Archive | September, 2021

Something’s Fishy

20 Sep

Fellow Quilters,

Happy Monday!  If you’re popping over from another blog today, a warm welcome to you.  Are you ready for some fun? Today is my day to blog in the Seaside Adventures Row-along and I couldn’t be more excited.  Let me tell you about this popular event.Web-Seaside-Adventure-Row-Along-Square

The Row-along was started several years ago by the wonderful Marian Pena of Seams to be Sew.  Each year Marian enlisted the support of dozens of pattern designers to create a row to showcase a particular theme.  Some of the past themes include “winter”, “home”, “my happy place”, Christmas carols, and “garden party”.  The designers share their “free for a week” row instructions, with 3 different designers showcasing their row each week of the event.  Sadly, Marian passed away this year but not before the Seaside Adventures theme was selected.  To honour her memory the designers decided to go ahead with the row-along for this year, and Melissa of The Quilting Room with Mel graciously stepped forward to organize the event – thanks Mel!

Northcott once again offered to support the designers with fabric for their rows, so of course all the rows are gorgeous.  I chose to work with Northcott’s Dublin linen-look cotton blender because I needed a variety of bright tropical hues, and with 42 dee-lish colors, this collection delivers that and more.

A sizzling selection of Dublin hues

A sizzling selection of Dublin hues

So here’s something that you may not know about me – I like to scuba dive, particularly in warm tropical waters filled with colorful fish and interesting coral.  Sometimes the coral is even more interesting than the fish.

Photo courtesy Diving Kona Hawaii

Photo courtesy Diving Kona Hawaii

It is thrilling to slowly drift along 40ft below the water’s surface with a school of yellow/electric blue fish or watch a little orange clown fish darting in and out of an anemone.

One time a pair of dolphins swam right past me – they’re HUGE!  And snorkelling is a very close 2nd to diving – simply floating on the surface with a mask and snorkel, face down in the water, visually exploring the abundant sea life below me.  Some of my favorite locales include Negril (Jamaica), Hawaii, the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and Cancun.

Coming up with a design for my row was quick – colorful fish!

My Which Way to Class row

My Which Way to Class row

I chose to use large and small triangles to depict fish.  Then I changed the direction of some to reflect the darting schools of fish I’ve seen dashing in one direction then another.  Finally, I added some sea grass to help the fish hide from their predators.  You can download my Which Way to Class pattern here.

Tip:  Trimming the tips of the pieces with the blunt ends of the templates ensures that you align the patches correctly when piecing the columns.

Trim the tips of the patches along blunted ends of templates

Trim the tips of the patches along blunted ends of templates


Aligning the patches is now foolproof

This week 2 other bloggers are sharing their row patterns for free as well, after which time there may be a small fee for their patterns.  Hop on over to Elizabeth Coughlin’s site and Nancy Myers’ Patchwork Breeze site to get their free patterns this week as well.

There are not many prizes this year (Marian worked hard to solicit prizes) so I shall offer one to my readers.  For a chance to win a bundle of Dublin and a couple free digital patterns of your choice from Patti’s Patchwork please leave a comment below telling me your favorite tropical spot to dive/snorkel/play on the beach.  Comment by Sunday September 26 to be eligible.IMG_4764 lo-rez

To get the links to the upcoming designers’ blog posts and free blocks visit The Quilting Room with Mel each week.

Happy Sewing!!


Let’s Break with Tradition

7 Sep

September - Traditional with a TwistFellow Quilters,

It’s the first Tuesday of the month and that means another batch of blocks in the Quilt Block Mania blog tour.  A shout-out to Carolina at Always Expect Moore for organizing this event each month.  I really enjoy this monthly opportunity to stretch my creative muscle as I interpret the theme for the month and incorporate the chosen color palette.  Judging from the feedback, many of you enjoy this event as well.  Did you know that there is a Quilt Block Mania Facebook group?  Anyone can join and get in on the conversation.

This month 17 designers rose to Carolina’s challenge and came up with a free block using the theme of Traditional with a Twist.  You can find the links to their blocks here:

Starry Steps Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Log Cabin with a Twist by Appliques Quilts and More
Faux Log Cabin by PhoebeMoon Designs
Twisted Irish Chain by Inquiring Quilter
Pinwheel Pizzazz at Blue Bear Quilts
Rail Fence Roundabout at Perkins Dry Goods
Twirling Star by Mom and Me Quilting Co
Neon Churn Dash by Pretty Piney Quilts
Pinwheel Twist by QuiltFabrication
Quilt Block Exhibit
String of Stars by Orange Blossom Quilt Design Studio
log cabin twist by Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Twisted Log Cabin at Penny Spool Quilts
Wonky Star by Patti’s Patchwork
Modern Churn Dash at The Quilting Room with Mel
Wonky Log Cabin by Love to Color My World
Shoo Two by Oh Kaye Quilting

When I saw the theme, my brain went into creative overdrive.  So many options!!  Several designers did variations of a log cabin block so instead I went in a different direction.  What if I played with a star block?  How can I add a twist or non-traditional slant to a classic Ohio Star block?  Well, allow me to show you!

I made the center “off-center”, then I altered the star tips to make them different sizes.  As my friend Nancy says “Kewl!”  My Wonky Star looks decidedly fresh and contemporary in the monthly palette of grape, mauve, periwinkle and citrus.  I used Northcott’s suede-look Toscana cotton blender.  You can download the pattern here.

So, a couple of tips when you are piecing this easy block.  The star tip units contain a piece that is a trimmed triangle.  We make this by sewing 2 triangles together, then trimming the resulting unit to size (see the pattern) – easy!

Trim the tip of the triangle pair to bring it to size

Trim the tip of the triangle pair to bring it to size

Then we add the 3rd triangle to the unit – it looks too big, but it is actually the correct size once you align the pieces.

The 3rd triangle looks too big however...

The 3rd triangle looks too big however… fits perfectly when correctly aligned

…it fits perfectly when correctly alignedDone!
So, the fun thing with an off-center block is what is does when placed into a quilt layout.  It sparkles!  Here is a 3×4 straight-set layout.

12 blocks in a straight-set layout for a 36" x 48" lap quilt

12 blocks in a straight-set layout for a 36″ x 48″ lap quilt

And here is a 3×3 on-point layout.

A 13 block on-point layout makes a 51" square

A 13 block on-point layout makes a 51″ square

In both versions I have rotated the blocks so that the stars are not aligned (haha).  How fun!

Speaking of fun, I blogged last week about my Ski Village quilt featured in the current issue of Quilter’s World.  There is a great giveaway that is open until September 9, so you might want to check out that post.

Ski Village quilt made with Winter Frost by Sara Boccaccini for FIGO, featured in Quilter's World

Ski Village quilt made with Winter Frost by Sara Boccaccini for FIGO, featured in Quilter’s World

Also high on the “fun” scale is the annual Row-along, hosted this year by The Quilting Room with Mel.  It started yesterday and runs until October 25, with 3 free rows per week.  I’ll be sharing my row on September 20, and if you hit that Subscribe button on the right, you’ll get the link delivered to your mailbox.

A sneak peek of my row in the Seaside Adventures Row-along September 6 - October 25

A sneak peek of my row in the Seaside Adventures Row-along September 6 – October 25

Enjoy this month’s offerings, and we’ll see you soon 😊


It takes a village…

2 Sep
Ski Village quilt

Ski Village quilt

Fellow Quilters,

The quilt I am about to share with you started so nonchalantly.

Quilter’s World editor Carolyn Beam sent out a call for quilts showcasing the theme “It takes a village” as a way to connect quilters during the pandemic.  I had just seen the sample yardage of FIGO Fabrics’ Winter Frost by Sara Boccaccini – so fun with its quirky head shots and snow-peaked chalet village.

Swatches of Winter Frost by Sara Boccaccini for FIGO Fabrics

Swatches of Winter Frost by Sara Boccaccini for FIGO Fabrics

I quickly set about designing a simple throw-size quilt to snuggle under on a winter day après ski in front of a roaring fire.  The pieced rows of chalets have warm rust-colored doors to welcome inhabitants and visitors alike.  And I quilted “windows” and roof peaks on each home, set against a dark starry sky.  I called it Ski Village.  The quilt was shipped off to the magazine and was just delivered back to me, having been published in the Autumn 2021 issue of Quilter’s World, on newsstands now.

Ski Village quilt

Ski Village quilt

As I sit now, looking at it, I am reminded of the villages that I am part of.  I live in a ski community and this quilt depicts perfectly the winter months of the year for me.  Such fun I have with my fellow snowboarding buds – we’re a small minority on the slopes so we work hard to encourage and support each other – and the people I’ve met through our ski club.  Many of them have become dear friends.

I am also reminded of another “village”.  Last September, No. 1 Son started his 2nd cancer journey and lived with Hubby and I for 8 months while we cared for him and nursed him back to health.  This quilt was completed a week before his epic surgery, during which he had a world-class team of 14 specialists working on him.  He was so fortunate to have an incredible community of health care providers to treat and care for him.  We are indebted to his cancer village – the state-of-the-art facility and the skilled, compassionate staff that operate it.

IMG_4644 lo-rezThis evening brought to mind another village, and that is you, fellow quilters.  My quilting community has been the glue to hold me together this past year of isolation.  My local guild had their first meeting of the year tonight.  We have been meeting over Zoom for the past year and will continue this practice for the foreseeable future.  Still, how wonderful it was to see everyone after our summer break!  We freely chatted in breakout rooms and shared the projects we’d completed over the summer while camping or hosting the grands.  Quilting is indeed the thread that binds us.

What about you?  Who is your village?  I’d love to hear your story.  Please leave a note in the comments below.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win this bundle

Leave a comment below for a chance to win this bundle

I have a giveaway!  A copy of the Autumn issue of Quilter’s World was sent with my returned Ski Village quilt.  I also have some fat 1/8’s of Winter Frost, and one commenter will receive this magazine & fabric bundle.  Please leave a comment by midnight September 9 for a chance to win.

Coming up next:  Next week is the monthly Quilt Block Mania post, with links to 16 free blocks that incorporate the “traditional with a twist” theme.  I think you’ll really like my block!  Two weeks later is my turn to blog for the annual Seams to be Sew Row-along that runs from September 7 through October 25, with links to 20 terrific rows with a “Seaside” theme (see my website for details).  And if you’re starting your holiday/winter quilting, I have 4 new patterns to inspire you!  Visit my website for details.

Stay safe, villagers, and thanks for being there😊