Slow Stitching Sunday

Today I am on a mission….I am going to finish this last corner block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  After that I will sew the remaining half-square triangles that will be stitched to the edge of the border.  I told my family that I am having a “me day” and if they need me, I’ll be in my sewing room…with the door shut!  I am linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday, so go on over and check it all out!!


Yesterday I stopped at a delightful quilt shop in Shelburne, Ontario called “Cobwebs and Caviar”.  I spotted this spectacular fabric and just had to have some.  I have no immediate plans for it, I just had to have some!  It is by French General.DSCN6641

And, my hexies are coming along quite nicely.  Edyta Sitar has a new book called “Handfuls of Scraps” and I am using her quilt on the cover as a bit of a road map.


Till next time….



Again with the moping!

I am getting ready to start the final borders of my Civil War Bride Quilt and it hit me…I am almost finished!  That is very exciting, but, again, a little sad.  But I remind myself that I have so many more quilts on my “To-Do List”.  The more quilts I have in the works, the happier I am!  So the borders are all marked and ready to go.  I put everything out on the floor just to make sure that I wouldn’t have any unfortunate surprises when the time came to stitch the borders on.  Everything is going to line up!




Our local shops had a “Shop-Hop” a couple of weeks ago and my “quilting partner-in-crime” and I went.  So exciting to see 6 completely different quilt shops!  Of course, I found something in each shop that I just could not live without!  Even though I already had backing at home for “Circle of Tulips”, I found not one, but two backings that I thought I might like better.  After auditioning all three, I chose the one I already had!


I love everything I bought, but I found this very intriguing.  I have had so much fun playing.


Here it is a nutshell…Triangulations by Brenda Henning is a CD.  You insert it into your computer,and the next thing you know, you are a Triangle Expert!  First of all, I love when I don’t have to think!  Just choose the finished size of the triangle you want to make.  I chose to make some 2 1/2″ triangles.  So I printed a few sheets just to try it out.  Put two fabrics together, pin one of the patterns on, stitch on the dotted line…DSCN4627


…and cut on the solid line.



Trim off the dog-ears…..


Remove the paper, press……..then, bippity, boppity, boo….you have half-square triangles that require no squaring up!

I see some pieced quilts in the very near future!!


And finally, I am enjoying having something to hand-quilt again!


Til next time….


Turning a Corner

Finally!  I have finished hand-quilting all 12 blocks of Sue Garman’s “Bouquet For A New Day”.

all blocks quilted 1

Now I can start the border!  I had my stencil picked out for the outer border and I was raring to go.  I must admit, the half-square triangles had me a bit stumped.  I know I could just quilt in the ditch, but I know myself well enough to know that boredom would quickly set in!  So I decided on circles.  Lots of circles!


The stencil I chose for the outer border did not fit the border exactly so here is what I did to make it fit.  The stencil does have a nicely turned corner so I didn’t have to figure that out!  First, I drew a line at the centre point of the border.

border 1

Next, I started tracing the stencil at the corner, and continued until I reached the centre mark.


border 2

border 3

Then, I flipped the stencil over and continued tracing.

border 4

And this is the nifty little design I ended up with at the centre of the border!  Spiffy!

border 5

And guess what?  When I got to the next corner, it fit perfectly!!

border a

Til next time…



Itching to finish!

I was just itching to get this next block of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” finished!  But it just seemed to go on and on.  I started working on the red ribbons.  As you can see, this section of the ribbon was really skinny!  Here is how I tackled it.  Even though the freezer paper template was barely an 1/8″ wide, I still cut my 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around.

block 4

Once I prepped the first side, I trimmed the seam allowance so that I could  just see the edge of the template.

block 6

Next, I prepped the other side and trimmed it down also…

block 7

…and stitched it in place.

block 2

Then I prepped and stitched the second ribbon in place and added a pretty bow.

block 3

I thought I was done (and was high-five-ing myself!) and realized, no, I still had the bluebird to stitch.  So, here is the finished block…all tidied up after it’s bubble bath!

block 1

I took a close look and saw that,  once again, I forgot to stitch a tiny piece.  Drat!

oops (2)

Now, on to the exciting part!  The reason I wanted to finish this block so much, is that I now have enough blocks to sew another row together…I know!!!  So I dusted the cobwebs off my sewing machine, and started to make some half-square triangles.  You can read a little more about the method I use here.

It’s one thing to sit and sew a bunch of half-square triangles together.  It is another thing entirely to stitch them together in a row and arrive at the measurement it is supposed to be.  Here is a little tip I use to make life easier.

First, I sew my half-square triangles (HSTs) together in pairs.  Then I press the seam open.

stitched togethe in pairs

Then I stitch the pairs together to make sets of 4.  And I press the seam open.  And then, I measure the piece.  These HSTs finish at 1″, therefore, 4  HSTs sewn together should measure 4 1/2″.

four and a half

Then I stitch the sets of 4 together to make sets of 8.  I press the seam open and measure the piece.  It should measure 8 1/2″.  This section needed a nip and tuck!

eight and a half

Now, I take my sets of 8 and stitch them together to make 16 HSTs.  And, hopefully, it measures 16 1/2″.

sixteen and a half

So, now I can start to sew the row together!   Bruin always likes to be in on the action!

bruin helping

First, I sewed on  the bottom sashing, and then the side sashing on both blocks.

bottom and sides

And…two blocks sewn together!

2 rows sstitched together

I would like to continue, but look at the time!

nine o'clock

Keep stitching…


A Mathematical Miracle!!

My Challenge was to have a complete row stitched together by December 31.  Well! It’s only December 29 and I have met my Challenge!  First I stitched a couple of blocks together.

2 blocks

Then I added another block…

3 blocks

…and another one.  Finally, the row was finished.  And to top it off, I added a side border!  Jenny is thrilled!

jenny and blocks

Some people asked me why I pressed my seams open for my half-square triangles.  Here is the reason:  When I stitch and press all my seams open, I have a ready-made guide for my seam line.

seam allowance

I don’t exactly know why this works, but I consider it a Mathematical Miracle!!

Til next time….


Half Square Triangles 101

Oddly enough, I found myself with a spare couple of hours on Christmas day…with not much to do!  So I decided to start cutting and sewing together the 967 (are you kidding?) half-square triangles needed for the sashings and borders for my “Friends of Baltimore”.

Here is my method for cutting half-square triangles.  Beware!  It is time-consuming but extremely accurate.

First of all, I always cut my triangles bigger than what is called for in the pattern.  In this case, the pattern called for 1 7/8″ squares to be cut.  I wanted to cut the squares 2 1/4″, so I needed to cut my strips 2 1/4″ wide.  To make the stitching go quicker, I layered a blue and a white strip on the cutting mat…

2 strips together

…then I cut my squares 2 1/4″.

cut 2 and a quarter

Next, I cut all my squares on the diagonal to make lots and lots of triangles.

bunch of triangles

Now I just pick up a set of triangles and stitch away!!

ready to stitch

Once they are stitched together, I pressed the seam open.

press seams open

Now it’s time to trim the HST down to 1 1/2″ square.  I place the HST on the cutting mat with the seam line running from the bottom left hand corner to the top right hand corner.


Then I line up the diagonal line on the ruler with the diagonal line of the seam.  All I want to do right now is to square up the top right-hand corner.

trim 1

trim 2

Next, I flip the HST triangle around and line up the diagonal line of the ruler with the seam.  But…this time, I am lining up the edge that I just squared up with the 1 1/2″ lines on the ruler….


..and trim it to the perfect size!

trim 4

The sashing consist of 15 half-square triangles stitched together.  And they have to measure exactly 15 1/2″ long, (the blocks measure 15 1/2 unfinished) so an accurate seam allowance is very important.  I did a test and realized my seam allowance could be tiny bit bigger, because the sashing  was too long.

test 1

I re-stitched a few of the seams and voila!  It fits!

test 3

Til next time…