Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Block of the Month -- 1800's Quilt August

Block of the Month 1800’s Quilt – August
Unfinished Blocks are 9.5”

We will be making two old favorite blocks during August. First up is an Ohio Star.  This block has been found in quilts from the mid to late 1700’s through today.  It was prominently featured in the American Eagle quilt in the National Museum of American History.  Mimi Dietrich featured the quilt and her version of it in her book Quilts from the Smithsonian.
Take a few moments to view the YouTube video by the American History Museum of  the Civil War Sunday School Quilt: 
Does it remind you of anything?  Yes, what quilters do today by making quilts and donating them to the Quilts of Valor and the Virginia Memorial Quilt Project as well as other programs that benefit our military personnel is what the Sunday School class did during the Civil War.   It’s wonderful that we are continuing this great tradition.

I made this block using three colors although I’ve seen it in two colors.  I would not use directional fabric for this one.  I chose dark for the triangle star points, medium around the center square, and light for the corner and center squares.
Background Fabric: Cut five - 3 ½” squares of background fabric
                        Cut one 4 ¼” square and then cut it diagonally twice. 
Dark Fabric for star points  Cut two – 4 1/4” squares of dark fabric.  Cut diagonally twice.
Cut  One – 4 1/4” square of medium fabric
Cut diagonally twice.  
Using the photo for color placement make 4 broken dishes blocks.  To trim it to 3 ½”, place one of the  diagonal lines on your ruler on the diagonal of the block.  The 4 fabrics should meet in the center at the 1 ¾” mark on your ruler. Trim the block to 3 ½”.   If you have the Tucker Trimmer ruler this is a great time to use it.

Lay out the block. Sew in rows and then sew the rows together.  I pressed the seams to the plain blocks.

And another block….

Although I thought this was a Jacob’s Ladder block, my friend, Sharon, found out what it really is. It was featured in the September 2012 issue of American Quilter.  It was called Crosses and Losses in the article.  The antique quilt it was shown in was from the Civil War. The normal Jacob's Ladder block  I found in a quilt that was circa 1860 to 1880.  I have found many of the quilts that have been preserved in museums are appliqué or crazy quilts.  There do not seem to be as many pieced block quilts around.  Although if you want to do a Carpenter’s Wheel, it was definitely a popular quilt block in the 1800s!

Pick two fabrics that contrast with each other.  This does work with directional fabrics but you might want to plan in advance how you want to cut the directional fabric.  Additionally you can switch the light for the dark. However, I have given cutting instructions as I show it above.

Cut 3 –3 1/2” squares dark fabric
Cut 3 – 4 1/4” squares dark and light fabric
On the back, draw a line diagonally down the center of each light fabric.

To make the half square triangles, place a dark and a light 4 ¼” square right sides together.  Stitch ¼” away from both sides of the drawn line.  Cut on the drawn line.  Iron seam to the dark side. Square up the unit to 3 ½”.  Repeat with the other 4 ½” squares. 

Lay out the units as shown above.  Stitch in rows and then stitch the rows together. 

Any questions – send me an email

The next installment of the 1800's Quilt Block of the Month should be around Saturday, Sept. 8th or so.   I keep telling myself it is time to update my blog but my motivation to do so is really low.  Sometime you will come to visit and be really surprised to see an update.  But don't hold your breath.  

Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Design Wall Monday 8-27-2012

I didn't do a lot that I can show you last week.  But I did start and finish the quilting on Jenny's string quilt for Natalie.       

Here's a close up of the quilting.  It is my version of Swirls by Dawn Ramirez. It is in her DVD and book PajamaQuilter Reloaded.  

Now for the goals;
Week of August 20
Continue piecing Scrap Squad #4
Continue sewing together Christmas Redwork
Quilt FCQ Charity Quilt
Quilt Jenny’s String Quilt
Not bad... I worked on everything I planned to.  The two quilts were completely quilted and one was returned to Jenny. 
Week of August 27
Finish Paper Piecing and start on the next section of Scrap Squad #4
Finish sewing the Christmas redwork top together
Start and finish quilting one of my quilts…
Knit on Sophia’s sweater
Clean hardwood floors*

Not that much new on the list.  The * is because I don't really want to do the hardwood floors but they definitely need to be done! 

I leave you with a picture from Sophia's birthday party.  She got that really cool chair from Uncle Kevin and Aunt Aimee. 

Have you visited at Patchwork Times yet?  You'll be able to visit web sites around the US and possibly the world by starting there. 

Happy Quilting! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Catching Up on 1800's BOM

I have received several emails asking whether I was still doing the 1800s Block of the Month.  I hang my head in shame and have come up with many excuses!  Yes, I'm still doing them and I actually have done the two missing ones (July and August.)  But, watch out here come the excuses, both times I was working on them I had computer issues either right after or, as in August, while trying to do them.  I wrote the directions, sent them to the guild web site where they were published as usual on the second Saturday of the month and then promptly decided I didn't have time or ability to post to my blog.  

Ok, everyone, all together now shame on me!  It has been exceedingly gratifying to keep getting emails asking me if I was still doing the blocks.  Thank you all for asking!  I've been sending folks to the guild website so they could get caught up.  I am also getting off my duff and posting the July information here.  And, I've reread it and added some info so if you are just saving the information you might want to save this post also.  

July’s block is Double T.  There are several variations on the T placement of this block.  I’ve used a traditional one shown in two colors.  I’ve also seen the block with 3 colors – background and pairs of opposite blocks matching in color.  I made my sample block several months ago based on a quilt in one of my books.  Fast forward to July.  I’ve had a hard time finding the block made the way I’ve shown it on the internet.  Finally I found a doll or crib quilt in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.  You can find the picture of this quilt by going to  and typing in Double T in the keyword search.  It was made in the late 1800’s so it definitely fits in with our quilt. 

Decide if you want to make a two color or a three color block. The directions are for two colors.  To make it a three color block you would make half of the blocks with background and color 1 and the other half with background and color 2.  Again, there are a lot of half square triangles in this but by now you should be a pro!  My cutting directions are cut large so you can square your units down to the correct size.  If you would rather use thangles, triangles on a roll or your preferred method I’ll include the finished sizes of each size half square triangle.

Cut  2 squares of background fabric 4 ¼” (Remember I’m adding extra to cut your unit to the perfect size.)
Cut 2 squares main color 4 ¼” (For 3 color – cut 1 in Color 1 and 1 in Color 2.)
Cut 10 squares 2 ½” in background color
Cut 10 squares 2 ½” in main color (For 3 color – cut 5 in Color 1 and 5 in Color 2.)

Draw a diagonal line on the back of all the colored squares.  Chain sew ¼” from each side of the line. Cut on the line.  Iron the seam to the dark fabric. This block is made in quadrants so make each one the same for the two color quilt or make pairs in the 3 color quilt.
The large half square triangles are 3 ½” unfinished, 3” finished.  The small half square triangles are 2” unfinished,  1 ½” finished.
Arrange your pieces as in the picture. Sew two half square triangle units together and then sew the three half square triangles together.  Sew the two units to the larger half square triangle, press to the dark.  Each quadrant is 5” unfinished, 4 1/2” finished.
Place as indicated in the picture.

If using two colors and the background fabric place the matching colors diagonally opposite.

Any questions?  Feel free to email me at

I recently read about a converter that takes web pages (think about blogs) and converts the pages to PDF.  How cool is that.  I have lots of web pages in my favorites because of a set of instructions or a tutorial.  Wouldn't it be great to be able to turn them into a PDF rather than hoping the information stays available?  I wish I could give credit to whoever mentioned this but I have no recollection.... but here is the web site:  All you do is copy the web address you want to convert. Then hit the convert button.  Depending on length and the number of graphics it does take some time but not really all that much.  Don't do like I did and click off the page once it comes up.  This is a free version with ads and I didn't realize that the red boxes were giving me options on what to do with the document. The choices were to download, share with Google docs and store and share PDF.  I chose to download it and opened it from my download file.  Terrific.  Just don't forget to save it once you've downloaded it.  This should be fabulous for me!  

I'm about out of power on my laptop so I will end this here.  Give me until early next week and I will post the August blocks. (Yep, there are two.) 

Happy Quilting All!  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Design Wall Monday 8-20-12

I am back up and running on my MacBook Pro.  And, it wasn't the hard drive so I have all of my information.  YEAH!  I may try backing it up some time today as I plan to upgrade the memory and then try to get Windows operating system on a portion of it.  It sounds ridiculously difficult to me but folks swear it isn't.  

So, what's been happening recently in the studio?  I'm working on only 2 major projects.  First up is Scrap Squad quilt #4.  Sharon was here last weekend and we came up with a color scheme and a plan.  It is paper pieced so is quite the challenge for me as I am not good at eyeballing the sizes of the fabrics. I was hoping to use only fabric from my stash but I was running out and needed to buy something to match the oldest piece I was using.  3 stores later I have a great match.  You'll have to tell me in a couple of weeks whether you see any differences.  Of course, no photos to share of SS #4.  

 Here's the other piece I am working on.  It is a machine embroidered red work and patches wall hanging.  I agreed to donate a quilt to my church's auction which will be held in late September so I am focusing on it also. These are the first machine embroidery I've tried.  I bought all the designs, directions etc on a cd at the quilt shop where I bought my machine.  It was a fun and easy to do design. Thank goodness.  Below is a close up of some of the units while I was working on them. 
Last week's goals were to work on the Christmas Quilt and Scrap Squad #4.  Yep, that's what I did.  Probably not enough but when I sewed I was working on those two. I also started quilting the FCQ Charity quilt.  

Week of August 20
Continue piecing Scrap Squad #4
Continue sewing together Christmas Redwork
Quilt FCQ Charity Quilt
Quilt Jenny’s String Quilt

Just remembered.  The week before when the computer was having a spa week or two, I finished the Flamingo quilt.  (Hey, it was the end of July so I really needed to finish something!) I used my spiral circles design boards.  It is being donated to Project Linus in Howard County, Maryland through Faithful Circle Quilters. Last time Sharon was down for a sewing weekend she had flamingo fabric from a guild challenge. One of the members was downsizing and donated her flamingo fabrics thus was born the flamingo challenge. One of these days I will show some of the other quilts from the challenge. 
Are you still checking out the other design walls through Patchwork Times?  First go visit Patchwork Times and then make the jump to all sorts of design walls.  It's great fun.  Leave a comment so folks know you have been by.  
Happy Quilting All!