Sunday, May 15, 2022

Wanderer's Wife (Jen Kingwell) - Stripes in Section 9

This is a helpful guide for anyone who wants to make even 1.5" stripes all the way across the Wanderer's Wife (formerly Gypsy's Wife) quilt by Jen Kingwell. This is only for Section 9 and I'll provide instructions for Sections 8 and 10 once I've got those figured out. This will not replace the pattern, you can get that directly from Jen Kingwell ( or ask your local quilt shop if they can order it for you.

Some tips before you start: having a consistent scant quarter inch seam is super important for putting this quilt together. I will point out several places where you can do a check to make sure you're sewing exactly the right size seams. If you're having to pull a bunch on your stripes or blocks to make them fit, then your seams are off and it will make all those partial seams so much harder.

I pressed open where ever possible, but there are a few spots where I pressed to one side just because all the bulky seams were on one side and there were no seams on the other side.

I find it best to pin at the end of every seam so that I know that my seams will match up and then I keep gently tension on the pinned end while sewing. If you find yourself tugging a lot to match up the sides evenly, that's not good.

I used my coloring sheet to draw new stripes, which looks like this:

Ok, so we've got 59 stripes across when they're all 1.5" wide.

Please note that my pattern above starts with a red stripe, but I decided I wanted a full set of rainbows, so I ended up adding a red and orange stripe to one side and will be adding a dark blue and purple stripe to the other side. So where I have red in the pattern above, you will see yellow in the images below, orange - green, yellow - light blue, and so on.

So here are cutting instructions (I will only label the sizes if they differ from the original pattern, we have to veer into Section 8 territory here, but that's ok):

Row 1 (yellow): stays the same (the red and orange extra strips I cut at the same size as the yellow)

Row 2 (green): top and bottom pieces stay the same

Row 3 (light blue): top - 1.5"x4.5", bottom - 1.5"x7"

Row 4 (dark blue): top - 1"x3.5", second piece - 1.5"x1.5", third piece - 1"x3", fourth piece - 1.5"x1", bottom - 1"x6.5"

Row 5 (purple): 1.5"x4.5"

Row 6 (red): 1.5"x4.5"

Row 7 (orange): top - 1"x3.5", bottom - 1.5"x4.5"

Row 8 (yellow): 1.5"x7.5"

Row 9 (green): 1.5"x7.5"

Row 10 (light blue): top - 1.5"x7.5", second piece - 1"x2.5", third piece - 1"x1.5", bottom - 1.5"x8.5"

Now to put this beast together...

First step, add the strips to the blocks next to them:

So that's the dark blue added to the right side of the smaller square in a square block, the dark blue added to the left side and the orange added to the right side of the top square in a square block, the dark blue to the left side of the pinwheel block, and the light blue to the right side of the Old Maid's puzzle block (mine probably looks different than yours because I changed it up a bit). I pressed to the side of the stripe on all but the pinwheel block, that seam I pressed open. 

Next we will sew the strips together:

The green and light blue stripes at the top should now be 2.5" across (if they are not exactly that size, this is a good time to dial in your scant quarter inch seam). The purple, red, and orange strips should be 3" across, and the yellow, green, and light blue strips should also be 3" across. I pressed all of those seams open.

Next up is attaching our partial seams - do not sew the whole way, stop at no less than 3/8" from the end, but as close to 3/8" as possible to make it easier for yourself later:

We're attaching the dark blue to the top right and bottom right of the smaller square in a square, the light blue to the right top of the pinwheel block, and the light blue to the right bottom of the Hope of Hartford block. I pressed the square in square pieces to the strip side, and pressed the other two open.

The next step is to attach the purple/red/orange strip set to the right of the smaller square in a square portion (it should measure 6.5" across). I pressed to the strips:

Next we will attach the top square in square section to the smaller square in square section (I pressed to the strips):

The next step is to add the green and light blue section to the left side and yellow/green/light blue section to the right side - make sure that you fold the smaller square in a square out of the way so you don't catch that while sewing on the left section and pin at the end of the seam because it's a small space and will want to shift on you. I pressed open:

Now we will finish the partial seam. We're working with a very small area here, so be careful. I like to tack back over the last few stitches. I pressed to the strips:

Now comes the real test of your seam allowance. The first set of strips I did this with, the pinwheel section and the square in square sections did not line up at all, I had to really pull on the stripes to fit my pinwheel block and they look distorted as a result (image at the very end). I measured all of my stripes and each one was just a hair short of 1" wide and over the length of a couple stripes that really starts to add up. So here we go, add the pinwheel section to the square in square section, I pressed open:

Next step - sew the light blue piece to the section we've been working on. I pressed open:

Attach the Hope of Hartford section next (I pressed open). Another check here - the first seam in the Hope for Hartford block should match up with the edge of the pinwheel block, and second seam should line up with the center of the pinwheel block:

Now we will attach the green strip to the left side of the section (I pressed open). Make sure you're folding the square in square section out of the way so it doesn't catch, and pin the ends because it will want to shift on you:

Next step - complete the partial seam by the smaller square in a square block. Back tack at the end of the seam where it overlaps with the existing seam you've already sewn (I pressed to the strips): 

Now we can add the Old Maid's Puzzle section (I pressed open). Here's another seam check - the middle of your Old Maid's Puzzle should line up with the first seam in the Hope of Hartford block:

And finally, we're going to attach our yellow strip (or in my case my red/orange/yellow stripe section) to the rest of the section (I pressed open):

And we're done with Section 9! Just in case you wanted to see just how distorted my first attempt was where I wasn't checking my seams properly, here's a picture (you can see the bowing where the stripes meet the pinwheel block, where I had to really tug on them to get them to line up properly):

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Charity Block 3 for GRMQ (Jan 2022)

 And finally, we've got block #3, the improv block. Really what I'm looking for is a piece of one color that we can cut at least a 5" square from (bigger is good too, if it's really big, we might even be able to cut multiple squares from it, so you can really make it any size you'd like).

What you will need:

Choose one color (not white/cream or black) and pull out all of your random sized scraps of that color (if you don't have a scrap stash, you can pull out fabrics and cut random pieces with scissors or a rotary cutter)

They do not have to be ironed or even rectangular. They can be cut offs from previous projects. As long as they're in that color you chose. Mostly prints, but you can throw in some solids as well.

For improv piecing, just throw out the rule book. No precision cutting (I don't even use a rule and rotary cutter most of the time, just my fabric scissors), seams can be as wide as you'd like, as long as they're at least a scant quarter inch. You can do curved piecing. Iron pieces flat by warping the fabric, if you have to. You can even flip fabric around to the other side, if the front is too bright and you want to use the more muted side. The only rules I follow are that two pieces of the same fabric can't touch and that pieces can't be too big. That's it!

I generally start by just grabbing two pieces of fabric and deciding which side to line them up on, and then sewing about a quarter inch seam along a roughly straight line. Once I have a nice little pile, I go and iron them all. You can also build strips without ironing in between, as long as you're not going to go over one of the existing seams. I highly recommend pressing open on these to eliminate bulk in the seams, there will be no seams to butt up or perfect points.

Here's my pile of pieces, roughly in pairs of two. There's some triangle shapes and lots of rectangular shapes. Then just keep building onto those. At some point you can start adding larger pieces to each other.

Don't be afraid to cut your pieces apart if you want to, before reassembling them. 

Also, when putting two pieces together that both have uneven edges, it's good to use your scissors or rotary cutter and ruler to create a straight line on one edge of one of the pieces so you have a line to sew along. Also make sure you trim off any overlaps with your scissors.

Trim the overlap with your scissors using the straight line as a guide.

And don't be afraid to use pieced scraps from previous projects to incorporate into this. The picture above shows me putting the striped piece onto a row of already pieced scraps from another project. 

I decided to stop once I had the three pieces (each one was large enough to cut at least a 5" square from), but you can keep building your sheet as large as you'd like. If I'd had more time last night, I probably would have made another "quadrant" and then pieced them all together somehow.

Do NOT trim these down. Leave them as they are. Making these three pieces took me probably half an hour and again this is a great project to do in little chunks between working on other things. Also a great scrap buster for those weird shapes and thin strips you've been hoarding (you'll get no judgement from me, I do it too). 

While this is for my current guild, the Grand Rapids Modern Quilters, anyone can make these blocks and contribute them to our charity quilts (or just make them for yourself). If you'd like to contribute them, email me and I'll give you my address to send them to ( If you're in the guild, we'll have a box at every meeting that you can put your finished (or partial) blocks in, or you can drop them off with me or Cindy.

Charity Block 2 for GRMQ (Jan 2022)

So here is block #2, the HST Diamond block:

You will need for each block:

8x 4" square black background pieces - all the same (can have a small amount of pattern on it, but should read as black)

8x 4" square patterned scrappy pieces - all different (make sure they aren't too dark so they'll show up against the black)

For the ultimate scrappiness, I would recommend making two blocks at a time (so you'll need 16 of each instead of 8), since we'll be making two-at-a-time HSTs. That way you can put one of each fabric in each block.

You can use squares larger than 4" as well, just make sure to line up the corner that you're drawing your line through, so you're not trying to guess if the squares are lining up. Example below, you'll want to draw your line from the top left corner to the bottom right, so it goes through the corner that you lined your fabric up on.

Since you're using black fabric, you'll have to draw your line on the lighter side.

Sew a quarter inch on both sides of the center line, then cut the fabric down the line. Iron (I suggest ironing open to limit bulk in the seams) and then trim each block to 3.5" square.

Lay out your blocks so there is a black diamond in the center and colorful corners on the outside. It helps to take a picture at this point, so you have a reference for how you laid your block out.

Sew pairs together using a scant quarter inch seam, lay it out again. Sew pairs into quadrants using a scant quarter inch seam (I pinned at the seams).

Sew quadrants into halves using a scant quarter inch seam, and then the halves into the finished block. The finished block will end up at 12.5" square.

This block takes a little longer than the last one, because of the trimming and such, but overall not a hard block to make.

While this is for my current guild, the Grand Rapids Modern Quilters, anyone can make these blocks and contribute them to our charity quilts (or just make them for yourself). If you'd like to contribute them, email me and I'll give you my address to send them to ( If you're in the guild, we'll have a box at every meeting that you can put your finished (or partial) blocks in, or you can drop them off with me or Cindy.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Charity Block 1 for GRMQ (Jan 2022)

I've been making these blocks forever. Whenever I have scraps, I cut them down into squares, rectangles, or leave them as is and stick them in my scrap baskets. All of the charity blocks this month will use up these scraps.

First up, the checkerboard blocks:

What you will need:

2.5" square pieces of low volume (if you take a B/W picture, the fabrics should show as white) - solid whites and creams are the best, but you can use some patterns too, just try to limit patterns with a bunch of additional colors or more noticeable patterns

2.5" square pieces of medium to high volume - patterns are best, but you can also use some solids

In the top picture, I set aside the top three fabrics, because I wasn't sure if they'd work as low volume. When I took the bottom B/W picture the outer two showed as white so they went in my low volume stack, the middle showed as a light grey. These blocks look best with mostly white on white or with solid white/cream as the background.

Pair one med/high volume with one low volume piece. Sew a scant quarter inch seam. It should now measure 2.5" by 4.5". Then pair your pairs together into quadrants (try not to use two med/high volume pieces of the same color in one quadrant). If you have directional prints in your pairs, make sure that you orient them so a med/high volume square is in the bottom left. I iron my seams open, so I like to stick a pin where the two seams meet up. If you're ironing to the side, you can probably skip that and just butt the seams together as you sew. Sew a scant quarter inch seam. Your block should now measure 4.5" by 4.5".

Now pair two quadrants together into a half. Pin at the seams and sew a scant quarter inch. Your block will be 4.5" by 8.5". If you have directional prints, make sure you continue to keep a med/high volume square in the bottom left corner.

Finally, pair the two halves together. Pin at the seams and sew a scant quarter inch seam. Your block will be 8.5" by 8.5". Once again, if using any directional prints, keep the med/high volume square in the bottom left.

It took me less than 30 minutes to make 2.75 blocks (it might take a bit longer if you have to cut fabrics first). Make as many as you'd like, if you have extra pairs, quarters, or halves, save them and make a few more here and there as you sew other things.

While this is for my current guild, the Grand Rapids Modern Quilters, anyone can make these blocks and contribute them to our charity quilts (or just make them for yourself). If you'd like to contribute them, email me and I'll give you my address to send them to ( If you're in the guild, we'll have a box at every meeting that you can put your finished (or partial) blocks in, or you can drop them off with me or Cindy.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Words & Whimsy June 2021 Reading Challenge

Hosted by Words and Whimsy Reading Challenge on Facebook

Theme: Queer as F*ck

Team: Pan-tastic

Final Score: Team -  3rd Place,  6,221 points; Individual - 6th Place, 289 points

Updated: 6/8/2021

Completed: 6/28/2021

20 Points

LGBT Cue: Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur (finished 6/10/21)

Bi-Conic: The Beast by Katee Robert (finished 6/7/21)

Genderal Knowledge: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (finished 6/4/21)

Follow the Rainbow: Love in Color by Bolu Babalola (finished 6/24/21)

10 Points

Let Me Be Perfectly Queer: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (finished 6/17/21)

Show Your Pride: Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas (finished 6/21/21)

Diverse as the Universe: Winter's Orbit by Everina Maxwell (finished 6/28/21)

Sounds Gay, I'm In: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (finished 6/15/21)

5 Point Books

5 Points Per Book With LGBTQ+ Author/Character

1 Point Freebies

Snow White: The Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan (finished 6/7/21)

Instagram Prompts 

Days 1-2: Set Your TBR

Days 3-5: Love is Technicolor (book with a rainbow)

Days 6-8: I'm Coming Out (come out story)

Days 9-11: Hate is Inhuman (show us a love story)

Days 12-14: An Act of Bravery (story about bravery)

Days 15-17: Love Has No Gender (book that represents diverse gender)

Days 18-20: Only Your Spirit Defines You (show your rainbow spirit)

Days 21-23: Gay Rights Are Human Rights (LGBTQ main character)

Days 24-26: Sparkle, Baby (sparkle, glitter, metallics)

Days 27-28: Favorite Book of the Month

Mini Challenge (Completed All)

Set Your TBR

Life is Sweet - make a rainbow dessert

Know Your History - read about the Stonewall Riots

Done, read about it on Wikipedia and in a picture book at my boyfriend's place

Read a 3 Degrees Challenge Prompt

Make a Pride Themed Flag From Books

Complete the Charity Challenge

Show and Tell - watch the Words & Whimsy Pride panel

Tune In - make an LGBTQ inspired playlist

Read a Book By a Trans Author

Recommend a Diverse Read

Charity Challenge

Donated to the Grand Rapids Pride Center and shared to Facebook

Words & Whimsy May 2021 Reading Challenge

 Hosted by Words and Whimsy Reading Challenge on Facebook

Theme: "Folk of the Air"

Team: The Palace of Elfhame

Final Score: Team - 2nd Place, 10,187 points; Individual - Rank 12, 130 points

Updated: 6/8/2021

Completed: 5/28/2021

20 Points

Become Something to Fear: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Since I Can't Be Better, I'll Be Worse: Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

I Don't Take Commands From Mortals: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Nice Things Don't Happen in Story Books: The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

10 Points

I Want To Tell You So Many Lies: Learn My Lesson by Katee Robert

My Villain, My Darling, My God: Jolene by Mercedes Lackey

Crave A Little Violence: The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo

By You, I Am Forever Undone: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

5 Point Books

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (finished after May 28)

5 Points per Author of Asian descent

Instagram Prompts (Completed All)

Days 1-2: Set Your TBR

Days 3-5: He's Flint, You're Tinder

Days 6-8: Love Is a Noble Cause

Days 9-11: Guard Your Mortal Heart

Days 12-14: All Forests Are Magic

Days 15-17: When His Blood Falls, Things Grow

Days 18-20: How Does It Feel To Be Stuck in a Fairy Tale?

Days 21-23: I Am What You Made Me

Days 24-26: Faeries Can't Lie

Days 27-28: Best Book of the Month

Mini Challenge (Completed All)

Set Your TBR

Make a Faerie Door

Design and Name a Crown

Watch a W&W Author Chat


Read a Fae Book

Jolene by Mercedes Lackey

Complete the Charity Challenge


Take Part in a Buddy Read

Read Ariadne by Jennifer Saint with a buddy

Make a Fae Inspired Cocktail

Complete the IG Challenge


Best Book of the Month

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Charity Challenge

Donated to Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC and shared to Facebook