Strawberry Quilt

I love making quilts for little girls.  The patterns and colors are just more fun.  And this little girl has 4 big brothers so she needed something girly.

I took inspiration from Pinterest and designed a strawberry quilt in PowerPoint.  A poor choice for a design program but it does the job.


Amazingly, I calculated the sizes correctly..


All squares cut and ready to go

More half square triangles!  I took a lesson from the last quilt and made them large in order to cut them down to size for perfect points.


After the half square triangles are done, this quilt is very simple – aligning a lot of square corners.


All done!



Almost Perfect Points

I have completed baby two quilt projects recently – but I had to wait to post until one could make it to a new mom in Abu Dabi.

The first one is for a space themed nursery of a future lady scientist (I’m sure).  Her nursery was based on a space alphabet print from Etsy that had a lot of indigo, teal, purple and gray.  I chose to recreate a shining star in the same colors.

I started this project in June and was into all things “baby” at the time.  I created most of the paper-pieced center until my baby spirit went away and I had to put the quilt away for a while.

After months of some other distracting projects, including upholstery for the hot rod, I picked it up again.  The star in the middle was done but I had to add the background, which included a circular border attached to a circular background.  I learned that piecing large circles is a gigantic, finicky pain.

But when you finally quilt the top and wash it, all the bumps and imperfections smooth out.



The second quit is for a light and airy nursery with bold colors inspired by a print from Minted.  Amazingly the large star quilt I made this year had the same exact colors so I was able to reuse my fabric.  I chose a bear paw block as the print included bears and mountains.

The quilt consisted of piles and piles of 1 1/2″ half square triangles.  I chose to make them large and cut them to size to make everything perfect and even.


In the end I’m happy with the results of the extra cutting work.  The little bear paws are really cute blocks and this quilt has the best piecing that I have ever done.  The points are all lined up – I was amazed!



I think that it still looks light and airy even with the bold colors.


With these two complete (on time-ish), only 6 more to complete before July…

Better Late Than Never…

I wrapped up the block of the month quilt in May and am finally blogging about it.  But at least I am better than Drew at posting sort-of timely 🙂

The first month was all about Brilliant Star blocks.  I actually learned some pointers about lining up corners and was impressed that every block came out perfect!  Usually I am off a little bit..  The directions were to cut many strips of 3 shades of blue, cut the 3-piece strip diagonally, and then sew back together at an offset to create the blocks.

All lined up they look pretty good!


A Brilliant Star Corner


I was excited to lay out all of the pieces and start sewing them together.  I have to say, that piecing a 5-piece corner and getting everything to line up was challenging.


All laid out and ready to be sewn together

After some seam ripping to get everything aligned to the point that I was happy with the finished product, with the 5-points (mostly) lined up.   I also sewed on the ribbon border that I made back in the first month. I think that it will fit in with our Texas house once I finally have it all finished!

My plan is to take long arm quilting lessons so that I can finish the quilt myself – the queen size is a bit too much to tackle on my sewing machine.  I have some family heirloom quilts that need finishing – so this will be my first trial.


The quilt top is complete! 



Block of the Month Quilt – March & April

A short post for the next two months of the Block of the Month quilt.

I got an early start on March & April blocks, which completes the “sampler” blocks for the quilt.  These months were completed quickly as they each consisted of a set of 12″ blocks.  When I first started the quilt, I wasn’t sure about including these blocks at all as I liked the monochromatic and consistent look of blue only, however after I made them I decided that I liked them after all.

Partially & Fully Completed March Blocks


I got to make some flying geese the traditional way for April, which I had never done before.  I have to admit that I was dubious when I only looked at pictures of how to do this, but they turned out nicely.

April Flying Geese Blocks (far from perfect)


Sampler blocks complete!  However, this is only approximately 25% of the whole quilt.  May & June months are for the stars that make up the main part of the body and assembly.


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16 Sampler Blocks for the 2017 Block of the Month Quilt


Wee Wanderer Quilt

A quick break from the large quilt and helping Drew to my first baby quilt of the year.  Our friends Erin & Ryan are quite the adventurers and when I found a Michael Miller fabric panel called “Wee Wanderer” with children climbing trees and catching fireflies, I knew it was perfect.  But I couldn’t cut it up, so I saved the panel for the back.


For the pattern, I created colorful trees with a simple paper pieced leaf block that I designed.  There are 24 leaf blocks.  My block is not quite symmetrical, so I made 12 like the design below, and then 12 mirror images.


For the tree trunk fabric, I gut lucky and found a scrap at the craft store with hedge hogs and mushroom print.


The trees are coming together!


The finished product is probably the most colorful quilt I have ever made.  I am very happy that I kept the entire panel on the back as a single piece.



Block of the Month Quilt – January & February

I saw an amazing block of the month quilt on Craftsy which seemed like a perfect Texas design for our some-day house.  Since I have never kept any of the quilts that I have made (except for a Christmas tree skirt), I am finally going to make a quilt for us.  The block of the month concept also seems feasible with doing a bit each month, and leaving time for the 2 baby quilts I have in queue for the first half of 2017.  Each month consists of a main block, plus additional quilt pieces that you complete, with the entire top complete this June.

The background fabric that came in the kit is darker that in the advertisement photos online (more of a taupe than an off-white), but I decided to make it work anyways.  Looking back at my pictures, the background fabric looks much lighter in my pictures than the actual fabric, so maybe its just the way it photos.

The kit arrives!

I started on the quilt during the last weekend in January (a bit behind), but the blocks start out with the easy ones first so I was able to catch up.   January consisted of 2 star blocks plus 4 ribbon borders that I finished in a day or so.

Stacks and Stacks of Triangles


January Blocks #1 Finished
January Ribbon Blocks Finished!


The February blocks ended up taking me more time.  The blocks themselves got a bit more complicated, but also involved templates

February Block #1 Finished!

The second set of templates were not measured correctly by the kit-maker in the original pattern – which I did not know when I first made all of my cuts.   I downloaded new templates, which still were not quite correct.  On my third attempt, I decided not to use templates and just to make the blocks myself and did a bit of trimming as I went to make the blocks the correct size in the end.


8 Diamond Point blocks finally finished!  4 with a seam all the way through the diagonal for aligning with the quilt’s horizontal seams


Two months done, and time to take a quick break for a baby quilt!


Baby Quilts of 2016

It seems like I didn’t sew so many baby quilts this year – only 4!  But time was limited amongst my other projects and other hobbies I picked up this year: branching out into flower arranging, starting a gigantic cross-stitch that I won’t finish until I’m 65,  and traditional archery (I know, that one came out of left field – but we spend a lot of time hanging out on ranches after working all day so it is something fun to do to relax).

In addition to the flying geese paper-pieced quilt that I was oh-so-proud of, I made some themed quilts (more for their mamas than the babies really).

First was a blue nautical themed quilt for a baby boy.  His sister got a pink nautical themed quilt in 2013.   I used a free pattern on Craftsy for a full sized quilt, but I revised the dimensions so that it would fit a crib size.



Second was one of my own designs for a couple who thinks a lot about Colorado and misses it while in Houston.   It is all squares and triangles, but makes a picture, like the Pirate Ship quilt I made a few years ago.  This quilt has mountains, sky, and a sun.  As it was for a little girl, I especially liked the coral bias tape and the pink backing.


Lastly was one that was special to me.  My grandmother is a great sewer, although she never quilted, she makes clothes and many other things for her children and for us when we were little.  She even taught me how to cross stitch when I was little since we are both lefties.  Earlier this year my Aunt and Uncle helped her clean out all of the fabric in her basement in Indiana and all of the cotton was put in two overflowing boxes and dropped off in Texas.

When my mom and grandmother visited in April, we sorted all of the cotton by color, threw away a bunch that wasn’t very good anymore, and heard stories of my mom and grandmother say what the fabric was from – jumpers for toddlers in the 60’s, grandpa’s pajamas, dresses.  That was the neat part.

Well I took the sorted fabric, which has all kinds of fashion statements from the last 7 decades, and cut enough squares to give one quilt to each cousin when they have a baby – so be ready!  (Luckily I have a relatively small family).  First is for Audie & Josh’s baby Luke.  He is almost one so I am a bit behind.

This quilt is simple squares sewn into cross shapes, but I think that the memories of all of us jumping around the sewing room watching my grandfather’s trains make a loop around the washing machine and the clothes she made our Cabbage Patch dolls will be better than a fancy quilt 🙂




Paper Piece Tutorial

A flying geese block, paper-piece block tutorial.  I found that the easiest way for me learn paper piecing was to look at other blogs where the sewer had walked through the process step by step – so I thought that I would do the same.  I am tremendously happy with how the final product turned out, I will probably do more paper piecing in the future.

The final product will be a 9 block flying geese quilt with gray elephant backing for a gray nursery.  For the block, I used the free online paper-piece guide for a circle of geese from  They also have many other free patterns and resources for paper piecing.

I needed 9 blocks, each block is made up of 4 flying geese quarters, so to start I printed 36 of the paper piece patterns.   You are going to be sewing on the back of this paper, so the finished produce will be a mirror image of what is printed.  I did cut the paper down a little bit from its 8.5″ x 11″ size, but the paper should not be trimmed perfectly.   IMG_2403

Each quarter-block has 9 fabric pieces, I will walk through each one below.   The pattern is numbered and labeled by piece.  The numbers correspond to the order in which they will be attached to the paper.   My finished block will be blue geese (pieces #1, 4, 7) on a gray background (pieces #2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9).

To start, fabric pieces should be cut larger than the approximate size of the final fabric piece plus seam allowance, but not cut to size exactly.  You don’t have to worry about accounting for a 1/4″ seam allowance as that will naturally happen during the paper piecing process.  This is different from very precise piece cutting for traditional blocks and takes a little bit of getting used to.  I found that it is most efficient to cut piles of my pieces by number, so have a pile of #5’s, #2’s, etc.  Some of the pieces you can cut one single piece to use for all similar sizes (here, #3 and #6 are similar sizes, as are #8 and 9, and all three blue geese are the same size).  My cut rectangles (below) ended up being ~1/2″ to 1″ larger than the final piece plus seam allowance.  IMG_2426

The first step is to attach piece #1 and #2 to the fabric.  Start by selecting a blue geese (piece #1), and placing it right side facing towards you on the BACK of the paper pattern.  The edges of the fabric should be larger in every direction than the printed piece #1. IMG_2404

Piece #2 should be pinned, right sides together, on top of piece #1 such that when it is stitched and pressed in the finished direction along the seam line, it covers all of the borders for piece #2, with a little extra.  Piece #2 will NOT be pinned directly over the printed piece #2, it is pinned on top of piece #1.  This takes some practicing the first time, but you will be a pro by the time you sew 36 blocks. IMG_2405

Flip the paper over so that you are looking at the printed side.  Put the whole thing on the sewing machine and stitch along the line between piece #1 and #2, going just a few stitches beyond each end.  I don’t do any backwards passes at either end of the seam because the seam lines are going to get sewn over on both ends later in the process, ensuring that the seam ends won’t come undone.

After you have stitched the line, fold the paper along the line you just stitched.  The extra fabric should stick out from the paper.  Get a straight edge and trim all of the extra fabric sticking out 1/4″ from the edge of the paper with a rotary cutter.

Fold back the paper, and look at the fabric side.  Press the fabric as-is first to release any tension on the thread, then fold over piece #2 and press the fabric flat towards the piece. First seam is finished!

Take piece #3 and pin it, right sides together, on top of pieces #1 and #2, along the seam line but leaving some extra over the seam line (~1/2″).  Flip the paper to the printed side, sew along the seam line between #1, 2 and 3.

Fold the paper back along seam line #3 and using a straight edge allowing the paper to fold but not the fabric. Using a straight edge, cut all of the fabric that sticks out 1/4″ from the paper.

Fold the paper flat, press piece #3 in the same way as pieces #1 and #2.


Attaching pieces #4 – 9 is the same as piece #3, but we will walk through them just the same.  For piece #4, pin right sides together along the seam line, plus a little extra (~1/2″) for piece #4.   Sew along the seam line for piece #4 on the printed side of the paper.  Fold the paper along seam #4 without folding the fabric, and cut all fabric that sticks out 1/4″ from the paper.  Here, you can start to see that extra fabric from pieces #1 – 3 is also sticking out, that is ok – just cut through all the pieces with the rotary cutter.

Fold the paper back flat, press piece #4.

Pin right side of piece #5 to the block along the seam line, plus a little extra, for piece #5.  I was using one pin for all other pieces, but this block is larger so I went up to two.  Sew along the seam line for piece #5 on the printed side of the paper.  Fold the paper along seam #5 without folding the fabric, and cut all fabric that sticks out 1/4″ from the paper. Press.

Pin right side of piece #6 to the block along the seam line, plus a little extra, for piece #6.  Sew along the seam line for piece #6 on the printed side of the paper.  Fold the paper along seam #6 without folding the fabric, and cut all fabric that sticks out 1/4″ from the paper. Press.  My block is starting to look like something!


Pin right side of piece #7 to the block along the seam line, plus a little extra, for piece #7.  Here you can see the rectangles that I cut for pieces #5 and #6 in the beginning were too large, but that is perfectly ok and the excess will be cut off in the process when I fold the paper and trim the seams, I do not need to add any steps to trim the excess fabric.  Sew along the seam line for piece #7 on the printed side of the paper.  Fold the paper along seam #7 without folding the fabric, and cut all fabric that sticks out 1/4″ from the paper.  Again, there is a lot of fabric sticking out of the folded paper, but cut through all the pieces.  Press.

Most of the extra fabric has disappeared.


Pin right side of piece #8 to the block along the seam line, plus a little extra, for piece #8.  Sew along the seam line for piece #8 on the printed side of the paper.  Fold the paper along seam #8 without folding the fabric, and cut all fabric that sticks out 1/4″ from the paper.  Press.

Pin right side of piece #9 to the block along the seam line, plus a little extra, for piece #9.  Sew along the seam line for piece #9 on the printed side of the paper.  Fold the paper along seam #9 without folding the fabric, and cut all fabric that sticks out 1/4″ from the paper.  Press.

The sewing for the quarter block is finished!  Turn the block over, and use the rotary cutter to cut along each outer seam allowance line on the paper.  The block will now be the correct size, with all of the edges trimmed.

Now, in reverse order, fold each piece of paper (starting with piece #9) along the perforated edge, and tear off.  You will be left with a perfect fabric quarter-block with perfectly pressed seam allowances.

Make 4 quarter blocks, pin and sew into a larger circle of geese block.  Now only 8 more larger blocks to go!  I got to the point where I could make the quarter, paper-pieced block in about 15 minutes.  I sewed them into larger blocks as I went, instead of waiting to the end.

The finished 9 block circle of geese.  I underestimated the amount of blue and gray fabric I would need, so I broke into my stash for some additional colors which matched the backing fabric that I was going to use.  In the end, I like the color variation verses just the blue and gray.


I added two borders to the 9 block panel.  The first was light green, to highlight the bit of green in the geese, the second was the same gray elephant fabric as the backing.  With the front panel together, I could make the “quilt sandwich”.  Sorry, but I do not have any pictures for this part, but here is my method (it takes 2 people).  I apply Spray Basting on the entire wrong side of the backing fabric and set it on a flat surface.  I then set the batting onto the backing from the center outward, removing all wrinkles in the backing and the batting as I go.  The spray basting is much easier than pinning and it holds well without shifting.  I then spray the basting on the entire wrong side of the front panel, and lay it on the batting, from the center outward, removing wrinkles as I go.  After the sandwich is put together, I press the entire front and back to set the basting.  Ready for quilting, which I do on my regular sewing machine.

After the quilting was complete, I used blue fabric to make my own binding.  To make binding, I cut strips at 2.5″ down the entire length of the fabric and sew them together to give me enough length to go around the quilt.  I press the entire length first in half, then in half again.  I sew the back edge to the quilt first, without worrying about the corners too much, then flip the quilt over and sew the front edge along the fold to the quilt.  Here I will sew the corners in a neat fold.

My quilt is finished, and I am very happy with the way that it turned out.

DSC08550 (1280x1256)

A Patchwork of Baby Quilts

Over the years, I have been making baby quilts for my close friends.  My “patchwork” of past projects are below, and I am currently working on two more.  My inspirations are Pinterest, Craftsy, and the Moda Bake Shop.  Going back to 2010, some quilts are older than others, and at least I can clearly see that I have gotten better at quilting over time.  I have a few other quilt projects (not baby-themed) that I will post at another time.  Other than a quilted tree skirt that I made for our home last Christmas, I have given every quilt that I have made away.

Looking forward to having a place to share my work in the future!

Baby Quilt themes: 
Applique sheep in a pasture, hand sewn with blanket stiches
Houston Texans pennant quilt for a sports themed nursery
Patchwork scottie dogs
Layer cake pinwheel quilt
Princess and ruffles quilt
Day & Night farm animals rainbow quilt
Necktie baby boy quilt
Jelly Roll flower quilt
Pink chevrons with navy sail boats for a nautical themed nursery
Pirate quilt for a pirate-loving mom
Tumbler and lion applique quilt, with a fabric tab mane
Rainbow applique united states quilt