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Archive for the tag “Review”

Thistleberry Block 3 Churn Dash

Wow, the vacation has spiraled out of control.  Children coming in to visit, children going out, in-laws having some rough patches.  As I write this my vacation is coming to a close with the end of the week and I don’t feel I’ve rested as much as I should have, nor completed enough of the projects I wanted to.


The one thing I did complete was the block 3 Churn Dash and it at least turned out beautiful!IMG_0289

Starting with five sets of fabric I started making the nine squares.IMG_0290




Then turned them into stripsIMG_0291 and finally the square is complete!


Thistleberry Quilt Block 2


With Block 2, what you see is what you get.  You are given 16 strips of four colors and after figuring out the scant seam that I needed to use, went together fairly quickly.





Sewing the blocks together proved a little tricky, but I managed to get the corners together after five minutes of wrangling and a little bit of seam ripping.


And here is the second finished block!!  Two down and 10 to go!!

Block 2

Thistleberry Quilt Block 1

Starting a new block-of-the-month courtesy of Joann Fabrics.  The newest one out of the gate is Thistleberry.  This pattern is again from quiltblocks© and I have to say they have another hit in my opinion.  The finished quilt will measure 76 ½” x 93 ½” and has the setting kit, binding, and backing kit available as well as the 12 monthly blocks for purchase.DSC_0096


The patterns are very unique and the color scheme is fantastic.  I’ve already put the first block together and it looks great.IMG_0165

The difficulty level of this quilt on a scale from 1 to 5 would have to be a two.  The patterns are beautiful and the colors reminiscent of Easter.  I’ve passed on the last three patterns put out for Joann Fabrics and am pleased to say I’ll be putting this one together.


Persian Plum gone Wrong

The sabbatical is over and I’m making some changes to my site in the near future.  It is said that the only constant is change and with that I’ve decided to change from my slothful nature and get back to posting what I’ve been up to.

All of the monthly blocks of the Persian Plum block of the month square are completed.  When I opened the setting kit it was with a lot of trepidation.  As I flipped through the fabric I was extremely disappointed that some of the fabric hadn’t been cut properly.  I promised that I wouldn’t go off on a rant about it and proceeded to just make it work.  It was so disheartening that I have taken a lot of time to put this together only to find more work for myself to correct the manufacture’s mistakes.IMG_0787

Because of this and my general nature of needing to have multiple projects going at the same time, I completed what I’m calling my “Chopsticks Quilt” and am still plugging along with the “Oh Canada” quilt that I started the year before.  I found while going through fabric with my wife a mini-quilt that she started but hadn’t bound and asked that I be able to hand quilt it for her.  Yes, another project!!  It brightened my mood and I’m almost a third done with that one now.

Back to the Persian Plum however, she’s been helping me piece the other squares together in return for hand quilting her mini.  We’ve just about completed all of the other squares from the setting kit and should be finished piecing those this evening.  I’ll post up Blocks 11 and 12 over the next couple of days to give an idea of what the collection looks like.

Until next time,

The White Sale and the Sewing Room Remodel

The white sale

For this curiosity seeker the title has enabled me to compress the two things I wanted to write about into one topic, that of white and the impact it has on me and the trade of quilt making.

I have discovered within myself a great penchant for using white as a choice of fabrics.  I did not start out that way; in fact you could say that I avoided it through most of my initial quilt projects.  Having a great love of quilts, my wife and I purchased a lot of magazines, went to a lot of quilt shows, and visited a host of online sites to view finished quilts and patterns.

As I pointed out the quilts or patterns that I liked the most it became clear to me the thread of commonality among my choices, there was a lot of white fabric in my list of favorites.

I started using white in the quilts I was making and voila! I became happier with the finished quilts.  I honestly think it’s the stark contrast between colors, or how the white can extend a lighter colored block of fabric beyond its borders.

The white sale II

After shopping online and in stores I came to the conclusion that no one except for specialty stores were selling what we needed for the sewing room remodel.  The specialty shops were so far out of our price range it was incredible.  Yes, there products were perfect for use and would definitely improve anything we had in mind, but the cost was most definitely prohibitive.

Back to the drawing board I went searching hopelessly for something that would satisfy our space requirements and our pocket books.  IKEA had just what I had been hoping for on their website.  People may read this and say “DUH”, but I’ve never been to an IKEA store and no, I haven’t been living under a rock.  The problem with this store was that I had never been there but needed to see and measure each piece we were considering for purchase.

My great idea was to go there about noon on Saturday and wrap up no later than 2pm…  anyone who’s shopped at an IKEA store is laughing right about now.  I’m a good sport however and am laughing with them at my own ignorance.  For those of you who have never shopped there, well let me just refer to the phrase rats in a maze.  The cheese by the way isn’t along your journey through the place, just like a rats maze you’ll have to wait to reach the end before you can find satisfaction.

When we arrived home at something approaching 5pm, exhausted as I was Sunday was Mother’s day and I wasn’t going to have my wife waiting to use the new furniture when I could “easily” put it together that night!

The dread of messing something up washed over me as I opened the first box of parts and began assembly.  By the end of the first two hours, not only had I completed sewing table it had gone together so well hope sprang from within at the thought of the three other pieces of furniture waiting for assembly.

By midnight, all the pieces were assembled and positioned in the first of many configurations.

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This is what we were using!!


These are the new cabinets facing the entry wall

The new sewing tables and cutting board

The new sewing tables and cutting board


Quilts and the iPad

Like almost every quilter I have a phone and a computer.  I read a lot of books as well, though mostly fiction.  Until recently I had a Nook from Barnes & Noble that I used for the bulk of my electronic reading, but a friend of mine was upgrading his iPad 1 to and iPad 3 and made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse.  If you’ve ever held an iPad, you’ll notice a huge difference in weight between it and an e-reader.

As great as it was, it was just too heavy to use for reading and it languished on a shelf for a while.  One day while flipping through a favorite quilting magazine I noticed on the back an advertisement showing that you could put a subscription of the magazine on the iPad.  Color me intrigued!!  Though for me, the iPad is much too heavy to use for normal reading… the larger screen and size is actually ideal for walking around with quilting patterns and instructions.

You may be saying that a magazine is just as easy, but I’ll make two points about ease of use.  One, the most distracting thing is to have a magazine open while reading cutting instructions and have the pages flip on me while I’m reading it.  This invariably leads to some not so nice verbiage from me.  Secondly, I can carry around 12 issues… or 32 quilt patterns chock full of pictures, measurements, and ideas that can inspire my creativity wherever I am.

Send me a note on what you do to inspire your creativity!

Work Took Over My Week

My daughter came into town this week, but with everything that is still going on at work I haven’t really been able to spend too much time with her.  She brought her half-finished quilt and we are determined that this weekend I will not think about work at all, but help her out with her project.

On a funnier note, I had tried a new quilter who was very inexpensive on a sage garden quilt that I had finished piecing.  Last night for two hours my wonderful daughter was pulling stitches out of the quilt and got further along than I would have thought was possible.  I’ll have to find a way to reward her for all this hard work because I thought it was a lost cause.  I don’t know what to say to the quilter who obviously was trying to do a good job, any advice?

Our daughter has been teasing that if she’s putting all this work into the quilt that it should be hers afterwards.  She even went so far as to accuse her mom and I of “hoarding” quilts!  Can you believe it??  When she arrived for her visit we were showing her some of the quilts we’ve finished, the ones we’re working on, and the tops that we’ve completed that are yet to be quilted.  She asked where the quilts were going and to whom they were to be given.  It was at that moment that she accused us of hoarding our quilts.

This weekend I’ll be finishing the last two blocks from Joann’s Persian Plum quilt kit and be able to start on the setting kit.  My goal was to have the quilt finished already, but I’ll be happy having it finished before the end of the year.  So many stops and starts on this one, but I really love how it’s coming together.

It’s Never Too Early to Start a Christmas Quilt

So I started last night thinking about the first Christmas quilt of the season.  What pattern to use though? Here is a quick preview of the fabric I’m going to be using.


Now, in my previous post I mentioned that it’s a good idea to have already picked a pattern out… and I did, I promise.  I may still actually use the pattern I picked in the end, but while playing around with the Electric Quilt software I came across a block that with a little embellishment would highlight the blue fabric like I wanted.

The next thing I knew I was designing an entire quilt around the block I created.  I have the look that I wanted but don’t yet know if I’ll change it in the end.  Here is the finished test block, I still don’t know if I want to fussy-cut the fabric… it just seems such a waste, but I may end up doing it in the end.


These squares will be 8″ when sewn together with a foursquare.  I should have some of the panels finished to show by the end of the week end.

Joann Fabric’s Persian Plum Block 10

Persian Plum Block 10 had so many little pieces of fabric.  It had me thinking how I was going to be able to make a block big enough.

Sewing them together I had to make eight flying geese.  They were so small and cute, but the fabric is so thick it took a little to get the seams ironed down.

Then sewing everything together the block looked so nice, don’t you agree?

So Much Fabric and So Little Time

My trip to the Moda warehouse started VERY early in the morning.  Please don’t think that I’m complaining, I feel fortunate to have Moda so close to where I live.  Still and all, 5am is a little too early for my liking even for a sale.  Kay took a couple of photos while we were there, but we were so focused on all of the beautiful fabric that we didn’t take too many.

This was just one of the rows we walked down.  There was so much wonderful fabric, the patterns and the colors fantastic.  Then we went to the other side of the warehouse where the Notions were stored…. WOW!

To say that we were kids in a candy store was an understatement.  The warehouse was FILLED with what amounted to candy to us.  Kay was so fun to watch as she moved from shelf to shelf, ohhing and ahhhing.

What I bought was NOWHERE near what I wanted to buy, but I thought I’d share it with you.

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