Saturday, March 29, 2014

Molly’s Wren’s Friends

Well, it seems I’m on a roll with the bright & cheerful fabric choices.

I fell in love with Thimble Blossom’s “Juggle” quilt pattern a couple of months ago, and actually bought the Moda Honeycombs in the Happy Go Lucky collection shown on the pattern cover.  I’ve started that version, and I do love it.  “Happy Go Lucky” is very crisp, retro, and looks great in this pattern.


But…  I kept thinking about the Wren’s Friends prints from Gina Martin.  So friendly.  So cheerful.  So fun.

Wren’s Friends reminds me of the wide-open wildflower meadows in Waterton National Park near my home in Alberta.  Blossoms, birds, leaves, and sprigs…  just a little bit “granola girl!”


Finally, I gave in to the temptation.  I ordered the supplies, and got started!


First, I had to admire the cheerful prints…  The print on brown will be the backing.  It’s an “apron print” (the large scale design is only on half of the width of the bolt… it tapers to a small scale floral on the other half of the bolt.


The quilt was a snap to make.  Basically, off white background triangles are stitched to opposing sides of the honeycomb hexagons. I chain pieced the units.  Wait to clip them apart until after they are pressed (it’s easier!)


I recommend the Clearview 60 degree triangle ruler for cutting the 60 degree triangles (though, you could make a template, the ruler is quick, easy, and very accurate).


A few pieced honeycombs are scattered in for interest.  Each pack of Moda Honeycombs includes the plastic template shown here, so it’s easy to cut the hexagons down to the right size.

Tip: tape the hexagon template to the back of a small acrylic ruler, aligning one of the edges with the ruler edge. Then, lay the aligned edge on your fabric to cut the hexagons.  That way, you won’t slice the edge of the hexagon template with your rotary cutter.

The quilt is assembled in rows.  The top and bottom of each row are finished with off-white honeycombs and 60 degree triangles. In Bismarck, I arranged my rows on my big cutting table:


When I got to Hettinger, I used my design wall, and that worked much better!  I could see every piece, and arrange and rearranged to my heart’s content.

I love my design wall.  It’s big enough for a queen sized quilt (without borders).  Wes made it for me.  It’s great!  If you want to make one for your sewing room, you’ll need a big empty wall.  Then a piece of 108” wide flannel quilt back, some boards, a staple gun, and screws to mount it to the wall. 


As soon as I put the quilt up on the design wall,  I figured out why I love it so much.  It is the perfect quilt for Miss Molly, my precious god-daughter.


She’s wild, she’s free, she sings like a bird, and dances like a diva.  She prefers princess dresses to regular clothing.  When she smiles, she fills my heart with love and happiness. I can’t wait to get this top quilted and snuggle her up in it. It suits her perfectly!




Molly’s Wren’s Friends Quilt Kits now available, here.

Juggle Quilt pattern now available, here.

Clearview 60 degree triangle ruler, here.

Happy Quilting ~ Laura

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Perfect Spring Quilt on a Perfect Spring Day


After Kari & I finished our blog entry last Saturday, I spent the rest of the day sewing in the sunshine. After our long Dakota winter, I couldn’t have been happier to open the window, let the fresh air in, and spend a peaceful day in my  sewing room with my furry friends…

I started by squaring up my applique blocks to a perfect 8.5”



The Over the Rainbow batiks are all so pretty… it was fun to sort the charm squares and arrange in pairs.  There were quite a few extra charms, so I set the browns aside.  No brown stars for me!


Then, I chose my four favorite charm squares, and started on the star blocks.  I didn’t realize (‘til I read the pattern Surprised smile) that there are actually very few flying geese in this quilt.  You make two flying geese for the corner stars, one flying goose for the stars around the outside. The remaining star points are created by adding contrasting stitch and flip corners to the sashing rectangles.


These awesome little clover clips kept me organized:

A header scrap helps piece the flying geese perfectly.  That way, the sewing machine is ready to “’grab” the little corners and stitch through them perfectly (rather than chewing them up and pushing them into the stitch plate.


Do your cats help you sew?  Mine do.  Especially when the window is open and the sun is shining Cat face



It was so satisfying to see the stars come together with the applique blocks.


My favorite star is the bright orange one… it reminds me of my kid, who loves to wear the brightest orange you can imagine!

On a perfect spring day, with the sun shining, the birds singing, and the cats purring,  I finished the perfect spring quilt top (not saying my piecing is perfect… it’s not.)  But, I love this quilt, and it’s perfect in my mind, crooked seams and all!



I chose a bright orange Hoffman batik for the backing.  The blue will be the binding.


I ended up with a pretty decent little scrap pile of colorful batiks.  Note, the wonder clips, again.  I’m torn between making more tuffets, or a colorful little mini quilt with my scraps.  Hmmm… decisions, decisions… Winking smile


Another shipment of Spring Sprouts kits are on their way from Moda.  Most of them are pre-sold, but we do have just a few left (at the time I post this blog).  If you’re waiting on your kit, expect shipment from ND on 3/31 or 4/1. 

Items mentioned in this blog:

Leave me a comment, and let me know what your favorite quilting notion, tool or gadget is, and I’ll choose one lucky winner next week to receive a 10 pack of the Red Wonder clips…

Happy Quilting ~ Laura

Saturday, March 22, 2014

National Quilt Day Winners! (~ Kari Huber)

My friend Kari came over this morning, and judged the winners of the DCQ national quilt day contest.

She carefully read all the entries, and loved each and every one.  It was a tough decision, but her decision is:

Grand Prize~ French General Tuffets

dezertsky wrote,
“Very hard to pick one MOST thing, but I think maybe it's the connection that I feel to the women from my genealogical past.  I don't know which ones quilted and which didn't, but I know my mother and grandmother did, and I suspect many others, too.  Especially when I hand quilt, I have that feeling of walking in their footsteps, even though our lives, on the surface are so different.  Underneath that surface, though ... I'm sure they worried about their children as they quilted, just as I do.  I'm going to bet they worried about how to make ends meet, just like I do.  They may have dreamed up new recipes, communed with their Savior, or daydreamed about better times to come ... just like I do.  It's only in quilting that I feel that commonality, and I treasure that feeling.”

Runner-up~Candy Dish Mini Quilt Kit

 Bonnie Dewald wrote,
“Quilting is important to me because it gives me self esteem to be able to see that I can create something.  It gives me confidence to try new things and it has also helped me with stress! It is the best stress reliever in the world!  I have a mom who has dementia, and I'm sure there are many others who also go through things like this as well but it has been super difficult for me and sewing relieves my stress so much I can live a normal life despite the pressures of home and work!  Thanks for the fun newsletters!” 

Consolation~ Tuffets & Morsel Patterns

Mary Fredricks wrote,
I like to put subtle themes and/or messages into my wall hangings, so that people have to ponder them a bit to catch the full impact. To watch someone 'get it' from something I have made makes me laugh out loud. I love that I am able to share my unique perspective of life with people that see my art.

Congratulations to dezertsky, Bonnie, and Mary: please send a message to and include your mailing address and phone number. 

I asked Kari to bring over some of her favorite quilts, and while she was judging the contest, I photographed them for your enjoyment.  Kari does all of her own free motion quilting on her sewing machine.

Violets: Technique crayons on fabric with Angelina fibres.  Kitty-wompus log cabin.
Butterfly meadow:  Technique free motion quilting with zigzag.  Couching.  Button accents from Kari’s grandmother. This quilt was featured in a North Dakota State Historical Society Display: “Quilting Past and Present”.  It was chosen as “the Future of Quilting”, and it was on tour across the state for 2 years. 
Dewdrops: From a Jane Sassamann workshop.  Traditional (not fusible) applique, satin stitching.  Center is free-motion zig-zag.
Q is for Quilt: Kari has taught this class to beginning quilters a number of times.  Mixed beginner techniques.
The center of the nine patches are crocheted bottle caps from her grandmother’s kitchen (these would have been used to make trivets)
Rock Star: Technique Quiltsmart Lone Star.  Note the artistic free motion “rocks” in the borders, created with variegated thread.

Thanks, Kari… for brightening my day.

Thanks to all our readers for sharing your stories with us during our NQD celebration.

~ Laura

Friday, March 21, 2014

So many little quilts, so little time!

Hi, everyone!  This week’s Moda Candy Square project reminds me of a pretty little bag of colorful jelly beans…


It’s called “Mite,” and is from one of my favorite pattern series, the “Little Bites” by Miss Rosie.

“Mite” has been on my mind lately, as I’ve been searching for the perfect little quilt to adorn my sewing nook.  The space is painted a soft blue, and I’ve been adding coral, leaf green, and cream accents as I come across them.  I don’t have much wall space, so miniature quilts with lots of color & detail are exactly what the space needs!

Imagine my happiness when I realized that we had most of the supplies to make “Mite”…  We ordered a few more bolts of fabric from the collection, and the colors are just perfect.

And, what’s not to love about the pattern…

Perky bow ties, set on point, a coral “peeper” or flange, and an interesting border from two pretty prints.


Plus, the prints are so fun: cute little 2 1/2” squares from the candy square pack:

But, I’ll be honest.  I am not starting this quilt tonight.  I cut & pressed my fabric, and I am setting the kit on my sewing table to inspire me to finish my Spring Sprouts quilt top, so I can send it to the quilter early next week.  It was the first day of spring yesterday, after all!


I keep forgetting to tell you about my new favorite notion.  It’s the first thing I reach for when I am working with the 2 1/2 “ squares.  These excellent marking tools don’t pull, drag, or skip.  They make marking the little squares a pleasure rather than a joy.  This gift box includes a nice sampling of items, find it here

If you order between now & Wednesday, March 26, you can get the gift box for 20% off, $42.40.  If you bought the contents individually, the cost would exceed $60.00.

Note:  there will be a slight delay in shipping these, as I actually claimed the last one for my Hettinger sewing room (Sorry, Wes)…



Shop at DCQ for items mentioned in this post:


Happy Quilting~ Laura

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Self Applause!!! I finished the Spring Sprouts Applique Blocks

Hooray!  I finished by the last 8 spring sprouts applique blocks.  For a total of twelve!

If you knew how easy this was, you wouldn’t be quite as impressed…

As mentioned in my previous post, I planned to use the lovely coordinating thread pack for the machine applique:

But, opted for invisible thread instead (I’m going to save that thread pack for piecing!)


My blocks came together just beautifully:




Fluffy declared them “nap-worthy”…  Don’t worry, I’ll lint roll them before I assemble the quilt. Cat face



So, call me crazy… but does anybody else really want to make Spring Bouquet next?



Same stunning fabric collection (Over the Rainbow Batiks by Edyta Sitar), same technique, but bigger blocks, larger quilt… just blossoming with loveliness.

I can’t quote you an exact kit price yet, as I am still checking on fabric availability/cost.  But,  if I order supplies for a Spring Bouquet for myself, are you interested? Post a comment and let me know what you think of the quilt, and whether you’d consider buying a kit.   That will help me decide whether to jump in with both feet!  And, it will give me some ammunition for convincing Wesley that it’s a really good idea Smile

Coming soon… I piece the Spring Sprouts Star blocks…  Here’s a preview…

Links to items shown in this blog:

Spring Sprouts Quilt Kit,

Over the Rainbow Thread Pack

Clear Invisible Thread (Sew-Art)

Smoke Invisible Thread (Sew-Art)

Happy Quilting~ Laura