I’m on Easy Street with Bonnie Hunter!

This week I’m starting Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Quilt called Easy Street.

This is the first time I’ve participated in the Mystery Quilt and it promises to be an adventure. It’s not too late to start; just visit Easy Street, read the intro and Step One. If you aren’t ready to start now, you can always save each of the steps (available as PDFs) and work on the quilt when you have more time.

easystreet_week1I’ve chosen my colors, in general, but haven’t pulled the fabrics from my stash yet. I’m going with purples, pinks and yellow or green as an accent, and using grey as my constant and black on white as my background, as Bonnie suggests.

Here are some of the four patches I made for Step One. Step Two comes out on Friday, so I know what I’ll be doing next weekend! Join in; it’s fun!

Quilt Design Star Contest Results

QDS_logoThe results of Challenge 2 were announced and unfortunately I didn’t make it to Challenge 3. I was pleased I got as far as I did in the contest and thoroughly enjoyed my participation. I’m looking forward to supporting my fellow contestants in the third challenge and can’t wait to see what they come up with.

To see the nine quilters who made it to the final round, visit http://www.mccallsquilting.com/contests/Quilt_Design_Star_2012_Amateur.html.

Thanks especially to McCall’s Quilting magazine for sponsoring the contest, and to all of you who voted and encouraged me!

Now it’s back to work on quilts for friends and family!


How did you make that?

paisley-largeI’ve had a lot of inquiries about how I put my McCall’s Quilting Challenge 2 quilt together and also a request to see a more detailed version.  Ask and you shall receive!

I started with the six black fabric squares, which were 12″ x 12″. I fussy cut the motifs from the featured fabric. I cut them out about a half inch larger all around the fussy cut, and applied fusible to each piece. I then trimmed them down along the edge of each motif. This was a real test for my eyes! The edges of each of the motifs have very small ins and outs. While I was tempted to just cut straight across the motifs, I was happy that I took the time and made the effort to be more precise. I then laid out the motifs on each of the blocks.

Once I had a general idea of where I wanted everything to go, there were a few additional fussy cut pieces I had to do. For example, some of the paisleys went to the left and some to the right, including some that were the same in color and size. I wanted each set of paisleys on a square to go the same way, so I had to tinker with it a bit. I also wanted the opposite blocks to match, or at least be similar, both in the paisleys and the center circles.

After getting all the right pieces in all the right places, I had to figure out the angle that I needed for each of the squares to overlap equally (six squares times thirty degrees equals 180 degrees!) and mark that angle on each square so I would know the area I had to work with. After marking there was some fine tuning and I was finally ready to fuse the pieces in place.

With fusing complete, I had to add the blue edging to the squares. Although I had thought I would do something similar to binding, I found sewing inch wide strips on and then mitering the corners was a better idea. I folded the strips to the backside of the square and used 1/4″ Steam a Seam II to fuse them down. I can see I’ll be using that product again. It was great to work with.

To complete the piece, I measured the triangles that I needed to create in the paisley fabric to turn the star into a hexagon. Once they were cut, I created the red bias strips on the long side of each triangle and fused it in place. The final step was to fuse the squares to the triangles. Since this could not be quilted for the contest, I had to wait until after it was submitted and accepted before I quilted it.

I haven’t yet gotten to quilt it, but I will in the next few weeks. I’m hoping to enter it in my local quilt show next spring and plan to do echo quilting around each of the fussy cut pieces to make them pop even more.

I’m glad you all are enjoying this piece, and I want to thank you for voting for it and for all of your support!

My Challenge 2 quilt in the McCall’s Quilt Design Star contest…

paisley-largeMy Challenge 2 quilt in the McCall’s Quilt Design Star contest has now been posted on their site. As always, all of your votes and comments are appreciated.

Our challenge in this round was to use a particular fabric in a quilt, any size larger than 24″ x 24″, in any style we wished. The featured fabric had to be at least twenty percent of the quilt. I’ve included a swatch of the fabric, which is a busy paisley print from Timeless Treasures.

I’m used to using smaller prints or solids, so this was a bit of a challenge for me. After I stared at the fabric for a while, I did get several ideas and eventually decided on the quilt you see, called Paisley Party.

paisley-fabricI got wonderful support from my quilting buddies – especially Jan, Kathy, Becky and Maryam – and Jeff was there as usual cheering me on. He did keep telling me his opinion didn’t matter, but I happen to know he has excellent taste. He did, at one point, label the dining room table with a sign that said “Sewing Annex”.

Feel free to mention the contest to all your friends and relatives; I can use all the votes I can get now that we’re in the thick of the contest. There’s one more round after this one, and I’d love to make it through.


Thanks for your support!

Voting has now ended for the Challenge 1 round of the McCall’s Quilting 2012 Quilt Design Star contest. We’ll find out sometime on Tuesday, July 10th if we’ve made it through to the next round.

Thank you all for the support and the votes! I appreciate the time you took to view my quilt and place your vote.

I’ll let you know the results as soon as I know them!

McCall’s Quilting 2012 Quilt Design Star contest – Challenge 1 Entry – Diamonds & Rust

Diamonds and Rust QuiltMy quilt, titled “Diamonds & Rust”, has been posted on the McCall’s Quilting site and voting is now open. Click here to see my quilt and those of my fellow contestants. Our challenge was to use an Amish Star block in a quilt that was larger than 24″ x 24″. The rest was up to us!

Click on the image for a larger version and to vote for me if you like this quilt. I appreciate your support!QDS_logo

Goodies from McCall’s Quilting 2012 Quilt Design Star contest have arrived!

QDS_logoI’ve been hard at work on my McCall’s Quilt Design Star Challenge 1 quilt; I have just one border to add and it will be finished. It’s been fun working on it and I’m pleased with how it’s turned out. There are no sneak peeks allowed; it will be posted on June 19 on the McCall’s website and voting will begin then. I’ll make sure to post the link here and on Facebook.

I certainly had my share of challenges these past few weeks. My father passed away on June 1st after a long illness and my husband spent some time in the hospital with bronchitis. I did make the most of his time there – I brought my almost finished quilt and tore the foundation paper off the back of the quilt while he dozed and got better. It made for good conversation with the nurses who knew I quilted but had never seen foundation piecing.

Thankfully my husband is home and feeling better each day.

Just today I received a package of gifts from McCall’s Quilting for having progressed to the first round.

qds-prizesAll I can say is “Wow!” The box was pretty heavy and I couldn’t imagine what was inside. There were many groups of fat quarters, including the entire line of Christmas Spirit from Moda (my non-Jewish quilting buddies will enjoy these!) and assortments of Fresh Fallen Snow from Maywood Studios, Winterberry Lane from Red Rooster Fabrics,  Bollywood Bliss – Pink Sari from Northcott, Painted Desert from Windham Fabrics,  Shimmer from Timeless Treasures, Happiness Is…Peanuts from Quilting Treasures, Earthtones from P & B Textiles, and an assortment of brights from RJR. They are all lovely; Shimmer, Bollywood Bliss and Earthtones are my particular favorites. Be sure to check them out on the sponsors’ websites!

Colonial Needle Company included a very nice package of items, including scissors, needles, thread and NeedleGrip-Its. Colonial also makes my favorite thimble – the Raised Edge Thimble – and carries Roxanne thimbles which I hope to upgrade to one day.

In addition, I received a Mini Iron, Rotary Cutter and Needle Threader from Clover, products which I use and love! You can never have enough rotary cutters and I like to keep a Needle Threader (it also features a thread cutter) in every spot where I do hand work. My new one happens to be purple – my favorite color.

qds-prizes2I was able to share the Mini Iron with a friend who didn’t have one. Tempted as I was to have another Mini Iron, I really thought it would be crossing the Quilt Hoarder line and I know Kathy will use it.

Although it was not in this wonderful gift package, I also must mention Clover’s Dome Threaded Needle Case. You load up your needles with thread and place them in this clever case. As you need more thread you pull out the next threaded needle in the rotating case. No tangles, ever!

I would like to thank the sponsors of the Quilt Design Star Contest as well as McCall’s Quilting magazine for this prize package. I know I’m going to enjoy using and sharing all of the items!

McCall’s Quilt Design Star competition

QDS_logoWork on my quilt for Challenge 1 is progressing nicely; I’ve chosen my fabrics, drafted my pattern in EQ 7 and I’ve been busy piecing the center of the quilt. I’m doing foundation paper piecing and working hard to get the points right.

For those not familiar with how the competition works, McCall’s Quilting announced the contest was open for entries earlier this year. I submitted my Cinnamon & Spice quilt for your consideration. My quilt was accepted and voting began on May 1 and continued through May 20. Out of the 150 or so entries in the Amateur division, my quilt and 14 others were selected to move on to the first challenge. For amateurs, that means creating a quilt top with at least one Amish Star block.

I design in EQ, and over the Memorial Day weekend I created and refined my design until I was thoroughly satisfied with it. Next came fabric selection. I’m partial to Maywood Studio‘s Shadow Play, so I made sure to include a large selection of them in various bright colors and then pulled my coordinating fabrics from my stash.

I won’t be including photos of my quilt until after it’s posted on the McCall’s website. It’s a secret! I hope you’ll like it enough to vote for it when voting begins on June 19.

Meanwhile, McCall’s is sending each of us a package of quilting goodies as a prize for making it into Challenge 1. It’s not here yet, but I will share photos when I receive it.

This is an adventure I very much wanted to be a part of, and I plan to enjoy every aspect of it for as long as I am lucky enough to be included.

Thanks for all your support!