A Lovely Year of Finishes–June Goal

IMG_2301My ButtonI know I’m a day early for posting my June goal but I have to post the June Off Season Project QUILTING Challenge tomorrow.  I also happen to already know what my goal is for the June.

My daughter, Capri, will be graduating from Kindergarten in a week and a half.  She’s had a fabulous teacher that has not only taught my daughter but has become my friend. 

I visited their classroom yesterday to get a project started so that she’ll always be able to remember her 2013/2014 class.


I started the project out by reading one of my favorite books to the class – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  Then – it was time to start the project. 


I brought in a length of white fabric that I had ironed to freezer paper for stability.  Then, I painted each of the children in the classes’ hands with green paint and we put their hand prints onto the fabric.  I wrote the names of the children next to their handprint.hungry caterpillar

The final hand print – the red handprint – is Mrs. Ellingson’s!  Now that I have my handprint caterpillar created I will add borders to it and quilt it into a wall hanging for her classroom.  I have until June 11th – Carpi’s ‘graduation’ to complete this.

So with that – my A Lovely Year of Finishes June goal is to make and finish the Hungry Caterpillar quilt for Capri’s teacher, Mrs. Ellingson. 

Project QUILTING Measure Up Challenge–Dresden Neighborhood Quilt

My ButtonI can’t believe I did it!  I finished a quilt for the Project QUILTING ‘Can You Measure Up?’ Challenge (and my May Lovely Year of Finishes Goal).  Whew!  It was a CRAZY busy month and I had even less time in my sewing room than I thought I would – super glad I combined tasks.  This quilt actually helped me cover three obligations – you can also find out how to make your very own ‘Dresden Neighborhood’ by checking out my tutorial here!
I have made a few dresden plates in the past but never with a ruler before.  I highly recommend the ruler and I’m glad I finally pulled mine out of the package!
First, I put together the Dresden Neighborhood block.  It’s a 24” square block finished – definitely big enough for a mini quilt.  I considered putting borders on it…but then decided there is plenty going on already and it would be cute on it’s own.
I loaded it onto my quilting frame and used my Janome 1600P to free motion quilt this piece.  The main reason I purchased my frame was so I could do projects like this – not the big ones.  Now I just have remember that!  AND it loaded on really fast!
I’ve found that my 1600P likes to free motion quilt with Superior Bottom Line in the bobbin and Aurifil thread in the tope.  This beautiful variegated green thread is from Tula Pink’s Aurifil box! I was able to add it to my collection when I saw that the Fat Quarter Shop was having a 24 hour flash sale on Aurifil a few weekends ago! (by the way – best box other…super jam packed with variegated threads – my favorite’s!)
The hardest thing about using my frame to quilt is I have a pretty small ‘throat’ for moving…so I have to roll it fairly frequently.  This quilt, just 24”, took 5 different ‘rolls’ so I could get the patterns I desired.  BUT – it did work out fabulously – so no real complaints here.
I did tight quilting all over this piece.  I did quilt on all the houses as well and looking back I would do it differently next time.  Definitely still tight quilting in the background but instead of quilting the houses, I would just do some rough outlining of them so they poof out from the quilt but keep the whimsical feel.  I was just having so much fun on my frame that I couldn’t help myself!
Once the quilt was ready for the binding I decided to add a thin lip of orange fabric and bind in grey.  Just a little pop of orange really made a difference.
I backed the quilt with a city print on white.  I liked that it brought the ‘neighborhood’ concept to the back as well.
And – voila!  Here is the finished quilt!

With that…

May Project QUILTING Challenge – CHECK
New block tutorial for '52 Blocks: Twisted Tradition Quilt Along’ – CHECK
May ‘A Lovely Year of Finishes’ Goal – CHECK

Three tasks complete!  I’m ready for June!

How to Make a Barn Quilt–2014 Edition

It’s that time of year again – time to paint barn quilts!  This year I’ve been commissioned to paint two different barn quilts!  One is a 6’ x 6’ quilt and one is a 8’ x 8’ quilt.

Jackie ordered the first barn quilt – a 6’ x 6’ to hang on her white barn. 

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After a consult she decided on this Americana Ohio star block.  The white on the inside will look like ‘cutouts’ once it’s hung since the barn is white.  I think it’s going to look great!

Nancy ordered the second one.  Her barn quilt will hang on a red barn. 

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Our consult led her to choose the ‘Dutch Rose’.  This will be the most complicated barn quilt I paint…but it will look gorgeous in the end!

My husband put together the wood portion of the barn quilts for me.


Once they were put together it was time to prime.  I use four coats of primer for the base of the quilts.


I drew out a 3 x 3 grid at 2’ intervals to draw out the Ohio star quilt.  I just connected the dots for the diagonals.  This went really fast since I used a 5’ metal ruler as my straight edge.  Definitely worth the $10.  IMG_9312

For the Dutch Rose design I gridded the whole block out into 1’ square sections.  Then – I connected the dots to make the design.  It was pretty complicated and took awhile but I’m pretty sure that was the most tedious part for this design.


Finally!  It was time to tape out the first color!  I paint the colors from lightest to darkest…which means I’m starting with white.  Not super exciting but necessary.  I used frog tape to outline all the sections that are white.  The key to a good taping job is to try to get all your straight edges lined up with just one length of tape per edge.  It’s much harder to match up the line when you have to add a piece of tape to the same edge.  As you can see above – some of my edge outlining overlaps into the sections that need to be white.


Using a metal straight edge and a raiser blade I scored the frog tape.


Once the tape is scored it’s easy to remove the little overlapping corner. 


Now the Ohio star is ready for it’s first coat of white.  Before it’s all said and done – I will be painting four coats of each color paint with a minimum of 8 hours dry time between coats.


I also taped the white portions of the Dutch Rose quilt.  I can put on the coats of paint at the same time since I’ll be out in the shed painting anyway.


I know…not very exciting looking yet but the first coat of white is on!


And it’s on the Dutch Rose too! 

The process I described in this post – drawing the design, taping out the first color, painting the first coat, and clean up took me about 3 hours.  From here on out it won’t take me as long as I paint each coat – it’s just a matter of remembering to head out there every 8 hours or so. 

Stay tuned as I post progress pictures of the barn quilt!  I should have all four coats of the second color done by the end of the weekend!

Cross Orchard Block Tutorial: 52 Twisted Tradition Block Quilt Along

IMG_9185This weeks block was inspired by the vision of my orchard in blossoms this past week.  It was so beautiful to see the orchard in bloom – I look forward to it every year.

Cross Orchard Block Tutorial for

52 Twisted Traditional Block Quilt Along

Finished Block Size – 15” x 15”

I twisted the traditional block ‘Cross Variation’ for our next block. We’re going to turn this into a circle of apple trees. You can leave the block just as leaves, add some flowers , or even apples!

Cutting Instructions

The more shades of each fabric you cut – the scrappier your block will look.
Fabric A (brown)
4 – 3” squares
2 – 3.75” squares
Fabric B (blue)
4 – 3.75” squares
6 – 3.5” squares
Fabric C (green)
6 – 3.5” squares
12 – 3” squares
Fabric D (white)
2 – 3.75” squares
2 – 3.5” squares


1 – 5” square – small scale flowers
1 – 4-7/8” square of Heat N Bond Ultra Hold (or compatible)


We’re going to start by making our Half Square Triangle (HST) Blocks.
You will need to make 4 sets (8 blocks) of Fabric B and C HSTs and 2 sets of (4 blocks) Fabric B and D HSTs. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other of the 3.5” squares. Stitch a ¼” seam on both sides of this line. Once each side is stitched, cut along the line you drew.
IMG_9233Iron towards fabric B. Square up to a 3” square.
Now we’re going to make our combination HST blocks.
Match your 3.75” Fabric A and 3.75” Fabric B right sides together and your 3.75” Fabric B and 3.75” Fabric D right sides together. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other of the 3.5” squares. Stitch a ¼” seam on both sides of this line.
Once each side is stitched, cut along the line you drew. Iron to one side.
We’re going to use the HSTs we just made to make our combination HSTs. Match your new blocks, right sides together with the 3.5” squares of Fabric C. Draw a line from one corner to the other, perpendicular to the same you just made. Stitch a ¼” seam on both sides of this line.
Once each side is stitched, cut along the line you drew. Iron towards Fabric C.
Square the blocks up to 3” squares. You will need a total of 16 combination HST blocks – 8 in each color way.
Layout the HSTs and Combination HSTs along with the solid 3” squares of Fabric A and Fabric C.

Sew the 36 squares together into one block.
This next step is completely optional. I wanted to add flowers to my trees since my orchard was recently in bloom – it’s just too beautiful not to embellish the block.
I found a great charm square of fabric with perfect little white flowers on it for me.
Take whatever charm square you find with small flowers (or apples or whatever) and fuse a square of Heat N Bond UltraHold onto the back.
Once you have your fusible ironed on – fussy cut as many flowers from the fabric as you can.
This particular square had just the right amount of flowers! Peel the paper off the back of the fusible and iron to the trees as seems pleasing to your eye.
Now that the blossoms (or apples or whatever) are fused on, your ‘Cross Orchard’ block is complete!
Thanks for following along and I hope you enjoyed this block tutorial!
Get your FREE printable PDF of this block by heading to my craftsy store.  Don’t wait too long…after a month (6/28), the PDF will be $1.
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
Instagram/Twitter Hashtag: #52bTT

Previous Blocks

Stop back next Wednesday for another twisted traditional block tutorial!

Mega Quilt Market Sweepstakes from the Fat Quarter Shop

You aren’t going to want to miss out on this!


This is one big HUGE giveaway !!! The Fat Quarter shop is hosting this great opportunity to win some very incredible swag!

The total value of this amazing giveaway retails at over $6,300 and is divided into twelve prize buckets – yes, that means there are TWELVE winners! The prizes range from fabric bundles and books to notions and many more quilting essentials. Be sure to watch the video below to see more about this fabulous giveaway!

To enter the Sweepstakes, visit their sites!

BLOG POST HERE. CLICK, and take part in the poll!


You have until June 30th to enter into this amazing prize giveaway!!!!

Self Portrait

As the school year is finally coming to an end (yes…it feels like it’s dragging on forever!  I’m ready for my summer schedule of lots of time in our little pool!) the girls’ are starting to bring home lots of their art projects.  One of the art projects the elementary kids did is a self portrait that was then put onto a tile and used to retile some of the walls around the school.

self portrait

And this is Mercedi’s self portrait.  I think this may be my favorite project yet!


In case you don’t remember which one Cedi is…this is her actual photo…

She did say the hair got a little ‘poofy’ on her…

I will cherish this piece forever!  oh cedi…

Weekend in Review, and Please Vote

We have had such a great weekend filled with apple blossoms, friends and new memories!  It has not, however, included any actual sewing…but hopefully I’ll get to it a bit later today!

Before I get to my reminiscent pictures I just wanted to let you know that it’s time to vote (voting stays open until May 29th) for your favorite Quilts over at Amy’s Creative Side’s Blogger Quilt Festival.


Novitiate Nebula is the ‘Scrap Quilt Category’ Running. 

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Just click the little heart in the upper right of the picture to vote for it – you get two votes too so be sure to check out all the entries while you’re there!


The Amazing Technicolor Dream Heart is in the ROYGBIV Category Running AND it made it into the top 25 of the whole show and could possible win ‘Viewer’s Choice’!  Can you believe it!?   

So please – take a few minutes to just click on the category’s and do a little voting!  I so appreciate your support!

Now…let’s take a look at some of the fun things that have happened so far this weekend.

blossoms pink

First…it was apple blossom time at the orchard. I took the photo above of one of our Scarlet apple trees in blossom.  20 acres in bloom is a sight that everyone should be able to see…so of course, we opened to the public.

  apple blossom sunset

For this incredible shot, friend and talented photographer, Karmen Linder, stole my phone and snapped this one quickly.  I just love the sun setting behind the blossoms…wowsa!pip blossoms

I was going for a gothic/blossom look with Pip in her Minnie Mouse dress in this shot. 

barn quilts begunI’ve been commissioned to paint two barn quilts this summer.  Over the weekend I’ve managed to get all four coats of primer on!  Off to the store for paint this afternoon.plantingWe worked on our flower and vegetable gardens this weekend (yup – I even planted some things).  Capri is planting her garden in her Christmas Tree Dress…so appropriate…I know.gg and pip

I got a nice shot of Grandma and Grandpa just hanging out with Pip after a long day of work in the gardens and orchard.

carrie weddingSaturday night, we headed to Green Bay to celebrate my cousin Carrie marrying Jeremy.  It was the first time I’ve met Jeremy and I definitely approve. 

cedi and paigeAll the kids were invited to the wedding.  It’s always so much fun to watch them dance and have fun with their cousins.  Cedi definitely enjoyed dancing with Paige and Avery (avery’s not pictured). 

kyle and jillian

On Sunday, these two rolled up on their tandem bike!  How cool is that?  And yes – Kyle was cool enough to take me for a little spin on it…so much fun!  I just had to pedal and look around…zero stress!

pd mug

And here’s my lovely Persimon Dreams mug that I gave Jillian…she took it home to wash and ‘hang dry’ it!

Hope you had a great weekend!

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