Monthly Archives: August 2013

Friday Night Block Party: Broken Dishes

August 23rd 2013
Hi everybody! So glad you could make it to the Block Party this week, even though school has started in some places and we are TI-ERD, exhausted.  Well, sometimes when we are so drained of energy, we get clumsy or lazy, so besides dirty dishes, we may be seeing some broken dishes at this party.





 Today’s featured block is called “Broken Dishes” and it is also made with Half Square Triangles going any which way! Some other names for it are Hourglass, even Paddlewheel or pinwheel, it all depends how your arrange them.

“Broken Dishes is a simple quilt block made from half-square triangles arranged in a four patch. The squares are arranged at different angles to create the effect of broken dishes. It’s popularity dates back to the 1790’s and is one of the most common blocks in quilt history. It is a fun block to make with all different colors of fabrics or of just two colors.”


Source: Utah State University Extension

I made this runner for my mom, the pattern was Hourglass, the instructions said to cut your square twice diagonally. But a half-square triangle is so much easier!

I’m going to use some scraps from my surplus. 

For Half-Square Triangles, draw a line diagonally and sew 1/4 inch on either side.

Daisy chain stitched squares

Then Daisy chain stitched pairs.
I tend to overthink the arranging so I’m going to try to just DO IT!! 

There! A Broken Dishes block. Then I thought you all might like for me to make it into “something.” I have a lot going on so I have tons of UFOs these days.


But since I am making blocks like crazy, I thought a great way to make good use of them is to make Pot Holders. If you link up from or leave a comment on last week’s party or this week’s, you will be entered in the next Giveaway which is a pack of Insul-Bright insulated lining. (Brought to you by me!) This giveaway ends on August 30th.  Here’s how the first pot holder attempt turned out.


I used parts of the Insul-Bright’s, tutorial for putting the pot holder together.  For some reason, I thought I’d only use the Insul-bright, but you need a layer of cotton batting as well.


But then it said “face the shiny side to the side that gets the heat.” Well mine didn’t have a front or back side, so I put 2 cotton layers, which was also an option.

Not a happy project for me. It was Waaaay too thick and it “shrunk” when I quilted it. : (
I didn’t have the leftover on the edges when quilting normally.  I also should have done the binding on the machine.

Well, that’s the last picture I’m showing, let’s see your Broken Dishes or another block you have been working on. You may link to Flickr images, or a blog post or something from Pinterest. Any link at all to show your stuff. I’m dying to see it!

Many thanks to our sponsors for some of the giveaways. Oh, the winner of the Camille Roskelley patterns is Bonnie! Send me an email to claim your prize, her comment was:

Love those pinwheels!! Especially the pink and black one. Would love to make a whole quilt out of that one. Thanks for sharing.”
Thanks for coming to the block party!! And if you want to host a block party, send me an email and we’ll come over to your blog on Friday.


Felt Crab Ornament Tutorial

August 19th 2013
Making these ornaments was really therapeutic, especially when I started adding the beads for bling. I’m going back to jazz up the plain ones, just for fun. That’ll make them sparkle more when they are on the Christmas tree. Why didn’t I think of that before?
This tutorial is for the sewing version and the gluing “child friendly” version.
You can scroll up or down to see whichever version you prefer.
For either version you will need:
A sheet of red felt (craft store felt is fine)
A red pipe cleaner (a large one folded or two- 4 inch pieces)
An 8-10 inch length of ribbon for hanging
Some fiber fill for stuffing (or scraps!)
And large googly eyes about  1/2 or 5/8 inch.
Floss or thread for embellishing with beads
wire cutters (optional)

For Child Friendly Version you’ll need glue!

Here are some glue options that may work for you, see what you have on hand.
1. Glue Gun: quick drying, great adhesion but too hot for kids!
2. Tacky Glue can wash away, I think it’s too hard to squeeze
3. Fabri-Tac: a little expensive (they have smaller bottles) Consistency of rubber cement, adheres like hot glue, dries fast, has lots of “glue strings” We used this one for gluing the shape closed.
4. No-Sew glue. This is used for basting, great for holding things together until you sew, don’t know if has lasting adhesion, will wash away.
5. Craft bond fabric and paper glue. Feels like Elmers, works with fabric, not supposed to wash away.
We used this one to glue the beads.
I know we are not going to wash these, but I always think “humidity” is enough to unstick something, at least down here in Florida!!
How to:
1. Pin the template to the felt. (My daughter is 11)
2. Trace a 1/2 inch line around template, this is your cutting line.
3. Cut on the line to cut out the crab shape. This is your margin of error so you can trim as needed later. Separate the two pieces so you can start applying the glue.
4. Mark the bottom piece with pins. This is the area that will be left open for stuffing.
5. Start on the right pin (if your are right handed) applying glue on the line to a section at a time. Attach top piece of crab and glue together as you go.
 6. When you get between the claws, add the pipe-cleaner after you apply glue. You can either insert 2 cut pieces( about 4 inches long) or the large piece folded (you will cut it to size later)
Just keep gluing…
7. Continue gluing around until you get to the other pin.
8. Does neatness count? Yes!  I cut red felt circles the size of googly eyes, to sandwich the pipe cleaner so it doesn’t look sloppy on the back.
9.  Apply glue on felt circle, attach pipe cleaner and put the googly eye on the front and squeeze!
10. Gently stuff the crab, just to make him squishy, not fat! 
11. Use a stick to push some fiber-fil in the arms and claws. If the sides come “unglued,” just re-glue and press the pieces together.
12. Lastly, apply glue to open area, placing hanging ribbon well past the glue line and press together.  You may feel wetness because of the glue, it’ll dry!!
13. We used Craft Bond for the beads. We had a tweezer but you can use your fingers. I found it to be faster.
Since it shows white it was easy for gluing the beads for the kids.
Once the beads are on, walk away and let it dry, trim as necessary.
It’ll look much better the next day!
Tada! One happy Crab ornament.
SEWING Version:
1. Mark your opening on the crab for stuffing, don’t sew closed, yet! : )
2. If you feel more comfortable following a line, you can trace a 1/2 inch line around the template and use the edge of your sewing foot on this line to sew around the crab shape.

3. I pinned the template to the felt and just sewed around the actual template.
4. When I got to the claw part, I inserted the pipe-cleaner between the felt sheets and sewed right over it.
5. Pretty stitched crab shape.
6. Cut 1/4 to 1/2 inch line around the crab stitch line. Be careful when cutting where the pipe cleaner is you’ll have to cut one layer at a time so you don’t cut the pipe cleaner in the wrong place.
7. Cut the pipe cleaner to size about 2 inches long for extended eyes. (Scissors will work but not your GOOD ones!!)
8. Make sure you cut felt circles the same size as eyes to sandwich the pipe cleaner between eyes and felt circles, neatness counts! 
 9. Stuff gently and sew closed pacing hanging ribbon inside before stitching.
10. After stitching is complete, I hand stitched bugle beads every 1/8-1/4 inch apart, right over the stitching line.
And just for coming back I have included the crab template here for you!
Should I open a Flickr group for felt ornaments? I’d love to see yours!!

Simply Retro Quilt Along

August 17th 2013
Whew! I thought I’d never get this done but I enjoyed it so much. A great motivator to finish is using some fun fabric. It provided great stress relief, once I got started I could not stop! But I’ve only finished the top, quilting is yet to be done. 
This pattern is called “Playground” in Camille Roskelley’s Simply Retro book (you can get it here or at her store Thimble Blossoms.)  I’m quilting along through this book with Jana.
Grab button for Simply Retro Quilt Along
Here are two ways to change how the block looks. 
Mix up the colors and patterns.

Or leave them more uniform, Both work!
I used Baby Big Top Circus Collection (or part of it) by Timeless Treasures. I got a Fat Quarter bundle at Craftsy, take advantage of those 50% off sales!!
 Here are more of the blocks up close.


Once I laid out the blocks, I looked at it from different angles and took pictures to make sure the “weight” of the darker fabrics was evenly dispersed to create a more balanced look. You’ll notice your eye drawn to the darn blues and greens, right?
  I added sashing vertically and horizontally to separate the blocks. The original pattern had blocks interspersed with partial blocks on the sides….but I didn’t want partial blocks. I really like how each block stands alone and pops with the white. 
Oh, here’s a tip: I buy jelly rolls and charm packs in white (Kona) they are great “go-tos” when you need filler squares for HSTs or fast sashing, you can use them for multiple projects!
I’d like to know what you think about partial blocks?

Friday Night Block Party: Shooting Star

August 16th 2013
Everybody’s working for the weekend! (remember that song? Okay, my age is showing)  Well, the weekend is here and it’s time for another Friday Night Block Party!! Woohoo!!
It all started here and last week we featured these.
This week’s block name is Shooting Star. Doesn’t that sound fun?
Picture from here


I found 2 Shooting Star patterns on Marcia Hohn’s Quilter’s Cache which is a  great quilter’s block resource. 

But this week’s party is happening at The Patchsmith.   Look at his lovely cushion Amanda has made using the Shooting Star block pattern.

Do you see how really simple it is?  We just break it down into sections.

If you hop on over to her blog she has fantastic historical tidbits of information about this block, who knew?  I’m sure we can all follow along and make our own.  She has even been so generous as to offer us a PDF pattern of her cushion for you to try, thanks Amanda!!

Then you can come back over here and “link” up with your own Shooting Star block (or any other block) you are working on, remember to include the name!


Here is mine at a whopping 16 inches!

I would like to thank the great sponsors who are making the party even more fun with Giveaways. Next week I’ll be announcing the winner of 2 patterns by Camille Roskelley from Thimble Blossoms. The winner will be selected from the linkies and comment entries leading up to August 15th. 

I forgot!!! If you are making blocks like crazy (as I am) a great way to make good use of them is to make Pot Holders. If you link up from or leave a comment you will be entered in the next Giveaway which is a pack of Insul-Bright insulated lining. This giveaway ends on August 30th.

Thanks for coming to the party, link up or leave a comment and I’ll meet you here next week! Don’t forget to grab the button.

Christmas Once a Month:

August 12th 2013
As Summer comes to a close, for those of us that are school minded that is, I wanted to give it a proper farewell.

Unfortunately, it seems as if Summer and I have hardly had a chance to sit and relax, this year. It’s been so hectic with sports schedules, caring for the sick and keeping a house when people are here most of the time.  There is just much more to do and the pool suffering from a bad case of algae, we haven’t stepped foot in it either. 
Nevertheless, I thought I should make something to remind me of Summer when Winter Recess comes around.  So, I made these Beach themed Christmas ornaments for the Christmas Once a Month hosted by Julie. (I’m posting a few days early, shhhhh)
Christmas Once a Month at The Crafty Quilter

I am just going to showcase them in pictures.
Pictures updated on September 6, 2013 with bling!!

 I really love the bling!!
They are about 4 – 6 inches in size.

Next week, I am going to do a complete tutorial on the crab. Sewing version and gluing version a child can do, with a little guidance. Do come back and take a look won’t you?