with WIP Wednesday and Made By Me Wednesday.  Happy Stitching!!  --Kristen

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chimneys and Cornerstones and Some Progress

I'm going to show you the progress I made on my son's quilt first.  I'm actually really excited about it, and was surprised at what the block looks like when it is put together even with working on it as much as I have the last couple of days.

I hope all the rest of the blocks go together as well as this one did.  I did spend a little time picking which colors go where, and I'm hoping that I become a little more brave as I get further along with this one.  Blue isn't a color I work with a lot, and I have to say that I'm really enjoying it.  

Today's block, Chimneys and Cornerstones, is an 8-inch block and number 38 of 366.  I have never done a log cabin-type block before either, but this one was fun to do, and not as complicated as I thought it would be.  I did rotate where the colors are and some log cabin blocks seem to get so complicated with the color placement.  This is also such a stretch for me with the colors as I normally tend to be pretty subdued when it comes to color choices.  Tomorrow I'm going to try to get some quilting done.  We have a road trip ahead of us this weekend (just a day trip), and I love to put the binding on quilts in the car.  With everything we have going on this week that might be expecting a bit too much, but a person can always try.  And if there isn't a binding ready, there are always those hexagons that need some stitching.  

I'm linking today with Fabric Tuesday.  Thank you so much for stopping by!  Happy Stitching!!--Kristen

Monday, February 6, 2012

Design Wall Monday and Next Door Neighbor

The block for today is Next Door Neighbor and it is an 8-inch block.  When I first looked at it this morning I thought, no big deal and figured it wouldn't take long to piece it...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sew Saturday

What a great day we had today.  I slept in, went for a run first thing this morning, and after a waffle breakfast we all spent the day working on our "hobbies."  I sewed and my son and husband worked on the pinewood derby cars, sorted football cards, and we all watched a movie.  What a fun day!  I love stay at home Saturdays.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Somehow the day got away from me again.  I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to add tabs to my blog.  I still don't know if I've really figured it out, but with a little more work hopefully I will see progress.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hand of Friendship and a Finished UFO

Wow has today been a good day.  I completed my block early, and I finished a quilt that has been a UFO for a long time! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Friendship Star

I had hoped to have more to show you, but unfortunately I lost track of time and it is so late now my eyes are having a hard time staying open.  Tomorrow is another day, and I should have a finished quilt.