Quiltalong Progress

How is your Calico Rose quilt coming along?  I am so happy to say that several of you have reported enjoying this quilt and some have sent pictures.  YAY!

Here are a few highlights:

Patricia is making the LARGE size and has all 25 star blocks completed.

photo 1

Nora’s blocks are also coming along nicely.  She had measuring challenges (probably a standard to metric conversion), but has carried on and expects to finish her blocks on time.

McGill sent this picture of a baby quilt she finished quickly because babies come when they will.  She did her alternating blocks a little different than mine, but I really like the results and I’m sure the baby doesn’t mind at all.

Alaena has created a small quilt with leftover pieces. She used a darker background and jeweltone color scheme.  I really like it!  And, can you imagine the beauty of the large quilt?

star chain baby quilt

The directions for the alternating blocks will be posted by the 10th.

Another Little One

Thanks to a terrific scrap bag, here is another baby quilt finish for the year.  There were a lot of Half-Square Triangles in a recent donation.  Some were already paired into squares and some were loose.  But they were fairly large and I could see a possibility.


I needed to add, I think, 10 squares, but, really, it was a mostly finished project.

Even though the front has a nautical feel, the back is cowboys, because that is what I had.  Sometimes that is the way it is, and the colors do work.


I did the quilting on my grandmother’s Pfaff 130.  It is simple and echoes the asymmetrical layout.


The little quilt finishes at about 35″ square.  You can create something similar by starting with 25 6″ colored and 25 6″ background squares.  Create HST.  Square up to 5-1/2″.  Lay out in an asymmetrical pattern.  Stitch together.  Just that simple!


Mary built THREE–two for twin great granddaughter’s, and a dolly version for big sister!

baby q's, granny sq afghan 007

…your beautiful creation HERE!

TUTORIAL: Growing Up Odd Quilt

One, three, five, seven, nine…all those numbers are in there.  I guess we all grow up a little odd one way or another, but this quilt is just full of odd numbers.  Hopefully, it will be a charming sort of odd that you will enjoy as much as I have.



90″ x 90″


Approximately 2500 2″ squares cut from all the scraps you can find.  The exact number is 2425, but who’s counting?

3-1/4 yards background fabric

backing (7 yards)

batting (at least 100″ square)

binding (3/4 yard, if you use 2-1/4″ width)


Well, by the time you get to this point you will already have done the hard part and cut all those little squares.  By the way, you have just saved 6-3/4 yards of fabric from waste.  Don’t you feel thrifty and clever?!

Background fabric–

1. to build the blocks you need 75 2″x5″ rectangles, 25 2″x2″ squares, 50 2″x11″ rectangles.

2. to build the sashing you need 40 2″x17″ rectangles, 16 2″x2″ squares.

3. to build the borders you need 2 2″x87-1/2″ rectangles (made using  2″ WOF, joined), and 2 2″x90-1/2″ rectangles (made using  2″  WOF, joined).


1. Using the 2″ scrap squares, build 75 9-patches.


2. Using the 2″ scrap squares, build 25 blocks 3-by-7 (21 squares each).


3. Using the 2″ scrap squares, build 25 bocks 7-by-7 (49 squares each).


4. Assemble into larger blocks.  You need 3 9-patches, 1 3-by-7 patch, 1 7-by-7 patch.  Also, background fabric:  3 2″x5″ rectangles, 1 2″x2″ square, 2 2″x11″ rectangles.  Lay out as shown.


I assemble the row of 9 patches first, then the sashing row, then the larger blocks with sashing.  Then sew my three “rows” together.  Press.  A lot. You won’t regret it.

5. Repeat step four a total of 25 times.

6. Lay out the assembled blocks.  I rotated each block 90-degrees right compared to the one next to it.  It gives is a sort of cobblestone look.  I like the variation. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule.   Just play around until you like the look of it.


7. While that rests and you make adjustments every time you walk by, make the sashing between the blocks.  You will use 5 2″x17″ rectangles and 16 2″ squares.  Alternate the rectangles and squares.  Repeat four times to create the strips that will go between the rows.


8. Using the remainder of the 2″x17″ rectangles, assemble the block rows.  Each row will alternate five blocks and four rectangles.  More pressing!

9.  Sew the rows and strips together to make the body of the quilt.

10.  Add the border by attaching the 2″x87-1/2″ rectangles to the sides and the 2″x90-1/2″ rectangles to the top and bottom and pressing a lot more.  You have an assembled top.


8. Sandwich, quilt, bind and label as desired.

NOTE: I was in such a rush to share this with you that I haven’t completed those steps yet, but will update once the job is complete.

9. Ta-dah!  You have completed a Growing Up Odd Quilt.  Yay you!



Maxine made this beauty for her great-nephew.


Mary in Michigan finished this lovely top.

Growing Up Odd q 001

…your beautiful creation HERE!

More Scrappy Information

In a previous post, I encouraged you to cut your scraps.  You showed so much interested, I thought I would share a little more information on how it works for me. Subject to change with no notice at all. 🙂 Quilters evolve.

Here are a few of your questions, with answers:

1.What sizes of squares do you cut out of scraps, and how do you store the different sizes?

Any piece much larger than my hand doesn’t really count as scrap and is filed by color.  Smaller pieces are cut into 2-1/2″ strips, 2″ strips, 1-1/2″ strips, 5″ squares, 2-1/2″ squares, 2″ squares, 1-1/2″ squares. They are in bins by size.

2. When you start with a scrap, how do you determine what size(s) you will cut it into? That’s what stumps me.

Well, generally I cut it into the largest size possible.  If a piece of fabric is larger than about 5″ x 10″, it doesn’t get cut right away.  I file it with my other fabric in bins by color.  If it is smaller, I cut it into the standard sizes mentioned above: 2-1/2″ strips, 2″ strips, 1-1/2″ strips, 5″ squares, 2-1/2″ squares, 2″ squares, 1-1/2″ squares.  These are each stored in bins by size, all colors mixed together.  Often, I will cut several pieces from one scrap.  Two 2-1/2″ squares and two 2″ squares, for example.

3. Do you use the Cut the Scraps method by Joan Ford? I have her book and am contemplating whether those sizes will work best for me.

There are many famous scrappers out there:  Bonnie Hunter, Joan Ford, Gayle Bong, Kim Brackman… Each has their own specialties and have influenced me.  My method is flexible as I frequently design my quilts rather than using patterns.  Joan Ford seems to use about three standard sizes; I use more than that.  I don’t think there is a “perfect” scrap system.  Pick something.  Try it out for a while.  Modify as necessary.  The big secret is to just get started. 

More 2-Inch Squares

OK, time to cut more scrap. If you don’t already have enough. Get those 2-inch squares ready if you are interested in trying out a leader/ender scrap quilt.

 When the 100-Patch Quilt Tutorial (see TUTORIALS, above) was posted, Belinda suggested, ” a little color control on the 2 inch squares.”  It seemed like a good idea, so this time I am sorting and cutting rainbow colors. A lot of them.  About 250 of each:  purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red.  Either solids or tone-on-tone.  Hmmmm…I guess I need to get more fabric as I am definitely short on red. Is it unethical to buy scrap?

Scrap Management Day

After the arrival of the Fabric Fairy last Wednesday, my scrap basket was again looking like this.

So, some sewing time had to be spent in creating order where there was none.

Some I cut into 5″ blocks.

Some I cut into 2 1/2″ strips.

Some I stuffed in color sorted bags (that is still managing, right?)

At least it is ready for spur-of-the moment projects, or even ones with a bit of planning.  Some ideas are brewing….we’ll see what happens.

Oh, scrap…

how you do pile.

How you take over shelves and bins.

I must tame you.

I must use you.

Or, you are junk.

No, you cannot be junk. 

I paid good money for you.

You are memories of dear friends.

You are dear friends.

Do not be junk.

Be my friend, again.


Ok, that was just silly, but the problem is real.

A few months ago, if you had asked, I would have said, “I have a little scrap, but, really, not very much.”

This was my scrap.

One little shoebox.  Cut neatly into 5-inch squares and 2 1/2-inch strips with a few orphan blocks at the bottom.

SO, where did this…

and This…

and THIS…

come from?

Actually, I can tell you where it came from. 

It came from finishing projects.  It came from friends who were cleaning out and gave them to me.  It came from giveaways.  It ganged up on me.

It is time to tame, sort, cut, organize and otherwise get the scrap under control.  I may have to set aside work on the Unfinished Projects list and get this in order first.

Ah, if there were only more hours in the day!