Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas is coming.....the pressure to finish projects is in full force!

I have not posted very much but I have been sewing a little here and a little there.  I have been busy because our oldest daughter and son live in Oakland about 1 1/2 hours from here.  Our daughter has been looking at home to purchase in the hot, hot neighborhood of Alameda.  Expensive and safe are the key words to describe the area plus very good schools.  Needless to say, we were busy looking with Erin and August at homes.  

Thanksgiving gave us the opportunity to visit with friends and family.  We had a blast eating a very early lunch with my side of our family and eating with my husband's side of the family in the evening.

These are wild male turkeys.  Always around in November through January.  

Flock of Feathered Stars

Last week I put together the fifth month of the "Flock of Feathered Stars" BOM.

The block is called "Morning Star."

American Summer BOM

The past few days I completed the American Summer BOM that I have so far.  I believe this weekend is the last of the BOM.  I thought I had better catch up!

These blocks are from the 2nd month. I finished one and posted a photo of it. The block on the left is called "Picnic" and the block on the right is "Milky Way."

These blocks are from the 3rd month. The blocks are fairly easy to sew together. They are 8 1/2" (unfinished).
The blocks are called:  "Camp Fire" (top), "Fireworks" (bottom left) and block 8 is called "Pinwheels."

The blocks for month 4 are called "Shortcake" (top) and "County Fair" (bottom).  

I just finished these blocks from month 5, this morning.  The blocks are:  "Swimming Hole" (top left), "Lightning Bugs" (top right) and "Independence" (bottom center).  

There are 13 blocks in the quilt.  I have made all 13 blocks so I assume that we will receive the sashing and border fabrics this coming weekend.


I am having trouble with my computer.  I don't know what is wrong but I had to post this entry in "Safe Mode with Networking."  Very different from the look that I am used to working with.  I apologize if there are any misspellings.  I am not a great speller and I don't know if any corrections are made in this "mode."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Classic Yuletide BOM - Month 8

Woo Hoo!  I am all done with the Christmas blocks for this month anyway.  I will have to do four more blocks?  I am not sure but I am looking forward to putting it all together.  I love the red, green and white fabrics and most of the blocks.  I saw a sneak peek from Joanna sometime last week and this quilt looks amazing.  

Block #15 is called the "Flying Geese."  This was a fun one to put together.  The hardest part for me was deciding where to place all of the flying geese.  It was fun but I had to pin so many of the geese to be sure that the "wings points" matched at the seams. 

Block #16 is called "Rolling Stones."   
Again, this was a fun block to sew but matching points is difficult without pinning.  I consider myself a "pinner" but lately, I have tried not to pin as much as I usually do.  

There are a few applique additions that Joanna asked us to  do this month.  I have not started it yet but I will post before and after photos (if they look good) when I post month 9.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Classic Yultide BOM - Month #7

Phew!  I am now caught up with this BOM!  I have the current month's Yuletide block of the month to do now.

Block #13 is the "pineapple" block.  It was fun sewing this together.  I like the red and green fabrics.  The green is not quite as good as the real thing.  I don't know why I can't get the green to come out well.  I guess I will have to find out how to do that by reading the manual or something online.

Block #14 is the "bearpaw" block.  I love this block in the smaller version but I must say that sewing it in the 16" size was so fast and I really enjoyed sewing it.

Both blocks are 16 1/2" unfinished or 16" finished.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Classic Yuletide BOM - #6 - Catching Up

I am finally catching up with the Block of the Month projects!  I decided to start with Fig Tree's "Classic Yuletide BOM because I am the farthest out with this one:  two months behind with a current month, #8 just arriving for me to sew.

This is block #11 called "Birds in the Air."  Joanna asked us to leave the four parts unassembled because
"There are different ways that they can be put into a block."  I photographed one of the options that are shown to the right.  She added, "We will make that decision later in the assembly process." 

Each smaller component block is 8" finished or 8 1/2" unfinished so the entire "Birds in the Air" is 16 finished or 16 1/2" unfinished.

The second block of month #6 is Block #12  called "Milky Way."  Joanna made this block easy to assemble because she made one of the side pieces from two half square triangles.  Thank you, Joanna

Each of the smaller component pieces are 6 3/4" finished or 7 1/4" UF.  Sewn together the entire block is 13 1/2" finished or 14 1/2 UF. 


Lastly, I neglected to post a photo of the three border pieces of the "Flock of Feathered Stars" BOM from last week.  I don't know if I mentioned that this block of the month is 18 months in length.  There are 48 blocks in the border.  We sew 3 of these blocks each month so at the end, we will have 48 blocks for the border. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Flock of Feathered Friends - Month 4

The first Tuesday of each month is our class meeting for the "Flock of Feathered Star."  Not many of us showed up--only five out of twelve.  It was fun getting to know four of the other members because when all twelve are there, it is noisy and difficult to get to know everyone.

This block is called "Feathered Star No. 5."  This was fun to sew together but so far, my favorite was last months feathered star.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Month 4 - Arcadia Avenue BOM

Wow!  I finally finished something since my last post!  I had to work at the local high school last week.  I subbed for a woman that was sick!  There was some kind of fever, headache and general coughing making its way through the student population as well.  Needless to say, I became sick also with the same symptoms that I mentioned earlier!  It was horrible! 

I cannot believe that I finished one block of the Arcadia Avenue BOM.  The name of the block is "Spiderweb."


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Flock of Feathered Stars - Month 3

I came home from work and decided that I needed to finish the 3rd month of "A Flock of Feather Stars" block.  I just love paper piecing!  Here is the block for this month and it is called "Feathered Edge Star."


Working on "Threads of Time"

Last month was the end of the Block of the Month (BOM), "Threads of Time."  I made all of the 36 blocks but only 35 of them are needed to complete the quilt.  I did all of the flying geese that the pattern wanted us to make and that was quite a few....over 300 of them!  

The pattern suggests that we sew all of the flying geese in column 1 together.  That is 40 flying geese!  Next we are told to sew the second column and sew it to the first!  Well....I am easily frustrated by trying to match points.  Instead of doing that I decided to go with another plan.  

Each 8" block has a four flying geese to the left and four flying geese at the bottom with the exception of the last row.  The last column of 8" blocks has a row of flying geese to the right also.

What I decided to do was the following:

Sew four flying geese together and sew it to the left side of each 8" block.  

I sewed on the six flying geese:  two that are sewn in the same direction as the first column and four pointing to the right.

I had to do this to 30 of the 8" blocks and the bottom row only had the four blocks to the left, no flying geese to the bottom of the blocks.  I had to sew 6 flying geese to the right sides of the 8" blocks of the last column.

I laid the blocks out this past weekend.  I selected which blocks I wanted in each row.  I stacked the blocks by row (see photo to the right).  It took me so long to sew the flying geese on that I need a bit of a break from matching all of those points!

On the bottom of each stacked row, I placed the last block with the flying geese to the right.  You can see them hanging out.  

I plan on sewing the first block of row 1 to the first block of row 2.  The second block of row 1 to the second block of row 2.  The third block of row 1 to the second block of row 2.  This will continue until I have just a few blocks to sew together.  

I haven't even started the outer blocks yet!  I will post a photo of the blocks when I get back to the quilt. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rapid Fire Hunter's Star by Deb Tucker of Studio 180 Design

I know that I was supposed to start working on my BOM kits but I had a wonderful distraction, the Rapid Fire Hunter's Star by Deb Tucker of Studio 180 Design!  I spent the last two days watching the DVD, deciding what size of project that I needed to sew, determining how much fabric that I will need and running to my local fabric store, Fabric Garden to purchase the fabrics.  So EXCITING!  

I had been introduced (at Fabric Garden) to one of my most favorite rulers that Deb Tucker makes, the Wing Clipper.  It is the most extraordinary ruler that makes every flying goose/geese PERFECTLY!  I met Deb Tucker at PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) three years ago in Santa Clara.  I realized that she had other EXTRAORDINARY rulers to make your sewing so much easier.  I always buy locally at the Sacramento area quilt shops first before I purchase from an online store.  I am embarrassed to say that I started buying Deb's rulers at Fabric Garden even though I haven't used them but I have every intention of doing so.

I purchased the Rapid Fire Hunter's Star (petite star) ruler years ago but I decided to purchase the "Field Guide" last year at PIQF.  It is full of layouts for quilts and yardage that you need for each project.  It's an amazing guide.  By the way, her videos are amazing too!  Check out her website:

I love red, white and blue quilts so these are the fabrics I selected.

It was an absolute delight to sew this quilt!  I put the whole 4 x 4 blocks quickly.  Of course, I did not include the time that I watched the DVD which I just purchased a couple of weeks ago from the website. I admit that I am a student and love to explore and read anything new that I am interested in trying. 



I came up with fun and enjoyable to sew!  As I said before, this is the 4 x 4 block layout of the 6" Block.  It is 36" x 36" finished.  I was so surprised by the ease of sewing this together!  I thought that I would be ripping out seams at the corners of the stars for hours!  NOT!  I must say that I did not watch the entire DVD especially the end!  Deb has remedies for correcting errors in other words:  troubleshooting.  I did not watch those until just now.  I could kick myself because I do have some errors which I could have avoided if I watched it all the way through.

Thanks Deb and Studio 180 Design for another fabulous technique and ruler!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Arcadia Avenue BOM - Block 1 - DONE

I am finally done with block 1!  I should've been done yesterday but I had to work and I was feeling tired so I took a break....a half day break!  

I wanted to be sure that I sewed the two halves together as well as I could.  I finished half of block.  I don't want to go back to fix the center as I have to do on block 3.

The pinning for me is the most difficult.  I usually squeal with pain each time I touch the block because I pierce my skin many, many times during this process.

I am thinking that I am falling behind my other BOM's so I will put the fabric and book away to try to catch up, a common theme in my quilting/sewing life.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

More Arcadia Avenue Blocks

I finally had enough left over fabric from blocks 2 and 3 to make block 1.  I made in error while I was cutting the fabric for the first block and I decided to go on to the other blocks and just wait to see if there would eventually be enough left over fabric to make it.  This block is called "Fly Away."

Here are the foundation paper pieces, one left and one right.  I have them upside down so you can see that there is a Block 1 - Foundation A & B.

I finished the Foundation B pieces first.  Pieces A & B are sew together and then sewn to the other pieces.

I finished sewing these pieces last night but I will have to wait to sew them all together for later. I just laid them out to decide where I was going to place them.  I see two pieces that I will have to change their location in this block.  I have to go to work so I will post a photograph of the finished block tomorrow.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Arcadia Avenue BOM - Block 3

I finished block 3 last night.  The name of this block is "Northern Lights."  It is another fun block to piece but I could not get the center to lay flat.  I have been working on this block for two days and can't get it right but I am tired of working on it so I will put it away for now and get back to it later to "re-work" the center.

 A friend asked how this block was sewn together.  There are six foundation pieces that are the right side of the smaller block (shown at the right already sewn) and there are six smaller components that are not sewn and comprise the left side of the smaller block (the foundation paper is shown here).  A left and right piece of the smaller block is sewn together and those six smaller components are sewn together to make one large 21" block.

Again, a fun block to piece but it is tedious work even if you like foundation paper piecing.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Arcadia Avenue by Sassafras Lane Designs

Almost six months ago, while my husband was at a meeting in Anaheim (California) and I was in our hotel room, I started to look over a catalog from Keepsake Quilting.  I spied the Arcadia Avenue - A Block of the Month Quilt Pattern and was so intrigued.  So I ordered the BOM and it has arrived every month for the last six months.  I didn't have time to sew the blocks so I put them away in a plastic bin waiting for the day that I could pull them out and start them.  I really don't have the time but I decided that I would try at least one block.  Since I love paper-piecing so much with the Flock of Feathered Stars, I thought this would be just as enjoyable.  It is so much FUN too!

It consists of 12 separate sections to make one large block approximately 21 inches from opposite points.  I used vellum paper to print the patterns.  I like it because it tears easier and feels smoother than the newsprint.  The drawback to using vellum is that it is more expensive than the newsprint.  This is block #2, called "Peacock Feathers.  I made an error in cutting block #1 that I decided to go to block #2.  I hope to have a bit of left over from each month to finish block #1.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Flock of Feathered Stars - Block 2

Last Tuesday was the second class of this BOM.  Unfortunately, I was sick and could not attend but I did pick up my fabric a few days prior.  Block 2 is called "The Twinkling Star."  Again, if you follow the instructions (they are well written), cut the pieces as instructed and follow the box that I mentioned in last month's post---it was pretty easy to sew together.  Oh yes, I forgot to mention that you must enjoy foundation paper-piecing.  Some quilters like it and others hate it.  I would not recommend this BOM if you DO NOT enjoy paper-piecing.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fig Tree Yuletide BOM - Month #5

July's Yuletide BOM was so fun to sew.  There were only two blocks to make but they were spectacular.

Block #9 were just Bowties - 16 1/2" unfinished

 Block #10 - Tree of Life - 14 1/2" unfinished

I can't wait until it is time to put these blocks together.  It will be beautiful.  Thanks again to Joanna Figueroa.  These blocks are so gorgeous!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Flock of Feathered Stars by Carolyn Cullinan McCormick

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a teaser (poster) at my local quilt shop for a class called "A Flock of Feathered Stars."  This was a paper piecing class and I was intrigued.  I had the book at home and loved the stars but I didn't have the time to do it. Here was a class held once a month, the first Tuesday of each month, we bring our sewing machines, do it at the quilt shop AND socialize with twelve other quilters!  What a deal!  I immediately signed up and we had our first class earlier this week and we paper pieced!  Needless to say, I loved it!

A photo of the book is pictured to the left, A Flock of Feathered Stars by Carolyn Cullinan McCormick.
It is a wonderful book full of paper pieced stars.  They look difficult but they are not.  I will say that you had better like paper piecing!

This is the block that we started with: Feathered Star No. 4.

It was fun and not complicated.  The block is 12" finished.

This BOM is an 18-month program.  We will sew a block each month and make 3 blocks of the border.  It really is fun.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Threads of Time - Months 8 and 9 - Finished

I am current with the Threads of Time BOM.  Well, I put the four blocks together for Month #8, Broken Star and Month #9, the Anvil block.  Of course, I have not done the flying geese for them but they are not difficult when I use Studio 180 Design's Wing Clipper Ruler.  

I enjoyed sewing the Broken Star Block.  It was fun because it was a bit more complicated compared to the previous blocks.  Of course, after a difficult block, a majority of the time an easier block is next, the Anvil.  It was easier and fun but the background was directional.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

New BOM - American Summer - Month #1

I have been anticipating the start of a new Block of the Month (BOM), American Summer by Carrie Quinn for Penny Rose Fabrics for months now.  I love, love, love Civil War reproduction fabarics and red, white and blue quilts!  I picked up the first installment of the BOM last Friday and I just finished the first two blocks today.

The first block, named "Skipping Stones" is on the left and the second block is "Sparklers."  Of course, I loved sewing them and I opened almost every seam because I was afraid of the bulk at each intersection especially in an 8" block (finished).  What I like about the BOM's at Fabric Garden is that the participants can opt to just pick up the pattern and fabrics or pick up the pattern and fabrics and attend the class that will help those individuals who want help with the blocks.  Of course, I opted to just pick up the pattern and fabrics and I do the blocks at home.  The additional class costs are minimal but my time is too expensive to waste with instructions that I can easily read and make.  So here comes is my only complaint with the pattern: The measurements of each section is not noted on the pattern.  I was unsure whether my first block was the correct size.  Of course, it was not so I had to rip a couple of seams and cut down some sections until the seams matched.  Maybe the measurements were given at the class.  I will ask the ladies at Fabric Garden if measurements were given and if they are, I can quickly jot them down.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Caught Up - Fig Tree Yuletide BOM - Months 3 and 4

I've caught up but I will likely receive month #5 in three weeks and at that time, I will be scrambling to get it done!

Block #5 - Goose in the Pond

This block is 15" square (finished).  This block was fun to sew together because it was made up of 9-patches and half square triangles. It was fast sewing it together.

This blocks is called "Goose in the Pond."  

Block #6 - Nine-Patchwork

This block was also very quick to sew together.  It is also 15" square and thirteen nine patches.

Block #7 - Lily Trio

This block is 16" square (finished).  Large pieces always make me happy because they have very little bulk and sew together quickly and neatly.  The stems were machine appliqued onto the background fabric.

Block #8 - Pinwheel Swirl

This blocks is composed of four Pinwheel Swirl blocks.  I love the secondary blocks made when they are sewn together.  This was another fun 16" (finished) block.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fig Tree Yuletide Block of the Month

I joined another BOM (Block of the Month) earlier this year.  Little did I know that I would be so behind and that I would be scrambling to do these blocks before the next blocks arrived.  This is a new BOM from Fig Tree and Company. Joanna Figueroa is my favorite fabric designer and I always sign up.  I have never regretted doing it but I fall behind frequently.  The first month's blocks arrived in April.  The next two month's block arrived as they were supposed to but I thought that I would be finished before July's blocks arrived.  NO SUCH LUCK! The blocks arrived this week.  

Month #1 - Puzzle Star

I love this block.  It is composed of nine churn dash like blocks.  It was very easy to put together and the pattern included with the fabric was easy to follow.  In the middle of this 16" (finished) block is a star depicted in green.

Month #1 - Caroline Lily Variation

This block is also 16" square.  If you hadn't notice the name of this quilt is the Yuletide BOM.  It is a Christmas quilt thus the red and green blocks. This block is still incomplete because Joanna will send in a future mailing another shade of green to make the leaves.  This was another easy set of four blocks to sew. 

Month #2 - Flying Geese Criss Cross

The next two blocks were received in May.  I am finally finishing them in July!  This block is also 16" square. This was another easy one because of the size of the pieces of fabric.  It went very fast and besides I LOVE making star blocks.  BTW, this quilt is a mystery quilt which means Joanna will give us instructions and/or suggestions at the end of the year on where to place the blocks for a pleasing quilt.

Month #2 - Feather Star

This block was by far the most difficult of the four blocks.  The small triangles and placement were tedious.  In the instructions Joanna wrote:  "Sew SLOWLY & CAREFULLY." At first, I did not follow her instructions and had to rip out the seam so many times (I lost count) that I was leaving some places where the triangles meet close to threadbare!  I like the look of it so I guess it was worth it.

So I am on to June and July's blocks.
Happy Sewing Everyone!