2015 Hand Crafted Hoedown for the Holidays–Sneak Peek

Here’s a quick peek at jut a few of the wonderful things you can find at tomorrow and Saturday’s big craft event!  For more pictures – check out the facebook album I put together!

Block 47 - Pumpkin Ball-001

Hope to see you at the orchard either Friday or Saturday!

Pumpkin Ball Quilt Block Tutorial–52 Twisted Traditional Blocks Quilt Along

mercedi broke arm

So for future reference – I do a lot better when I make my blocks ahead of time and get everything ready before the day before I have to post.  Because sometimes life happens.  And sometimes you get a call from the school that says your daughter got stuck on some school equipment and hung from her arm for awhile before freeing herself and that I should probably come get her to bring her to the doctor. 

At this point – it looks like she has some small buckle fractures on her forearm bones.  We’ll find out more once the radiologist has a chance to look at the x-rays. 

Once she was settled into bed and sleeping for the night I did manage to make this weeks block though – so without further adieu … I give you the Pumpkin Ball Block!  (I felt like it was fitting with Thanksgiving and pumpkin pies just around the corner …)

Pumpkin Ball Block Tutorial for

52 Twisted Traditional Block Quilt Along

Finished Block Size – 10” x 10”

A traditional snowball block with a border/sashing is easily twisted into a lovely pumpkin!

Cutting Instructions

Pumpkin (orange)


3 – 2.5” x 6.5” strips

Grass (greens)


1 – 2.5” x 10.5”
2 – 3.5” x 2.5”
2 – 2” x 2”

Sky (blue)


2 - 2.5” x 4.5”
2 – 2.5” x 3.5”
1 – 2.5” x 1.0”
2 – 2.0” x 2.0”

Stem (brown)


1 – 2.5” x 2.0”



Start by sewing your three 2.5” x 6.5” orange strips together.


Turn your strips so they are in they are vertical.


On the wrong side of the 2” squares draw a diagonal line.


Place the two sky squares in the upper half and the two grass squares in the lower half.

Stitch along the lines you drew.


Trim the excess corners off and press to the sky and grass squares.


The snowball portion of the block is complete. Now we’re going to sash it. Sew your two sets of 2.5” x 3.5” sky and grass rectangles together.


Sew them on either side of the ‘Pumpkin’ ball.


Next – sew the 1.5” x 2.5” sky to the stem fabric. Press towards the stem. Sew the two 2.5” x 4.5” sky fabrics to either side of the stem.


Sew the 2.5” x 10.5” grass strip to the bottom of the block. Press towards the grass fabric. Finally – sew the sky/stem strip to the top of the block and press towards the strip.


And with that…your ‘Pumpkin Ball’ block is finished!


Get your FREE printable PDF of this block by heading to my craftsy store.  Don’t wait too long…after a month (12/19/14), the PDF will be $1.


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I can’t wait to see what all your blocks look like!  Be sure to share you blocks and any projects you make using your blocks onto our flickr group: 52 Blocks Quilt Along

Hashtag: #52bTT

Stop back next Wednesday for another twisted traditional block tutorial!

Day 5 of my Houston Journey

On Friday morning, we were up bright and early and back on the bus for the long ride home.IMG_5431

Have I mentioned that I slept – a lot – on the bus?  Well – one of my great new friends found this wonderful eye mask at festival for me!  How sweet is she!? AND – it doubled up perfectly for my Halloween costume!


Cheryl was kind enough to snap this picture of me sleeping. 


I was nice enough to borrow my cool pillow to the critters for a little while though.


We stopped at a beautiful rest stop on the way to our quilt shop stop of the day.IMG_5439

This may be my favorite picture of the critters in the shop.  This was taken at Stitchin’ Heaven and there are three great things about this picture – the quote, the aurifl thread, and the Aurifil Thread pack from Edyta Sitar

After our quilt shop stop – it was back on the bus and we made it to our hotel late in the evening. 

Aurifil Block of the Month Up Date

I’ve been on a jewelry making binge or the last 24 hours and I almost forgot to blog today!  I have my annual sale – the Hand Crafted Hoedown for the Holiday’s – at my orchard this Friday and Saturday that I’m busy preparing for.  BUT – I have also been getting some sewing done.  I’m so in LOVE with the November block designed by Scott Hansen!IMG_4772Here is what my block ‘Tossed Salad’ looks like.  IMG_4774

And here is what my 11 blocks look like so far.  I am beyond happy that I added some pops of color into my blocks.  I’m not sure if I’m capable of a low volume quilt … maybe I’ll try again another time.


I’m pretty sure I never posted my October block – ‘Circle of Love’ designed by Quilt Jane.  I love this one too –  it reminds mea  bit of the Nested Churn Dash block she designed too!

Just a few more weeks and the final block will be revealed!  I can’t wait to see what it is!

Fen Koan–A Quilt Finish


Well –  I’ve been working on this quilt, sort of in secret, for awhile now.  FabricFascination BOM all 12 blocksIt actually all started in 2012 with Fabric Fascination’s BOM quilt blocks.  I had a great time making these blocks using fabrics I typically wouldn’t – but look just how beautiful they all look together!

My next task was figuring out how I wanted to put them together for the finish.  Of course, I couldn’t just put them together like a typical sampler. 


In my dreams one night – I figured out what I was going to do!  First – I had to add some thicker strips of fabric onto each side of the blocks.


Then – Jared figured out the dimensions a hexagon would have to be to encompass a 12” block with 1/4” seam allowances.  After that – a family friend used those dimensions to make a Plexiglas template for me to use to cut out my blocks.


And finally – I made each of my sampler blocks into hexagons. 

For my layout to work I had to make some ‘filler’ blocks.


I made more hexagon blocks using the lighter batik fabric and then adding strips of the other fabric as well as some fun orange batiks. 


Once it was all pieced I sent the quilt to my aunt, Barb Raisbeck of Quilts by Barb, to quilt.  She put an all over hexagon pattern on the quilt – a perfect fit!


I’m sure at this point you’re wondering what in the world does ‘Fen Koan’ have to do with my quilt finish reveal?

So – I have a great friend, Trish Frankland of Quilt Chicken, whom I go to when I have trouble coming up with names for things or coherently writing something important. 

After some coffee and time on the internet – Trish came up with ‘Fen Koan’ for the name of this quilt.  Of course I had to ask how she came up with that for the name – so … here’s what she wrote. 

I went looking for zen words because it's a peaceful quilt. When I found koan (which is often thought of as an unsolvable riddle), I went looking for hexi words.

Honeycomb is another hexi word - and another use for the word honeycomb is to RIDDLE something, like with holes. OMG - so koan-honeycomb-riddle.  So then I went looking for nature words for the color scheme - and fen is a irish-type word for the peaty bogs (good for water blues and grassy greens!) And there it was ...

fen = grassy marsh, wetland which describes the color scheme

koan = a paradox to be meditated upon and koan applies to the peaceful feeling evoked by the quilt, and the fact that your quilts aren't usually this quiet - that it's something to wonder about and think on


So – there you have it!  My very first large hexagon pieced sampler quilt!  What do you think!?

International Quilt Festival


On the fourth day of our journey – we spent the entire day at the International Quilt Festival.  Here I am with the critters waiting in the line for the festival to open.

IMG_5400I decided to start my day going through booths.  I had to snap this shot of Edyta Sitar.  Her booth was PACKED everytime I passed by!IMG_5402I did sneak in though and get a quick selfie with the lovely lady! 

IMG_5404I found some great deals on fabric and things … and then I came upon the aurifil booth.  They had a really fun booth – they had a roulette table and a black jack table set up and you could win spools of aurifil. Unfortunately – I never won.  BUT I did get to meet Alex Veronelli AND get a selfie with him!IMG_5408

I did have to go and check a few of my bags so I could feel my shoulders again.  A little bird had told me that this lovely lady – Victoria Findlay Wolfe would be at the Sizzix booth so I made sure to stop by and say hello!


I had to take a break from all the shopping so I headed back into the festival for some inspiration!IMG_4308This modern quilt is absolutely STUNNING – not only in the photo but even more so in real life!  IMG_4315I’ve always been a sucker for quilts with trees and houses – I’m loving this one!IIMG_4320

And the movement in this piece is just fantastic! 

It was a long day with a lot of walking, a lot of shopping and a lot of things to see and do.  It was so worth the long ride to see the show and I am beyond thrilled that I did it.

Courthouse Thread Block Tutorial

It’s time for the 46th block in the Twisted Traditional Quilt Along!  That means just six weeks left until 2015!  It’s hard to believe the year has gone by that fast.  Are you all starting to get ready for the holidays?  We definitely are around here.

Okay – enough small chat – let’s get to it!

Courthouse Thread Block Tutorial for

52 Twisted Traditional Block Quilt Along

Finished Block Size – 12” x 12”

A traditional log cabin block put together in the courthouse step style is fun to twist into a spool of thread!

Cutting Instructions



1 – 4.5” square (preferably a striped fabric)

Background (I chose low volume and scrappy)


2 – 4.5” x 1.5”
4 – 1.5” x 1.5”


2 – 2.5” x 6.5”


4 – 2.5” x 2.5”


2 – 1.5” x 10.5”
2 – 1.5” x 12.5”

Spool (brown)


2 - 1.5” x 6.5”
2 – 2.5” x 6.5”



Start by sewing your two 1.5” x 4.5” background strips to either side, perpendicular to the stripe. Press towards the stripe print.


Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each of the 1.5” background squares.


Lay them right sides together with the spool 1.5” x 6.5” strips just as I show in the diagram above.


Sew along each seam. I finger pressed them open in the proper orientation so I made sure to trim the corners properly.


Trim the corners.


Press towards the corners and sew to the rectangle.


Add your 6.5” x 2.5” background strips. Sew the 2.5” background squares to the 2.5” x 6.5” spool fabric.


Sew these strips onto the center rectangle. At this point you have a 10.5” square and could be finished. I think a framed spool of thread looks a bit nicer.


Sew the 1.5” x 10.5” background strips on first. Finish with the two 1.5” x 12.5” background strips.


And with that…your ‘Courtyard Thread’ block is finished!


Get your FREE printable PDF of this block by heading to my craftsy store.  Don’t wait too long…after a month (12/12/14), the PDF will be $1.


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I can’t wait to see what all your blocks look like!  Be sure to share you blocks and any projects you make using your blocks onto our flickr group: 52 Blocks Quilt Along

Hashtag: #52bTT

Stop back next Wednesday for another twisted traditional block tutorial!