The Reclaimed West Blog Tour


Thanks for joining me on Timeless Treasures’ blog tour!  Judy & Judel Niemeyer’s first-ever fabric line, “The Reclaimed West” has been a big hit! Here’s a peek at the fabrics:

reclaimed west collage

I knew that my pattern Lanterns would feature this fabric nicely, and it ties in with the theme of the west – prairie lanterns, and also the sashing design, that I have named my “barbed wire” sashing.

Here is Lanterns made up in The Reclaimed West fabrics:

Lanterns in Reclaimed WestThis is available as a kit called “Prairie Lanterns” through Hancock’s of Paducah here:

Hancocks pageThe block used for this pattern is so easy to do with my Folded Corner Clipper template:

Folded Corner Clipper webHere is how I used it for this block:

Lan 2To make a folded corner without drawing pencil lines, use the Folded Corner Clipper to cut off the corner.  Then use the raw edge as your 1/4″ seam guide.  It saves so much time by not having to draw pencil lines!  Just sew your seam:

Lan 4and press open:

Lan 5Repeat for the other corner:

Lan 6Make two of those rectangles:

Lan 8Now make 4 folded corners on a larger rectangle:

Lan 9Sew the rectangles together to complete the block:

Lan 10As a bonus, since you trimmed the corners with a ruler, those leftover pieces can be made into consistent-sized half-square-triangles:

Lan 11Use those HST’s for another project:

Lan 12For more information on the Folded Corner Clipper, see the brochure here, or see photo tutorials by referencing the category list on the right side of this page.

Here is the schedule for this week’s blog hop.  Visit the Sew Timeless Blog all 5 days for prizes!

I will be giving away 2 Folded Corner Clipper Templates, selected from those who leave a comment below by Friday midnight.  Good luck!


Posted in Folded Corner Clipper | 38 Comments

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks v10

Welcome to the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour!  This is my third time to participate in the 100 Blocks collection.  I’ve done foundation-pieced blocks – not what you usually see in my patterns, but it’s a technique that I love to use.  The piecing is so accurate, and the designs are so stunning.  I consider foundation piecing to be a cousin to the easy stitch & flip method in my Fun&Done! quilt-as-you-go patterns.

You will find my block, Diamond Pinwheels, on page 30:

pg 30It’s made with only 3 fabrics!  This block really shines when placed next to more blocks, for example, in this tablerunner:

runnerOr in a table topper:

topperAnd if you’re abitious, how about a crib size?

cribHere are two versions, done in fall colors, that alter the placement of med/dark fabrics:

fall 2fall 1Or rotate the blocks to make a horizontal layout:

horiz 3horiz 2Lots of options!

This edition hit the newsstands yesterday.  But if you’re feeling lucky, Quiltmaker is giving away a free copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Block magazine. To be entered in the drawing, please leave a comment by Friday, November 21, answering this question: Do you like foundation piecing?

Don’t forget to visit the other designers on the Quiltmaker’s 100 Block Blog Tour this week.

Thanks for stopping by to visit!


Posted in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks | 157 Comments

Blog tours next week!

I will be participating in 2 blog tours next week.  The first one you are already familiar with:

joinforblogtour10_200I’m so happy to be in the latest edition of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks!  It hits the newsstands on Tuesday, November 18.  My day for the blog tour is Wednesday the 19th.


The other one is a Timeless Treasures Fabrics blog tour for Judy Niemeyer’s new fabric line, “The Reclaimed West”.  Did you see my quilt featured in the new Hancock’s catalog?  It’s my Lanterns pattern done in The Reclaimed West fabrics.  Visit me on Wednesday, November 20.  Two days in a row!

Hancocks pageBoth of these blog tours will be going on all week, so there will be lots of great eye candy to inspire all of us.  See you next week!

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Orphan Blocks Quilt

When I got my longarm last year, I decided to make practice quilts by sewing together some orphan blocks.  I often use plain yardage for practice, but working on a real quilt top helps to develop my skills.

I had some leftover blocks from a design that didn’t work out the way I had hoped.  I had 9 leftover blocks that I sewed together, added some borders, and made a crib-sized quilt:

orphan blocks 1I wanted to practice using ruler templates to guide my machine, and started by doing straight lines on the sashings and block centers.  Then I did a different free-motion filler design in each block’s background.  I chose a neutral thread, so the quilting is very difficult to see:

orphan blocks 2Trust me, there is dense filler stitching in each block.  For the borders, I love feathers, but once again chose a matching thread.  Here’s the center of a border:

orphan blocks 3Here’s the corner:

orphan blocks 4It’s ironic that at one time, I viewed feathers as being too challenging, and now, after some practice, they seem easy and are my favorite design.

We have all heard the warnings about using a balanced amount of quilting throughout the quilt top.  Dense stitching in some areas with light quilting in others makes for a quilt that won’t lie flat.  I thought that I had enough border quilting to balance out my dense block fillers, but I was wrong, and the quilt doesn’t lie flat:

orphan blocks 5You can see that I have “Friendly” borders, the kind that wave to you!  I should have made the border quilting more dense.  (I know that the borders were measured correctly and the unquilted top was flat).  This isn’t a big deal, it won’t be a wall quilt, and it was a practice quilt anyway.  This is another example of why pantographs and edge-to-edge quilting are so popular, because you know the quilting will be evenly balanced throughout the quilt.

Now to back up in my story a little bit, I had considered a few options on how to sew these blocks together.  One idea was to quiet down this busy quilt by alternating the printed blocks with some solid fabrics.  I made 4 blocks, but they didn’t look good with the other blocks.  So now I have 4 new orphan blocks!

orphan blocks 6

In this case, 4 blocks isn’t enough to make a quilt top, so they go back to the orphan block pile.  Two steps forward, one step back!

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Apple Core Update

I’ve been working on my hand piecing project, and got to the point that I had 5 sections done, consisting of 36 pieces each.

5As I worked on the next section, I decided it was time to start planning the finished size.  My sections so far have been 6×6, and I determined that I needed to add sections of 4×6 to the sides to make the desired size for the finished quilt.  Here are the 6×6 and 4×6 sections that I finished next:

7If you look at the above photo, can you spot my problem?  The sections are NOT going together nicely anymore!  Without planning or even realizing what I had done, the first 5 sections were all the same “shape”, meaning that the upper left corner of the section had a “horizontal” placement for that piece.  The last 6×6 section that I made, shown above, has a vertical placement in the upper left corner.  The 4×6 section shown next to it was done correctly.  When these two sections go together, they do not make even rows:


So here is what the sections look like, leaving a gap where I need to fill in with more pieces:9

I can fix this without ripping out any seams; I just need to plan ahead and fill in pieces as needed.  I thought that a One-Patch quilt didn’t require any planning – I was wrong on that!

Posted in Hand Piecing | 1 Comment

MatchMaker Challenge (part 2)

Last week’s post started the show & tell for the Deep Valley Quilter’s MatchMaker Challenge.  Today is the rest of the show.

This design seemed to be the most popular, probably because it is the easiest.  It works well with fun prints:


17This collection of prints is bandanas!

27Isn’t this a great checkerboard border?

22So many beautiful color combinations, both subtle and bold:

19 23 24 25 29Fun, bright colors:26Two more quilters took on the more challenging block:

20 28This collection of holiday fabrics will make a favorite family tradition.  What a great idea!


Many thanks to the very talented Deep Valley Quilters Guild for sharing their MatchMaker Challenge with me.  Great job, ladies!


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MatchMaker Challenge

In August of last year, I spoke at the Deep Valley Quilters Guild in Mankato, MN.  What a great group of talented quilters!  Rather than offer a gift as a door prize for one lucky quilter, I decided to give each member a MatchMaker Book.

MatchMaker covertemp.inddThe group made this gift into a Guild Challenge, and one year later, invited me back to see their show & tell.  What a turnout –  they had 28 quilts!  It’s so fun to see all the different fabric combinations.  I got pictures of all of them, but there’s so many, I’ll have to show some next week.

This book is a collection of 4 quilt designs, each offered in 5 sizes.  The quilts are great scrap-busters, since you don’t need much of any single fabric.  Use 2 fabrics to make a pair of blocks, but they’re not identical blocks.  The fabrics are place in positive/negative positions in the blocks, and the game is to find the matched pairs of blocks.  Pick fabrics for fun kids’ colors or prints, or make it in something to match your bedroom decor.  When the kids visit, you have a fun game that requires no mess and no clean-up, and it’s guaranteed to keep the kids busy!

So let’s get started with the show & tell!  I don’t know most of the quilters’ names, but I do know that these are Julie and Donna, and they modified the design to sew the blocks together using the Fun&Done! technique.  Very smart!

18This prolific quilter made 3 quilts!


43These fun prints are perfect for a kid’s quilt:

5This one has a nice pieced border, and she put the “Lonely Only” block on the back.  (There is one block left over who doesn’t have a mate):


6aSome used black and whites collected on a recent shop hop:

710Some modified the pattern for a smaller quiilt:

9Here’s another design from the book in elegant browns and greens:

11This talented quilter added applique to the border.  Beautiful!

1213This block is the most challenging, but still easy to achieve:

14I love the fun, bright colors!

15Next week I’ll share the rest of the show & tell.  Please join me!





Posted in Patterns, Workshops | 2 Comments