Animal Quilts Blog Hop November 2017

Thanks for joining us for the continuation of the Animal Quilts Book Blog Hop.  Only a few more entries remain in this epic event, so enjoy!

For those of you who know Juliet van der Heijden, aka The Tartankiwi, you know that I’ve been a fan of her work for a while now. I’ve tested out a variety of her patterns and she is all that when it comes to the world of foundation paper piecing. One of my favorites came to be known as the fruit strip gum zebra because who doesn’t love a rainbow zebra (yes, that is a tear you see on his face because he is NOT in the book – I’m working on getting Juliet and her publisher to make sure he is in volume 2 – i’m available to assist as long as I get to move to New Zealand). I’ve also done the cutest otter you have ever laid eyes on, a kingfisher, and a lovely fawn.

So to say I had a fanboy moment when Juliet and SewandSoUK approached me to work on pieces from her new book and participate in the blog hop is an understatement. Let’s jump right in to the book but first, these words from Juliet:

I loved making all these patterns for you to use. Read about it on my blog and in my book! And Quilt Market was great fun.

Okay well it’s not a real quote but what I imagine she would say if she didn’t live on the other side of the planet and we could have coffee and spend hours talking about foundation paper piecing (FPP).

Onto the book! Animal Quilts has 12 gorgeous, FPP designs ranging in sizes 21 x 14 to 50 square. The book has instructions on resizing the patterns to suit your needs (handy dandy tables no less). As Juliet notes in her book, the possibilities on the patterns are endless. Want to make a quilt with a panda and a polar bear? Go ahead (I did)!

The book is superbly arranged. Juliet provides a great getting started section, providing information on paper piecing including equipment, fabric selection, and the always helpful how to’s. All twelve patterns in the book come with very detailed instructions and finishing steps (adding borders where needed, making it into a quilt sandwich, etc). Juliet also graciously provides assembly diagrams, colouring diagrams (yes autocorrect, leave me alone, I’m pretending I actually speak and write the English language), colouring charts, numbering diagrams, and of course the pattern pieces.

Juliet’s pattern pieces are always superb – while they may span more than one page, she makes them magically go together by providing the washi tape – oh wait, you have to get your own washi tape. But they do go together magically – just a little trimming on the red line, lining pieces up and voila, you now have the full needed pattern piece. She has also provided some very helpful tips on patterns where they are needed – baste when you have a complex join to make sure everything lines up (you listening, you know who you are), where extra care is needed in alignment, and other nice reminders on what is no longer a frustration because she has taken the time to give you her insights. And she is one of the few pattern creators who bother to take the time to make sure the patterns fit both A4 and letter formats!

So again, go buy the book. It is the best. Really. You will have fun with the variety of creations Juliet provides and enjoy the creative process as you decide what to make and your color choices to make them your own.

Thanks for joining me on the blog hop for Animal Quilts. Enjoy.

Oh wait, I almost forgot, I was making things from the book too! I’ve been trying to be all secret sewing with them and so secretive I apparently forgot about them!  I hate secrets. And yes, I may just make everything in the book because I’m smitten.

First up is Paula Panda in Alison Glassland. My sister was totally fixated on pandas when we were growing up and we took a zoo trip so she could see one. This one finishes at 20 x 20.

Second up is Juliet’s Night Owl but I’ve done mine in all white (yep, Harry Potter fans, yep).

I love the starkness of the snow owl against the night sky. True confessions – I took creative license with the left wing (okay, really truthful I mismarked a piece as white when it should have been black, yet I still live and the quilt gods have not smoted me – go figure).

I already shared my polar bear on Instragram, but in case you missed it here it is.  As you will see I was drawn to the black and whites.  And there was an Alison Glass fat quarter bundle sitting for far too long on my stash shelf so I used it for what became very crazy quilt colorful background for the panda and polar bear.

And now drum roll please because last but not least is my choice for the blog hop, Swan. In the book, Juliet had wondered what a white/black piece would look like and I was all in since I love working with black and white. It came out to be what I had expected and more though I did have to reach out to Juliet for some technical assistance (am I right facing or left facing???!!! I was having some work in reverse paper piecing challenges).

This next space is reserved for the quilted and bound version, which hopefully will happen.  Nothing like bumping up to a deadline.  My long arm quilter let me run amok on her machine.  Probably not for the best.  I may have done ‘continuous’ a little too much so there are some spots that are a little overly quilted.  But it still looks superb.

(Insert finished piece here – if this is blank I didn’t get the binding on! Well, it’s not blank so it is all quilted and bound – and the black and white dog decided to help with the final pictures.)

Here’s a detail shot of the super quilting on the swans courtesy of Kappes Kreations.

And during the paper removal process I found that I had dropped a beak piece – not once, but twice and two different places, so while reflective, each of them have their own uniqueness. And I’m calling it ‘The Darkness in All of Us is Just Below the Surface’.

Yes, I believe I’m having an existential crisis but you will  have to take me out for coffee if you want to know more.

In summary, Juliet’s book is a gorgeous, well written book with welcome addition to my quilty library, and it has phenomenal patterns that you should own.  Go, put it on your wish list!

Thanks again Juliet and SewandSew UK!

If you’ve missed any of the blog posts during the hop, catch up with them. And don’t forget to watch for Sariditty’s post tomorrow!

The blog schedule is over at SewandSoUK and you can also find the book for purchase there (non UK people go over to Amazon – I’ve even seen it on Target’s website too!).

If you want to go check out each of the blog posts, here are the linky things you will need.

Monday 6th November – Juliet The Tartankiwi

Tuesday 7th November – Annabel from Little Pincushion Studio

Wednesday 8th November – Chris from Made by Chrissie D

Thursday 9th November – Quilting Daily – Moved to the 18th

Friday 10th November – Matthew from Mister Domestic

Monday 13th November – Kate from Quilt with Kate

Tuesday 14th November – Kristi from Schnitzel and Boo

Wednesday 15th November – Angie from Gnome Angel

Thursday 16th November – Paul aka Evildemondevildog

Friday 17th November – Sarah from Sariditty

Alice in Avant Garde Land

2016 is off to a wonderful start! The weather in December was unseasonably warm,  but now it’s cold and we got a major snowstorm this weekend.  Doesn’t mother nature realize I’m supposed to be on the Avant Garde blog hop?  30 plus inches of snow.  Brrrr….but onto quilting adventures!

Back in November, Katarina Roccella asked if I would participate in a blog hop celebrating her new Art Gallery Fabrics line Avant Garde – clicking on the link will take you over to AGF so you can see the entire line.  She didn’t have to ask twice.

And here’s the line up for the blog hop.  As you can see, I’m up today, but I wanted to make sure you had the entire line up so you could go visit these incredible makers to see what they’ve done with this line.  And you can click on the blog tour emblem and go to Katarina’s blog to read more.

blog tour avantgarde emblem

January 15th: Megan Jimenez from Quilt Story
January 16th: Svetlana Sotak of Sotak handmade
January 17th: Sharon Mcconnell of Colorgirlquilts
January 18th: Rachael Gander of Imagine gnats
January 19th: Ali Brorsen of Because of Brenna
January 20th: Laura Scaramella of Simple Life Company
January 21st: Alexis of My sweet sunshine
January 22nd: Marija Vujčić
January 23rd: Hema Malini of Malini’s quilts
January 24th: Kristy Sachs – Rockbabyscissors
January 25th: Paul Hallinger aka Evildemondevildog
January 26th: Erica Jackman
January 27th: Kathleen Quilts
January 28th: The Tattooed Quilter
January 29th: Nicole – Lillyella
January 30th: Sari – Sariditty handmade

January 31st: Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily’s quilts

As usual, I played in Electric Quilt 7 for a few days and came up with a design I thought played well with the fabric line.  Well, truth I came up with 18 different designs.  Here are a few of the varieties.  I settled on the first one and fabric was on its way.

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I waited (impatiently of course!) for the fabric to arrive.  I had picked some of my favorite pieces from the line, as well as some pieces from Katarina’s prior line Indelible and of course some of the wonderful Pure Elements solids from AGF.  And when it arrived I was adrift in a sea of color and composition that was Avant Garde.





I was about to start to work on the project when I got that very annoying nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right.  The design didn’t feel right anymore.  As I stared at the fabric, I had a brainstorm. Or just a bad headache because I was stuck.  Who knows.  But I then came up with a plan.  And that plan led to Alice in Avant Garde Land.

I had been enamored with Katarina’s Wonderland fabric but had not participated in the blog hop.  I had told Katarina I was afraid I would take Alice to places she didn’t want to go.  So here I am, taking her on a journey through Avant Garde Land.  The combination of the lines, along with the pure elements solids, was calling me.  A big shout out to Hawthorne Threads for supplying all the additions (and some last minute Avant Garde since I changed directions a few times).

For those of you who haven’t used AGF fabrics, yes you can feel the difference.  It has a wonderful hand and cuts and sews beautifully.  As I began constructing blocks, I set about telling a story on Instragram for each of constructions.   This blog post is the finish of Alice’s journey.

I stared with fussy cutting six Alices from the Wonderland line – the block is of my own design (well, technically I deleted some lines from a block in Electric Quilt 7 to make the block I wanted).








I paired this with a very geometric block –  I used this on the outside of each of the many designs I had developed – which showed off some of the central prints and fabrics from Avant Garde so well.








And of course my quilting life wouldn’t be complete without some flying geese.








I kept the 3/4 compass stars that I really wanted to include, though I did reduce their complexity from the original design.


Then I ran into trouble.  With a capital T.  As I started to sew blocks together, I realized I had forgotten to add in the bottom chalk mark string for the geese.  My geese had no feet!  Ack!  I pondered and pondered and could not figure out an easy fix to keep all the geese and not have them look incomplete (to me!) so I added some other blocks, again with a very geometric frame to them.  You’ll see those in the finished piece (since I apparently forgot to take pictures of those!).

And all these blocks make up the story of Alice in Avant Garde Land.  Here is the full tale and season finale!

Alice In Avant Garde Land

Her eyes adjusted as she stepped from the darkness of the looking glass.  Oh my, she cried, the colors are so bright!  I must be in wonderland.  No, a voice boomed behind her, you’re not in wonderland anymore.

And Alice turned to where the voice was and saw an explosion of color  Where am I, yelled Alice.  You are in Avant Garde Land Alice.  Be prepared for anything.

How do I prepare, cried Alice.  Tears were streaming down her face.  I just want to go home.  We can help!  Alice looked up to see a flock of the most beautiful and colorful flying geese she had ever seen.  Follow us and the chalk marks we leave for you.  A smile returned to Alice’s face.

Alice took the advice of the beautiful geese and followed them and the chalk marks they left for her.  Where would they lead her?

Alice kept walking through Avant Garde Land.  At times she found herself almost skipping along the colorful paths.  This was nothing like home, she thought, it was so different.  I can feel the difference.

Alice walked until the lights were low.  This was truly a fantastic voyage, she thought.  As she looked up into the night sky, she saw the prettiest star.  I’ve been waiting for you, said the starman.  The stars are out tonight, Alice, and they will help guide you home.

Alice realized she had been walking throughout the night.  Good morning, Alice, exclaimed the morning sun as it peeked over the crest of a hill.  Your journey is almost done as your destination is near.  Thank you, fair sun, said Alice.  A sudden sadness crept over Alice.  Would she never see the beautiful geese, stars and colors of Avant Garde Land again?  She felt the sting of a tear as it moved down her cheek.

Alice wiped away the tear and realized she had reached the end of her journey.  She found herself standing in front of the looking glass where she had started this long journey full of color and beauty.  She stared at the glass, looking for a way home, but saw only her reflection.  There is no way home, Alice thought, because I am home.  I always have been.  When I feel overwhelmed, or feel like I’ve lost my way, I just need to keep my eyes open to the beauty and wonders around me, and I will always find my way.  Alice smiled and her reflection smiled back.

I may not be the best writer or quilter, but I have fun, and living  with the beauty around me makes me happy, as does creating.  And so I give you the finished piece!  I quilted it on my Bernina 730 and am in love with it.  Thank you Katarina for another stunning line, thank you Art Gallery Fabrics for wonderful fabric and letting me play on the blog hop.  Always a pleasure!

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And of course, as with many of Katarina’s other fabric lines, I couldn’t stop at just one piece.  I really did want to make this into a 50 inch square piece.  But I settled for a 24 inch square and am thrilled with this piece.  For me it truly speaks Avant Garde.  Because I couldn’t get the final patterns to work in Electric Quilt, I wound up using heat and bound to fuse the 97 pieces of material I painstakingly cut out onto backing fabric.  I’ve done a small zig zag stitch to each section for added stability (I have found heat and bond breaks down over time, even on wall hangings, and nothing worse than dangling fabric!).  Now to quilt it and I have a new piece of art for the wall.


My quilting adventures were…wait for it…legendary! even if my blog doesn’t know it…

Well hasn’t the dust been collecting on my blog! My last post was June 2015. Horrors! I admit, I am not the most dutiful of bloggers. I spend more of my time on Instagram and Facebook and don’t get to the blog life as frequently as I would like. Which is kind of sad, since I could do it on the phone that has apparently been surgically attached to my hand.

What have I been doing since June? Well lots! I participated in a couple of swaps, including the legendary schnitzelandboo swap and the banner swap. I pattern tested for the talented Jeliquilts and karietwokwikquilters. I made lots of Halloween stuff. I made some pieces for Andover for quilt market. I worked with Katarina Roccella’s Imprint line. I even played with Pat Bravo fabric and Joann Hawley’s geese ruler.

While I did finish up some lingering projects, I also left a lot lingering, so 2016 will be busy trying to get things quilted and bindings on a variety of pieces that were done last year. Here’s some highlights of the latter part of 2016, including some shots of Cody, my evildemondevildog, who had surgery to remove a mast cell tumor in his leg.

Happy sewing and a fun 2016 to all!

Imprint fabrics – the colors were gorgeous and saturated and I even used a white background 🙂
Imprint fabrics small play – I got obsessed with shadow blocks.
When you decide that half square triangles are the most versatile block on the face of the planet. Almost better than Legos. Almost…
Post op tumor removal. We lived in the basement for a few weeks. My little Frankenwienie.
I had a blast pattern testing for tartankiwi. The zebra was too much fun. My multi colored version. The fruit strip gum one is my favorite!
Pattern testing for Jeliquilts. Her geese patterns are always stunning.
Only picture I have of this. It got quilted. And sent to someone 🙂
Recovering! it took months for his hair to grow back in.
Found this awesome pattern at my local Joanns – made for a friend in Washington state.
Used alexander henry fabrics to experiment with a technique from a fellow quilter.
I made some stuffed animals. for fun.
I think my obsession with wedges will spill into 2016.
my schnitzelandboo mini swap – somewhere there’s a picture of the quilted piece!
a baby quilt I made for a friend’s daughter. it was pink. that is all I will say.
I may have been very indecisive for the schnitzelandboo swap.
and i used beelori’s pattern and became entranced with making pin cushions. I had to make this one for me.
and a friend of mine looks superb as Dr. Frankenfurter, so she deserved a pillow. i’m not very good at thread painting.
So I think mushyhed got to keep this – an andover piece that went to quilt market.
Alison glass’ abacus line was sublime.
I became enchanted with Elizabeth Hartman’s Hazel the Hedgehog pattern. I may have gone overboard.
I found this tee shirt at a local outlet store for a few bucks. I couldn’t resist and I think it made an awesome wall hanging.
One of my other quilt market pieces using Alison Glass fabric lines abacus and indigo. I called it Madonna – old but still a star 🙂
One of my other favorite makes in 2015. thetattooedquilter made me do it. He made a frankenhazel and I got out of control and made hazel the horror classic stars. including invisible hazel. I love invisible hazel.
Pat Bravo fabrics + Joann Hawley flying geese ruler = perfection.
this was for my cousin Amy. I made one for myself too. Andover fabrics great panel!
These are living with quilting friend – April Rhoades banner swap. Fun stuff.
Kari Jewell pattern. Awesome fun.
My quilty friend jessicaquilter let me test several selvage patterns she developed. They are too awesome.
and just in time for Christmas, jeliquilts came up with this awesome pattern I tested for her. I could never get a photo that did the fabric colors justice.
sariditty did some awesome graffiti quilting on a piece I made out of Michael miller solids. and I got to meet her. In real life even.
see, i do exist.
probably the most awesome thing I made in 2015. tartankiwi pattern, kappeskreations quilting. my fruit strip gum zebra.
the banner i received in the swap was way too awesome.
all recovered and he endures anything…
another jeliquilts test.
this little hedgehog went to live with my cousin.

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Gems of Andover – Serendipity Strikes A Quilting Adventure

For those of you who remember to back in December or January, a lot of folks on Instagram were looking for their key word for 2015.  I picked serendipity.   Why?  Because I felt that 2015 would be marked by the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.  And it happened!  Really!

A border I had envisioned for my recent Bunnies Gone Wild did not work out.  I had pondered doing a border of Chinese Lanterns, which you can see here: Chinese Lanterns.  So I stuck that paper piece template aside and merrily went with a four patch border.

But never a dull moment with moi!  I found myself with a blank design wall and was wondering what to do next.  When I looked over at my cutting table, the Chinese lantern pattern was sitting there, with a ruler on it, and serendipity!  I traced the line with a pencil and my gem block was born.  Of course, it looked wretched but it worked for me –  Gem 2 Original Pattern

And my Andover fabrics stash was calling me again.  As it usually does.  Because its pretty.  And fun.  And it needed to be used.  So the Gems of Andover were born.  The pattern is more simplistic than some of the gem blocks floating around these days – not as many facets and shapes.  But I was happy.

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So happy that I kept making them.  And made a larger one.  And people on Instagram kept encouraging me (bad move!).   I got to this point with six, and laid out six more.  I figured a dozen would do!








Then I decided some Alison Glass handcrafted for a big finish and VOILA!  I wound up with a most delightful project that has been a lot of fun.  I did some ditch quilting and some wavy lines and voila, Gems of Andover.

If you want to make your own gems, here’s the cleaned up PDF Gem 3 Updated Pattern.  The proportions for the top section are a little different than my pencil mock up, but it still is a gem of a block (I should stay away from puns or whatever it is I think I was getting here).  I even made a pattern cover – you know, just to get all fancy Gem 4 Colorized.

The finale!
The finale!


What Shade Are You – Quilting Adventures with RJR Cotton Supreme Solids

You know me, I spend far too much time on Instagram and not a lot of time on the blogosphere.  I probably need better time management skills, but figuring that out would just interfere with my quilting.

Back in March, I posted a piece I was working on and came across a comment from RJR Fabrics inviting me to participate in their What Shade Are You blog hop.  Well, you never have to ask me twice if I want to play with fabric!  So with a heartfelt Yes, of course, I received their Cotton Supreme Solids color card and began plotting my quilt adventure in earnest.

Blog Hop 2015 logo D
Head on over to the RJR Blog!

So in 25 plus years of quilting, I’ve used RJR fabrics before (yes, I have a fanboy thing for the mad skills of Jinny Beyer and if you’ve not checked you Patrick Lose’s Basically Patrick line, you are missing out), but believe it or not I had never discovered their solids.  And as with all things fabric, I was a kid in a candy store!  As you can see over at their site, the color range is fantastic.  Deciding on which ones to use was a bit of a challenge, since I just wanted them all!

I had for months been pondering doing an economy block piece.  There were lots of folks doing pieces with them earlier in the year, and I felt like I had been left behind – but not in a Kirk Cameron bad movie kind of way though.  And I had also become intrigued with Cotton and Steel, a division of RJR Fabrics.  I had been using their basics line and was happy with the colors and patterns.  Their fall 2014 line up included Tokyo Train Ride, Mesa, Cookie Book, and of course Mochi.  The bunnies.  Oh the bunnies.

Now to figure out the solids to go with them!  Here’s what I went with:  Citron, Raging Ruby (which btw needs to be obtained if for no other reason than it’s name), Denim, Riviera, Meadowland, Egg Nog, Meissen Blue, and Battleship.  I also used a Cotton and Steel solid called Moonlight.  Armed with these solids, I was ready to go.  Here’s the complete line up!


(Confession time!  I picked three others – Caviar, Jacaranda, and Bougainvillea, but I confess, picking fabric from a color card or on line has proven challenging for me.  I am old school I guess in that I really do like seeing fabric up close and personal.  Sometimes the color, particularly saturation, can be different.  Those three will have to await their quilting destiny!)

The RJR solids were great to work with.  Nice weave, texture, and sewing with them was a breeze.  So with a plan, I started in earnest making economy blocks.  The original design called for 60 of them – I called it quits at 48.  You know, those suckers become a tad tedious after four dozen (for me the number of blocks you have to make for a large quilt becomes more daunting when they start to take on epic proportions where you have to start referring to their count with words like DOZENS).  But I truly loved the results I was getting.  The square in a square let me focus on fussy cutting and the solids were perfect for setting off the centers.  And while the finished piece may to some not look like there is a lot of rhyme or reason to the layout, there is some distinct patterning that I put into the top (the center square are my zen bunnies – there is a perfect combination of bunny, Riviera solid, and Cookie Book ghost saltine navy in those blocks).

Bunny zen achieved.









I did have to alter my border plan – I originally had a diagonal stripe worked out that would have become triangles when put on.  But, since I caved on making any more economy squares, I put on a skinny border of the most beautiful grey I have used in a while – Battleship – along with the navy ghost saltine.  I then did a simple four patch combination of all the solids I’d used for an outside border.  I then used the inner border combination for the binding.  This is the third piece I’ve done lately where I’ve used more than one fabric for the binding and the results  make me pretty happy.  And of course a special shout out to my long arm quilter friend Sue who again worked her magical quilting skills on the piece.

The back of the quilt to show off the long arm quilting!
The back of the quilt to show off the long arm quilting!



Sue planned the quilting out with some quick sketches. It turned out perfectly!















And this is the finished piece.  I could think of no better picture than to have the bunnies out in the wild!

What Shade Are You?  Bunnies in the Wild
What Shade Are You? Bunnies in the Wild

So there you have it!  My What Shade Are You quilting adventure.  And the answer to that question remains a mystery.  As one of my Instagram friends put it, I tend to be dark and brooding with flashes of brilliant color (thanks @debpotteringabout!).  My color interests span the spectrum and I want to thank RJR Fabrics for letting me have some fun with their solids.


No quilt would be complete without a label!








And as a fun fact for those of you who have never met me in person – my eyes are green.  They can also turn blue, grey, and also a lovely shade of yellow (that is the ‘do not approach’  color!).  So even my eyes don’t know what shade I am!

Happy quilting adventures to you all!  I’m going back to working with the remaining RJR solids to make some more fun things!



Danger – Curves Ahead

I have been doing a lot of work with curves lately. This is my latest attempt at taking curves and building bridges between them. The following instructions are intended for your personal use. If you share it, make sure you give me credit. The piece unfinished is 35 ½ x 35 ½. I’ve provided a coloring sheet after the templates. Happy creating!


Fabric Requirements

I used 6 fat quarters of different Robert Kaufmann Kona solids in blues. I also used about half a yard of Kona grey (I think it is charcoal!) for the background. The fabric requirements will vary depending on what you wind up doing with the piece






Block Cutting

There are two blocks that comprise this piece. Both are 7 ½ inch unfinished blocks.  There is also a center block. To make this you will need:

16 drunkards path block

  • these are constructed using template A and template B on page 4.
  • You will need 16 of A and 16 of B.
  • In the design shown, I did 8 blue and 8 grey of each of A and B to get the design.
  • The seam allowances are included in the templates but not shown.











8 bridge blocks – for these you need to cut the following from your fabric


  • 8 pieces 2” x 7 ½” – for the design shown I cut four from the blues and four from the grey so that the bridges carry from the drunkard’s path block
  • 8 6 x 7 ½ – I cut mine from the blues








1 center square block 7 ½ x 7 ½ (I used the blues)

Sewing the Blocks

For the drunkard’s path block, you need to take one template A and one template B (I used my Accuquilt 7 ½ drunkards path die). Match the notch – I pin there. And I only use one pin J. I have the B piece on top. Start sewing, going slowly as you work around the curve. When you get to the pin, remove it and continue on to the end. Yes, it is that easy. I do not clip the curves. I press from the back and press the template A out.


You will have a total of 16 drunkard’s path blocks.

For the bridge blocks, you need to sew one 2 x 7 ½ piece to one 6 x 7 ½ piece to create 8 blocks.

Quilt Layout

The quilt is laid out in a five by five design as shown below. The top and bottom two rows contain the drunkard’s path blocks and a bridge block. The middle row has four bridges and the 7 ½ x 7 ½ center square.




Join the blocks together in rows as shown. This is a detail of the bridge block placement between the two drunkard’s path blocks.

When sewing the blocks into rows, I press the seams in opposite directions in each row so that the seams nest when the rows are joined together. Now join the rows together as shown and voila, you are done!




Drunkard’s Path Block Templates (seam allowances included but not drawn in – cut at the solid black line – consider template plastic or heavier weight paper to cut your templates. If you have an Accuquilt, I used the 7 ½ drunkards path.)









Coloring Block

Danger Curves Blank








And this and this was the original with a change up as I measured wrong!









A Quilting Adventure to Skopelos

Little did I know my quilting adventures would be taking me to a lovely Greek island!  I long ago had two friends from high school who used to go to the Greek islands for vacations – I was very envious when they would send postcards from Mykenos or Skopelos or some other exotic location while I hung out on the Jersey shore!

This adventure started with Katarina Rocella asking me if I wanted to have some fun with her new ArtGallery Fabrics line, Skopelos.   Well of course I said yes!   Then she e mailed me saying it was part of a blog hop.  Ummmmm, okay.  My blogging is sporadic at best, but I was game.  So here you have it, my adventure to Skopelos.

I knew right away what I wanted to make, so I asked for a couple of pieces from the line.  The wonderful folks at AGF sent me more than I could imagine, so my mind started to spin.  I would stick with my original plan, a quilt inspired from a wonderful book titled A Quilter’s Mixology by Angela Pingel.  You can find more info on the book here.   I’ve shown off some of the progress and pieces on Instagram already, but for the first time I give you the complete Skopelos adventure.

Let’s start with the obligatory group fence shot!  Yes, I wound up with four pieces.  It’s gorgeous fabric and as AGF says, you can feel the difference.






The inspiration piece I imagined as my little house on a Greek island.  One of the central prints from the line has wonderful details of houses, fences, chairs, and trees.  I used my Accuquilt 7 inch drunkard’s path die to cut the fabric (note to self – pay attention to the direction when you load fabric – yes, one of my house’s is upside down!) and then started the piecing process.  I used a light grey solid from AGF as the background.  A big shout out to both Intrepid Threads and Hawthorne Threads for supplementing my solids on this adventure!  And I asked my long arm quilter Sue to work her magic on the piece.  The swirls and curves helped to embody the island in the sea them I was going for.








The second piece was created with a very bohemian mindset – I wanted to continue playing with curves, so I cut into the fabric line and the coordinating solids and just started tossing pieces onto the design wall.  I am thrilled with it as the interplay between the Skopelos fabric and the solids worked (yes, even the bright pink!).  Though I know it will not work for everyone.  Aesthetics.  I get it.  And Sue did a great job quilting a circle/spiral starting from the center as well as some detail work in some of the areas.








And I was determined to use most every scrap of the fabric, so I made this piece – it is inspired by a stacked diamond design I did last year for a bee – I made the diamonds larger and then offset it.  I only made half a star – I’ve been intrigued with that concept since I first saw it on Instagram.  I quilted this one using straight lines of different Aurifil thread  and did the binding with AGF Prisma elements.








And last is my Tumbling to Skopelos.  I’ve had a Fat Cat ruler for over a year and never got around to experimenting with it, so I gave it a whirl.  I used the remaining pieces from the Paparounes and various solids.  I tried to follow the block shape in the quilting – there was a lot of turning and twisting in my Bernina, so a bit wonky in spots but overall I think it came out well.  And I love the backing fabric I found for this.  And of course it is demon dog approved so all is right with the world.

















Well, that’s it for my Skopelos adventure.  Thanks for coming over and checking things out.  A special thanks to Katarina and AGF for the opportunity to participate in the hop.

And don’t forget to check out all the other phenomenal makers for this hop.  The schedule and links are below.  Check out Katarina’s blog for an awesome giveaway!

2. ALLEGORY LANHAM – April 21st
3. ERICA TOOLE – April 22nd
4. RACHAEL GANDER – April 23th
5. AMY FRIEND – April 24th
6. MARIJA VUJČIĆ – April 25th
7. DANA BOLYARD – April 26th
8. ERICA JACKMAN – April 27th
10. SVETLANA SOTAK – April 29th
11. KATHLEEN RIGGINS – April 30th
12. APRIL RHODES – May 1st
13. PAUL HALLINGER – May 2nd
15. CAROLINE HULSE – May 4th
16. JANE DAVIDSON – May 5th




It was easy to title this post.  It is one I have been meaning to do for quite some time but somehow the days get away from me and I do not get to the blog as frequently as I would like.  Spending less time sewing and on Instagram (and at the day job) would help solve that dilemma.

A few months back I came home from work and saw a very large parcel on the front porch.  I panicked, because I knew I had not ordered anything in a while.  So I brought the package into the house and found that the wonderful folks at Artgallery Fabrics had sent me Katarina Rocella’s new Recollections collection.

For those of you who don’t know, my first adventure with Katarina’s fabrics were for the SDQAL which used her Indelible line.  I fell in love with her use of patterns and colors.

This collection is spectacular with a wide array of design and color.  I used a pattern from a That Patchwork Place book titled Easy Weekend Quilts called Confectionery.  I thought the pattern would give all the fabrics a chance to play together.   I used a cream and dark blue AGF as the main solids for the piece.

I’ve included pictures showing the final piece before the binding got put on.  The first shot shows the spectacular quilting Sue was able to do for me.  As always she was able to take the quilt to new heights with some wonderful quilting.

I also posted a few close up of the various blocks so you can see the design.  All in all I think this came out quite well!

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That Time Elephant and I Became Elephant and We

2014 finished on a sad note.  My cousin Arline passed away.  She and I were born 3 days apart in the same year, so we were very close.  She was an amazing person, and even when she was diagnosed with a severe lung illness 20 plus years ago, she persevered.  On steroids and many other medications, she took care of her two children, Michael and Nicole, and her husband Steve.  Michael was my godson, and he left us a couple years ago.  Arline was heartbroken.  So was I.  And then the day after Christmas I was heartbroken again when she passed away.

She also left behind two sisters, Connie and Cassandra.  The two of them lived in other areas but as is often the case, tragic circumstances brought them together for Arline’s funeral.  It was great seeing them together and catching up with them in person.  Seeing posts on Facebook and Instagram just isn’t the same as a good face to face talk session.

I returned home and decided that I needed to make Connie a quilt.  Connie has said she loves elephants, so I went online and googled elephant quilt patterns.  I found a fantastic pattern by Jennifer Sampou.  I had just recently purchased some of her Black and White line for Robert Kaufman, so I was interested to see what the pattern was like.  I was smitten.  Colorful.  Check.  Paper piecing – an added bonus!  I sent off for the pattern and it arrived in no time (well, USPS and a cross country trip!).

And so I went to work on the pattern.  I knew exactly what I wanted to use for the elephant.  I wanted to use the new Alison Glass Sunprints, especially the Grove pieces.  While I had done some small mini quilts using the fabrics, this would allow for greater use and show off the gorgeous colors of the prints.    I think he came out wonderfully.










The pattern comes with figures and I made one and placed it next to the elephant.  The elephant and I.  Now I could start on the background.  Maybe.  I didn’t like the figure’s hair!  So I made another one.  And I placed that down and there were two.  And then I was suddenly inspired to make and third and suddenly the elephant and I became the elephant and we.  As I wrote on Instragram, this quilt had become a story for my cousin Connie.

Once there were three sisters whose strength, love and patience kept them together even when apart.  And though one is gone from this world, her strength remains as they walk together along life’s path.











I could think of no better way to honor Arline and give Connie something I hoped would be both beautiful and meaningful.

I chose a variety of neutral pieces from my fabric collection (hoard some would say).  I even had some fabric from Jennifer’s shimmer line hiding in my stash (who knew!).  Here’s the piece at my long armer’s as she worked her magic.  The elephant and we!







I’ve been collaborating with Sue Kappes of Kappes Kreations for many years now.  We first met at the local quilt shop and she has done many pieces for me.  I asked her to make this magical.  My only guidance – I wanted the bottom section under the figures treated horizontally like ground and paths, while the area above should be rays radiating from the figures.  She added so many fantastic touches throughout with some wonderful modern quilting designs. I will tell you that I was very excited when I saw it.  Here she is telling me about some of her fancy stuff (sshhhh, she doesn’t know I took this picture!).











Here are some great shots of the phenomenal quilting:

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And today with snow blowing around outside I did a binding and I put a tail on the elephant, so my tale of strength and sisterhood comes to a close and I will send this off to Connie.

Sew on.


Andover Adventures – Handcrafted and Chambrays

Those of you who may know me from Instagram know I rarely pass up a good quilting adventure and every now and then the stars align and a quilting adventure comes your way that you cannot pass up. So I was very excited when I got the chance to explore and work with some great offerings from Andover Fabrics – Alison Glass’ new Handcrafted line  which you can see here at Andover as well as some wonderful chambrays. Did I use them together? You bet I did.

The Handcrafted  line is the upcoming collection from Alison and brings to mind the feel and look of a batik. The fabric is a wonderful cotton weight with a good feel. The four pieces I had the opportunity to work with had great colors and design. The designs do have some subtle color and print variations to them in line with what you would expect from a handmade piece of fabric. The fabric looks less machine produced than a lot of items that are currently on the market. The fabric also had good shape retention – you will see in the blocks I created that fabric that retains shape is important to me!

I also had four chambrays to play with too, though I branched out and brought in three additional ones for the pieces I worked up. The chambrays are a slightly heavier weight and the plain weave typical of chambrays lent a great contrast to the Handcrafted fabrics I was going to use. I was particularly taken with Pumpkin – maybe because fall is setting in! You can see the chambray collection Andover has to offer here – Andover Chambrays.

And there you have the fabric line up I was diving into. What to make? As many folks know, I tend to go a little out of the box sometimes. As is often the case when I am working with specific fabric designer’s efforts, I want to let the fabric remain the center piece of the design. The four Handcrafted pieces needed to stay front and center. And since I was working with materials that evoked a spirit of hand craftedness, I thought of stained glass. I then turned to my favorite piece of quilting software, Electric Quilt and looked through the collection of stained glass blocks available. I chose three to work with. The first I left in the same way I found it, though I did blow the block up to a 24 inch finished size. The other two took some twisting and turning of the blocks to get the 24 inch finished squares I used.

Once I had the block patterns developed, it was time to get to work. I am an FPP (Foundation Paper Piecing) fan. I have been quilting for about 25 years, and early on I fell in love with the work of Karen Stone and Carol Doak. While I can stitch a mean nine patch with the best of them and my geese can fly, I continue to be drawn to FPP for the ability to create intricate blocks without some of the mechanical challenges (I hate Y seams – it had to be said).

I precut as many of the shapes as I can, though some cutting is reserved as I work up the block when I want to fussy cut some of the shapes or designs from the fabric. One of the Handcrafted fabrics I had to work with was a gorgeous red with a white flying geese pattern, and those needed to be integrated into the block shapes in a specific manner. Once all the fabric was ready to go, I shortened my stitch length on my trusty Bernina and had at it.

And here are the results. The first block evoked a star in a star pattern for me. The second was designed to focus on the geese and for me had a very Pendleton look to it. The last is a manipulated quarter rose bloom block which I think worked well for the two pieces that make up the larger points on the outside. The final picture below has all the blocks finished, with binding and hanging sleeves.  A great big thank you to Andover for letting me have this opportunity and to Alison Glass for creating another great line for me to use in my quilting adventures.  I think I see a quilt out of the middle blocks in my future!

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