Jo Morton Signature Quilt

I was digging around in my fabric closet and found the squares for a signature quilt that still needed to be sewn together in a quilt top!  This project was started over a year ago, and put aside for whatever reason.  I figured I could finish the quilt top and add it to my UFO list under projects to be quilted.


Jo Morton Signature Quilt

This is a fun quilt to make from your scraps.  The signature X blocks are very easy to make – you cut out the squares of cream fabric, sew a square of colored fabric to the opposite corners, press open, and then trim off the excess.  You do have lots of little triangle scraps, but they are perfect for miniature quilts or to create small blocks for pin cushions.

Before you sew the X blocks together, you can have your friends sign the smaller blocks.  This is a very nice keepsake to have – great for quilting bees,  weddings, graduations, or other special occasions.  I’ve even heard of people hosting online signature swaps – people create and sign squares, send them off, and get signed squares in return.

The nine-patch blocks were made with a technique that is fast and doesn’t waste fabric.  I will be posting a tutorial on Sunday with instructions on how to do it.  On a side note, the first Sunday of every month I will post either a tutorial or a new pattern (it will alternate).

Also, I found one other UFO that is being added to the list.  I cut out over 200 “apple core” pieces to hand stitch an apple core table runner (also in Jo Morton fabrics).  My plan is to carry a few pieces of this project around in my purse and stitch on it when a I can.  Hopefully the top will be completed by the end of the summer and then I can hand quilt it.

Keep it thimble!

Mini Patchwork Stockings

Aren’t these the cutest little patchwork stockings?  I found the pattern FOR FREE on Connecting Threads about 2 years ago and have made quite a few of them.  The directions show you how to make four little stockings (all the same patchwork pattern, but you can add variety by using different cuffs, bindings, and backing).  It’s a great stashbuster since you use 10 different fabrics for this.

Mini Patchwork Stockings

This is done with a clever strip piecing method and takes very little time.  I estimate that you can knock out all four of these in about 2 hours if you were able to work without interruption!  These make great teacher gifts, gift card holders, candy cane holders, and decorations!  One day, I plan to personalize some of them by embroidering a name on the cuff.


Mini Homespun Stocking

You can make different sizes by changing the size of the strips  – imagine a set of miniature stockings that were half the size!  Enjoy this pattern – there’s a lot you can do with it.

Watermelon Table Runner

The All People Quilt website has a quick and easy pattern for this Watermelon Table Runner. I got a kit from a local quilt shop 2 years ago and decided to stitch it up on Saturday.  It took less than 2 hours (including the cutting) and turned out perfectly.  This uses the quilt as you go method, so when you are sewing on the strips, you are also quilting it.  It’s just the right accent for your summer table!

Watermelon Table Runner

Variations on a Quilt Block

My Jo Morton club is having a block swap on Tuesday. We are supposed to make up 6″ blocks in Jo Morton fabric that we can swap with other club members. Mine is a fun block pattern called “Thrifty” that uses a selection of red, blue, and yellow fabrics. However, after made up the first block I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the blue and how it looked with the other colors. I played around with some other blues from my stash and ended up making four variations.

Which color scheme looks best?

Block A
Block B
Block C
Block D

Three Cheers for Zippered Tote!

I’ve wanted to make a red, white, and blue purse for awhile and finished this just in time for Memorial Day!  The original pattern was Charm Party Tote, a tote that was open at the top.

Zipper Charm Tote Exterior
Zipper Charm Tote Exterior

However, I wanted this to function more as a purse, so I added a zipper.

Zippered Charm Tote Top
Zippered Charm Tote Top

The bag has fusible fleece on the interior and exterior, and features some light quilting.  I am going to experiment with using different combinations of fusible fleecing for the lining to see if I can find one that makes this less bulky.  The outside uses 24 charm squares, and then I used the leftover squares to make the pockets.

Zipper Charm Tote Exterior 2
Zipper Charm Tote Exterior 2

Jo’s Little Houses

Here’s a fun little quilt made entirely of Jo Morton fabric and a pattern from “Little Quilts:  All Through the House.”  I’ve been wanting to make a house quilt for awhile, and this one is prefect because it didn’t take anytime at all!  All the houses are pieced together with 2″ inch strips, so it is a great stash buster.  I grouped my scraps by color so the houses would be more distinct.  When this is quilted, I am going to applique “Welcome” on it with wool and hang it my my front foyer.

Little Houses Quilt
Little House Quilt

I think it would have been cute to make all the houses red and blue.  The green is nice, but they blend into my grass strip a bit.

Congratulations to Plain and Simple Quilt Shop!

Plain and Simple Quilt Shop is one of the 10 shops featured in the latest issue of Quilt Sampler magazine!  Congratulations to Sharon and the girls of Plain and Simple for making such a fun and inviting place to shop!

Sharon Reilly, Owner, Plain and Simple Quilt Shop

I found Plain and Simple about 3 years ago and have been going at least once a week since then.  This store has a great selection of fabric and tons of patterns for quilts, bags, dolls, and other primitive and americana items.  Not to mention they have a great wool selection and tons of wool applique patterns.  My fabric stash would be significantly smaller if the shop weren’t so close to my house!

This is a well -deserved recognition, and I figure the shop will get more crowded since the secret is out.  Stop by if you have a chance.

Other Free BOMs and Projects

The internet is a great place to find tons of fun projects and BOMs – all for free!  I have been following a few websites and wanted to share them with you as well.  This is just the tip of the iceberg, once you start doing google searches on free patterns and free BOMs, you will find some many things to make that it would actually use up your fabric stash!  Here are some of my favorites that I browse on a regular basis.  I have yet to commit to any of these, but they are on my list:

  • Pat Sloan – Meadow Breeze BOM for Aurifil Thread.  Pat Sloan has a beautiful FREE BOM that started in March 2010.  Two blocks are available now.
  • Moda Bake Shop – Free patterns and projects using jelly rolls, layer cakes, honey buns, and turnovers. Yum!
  • Bunny Hill – Snowbound BOM.  A very cute applique BOM that features Snowmen (and Snowwomen)!
  • Debbie Mum – Around the Block BOM.  She releases two block patterns every 2 months. This is for those who don’t do applique.
  • Willowberry Designs – Under the Sea BOM.  A super cute quilt with embroidered blocks.  My son has this one on his list for me to make for sure.

Enjoy!  If you know of other good sites, please share in the comments.

Book Review -The Quilter’s Academy, Vol 1

This year I am adding book reviews to my blog.  As an avid collector of books on quilting, sewing, and embroidery, it’s nice to share my opinions on the ones I enjoy the most.  The first review will be on “The Quilter’s Academy – Vol 1”, by the mother/daughter team Harriet and Carrie Hargrave.

Quilter's Academy - Vol 1

The authors’ goal is to create a series of books that breaks down the process of making quilts into discrete classes (which in turn are broken down into 4 – 7 focused lessons).  The books progress in difficulty, and by the time you work through the entire series of books you will have a “Masters” in quilt making.  As someone who thrives in a classroom environment, this approach to quilting definitely got my attention.

The first book in the series, aptly subtitled “Freshman Year”, is an invaluable resource for both beginning and advanced quilters. Both groups are guaranteed to learn something new that will improve their skill.  Volume 1 contains nine classes and focuses on the basics – such as tools, workspace, fabric, thread, rotary cutting, seam allowance, and so on.  The techniques are broken down into specific lessons and each lesson is accompanied by a hands-on exercise that utilizes the technique presented.  Each class concludes with a larger quilt project that lets you practice what you’ve just learned.

The book is packed with information – for example, the authors give a very detailed (and interesting) description about fabric grain and how this can impact your sewing.  Their directions for rotary cutting are some of the best I’ve seen and all of their lessons are geared to teach the most accurate piecing possible.   While you might not aspire to be a perfect quilter, I don’t think there is any harm in learning how to do things the “correct” way first, and then modifying it to suite your style.

The projects themselves are very attractive and are small enough so they can be completed in a weekend.  They all use basic strips and squares (no triangles or circles – they will be covered in later books in the series), but there is a lot of variety.  By the time you work your way to the end of the book you will have a good understanding of how to create blocks, calculate yardage, piece accurately, and will be able to create your own patterns from strips and squares.

Overall, I am very impressed with the technical detail and pictures in this book.  Everything is clearly explained, and it is definitely a resource you will consult over and over again.  Highly recommended for any quilter’s library!

Folded Patchwork Star

This is a folded patchwork star that is easy to make.  These make great Christmas gifts and it’s a great way to use up some of your stash (to make room for new fabric).  My grandmother showed me how to make these stars when I was little – I can still remember carefully looking through all the fabrics in her stash to pick the fabrics for the star I made.  Once the star was completed, we got an old round cheese box, covered it in fabric, and sewed the star on top!

Buy Pattern – Sale! $2.99

Folded Patchwork Star

The pattern is available for purchase in my shop.  It contains step by step directions for creating the Folded Star, with photos showing the key steps.  It has  finishing instructions for both a fabric covered box and a table topper.

Radiant Folded Star and Covered Box

Keep it Thimble!