A Little Sass

I received my mini quilt from jgmehlin today! This is from the Swap Til You Drop Flickr group, and the quilt is absolutely gorgeous!

A Little Sass

Even the back is pretty…

A Little Sass back

The quilt alone is fantastic, but Julie sent several other items, including a little notebook with a quilt on the cover, some divine smelling tea, Tequila Sunrise chocolates by Lindt, and a roll of caramel hard candies (sorry, the chocolate’s gone already!).

A Little Sass and a Lot of Goodies

As usual, a quilt cannot enter the house without at least one of the cats inspecting it thoroughly. Buttercup did the honors today. This is the first photo I took of the quilt – I had to move her three times to get a clear photo.

A Little Snoop

Thank you Julie – everything is wonderful! Your quilt is the first to go on my wall and I plan to add many minis to it!

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Family block of the month

Several family members get together once a month to quilt and chat and eat and chat and eat… We have a block of the month project going, where we take turns choosing a 12″ star block. I write up the pattern and we all make the block using our own fabrics. November was block 9, and Pat chose to do a star using the one seam flying geese. The star went together amazingly easily – it actually took longer to cut the fabric than it did to sew the block.

Family BOM 9

My mom is doing a variety of colors – she started out using Christmas reds and greens but got tired of it after the third block. She redid the blocks and now has about 20 different fabrics in her blocks. This is spectacular for her, since she usually does a fairly planned color palette. Woohoo for Mom trying something out of her comfort zone! Pat has a focus fabric that has birds on it and she tries to fussy cut at least one bird to fit the center of the block. She’s also using shades of burgundy and forest green. Karen has a beautiful palette of creams, golds, warm reddish pinks and soft greens. My blocks are all in shades of blue, white, aqua and green – here are my blocks so far:

Family BOM Star 1 Family BOM Star 2
Family BOM Star 3 Family BOM Star 4
Family BOM Star 4A - Anxiety

Yes, I know I’m missing some months. I really need to catch up on four months…

Cats do the darndest things, part 87

Buttercup is my “personality” cat. The other two definitely have personalities, but Boo-cup has oodles to spare. She’s the one who likes to get inside my shirt, who deliberately spikes her fur, who talks back when she’s scolded, who rubs her face on the top of my head, who ambushes you as you walk past so she can jump to the top of a door… She’s the one who has figured out that if she runs fast enough and hits the back of the chair hard enough, it will recline and create a comfy little spot for her to nap.

Buttercup reclining

Yes, that’s a Raggedy Ann in the background – I made it 10 years ago and can’t bear to part with her. The bin of fabric beneath her is part of my home dec fabric stash, used to make bags. I really need to make a new winter bag…

Please pretend not to notice how filthy that chair is. It’s old. It’s Buttercup’s.

Good things come in small packages

I finished my first miniature quilt today! It’s for a Flickr swap through a group called Swap Til You Drop. Here’s the sneak preview I posted on Flickr:
Anything Goes preview

There’s a photo of the final quilt at the bottom of this post – I hope she doesn’t read the blog, but I just couldn’t wait to post it! (Julie, if you’re reading this, stop now!) I’m really happy with how it turned out. The border was a pain in the patoot – it’s all freezer paper pieced, but I had to do each side in five separate sections, and they didn’t want to play nicely. I wasn’t sure how to quilt it and I didn’t want to ruin it, so I just did a simple outline in the “background” spaces. The finished quilt is 15″ square, the maximum allowed size for this swap group. I really enjoyed working small, and I can see where mini quilts can become addictive!

This quilt is leaving tomorrow for Italy, and I hope she enjoys it! I’m going to miss the little guy…

Mini Kayaks

Criss Cross aka Windmill Whimsy aka Mosaic #10

So I saw this gorgeous quilt on Flickr, then read about it on filminthefridge‘s blog, then showed a friend, then HAD to write up instructions on the quilt. It has several names because I’m calling the quilt Criss Cross, filminthefridge is calling it Windmill Whimsy, and the “official” name of the block is Mosaic #10 (at least, that’s what EQ6 and Barbara Brackman’s BlockBase call it).

It works well scrappy or planned (or somewhere in between), and it can go light, dark, bright, pastel, batik, repro… basically anything you like. Here are some examples (thank you, EQ6):

Criss Cross 5 Criss Cross 4

Criss Cross 3 Criss Cross 2

Criss Cross 1 Criss Cross 6

This is such a simple block – it’s great for beginners because it’s a large block, and it’s a good introduction to half square triangles. You can adjust the size of the quilt simply by adjusting the size of the half square triangles.

Criss Cross block

The instructions I wrote are for a planned scrappy quilt, using a large assortment of colored fabrics and a single background fabric. I like to cut larger than necessary squares for half square triangle units, then trim the finished HST units to the correct size. It takes a little longer, but it’s more accurate and the block goes together easier. If you’re doing a more planned quilt, you could try half square triangle papers (Triangle Papers, Thangles, or Triangles on a Roll). Here’s a PDF of my instructions:
criss-cross-thumbnail
It includes yardage and cutting info for four sizes – a large throw, full, queen and king. It’s a single sheet, pretty straightforward. If anyone makes the quilt, I’d love to see photos!

Simple Joy

Tuesday is “Gramma Day” – at least it has been for a few weeks. Now my schedule is changing, so we have to figure out another Gramma day. I drive my grandmother on errands and we get to spend some time together. I enjoy it, and so does she, and having a purpose helps me get off my backside and go see her. She’s just a 10 – 15 minutes drive away, but unless we plan something I don’t think to go see her. So, Gramma Day! This past Tuesday was especially fun, because we went to a local grade school and presented dictionaries to the third graders. I never expected third graders to be so excited about receiving dictionaries! See, Grandma teaches a reminiscence writing class through the senior center, and the group put together a collection of stories and self published it. It’s called “Hopscotch, Hobos and Foxholes,” and it’s full of stories from their childhood (Hopscotch), the Great Depression (Hobos) and World War II (Foxholes). They sell the book at local shops, and the proceeds are used to purchase dictionaries that they give away. This is their fifth year, and they’ve given away more then four thousand books! I’m glad that I got to go with her this time, because the interest the kids had in the books was inspiring. I love words, and being able to share that joy with a room full of eight year olds was priceless. One little boy even gave my grandma a hug at the end.