Friday, February 24, 2017


Hi there.  As promised, today is my little tip for working with the cool Orange Peel Templates that I received from Fat Quarter Shop.  If I had thought of this before I got started I would have ended up a with a much nicer finish.
Each of the template sizes in the group has a placement guide for the peel.  I laid each background piece over the little guide, and then placed my peel on top.  Lining up my fabric on the square was easy, but as you lay the peel onto the background, it's easy for it to shift slightly and you end up with intersections like I had, where the points are slightly off.   So while I was stitching away I got to thinking of how way way back in the day when I first started quilting in the back of the covered wagon I mean the late 80s,  we used to make little marking templates.  So I went about making myself a little marking template out of some template plastic.  If you don't have template plastic you could cut a square, mine is 2 inches in this case, out of some plastic packaging or maybe a clamshell berries come in... something rigid and clear is what you need.  Or I should say what works best for me.  You can see in the photo below that I've put my 2 inch square over my placement guide and with a fine point sharpie pen, marked a dot at the tip of the peel.  My template has a 90 degree corner and I lined it up exactly with the square, and that's important.  Lucky for me ALL the different sized peel placements in the Round Robin pattern are the exact same distance from the corner so one template works for all points!

placement template
I got out my million dollar 1/16" hole punch and punched a tiny hole there.  Back when I started there weren't the same variety of punches as there are now, and  I saved up for this one.  It makes the tiniest hole that allows for precision placement.

punch tool
You might be able to see the hole in this close up.

punch tool
Then I laid the template on my background fabric and made a mark with the temporary marker on both sides.


applique marking

And the placed my peel.  Super cool.  Wish I had thought of it before I got started. 

applique placement
Marking like this is good for Y seams as well.  Make a little template  with the 1/4" to use where you start and stop.  It's much quicker than marking with a ruler if you're marking a lot of pieces.  And as I said the hole is very small and this punch was made specifically for  this I believe. 
So that's my little tip. SO MANY WORDS. 

Monday, February 20, 2017


Morning friends!  Believe it or not I'm back to stitching away on my Round Robin orange peel project.  You can find the Impressions Orange Peel templates and all the patterns to accompany them here.

orange peel
Right now I have all the blocks sewn into rows and maybe 5 rows sewn together and I love the cheerful look of these Birds of Liberty fabrics. I used one of the half roll ups that I ordered from FQS and you can find that here. For my small quilt I used half the strip for my shapes. 

orange peel

One of the things I don't like about my quilt is how some of those peels DON'T LINE UP. I was undoubtedly  casual about the marking  and there is a placement guide in the pattern but I wasn't all that careful.  So my future-tip maybe will help you if you're more like me.  The first two squares are perfect and it goes downhill from there. Don't worry though, it's not ruining the project for me, I love charming.  And I'm glad that I saw the quilt on the FQS Instagram to inspire me to make it!
New Leaf Slotted Trimmer
Next up on my agenda is testing out Kari's new Slotted Trimmers. I have known Kari for   while now and saw her photo on Instagram   using the trimmers and thought they were such a clever idea.  She very generously sent me the trimmers along with here Clearly Perfect Angles to try out.  So more on that when I get these rows sewn together.  
Ok, time to get busy!  See you later alligators! Have a great week!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Orange Peel

Hi there peeps! Not a ton of stitching progress since we last met.  I managed to get my orange peels blanket stitched finally.  I had been off to such a quick start then those last dozen peels took forever to complete.  Just too much going on.  But today I am back at it, sewing my rows together. 

orange peels
This might be the worst photo ever of adorable orange peels but it's the best I can do today.  Stitching the blocks together will be a breeze but let me offer a tad of advice if you're working on this project.  Pin those blocks!  When you are at the end with the two points meeting, your machine may fight a bit skewing the block a bit. 
Is it a long weekend where you are?  Do you have plans?  We're expecting more rain which we love, although we're watching the Oroville dam like so many as we have family and friends up there in the area. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Splendid Sampler

Well like all good things, Pat and Jane published the 100th block of the Splendid Sampler yesterday bringing this year long project to a close!  At the onset of a journey like this you think it's going to last forever and then suddenly it's over.  I am so happy to be included in the project along side of really talented designers and I can't thank Pat and Jane enough for including me. 

Splendid Sampler
Over at Martingale you can see a cover of the book and some blocks and quilt layouts featured.  These pictures come from the Martingale website.  I think the quilt below is my favorite of those shown, love the colors and the layout.. so cute.  It sure makes me wish I had stuck with a more controlled color palette.

Splendid Sampler
It's hard not to be inspired by all the people who participated!!  Especially the people who tried all the techniques included even if they were new to them.  The quilts in the facebook group are wonderful.  Even if you don't ever plan on sewing a block it would be worth it to take a peek at some of the blocks people made.  It's a great community of quilters!
Thanks for following along! I guess I should get busy with my blocks!  Have a great week friends!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

On a roll...

Hi there!  I'm on a roll here this week.. a half roll that is.  I fell in love with a quilt that Fat Quarter Shop shared on Instagram and decided that I would have to make it.  It uses their Orange Peel templates and their Round Robin Pattern.  I hopped online and ordered the Birds of Liberty Half Roll and as a special treat I picked up the adorable small Lori Holt Cute Cuts mat.  Just because.

FQS Orange Peel
For some reason, I had thought the half roll was half length strips, like 2 1/2" x 22, why?  No idea. It has 18 full width of fabric strips, and if I hadn't already traced my small template onto miles of Quilter's Select Appli-Web Plus I would have made it bigger. As it is, I  only used 22 inches of each strip to cut these 144 small orange peels.

FQS Orange Peel
I'm not sure which fabric I'll use for the background.  I need to check my stash of dots or maybe a white on white. Have you seen Nadra's version on Instagram? Precious. 
Well time to make some decisions.  I'm looking forward to a lot of blanket stitching.  A LOT!  Happy days!

Monday, February 06, 2017


Good morning!  I can't believe we're on the second week of February already.  It seems like time picks up a lot more momentum the older you get.  Cliché I know.  But seriously, February.

You'll find it hard to believe that I turned this pile of fabrics into a finished quilt but I did. 

Here's the proof.  It's bound even, not a just a top, not unbound, DONE. At the onset of the project I couldn't quite imagine how I could turn a modern looking quilt into something that was PamKitty style, but reducing the blocks by half did the trick.  So there you have it, My American Patchwork and Quilting quilt along quilt.

American Patchwork and Quilting sew along
I am happy it's done and I'll pop it on the table once I clear it off.  Go ahead, insert some maniacal laughter here.  A clean table.  I crack myself up. 
Hope you have a great week everyone!  You guys are the greatest. xo



Thursday, February 02, 2017


Good morning!  I'm warning you, I'm full of surprises. My APQ quilt along quilt top is done.  That's right.   And here's photo proof.  Today I'm marking the first lines and starting the quilting.  Diagonal grid for the win!  I'll just mark the "X" thru the center and let my walking foot guide do the rest for me.  And at just 30 inches square it will go fast. I think it turned out pretty cheerful and I look forward to using it.

Yesterday my trees and my neighbors were filled with birds.  My neighbor has an enormous oak tree and it had Robin's and Cedar Waxwings all over it.  And the squawking, I could hear it inside my house, which is how I know so many birds were there.  My photos didn't do it justice, but I did catch this little gold finch in my yard.  Sweet. I know, not a great photo but I enjoy that little burst of yellow right in the center.

A few weeks ago I had tons of Mountain Bluebirds on my tree out front.  I honestly felt like it was a bit of a miracle.  I have seen them in great abundance at Alden Lane Nursery but never anywhere else. 

As long as the berries were on the tree they kept coming back, hanging out there or in our big fruitless mulberry.  And a lot of them.  Hard to catch a great photo of them either.  It was actually so gray and there was so much glare I wasn't even sure the first day that they were bluebirds.  I had to grab a photo to really see the color. 

It feels somewhat miraculous to suddenly have so many wonderful birds showing up. I've seen the Cedar Waxwings more than I have in years, usually they are around one day in their migration.  They must be finding great food choices around here if they're lingering.
Well enough bird talk.  I better get busy !  Have a great day! xo 

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