Monday, August 31, 2009


My friend, Chris, over at We Love Quilting! is having a SURPRISE giveaway.

I suggest you go enter, I did.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Half Square Triangle Tutorial

I am going to be ambitious this morning and see if I can write my first tutorial. Here is a method to make half square triangles (HSTs) quick and easy. You use two squares of fabric, sew four seams, cut and press for EIGHT finished HSTs. I confess that I don't know the math to make the exact sizes. I used 10 inch squares and my squares are four and three-quarters inches. (If you make the larger you can trim them down. First cut your fabric squares. Mine are 10 inches. (layer cake - but check them, I had to trim a couple!) Layer two of the face to face. Mark diagonal lines - corner to corner with a pencil or pen, it won't show. Next mark lines across the middles. All of the lines should MEET AND CROSS in the middle. At this point I suggest pinning thru the edges at the side to side and top to bottom lines. ( you do NOT sew on those lines. So the pins will not be in the way.) Sew quarter inch seams using the diagonal lines as your guide. On each side of the line you should have a seam. That will be FOUR seams
Remove pins and iron it flat. Go to the cutting board. Using your ruler for a nice straight cut and following the lines cut your piece into squares first using those side to side and top to bottom lines. Each piece will have two diagonal seam lines.
Now cut each square on the diagonal lines. Chop of the corners. (or if you are hesitant, uncertain etc. you can cut the dog ears off AFTER pressing.) I am brave and chop away. Then just iron them open and you have EIGHT HSTs quick and easy.
When doing small HSTs I prefer to use Thangles (or triangles on a roll) but for larger ones, this is so simple. Let me know if you use this tutorial. And feel free to link to it on your blog if you want.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tablerunner - Completed!

I started a new table runner after I sold the last one in my Etsy store. I finished it after work tonight. I made this one a bit wider and it came in a few inches shorter. This one is done using the envelope method. So, no binding needed. You simply layer the top, bottom and batting; sew around most of the edge and then turn it right side out. Fold in the unfinished edge, iron, then topstitch around the entire thing. You can't tell which edge was not sewn first. Then I quilted in the ditch and embellished a bit with a leaf stitch on my machine. Green isn't my first color choice most days, but with the four patch blocks I had made for the center, it was perfect.

The four patches are made with a charm pack from Moda. Apparently I have tossed the label so I don't know the collection name. The sections dividing the four patches is a bit of a Moda layer cake from the Tranquility by Sandy Gervais line.

Please, ooh and ahh to your heart's content. Ha ha.

In other news Ryan over at I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts is having a cool Give-A-way. He has a a 2010 Sewing Day to Day Calendar with over 100 projects. I entered.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Two 2 Yard cuts of Fabric

The fabulous Two Yard Giveaway is going on. Up for grabs at Frummie's Quilted Garden is a lovely prize of two 2 yard cuts of quilt shop quality fabric.

Go on and enter....I will be happy to take it off your hands! ha ha

Sunday, August 23, 2009

More giveaways

My friend Pat over at Artfully Ooglebloops is looking t raise her follower list to 75. She is giving away a lovely little Japanese bag of her own design. Go follow and enter!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another giveaway - 2 Quilts!

Over at Trends and Traditions, Heather is having a wonderful giveaway in celebration of her blogiversary.
She has three prize and two of them are quilts! You know you gotta go enter. hey if you don't want the prize, send it to me. my birthday is in September!

The Loud and the Colorful(and an alert)

After an incident with my original swap blocks, I had to start re-making them. Oh NO!

When I went to get more muslin, I decided that I had a 40% off coupon, so I looked at the Pigma Micron pens. Hmm.... look at those! A set of six pens with glorious COLOR. Now if you know me at all, you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE color. More than I intended to spend, but sometimes you have to splurge, right? Oh, did I mention a 40% off coupon??? I went for it. I believe that the new signature strips are BETTER than the first ones. Well, maybe it is the COLOR.

The Loud: There are only two things about me that are loud. My use of color and my singing voice. My speaking voice tends to be softer, but when I sing, well I let it rip. I support the tone as best I can and I blast! People who know me but haven't heard me sing are usually very surprised.

Now you know about the loud AND the colorful, so without further ado - Here are some of the signature strips!

Signature Block centers

Oh swappers, not to worry, the folds at the center are my way of marking the centers before I did the drawing to keep it somewhat centered. It will iron right out.

Oh yes. today is the last day to enter at PS I Quilt

Monday, August 17, 2009

Whew! Sorting and Storage

I have run out of room for fabric. Horrors! I will try the "fabric diet" that I have heard of. You know, I won't buy anymore stash fabric. I will only buy if I absolutely have to for a project. And only then if I can't make something else work.

Today, I got home from my mini-trip, overnight in Atlanta. I stopped on the way home and bought 2 and half yards of fabric. This is where it begins.

When I got home, I decided to start re-sorting my fabric. It was/is in a rolling plastic drawer unit. I took each drawer out one at a time. I took each piece of fabric, folded in half - selvedeges to the center fold, then folded around my 9.5 square ruler. Each drawer will hold two stacks neatly folded this way. (I read about someone else folding fabric that way - it was NOT my idea)

The smaller cuts are folded similarly but into 5 inch wide stacks.(approximately, I did NOT go get a smaller ruler fold those.)

Now I have a confession. I never thought I would EVER say this. I am tired of looking at and folding fabric. I don't even want to sew tonight. Of course I was tired before I started. I actually thought this would be a nice way to wind down. Whoops. My mistake.

My cutting board still has yet more unfolded fabric on it. I don't even want to look at it tonite.

The good news is this: the next time I go looking for fabric, I will be able to see what I have easily. And I won't be grabbing the small pieces when I need at least a yard for something. But when I need a smaller piece, I know where to go too

Friday, August 14, 2009

I made a Table Runner

Table Runner
Originally uploaded by GeneBlack
I had an idea for a quilty pattern. It is actually a piece, cut and piece back together pattern. I made a couple of errors, but it came out pretty good anyway. The blue sections were supposed to be different. I had planned to have each of those big squares be reverse of the other. I pieced it wrong. Arrrgh. The lighter blue square should be "top half light, bottom half dark" as you see it on the screen. The darker one should be "top half dark, bottom half light" That would have given a nice diagonal play to it.

As it is those are pieced from four squares each and I could have just used a big square for each of them. Live and learn.

Also the red part in the middle was a quick add-in. When I realized I had errrr...creatively rearranged (goofed) on the blues, I decided it needed broken up. Red to the rescue. And I think it adds an extra spark.

The binding went quickly thanks to Barb and her machine binding technique. I only need to hand stitch the mitered corners down.

Since I have no table that this works on, I will put it in my Etsy store.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Slowly but surely -Crazy Quilt -kinda

This quilt has been in the works for some time. It still lacks a binding, but it is all together now. i sewed the last section to the other sections today and am waiting a few days to start the binding.

This is a crazy quilt because I didn't stick with one type of block to make it. I had made the string blocks that make the big diamonds a while back. Then I started making my wonkedy squares. Then I got the crazy idea to put them all together into one quilt. Yes, those evil quilt police would probably send me away and confiscate my sewing machines - except for one thing: I live in a quilt police free dimension!

One corner flapped down as I was taking the picture, but you will get the idea anyway.
I have to say, it looks better on the bed!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Night Out with the Celtic Fiddlers

Yesterday I did very little sewing. I did make one more disappearing nine patch square. But this post is not about quilting or painting.

I have another love. One I have loved my whole life long. MUSIC! You see, my Mother's family were very musical. All the guys played an instrument and all the girls sang. Mom sang on the radio before she was a teenager. I used to sit on my grandmother's front steps and sing "Roses are Red" (made famous by Bobby Vinton if I recall)

So, a couple of weeks ago some friends from church told me that they would be performing at a coffee shop in Guntersville, AL. Lucky me, it was a weekend that I could go and hear them.

These friends are four young ladies and their Mom, Michelle. As a group they are known as The Mohr4 (how is that? well, Mom isn't counted!) Three of the girls play violin/fiddle. The fourth and youngest, switched to cello about a year ago.

My opinion: they are awesome. They played, reels, aires, hornpipes, marches, and more plus they sang. They advertise as Celtic Fiddlers. Michelle (mom) accompanies them as needed on piano and/or penny whistle.

So here are some pics of the girls that I took in their front yard back in May. I forgot my camera last night. After the pictures I will post links to their website and youtube videos.


The website is

Friday, August 07, 2009

You need to enter this one

Elaine, the Faithful Quilter is having a Quilting Stimulus giveaway.

Couldn't we all use a little stimulation in the quilting arena? Hey, if you can't -go enter anyway, you can send it to me. I have a birthday next month!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

My side project

While I haven't finished the big quilt I am working on, I started a little side project to fill a few minutes. I posted the pictures on Facebook since a dear friend asked me to.
A while back I saw a tutorial for a disappearing nine patch. I made one to see how it works. That satisfied me at the time.

Spring forward - while searching for just the right fabric for some swap blocks, I found some pre-cut five inch squares that I bought a while back. The ended up at the bottom of a drawer. Ahhh.... I thought "I forgot all about those." My creative little mind got ideas sometime between finding them and last nite. There are a hundred squares, and I can easily cut more. I want to do that disappearing nine patch again. But this time I want to make SEVERAL blocks.

So last nite, I put together three of them. And here they are:
Set of three

One -a close-up

I am wondering if I should make some with light where the dark is on these OR keep them all the same. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Wooly Wonder

Hey y'all there is a giveaway over at Pumpkin Patch Primitives.
You could win this kit.

Be sure and tell her that I sent you, cause it will get me an extra entry.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Grandmother's Quilting -Memories

Ryan over at I'm Just a Guy Who Quilts posted about his grandmother and her quilting supplies that he inherited. When I commented I realized that my comment needed a picture but that it would make the beginnings of a blog post. So here goes!

Sadly, I didn't quilt when my grandmother passed away. I didn't even think to ask for any of those things. And I can't think of anyone else who would have wanted them. Happily, I have several quilts that she made in her primitive style. One of them graces the back of my sofa. It is extra special because it was made with recycled fabric from many things I remember.

Now, let me tell you, I don't need or want any "quilt police" comments on this. It has lots of "flaws" and would never win a quilt show. I don't care, I love it.

Here is a detail view. The green fabric and trim was once part of kitchen curtains in my mother's house.

If you look closely at the first picture- that striped piece near the bottom is really like what you see. She has a fold in PART of the strip and it is sewn down.

All of her quilts were made totally by hand and quilted in her lap with no frame or hoop. She made them not to be art work, but to keep you warm. Honestly they remind me a lot of the Gee's Bend quilts.

Half the way

I did some work on my blocks for Linda's Birthday Swap yesterday. I am happy to report that I am half the way to the finish of making the dozen blocks. I am showing three of them. I didn't take such good pictures, the blocks are more square than they look here. But for the sake of sharing, I am posting them here for you to see.

I was surprised at the comments on my doodling on these. Someone said I set the bar too high. Ha! My sewing may lower that bar a bit. I don't claim to make a perfect block, but if I can manage to make them work in a quilt I am sure the other 11 in the swap can too.

After the pictures I will share a little secret.



Ready for that secret?

As I was laying these out to make the photos, I thought, I would love to make a quilt out of these. I mean, just keep all the ones I made and make a quilt out of them. Shame on me!
Ha, Do Not FEAR Linda, I will send them in. I won't make a quilt out of them. But I don't promise that I won't use the block design to make some more blocks. Hey, I will need more anyway when I get my friend blocks from the swap. I see this requires some more thought.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

For the Swap - Block Pieces

I have been working on the blocks for Linda's Birthday Swap. The first picture shows one of my signature strips. Linda asked that the blocks reflect our personality. Ha ha. I am wondering now if my personality is psychotic. Just kidding. I tried to include representations of "me" in each one. This particular one has a male face. Not all the strips have a male face, some have female faces, but each has a face. That is representative of the fact that I have always drawn faces when I doodle. There are music notes one each. I play (or play at) the piano, pennywhistle, guitar, and harmonica. I prefer to compose my own music on piano. Guitar is just for accompaniment for singing, which I enjoy. The other doodles are quilting line patterns. I do them better with a pen than with a machine! Ha.

This second picture shows some of the fabrics I have chosen to use. (unless I change my mind!) The Yellow floral is from a trip to Mexico. The teal is leftover from making some pillowcases. The reds are stash fabrics. And the wild one, green purple yellow, is from a charm pack I may dive into if it feels right once I start sewing. I bordered two edges with a couple of the signature strips.