Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Block tips

Open Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol. 6 to page 40 and 81 to see the instructions and pattern for the Swirling Plovers block.

Now, an alternate piecing method (that's faster, fewer pieces).


 For one 12" finished block, cut (18" long strips)

Background:    2 X 1 3/4" for #1 & 10                   
                        4 X 1 3/8" for #9 & 11
                        6 X 1 1/8" for the rest
Dark:  (also 18" long strips)
                       1 X 1 1/4" for #8
                       9 X  7/8" for rest

Sew: (with 1/4" seams):       4 X 1 3/8" + 4 X 7/8" (for # 9 & 11)
                                            5 X 1 1/8" + 5 X 7/8" (for rest)
                                            1 X 1 1/8" + 1 X 1 1/4" (for #8)
Sewn strips

Press: Seams to darker strips (not background)
Use strips to make the log cabin. Place the dark strips where indicated on your foundation paper. Don't skip the step of marking where these darker strips go, you'll get confused while sewing!

Revised Pattern with Eleven Pieces



Sew on Drawn Lines


Trim Quarter block to 6 1/2"


The blocks won't each turn out the exact same as you don't need to worry about placing the strips exactly, just as long as they cover the seam lines. Just treat the pieced strip as one piece of fabric. 
Complete the block as instructed in the magazine. For multiple blocks, cut and sew more strips!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I've contacted the winner from my blog contest last week. Kris won the copy of the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol. 6. You can see her work on her blog, .

The magazine is scheduled to be available in shops today (13th). Ask if you don't find it.

In the next day or so I will post another bit about my block, some tips to make it faster to finish.

Another version in primary colors

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Tour Stop

Business first, if you didn’t come from Quiltmaker’s blog, please visit them at You’ll find a lot of good information/inspiration and links to other quilting bloggers (with even more inspiration).

Second, I’m running a little contest for a free copy of the newest, Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 6 which will be out in a few days. The publisher will mail a copy to my winner. My contest is super simple, just leave a comment at the end of this blog (whatever you want to say, ‘hey it’s raining’ will do). I’ll put the names of the commenters in a hat and draw one (promise I’ll close my eyes). I’ll ask the winner for her/his address when I notify.

Now on to the real information:

The block I did for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 6 is a log cabin variation. My inspiration came from a Japanese sashiko design that uses the cute little plover birds and swirls. I arranged four log cabin blocks to look swirly and appliqued simple plover shapes. A little easy embroidery finishes the block off. My log cabins were constructed with pre-pieced logs, so it’s not as complicated as it looks.

The Block in the Book

I did a few more blocks in other colors and used other applique designs. Of course the more I did the more I thought of to do. If you make any, please send me a picture!
Halloween Version, 12"

Fall Version, 12"
Christmas Version, 8"
Spring Version, 12"
Close up, Spring Version

That’s it for now. Don't forget to leave a comment to enter the give-away contest!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Laptop Bag

Off to Houston I go....

I finally made a bag for my laptop. I used some scraps (a Waverly print) leftover from a chair recovering project. I had everything I needed for the project at home already (I have too much stuff.) There is a little pocket inside to hold business cards. I used fusible midweight interfacing and fusible Pellon batting inside the layers. Seems stiff enough and padded enough.
Used an old button on top of the velcro

I didn't use a pattern, just figured it out as I went and made it to fit my rather large laptop. Of course there are lots of patterns available to make your own.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blog Tour Coming up

Please check back with me on November 8th for a special post which will include among other things a contest to give away a copy of the upcoming publication of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. I'll have a block included!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Postcards, Halloween 2012

I did five designs of fabric postcards this Halloween. Sent some out to friends and some are on my Etsy site (

Halloween Postcards

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Halloween Crafts

A few things I've made

The Pumpkin

He's made from a piece of old kimono wool fabric (has the moth holes to prove it), some wool felt, rick rack and old buttons. He's got a bean bottom. The old toys were my mother's! 

The Crow



She stands on wire legs 4" high, with  three fabric eggs in her fabric nest. The scraps are from the Halloween quilt I finished earlier this year.

The Coasters

I made these several years ago and get them out every October. It was fun to use some scraps of the many Halloween fabrics I have. I also used fancy stitches on my machine. I enjoy my coffee out of my October mug too!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Camera Case a Pattern!

 Camera Case

Supplies: The actual measurements depend on the size bag you’re making, see below for a better idea.
2 fat quarters in coordinating prints
Piece of fusible fleece
About ½ yard of cord
Cord-lock toggle, if desired

Measure the camera. CL is the length or height of the long side. CC is the circumference or distance around the short side of the camera (measure over the lens).

Sizes to cut fabric:

Outside: CL + 2” (CCL)  X  CC + 2.25” (CCC)

Lining: CCL + .5” X CCC + .5”

Example; my camera is 4.5 “  long (CL) and has a circumference of 8.75” (CC), so I cut my outside piece:
6.5” X 11” and the lining I cut 7” X 11.5”

Cut the batting: CCL - .25” X CCC  (my batting was cut 6.25” X 11”)

Cut the top cording sleeve 2.25” X CCC  (my piece was 2.25” X 11”)

Cut the cording: 6” + CCC (so mine was 17”)

Sew the outside to the lining, right sides together along the long edges; line up one short side, the other side of the lining will be .5” longer. The lining will also be .5” longer at the bottom.

Open piece and press seam to the lining. Lay batting on the back of the front piece along the seam line. Iron in place if using fusible fleece, baste if not. Fold the lining over the fleece and press the whole piece from the outside, pressing the seam smooth.

Quilt by machine either in a grid pattern (draw it on, or use your presser foot for even lines) or quilt whatever design works for you. 

Sew right sides together the side seam, using a .25” seam. Sew all the layers together in one seam. (The longer side of the lining will still be longer, the other edges will line up.) Fold the lining over and tuck the edges under the seam allowance. Pin and then hand whip stitch the lining. See the photo.

Side seam, lining side, hand sew

Position the bag so the side seam is in the middle; sew the bottom (right sides together) using a .25” seam from the edge of the outside piece. The lining will be .5” longer. Trim one side of the lining off even with the outside. See the photo. Fold the longer lining piece over the seam allowance as you did the side seam, pin and hand whip stitch. See the photo.

Bottom seam with lining trimmed on one side

Bottom seam, hand sew

Make a box bottom. See the photo. Fold the bottom and measure 1.5” across, or less if your camera is skinny. Stitch across both ends.

Fold the cording sleeve ends .25”, then .25” again. Machine stitch these hems. Fold the sleeve in half lengthwise, press. Then fold .25” along each side (lengthwise) and press. Position this sleeve on the top of the case (with the case in the middle), leaving a gap of about 1” on one side. Pin in place, with the bottom edge about 3/8” down from the bag’s top edge. Machine stitch very close to the edge of the sleeve and then again about 1/8” up. See the photo.
Cord Sleeve fits over the finished top edge

Thread the cord through the sleeve. Use a cord-lock toggle if desired. Knot the ends of the cord.

Notes:  Make notes to yourself as to what ‘CL’ and ‘CC’ are for your camera.  

I like to use Clover’s white marking pen for dark fabrics and Pilot’s Frixion erasable gel pen for light fabrics. Both iron out. (But of course, test your fabric before using!)

I also like Pellon’s fusible fleece for my craft projects.

I hope your camera will be happy in its new home. The bag can be made in different sizes for other things too.

If you have any questions on construction, leave a comment here or e-mail me at .