A Wonky Quilt Top Finish

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Well, nothing lined up properly. And the points don’t match up. It is indeed a wonky quilt. BUT I LOVE IT just the same.

After deciding I did not want to make any more wonky blocks, I started adding borders. One white to kind of disguise the cutoff block tips. And one in black to wrap up the color explosion. I finished putting the last border on yesterday. It measures 57″ by 57″.

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For the back, I will use the two leftover blocks and surround them with polka dots. For the binding, I think I will go bold and use hot pink polka dots.

This project has been a learning experience. For sure next time, I will accurately measure the corner triangles so I don’t end up cutting into the “block” when trimming. It’s all good. If I don’t learn something from each of my projects, then I need to put my sewing machine in storage.

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I still have a ton of half-square triangles (HST’s) leftover from my Hugs and Kisses quilt. The smaller ones. I think I will trim these before deciding on a project. Not sure if I want to go wonky again.

I have one more border to sew on my Stairsteps quilt and yay!! that quilt top will be finished too.

For real!! Two quilt tops. Can you believe it?

OK… enough about me. What have you been working on? Do tell.

Linking up to.





I Need 22 More Wonky HST Blocks

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Each block takes 24 half-square triangles. 624 used.

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Hopefully I will have enough HST’s to finish. I am guessing I had about 1000 created from my Hugs and Kisses blocks. They are different sizes and I didn’t want to trim each one. So I am using them as is. In all their wonky gloriousness.

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I am so glad I took the extra time to sew the seam across the “dog ear” triangle before trimming. Otherwise I would have been left holding the bag. The bag full of individual triangles.

OK… back to sewing.

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Did you have a great Memorial Day? What did you cook? Send me some. 😀

Linking to…


Decision Made On My Wonky HST’s

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I have decided.

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This is how I will proceed with my Wonky Half-Square Triangle blocks.

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I thought I had enough polka dots. I have purple, hot pink, navy, orange, red, royal, kelly green, yellow, black, baby blue, gray and avocado. But now I am thinking I need a few more. Turquoise and white. Or aqua and white would be pretty. Baby pink. Maybe…

Seven more blocks are pinned and ready to sew.

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I have to use my walking foot to sew these. To get up and over the beginning “hump”. Otherwise I am sewing in place and making a thread ball.

How do you sew over bulky seams? Do tell.

My September Roundup

Not many projects were finished in September. But if there had been a contest for pieces made, I probably would have won.

I made….

  • 22 charity pillowcases
  • 126 Hugs and Kisses blocks
  • 12 String blocks
  • 40 String Circles
  • 3 Birthday mug rugs
  • 1 Quilt top quilted

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This was my last finish for the month. A Birthday Mug Rug. When you last saw it, it looked like this.

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I decided to go smaller and ditched the other half-square triangles (HST’s). Just went with the yellow dotted ones for the front. For the back, I used royal blue HST’s and fussy cut a square of balloons. I love how this turned out and probably would have made more but boredom forced me to move on.

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Whew!! Made it!! Met my monthly goal of 20 charity pillowcases. I actually made 22.

Here’s Batch 7.

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My favorites in this batch are the basketball pillowcase and the yellow one. The yellow one is pieced and fabric strips sewn onto muslin. It took FOREVER so I only made one.

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I like seeing them all piled high in a great big stack. Makes me feel like I really worked hard. 😀

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Now I am up to 128 total pillowcases. I am 28 ahead of schedule. (I started in May.)

These are up on my design wall. No clue YET what I will do with them.

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I guess you would call them String Circles. I was just in a “get rid of some of these scraps” mood and made one, then another and another.

And before I knew it, I had been making them for two days. I do think whatever I make, I will separate the darker ones from the rainbow colors and make two different projects. No rush on whatever I will make. They can stay up on my design wall until I need the space for something else.


Right now, this has my attention.

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Yep, working on basting it.

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Do you see the purple quilt top I was telling you about? The one I made last year. It will now be the backing for my umbrella quilt. So glad to finally use it for something. It had been folded for so long, I had to press out the wrinkles.

Well, that does it for me. Got to go plan my projects for October. I know I want to make up a couple Halloween things. Maybe a table runner. Also I want to use up more of my HST’s. 16 down. 1000 to go. Plus I want to finish up at least two UFO’s. Lots to do. Lots for you to see. BBL

OHHH… I forgot… do come back in a day or two. I feel a giveaway coming on. 😀

Take care. What Fall projects are you working on?

Hugs and Kisses: The Block That Keeps On Giving

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I have settled on the final look for my Hugs and Kisses quilt. The X’s and O’s design. It took awhile and I ended up making 238 blocks. My quilt uses just 168. 14 blocks across and 12 blocks down. That left 70 that I discarded due to various reasons. Print too conflicting, too loud, too pale, too dark, not a perfect blend. Those were mainly the reasons. I think I have a good mix now. I double, triple checked the “tips” to make sure there were no duplicates inside the diamonds.

So… now that I am happy with the arrangement, it is time to take them down one by one and begin sewing the columns and rows together.

There was one thing I hated about making this block. The trimming. No matter how carefully I sewed on the diagonal across the 3″ and 2 1/2″ squares, I still had hangover on the sides that needed trimming.

But there were a couple things I LOVED!! This block is forgiving as well as giving.

The Forgiving. What do all of these cut squares have in common?

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They are flawed. Tips missing or chewed up. One edge shredded. One has a dark blotch. These for a regular quilt would probably be discarded, tossed in the scrap bin. But for this block, since only half of the square is visible, they can still be used.

The Giving. The design of this block automatically creates dog-ears. Lots of them. Four per block. But with sewing an extra seam 1/2″ from the corner-to-corner diagonal seam, a Half-Square Triangle is made when trimmed. Yes, I know. That takes more time to complete each block. Time I have. And more scraps accumulating in the scrap bin I don’t need. So, I took the time to sew the additional seams.

And guess what? This is what I have to show for it.

Almost 1,000 Half-Square Triangles (HST’s). Can you believe this?

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The process is pretty simple. (I posted the link to the instructions on the bottom.)
You can see how I made mine from these photos.

One 5″, two 3″ white and two 2 1/2″ squares. Per block. (Instead of drawing a pencil line down the center to mark where to sew, I pressed a crease on the diagonal fold.)

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First sew corner-to-corner on the pressed diagonal line to add the two white squares. Mark 1/2″ from the sewn line. Now sew on the marked line. Cut in between the two sewn seams. And you get your first Half-Square Triangle. HST will be about 2 1/8″. Press white triangle up. (Don’t do any trimming just yet.) Repeat process to add the 2 1/2″ squares.

This photo is showing all the seams you will sew. You will cut in between the seams.

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The first cut produces a 2 1/8″ HST and the second cut produces a 1 5/8″ HST.

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I have wanted to make a quilt and pillows out of HST’s. Now I can. I will NEVER again cut away the dog-ear ends and toss them in my scrap bin.

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How about you? What do you do with your dog-ear ends?

Go here for the instructions to make your own Hugs and Kisses quilt.


For-Ever-Green: Didn’t Want To Rush Christmas

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I have been wanting to make one of these quilted trees. Ever since I first saw them at About.com. Each with something I liked. But I wanted my points on the sides to look different. So I took what I liked and made my own. (I borrowed these photos from About.com. Links are at the bottom of this post.)

At first, the plan was to make a Quilted Christmas Tree.

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But the more I looked at it. With the red border and the red pom-pom garland… I was SO NOT READY for Christmas.

I decided my tree would be just a tree.

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An Evergreen. To hang on the wall. Or adorn a table top. All year. Without the desire or urgency to pack it away out of sight until the next Christmas season. Year round enjoyment.

Here’s how I made it.

First, I gathered up my green and beige scraps. Sorted through them looking for any scrap 2 1/2″ square or larger. Also flipped through my charm packets and pulled out any I could use. Lastly, I eyeballed my green and beige stash looking for what else I could use.

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After the discards (beiges too dark and greens too busy), I pressed out the wrinkles and started trimming. 3″ for Half-Square Triangles. 2 1/2″ for those not HST’s.

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For the HST’s, I didn’t do the “usual”. Didn’t draw a line down the center of the lighter square. Instead, I folded the 3″ beige squares in half and pressed.

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Then sewed one fourth inch seams on both sides of the creases.

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So easy. So much faster. I saw this tip somewhere on the internet. Can’t remember which site. So glad I found it.

Then came the fun part. Playing with the squares.

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Frequently rearranging, trying for a mix of colors and patterns. Being careful not to have the same pattern adjacent or too close by. My camera was a huge help. Looking at the placement through the lenses caught several would-be goofs.

OK. Moving along. Except for the bottom two rows with the tree trunk, I was ready to begin sewing. After sewing the upper part, I worked on the bottom. The trunk took up four spaces. (I rummaged through my brown scraps and found a fabric that resembled a tree trunk. I was delighted to find it. Left over from my Very First Quilt.)

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Deciding on which borders to use or IF I even wanted a border was an all day task. I auditioned about ten different fabrics. I tried all different border arrangements. Light on top of dark. Dark on top of light. But kept going back to this combination.

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That last fabric, the chevron… I purchased it over a year ago. But it sat and sat waiting for the right project. I love it with this quilt. For the binding.

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The back would be somewhat scrappy. I pieced together three sections of dark green leaves with a small section of avocado polka dots. Had just enough avocado to fit in that space.

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Whew!! OK!! Now, time to baste and quilt.

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Maybe I will make another tree when it gets closer to Christmas time. Have lots of ideas. Yo-yo’s, buttons. Even tiny ornaments.

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And I would REALLY like to make another Evergreen but with purple and lavender instead of beiges. I think that would be pretty. With smaller squares perhaps. OH!! What about a pillow!! So many ideas. Only two hands. 😀

Have you been thinking of Christmas/Holiday crafts?

Go here for more details on the About.com quilted trees.




Starting The New Year With Black and White and Stripes

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I have decided this will be my first quilted item for 2012. Something old combined with something new. The strips were sewn around June last year. My plan was to make pillow covers. But couldn’t decide on two large, four small or one large/two small.

So, rather than cut into it until I made up my mind, I just enjoyed folding it different ways and taking photos.

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So now it has been rescued from the Round-To-It Pile. And guess what? It won’t be pillow covers after all!! It is going to be a quilt. I “think” I want to make Half Square Triangles. Half stripes. Half black and white. And since I have been accumulating black and white fabric for a year, I should have more than enough to get started.

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And I think I will work in the new color for 2012. Tangerine. (Read all about it below.)

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So… that’s what I am working on. What are you working on? Have you made your first 2012 crafty item yet?

2012 Color of the Year



Pillow Talk: The Good Old Days

It felt really great to work on and finish up one of my Works-In-Progress.

How about another one? Remember this?

My “How To Keep Your Husband” fabric. It was one of my Idea Sandwiches. Fabrics I mix and match to set aside for a future project.

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I blogged about it here.


I really love this fabric. Makes me chuckle. I don’t know the history. It came in a bunch of other scraps in an auction I won on eBay. Just looking at it takes you back to about the 50’s.

I showed hubby what I was working on.  He read a few of the How To’s and smiled.

  • Don’t read his mail.
  • Don’t gossip over the phone.
  • I will never annoy him.
  • I won’t rummage through his pockets.. any more. (LOL!!)

But what is REALLY comical is how the ladies of that era dressed. Think Donna Reed, Loretta Young. Beaver’s mother, Mrs. Cleaver. Cleaning house in the Going-To-Church dress, heels and pearls. Now, THAT is funny. When was the last time you put on a dress AND a hat. I would be hard pressed to even find a dress in my wardrobe.

Ah, the good old days!!

Well, back to the here and now. Such a tiny piece of fabric. Only 10 1/4″ by 15 1/2″. Not much I could do with it without adding other fabrics.

I decided to make a pillow.

Before starting, I auditioned a few other prints in my stash. To see if any newly purchased fabric blended better than the blue and orange Fat Quarters. Nope, they still worked best. But would they be enough? Only had two each. And I was determined not to trot off to JoAnn’s. They already had enough of my money.

I managed to scrape together two pillows by carefully cutting the Husband fabric in half.

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Since I use darker colors (think brown) most of the time, I enjoyed using these brighter colors. More Springy than Fall but I need to experiment with different colorways year round. Get out of my dark rut.

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I used cream with tiny black dots for the borders.

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These came out great, I think. Just as I wanted. The quilting (on the top and batting only) was just diagonal lines about the width of a ruler apart.

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To save a bit of money (so I can spend it on fabric 😀 ), I made my own pillow forms. I used a blue and white striped sheet I got cheap from the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

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To stuff them, I used leftover macrame cord scraps. As you can guess, I have TONS of scraps. This is just the cream macrame cord.

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Compared to a store bought pillow insert, I saved about $20.00.

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Well, that was fun. Now I ponder what to do with the leftover fabric scraps.

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Maybe a mini quilt. A lap quilt. I think I can stretch it. I have about 2 yards left of the cream.

Going back to the origin of the Husband fabric…

Out of curiosity, I did my own research. It is from the Michael Miller fabric line. There was also a How To Get A Husband fabric.