Adding cloves….

You know, I seldom every use cloves until the holidays are here and it was especially fun to pull them out in November for my block in the 2022 Monthly Color Challenge from Patterns by Jen.

As soon as I poured the cloves out my studio was filled with their luscious armona.

As I started photographing them, I loved seeing the colors and textures in these little “wooden” pieces of joy…..

I headed to my fabric wall and found two fabrics that were perfect for the inspiration…..

The pieces were quickly cut….

(I couldn’t resist making a little design with them)

The first step was to create a Square-In-A-Square……

….and then adding another round of triangles to make an even larger square…..

Then it was simply a matter of adding alternating strips until it looked something like this…..

Now, that doesn’t look like much, but when you put a 6.5-inch ruler over the top and give it a trim, you get this fun block…..

I like the “glamour” shot even better…..

As I scooped up the cloves I debated what to do with them. Eventually they ended up in my studio trash can and added their spicy smells to the room for several days.

There is just one more month in this challenge and then I get to put the 2021 and 2022 challenge blocks together into a fun quilt. I can’t wait!!!


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October Sage

Before the month is over, I want to post about the monthly color challenge block from Patterns By Jen……

October’s prompt was Sage and I loved being able to cut the sprig out of my own herb bed……

I picked out a few fabrics….

….and decided that the Fossil Fern was the best match….

I quickly cut out the needed pieces…..

…..sewed up four half-square triangle blocks…..

…..add four uneven stripe blocks…..

….and it was ready to assemble…..

It is a sweet block…..

….especially when it poses with a sprig of its inspiration!!!

There are only 2 more blocks to make in this challenge….can’t believe that the year is almost over!!!!

Star Explosion…the next chapter

Over the last 2 months, you have seen bits and pieces of my latest quilt called “Star Explosion”. When I last posted explicitly about the quilt, it was at this stage……

.

….and I had run out of cream-colored fabric!! I figured I needed 3 more yards and was starting to panic when I couldn’t find more. Finally, I found one store with 1-3/4 yards and another with 1-1/4 yards. THAT was a relief!!!!

Once I had the fabric in hand, it was time to decide where the quilt was headed next!!!

I felt that I needed to pull some of the “duller” colors in the center star to the outside of the quilt so I started playing with possibilities……

Maybe cubes…..

……or stripes……

Definitely NOT!!!

What about some smaller stars…..

YEP….that is where I am heading!!

My first thought was exactly HOW I was going to do all of the inset seams where the star meets the background, but I finally realized that I could piece the star first…..

and then add the background to the COMPLETED star…..

SO MUCH EASIER!!!

It was important for me to match the star points when I began adding these long strips and I used a four-part sewing process….

I would first match the points……

….and pin them into place…..

….carefully laying out the rest of the strip and pinning it well.

Next, I used a basting stitch to sew those points together…..

When they looked ok……

…..I went back and sewed the full seam using a normal stitch length…..

Yes, it was a bit time-consuming, but it meant that I didn’t need a lot of quality time with my seam ripper!!!

Now, the majority of the piecing is finished……

Come back tomorrow as I turn this fun design into a square-ish top!!

Red Pepper Flake Quilting….

When I was signing up for the 2022 Monthly Color Challenge, I saw that one of the blocks was based on RED PEPPER!!!

Since I LOVE using red pepper in my cooking, it was a no-brainer that I was going to present this block!!

BUT, before I start on that, let me tell you about something new. I had so much fun making this small charity quilt…..

….that I turned it into a pattern that you can get for FREE!!!

For a limited time, you can sign up for my newsletter and receive this free pattern “Dancing Squares”!! Sign up HERE

Now….back to our regularly scheduled program………

The first thing that I did was to grab a bottle of red pepper flakes and dump a bunch out so that I could examine it for color…..

I was interested to see that there were not only white seeds in the mixture but also a number of different reds!!

I rushed to the red “cubicle” and quickly pulled out a stack of red fabrics…

Since I am using the same background fabric for all of my blocks, it was easy to pick the one fabric that I wanted to work with and the patches were quickly cut……

First I made flying geese using the 4-at-a-time method…..

If you have never tried this technique before, you might check out this post for all of the instructions.

Next, I added the triangle corner to the “snowball” block, first sewing it on and then folding it over AND pressing it in place… just to be sure that it was the correct fit…..

I then opened it up and cut off the extra triangles…..

….and re-pressed it…..

Ironing it in place BEFORE you cut is the key here. It will really help to keep the triangles in place!!

After the patches were made, it was quick work to put the block together…..

I am especially happy with how the red fabric reminds me of the individual red pepper flakes!!!

I really do like this photo, but now my block smells mildly of pepper….that is okay with me!!

If you want to check out how other quilters interpreted this challenge, please follow these links…..

Patterns By Jen

Sunflower Stitcheries

True Blue Quilts

AnjaQuilts


Don’t forget to sign up HERE to get your free quilt pattern




Filler Finale…..

As I mentioned last week, I finished the “Free Motion Filler” Challenge from Angela Walters.

Once I decided to slow down and take my time with the practice sessions, I really enjoyed this challenge and learned so many new designs that I can’t wait to use!!

I mean…..how can you NOT like the textures here…..

This also gave me a good chance to try out the “dog grooming arms” that my husband bought me for my last birthday…..

I found that they really helped to hold the quilt up as I worked on it…..

I was originally concerned that I would spend all of my time re-clipping as I moved from area to area, but I didn’t find that to be a problem.

So….it was two challenges for the price of one!!!!

I think that it is now time for me to quit PRACTICING my FMQ skills and start actually USING them!!!