Crossroads Quilt Top, Leaders and Enders Quilt Blocks and Charity Pillowcases

It’s been awhile since my last post. But I am still here. Alive and kicking.

Want to see what I have been working on?

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I finished the quilt top for my Crossroads to Jericho blocks near the end of February. Nine rows across and eight rows down. 72 blocks. Each block is 9″ square. I ended up with 20 extras and could probably make the quilt top wider or longer. But for now, I think I will leave it as is. 78″ by 70″.

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It wasn’t until I was sewing Rows 3 and 4 together that I figured out an easier way to get the points to line up correctly. It isn’t perfect but I am happy with how it turned out. Here are a couple closeups.

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And in between making that quilt top, I made all of these blocks.

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I am calling them my Leaders and Enders scrappy quilt blocks because that is how they were made. Sewing this way slows you down a bit but time I have. I wasn’t in a rush. There are 56 blocks up on my design wall. Ready for me to sew together.

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Each block measures 10″ square. Most are Log Cabin or my version of the Log Cabin. I let the fabric speak to me and placed it where I thought it looked best.

These are my favorites.

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The BEST PART… I now have my scraps totally under control. I started off with a handful of each color (except brown, saving them for later). I thought about cutting and trimming each scrap, Scrap Management, and doing what the “experts” say to do. But then I would still be cutting and trimming. I decided to Grab and Sew working from a huge pile of scraps plunked down right in the center of my work table. I even used my stash when I ran out of longer strips for the last round (10″ strip). That felt really great. Scraps and Stash. Even selvages were used for several blocks.

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Did I use up all of my scraps? Nope. Still have lots left. But I did take the time to somewhat organize what was left by size. Long strips, squares/rectangles/odd shapes. And bits. LOTS of bits. A huge bag full of them. Tiny pieces 1 1/2″ or smaller. I couldn’t part with them. I will use them for smaller projects like doll quilts.

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I also made my charity pillowcases the L and E way. In between everything else. Hubby said it looked like a tornado had hit my sewing room. I have to admit, I had stuff everywhere but it was organized stuff. I knew where everything was. Originally I was setting aside two or three days a month to make the pillowcases. But sewing them as enders has worked out great.

Don’t you love these fabrics!! Bright. Bold. I made 22 for February and already have seven started for March.

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Sorry I didn’t do a February roundup to show you what I made. I didn’t make a lot of stuff. Mostly I worked on Crossroads to Jericho blocks, Scrappy Trip Around the World blocks and my BOM blocks. Oh, and I made a heart themed mug rug for a swap in one of my quilt groups. I will post photos on my sidebar.

Hope you have been crafting and doing what you love. Did you miss me? 😀

Linking up to…

Charity Pillowcases: New Year, Same Goals

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Isn’t this THE Cutest Fabric!! Got it at JoAnn’s a few days ago. I have breezed down the novelty fabric aisles so many times, that anything new jumps off the shelf and into my cart. Even the lady cutting this for me said, “this must be new.” Yep. New AND cute. And soon to be made into charity pillowcases for February. Batch 11.

But first… let me show you the twenty I made for January.

You already saw the fabric one of my quilting buddies sent me in December last year. But since I was already past my goal (160 for 2012), I took a rest break and saved her fabric for January.

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Cute, aren’t they. I really love how they turned out. Thanks again, Donna S. You are a sweetheart!!

This batch, Batch 10, had fabrics I hadn’t used before. Huge butterflies and macaroons.

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These two soccer-themed pillowcases came out great. I used two FQ’s sewn together to create the band and black/white checkerboard for the body. When I can catch the FQ’s on sale for 99 cents, I stock up.

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As you all know, I made 168 charity pillowcases last year. Eight more than my 20 a month goal. (I started in May 2012.)

This year’s goal will be the same. 240 pillowcases for 2013. Twenty a month. That number has worked great for me. I sat aside a couple days and work “assembly line” style. One right after the other. I get them all to the same step and then move on to the next step. I am going to try to make one Outside The Box each month. One that is different from all the rest.

Here is a photo of all twenty.

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So… that does it for me. Just wanted to show you January’s pillowcases and bring you up-to-date on my charity project.

What are you creating? Do tell.

Linking up to….

Santa Came Early… Thank YOU, Donna S

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Wow!! Look what arrived at my house yesterday.

A box full of selvages. Just what I had on my Christmas list. All compliments of a quilting buddy of mine. We have never actually met. We chat on-line at our quilt group and via e-mail. I think we bonded because of our first names. Us Donnas have to stick together. 😀

Donna S. sent a HUGE box of all different color selvage strips. Lots of black and white. Just what I was running out of.

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I am seeing all sorts of selvage projects for weeks, months. Can’t wait to sort through them and pet each strip.

Guess what else she did? You won’t believe it. She cut out and sent me the cutest fabric to make pillowcases for my charity. The bands and the body. Already cut!!

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I will get them sewn and shipped off for this month. What a wonderful thing to do!! Love it. I thank you. My charity thanks you.

Donna S. is also into making stuff with selvages. She shared this photo of a stool she recycled with a new cover. I asked if I could post her photo on my blog and she said yes.

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Isn’t this amazing? I would like to do something like this… one day.

Hope you are doing something fun and enjoying your weekend.

Have you seen any sighting of Santa yet? Have you been good? 😀

November Charity Pillowcases

Just a quick post to show you my charity pillowcases for November. I made exactly 20 and I am already over my goal of 160 for 2012. 168 so far and there is still December.

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Pink, blue, gray, yellow, black, red, brown, beige. I used up quite a few of my larger pieces I first bought when I was just learning to quilt. Feels good. And for a great cause.

These are my favorites in this batch (Batch 9). Elephants and cats.

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I was saving this blue fabric with the hearts for something special. But I hadn’t come up with any ideas for it as yet so I used a bit of it to make this pillowcase. Who doesn’t “heart” little kitties. 😀

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Well, that does it for my latest pillowcases.

Want a sneak peek at my next selvage project?

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BBL. Hope you are getting some crafting in.

Last Of The October Finishes: My Pillowcases

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Yay!! This is the last of the stuff I made in October. I am excited!! Since I can begin to show you the things I have made so far in November. Order… got to have order. Can’t put the cart before the horse. 😀

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A couple of you asked if I would do a tutorial on how I am making my pillowcases. I am working on it. Not finished yet but I am thinking I will have it ready to post early next week.

So this post will show you the charity pillowcases plus a few I made for my Etsy Shop.

OK… Let’s get started.

The two in the top photo are my favorites in this batch. Batch 8. Black and white. So crisp looking. If I had a black and white bedroom, I would use them myself.

Stripes. I found a great flat sheet at Salvation Army’s Thrift Shop a couple months ago for just 3.99. I was able to get five pillowcases from that one sheet. Isn’t the John Deere fabric the cutest!!

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More stripes. I love these!!

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Dots. Polka dot, splashes of dots and large dots.

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Even flowers, vines and leaves.

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And these I made from the leftover backing fabric from my Hugs and Kisses quilt. I don’t waste ANY fabric. I will make it work even if I have to piece the pieces together.

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Well, that does it for the charity pillowcases. 20 in this batch for October. Yay!! I am still on track to meet my goal of 20 a month from May to December.

I also made a few I will be putting in my Etsy Shop.

This set I am so in love with. I love the colors. The freshness of the white bubbles fabric.

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BUT mostly I am happy with how the fabric strips lined up almost perfectly at the seam.

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This patriotic set was made from pinwheels I made in July.

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They were some of my practice blocks just sitting. I used most of them.

And this last pillowcase.. Purple, lavender and teal.

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I made the band from some blocks I made some time ago. Blocks I made when I was on my scrap color blocks kick last year. They were just sitting in a plastic bag. I was delighted when I laid them out and they measured exactly what I needed to make the band.

Whew!! That does it for my October finishes. Sorry it took so long. Now I get to tell you and show you my November projects. Thanks for sticking with me. 😀

Linking to…

American Heroes Quilt Update and String Circles Status


If you remember from my post back in July, I made a quilt top for charity, American Heroes. It was patriotic themed and would be presented to a wounded American soldier returning from the war. (Original post at bottom)

Just wanted to show you what my quilt top looks like now after being quilted. It was quilted this month by the amazing Nancy, from one of the many quilt guilds around the country working with charities.

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If you look closely, you can see the design. Banners and stars.

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Isn’t it wonderful!!

Pretty soon, my quilt will be headed to one of the hospitals charged with mending our wounded soldiers. It warms my heart knowing it will go to someone who almost gave their life making it safe for ME. To allow me the freedom to write this blog. Craft all day. Do as I wish. For that, I am truly grateful.

Thank you, American Hero Quilts, for founding such a worthwhile charity. Thank you, Nancy, for giving of your time, talent and supplies. Also thank you for the photos.


I haven’t done much with my String Circles since I last showed them to you. BUT… I did decide on how to connect them and make them into a quilt. I am going to top stitch (applique) the circles onto a 10″ fabric square of beige/cream/ivory.

This is what a portion looks like.

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Lots more to do. I am hoping for a this year finish.

Well, that does it for me. Working on more stuff but none at a stage I can share. Soon.

What are you working on? Do tell….

Go here to read my post on my American Heroes quilt top.

Recycle #9: Ralph Lauren Sheet and Pillowcases

If you have been following my blog for some time, then you know what I like to do on Wednesdays. I like to go to the Salvation Army Thrift Store. Senior Discount Day.

I was dropping off four of my beloved mother’s winter coats I was never going to use or wear. Made sense someone else could get some wear out of them as cold as it has been in my parts lately.

And of course, since I was already there, just had to run inside to quickly make my rounds. I have gotten so good at it. Unless they move the aisles or change stuff around, I can get in and scoop up what I want in about 10 minutes.

Yesterday, I only found one thing I could use. This Ralph Lauren twin sheet. For just 2.99. And with my 25% discount, only 2.24. A steal.

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Not sure if that is how it is supposed to look. It looks like some of the color has washed out. But it feels great. Nice fabric. 100% cotton.

I washed it and cut it up to make my charity pillow cases. Batch 7 for my September count. I was able to get four pillowcase bodies and two tops out of that one sheet.

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Counting those, so far, I have 15 pillowcases ready for French seams.

These fabrics are waiting their turn.

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I need at least five more to make my 20 a month goal. That basketball fabric sure is cute. And I like those little birds and adorable cats too.

Plus I am making this band from fabric strips to go with this pretty yellow bottom. I may make a second one. I have enough strips cut.

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Hopefully I get them all finished by month’s end.

And in case you are wondering… I teased you in my last post about what was on my sewing table. Here it is.

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But now you will have to guess what I am going to do with it. It is old, old old. A quilt top I made last year. You can read my post about it here.

Didn’t really get all bubbly about it after I made it so it got folded and stored. NOW, it will have a new life as something else. So glad I remembered I made it. More details and photos coming up. 😀

Quilting By The Numbers: 24, 150, 19 and 0

I can NOT believe August has come and gone!! So fast. Just like that. Here and gone. Well, one more day. Today. All those To-Do’s, To-Make’s. Did some. Didn’t do A LOT.

BUT… I did accomplish quite a bit this week and last.

24. I worked on my charity pillowcases.

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As you know my goal is 5 a week or 20 a month. And being the Queen Procrastinator that I am, I didn’t start the ones for August until September was breathing down my neck. Talk about pressure!! But I did it. 24 pillowcases. How’s that for a Breakneck Sewing Marathon.

I have to say, I like this batch. Batch 6. I like them a lot. Some fabrics are new that I recently caught on sale at JoAnn’s. Footballs and helmets, owls, miniature toy cars.

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And some were leftover from other batches. I am using up quite a few novelty pieces.

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This batch also includes a few softer, sweet girly baby pink ones.

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That makes a total of 106 pillowcases made so far this year. I am on track to meet my 2012 goal. 😀

150. That’s the number of Hugs and Kisses blocks I have completed. The scrappy blocks I am making from all those squares I cut. I pulled out four of my favorites. They are in the front.

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This is how all 150 look up on my design wall. I need 12 more blocks to finish off the “X” on the right side and six along the bottom row. Unless I add more columns and rows, the quilt top will be 14 blocks wide and 12 blocks long. Each block finishes off at 5″ square.

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I didn’t realize how much I work with jeweltone colors until I saw Crystal’s comment on my blog. And I do!! My quilt will be brighter than the one I was inspired by. Bolder. Not sure I am happy with the larger prints like the navy huge circles. May swap them out.

Later this year or next year, I would love to make these blocks using baby themed fabrics. Also I have an idea for one in black and white. Need to get it mapped out on paper before I cut the squares.

19. My string blocks are coming along too. I am making them for a swap in one of my quilt groups.

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I got the final count for the swap a couple days ago. Including myself, there are five people participating. So I only have to make 16 blocks. Four per. I actually am finished. So far, I have made 19 but want to continue making them so I can select the best of the bunch for the swap. (I took out the four I am using for my wall hanging.)

I kind of strayed from the swap guidelines (make scrappy, don’t color coordinate) on a few. Not sure if I will keep them or use for the swap.

Purple and Turquoise.

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Michael and Henry.

I am calling this one the Michael and Henry block. I used three Michael Miller and four Henry Glass fabrics. I like it. Think I will keep this one and make more.

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Swap mailout deadline is Sept 30. Can you believe it!! For once in my life I am ahead of schedule. Probably because they are fun to make. And addicting. I can’t resist pulling out 12-14 strips and laying them out on a square of muslin. Then when I get bored with whatever I am making, I make a string block. My Boredom Breaker method seems to be working well.

Do you like making string blocks? Have you ever tried it? Try it. You might like it. What a great way to make a dent in the mountain of scraps I know you have. 😀

Zero. 😦 Sadly, this month will go by without a quilt top finish. How did that happen!! I could make a list but they would all be excuses. So I won’t bore you. I really DO want to quilt my quilt tops. I have to keep telling myself I will feel so much better once they are finished and the binding is sewn on. I have the finished look in my head. Now I need to get the finished quilt in my hands.

Hopefully I will have a finished quilt to post in September.

How about you? What Fall projects do you have lined up? Do tell…

Don’t forget to enter my “Be An Animal” giveaway. Three lucky people will win prizes. Could be you!!

Linking up to…

Look!! Page Updates… Check.Them.Out.

Just wanted to share with you a few Blog Page updates and one new page. Didn’t want you to miss anything. 😀

Charity Stitches

New Page added last week to track my sewing for charity.


I was Featured at Bowdabra. Thanks much, Susie, for featuring my Ragged Edges Quilt Blocks on your blog.

Tanya’s Macrame

Tanya has been busy!! She has two new plant hangers to show us.

Click on the above links to read all about it. And thanks much for stopping by.

Ragged Edges Quilt and New Back Idea

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As I was making the charity blocks for Margaret’s Hope Chest, I decided I wanted my own Ragged Edges Quilt. So I made duplicates in most cases where I had enough fabric.

I have to tell you, this project was a Labor of Love. One thing kept me going. I could see the potential for something pretty to blossom. An explosion of color. I used every fabric source in my craft room. Stash. Charm squares. Scraps. I searched high and low looking for anything I could use to make monochromatic blocks. It took me four (I repeat… FOUR!!) days to sort through everything and get the blocks sewn. I touched every scrap in my Scrap Bin and pulled out those that were at least 3 1/2″ square.

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Though it seemed to take forever… I enjoyed getting reacquainted with all the different scrap pieces and colors. I even took the time to put them in color order.

Just about every color is represented in my Ragged Edges quilt. It’s All In There.

Purple (lots of purple), pink, red, orange, blue, navy, wine, green, yellow, peach and aqua. I wasn’t so sure about mixing the darker colors with the bright rainbow colors but I think it works out OK. I am even thinking of using wine for the binding. To bring it all together.

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Counting the charity blocks and those for me, I made a total of 75 blocks. I am using 56 for my quilt. They are up on my design wall. Next I have to sew them in columns and then rows. I will let them stay up there for a day or two. So I can look at them. 😀

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The blocks I made for Margaret’s Hope Chest were mailed a few days ago.

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And I just found out the deadline was extended until August 20th. So there is still time if you want to make some blocks. Go here for the details.

Join in if you can.  Thanks!!

Update on my Umbrella Quilt Top

The dust has settled. And a new idea for the back to my umbrella quilt has emerged. While still waiting for a 50% off coupon from JoAnn’s so I buy more purple fabric, I got to thinking. Maybe, just maybe, these might work.

White and lavender polka dots with the little bit of purple I have left. I think I can stretch the purple.

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Hope my “new” idea works. More details and photos to come.

OK, taking a break now.

What have you been doing? Do tell.

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