Nearly Halfway (Or That Is What I Am Telling Myself)

Here is a quick update on the memory quilt project.  You might remember that I am making 17 memory quilts for the Francis family.  Quite a project.

There are five completely finished.


One that needs the binding stitched down.


Three that need binding attached.


One in the process of being quilted (no picture).

And seven in the “to quilt” pile.


Yep, that accounts for all 17.

I keep telling myself that this is a lot like halfway…this will have an end.  And I will be so happy.  And the family will be, too.  Nearly halfway…nearly halfway….

TUTORIAL: Window Box Quilt

Sometimes you have just a little piece of special fabric but want to make a quilt out of it. This design only uses a small amount (1/2 yard)  of focus fabric and adds a lot of coordinating 1-1/2″ strips.  Use scraps or a honeybun or dig into your stash.



37″ x 37″


1/2 yard focus fabric

3/4 yard background fabric (here, white)

A LOT of 1-1/2″ strips.  It is about 1 yard worth, or 530 inches.  I used three colors here–green, pink and gold


Because this quilt has three different block styles, I will give cutting and contruction directions for each block style and then we’ll assemble the whole thing.  Ready?

Block 1:  Solid


1. From the focus fabric cut 12 squares 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″.  Whew!  That’s all there is to it!

Block 2:  Square


1. From the focus fabric cut 6 squares 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″.

2. Turn to your pile of 1-1/2″ strips. For each “Square” block you will need  1 1-1/2″x 3-1/2″ strip, 2 1-1/2″x 4-1/2″ strips and 1 1-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ strip.  I cut two sets in each of my three colors.  Total of six sets for six blocks.

3. To construct the blocks take sew the 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ strip to the top of a focus fabric square.  Press. Then attach one 1-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ strip to the right side.  Press. Third, the second 1-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ strip to the bottom (press again) and the 1-1/2 x 5-1/2″ strip to the left side.  One final press.

4. That makes one Square block.  Now, back to step 2 and make five more.  Total of six.

Block 3: Pieced


1. For each  “Pieced block” you will need three different colors.  I tried to mix them about evenly in the quilt.


For each pieced block you will need 1 1-1/2″ square for the center.  For the next layer out, you will need 1 1-1/2″x 1-1/2″ piece, 2 1-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ pieces and one piece 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″.  These should all be the same color.  For the final layer you will need  1 1-1/2″x 3-1/2″ strip, 2 1-1/2″x 4-1/2″ strips and 1 1-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ strip.  You will make 18 sets for your 18 pieced blocks.

2. Here is my original idea diagram.  Perhaps that will help with assembly.


Just be patient and go one layer at a time.  Lots of pressing.  It will be truly square if you do.

3. Once you are done with your first one, just keep going and make 17 more.  Total of 18 pieced blocks.


1. Lay out your blocks in a manner to please you.  I used pieced blocks alternating with a combination of solid and square blocks. Six by six.


2. From the background fabric cut 60 strips 1-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ and 25 squares 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″. Also, 2 strips 1-1/2″ x 35-1/2″ and 2 strips 1-1/2″ x 37-1/2″ for outer border.

3. Sew your rows together, alternating blocks with 1-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ sashing.  Six blocks and five sashing per row.

4. Create sashing to go between the rows.  Six 1-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ strips alternating with 1-1/2″ squares.  These cornerstone squares keep your columns lining up during assembly.


5. Sew rows of blocks and sashing together.


6. Add the shorter border strips to the sides andthe longer ones to the top and bottom.

7. Ta-dah!  A Window Box Quilt of your very own!  It makes a great baby quilt or table topper.  Enjoy!


…your beautiful creation HERE!

It Has A Name: Window Box

Thank you so much to all who submitted name ideas for my most recent creation.  More than 60 suggestions were shared, and I definitely know where to turn  for inspiration any time I need it.  Thank you all!

Husband got the final word on the subject.  I showed him the list and the quilt and asked, “What do you like?”  He selected….


I love it!  It really fits the quilt.  A special thank you to Denise and Maxine and  for making the suggestion.  While I didn’t say I would do this originally, I am sending a little thank you gift along.  It is the least I can do.


I am working on a tutorial now and should have it ready by the end of the week.  Thanks to you all again!

Sew Sweet Simplicity Block One–Times TWO!

I was late posting my block, but I did deliver twice the goods.  When a pattern is this pretty and goes together this easily, why not make two?!


Yes, this is my take on the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM Block 1 being sponsored by Art of Home. It is a more jewel-tone color scheme,  and I am making the centers dark.  I  have a twist planned for the setting, but we’ll see how the blocks turn out before I give that much away. Next month I really hope to be on time sharing my block(s).  Why don’t you share yours?  Join in if you haven’t signed up yet.  There are many options available and one is sure to suit you. See you next month for block two.

Sew Sweet Simplicity Block COMING SOON!

Yes, I am behind. Life wins some days. Not that anything bad is happening, but my post celebrating Block 1 of the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM is not ready.

Tomorrow. Probably.

In the meantime, you can visit other (prepared) bloggers and see what they are up to:

Garden Path Quilts
Mountain Quiltworks
Bejeweled Quilts
Upstairs Hobby Room
A Quilt and a Prayer
Lily Pad Quilting

See you soon!


For…well…let’s just say “for a while,” Daughter (Sparkle Jane) and I have been working on a massive project of love:  The Francis Quilts.

This project is a set of seventeen memory quilts in honor of the sister-in-law of a family friend.


As of today, the tops are pieced–all seventeen of them.

There is still a long ways to go, but we have made it this far. Quilting next!

I Make Bread

The other evening Husband and I were on a hot date to the grocery store. You understand that is sometimes how it is after nearly 20 years of married life.  We were wandering along when he said, “I left my glasses in the car.  Surely that doesn’t say $5.39 a loaf.”  It did say $5.39 on the little tag under the loaf of bread he was pointing to.

“That,” I replied, “Is why I make our bread.”


Beside that, it makes the house smell good and gives me a great feeling of satisfaction.  And, it only costs about a $1/loaf.

Here is my basic recipe.


Makes four loaves (easily make two with a half recipe–good for rolls, also)

4 c warm water

2/3 c sugar

4 c whole wheat flour (You can make with all white flour, too, or even a higher proportion of whole wheat.)

2 T yeast

2/3 c vegetable oil

1-1/2 T salt

1/2 c powdered milk

6 c all purpose flour

Mix first four ingredients.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Then add the remaining ingredients to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth.  Let rise until double.  Divide into four sections. Shape each section into a loaf and place in greased pans.  Let rise.  Bake in preheated 375F  oven for 35 minutes.

If I make this while people are at home, one loaf gets eaten right away, hot with butter and jam or honey.  One is for sandwiches and the other two are frozen for later in the week.

If you want to have the fancy tops, score with a sharp knife just before putting in the oven.