Monday, August 31, 2015


I made my first Voila block.  I did not pay close enough attention to the pattern and had to do a little resewing.  I'm sure the remaining blocks will go smoother, I think I made all my mistakes with this one.

The pattern calls for appliquéing the stems, I'm not in the mood for appliqué so I paper pieced them.

I am happy with my fabric choices, orange and yellow petals, green stems, and blue baskets.  My background fabric is called Paint by Carrie Bloomston for Windham.

Nicole has accomplished even more, stop by her blog to see her Viola blocks.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Two Things . . .

Thing One - A few posts back I mentioned struggling with finding a perfect pattern for some of the fabric in my stash, and finding the perfect fabric for some patterns I want to make.  Several folks commented they were struggling with the same dilemma.  When I'm trying to decide what to do with a family of fabric I like to search Google and Pinterest to see what other clever and creative quilters are making with that fabric.  The longer the fabric has been out there, the more finishes you may see.  

I had been looking for a good project for my Figures by Zen Chic for Moda bundle for months and couldn't find anything that suited me, but I didn't give up, I just kept searching.  I finally found a great free online sampler pattern by Sharon at Color Girl Guilts.  (click here for pictures and block patterns)    This made me realize that any sampler pattern is the perfect solution for any family of fabric, you can decide the block size, the setting, and the quilt size, the possibilities are endless!  So if you're looking for that perfect pattern for some of your fabric, look into a sampler! 

(Even though the pattern is a free online pattern, I still checked with the designer to make sure she was OK with me making something very similar using her pattern and the same fabric. )

Thing Two -  When Viola isn't Viola!  When this pattern was released by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company I was excited for several reasons, I love a good basket pattern and have a soft spot for the word "Voila".  When my daughter and I were in Paris, and the cab driver dropped us off at the Eiffel Tower,  he must have sensed our excitement because he said, "Voila".  For the rest of that trip, and trips since, whenever a cab drops us off at our destination we say, "Voila".  So with that in my head, when I saw this pattern I immediately read "Voila", not "Viola", because really, doesn't this pattern look like a "Voila"!  If I had a twin I think she would have been named Viola, it's right up there with Esther and Thelma in my book.  So now you get to decide do you want to make Viola or Voila? I'm making Voila!

But that's not the only problem, in the pattern, Carrie Nelson, the pattern designer, doesn't call those flower receptacles baskets, she calls them vases! Do those bases look like vases to you? So even though technically this won't qualify as my annual basket quilt, and the name is Viola not Voila, I'm still making it!  I hope you are too!

Here's the fabric I pulled for my baskets/vases/bases, 16 different shades of blue.

My petals are going to look very similar to my cheese crackers.

I hope to start cutting and piecing Voila next week.  Nicole has a wrist injury, she's hoping to start next week too.  It's not a race, just join in when you can and sew at your own pace. If you are sewing along let us know what fabric you're using and how you're progressing.  Leave a comment or send an email, pictures would be great! I think Sinta has started but has a busy weekend, look for her update on her blog, hopefully soon.  (Sandy, you've started already but I'm including you in our sew along, or maybe we're joining you!  Send me pics of your progress if you don't want to blog!)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Otis, not THAT Otis!

When I hear the name Otis I immediately think of Otis Campbell, the town drunk on Mayberry, a TV show from the 60s.  I know Carrie Nelson sometimes comes up with odd names for her quilts, but I sure couldn't figure out how such a beautiful quilt pattern could be named after a town drunk!  Turns out it's not, this Otis is for Otis Redding, the singer songwriter who likes to sit on the dock of the bay.  I'm still not sure what that has to do with this quilt, but then no one asked me, and honestly I can't come up with a better name, so Otis it is.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 153
The fabric is For You by Zen Chic for Moda
It finished at 76" x 76"
It has approximately 1,210 pieces.
The pattern is Otis by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.

Both the pattern and fabric are now available in shops near you or your fingertips.  For some reason this line of fabric did not get a lot of buzz at Spring Market, I don't know why, it is wonderful!  So wonderful you better go get some right now, you'll be disappointed if you don't.  The fabric looks great as a family but will also blend well with other fabrics.  You can make Otis from a For You fat eighth bundle.  But get the Fat Quarter Bundle, then you'll have leftovers!

To get a better look at the fabric click here.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fat Quarter Shop Snapshots Sew Along - Month 8 - Like Riding a Bike

Are you ready for a new Snapshots block?  It's that time again!!  

This month's block is Like Riding a Bike, my latest favorite.

I used Daysail fabric, but chose different prints than what is listed in the pattern.  This block took twice as long as the rest of the blocks I've pieced so far, it has nearly 80 pieces.  It's not hard, but don't think you'll finish it up in a couple of hours, you'll need a long afternoon if you plan to make it start to finish.  Maybe cutting the pieces one day and piecing it the next would be a good plan if you're rushed for time. But either way, it's time well spent, I think this bike is too cute for words.

I've not shared a picture of all my blocks in ages, so here they are.

Note to self, use more navy blue in future blocks!

I am thrilled that the FQS has already surpassed it's initial goal of raising $10,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and its new goal of $20,000. The last time I checked the amount raised was over $29,500, we're so close to $30,000, how great is that!  As a reminder, the monthly patterns are a free download, a donation is up to you, the suggested donation is $5.  Here is a link to the pattern, instructional video, donation page, and everything else you need to know.  (click here)  The backing and finishing directions are also now available.

Here are a few more folks participating in the sew along, be sure to check out their bikes.

Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms
Bonnie Olaveson of Cotton Way
Pat Sloan of The Voice of Quilting
Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet
Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life
Pam Viera-McGinnis of Pam Kitty Morning
Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs
Stephanie Kendron of The Modern Sewciety
Natalia Bonner of Piece N Quilt
Greg Jones of Grey Dogwood Studios
Jessie Fincham of Messy Jesse

And finally, check out instagram, #fqssnapshots for some great blocks and inspiration. Last  month someone put a Paris cityscape print in the lens of their camera block that was amazing! Why didn't I think of that!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Two things . . . .

Thing One - I got a new rug for my sewing room, finally!  The hardwood was installed 11 months ago, and I've been looking for the perfect sewing room rug for 12 months easy.

The first two area rugs I ordered did not suit, so I sent them back.  Then I found this one, sold by Pottery Barn Kids of all places.  I'm very familiar with Pottery Barn, but I have no kids, so I'm not as familiar with PBK, but they have an amazing assortment of rugs that I don't think look like rugs for a kids room, like this one.  If a rug with a hexagon pattern doesn't just scream sewing room, then I don't know what does.

Thing Two - I've been waiting since Spring Market for the release of this Miss Rosie's Quilt Co pattern, and it's finally available. Viola, pronounced Voi la, like Ta Da!!

This pattern finishes at 82" x 82", the blocks finish at nearly 19', nice size blocks.  I plan to start working on this pattern in a couple of weeks, although I've yet to decide on my fabric, except that I think there will be orange, because I'm going through an orange phase.  I have two friends who have also been waiting for this pattern and they plan to start in  a couple of weeks too, Sinta/ Pink Pincushion, and Nicole/Sisters Choice.  I like to make at least one basket quilt each year, this is my 2015 basket quilt.  It sure would be fun if you decided to sew along too!  All you need is 8 fat eighths for the baskets,  29 fat eighths for the flowers and 4 green fat quarters for the stems.

I hope you can squeeze it into your schedule!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cheese Crackers, a finish . . . . .

So here are  my pieced cheese crackers.

And here are those blocks set on point and in the finished quilt top.  I'm amazed how setting the blocks on point changes their look, for the better!

Piecing this top was a breeze, creating a pleasing and random setting within each block was my only hurdle, but I always struggle with my fabric placement.  I used yellow, light orange, medium orange and dark orange fabric.  I used around the same amount of each in each block.

This is Lifetime Quilt Number 160 
The pattern is Cheese Crackers from the Simply Color Orange book by Vanessa Christenson
My top finished at 53" x 53" (the pattern is bigger, it finishes at 74" x 74".)
There are approximately 536 pieces.

This is the beginning of my orange phase!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Seeing Orange . . . .

Remember when I blogged about these Simply Color books by Vanessa Christenson?

And how I loved this pattern from the Orange book?

I decided to make it!

I'm making my Cheese Crackers smaller, but going with the same number of hsts per block.  I have a place where I'll want to hang this quilt so smaller works better for me.  I love making hsts and enjoyed making every one of them.  I used V and Co Orange Simply fabric plus a couple of orange prints by Carolyn Friedlander.   Making the hsts was easy, arranging them in a random yet eye pleasing setting was something else!  I spent an entire afternoon rearranging the first block.  Eye pleasing random is harder than you think.  

I expect the rest of the quilt to go together very easily and quickly!