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Showing posts from 2009

Bow Tie Quilt Block in Christmas Colors

I have been baking Christmas cookies today. My mom wrote a cookbook many years ago with the most excellent sugar cookie recipe. It is the family favorite!

The Bow Tie block has been available in for some time. Because I am in the Christmas spirit, I just recolored it in Christmas colors.

The Bow Tie quilt block pattern can be found here.

This is an example Bow Tie quilt in the Christmas colors.

I have to go put icing on those sugar cookies...

Happy quilting!


Lawyer's Puzzle Quilt Block Pattern

I am on a roll adding more traditional quilt blocks to

I just added the Lawyer's Puzzle - also known as the Barrister's Block.

A 24 block quilt using this block looks like this:

You can find the free quilt block pattern here.

I love this example of the Lawyer's Puzzle painted on a barn.

BTW - Here in the USA there is significance to showing this pattern in green. It is the only green you will have left after paying your lawyer!

Happy quilting!


Pillow using Nativity Buttons

I am making Christmas gifts! Only two weeks left....

My mother-in-law loved this little pillow using nativity buttons when we were shopping earlier this I made one for her. (I hope she doesn't read this post and spoil the surprise!)

My friend, Glenna, created the pattern. She sells the pattern and kits in her shop in Escanaba, MI and on her website.

Happy quilting!

Quilt Kit Available for Christmas Tree Wall Hanging

I now have a kit available for the Christmas Tree wall hanging mentioned in my previous post.

Kits include fabric similar to the picture but not exactly the same. Decorative thread for the garland is included.

Kits are $25 and can be purchased on my website ( or at Quilts n' Stuff by Glenna.

Christmas Tree Wall Hanging

I am in the Christmas spirit this year! I made a fun, easy Christmas Tree wall hanging. The Christmas Tree garland is recycled fibers that I purchased at the Madison, WI quilt show.

I designed the quilt using resizes quilt block patterns. This is an example where the larger Christmas Tree quilt blocks are 10 in blocks and the smaller ones in the border are 5 inch blocks. You can find the free quilt pattern at I am trying to become better at free motion quilting and have been following Leah Day's blog 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs. Here is a detailed picture of the quilting.

I used Leah's pine needles in the green border and a modified pine needles on the Christmas trees. I tried McTavishingin the white areas and Leah's Tree Roots pattern in the stars.

Happy quilting!

Ribbon Quilt Block

I want to make a donation quilt for breast cancer awareness and was looking for a ribbon quilt block. I wanted a traditional pieced quilt block pattern (not paper pieced) for the ribbon block and couldn't find one. So I designed one. This is a picture of my sample block. (I was just testing the pattern using scraps. I plan to buy new fabric for the donation quilt.) The Ribbon quilt block pattern is available here.
I think I will make a quilt combining the Ribbon quilt block with an Irish Chain Quilt Block. Here is a picture from of the quilt pattern I am considering.

Sailboat Quilt Block

My friend Sally has the most beautiful scraps! She is on a mission to reduce her fabric stash so is making scrap quilts.

Her latest scrap quilt uses a Sailboat quilt block. It is a simple block and looks fantastic with batik scraps.

Happy quilting!


Finished Block of the Month Quilt

In one of my previous posts, I showed a set of blocks I received for participating in my guild's block of the month club. The block pattern was broken dishes where all the blocks were done in Batiks.

I used to design a quilt. I used a block in the sashing that created a very interesting secondary pattern that looks like 9 Patch quilt block . It is hard when you view the quilt to find the original blocks.

Here is a picture of my quilt hanging at our quilt show.

The quilt pattern is available for free at

Happy Quilting!

Quilts at the Bay Quilt Show

Our quilt show was a big success! We had more than 160 quilts from at least 60 local quilters. We also displayed the Keepsake Quilting Challenge Traveling Quilt Show. The proceeds were more than we expected and will be donated to local charities.

Here is a picture of Dorothy Banchak ... our Featured Quilter. Dorothy is 90 years old and still going strong. We had many of Dorothy's beautiful quilts on display, her granddaughter provided violin music as part of the entertainment and everyone enjoyed visiting with Dorothy.

Nature's Best Quilt Contest

I entered two of my quilts in Nature's Best Quilt Contest!

"I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me" is in the small category.

"Fish School" is in the large category.

The winners are chosen via on line voting.....

Pick your favorite!

Happy Quilting!

Quilts using Ocean Waves Quilt Block

My friend Sally was inspired by Janet Wickell at and asked me to add the Ocean Waves quilt block to so she could create her own quilt design using this block.

Ocean Waves is great for scrap quilts. Sally is a member of Stashbusters and is dedicated to using up her massive fabric stash.

I added the block as well as two quilt designs to the galleryat The first quilt design is similar to the quilt in Janet's web page. My second design combines the Ocean Waves quilt block with the Buckeye Beauty quilt block for a very interesting design.

Happy quilting!

Another Design Idea for Aida's Blocks

My previous blog post included two possible quilts designs to use some old quilt blocks made by a member of Aida's family. These designs used 12 blocks per quilt. Aida would like to use 13 blocks per quilt.

Using exactly 13 blocks makes the design rather difficult! Here is another quilt design idea that Aida and I created.
This design is in the gallery at Happy Quilting!

Design Ideas for Aida's Quilts

Aida is a new member of my guild who has an interesting quilt design challenge. She has a set of old hand pieced quilt blocks from the 1930s made by a member of her family. She plans to make three quilts for her children from these blocks. The blocks are a four patch in a square with the setting triangles using a white with black star fabric. The blocks are only 6 inches. Each four patch uses different scrap fabric.

She wants to make three quilts so only has 13 blocks per quilt to use. What should she do with these blocks?

Here are two ideas that I created using

The first idea is to use a rail fence quilt block for sashing with a snowball quilt block as a cornerstone. With several boarders this makes a nice lap size quilt.

My second idea was to make each of the old hand pieced blocks the center of an attic window quilt block. This also makes a nice size lap quilt.

I have put both of these quilt designs in the Quilt Gallery at Try your hand at…

Quilts at the Bay October 16-17, 2009

Please plan to join my quilt guild at our Quilts at the Bay Quilt Show in October in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Friday, October 16, 2009 10 am—6 pm
Saturday, October 17, 2009 10 am—3 pm

Bay deNoc Community College
Joseph Heirman Bldg.
Escanaba, MI

For more information or to enter your quilt in the show, visit our website.

This is our raffle quilt.

Happy quilting!

What to do with my Block of the Month?

My quilt guild just finished our most recent block of the month program.

Here is how our block of the month program worked. One of our members selected the block patterns and organized one or two different blocks for us each to make every month. Usually she supplied a background fabric and recommendations of fabrics to use. She collected all the blocks.

When we had made the same number of blocks as there are members in the program, we each selected the set of blocks that we wanted. We drew numbers to determine our turn for selecting.

I selected the Broken Dishes blocks made from batiks. The block pattern looks like this.

Here is a photo of the actual quilt blocks.

So, what do I do with my blocks? I used to come up with possible design.

By setting the broken dishes quilt blocks with a small sash with a colored square at the sash intersections and at the center of each block, the quilt would have an added circle pattern. I have a yard or two of the background fabric u…

Quilt Block Patterns and Resizing

At, we have been hard at work adding more detail to the free quilt block patterns. We now include cutting instructions and the ability to resize quilt blocks as well as links to instructions.

Following is an example of the new quilt block pattern and resizing page for the Buckeye Beauty quilt block.

Happy quilting.

What to do with Bright Swirl Fat Quarters

Margaret, from a quilt forum that I read, writes:
I'm in a quandary--I've recently bought a set of fat quarters that are the same swirl pattern in about 12 colors. and haven't the vaguest idea what to do with them. I just liked all the colors....Can anyone suggest a specific block or pattern that I can use without it looking like a mess when it's finished? the colors are your basic six--red,orange,yellow, green, blue, purple-- plus brown and a couple of extra shades of green & blue & pink. But it's all the same basic allover swirl pattern.

Thanks for any suggestions.


I used to create one possible pattern using black as a background fabric. I used a simple Double 9 Patch quilt block. Each block uses two contrasting bright swirls with the black for an overall striking effect.

You could replace the black with white. You would also us…
I usually write about quilting and new features on On a totally different subject today, I just posted a web page for two great organic gardening books written by my mother, Nancy Johnston.

Her first book, Dirty Knees, is a month by month check list of what to do in your garden. Her second book, Needs of the Seeds, provides detailed instructions for starting vegetable seeds indoors.

My parents retired to a small farm in Rockbridge Baths, VA in the 1990's and had extensive organic vegetable gardens. They supplied many local restaurants and farmer's markets. My mother wrote these books during that time. Unfortunately, both my parents have since passed away. My mom's books are still available on Amazon.

Check them out at this link.
A new quilt backing and binding calculator has been added to The link for the calculator is here.

There are two options. Select a stand US quilt size using one of the buttons on the right. Or, enter your quilt size and click calculate.

Enjoy using this helpful tool.

Happy Quilting!
During a vacation to California to visit my sister and her family, I purchased a tea towel with a very pretty herb design. The tea towel was too pretty to use in the kitchen so I decided to create a small wall hanging with the herbs as the focal point.

But, what to use as a frame? After testing several ideas, I created a quilt block design loosely based on the Picnic Time block. I named it Picnic Frame. This block is very easy to piece. Quick piecing techniques are used for both the half square triangles and the flying geese. Piecing instructions are available here.

Here is a picture of my herb wall hanging.

I added the block to with several color options. I think it would look beautiful with a large print Oriental fabric as the focal fabric. Here are two possible color options.

I also added a twin size quilt pattern to the gallery. The blocks make a pretty secondary design in this pattern.

Go to to check out this new free quilt…

Quilting with Selvages

Creating beautiful quilted items from fabric selvages is the ultimate recycling project! Here is just one of many sites that provides ideas for using selvages.

My friend Linda was inspired to collect selvages and create a quilt. (I contributed a few selvages!). She started making Half - Half Square Triangle blocks using her selvages. The block looks like this.

The stripes are the fabric selvages pieced together. She used the selvage strips on the diagonal in the larger and smaller triangles.

She had a pattern using this block in a wall hanging but she wanted a bed size quilt.
How many blocks are needed to make it bed size?
What would the pattern look like if it was larger?
Did you need an even number of rows to make it look nice?
What would an odd number of rows look like? comes to the rescue to answer these questions!

By adding a few rows, columns and a small border we came up with a twin size (62 x 80) quilt.

Linda commented.... " For a really scrappy quilt I…

My Irish Chain Quilt

I have always loved Irish Chain quilts. I decided to try one based on a Fon's & Porter pattern called Dave's Irish Chain. It took me a year to finish the top. It was the first time I attempted such a large project using strip piecing. I learned many things - including how critical it is to stay organized!

I made the queen size quilt from the Fon's and Porter quilt pattern. came in handy because, after testing the "finished" quilt top on the bed in my guest bedroom, I decided is should be larger. I wanted it to cover the bed and hang to the floor. I used to calculate the fabric required for an extra border and as well as the new requirements for the backing and binding fabric.

Here is a picture of my quilt top. It is at Heirloom Quilting in Powers MI to be quilted on a long arm quilting machine. Find out more about this quilt pattern by coping it from the gallery at

I am always inspired by Janet Wickell's blog and newsletter at

I created two different quilt patterns with her new King's Crown block pattern using

Both are twin size quilts. The first in shades of bright orange uses just the King's Crown block in a traditional set.

The the second combines the Double Pinwheel block (another of Janet's quilt block patterns) with the King's Crown. I did this in shades of white/gray/black because it is still winter where I live. This color scheme looks like the snow at night! It would be pretty to use some silver metallic as part of the gray fabric to make it look like sparkles on the snow.

Both patterns are in the Quilt Gallery. Use the patterns for free or use them as a starting point for your own quilt design.

Happy Quilting!

Crib Quilt for Charity

Like all quilters, I have accumulated a few UFOs (unfinished objects). When I first started quilting, I worked on a sampler quilt using pink and blue fabrics. I only completed a few of the blocks and have long since lost the sampler quilt pattern. I moved and longer wanted a quilt in these colors for my bedroom. So what to do with the sampler blocks?

After seeing my Birds in the Air block, a friend suggested finishing it as a crib quilt and donating it to our local Women's shelter. Great suggestion!

I used to create a pattern for this little quilt.

This is a picture of the actual quilt. has a new quilt pattern gallery. You may copy quilts from the gallery to access the pattern, learn how to use and/or use gallery quilts as a starting point for your own quilt design.

I put this little quilt in the gallery. Check it out!

Happy Quilting.

I was reading a blog today where the blogger was working with a cute cow fabric...she says...

"I was hoping to make two simple, alternating quilt blocks in contrasting colors for baby's undeveloped eyes. But I can't find a decent pattern to contrast with this block that I do like. Here's my first block attempt (it doesn't work at all but I really wanted to find a way to use the cow print and polka dots)."

This is a PERFECT application for!

I tried her first block option in and agree with here that it just isn't right. The strips take over and the cute cow fabric gets lost.

I came up with two possible options using Simple sashing with the cow fabric with black for the sash intersections, keeps the focus on the cow fabric. You could easily test different sash fabrics, such as the pink polka dot, using

I also like combining her blocks with a simple 4 patch quilt block in pink and black. I l…

Valentine's Day Hearts & Diamonds

Several weeks ago, I posted an example Hearts & Diamonds quilt design created in My friend Glenna and I both made wall hangings using this design.

This is Glenna's. She used multiple red batiks and cute heart buttons to embellish the quilt.

On my Hearts & Diamonds wall hanging, I used a pink metallic batik in the background and quilted it with silver metallic thread. (Every girl should get some silver with her hearts and diamonds on Valentine's Day!)

Use today to design and make your own version Hearts & Diamonds quilt!

Post a comment on this blog with a picture of your Hearts & Diamonds quilt and you will be eligible to win a free subscription.