Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Announcement and DCMQG 2016 Quilt-Along Update

So it may have seemed like I've dropped off the face of the earth for a bit, and in some ways, you may be right. I have been growing a human (i.e. I'm pregnant with number two). My first trimester always takes it out of me both in terms of nausea and loss of energy/motivation to do much of anything. So I've had to table the Quilt Along for a bit. However, fear not, it will be back along with my motivation after the stress of the holidays is done. We just won't quite finish it in 2016, and I have to say, I'm very sorry about that!

I leave you with an image of the blob, taken a few weeks ago, as a consolation:

Monday, October 24, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 23

Block 23
We are moving on to our second applique block and our third theme block. I'm not sure what I'd call this one, because I don't remember where I got the original idea for it, and then I changed it a bit for the queen sized block and quite a lot for the baby quilt version.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 22

Block 22
Yes, we're skipping Block 21, you didn't miss one. I could have gone back and renumbered everything, but I'm lazy. So we're skipping the lone star for now, otherwise you'll probably never get another block. So, here we go. We will continue on with applique, in this case Orange Peels. There are many ways of doing applique, we'll focus on rough edge, machine-sewn applique. But I'll provide links to a few other ways as well.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WIP Wednesday

Blogging more regularly is definitely at the top of my list of things I want to work on. So here is my official WIP Wednesday post as it's now 12:00 am EST. :)

So I've been working on my mini Diabolical Jane and I finished cutting all of the fabric for the front this weekend and started putting together the panels.

I started sewing together the panels and have the bottom panel done completely with the one left portion of the row attached.

I also started working on my Sunnyside HST quilt, but decided to rip apart the one block I actually had done and trim the HSTs down by about 1/4". I went to trim more of the HSTs and several of them were just too small to trim to 4.5" square. I also decided that I was going to make all the same block instead of following the Layer Cake Sampler QAL.

And finally, here's the baby quilt version of my DCMQG 2016 QAL. I decided to put it up on my design wall to see how it's coming along and where the gaps still are. The next block will fill in a good portion of that large gap at the top right.

Friday, September 9, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 20

Block 20

We are moving on to wonky (improv) stars. Both 3x3 grid and 5x5 grid. No specific inspiration for these. I'll show you how I created my layout and encourage you to create your own, otherwise you can just follow my cutting instructions.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Unf***ing my Life

Summer hiatus is just about over. I've been doing my best to turn over a new leaf as far as decluttering and cleaning is concerned. I've been reading What's a Disorganized Person to Do? by Stacey Platt. I've also been doing better about using my Quilt Planner and various other tools to keep on track with things. Next up, keeping a list of blog posts I owe you guys. By the way, I have Block 20 for the QAL all ready to go, I just need to write it up for Friday. So check back around noon EST on Friday for that.

As back story, I used to have my very own craft room (when we didn't have guests, which was most of the time). So this is what it used to look like:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 19

Block 19

I'm back! This block is based off of a block called Alleyways by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr in Modern Blocks. I've made a few adjustments to it. This is our first block using improv piecing and also our first block using a foundation.

Cutting Instructions
Queen Sized:
Background: (1) 2.5" x 12.5"
Background: (2) 2.5" x 5.5"
Prints: strips at least .75" wide and 5.5" long (I used selvages from my fabrics, you'll want longer strips if you want to go across the diagonal)

The white is my background, the selvages are my Prints.

Baby Quilt:
Background: (1) 1.5" x 6.5"
Background: (2) 1.5" x 3"
Prints: strips at least .75" wide and 3" long

Piecing Instructions

You have several options here. I decided to work with selvages and I like paper piecing, so I cut out (4) 5.5" x 5.5" (3" x 3") squares out of paper to use as a foundation. If you're using selvages, I highly encourage you to use paper, since it will stabilize your selvages and not add bulk to an already bulky patchwork. You could also use pieces of light fabric, like muslin, as a foundation, or just improv piece fabrics to at least 5.5" (3") squares and trim down. The (4) 3" squares for the baby quilt will fit on one piece of paper, the (4) 5.5" squares for the queen sized quilt will require four pieces of paper (or if you're not as picky as I am, you can just cut the paper in half and then draw a line 5.5" up from the bottom, it'll be close enough and we'll be trimming later anyway).

I'll show you how I work with selvages and then I'll show you what I did for the baby quilt. For the selvages, I generally cut mine at about 2" from the edge when I start a new fabric and save it. Take one piece, and lay it so the selvage part is off the edge of your foundation paper or just use a scrap piece of fabric for the start.

Take the next piece and overlap the join of the selvage (where it meets the rest of the fabric) just a little bit with the piece underneath. Note: make sure your thread is something that matches your selvage, as you'll be able to see the seams. Also, set your stitch length to about 1 or 1.5 before you start sewing, this will make it easier to remove the paper afterwards. Now sew along the join and again about 1/8" from the outside edge of the selvage. The image below is just designed to show you roughly how much overlap you want for your second piece. You'll want to make sure that your selvage overlaps both ends of the paper before you sew. In my case, I moved it up just a little.

Continue doing this until your entire foundation is covered then trim roughly a 1/4" from the edge of your foundation. If you're using paper, now is the time to remove the paper from the back, give it a quick press and then trim from the front (if you want to make sure that all of your fussy cut selvages are nicely centered, otherwise you can trim from the back as well).

If you would like to use strips of scrap fabric instead of selvages, here's what I did for the baby quilt...

I decided I wanted the fabric to run on the diagonal, so I drew a line down the diagonal on all four foundation papers. This line is just there to remind you to keep the fabrics more or less going in that direction. Then starting at one corner, I took a piece of fabric to cover the end with a little bit of overlap.

Then I took a strip of fabric, put right sides together and sewed a seam a 1/4" from the edge (remember to set your stitch length to 1-1.5 if you're using paper). Your edge doesn't have to be perfect, but should be straight enough so you can use it as a guide for your seam.

Continue adding strips until you've covered the entire foundation, remove the paper, press, and trim to size.

Once you've got all four of your squares done, lay out your block.

Sew together the sides and then sew the sides to the center strip. In this case, I pressed towards the center cross, since the seams were so bulky, especially with the selvages.

Here is the finished queen sized block with selvages.

And here is the finished baby quilt block:

Completed block size:
Queen sized: 12.5" x 12.5"
Baby quilt: 6.5" x 6.5"

Several other options:
  • You could use irregularly sized pieces where the top or bottom is narrower than the other side for a more varied look, like this.
  • You could improv piece anything for the corners.
  • You could make four spiderweb blocks and run your background along the diagonals in between the sections.
  • You could improv a large piece (at least 11" square for the queen sized and at least 6" square for the baby quilt) and then slice and insert the background any which way.
Alleyways Quilt:

Germany - Part 2

Ok, here's part two of our epic Germany trip. :) You can find Part 1 here.

Richard got sick Sunday night before we left, Eric got sick Monday night, so I ended up letting him sleep in on Tuesday and then we had a leisurely morning at Andrea's parents' place. Gave the midget a much needed bath and got clean ourselves. We finally set off for Bamberg after lunch. We were going to drive up to the castle but ended up getting lost in the tiny little cobblestone alleys and so we decided to turn around and park where we could. That ended up being at the tourist information center parking garage.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Germany - Part 1

I've you've been wondering about the radio silence in recent weeks, here's why...

My hubby, the midget and I were in Germany for two weeks to visit my extended family. We had an absolute blast, minus the traveling itself and the fact that all three of us got chest colds. Here are a few picture highlights of our trip (well, part 1 anyway):

In the train from Zuerich, Switzerland to Frick, Switzerland, which we weren't even supposed to be on. So there's a story behind this... thanks to traveling with a baby on an overnight flight (during which he slept for at least 4-5 hours and we did not sleep at all) we had a lot of luggage, including his stroller and car seat. So the idea was to get a rental car, which I'd reserved, and then drive the hour to my grandmother's house. We get to the counter, with our cart and the stroller only to find out that we needed a card that actually said "Credit" on it, because unlike the U.S. where most people will run your Debit card as Credit, and despite having a bunch of money sitting in that account to cover any incidental costs like the rental car, they wouldn't run it. My husband had brought his actual Credit card, but because we only had a $500 limit on it, and the rental car company wanted a deposit, the card wouldn't go through. We were exhausted, our kid was cranky, and I'm pretty sure I nearly cried. Long story short, we ended up on a train instead with all our luggage, but we made it.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 18

Block 18

This is the second theme block. I will be showing you how to make a corn block (farm stand) and another ship block (travel).

Remember, this is the harder patchwork theme block.  When choosing a pattern for your own theme block, try to choose something that uses the more advanced patchwork techniques we've been working on, HRTs, QSTs, and so on. This block will be 12.5" square, so it should be relatively easy to find an existing pattern that might work. However, if you want some help picking something or brainstorming ideas, I'm available on Facebook, Instagram, and of course via email at

Saturday, May 7, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 17

Block 17

This is the box kite block, based on Angela Pingel's block in Modern Blocks. Her block uses templates, we're going to be taking a stab at Half Rectangle Triangles (HRTs). This is the first block where the baby quilt block is not just a simplified half-sized version of the queen sized block. The queen sized block also has some optional partial seams practice.

Friday, April 22, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 16

Block 16

Moving right along to our QST Heart. I believe the inspiration for this came from Gypsy Wife by Jen Kingwell, but I made it quite a bit bigger.

Friday, April 15, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 15

Block 15

So I know I took inspiration for this block from somewhere, but I also know that I made some changes to make this my own design. Which means that I am calling this the QST Star, because I'm really creative like that (I save most of my creativity for quilt designing and hardly ever name my quilts anything interesting).

Thursday, April 7, 2016

DCMQG QAL - Small Hiatus

I've had to take a small hiatus from posting blocks once a week for the QAL. This week's block will either be late, or not happen either. Between visits from my mother:

At the playground

Blowing dandelions while daddy is doing yard work

Cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin

And making three quilts in the last month (individual blog posts once I get my act together):

I've been pretty slammed, and ran right through all the blocks I'd made ahead of time.

Take some time to catch up on your blocks (or get started) and I'll be back with the next block either on Sunday or next Friday.

I'll leave you with a picture of my kiddo helping me paper piece one of the stars in the space quilt:

Friday, March 25, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 14

Block 14

We have come to what I like to call the Lattice block. It's based on a block called Pogo Stick by Jessica Brown that can be found in Modern Blocks: 99 Blocks from Your Favorite Quilt Designers. This is sew and slice block and another good test of your precision piecing.

Friday, March 18, 2016

DCMQG 2016 QAL - Block 13

Block 13

We're moving on to the Disappearing 9-patch. First of our sew and slice blocks. This is a very quick and fun block to make, so enjoy!