Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Some of my friends and family have leaped into the new year already, so here I'll be wishing all of you lots of happiness, fun with your family and friends, good health, jobs or sources of income for everybody wanting/needing to make a living in this worsening economy and time to enjoy the passions in your life in 2009!

Picture source:

Monday, December 29, 2008

Peek-a-boo Puss and A-4

I've never posted the finished healing quilt I made for Michelle, so here's a picture of it on her wall.

Below is a picture of A-4. No tutorial to this one. I printed out the paper pieced version from my Dear Jane software and made up the block like that. If you need instructions on how to piece this block, go to:
You'll need to copy and paste the link into your browser. Haven't figured out how to make the link clickable in the blog.


I couldn't see myself piecing all of the pie shapes, so I took a shortcut by making two of the units below.

Measuring the circle from the block print-out, I cut the freezer paper circle without seam allowance, centered it on the wrong side of one of the pieced blocks and used the glue stick method to turn the seam allowance back for a perfectly shaped circle.

I then used the largest stitch on my machine to baste the circle on top of the other prepared block and then hand appliqued the circle in place.

After the applique was done, I cut away the fabric below, spritzed the block with water to loosen the glue on the freezer paper and remove the paper. Turn everything over, press and trim the block to size and you're done!


On this picture you can see that I extented the lines from the templates in order to cut squares from the dark and lighter fabric.

By clicking on the picture to enlarge it you can see that I was sewing the small squares from corner to corner.
This is how the pieces look like after I trimmed off 1/4" and before pressing the small triangle units out.

Next step is to prepare the "drunkard's path" shape for the outside of the units.

Since you need the seam allowance on the outside of the block, but not the curved part, take a closer look at the picture above, how I measured the cutting distance.
Taking the 2 5/8" measurement I cut out a circle first, that I then quartered.
As you can see on the picture, I drew the seam allowance on the straight edges of the quarter circle. The curved portion of this quarter circle will be used to turn the edges under with a glue stick, so you'll add the seam allowance to the fabric in this part, but not to the pattern.
Below is how the prepared section will look like from the backside. As you can see I left fabric beyond the calculated seam allowance just in case I'd come up a little short. Not that something like that would ever happen. haha Just kidding.

Now line up both sections as shown in the picture below and applique the quarter circle down either by hand or machine applique.

Once all four units are prepared, you simply sew them together like a four-patch block and trim the block to the correct size.

Now wasn't that easy!?

Friday, December 26, 2008


Here is my finished H-8 block, but since some of my quilting friends asked how to go about this block, I've added some pictures of the steps I took below.
You also can find instructions for this block on in a slightly different approach from mine. She's doing a fantastic job at breaking the blocks down into manageable bits and pieces. :o)

First off I always start out by printing out the block I'm about to work on and then start doodling notes on the paper on how to tackle it, as seen above (you should be able to enlarge the picture by clicking on it).

So, first I started out by piecing the center.

I cut out all of the other pieces and lay them out. BTW, the corner triangles are pretty much cut to size, so if you want to follow my approach and build in a bit of a security, you might want to cut the squares for those 2 1/2" instead of the 2" I used. There really wasn't much to trim for me from the corners, when I squared up the finished block.

Next I took my Olfa circle cutter and adjusted the cutting distance to 1 1/4". The measurement was taken directly from the block without seam allowance, because of the method I use, which should start making more sense in a second.
So I cut the circle out of freezer paper and ironed the shiny side of the freezer paper to the backside of the fabric I'm planing on appliqueing to the center.

With the freezer paper "sticking to the fabric I cut out the center, leaving about 1/4" seam allowance. In order to be able to turn the seam allowance back, I make little snips into the fabric, then I use a water soluble glue stick to apply glue just on the seam allowance and start turning it back onto the freezer paper, smoothing the edge with my finger as I go along.

The result is this perfectly smooth circle that's ready for the applique.

I place the circle exactly into position and baste it with the largest stitch by machine. Then I choose the applique thread that most closely matches the fabric that you applique (in this case a light blue).

Here's a picture with the finished hand applique and the machine basting stitches still in place.

And this is how the applique looks from the back side with the freezer paper and basting stitches still in place and the applique fabric not trimmed down to the 1/4" seam allowance yet.

I then go ahead and remove the basting stitches, trim the seam allowance and to remove the freezer paper I spritz the backside with water and let it sit for a moment, so the glue has time to dissolve. The freezer paper will pull off very easy.

This is a close-up of how I trimmed the QST's.

I hope the pictures are helpful, but don't hesitate to ask if you want me to clarify one of the steps.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A visit from Santa

WOW! Thank you so much, Daisy, for having been my Secret Santa! I have no idea how you were able to get all of the items to fit into the stocking. LOL This will keep me busy for quite some time and I will put all of the items to very good use this coming year.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

From my family to all of you - Merry Christmas!

John Greenleaf Whittier
A little smile, a word of cheer, A bit of love from someone near, A little gift from one held dear, Best wishes for the coming year… These make a Merry Christmas!

The beautiful quilted postcard above is from Karrin H. from our card swap on Trading Fabrics.

Happy Birthday Michelle!

Today is Michelle's birthday! My little girl is growing up so fast!

We had her birthday party last Saturday, because we were hoping more kids would be able to come, but just one of the invited kids came and we never heard from the rest.
Michelle still had a good time and it ended up being a sleep-over.

Michelle wanted some trick candles on her cake, so that's what's smoking! It surprised me that we didn't set off the smoke detector. lol

After some cake the girls went off to play.

And then started crafting:

Here's Michelle unwrapping some gifts.

And this is Aaron playing with one of our dogs and the neighbor's Chihuahua Nibbels (in the AC/DC shirt hehe).