Monthly Archives: January 2014

Friday Night Block Party: Calico Puzzle

January 24th 2014

Hey all, happy Friday and welcome!

pinwheel block party

We are moving along with the Farmer’s Wife Sampler blocks and we are up to the Calico Puzzle block #16.



I think the colors needed to be switched because the brown is heavy and you kind of miss the

pin wheel motion, don’t you think?

I though this week’ block was similar to the “Box” block from a few weeks back, pictured below.

FWQA BOX block #9

Here are some samples from other FWQA participants:

This is Kristyne’s over at Pretty By Hand. You know she just recently finished her whole FWQS quilt,  it’s so well thought out!  Maybe if you see hers you will be inspired!

 This version is from My Quilting Stuff.  I love seeing the variance of fabric selections (especially when I recognize it!)  It changes the whole look of the block!

You have to look at this post and see the variety in block design, but also look at the pattern that shows if you only use the Calico block in your quilt, a second pattern!

See you next week! We are skipping the block party on the 7th for a Countdown to Valentine’s Day event right here at

valentine tutorial button It’ll be a week full of quilting and crafting tutorials to get ready for Valentine’s Day and make something special for someone you love.  And you’ll have plenty of time to get it done before the big day. So come on back y’all, y’ hear?!

A Handmade Christmas Challenge

January 24th 2014

I got so used to doing something every month for Christmas last year, following Julie and her “Christmas Once a Month” Along,  that I was wondering who was going to continue the tradition? You can type “Christmas Once a Month” in the search box on the right to see my projects or on the page on the menu that says Christmas.  Anyway….

It looks like the SewCalGal is having the Christmas event this year!


And it’s a linky party! Yay!  You can hop on over to her blog and check out all the handmade goodies other talented quilters have posted.

I am making totally miniature quilts that are ornaments or gift tags this year that are tiny quilts that look like presents, spools and other tiny blocks.  I do want to say that I played with this design last year but never posted anything about it, so I made new ones for this challenge.


It’s a perfect way to use up scraps and try new blocks!  I’d love to have a little tree decorated in just “quilty” stuff. So here’s how it’s done!


First gather some leftover  squares. (2″ for top and 2 1/2 for box)


Make some half square triangles with the 2″ squares by drawing a diagonal line and sewing 1/4 inch on either side, trim on the line and press.


Trim your triangles to 1 1/2 inches.

Sew your squares together to make your box.


Sew your triangles together and add some scrap white on either side,


Trim and sew it to your box.


Make your quilt sandwich.Each piece is the same size (about 4 1/2 by 5 1/2.  I used scrap batting and didn’t even join it, baste it or fuse it. It’s so small it’s totally manageable!


Quilt as desired.



Trim after quilting, check the front and the back.


Before binding, secure a ribbon for hanging with a pin.


Then attach binding.


I finished binding by just creating a straight 1/4 inch seam, not on the bias, it’s too short!


I hand stitched the binding in no time at all.  For the snowball/ornament block I used similar sized squares in a different arrangement, more HSTs and some rectangles.


This present design was inspired by a little runner I made last year, with a tutorial and another similar pattern I created for a small strip quilt, see that here.  This is a great scrappy project for those Christmas quilt scraps!

I pledge to make handmade_edited-1

Now it’s your turn!

Wine and Fabric

January 22nd 2014

Who would ever think or believe that wine and fabric would have anything in common?  Fortunately for me, this unlikely “marriage” of sorts has really been a blessing in disguise that has drawn a little hobby appreciation in a surprising way.

You see my husband is a wine and food guy.  You’ve heard it said “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?” They are talking about my husband. He likes to smell wine, swish it, drink it, talk about it and collect it.  Over the years, I have learned that certain years are better than others, certain regions grow different grapes, some vineyards yield limited bottles, some wines are overrated and overpriced, just as some are underestimated and a few other tidbits.  It wasn’t always this way. There is a scaffolding of sorts that has led him to the enjoyment of wine he has today.


One of the greatest things I have come to appreciate is that wine vintages don’t last forever.  For example, 1992, 1994 and 1997 were great vintage years for California reds (Cherry Block in particular was fabulous!). But in 2014, they are likely impossible to find because they are probably in the wine cellars of people who stocked up on something good while it was available.

Likewise, fabric also comes in a variety of textures and fibers. It too, in its finest forms, comes from all over the world.  Similarly, I too went through a “scaffolding” of sorts with fabric, until I came to appreciate what is a true 100% cotton, high quality, quilting fabric that is also worthy of collecting, (hence the stash.)


So as our separate interests intersect, my husband has come to acknowledge and support, that like a good wine, fabric collections also have their time in the retail market.  And sometimes if we wait too long, they become far and few between and difficult to acquire.

fabric bundles

So when I have a genuine fabric dilemma or crisis, such as needing more yardage or finding the coordinating backing fabric for a quilt, he understands that time is of the essence and it just may run out! So eventually, I get the go-ahead to get it before it’s gone. (Thank God for Christmas and birthday money!)

**And in case you are here my mistake, if you get wine on fabric, soak it in cold water immediately and spray with Oxyclean and let it sit over night, then wash as you normally would.


Pink Patchwork (mostly)

January 20th 2014

You may remember this little diddy I shared a while ago.  I am so sorry I couldn’t show more but now that all the gifts have been delivered…

rolled patch

My niece is a teenager now and she got new furniture so of course, I had to make something to protect her dresser and well, dress it up a little.


This scrappy gem consists of most my leftover 2 1/2 inch squares.  It’s true that patchwork, such as this, is very addicting and also therapeutic!


Now she doesn’t have to worry about perfume leaking, stains or scratches!

And her mom said this was too pretty to put on the table.


Not S.W.A.T. SWAP! and Grow Your Blog!

January 19th 2014

Woohoo! I can hardly contain myself, all of last year I was admiring these adorable, whimsical “Mug Rugs” that Amanda the Patchsmith has been making (see them here) and this year I am joining the fun! Although I have made a few of my own, this is a whole other category!


This is    I N T E R N A T I O N A L    people!!  And what a great start to celebrate peace and the Winter Olympics starting next month!  This is the 2014 Quilting Gallery (Official) Mug Rug Swap.  And even though I am not (yet) a tea drinker, that is not the point.  Please hop on over to see the beautiful designs Amanda the Patchsmith created just for this event.  Once you join, you will be added to the Facebook group where we will soon meet our “mystery” swap buddy and learn where they are from.  This is really amazing, making friends around the world? Wow!

But wait there’s more!

use this one

In just a few days I hope to be a part of GROW YOUR BLOG  a movement, a blog party to grow your (my) blog readers and it’s awesome because we meet such a variety of bloggers in so many arenas! It’a another opportunity to make more friends. I hope I am not too late!