• 31May
    Categories: Everything! Comments: 2


    I actually made this pillow in nine minutes—and, I was taking photos along the way!


    It only required sewing two seams–TWO SEAMS!  This is for an 18″ pillow form.

    First, cut a half yard piece of your chosen fabric, 18″.  I got to thinking if you bought a half yard of fabric, you could skip this step!  And, no, I didn’t add anything for seam allowances, because I like my pillow to fit snugly.


    Take it to the ironing board and press it, getting rid of that fold mark in the middle.


    Now, back to the cutting board.  Lay the fabric facedown, lengthwise, with about 11″ hanging off to the left of your first mark.  Fold that hanging down part over so that the fold is along the first mark on your cutting board.  We’re taking advantage of the selvedges here, so this should be the selvedge without the printing on it.


    Now fold the other half over, making that fold along the 18″ mark.


    Stick some pins in along the top and bottom edges.


    Take it to your machine and sew the two seams!  I went back and forth where the fabrics overlapped.


    Reach in and turn it right side out!


    I use this little wooden gizmo to poke out the corners.


    Press again.


    Stuff in your pillow form and, voila!


    A quick pillow in just 10 minutes—or less!  It even looks good on the back!



  • 05Dec

    A good friend of my sister’s lost her husband a few years ago.  She still had three of his Hawaiian shirts in her closet, and when she saw a quilt made out of old shirts, she knew she wanted to use the Hawaiian shirts for quilts for her three children.  Since she’s not a quilter, Sally put the SOS out to me.  The timing was perfect, as we were going to a retreat at The Wild Rose.

    Sally brought along the shirts and I started unstitching them.


    It was really a bigger job than I thought, but I wanted to make the most of the fabric.  I ended up cutting the shirts into 4-1/2″ squares.  I divided them in thirds and put one stack up on the design wall to balance out the colors.


    I wanted the quilts to be similar, but still different, and I wanted the prints to be the “stars” of the show.  So I decided I would use solids and set the blocks together with sashing and cornerstones.



    It’s a very simple setting, but I think it served its purpose.





    I finished them off with a simple stipple.


    Each shirt had a pocket, so I stitched one to the back of each quilt.


    I was pleased with the way they turned out.


    I’m sure the kids will treasure them.



    If you want the fabric requirements to make one of your own, they’re below.  This is also a great way to show off fussy cut, novelty prints or even photo transfer blocks.

    Hawaiian Shirt Quilt


    1 Hawaiian shirt (I got enough squares from each shirt to do one quilt, but I mixed them up for interest)

    7/8 yard cornerstones and inner border fabric

    2-1/4 yards sashing and outer border

    4 yards backing

    From the Hawaiian shirts cut 80) 4-1/2″ squares

    From the cornerstone/inner border fabric, cut 10) 2-1/2″ strips.  Cut four strips into 2-1/2″ squares for cornerstones. Use remaining squares for inner border.

    From the sashing/outer border fabric cut 18) 2-1/2″ strips; crosscut into 142) 4-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ rectangles for the sashing.  Then cut 7) 4-1/2″ strips for the border

    Cut the backing into two equal pieces.

    I pulled the backing around to the front of the quilts and machine stitched for the binding.





  • 31Aug

    I recently harvested a lot of lavender from my garden.  It’s all dried and clean, so it must be time to make some sachets!  It’s so easy and they’re perfect to tuck into closets and drawers—and to give away as little gifts.


    I make these in two parts—a little muslin bag and a sachet pillow from the pretty fabric!  First, I make a little pouch to contain the lavender and cedar shavings.  This can be any fabric.  I generally use muslin, but it’s a great way to use up some scraps or ugly fabric, as it won’t be seen when the sachet is finished.  Cut a piece 5-1/2″ by 11″


    Fold it…


    …and stitch down the two long sides.  This is a perfect project for assembly line sewing!


    I use both cedar shavings and lavender in my sachets.  I got the cedar shavings at the local hardware store in the pet department.  I think they’re used for hamster bedding!  They smell great, though, and are a great deterrent for moths.  In the studio I have a little doll’s tea set, so I used a cup from that.  I’d say it’s about a quarter cup.  I used four scoops of cedar shavings and one of lavender.


    The bags are cut a little oversized so it’s easy to sew them closed.  I sewed with about an inch seam allowance.


    Then, to reduce bulk when I put it in the sachet pillow, I trim away the extra.


    All done with this step!


    Now it’s time to pick some pretty fabric.  I bought this beautiful piece in Sweden this summer.  To make the sachet pillow, you need one piece 4-1/2″ x 5-1/5″ and two pieces 3-1/4″ x 5-1/2″.


    You need to finish one long side of each of the smaller pieces.  To do this, press over 1/4″, then press again—another 1/4″.


    Take the pieces to your machine and stitch down.


    Now place one of the hemmed pieces on the 4-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ piece, lining up raw edges.  The hemmed edge will be in the middle.


    Take the other small piece and do the same thing, lining it up with the remaining raw edges.


    At this point, you could pin, but I don’t.  Just take this to your machine and sew around all four sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance.


    Trim the corners.  This makes it easier to get nice, sharp edges when you turn the pillow right sides out.


    Open the little pillow at the hemmed edge and turn right sides out.


    Push out the corners and press.


    Now it’s time to insert the little muslin bag.  Just slip it one edge of the pillow cover.


    Then tuck it up under the remaining side!


    You may have to wiggle it a little bit to get it to lay in there nicely, but that’s it, that’s all there is to it!


    You have a pretty little sachet!


    When I’m making them for gifts, I like to put two together with a pretty ribbon.


    You can use any kind of fabric for these.  Home dec fabric works great.  Here’s some hand woven fabric that I bought at a handcraft shop in Sweden.


    I hope you’ll try making some of these—and send me photos when you do!




  • 22Mar

    It’s the beginning of a new season and that means a new block for my Facebook page A Quilt Block A Day!  The page is fun to follow.  The idea is that even if you’re too busy to make a new quilt, you should be able to find time to make at least one quilt block a day.  At the end of the quarter, you’ll have about 90 quilt blocks!  Not everyone makes a block a day.  Some do seven a week, or a handful when they find the time, but it’s still fun.  I always do a tutorial for the new block and during the quarter I post lots of inspiration—and so do those who follow the page.  So, click on over to the Facebook page and click “Like” so you can follow all the fun, too!

    This time, the block is the Chevron.  There are many ways to make a chevron quilt.  You can do it with triangles or rectangles, it can be scrappy or planned, the rows can be the same width or different widths.  This is my favorite way–with a skinnier accent row and triangles, and it couldn’t be easier!  It’s easy to do with scraps or yardage.  I had a lot of Halloween fat quarters that I’ve collected over the years, so that’s what I’ve used here, and that’s how the tutorial is written.  At the bottom, I’ll give additional instructions for scraps.


    You will need an assortment of fat quarters and an accent fabric.

    From the fat quarter, cut a 4-1/2″ x 22″ strip.

    From the accent fabric, cut a few 2-1/2″ x 44″ strips.  Cut them in half to match your fat quarters.

    Stitch them together with a 1/4″ seam.  Press.


    Cut into 6-1/2″ segments.


    Lay your blocks out so they form a zigzag design.  That’s it!  I told you it was easy!


    Since these blocks are set on point, you’ll eventually need side-setting and corner triangles.  This can be the same as the accent fabric or a different fabric.

    For the side setting triangles, cut squares 9-3/4″ and cut them in half twice diagonally.

    For the corner triangles, cut squares 5-1/4″ and cut them in half once diagonally.


    You can make your zigzags vertical, like I did in my Halloween quilt, or horizontal, like the quilt below that I did for our local Loyalty Day celebration.  You’ll also notice that the Halloween quilt is “controlled scrappy,” meaning I used many different prints, but kept the colors the same in each row.  The Loyalty Day quilt uses the same fabric in each row.  Oh, the possibilities!


    I hope you’ll try this, join the Facebook group and post pictures of your progress!

    If you’re not using fat quarters, cut your accent pieces 2-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ inches and your main fabrics 4-1/2″ x 6-1/2″.

    For the Loyalty Day quilt, I used two 4-1/2″ x 42″ strips for each row.

  • 14Feb
    Categories: quilting Comments: 13

    I’m so excited!  I just discovered an amazing way to make scrappy Four-Patch blocks lickety-split!  All of the blocks end up different, and you really only have to measure once!

    You start with squares of any size.  That’s right, it doesn’t matter what size your squares are!  For this tutorial I used 5″ squares, because I had a little packet of them.


    Place two squares, right sides together.  I tried to match a dark with a light, but some were medium, so I just let them pair up randomly.

    Sew down BOTH sides.  I fed a lot of pairs through my machine at one time, doing first one side, then doing the other side of the stack.


    Now slice them in half through the middle.  Since my squares were 5″, I sliced at 2-1/2″ but, remember, any size square will work, just find half, and slice!


    Open the pieces up and press toward the dark–if you have a dark!


    Do this will all your squares.


    Now sew them together as shown below…


    …all of them!


    Once you have them all sewn together, slice a 2-1/2″ piece off one end.  Set this two-patch aside.  You only have to measure this first one.  After this, the magic begins!


    Flip the short piece over…


    …and use it as a guide for your next cut!


    There’s your first Four-Patch!


    See!  Now just keep going, flipping and cutting, until you get to the end.  At the end, you’ll have a two-patch, which you can sew together with your first cut piece.

    From my charm pack, I was able to make this little quilt.  I thought the brown in there added a little interest.


    Try this method and let me know what you think!

  • 01Jan

    It’s time for another Quilt Block A Month.  You can join the fun by ‘liking” the page on Facebook.

    The block for this quarter is the Spool Block.  It offers a lot of options and is quick and easy to piece.  If you do just one block a day, you’ll have a 78 blocks finished before the first day of spring!


    This is a great way to use your scraps.  All you need is: 2) 2-1/2″ x 7-1/2″ brown rectangles, 4) 1-1/2″ light squares, 2) 1-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ light rectangles and a 5-1/2″ center square—either plain or pieced.  I like using a stripe because it looks like thread wrapped around the spool.


    Some people like to mark their squares with a diagonal pencil line when doing sew-and-flip corners, but I just finger press them–quick and easy!

    Add a square to opposite ends of the brown rectangle.

    Stitch, trim and press.  Note:  I didn’t trim the background fabric away.  It makes it a bit bulky, but I also think it stabilizes it.  Your choice!  Do this with both brown rectangles.

    Add the white rectangles to the sides of the 5-1/2″ square.

    Now add the brown rectangles to the top and bottom, making sure the light areas match up.  Voila!  You have a spool block!  The unfinished block is 7-1/2″ x 9-1/2″.

    Now, here’s where the fun comes in.  You can do all kinds of things with the center square.  You could sew 5) 1-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ strips together to make it look like thread wrapped around your spool.


    How about using random width strips on an angle to represent the thread?  I foundation pieced this.


    Do you save selvedges?  This is a great place to use them!

    Here are the four sample blocks I made.  I’ll play with setting possibilities when I have more finished.


    They do make an interesting design when set next to each other.  You get some secondary action going on!


    I hope you’ll join us!