Such a groupie moment

Well….great class today with Pat Sloan!!!  Saved my special Moda Fabric designed by Pat Sloan for just this occasion. I present my project, held by none other than Pat!!!


Made with 85% Bobbins and Bits.  Details on previous blog post. More tomorrow ☆

Grand Illusion still a Work in Progress

You may have heard that Bonnie Hunter – Quiltville released the setting for the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt on New Years (eve).

We got our marching orders…how to assemble the blocks and use all those pieces from Parts 1 thru 5.

I have done my best to keep up and on January 2nd, I got to sew 12 of the blocks together.  Because we had built the individual pieces during clue 1-5, it was like putting a 9 patch together. I got 12 blocks together in an afternoon, but they still need a bit of “squaring up”.

In my version; I used a solid turquoise block in the center of the block.  The pattern called for a  4 patch; and that wasn’t working for me. I found it overwhelming. Take a look at the finished pattern and you may see what I mean.

My Version - solid center block instead of a 4 patch

My Version – solid center block instead of a 4 patch

Now, before I show you some more pictures of my project; I thought you might like to read a commentary by a Facebook poster on the Quiltville Open Studio group –

Becky Groska ” I get 2,896. 52 pieces in each square. 52 pieces/square x 25 squares = 1,300. 16 pieces in each sashing unit…16 pieces x 6 units per row x 6 flanking rows = 576 PLUS the sashing units that are flanking each side of the blocks — 6/row x 16 pieces x 5 rows = 480. Inner border: 8 cuts of WOF. Border units: 40 units x 12 pieces per unit = 480. Corner 4-patches in border: 4 x 4 = 16. 1,300+576+480+8+480+36+16 = 2,896. “

I decided since I altered my block slightly not to count yet! (Or drive myself crazy trying to count).

If you pop over to Bonnie Hunter’s original design; you will see the next step, after you have built the big block,  is to SASH with “checkerboard – green & white & black”.

Clue 3 complete

Clue 3 complete

Well…I thought about that alot..Another very busy element right next to those already busy blocks.  The “sashing” she was having us use was the blocks from Clue 3.  I believe I made about 120 of them.

Well, I decided I needed some seperation between the busy block and the sashing…so I played around on the design wall a bit – I layered some more turquoise up there with corner stones etc…and have been thinking about how I should put this together.  Somewhere along the line, I decided this was going to be for young girls, so I wanted the sashing to be bright and cheerful; and I eliminated any thought of black or white or solid pinks.  Of course, now I needed to go shopping for more turqoise, in something that read solid.

Thinking about how to sash the blocks

: Thinking about how to sash the blocks

And this is what I came up with so far – 3 blocks sashed with turquoise — but no decision yet on the darn green & white & black checkerboard. (Of course, since I made the block essentially BIGGER by adding the turquoise sashing, now the checkerboard blocks don’t fit…..)

3 blocks sashed but no decision yet on the checkers

3 blocks sashed but no decision yet on the checkers

I stuck a bit of turquoise in between the green and don’t like it. Was considering going solid with the green…but then I thought….CONTINUE my turquoise across the top and bottom of the green checkerboard…that might give me the added length I need.  Meanwhile, I have been looking at the photo’s that are being posted on the Quiltville Open Studio facebook group and all the variations that are coming out. Maybe something will click.

I also decided that I don’t need an 88×88 quilt (larger with my added sashing).  I thought about what fun colors this quilt had in it, and how I could essentially turn this into TWO twin size quilts.  So; I made a quick shopping trip, got more turqoise, and also bought some backing fabric. My grandaughters (2 & 4) will eventually be sharing a room, and I want to give them coordinating quilts, but not exact matching quilts. So, the first 12 finished blocks will be made into a quilt for the oldest girl, and I hope to have it ready for her birthday this spring.

Last week was so busy with Quilt Guild and working at the DelMarVa Model Railroad Club open house (2 weekends in a row); that I never got a chance to work any further on the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt. Got my fabrics prewashed & that was it. The bone chilling 10 degree weather made my sewing room over the garage unbearable, even with the heaters running.  We figured out a way yesterday to use some bifold doors we had stored to wall off my immediate area, and finally got the temperature up from 48 to 72; so it is MUCH better. And waking up to 34 degrees instead of 10 degrees will help keep the temperature reasonable.

I did sew at our guild workshop on Tuesday.  Our speaker was Heather Kojan from the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild, and she taught a class about MODERN IMPROV Log Cabin quilts.  Here are 3 of my WONKY blocks.  We started with 2.5″ pieces and then did some angle trimming. I of course get carried away and made some serious angles. (Most people just made very tiny slivers). I will turn this into a modern quilt at some point, or a table runner or maybe placemats. Who the heck knows. For now, into the project box for a day when I feel compelled to be a little wonky!

(Did you notice some of my Pat Sloan Bobbins & Bits fabrics in there? LOVE that fabric and it was my feature fabric from which all the other fabrics were chosen)

Hope your projects are only as WONKY as you wish them to be! Stay warm.

Busy times in May


Binding wrapped around a cardboard tube, and on my thread spool holder. Great way to keep it off the floor!

Last week was crazy busy!  It was a week of learning!

Monday was our monthly Quilt Guild meeting and luncheon. Tuesday a class with the guild – “Sewing with Silk”; Wednesday – 2 quilts to bind for church; Thursday a guild board meeting and a leadership training event at church and Friday….binding to rip out and re-do (refer to Wednesday!). Saturday, rebind 1 quilt (refer to Friday)…and Sunday was Mother’s day and a 3rd quilt to bind. Whew…..Somewhere along the line we visited some friends, and had a quilt buddy over to work through her project.  And then Monday, a trip to church to help another friend pin baste a king size quilt.

Want to hear about the 1 quilt I had to rip out the binding on?  Going to tell you my story of woe…..It is the story of Quilt # 2…..

I love doing that binding with a flange (piping) from the tutorial called Susies Magic Binding –52 Quilts in 52 Weeks: Tuesday Tutorial: Susie’s Magic Binding  .  It has become my “go to” binding because it looks so cool.  I recently did the table runner (5 minute block) and the t-shirt memory quilt using this method.

Well…let me tell you  the story.  Quilt # 1; PERFECT.  Quilt # 2; NOT….why I wondered what was different.  It turns out, it was all in the way the quilt had been trimmed by the long-armer. Quilt # 1 was trimmed to the edge of the top.  Quilt # 2 was not.  She didn’t do anything wrong…she trimmed it for hand sewn on the back binding; leaving about 1/2″ of backing and batting past the edge of the quilt front.

My lesson was TRIM to the edge of the quilt if you are doing Susie’s Magic binding. I didn’t trim QUILT # 2,   I had shifted my needle over to the left to make sure I was catching the top when I was stitching the binding on the back of the quilt.

So, when I rolled my binding to the front…..and stitched it down…I thought I was fine, but I was barely catching the very edge of the blocks.  As I looked the quilt over when I finished the binding on Wednesday evening, I was horrified to see the binding pulling away.

So; lots of “froggin”….rip it ….rip it…. Originally, I thought I could fix it, and after 2 or 3 tries, I decided the best bet was remove, trim and redo the binding!!  Rippin out 2 lines of stitching….(and of course, my setting for my 1/4” is a shorter stitch….)

So, by Friday evening, I had the binding totally off, and thrown in the trash.  New binding made, quilt trimmed properly for this type of binding!  Saturday evening, the binding was on and looked great.

GREAT lesson.   I delivered both quilts to church on Sunday and brought Quilt # 3 home to bind, and delivered it back on Monday morning.   Now, all 3 of our senior quilts have a binding that is the same.  Hubby was worried that one would be different, which is what prompted me to volunteer to do #3.


Susie’s Magic Binding. Love that little pink edge peaking through

Now, if you know me at all, you know I can’t REALLY throw fabric away, so I dug the 300″ of binding out of the trash, pressed it open, and cut that binding into 2.5″ sections…..for Hexies of course!

How to recycle binding!

How to recycle binding!

In between the fun of sewing; there has been time spent out in the yard.  The azaleas that are starting to bloom, the blue wild flowers coming up in the back yard, and the little patch along the front porch that I laid out some bricks, split the lirope from the other garden, planted some bulbs and used a lazy gardener wild flower mat  (hoping the seeds grow).  The next few day will be spent in the big garden getting it cleaned out, since the sedum is up, the lirope is up, and the tulips are nearly finished.  Love seeing the purple iris blooming.  Have to remember to water that one next to the porch!

I mentioned I helped my friend, Barbara pin baste her quilt yesterday.  She and I are both making this pattern; Summer in the Park; in a king – size.  pattern here:

We started this quilt at our retreat in February. Mine is the black and white and yellow I posted about here:    (Note: mine is NOT finished…still sitting; waiting for the last row to go on, and the borders!)

Barbara had some border trouble the last time we tried to baste it. She is also well schooled in the “froggin”, ripping off the border and redoing it.  It was PERFECT yesterday, and took us an hour and 15 minutes start to finish to lay it out and get it basted. I LOVE LOVE LOVE her fabric – Bobbins and Bits by Pat Sloan!!

Bobbins and Bits - fabric designer Pat Sloan for Moda. Quilt pattern Summer in the park

Barbara’s Quilt — Bobbins and Bits – fabric designer Pat Sloan for Moda. Quilt pattern Summer in the park

Today is a garden day; and a day to get the window air conditioners all cleaned and into the appropriate window.  Hubby was not happy with 82 degrees in the bedroom last night. The humidity was high (80%); and I will relent today. So, we had about 2 weeks of spring; time to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. I guess the house will get closed up and the electric meter will start spinning again. 😦

I mentioned “sewing with silk”….I made 96 half-square triangles; 3 1/2”.  Think my youngest daughter may get a table runner for Christmas….shhh…don’t tell (she doesn’t read the blog anyway).  Surfing the web for great layouts of half square triangles and think I found a modern looking one that will suit her. The colors are really cool, and should work in her decorating scheme.  Pictures later.

Happy stitching!!! Time to get busy for me.