OMG August ’16 Finish

Earlier in the month at the 11th hour I changed my  August ’16 OMG Goal from a kitty quilt to working on a quilt for a friend whose birthday is in October. One problem with writing a revised post at the last minute is that I was not specific about what I wanted to accomplish. For this reason, I don’t want Heidi to include me in the drawing this month for the lovely fat eighths bundle from her Etsy shop. But I am happy to share that I did accomplish the goal was in the my head, to complete the quilt top for my friend. I ended up changing the pattern, so I am no longer calling this project the Midnight Stars quilt, it’s new name is Diamond Stars quilt. Below is a mock-up of the revised design in Quiltography. I really like the middle star that was created when I altered my design.


And below is a pic that shows the middle star of the completed quilt top (along with a few wrinkles I didn’t have time to press out).


Tomorrow my friend and I are going together to ThreadBear where she will pick out the design she wants Michael to quilt. I’m thinking a variegated thread will look really nice on the peacock background.

Linking up to Red Letter Quilts August Finishes.

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Changing my August ’16 OMG Goal (if possible)

What Was I Thinking?

In the post that I wrote on 8/4/16, somehow I thought spending probably a minimum of 20 hours making a kitty quilt that would coordinate with my Terra Australis quilt and decrease the copious amount of cat hair regularly deposited on my bedding (and the rest of the house!) was a good idea. I have come to my senses! Just because I have a surplus of square-in-a-square mini blocks  does not mean that they have to be used in a project right away. I actually sewed one block yesterday for my proposed kitty quilt, and my heart just wasn’t in it. I kept thinking of the lap quilt I’m planning to make for a friend’s birthday in October using fabric from Sarah Watts’ Honeymoon collection that is one of my 2016 Quarter 3 Finish-Along Goals. The pattern I’ll be using is Moda Bake Shop’s Midnight Stars pattern, and since I’m not using a layer cake, I’ll be making the 9.5″ HSTs the traditional way rather than cutting 10″ squares diagonally and sewing triangles of print and background fabric together.


So I’m scrapping the kitty quilt for now. I bought two different fleece throws this morning that should make fine kitty blankets and look decent on my quilt. And I started cutting my fabric for my Midnight Stars quilt which I’m glad I did because I discovered that I need more of my Bella Solids Peacock background fabric. I just placed another order with Fat Quarter Shop (and just HAD to order more yardage of my favorite low-volume fabric, Modern Background Paper Silver on White Notes to use in other projects).

Linking up again with Red Letter Quilts’ OMG It’s August. I don’t know if it is against the rules or not to change our OMG goal, but no matter what, I’ve switched gears and now focusing on my Midnight Stars quilt.





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OMG August ’16 GOAL

After working on it for seven months, I finished the quilt top for my Terra Australis quilt this past weekend. I dropped it off at ThreadBear a couple days ago for Michael to do his exceptional longarm quilting. I had some 4 1/2″ square-in-a-square mini blocks that I decided not to use for a border, but now I plan to use those mini blocks in a 36″ square mini quilt for my cats. I’m hoping they will think it is so special and nifty that they will deposit most of their cat hair on the mini quilt rather than the larger quilt. One can hope–right?

Below is a mock-up of what it will look like. If you want more details, click on my Terra Australis link above.


My August OMG goal is to get this mini quilt completed, and I plan to quilt it myself in my minimalist way.

Linking up to Red Letter Quilts: OMG It’s August.

EDITED: I decided to change my OMG August ’16 goal. Please see my Changing My August ’16 OMG GOAL (if possible) post.

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Terra Australis Quilt Top Finished!

I’ve been working on my Terra Australis quilt for seven months, and I’m thrilled to report that I finished the quilt top yesterday.



I have blogged more about this project than any other project. The posts below include some details about tutorials I followed, but after I made a number of blocks, I started making adaptations to some of the tutorials. A good example of that is the last block I made for this project, Block 25.

Starting on 1/3/16, I wrote about the fabric for this quilt in my Sunday Stash #9-Terra Australis post. On 2/1/16 I wrote my post, 2016-Change in Direction Already where I wrote about the first four blocks that I completed for my Terra Australis quilt. On 3/1/16 I wrote a post called Bee Blocks and More-February ’16 that included information about Blocks 5-8. Blocks 9-13 were blogged about in my March Terra Australis and Bee Blocks post. On 4/25/16 I blogged about Blocks 14 and 15 in my April 2016 Blocks post. I took some time off from this project to complete the Breaking Bad Wall Hanging for my great-nephew, John, and to get ready for Glamp Stichalot in early June in Ann Arbor. After I returned from Michigan, the first quilt-related thing I did was to sew Blocks 16 and 17 blogged about in my Building Blocks Tuesday–Quilting is in My Blood Guest Blogger post. The second weekend in July, I started the final push. Block 18 is referenced in these two posts, Terra Australis July ’16 WIP Update and 2016 Q3 Finish-Along Goals. Then I kicked it into high gear and sewed seven blocks in four days blogged about in my Last Block Laid Out for Terra Australis Quilt post.

Until this past weekend, I was going to make the quilt a little longer than wide by adding a top and bottom border. I made quite a few square-in-a-square mini blocks and even sewed some together.


But I decided not to use that border for a couple of reasons. It became clear that if my sewing was absolutely perfect that the border would be the exact length it needed to be because I had calculated the math. But you can see in the photo above, there are small discrepancies in the mini block size, and I wasn’t going to be able to make it work without be jerry-rigging some corner strips, and I just didn’t want to do that. Plus the bigger this quilt top got, the harder it was to wrangle around my sewing machine and ironing board. And my shoulders started to cuss me out!

So I decided that I could live with a turquoise dot fabric outer border, so the measurement of quilt top is 82″ by 82″. When I actually use the quilt, I will pull it down a little lower on the bed, so I think this size will work perfectly for me.

I want you all to know that the square-in-a-square mini blocks are not going to go to waste. I’m going to use them in a 36″ x 36″ kitty quilt that I will place at the end of my bed to protect the big quilt from the three cats who seem to feel that my bed is their bed. I’m going to use the Moonlight Star block designed by Gerri Robinson which will require that I make more half-square triangles, but by now, I am a HST machine! I created this block in Quiltography, and I like how it looks:


And then I did a mock-up of what nine of these blocks would look like again using Quiltography, and I LOVE the secondary design that is created using these blocks.


For the back of the quilt, I’m just using a three-yard cut of grey prism fabric from BackSide Fabrics. One of the first quilting blogs I started following about two years ago was Yvonne’s Quilting Jetgirl blog, and it was from her blog that I found out about BackSide Fabrics. I love using their 108″ wide fabric and not having to piece a quilt back. And I have to tell you, they are fast! I ordered fabric from them on July 29th, and it was delivered to me clear across the country today, August 1st.

I’m taking my quilt top (I know many of you refer to a quilt top as a “flimsy” but to me that sounds like an insult!) tomorrow to my local quilt store, ThreadBear, to have it long-arm quilted. I bought the binding fabric today, so I hope to start binding the quilt fairly soon after I get it back. And then, when it is all done, I plan to do this quilt justice and photograph it outside with good outdoor lighting. I even have a possible quilt photography site in mind. Then it will be time to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Hopefully we won’t be in the midst of another heat wave!

Linking up to Cooking Up Quilts: Main Crush Monday


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2016 Mid Year Review



I’m joining up with Yvonne@Quilting Jetgirl’s 2016 Mid Year Review. Things have changed A LOT since I wrote my 2016 Goals for Quilting and Blogging post back in December. The major thing that has happened is being diagnosed with bursitis and arthritis in both of my shoulders. I am having to be more selective about the projects I’m involved with, so I have opted out of several projects that I signed up for in December 2015 including the Aurora Star BOM, the Tribal Block Club, and the Fancy Forest BOM hosted by my local quilt store, ThreadBear. The good news is that I have the PDF files and/or patterns and can work on these down road if I choose.

I am keeping up with my online quilting bee commitments but needed to ask for help from a good quilty friend with a complicated paper-piecing block. I’m excited about being Queen Bee in August for both of my online quilting bees, Stash Bee and The Bee Hive. I have blogged about my bee block choice, the Quatrefoil block in My Turn to be Queen Bee.

I completed both of my mini mini swaps this year  and have done a good job not getting sucked into all the Instagram swaps though I have to say the Polaroid block swaps really tempted me.

I did attend both QuiltCon 2016  in Pasadena, California, and Glamp Stitchalot in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I learned so much at both of these events and met so many wonderful quilty friends. When I received the program ahead of time for Glamp Stitchalot and saw that three of the classes were on paper-piecing, I decide to finish the first paper-piecing project I ever attempted which was a small bird-in-a-birdhouse. It made me a little more comfortable with the paper-piecing classes though I am still not what I would call proficient with this piecing technique.


Back in December, I knew that I wanted to sew a quilt for my full-size bed and had planned to sew a simple patchwork quilt using 5″ squares from her Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe collection. But my vision for a quilt for my bed changed on Christmas Day when I opened a present from my best friend that had two one-yard cuts of fabric from Emma Jean Jansen’s Terra Australis collection and a $50 gift certificate to ThreadBear that I used to buy some of the coordinating prints. I fell in love with this fabric and decided to create a 25-block sampler quilt using fabric from this collection with 12 1/2″ unfinished blocks. I have now completed all 25 blocks for my Terra Australis quilt and have added sashing.

image.jpegI am in the process of adding outer borders to increase the size to fit my full-size bed. I hope to take this to Michael at ThreadBear to work his longarm-quilting magic the second week of August.

One other project I mentioned wanting to do when I set my 2016 goals was to sew a Midnight Stars quilt. I was going to use two Black Tie Affair layer cakes but have decided instead to make it using Sarah Watts’ Honeymoon fabric as a birthday gift for my best friend. I’m excited to work on a project with such big half-square triangles and hope it will go together fairly quickly. See my 2016 Quarter 3 Finish-Along Goals for a link to the pattern and a picture of the fabric I’ll be using.

For the time being, I have decided to not quilt anything myself larger than a baby quilt and am not going to worry about increasing my free-motion quilting skills at this time. So the log cabin blocks from my Instagram swap from 2015 will continue to be a UFO. I’m also not worrying about some other 2015 UFOs like my Midnight Mystery quilt (though I may use the Flying Geese in another project).


I am keeping up with my commitment to write at least four posts per month. Blogging is something I really enjoy though I need to work on being more timely in responding to comments.

I still have not made much headway with my quilt photography. It is the aspect of quilting/blogging that I enjoy the least, but I suspect I would like it more if I put more time and energy into planning better quilt photography locations with good outdoor light.

I participated in the 2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop in March and plan to participate in the 2016 Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop September 12-14, 2016. I think the block I have designed will work perfectly with this gorgeous Berry Harvest bundle.

My blog definitely needs some clean-up and reorganization. I’d like to add a Tutorials tab and delete a lot of the tags that I used initially when I first started blogging.

The Last Five Months of 2016

Many other bloggers have talked about the need to increase self-care and have more balance in their lives, and I completely relate. Being consistent with PT exercises, walking and stretching more, and eating more nutritious meals needs to be a priority in the last five months of this year.

Linking up to Quilting Jetgirl’s 2016 Mid Year Review.

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My Turn to be Queen Bee in August

I belong to two online quilting bees, Stash Bee, and The Bee Hive, where each month the designated queen bee gets to choose what block she wants other hive members to sew and send to her by the end of the month. She needs to write a tutorial or provide a link to a tutorial and also provide information about her color preferences. Blocks for Stash Bee can be up to 16.5″ unfinished and should be able to be completed in 1.5 hours or less. Blocks for The Bee Hive need to be one of 25 block tutorials created by Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts or her guest designers. All of these blocks are 12.5″ unfinished. Lucky for me there are no rules against blocks being repeated or having different quilting bees sew the same block as I am the queen bee in August for both of my online quilting bees.

I’m asking my hive-mates in both Stash Bee and Bee Hive to sew the Quatrefoil block designed by Jennie of Clover & Violet. This will be second time my Bee Hive-mates have sewn this block this year. (And the third time for me. It is the first block I sewed for my Terra Australis quilt.) Guess it’s pretty obvious that I love this block!

It’s a fairly easy block to sew though it is really important to look carefully at Jennie’s diagrams to sew each of the corner block subunits correctly (Hint: Even though they look the same, two of the corner block subunits are the mirror image of the other two corner block subunits).

The colors I have chosen are teal, navy, lime green, and low volume fabric. I’ve sewn two example blocks to show color placement:



Below is a pic of a fabric pull using my color choices:


For inspiration, you might also want to check out Sarah Goer’s Swoon blocks. I love her fabric choices for her swoon blocks.

I would prefer tone-on-tone or small-scale modern prints or solids that have some pizazz like Grunge, Painter’s Canvas, and Cross-Hatch, and for the low-volume, I’d like grey or black on white (no cream or any other colors).

I’m really looking forward to getting some fun quilty mail next month and seeing what my hive-mates create.

I’m happy to have met my OMG July 2016 Goal with two whole days left in the month. Linking up to OMG July 2016 It’s Finished.


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Last Block Laid Out for Terra Australis Quilt

Since I’ve become so enamored of Half-Square Triangles (HSTs) in the last six months, I always look with interest at the blog posts from Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts for her Modern HST Sampler. Yesterday I saw that Jess of Elven Garden Quilts posted a tutorial for a block called Introspection. I found this block very striking and thought it would be perfect for the LAST block for my Terra Australis sampler quilt. As of last Friday (July 15th), I had 18 of my 25 blocks sewn. Well, I put it in high gear and have sewed my butt off (unfortunately you can’t really tell!) and finished six more squares.


Rising Star block from AnneMarie Cheney’s Sister Sampler Quilts by Mary


Mosaic No. 5 block from AnneMarie Cheney’s Sister Sampler Quilts by Mary


One of the 60 example blocks in Jeni Baker’s Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle by Mary


Moonlight Star block designed by Gerri Robinson and pieced by Mary


Adaptation of Sunrise Stars block pieced by Mary


Adaptation of Flower Star block pieced by Mary

This morning I started to lay out the Introspection block for Block 25, the last block for my Terra Australis quilt. Below is the layout following Jess’ tutorial:


I like how this block looks, but then I wondered how it would look flipping the outer corners:


I think the last layout fits in well with all my other blocks. I’m not going to sew it until the morning because I make the most STUPID mistakes when I sew when I’m tired. I’m wondering which layout you prefer?

In case you want to take a look at my first 18 blocks, here’s a pic:


Linking up to Celine at Espritpatch  guest blogger for Building Blocks Tuesday hosted by Jen at Quilter in the Closet. I’m also linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday.



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2016 Q3 Finish-Along Goals

I have five projects that I would like to finish the third quarter of 2016 if my shoulders cooperate (now my left shoulder is giving me grief!). The good news is that often sewing is an effective distraction.

The project that I really, really, really want to finish in the next three months is my Terra Australis sampler quilt that I am making for my full-size bed. I have sewn 18 of the 25 blocks. Below is a block I sewed last weekend. So many of the blocks in this quilt have a lot of “pop”, so this block was made to give the eye a place to rest.


And here is a pic of all 18 blocks sewn so far:


The next project is my Birthday Gifts Quilt that is a 30″ x 37″ wall-hanging. It just needs to be trimmed and have the binding sewn on.


My third Q3 goal is a fairly large lap-size quilt that I am hoping to have completed for a friend’s birthday in October. I’ll be using Moda Bake Shop’s Midnight Stars Quilt pattern with some Sarah Watts Honeymoon fabric and a pretty light green Bella Solids background fabric.


The 4th project that I plan to start and finish this quarter is a 24″ Swoon Mini for friends celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this fall using the color scheme below.


My final Q3 goal is to turn these Fancy Foxes into a narrow wall-hanging (all four in a row).


Linking up to 2016 Finish-A-Long Q3 Goals.


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Terra Australis July ’16 WIP Update

I’m finally getting around to writing an updated WIP post for the Terra Australis sampler quilt I am making for my full-size bed. I have made eighteen 12 1/2″ unfinished blocks so far since the first of the year and plan to make seven more for a five-by-five layout. The blocks below are not in any particular order. All of the fabric used for this project except the Kona Shadow background is from Emma Jean Jansen’s Terra Australis and Terra Australis 2 collections. I’ve cited the tutorials I’ve used in posts tagged Terra Australis and/or in Instagram posts. I’ve done a little more making-it-up as I go along with last few blocks I’ve seen, often using Jeni Baker’s eight-at-a-time HST method. I absolutely love her book, Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle, and several of the blocks in my quilt are from Jeni’s book.


I plan to use 2 1/2″ Grey Couture Grunge Sashing strips, which will make the quilt 72″ x 72″. I want this quilt to be a little longer than wider but don’t want to make another row of blocks so I am planning to add a 4″  square-in-a-square border for the top and bottom of the quilt.

I hope to get a couple more blocks done this weekend. The next two I plan to sew are Mosaic #5 and Rising Star from Anne Marie Cheney’s Sister Sampler Quilts book.

Linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict: Whoop Whoop Friday.



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OMG July 2016 Goal

My July 2016 One Monthly Goal should be fairly doable. I want to sew two example blocks for when I am the Queen Bee in August for both of my online quilting bees: The Bee Hive and Stash Bee. I have chosen to use The Bee Hive’s Quatrefoil block in teal, navy, lime, and low volume fabric.


I also need to write a post in Blogger for Stash Bee linking the tutorial and showing photos of fabric and block examples. I will schedule this for August 1st but hope to have it available for my hive-mates for preview by July 30th, so people can get an early start if they want. And I will notify my swarm-mates in The Bee Hive through an email that links to a post on my Quilting is in My Blood blog. I also hope to have that post written by July 30th.

Linking up to Red Letter Quilts: July 2016 OMG Goalsetting .

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