Building Blocks for Step 4 Scrap Dance Tango

It is amazing how much you can get done in an afternoon!  The parts are all in bins, ready to assemble.  Carol designed the steps in such a manner that we just had to assemble “already constructed parts” for this step.  Block A is completed- all 72 for a king size!

43 out of 72.

Pairs selected for the next  bit  of stitching for step 4

All 72 blocks completed

Hubby had a model railroad club “ops session” and was gone , and I took advantage of the time to get Step 4 for the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt completed.

Believe it or not, I even cooked dinner. Afterwards, I went back out to my sewing room and took all the blocks off the wall and put them back into their file trays, to wait for “next month”.  Remember, I still have a couple of boxes of “parts” ready to go!    I know I am in good shape for the Half Square Triangles.  How about this for a little math:  I made 1430 half square triangles.  In block A that I just completed, I have used 720 of them. The rest await the next step.  We also used 144  dark 2.5″ squares and 288 background 2.5″ squares.  I may have to do  a recount and see if I have all those solids  & neutral squares ready .

The king size might seem daunting, but I have to say, having it broken out into the steps is really working! Thanks Carole!

For scale reference, the Half Square  Triangles are 2.5″.

Pattern is by Carole on her blog From My Carolina Home

Oh, I did mention I am working on a baby quilt…..I finally have all the fabric prewashed, and have been working off and on all week to get it all starched and iron and ready for cutting.  I have 3 more pieces to tackle before the cutting begins.

As I was sewing yesterday, it was snowing!  Yes, my tulips are up, the daffodils have passed their peak, the iris are coming along nicely, the spring grass needs to be mowed, and we had wet huge snow flakes mixed with rain all afternoon.  Today, the sun shines, no snow stuck, and the grass is too wet to mow and we woke up to frost.  Spring has been fickle this year.    That is what we get for the 75 degree Christmas day we had!

Somehow, I don’t think I will get to sewing any skirts for my trip or doing any fun embroidery work on t-shirts either. Oh well, nobody cares what I am wearing on my cruise! My capris from last year won’t get worn this week anyway, so I can start pulling them out and getting them ready to pack.  I’m have way to much fun to fuss anyway!  One week from today I will be flying to California to meet up with my little sister before we board our ship on Monday for 15 days round trip to Hawaii. I am going to leave all the planning to her! The only non-fun is the 6 am flight on Sunday for a short hop to Philadelphia and thank goodness the flight west is NON-STOP and I will be asleep as much of that flight as possible!

What exciting plans do you have for this week??


Curved piecing class and Step 4 Scrap Dance Tango

I want to tell you about a class I took this week with Maria Shell – Tales of a Stitcher .  Maria Shell lives in Anchorage Alaska, and having her come to speak and teach at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Delaware was amazing.

I stumbled across Maria’s blog the first few months of my blog journey and began following her.  She is so inspired and creative and fun. I had the opportunity to meet her in person at the IQF in Houston, where she was doing demo’s for CRAFTSY.  If you have followed my blog, you might remember me making “Artful Oven Mitts” a few years ago, using her tutorial and pattern.

Two years ago I contacted Maria about the possibility of speaking and teaching at our guild during my time as co-vice president.  At that time, our budget didn’t allow for the costs of air travel, and I was unable to book Maria.  Last fall, Maria contacted me and let me know that she was going to be on the East Coast in April, speaking at the Studio Art Quilt Association annual conference in Philadelphia!  The timing of the conference, and the timing of our guild meeting lined up perfectly!  Our current VP’s worked out all the details and Maria came to Delaware!

Maria lectured on Monday at our guild meeting, telling the story of the journey of an Alaskan Quilter.  Her community quilting projects are fascinating, and her work with a group in North Carolina was such a wonderful, heartwarming story.   It was fun to hear how this young woman from Kansas ended up in Alaska.  We enjoyed her lecture and seeing her quilts “up close” and in person was a treat!

On Tuesday Maria taught a workshop.  Our class was called Circle and Curved Sampler, and the cutting was done WITHOUT A RULER  (gasp)!! I heard people in the class saying “how freeing” !!  The sewing was done without PINS !!!   Imagine that!    I found it all very fun!!  

Maria is such an excellent instructor, taking time with each student, working on their “color palette” for the piecing project, doing countless demonstrations, and no doubt answering our same questions over and over again.   I took a rather large bin of fabrics to the class, had a general idea what I wanted to work with, and found her sense of color/pattern to be so effective.  My stack of fabric left on the table after she helped ME decide what to use was totally different that what I had chosen in the beginning, but it all worked well together, and I had fun with the process.

 Somehow in my excitement to get busy cutting, I never did take a photo of the stacks of fabric, but I did get a couple of our curved piecing.  My “circle” piece never got photographed either.  So, get ready for graphic and non traditional!  I will identify my photos and those I took of other classmates.    These first 4 are my fabrics/pieces


This first picture shows the soft gentle curve that was done and how smooth the stitching was “without pins”.

Reading the 2nd layer

This photo shows us getting two layers lined up for another round of “cutting curves”.

Curved pieces

Then we “relayerd” our stack and got these wonderful pieces to stitch

The outcome

And, after a little stitching, you have this fun “bit” to work in with more layers and curves.

The photo’s below are other classmates projects –  I liked these because of their fabric choices!

Other class participants projects

Other class participants projects

Do go take a look at  Maria’s website & Maria’s blog and get inspired by her use of shapes, curves and “no rulers” work.  Her long-arm quilting makes the pieces almost vibrate. It was as much fun to look at the “backs” as it was to see the pieced front.

And now, the update on my “MYSTERY” project.  In case you have’t been following – I am doing a mystery quilt called Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt.  This was designed by Carole and you can find this months “step 4” information on her blog – From My Carolina Home  .  You remember my 1430 half – square triangles I finished up in March….and those two great blocks we made in February and March, right?

Well, you take 2 blocks from February And we are starting step 2 and 2 blocks from March Step 3 complete Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

and join them together!  CUTE…..

And this is what you get with  step 4 !

First completed block for step 4 of Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

Thank you Carole for the earlier post!  I asked Carole to “post early” as I allow for no interruptions on my 2nd Friday of the month for sewing. Well…that didn’t happen, as I had to make a return visit to the doctor, get a chest xray, and prescriptons, and tie the last senior quilt at church.  I do really appreciate the early posts, if for no other reason I could anticipate sewing later! I finally got to my machine after supper, and got these 14 blocks  put together.  I have another 14 in “halves” ready to stitch the center seam.

14 blocks complete for step 4

When these blocks are finished, they will be called block A.  I need 72, and they should not take too long.  What is fun about Carole’s patterns is when you start “construction” of the blocks, the bits are ready to sew !!

I do need to “trim and square up” after this block.  Block A finishes at 8″ if I did the math correctly.

Carole has set up a FLIKR group to share photo’s and mine are linked there!  Check out the colors and variety of backgrounds people are using as they work on the “mystery”.  Scrap Dance Tango Flickr group

Next weekend this time I should have my suitcase packed and ready for my trip!  Boyoboy do I have a lot to do this week!

Hope you are getting a little warmth and sunshine and Mother Nature has stopped playing winter tricks at your house.


Half Square Triangle FUN

525 done.  905 to go!!

I FINISHED MY 1430 !!!

  I am working on the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt and in Step 1 we needed to construct 2.5″  half square triangles.  Well, I bit the big bullet and decided to go for the KING size; and it required 1430!!!  I have been plugging away at them since mid January.  Carole promised we would not need them all the first month!

Step 2 required 432 in the construction of the first block –

144 made for step 2 of the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

I made 144 of those blocks.

Then Step 3 required 288 in the construction of the second batch of blocks –

Step 3 complete Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

I made 144 of those blocks.

And then I continued to work on my squaring up of  the rest of the blocks, 20 here, 20 there and I am finally done!  This container has 739 in it!!

739 half square triangles in this container

I figure I made about 29 extra HST’s, but hey, I would rather have a few extra than come up short at the end.  All the fabrics except the neutral came from my abundance of scraps.  I use the June Tailor Perfect Half-Square & Quarter-Square Triangle tool for marking cutting and squaring up.  I like it better than any other method I have tried.

The good news is, I am NOT burnt out on HST’s and am planning a BABY QUILT for my newest tiny granddaughter who is just 2 weeks old.  She is having grey, white, and coral accents in her nursery and I acquired the fabric Monday for her quilt!  I am thinking a chevron pattern with 4 or 5″ blocks. Graphic and modern will be the goal!!

Baby quilt fabrics

Now, the bad news is, I don’t have a lot of time before I leave on a trip to Hawaii the middle of April, so she will probably not get to her quilt until I am back home the first week of May!!   Next week is “Ocean Waves Quilt Guild week” with a meeting on Monday, followed by an executive board meeting; class on Tuesday, a trip to the airport with the speaker on Wednesday, a board meeting on Thursday and the release of Scrap Dance Tango Step 4 on Friday!!  Oh, and I am going on Sunday to pick up the speaker in Maryland!  PHEW….when am I going to pack for Hawaii??   Keep an eye open for progress as I go along.  Gosh, it might be fun to try my hand at hand quilting while I am on my 15 day cruise, but I don’t think I want to try this as a “first” project.  I would need my quilt bee buddies along to guide me and none of them are going to be tagging along!

I am still working on Senior Quilts.  We tied 3 yesterday at church, and will tie the other 3 on Saturday.  I brought 2 more home to bind, and will start prepping that binding this afternoon.  I will do those with Susie’s Magic Binding!!

I have another project  “on the floor” of the quilt room, laid out and planning borders.  My friend June started this quilt from a kit her daughter gave her at least 15 years ago.  It was a UFO that she really wants finished, but is just not quilting much any more.  I mentioned it previously and showed pictures as I was adding borders.  I am working on the 20″ drop (in the green) that she wants and am short fabric.  So, creative thinking has got me adding a panel along both sides and I will also be adding a couple of strips similar to what shows on the right side of the picture. 


It has been a struggle to get this finished for her, with her design concepts very different from mine!  Oh well, you may see this again about once a month, because it seems I can only dedicate one day every few weeks to working on it!!

Time to make some binding and think about that sweet little baby girl whose quilt fabric is calling me.  Honestly, finding time to sew is tough, because I have been hopping in the car as often as I can to go visit and hold and snuggle her!  I forced myself to stay home today, do a little laundry, clean toilets and sweep the kitchen and sew binding.  Can you guess where I would RATHER be ??  And I am thinking ahead to later in the spring or early summer when her cousins will come from Texas for a visit and to meet the new addition to our family!  Gosh I love being a Grandma!!!  And let me tell you….Grandpa is enchanted as well!

Time to get sew!!  Enjoy your projects and family time!  (Remember my last post?  Yes, the final border for Allietare is still waiting!)


note; Allietare is a Bonnie Hunter / Quiltville mystery quilt

           Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt is designed by Carole at From My Carolina Home blog.

Links to both are on the side bar of the blog.






Major progress on Allietare

I have held off on any Allietare updates until I had some significant progress to report.  The edges have been trimmed and 2 rounds of borders have been put on.  The pattern finishes as a nice queen size, but I upped the border size slightly and have ONE more round to go.  I am going for king size, and will be adding a 12 ” border all around in a textured tone on tone gold print that goes nicely with those gold center blocks.

One more round if borders to go

I’ve been “on break” from sewing while I recover from bronchitis that kept me out of the sewing room for a full week.

I have been working with our Senior Quilt Project at church, and we have 9 quilts for presentation to our graduates. Our congregations signs these quilts, writing messages of hope, faith and God’s love on them.  They will be presented on Mother’s Day to the graduates.  Each quilt is different.  We have a large selection of fabric that we cut 8.5″ squares from and then each person chooses the pattern and fabrics they think would best suit the graduating student

I made this  one,

Kelsey ' s quilt made by Mary Deeter

This one was made by Mary Lu Wilson –

Lindsey ' s quilt made by Mary Lu Wilson

and really reflects the personality of the recipient who works as an EMT volunteer!  I did the binding on both quilts after we tied them last weekend.   Finished the binding last night and they are ready to return to the church.   Of course, I used my favorite “Susie’s Magic Binding method” and I could make the binding and get it stitched on by machine in an evening.

I plan to work on my friend June’s quilt on Friday, getting her last round of borders on, now that she has decided which fabric and what size she would like them to be.  I feel like I have had it for months, and only work on it once a month.  Once I get the next round of borders on, I will take it to her, and we will decide how to back and quilt it.  No pix until I get that next round on!

I still have a stack of half square triangles waiting in the kitchen to trim for the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt…..I was a bit afraid to even go near my rotary cutter when I was feeling unwell last week, so there has been no progress on that project.   I also put up a post about starting another quilt along for a mini bargello.  Well, thinking I would use my 2.5″ strips out of my scrap storage bins and how “easy” the project would be, got me planning.  The plan is still there, but I got sick and now feel totally behind!  I am taking a trip in a few weeks and have other deadlines (ooohhh…income tax time) looming!  Plus, I have been on the run, visiting with my youngest daughter 3 days in a row, so I feel like my projects will just have to wait. Family first!  I did have fun this week with my newest quilt bee = the Queen Bees!  It is fun to see them “up and flying” now. They have a plan in place for next month’s bee while I am away.  They are a lively bunch, with all different skill levels, and I think it is fun to watch them share techniques and skills with each other.

That’s about all the fun I can muster for this day!  I hope you have a lovely weekend and celebrate the Risen Lord this Easter Sunday. If you are looking for a place to worship, you are invited to Reformation Lutheran Church, 613 Lakeview Ave, Milford Delaware, with service at 8:30 and 11 am on Sunday. Drop in and take a peak at all those beautiful Senior Quilts too!  If you live elsewhere in the world, I encourage you to take time and worship during this very holy week.



Allietare Mystery Quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter –

Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt designed by Carole –

Susie’s Magic Binding – Aunt Marti’s 5 2 quilts  blog –


Thursdays Doors Niagara on the Lake

11 years ago, I took a wonderful trip with my best friend and our daughters to Niagara On the Lake in Ontario Canada.  We spent a delightful long weekend attending theater productions in the evenings and sightseeing during the day.    On one of our drives from Niagara Falls back to Niagara On the Lake we stopped at the bequest of one of the daughters to take a photo of this wonderful house with the red door.


We were all charmed by the beauty of the home, the yard and the bright red door.  Imagine our surprise at the name when we got “up close” to take the photo!!


A stay in Niagara on the Lake is best experienced at one of the delightful inns or  bed & breakfast abodes you will find in the quaint town.


Our stay at the Highgrove was delightful.


Imagine returning everyday to this welcoming front door!

No trip to Niagara on the Lake would be complete without a visit to Niagara Falls!


Or a road trip –


that ends in a place like this –


and then, when you have stopped at more than one or two of these places –  you tend to get a little silly –


For more photo’s of the falls and around the village of Niagara on the Lake, check out my FLICKR album – Niagara on the Lake album

This post is part of Thursday Doors, an interesting and fun series orchestrated by Norm Framptom. Check out Norm’s page to see his door, and a link to the other doors this week. You can also add a door of your own and join the fun.Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time)


Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Step 3 Complete

The monthly report on Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt is ready!  I did promise not to bore you with it daily….so I hope I have met that commitment!

Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt is designed by Carole and presented on her blog – From My Carolina Home on WordPress.  The link is at the bottom of this post, and there is also a button on the side bar of this blog.  This post will be linked – up on Carole’s blog, and the FLICKR group.

I waited patiently for Step 3 to be posted yesterday morning, and when it was, I got busy!  Because Carole designed the pattern to have you do all of your cutting in Step one, and all of your half square triangles in Step one; assembly of the blocks is rather easy.  That is…if you follow directions~!!~

You may remember that I need 1430 half square triangles (HST) for a king-size. They are all constructed and I am trimming the last 300+…. still.  I do 10 or 20 every so often.  And, because I was so focused on getting all those HST constructed and trimmed, I left some of the cutting for “later“.  Well, since I  did not have enough of the neutrals cut,  I had to take a few minutes to cut more.  I did a little math before I started so I would not “over cut”.  That’s what I mean about “following directions”.  I was hoarding my neutrals until I had all the HST constructed, and I knew it wouldn’t take much time to cut those “other pieces” from step 1 when called for.  

I love the Robert Kaufman Quilt Calculator app for Android phones.  There is a piece count and a pieces to yardage area function, so it is easy to determine how many strips to cut to get my additional 2.5″ squares.  I use the June Tailor Shape Cut, a slotted ruler with 1/2 ” increments and it makes fast work of strip cutting and subcuts into squares.

Once I had 288 neutral squares cut at 2.5″ I pulled out my 2.5″ half square triangles and took out 288 of them. I have been keeping my squares and HST  clipped in bundles of 10 for easier counting. Keeping them in baskets and trays helps too.  It took me longer to press the fabric than it did to cut those squares.

I did lots of chain piecing –

Beginning of the assembly line

Then lots of ironing – still chained together – still in groups of 8-10 —

Working in small groups

Working on Step 3 of Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

Then more bundling into groups of 10 with a little color sorting as I ironed —

Step 3  assembly

I made lots of trips with 2 patches to the ironing board….then I sewed some more…..and made more trips to the iron with 4 patches!  And by dinnertime I had 144 of those cute little 4 patches finished. 

Step 3 complete Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

Now I am starting to wonder what the pattern will look like, since in step TWO- in February –  we constructed 4 patches that looked like this-

144 made for step 2 of the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery quilt

Oh I love a mystery!  This is a SIX MONTH mystery, so patience will be necessary!  :)  I am also wondering what we will be building NEXT month!  (I have travel plans in April, but the 2nd Friday is the 8th, and I am hoping to be at it EARLY that day!  I am going to beg Carole to get her post ready and schedule it to “publish” early on the 8th!  You think I can convince her????)

 Meanwhile, I have some trimming of HST to complete, and might now finish cutting the rest of my neutral blocks!!  And, I can get back to my Allietare Mystery Quilt.  It still needs to be trimmed…..and then there are those two UFO’s for my Material Girls Bee….# 8 and # 9…..I better dig them out and look, because we have a bee on Wednesday and ssshhhhh….don’t tell I haven’t touched them………and the UFO challenge was my idea!

 Don’t forget to SPRING forward this weekend if your area is doing it this weekend.  I did not realize until I went looking for the “official” name (Daylight Savings Time in the US), that some countries have already  Sprung forward, and others will do it later in March and April.  There is a great chart on this website Time and Date Daylight Savings Time events  .  Could be helpful if you are making international phone calls or traveling in the next few weeks to know what is happening at your destination.  For me, I am happy to be able to remain in bed until 7 am!  I find the winter is tough because I always feel like I am up before the chickens!

What are your sewing plans for this weekend?

You can get more information and steps for Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt on Carole’s blog –From My Carolina Home

The FLICKR group is located here – Scrap Dance Tango Flickr group





Allietare – Assembled – ready to trim

Yesterday I mentioned I would not show any pictures until I had the main part of my Allietare assembled and ready for trimming.  I had some free time in the afternoon, and got that last seam together, and ironed.  Trimming is next and border decisions need to be made.  I will open up that pattern one more time and see what Bonnie Hunter recommended, then decide just how big I want the finished quilt to be.  It currently measures  71 x 85.  I have a king size bed, so thinking the borders will have to be carefully considered.

Allietare...ready for trimming

Not much will happen in my sewing room until nearly dinner time, but I ask you to “wish me luck” as I proceed!

Note: pattern is by Bonnie Hunter – the Quiltville Winter Mystery 2015, Allietare.  I changed 2 of the recommended colors – I chose green instead of grey, and brown instead of black.  I used a constant red; and a constant gold for the center of the stars, and went scrappy with the smaller gold pieces and the neutrals.