FQ Challenge… OK, I Can Now Show You

Made. Shipped. And Delivered.

Don’t you hate keeping secrets? I do. I have been wanting to do a Show And Tell for about a week. But couldn’t. Since what I was making needed to be shipped and delivered first.

It all started with this. This really pretty Fat Quarter.

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You know how much I like signing up for stuff. Well, I signed up for a FQ Challenge in one of my quilt groups. Each person had to mail off a FQ to their swap partner and that person would make something with the FQ adding up to three additional fabrics.

Since the Friendship Braid was still fresh in my mind, that is the design I decided on with a twist. I added cornerstones. I had seen them on quilts around the net, liked them, and wanted to give it a try.

Day 1: The Auditions

I tried out numerous fabrics and color combinations. I really wanted this white to work but it stood out like a sore thumb. The solids? Nope. Bright avocado? Nope.

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Still undecided. So, I let the camera decide for me.

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I ended up selecting four fabrics to add to her fat quarter. Yep, one additional. For balance. I doubt the Number Police will be coming to arrest me. πŸ˜€

You can see the four here. With cornerstones.

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I made two short panels, sewed them down the middle, added a few borders.

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No quilting. I just could not decide on which quilting design would least mess it up. So I pieced a back, added batting and with right sides together, stitched all around the edges. I turned it inside out and hand stitched the turning opening closed.

And DONE!!

The Front.

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The Back.

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My swap partner said she loves it and plans to hang it in her sewing room.

I have a few scraps of her FQ leftover and will make ME something pretty. Guess what I did with the cut off ends of the two panels? Cute, huh!!

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My fabric came from Connecting Threads and JoAnn’s.

Linking up to…


Green Scrappy Braid Quilt Top Is Finished

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Wow, working on and off, this took almost a month. I added the final borders early this morning.

I LOVE IT!!! My first braided Anything. And mostly from scraps. 95%. That’s the best part.

From this…

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To this…

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It is officially the largest quilt top I have made to-date. Right now, before quilting and binding, it measures 90″ by 94.” As you can see, it fits perfectly on this regular sized bed in the guest bedroom which BTW is only used to house my crafting stuff.

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It has enough of a drop that I could remove the dust ruffle. (Do people still use dust ruffles, LOL!! I still do.)

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For the back, I already started making more braid panels. I will probably cut some larger squares from leftover green scraps. And piece together what I can to make it large enough. I won’t spend a lot of time on it, that’s for sure. Already invested too many hours on the top.

After I quilt it, I want to make two pillow shams. I saw the cutest pillows that look like shams on the net (can’t remember where), loved them, will make them.

I am so glad I decided to try my hand at this design and learned to make the braids. If I had never tried it, then I wouldn’t have this to show you. πŸ˜€

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If you haven’t tried the Friendship Braid, check it out. Super easy. Time consuming, but easy.

Go here. This is what I used.


You can read about the making of this quilt top here.


And here.


And The Winner Of My Guessing Game Is… Carol

Wow!! So close, almost right on the nose.

Carol said:
January 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm
487 popped in my mind so that’s my guess.

Carol guessed that I sewed/quilted 487 items in 2012. The number was actually 491 which included 168 charity pillowcases. I documented everything I made so all I had to do was flip back through my journal pages.

Congrats, Carol. Send me your address so I can mail you one of my handcrafted items.

Thanks everyone for playing my Guessing Game. You are the best!!

Sashing Is Done… Time For The Borders

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Seems I have been working on this Green Scrappy Braid Quilt forever. And I HAVE!! For about four weeks. On and off. With a few other projects being worked on in between.

But I have good news. The sashing is finished. And I can now move on to the outside borders.

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Initially, I wanted to use this green fabric. But didn’t think I had enough.

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And to buy more at the price/shipping the seller was asking would have ended up being more than I wanted to spend on a scrappy quilt. Overkill. So “Babble”, the name of the fabric, went back to my stash. (And thank you, Sonnethawk, for your help in locating the color I needed. I bookmarked the site.)

I think this apple green with butterflies works just fine.

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It complements all the various shades of green I used for the braids.

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For the inside borders, I decided on a black fabric with white loopy loops. It is busy. But I like it.

This quilt top will be the second largest quilt I have made to-date. (The American Heroes quilt being slightly larger.) Right now without the outside borders, it measures 82″ across and 65″ down. Borders will be 2″ on the left and right and 4″ on top and bottom. So I am thinking it will end up somewhere around 86″ by 74″.

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I am calling it my Scrap Buster. Except for the sashing and borders, it was made with about 95% scraps. For variety, I ended up cutting strips from a few FQ’s and my stash but mostly it was from my green scrap bag.

Remember the photo I showed you a month ago?

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This is what that bag looks like now. SWEET!!

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I will use even more scraps to make a pieced back. More braided panels. At least two. 92 strips per panel. Then I will piece together leftover scraps and see how close I can come to the measurements for the top. For sure I will need to add from my stash. The same green and black I am using for sashing and borders.

My plan is get the quilting done This Year. Not sure when but this year. I am determined NOT to go into next year with a bunch of quilt tops in need of quilting. πŸ˜€

How about you? Are you working to reduce your UFO’s? Have you finished anything yet this year? Do tell…..

Go here for directions to make your own braided quilt.


“Made In 2012” Contest And Giveaway


Hi everyone, this month is flying by so fast, I thought I had better get my Made In 2012 Guessing Game posted before February gets here.

Can you guess how productive I was last year?

I made quite a few items. Mostly small things and just a few quilts. And let’s not forget my pillowcases.

Here are a few of the things I made. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

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So.. counting everything, even the UFO’s, can you guess how many sewing and quilting items I made in 2012?

The 1st person to guess correctly (or come closest without going over) wins a prize. I will select one of my handcrafted items and mail it off to you. Everyone welcome. I will ship international.

You have until Wednesday, Jan 23, midnight EST to enter a guess.

Post your answer in comments. Good Luck!!


Tip: To get you started, you already know that I made 168 charity pillowcases. πŸ˜€

January “Block Lotto” Blocks

It’s that time again. Every other month. My quilt group runs a block lotto.

How does it work? Simple. You make however many of the featured block and that is how many chances you have to win the pot. I like to participate because I learn something new with each block.

This month’s block is called Crossroads to Jericho and finishes at 9″. Each block is made with nine 2 1/2″ squares and four half square triangles cut from 5 1/2″ squares.

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This is a perfect block for those fabrics you don’t have a lot of. You can use scraps too if you have a piece large enough for the HST. I used some of my 2 1/2″ squares leftover from my Hugs and Kisses quilt.

I have been working on these for a couple days. Most of that time was trying to decide which fabrics read well with black. I ended up making eleven blocks.

This one is my favorite.

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Here’s a few of the other blocks. I just couldn’t get any decent photos today. Crappy outside. No sun, dull and gray and my camera was acting ugly. These are the best pictures I could get.

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Wouldn’t it be great to win the pot. At nine inches per block, a quilt top could be assembled fairly quickly.

And if I don’t win the pot, I can make my own blocks out of the cut squares I have leftover. Like these I cut. But did not use. I decided NOBODY but me would want a quilt with numbers. πŸ˜€

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Cross your fingers and toes for me. (Some of my quilt group members read my blog. So I know they have their fingers and toes crossed too. For Themselves!!) Going to be fun to see who wins all the blocks.

Psst… No, you aren’t off the “green” hook. I have more green stuff to show you. Coming up!! πŸ˜€ And thanks a bunch for leaving me a comment on my braid quilt.

Starched And Ready To Trim

Twelve and done…

I finished the last panel for my green scrappy braid quilt top yesterday.

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Whew!! So glad to be done sewing all the strips together. There are 92 strips per panel. 12 panels = 1104 strips. And it was all add strip, sew, stop, add strip, sew, stop, add… πŸ˜€ You get the picture. There was no way (that I know of) to do chain piecing.

But it’s done.

And now I tackle the trimming and sewing the panels together. Somewhere on the net, I read if you starch the panel BEFORE you trim the sides, the fabric (which is on the bias) will be more stable. Not sure if this is true, but since I am still new to quilting, I figured I had better follow what the experts are saying.

So, I sprayed each panel, pressed the heck out of it, hung them back up on my design wall. I wanted to make sure they were completely dry before touching them. I am thinking later today, I will get started.

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Wish me luck.

Paper Pieced Mug Rug Is Finished!!

Can someone tell me why I was so stressed out when I started this last Sunday? πŸ˜€

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Shhh… don’t tell anyone but I think I am softening up to paper piecing. I like it much better than I did a few days ago.

Mug rug measures 10 3/4″ square. I put hanging tabs (triangles) on the back so it can be used as a little wall hanging also. I did just a bit of quilting. Only straight lines outlining the “branches” and all around the green border. With the focus on the trees, it didn’t need a lot of extra stitching.

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Off it goes in the mail in the morning. It is going to my Winter Themed Mug Rug swap partner. Hope she likes it!!

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Thank you so much for the comments you left about your own paper piecing experience and for giving me encouragement not to give up.

Want to know how I am coming along on my green scrappy braid quilt top? It is going nicely.

I worked on it in between working on the mug rug. I now have 11 panels completed with plans for one last one to make it an even twelve. And then I will sew the panels together.

Originally I wanted to add sashing but now I think it will be too much green as you are looking across it. And I don’t want to bring in another color. The border I am going to add should give the eye somewhere to rest.

I am pleased with how it looks thus far. Wait until you see how many scraps I used up. Will have to take a new photo of my green scrap bag to show you. But for now… here is what it looks like up on my design wall.

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I ran out of the green fabric I need for the border. It should be here in a few days. Hopefully I can get this project finished soon. Don’t need to add to my UFO’s. πŸ˜€

Linking up to…





Paper Piecing… My Learning Continues

Ah, Paper Piecing… Where do I begin?

I am NOT usually rattled. By anything. The older I have gotten, the more I have embraced, “If you can’t control it, don’t stress over it.”

This is what happened. This past weekend I decided I wanted to make this.

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OK, seemed easy enough. Just follow the numbers and sew on the lines. How hard can it be??

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I had only done paper piecing once before. About 18 months ago. And that project was fairly simple. A square in the center with triangles in the corners.

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Thinking I needed a refresher, off I went in search of help. YouTube. Paper piecing videos.

OK. Ready. Armed with several videos loaded onto my brain, I got started. By Number 4 on the paper template, I had to keep jumping up from my chair at the sewing machine to replay the video. Where does this piece go? Up. Down. Come on!! By the third rip out and start over, I was soooo frustrated, practically in tears. And that is saying something for me. Ms Unflappable. Hubby to the rescue. Saying the same thing he always does. “Take a break, Donna. Go take a nap. Sleep on it. You will figure it out.” Not exactly what I wanted to hear at that moment. I wanted to know where the freaking fabric should go.

Back to Square One. Watched videos again. And this time it clicked. FLIP UP. The fabric needed to “flip up” to cover the Number just sewn. From that point on, I knew what to do. Though it still took time to place the fabric, flip over the template, hold it up to the light, get the edges lined up so I had enough of a seam allowance after sewing on the lines.

The first test blocks took me all of one afternoon.

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The next four real blocks took about an hour and a half.

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There are several things I hate about paper piecing.

Fabric waster. You have to cut the pieces larger than the section you want to cover. Or you will come up short and have to rip and start over. Been there. Done that. And your paper template will have ripped and you have to print out a new one and start over.

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And this. Yuck. What a mess.

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But it only took 10 minutes to rip the paper off the back. I used tweezers. And carefully eased the paper off. Now I know why you backstitch in the beginning and end. If not, your stitches could come out with the paper.

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But it wasn’t so bad. Now that I know to flip up, I am excited and want to paper piece something else. I think I will try these.


Birdhouses. Isn’t this pretty? And how cool is the way the fabric was used. The fabric for the top of one birdhouse was also used for the background of one of the other birdhouses? I didn’t see that the first time I looked at it. I will probably do the same with mine.

But first, I have to do the sashing to my trees and finish it up.

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It is going to my swap partner for a Mug Rug With A Winter Theme exchange I signed up for. Mail out deadline is next week but I hope to have it finished tomorrow and mailed by Thursday.

Do you like Paper Piecing? What has been your experience? Do tell… πŸ˜€

Go here for the pattern to make your own Winter Pine.


Update on my green braided quilt top. I am now working on the 10th panel. I got bored sewing strip after strip. But I will work on it more today. Want to get it finished by this Friday. I will post updated photos tomorrow.