Thursday, January 31, 2013

Versatile Blogger Award

 I am feeling very chuffed!
I have been nominated by the lovely

for this award. 
My first ever blog award ever.
Makes my day!
Thanks, Kare!
According to the VBA website, Versatile Blogger Award,
"If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award."
However, there are a few things I have to do to accept this award
  1. Put the award on your post
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and share their link.
  3. Nominate up to 15 bloggers for the award.
  4. Share 7 things about yourself.
First I am going to share 7 things about myself ...

1.  I love music.  There is always something playing in the soundtrack of my life, even if it is only in my head.

2.  I was the first person from both sides of my family to attend and to graduate from college.

3. I was a scout leader for 11 years.  Three of "my girls" are now leaders.  It makes me very happy to know that they enjoyed scouting enough to offer the opportunity to the next generation.

4. Quilting is my creative happy place. I made my first quilts  when the nesting instinct struck for my babies without a clue as to what I was doing and these flannel quilty blankies were loved to pieces.  I did not make another quilt until I made one for my youngest to take to college when the nesting instinct hit it reverse.

5. I have been married 31 years to my best friend.  Everything in life is so much better when shared with someone you love.

6. I have three great accomplishments in my life ... they are my three children, now all independent young adults.  Everything in life is so much better when shared with my sons and and my daughter.

7. I pray everyday.

Now I am going to nominate some of my favorite blogs for the Versatile Blogger Award ...

Loving Life at the End of the Dirt Road

Delia Moran

Ridge Top Quilts

The Crooked Banana

The Slow Quilter

Travel Thru Greece With Mara

Quilter In The Closet

My criteria for selecting these seven of the many many, blogs on my reading list is simply this: 

I always enjoy reading these blogs.

May you enjoy, too.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday

 Here is what I have been sewing lately.
The pattern for this block can be found HERE

I am linking up again with all the creative quilters at

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

There is some very yummy looking eye candy today. 
Click on the link to enjoy!

 This is what is under the needle today ...  
a sneak peak

This is really all I can show as this project is for this upcoming blog hop

at Sew We Quilt
Katniss says. "No More Peaking!"
Please come back and visit us again!
Have a happy quilty day!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dresden Square

Welcome to Dresden Square!

This blog post is my "Journey to Dresden Square" as I find my way without a map, taking an occasional detour, encountering a few challenges, enjoying the adventure as I go.

I am adding this link on April 29th.
This is a favorite quilt that I have made this year.
If you are visiting from this test linky party,
thanks for stopping by.
Looking forward to the
Quilter's Favorites event in May ...

For my Dare to Dresden Project
I decided to try to put my own new twist on this classic block. 
I wanted to make a square plate block.
I designed this block myself.

following the fabric trail
First I found some fabrics in my stash.  These are mostly fat quarters, some of which have already been cut and sewn into other projects. They are all from an older Mark Lipinski line, Califon.  I loved the colors in this fabric line and wish I had more in my stash, but this is enough for my Dresden Square Project. When I was cutting, I did have to add two more colors, and aqua and a cranberry red to have enough fabric and to include two of the colors in the prints not in my fat quarter collection. 
I drew up a plan using my EZ Dresden Ruler from Darlene Zimmermann.  When I was a new quilter, someone gave me her  Quilting, The Complete Guide and it has been my go-to book anytime I need an easy reference to any quilting technique. It has good photos and I am a visual and hands on learner. 
 How I made the block

For each block I cut ...
4  each of five blade colors cut with my EZ Dresden ruler
into 8 inch blades
1 center square ... 5 inches square,
cut twice on the diagonal to make 4 triangles.
These are my Block One blade colors and center fabric
I cut the strip horizonatally
and the print vertically for added visual texture
here are the blades laid out on the center fabric
Sew the blades together into four fan sections
chain piece
sew the blades together
press the fan blades all in one direction

cut the 5" center square
cut the center square twice diagonally into four triangles

pin and sew the triangles to the fans
even the seam to 1/4 inch and trim dog-ears
and check to be sure the fan is squared

press to nest seams
nest center seams
half a plate
two halves
make a whole plate

cut the edges off to make a square this block is 14 inches unfinished  and my largest square is 12.5 so I had to use my large cutting ruler

Pillow Cover

My test block also was my practice quilting block and I turned it into a pillow cover to go with my quilt.

Scrappy Dresden Square Baby Quilt
Cutting Requirements for the quilt:

180 blades 8" long
9 squares 5 " then cut twice on the diagonal to make 36 triangles

Making the quilt:
Sewing method as shown in my test block. 
Make 36 scrappy fans. Sew into 9 blocks.  Trim and square to 13.5" unfinished blocks.  Sew rows of three blocks, Sew rows together, matching blade edges. Square quilt.
When it came time to square my blocks to sew them together, I encountered this bump in the road ...
a little more waste than I like to see

When I have the time and inclination, I am going to have to find a use for these pretty scraps. I am thinking my Quick Curve Ruler may come in handy for this purpose. I do like the way this block design looks. With all the trimming, it is just not quite the larger block I set out to make. I have figured out how to "fix" this ... longer blades as I work toward the corners. Now I just need to find the fabric and time to sew and I will be off on a new adventure ... "The Return To Dresden Square!"
That post is for later time though. So please come back to visit me again.
Quilt top measures 40" square ... a nice size for a baby quilt.
For the quilting ...
It is so cold here in my quilty corner that when it came time to chose the backing fabric I went with a cozy and bright striped flannel.   We have had single digits with a wind chill below zero at night for several days now in the northeast.  I  love flannel backings for baby quilt. I used warm and natural quilt batting.  I smooth my top and backing very carefully over the backing and only add safety pins to the outer edges. I quilted the center block first and moved outward to the corners.  I do check the back after each block is quilted to make sure I have no folds or puckers in my backing fabric and I smooth the fabric and repin if necessary as I go.
I quilted lines to accent the triangles in the center of the block
then I quilted concentric squares around the center
Even though we have the heat up, it is so cold that wearing my machine quilting gloves felt wonderful,  I always wear these gloves for quilting as I like the way they help me grip the fabric.
close-up of the quilting and block details
this quilting has been quilty kitty inspected ...
... and approved!

My Finished Quilt!


Before I get to my giveaway,
I would like to share  ...
My First Dresden

I love the beauty of traditional Dresden Plates, too.
The first time I made a Dresden Plate it was a few years ago when I made these half-plates to set this lovely medallion from my friend Ann, in Nova Scotia, on point in a Round Robin. This one I hand appliqued to the setting triangles.  I also added the yellow and brown spacing strips. I learned a lot about quilting joining in these challenges and trying to find and create the right border for each visiting medallion.

I have also learned a lot about quilting from books, although I did not use this book for making my own projects. I learn a lot from reading and then I try to listen to my own quilty muse to create my quilts.

My Dresden Plate Book Giveaway!
~~~~~~~(This Giveaway Is Now Closed)~~~~~
Many of them have been from the library. Others I have found on quilt show and shop sale tables.  When my hubby finds one he thinks I might like at a second hand book store where he likes to browse, he brings it home to me.  All are well-read treasures.  I would like to share one of these books with someone anywhere in the world who would like to learn more about Dresden Plates.  So I am giving away this book from my personal quilting library.

To be eligible to win, please leave me one comment and be sure that I can contact you by email to let you know that you have won and to get your address.

For a second chance to win, please be a follower and leave a second comment telling me you are.

One winner will be chosen at random from all entries by midnight January 31st EST.
~~~~~~~(This Giveaway Is Now Closed)~~~~~
The winner will be announced here on my blog on February 1st.

Thanks for visiting me and be sure to check out all the great Dresden Plate projects today at these blogs ...

January 28th, 2013
Rosemary B @ “that Other Blog”
Life in the Scrapatch (You Are Here!)

Thanks Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt

Christine at Quilt Monster in my Closet

for organizing this wonderful blog hop!

Someday my completed Dresden Square Baby Quilt and Pillow
will be  gift for a Mom-To-Be.

I love making baby quilts!

For now, waving "Bye"  from Dresden Square!

Have a happy quilty day!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

More Dresden Fun

More Dresden Fun

It is almost time for my scheduled "Dare to Dresden" post to appear!

Another day for beautiful blog hopping Dresden inspiration
from  Sew We Quilt is about to arrive!

I am sew looking forward to all of today's creations.


While designing and working on my Dare to Dresden project, beautiful Dresden plates just kept popping up on my quilt blog radar. One of my favorites was this post by Bonnie Hunter on Quiltville

After reading this I just had to run to my scrap basket and cut a big bunch of 3.5" fan blades and get them organized and next to my sewing machine. Sew this will be my "Leader/Ender Project" while I am sewing my Dare to Dresden creation and other quilty projects.
Here is a picture of my organizer, which I keep next to my sewing machine
Here are some of my blades. I press as I go along

This is now my favorite leader/ender and will be for a long time.

Have a Happy Quilty Day!



Saturday, January 26, 2013

Scrappy Pink Heart Block

Scrappy Pink Heart Block
Today was a busier day, so I did not get to play on
my sewing machine until after dinner. 
Since I have been joining in the
on Saturdays, I decided to sew pink.
Since Valentine's Day is coming and I do not have a table topper for this holiday, it seemed like a good time to turn some of my pink scrap fabrics into a holiday project.
16 patch heart block
This is my pattern ... a pink post-it note stuck to my machine. After I started sewing I actually went a little more scrappy and put some pink HSTs inside the heart with my scraps.

The basic pattern calls for:

8 HST of pink and white to form the heart

2 white squares on the bottom outside corners

6 pink squares

You can make the block in any size.  I decided to make a block that will finish at 16 inches square.

So I cut:

8 white 5" squares
8 pink 5" squares
2 white 4.5 inch squares
6 inch 5" pink squares  (OR ... a few 4.5 inch pink squares
                                       and a few pink 5 squares (to make HSTs),
                                       as shown in my block)

To sew:

pair the 8 white and 8 pink squares; draw lines for your HST

chain sew
cut in half

press toward pink

trim and square to 4.5"
(Note:  if you are adding pink HST pairs, make these in the same manner)

layout block

sew in pairs and then into four quarter block units
sew into halves

your block is done!
May you have a Happy Heart!