Testing The Waters: Quilting Retreat?

It has been suggested that I could sponsor a quilting retreat for WeddingDressBlue readers and other like-minded people.

So, before I go any farther down this road, I want to throw it out to you:  Would you be interested in a quilting retreat in Northern Utah?  How long?  What would you like to do?  What costs do you expect?  How many participants would be ideal?  Would you travel?

Yes, it is a lot of questions, but, if I am going to do this thing, I would like it to be worthwhile.


Ten Babies (Quilts, That Is)

The 52 in 2015 project is coming along.  Sparkle Jane has several close to finished, and I have one finish this week.


This quilt is 196 3″ squares laid out 14 x 14.  Just a bunch of coordinated scraps and leftovers.  The finished quilt is 35 inches square.


It is quilted with a simple diagonal crosshatch.


The back is pieces using two smaller pieces plus part of the same fabric as the bias cut plaid binding (my favorite sort lately).

And it is done!

Signs Of Spring

After such a light winter here in the West it doesn’t seem quite time, but there are signs of spring: new baby chickens–five in all.


Such sweet, vibrant bundles of life.


They are here with me in the office in a plastic tote with a heating pad.


Happy Spring!


Today is the beginning of the Calico Rose Quiltalong, and it is all about deciding on  fabric and CUTTING.


First you should choose a size to make:  SMALL–a throw that uses 5 stars and four alternating blocks.  Finished size about 48″ square; MEDIUM–This is the size I am making this time.  It uses 13 stars and 12 alternating blocks.  Finished size about 72″  square; LARGE:  This is the size of the original Calico Rose.  It uses 25 star and 24 alternating blocks.  Finished size 96″ square.

Quick Note:  If you are planning on using 2-1/2″ squares as your base,  a SMALL will finish at 64″ and a MEDIUM at 96″.  A large would be 128″ square, but I don’t recommend that–most quilting frames won’t hold one that size. The number of cuts you need for each size will be identical to the 2″ quilt, but you will need more background fabric.  Please plan accordingly. Using the quantity suggested for the next size up should work.  I hope.  But you might want to get an extra yard just to make yourself feel better.

Another quick note:  Some people have wondered why there isn’t a 4×4 or 6×6 (or any other number) block layout option.  You are free to make one, of course, but the final look will be different.  The symmetry comes from having odd numbers.


1. A lot of scraps.  Some should be at least 4″ square  for the points of the stars.   (Read 5″ square if you are using 2-1/2″ squares for your base.  Yes, I can hear you thinking…”I can use my charm packs.”) You can have a set color scheme (blues), controlled scrappy like the original (blue, yellow, green), or anything goes.  I am an “anything goes” person this time.  It is hard to judge how much scrap you need, but, unless you are a very new quilter, it will not be anything close to all the scrap you have. Just get a big pile–several double handfuls at least, especially for a large quilt.  Sort through.  Make piles.  Remember former projects and friends and favorites.  Rejoice in the abundance.   This is supposed to be FUN!


2. Background fabric.  I am (no surprise here) using white.  You can use any color, but keep contrast in mind.  I recommend a single color for the background.  One less variable. You will need 1-1/2 yards  for SMALL, 3 yards for MEDIUM, 5-1/2 yards for LARGE.  I have calculated generously to allow for the inevitable error.  Hopefully this will work for you.


1. Cut small colored squares.  You need a lot of 2″ squares.  For SMALL:  cut 300 or so, MEDIUM:  approximately 800, LARGE: about 1500.  Some of these are the centers of the star blocks and some are for the border.  Just cut along–you don’t need to do it all at once.  You have time.  You will have some left over, but that is seed to grow a future quilt.


2. There will be more cutting of fabric as each step comes along.  But, for now just get those little squares ready for the centers of the star blocks.  Set the rest of your fabric–colored scraps and background fabric, too–aside.  Clearly label it “Calico Rose Quilt” so you don’t accidentally cut it up for a different project next week.  :)


3. Wait in eager anticipation for the next set of directions.  They will be out Friday, April 10.

Thanks for joining in. Let me know how this goes.


It’s a go!  We are going to have a Calico Rose Quilt Along.


Here is the basic plan:  I am going to build a middle size quilt myself (72″ square) but I will try very hard to give (accurate) directions for folks who want to build large and small versions.  The quilt is based on 2″ squares.  If you want to build it based on 2-1/2″ squares, that is fine with me and I will answer questions as they come in, but I am not planning to write a pattern for that size at this time.  But don’t let that hold you back.  After all, when it is all said and done you will have  a great time, fewer scraps and a new quilt.  Sounds like a win-win-win to me!

The first installment will come out probably March 10.  It will include fabric requirements, a signup of some kind (looking for suggestions here) and the schedule.

You can quilt along making any size or a modification of your own.  I love to see your work.  It appears that most linky parties do not work on the WordPress platform and I don’t really want to do the Flikr thing, so I am not sure of the best way for us to keep up with each other’s work.  Suggestions here?!

This is a new thing for me and I am really excited to have a shared experience.  I know, waiting is the pits, but while you wait you can get your thoughts together and start cutting squares if you need to.  The original is made of three colors, but you can choose more or less or anything goes.  This time I think I will make a bright, springy version on a white-white background.

Should be FUN!!!

Food Fight

Why was food piled all over my kitchen?


Because my freezer looked like this!


In the last few months we have had the vacuum, furnace, washer, and freezer/fridge all die.  All were resurrected by Husband’s amazing mechanical skills except the vacuum.  The vacuum was replaced for $8, thanks to savvy shopping at Deseret Industries (a thrift store) where Husband saw a nearly new vacuum that just needed a little work.  (The new vacuum is known as the Blue Ferret, but that is another story.) The furnace and washer repairs were free except for labor.  The freezer/fridge needed parts as the defrost mechanism was dead, but for only $167, I have a practically new one that runs just fine.
How fortunate I am that my marriage has outlasted many major appliances–and I have a husband who manages the repairs.
Yikes!  I hate to think of what all this would have cost us otherwise!

Sew Sweet Simplicity Setting Option

***This Giveaway is CLOSED***

The final installment of the Sew Sweet Simplicity Block of the Month comes out today.  As a fortunate pattern tester, I had a  month to think about this ahead of time and had a lot of fun designing a setting plan that used the 12 blocks I created so far (2 each of the six Jacquelynne designed).


By creating alternate blocks and setting the whole thing on point, the finished top is 50″ x 67″, a large throw/couch quilt. If you added a border or two, it would be a twin size quilt.  Not too bad for 12 fancy blocks and a few extras!


The alternating blocks use the central snowball block that anchors each of the other blocks.  A set of written directions follows. This was a fun finish.  I wish I could say it was completely finished, but the top is at the quilters right now.  I’ll share more as soon as it is back from visiting Tara to get some of her magic.


As usual, there is a giveaway and more fun (Including a preview of an upcoming event that might or might not include another block of the month.  Shhh!  Don’t tell!) from Jacquelynne.  Enter the giveaway here and on the other participating blogs to have a chance at more nice prizes.


Here you can leave a comment for a chance at an e-book, retail value $14.95. There are several  little projects in this book along with recipes and fun crafts and projects that kids (of all ages) can do. At the Art of Home,  Jacquelynne’s own blog, she is giving away a large prize, which includes thread, patterns, book, tote bag and more. Retail value $70.


Tutorial:  Alternating 12″ Snowball Block

CUTTING: one 6-1/2″ square four 2″ squares two 3-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ rectangles background fabric two 3-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ rectangles background fabric ASSEMBLY: 1. Attach the 2″ squares to the corners of the 6-1/2″ square using the diagonal stitch-and-flip method as shown in the block patterns designed for the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM. Press. 2. Attach the 3-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ rectangles background fabric to the sides of the 6-1/2″ block. Press. 3. Attach the 3-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ rectangles background fabric to finish the alternating block.  Press.


I used six of these in this on-point layout. The setting triangles are 3 blocks 18-1/4″ squares, cut diagonally twice.  You will have two left over.  The setting corners are two blocks 9-3/8″, cut diagonally once. The quilt went together easily.  If an on-point setting appeals to you, consider alternating blocks.  It gives a new look (and a larger quilt).