maggie's first dance - borders, assembly, finish!

It's the last month of the Maggie's First Dance quilt along! This month's free pattern from Jacquelynne Steves includes directions for the center assembly and borders. Super easy. Super quick. The grey floral border is Strawberry Biscuit by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose Fabrics. For the backing, I used one of my favorite mini strawberry prints from Holly Holderman's Lakehouse, and then a pink and grey plaid binding from Pam Kitty Morning (this is proof that Pam Kitty Morning fabrics go with virtually everything!). It was quilted by Kaylene Parry with an overall design called Curly Twirly. (Kaylene is the nicest quilter with high quality edge-to-edge work, fast turnaround time and reasonable prices. See her patterns and pricing on Pinterest here.)

I hope that you've enjoyed the sew along and will soon have a finished quilt of your own. If you haven't started yet, sign up for Jacquelynne Steves' newsletter here.

This month's giveaway is a Clearly Perfect Angles pack courtesy of New Leaf Stitches. Just leave a comment below. The giveaway is open to all US and international readers, and it will close at midnight on November 14.  And as always, make sure that I'm able to reach you if you're the winner! Visit New Leaf Stitches here to check out Kari's notions, patterns and more.

AND A BIT OF HOUSEKEEPING! I'm so sorry to be late to announce the winner of the First Blush giveaway from two weeks ago. The winner is Missy Shay. She'll receive a bundle of First Blush fabric and the coordinating Aurifil thread. Missy likes Snickers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Good choices, right? (I actually have a hard time choosing a favorite candy. Peeps? Sno-Caps? Junior Mints? Goo Goo clusters? I'm not too picky, but I do have some odd favorites!) Anyway... congratulations to Missy!

quiltmaker's 100 blocks volume 12 - my block! plus giveaway!

Y'all know that I love to sew. I could sew 12 hours a day if I really had the time. And I love fabric too. In my head, I'm always designing a fantasy fabric collection. That's a dream. But I never thought of myself as a pattern designer.

And then came an email from Pam Kitty Morning. Why don't I design a block and submit it to Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 12?

What?! Me design a block? I didn't even know if it was possible. And yet, it was an intriguing idea. I procrastinated for months. Then it was nearly deadline time. In a flurry of activity, I sketched out a block, stitched it up and mailed it to Quiltmaker with my application. I waited (im)patiently for months. Would they like it? Was it good enough?

And there it is in print! I am SO EXCITED to present my block, #1183 East Side Rose!

It's actually a really simple block to construct, with LOTS of stitch-and-flip corners. Let me tell you about my inspiration.

East Side Rose was inspired by my great love of classic rose gardens. There have been many, many visits to the Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden over the past several years. Roses have amazing velvety petals, and intense (or sometimes non-existent) scent. The gigantic bees love them. And their names are quirky, like the pink Linda McCartney rose shown above. Would you believe that there's a Betty Boop rose? How about a Betty White rose? Bob Hope? And then there are the diminutive climbing roses from the mid 1800's. Always such a variety.

I sketched out my rose on graph paper while in a hotel room, and then colored it while on a plane. Oddly, nobody thinks it's strange when I start coloring from my tiny seat in row 34. (There is not enough space on those tray tables for a drink AND colored pencils, so I sit with art supplies in my lap and hope I don't drop anything.)

My original block was sewn using Pam Kitty Garden fabric which perfectly replicated the roses of the garden - bright, happy, clear colors. But once I learned that my block was being published, I realized that I had used up those prints! So I started to think of the softer shades of roses - the ivories, pinkish apricots and faded reds - and they were all there, in my stash of assorted Fig Tree fabrics.

How about a more intense, all red rose?

While East Side Rose is fairly easy to construct (each petal is constructed almost identically, but there are 32 petals), it will take some time to put it together because of all the pieces. The instructions in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 12 are very simple to follow. I thought it might be helpful to show how I pressed my seams.

I pressed the seams between each petal OPEN. Then after joining each row of petals to the center, I pressed the whole seam to the outside of the block. This will give you a nice flat block.

The inspiration for the block name? When I submitted the block in February, I lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Hence the "East Side." But since then I have relocated to the Midwest. I'm now living on the North side of a town in Southwestern Indiana. Got that?! LOL

Thanks to the editors for choosing my block. I'm humbled and proud to be in the magazine. And many thanks to Pam Kitty Morning for believing that I could really do this. (Pam is in the issue, too... she's been in all of them! And her Hollyhocks block would look perfect paired with mine.) The issue is on newsstands and quilt shops this week. Or you can order a print or digital copy here.


The editors of Quiltmaker Magazine have graciously provided a copy of the magazine as a giveaway prize. Just leave me a comment letting me know your favorite flower by Friday, November 20 midnight Central (hey, your favorite flower might inspire my next block design!) and I will pick a winner on Saturday, November 21. Be sure that I can reach you, as I'll need the winner's name and address by Monday.

And for even more GIVEAWAYS - visit Quiltmaker Magazine's Quilty Pleasures blog to see what they have for you, as well as links to the other designers on the blog tour. 

fat quarter baby blog tour!

The Fat Quarter Baby blog tour begins today! Fat Quarter Baby is the first baby quilt book by It's Sew Emma for Fat Quarter Shop. The book features 20 crib-sized quilts, perfect for baby... as well as for grown-up babies! There are ten quilts for baby girls, and ten quilts for baby boys. Any of them could easily be made larger by adding more blocks.

I chose to make "Laura" because it's full of STRAWBERRIES. I think that my strawberry fabric obsession is well documented. So here's Laura:

It's just five large, appliqued strawberries and four 4-patches. I knew right away that I'd be using Fog City Kitty and Sunrise Studio fabrics with all those ripe strawberries. So, I have strawberry printed strawberries - I think that makes these double strawberries? This quilt needs just 9 fat quarters, some background fabric and a tiny bit of accent fabric. You'll even have plenty of leftover fabric! (I think that I could probably have made two of these quilts with the unused fabric.)

My applique skill is still a work in progress, but I'm learning. Luckily, Lori Holt showed three applique techniques on her blog a few weeks ago. I opted for the lightweight, non-fusible Pellon method, and it was super easy. I even had fun making the strawberries!

I stitched them to the backing fabric by hand. I do like to just sit down and quietly stitch before bedtime. (Now if could just find somebody to thread those miniscule straw needles for me...ugh!) Or you could easily applique them by machine, too.

Add a few little speedily pieced stems and leaves and you're done!

"Laura" was a super-speedy quilt to make - it took me just a few days to piece and applique the top. 

Check out the other bloggers on the tour - in the next few days, they'll show you the other 19 quilts in the Fat Quarter Baby book. You'll want to make all of them! I'm also a bit partial to the whale and bowtie quilts for boys (in other words, I want my own bowtie quilt!), and the tiara quilt for girls. Get the whole scoop and links to the other bloggers on the Jolly Jabber blog here. The Fat Quarter Baby book is in stock and can be ordered here.  The fabrics that I used are Fog City Kitty by Pam Kitty Morning and Sunrise Studio by Holly Holderman. You'll find them all here by the yard. And finally, there will be a Laura quilt kit, featuring Fig Tree's upcoming collection, Strawberry Fields Revisited (I love this collection!). The kit will be available in January here

Thanks for visiting with me today! I'll be back on Wednesday with... my first published quilt pattern in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 12! I can't wait to share my block with you, and there will be a little giveaway, too.

single wedding ring quilt

Hi everybody! I'm back today, blog hopping with Fat Quarter Shop and their new Single Wedding Ring pattern!

When I first started quilting, I fell in love with traditional and vintage quilt blocks. My style has evolved over the years, but my heart will always belong to those classic block designs. The Single Wedding Ring pattern is one of my favorites.

In fact, I like this block so much that I purchased a vintage Single Wedding Ring quilt in Newport, RI many years ago. I loved the happy 1930's feedsack prints and the lilac sashing. But sadly, I didn't realize that it wasn't in very good condition (I was too new to quilting, and I was blinded by the fact that it was a vintage quilt!) and it didn't survive. Actually, none of the dry cleaners in my neighborhood would clean it, and it fell apart when I washed it, revealing a blanket used as batting. And so, now I've recreated that quilt, in modern-vintage fabrics by Pam Kitty Morning.

I started with Pam Kitty Garden fat quarters in the Aster colorway. Then I added assorted white backgrounds, also from the Pam Kitty Garden collection. Next, it was time to make half-square-triangles. Each block needs 16 HSTs, and I chose to make the lap quilt with 12 blocks. That's 192 HSTs, a nice, manageable number. I trimmed a few each night as I cooked dinner.

They're cute, right? Like candy.  And then there's just a simple assembly and you get the block!

pink block 2.jpg

Now make as many blocks as you'd like, and add simple sashing and a matching border.

The Single Wedding Ring block measures 13" square (12 1/2" finished). The block pattern is a FREE download and is available here. If you'd like yardage and instructions to make a quilt in a variety of sizes, there is a low-cost, downloadable pattern available here. Kimberly Jolly has a fun tutorial video on YouTube, and she demonstrates an alternate way to construct the HSTs. You can watch it here. (I made my HSTs using the method shown on the pattern.) Make the Single Wedding Ring quilt as a gift for a newlywed couple, in fabrics to match their décor. Or make it for yourself JUST BECAUSE!  There's also a beautiful kit using the new Whitewashed Cottage fabric by 3 Sisters for Moda, perfect for those of you who love romantic, cottage-y quilts (I myself have been known to stalk the Shabby Chic store in SoHo, and one day I will make a pale quilt for myself!)

If you make the quilt using a fat quarter bundle like I did, you will have PLENTY of leftover fabric for other projects. Add that fabric to your stash to make more scrappy vintagey quilts. You all know how much I like making bright, happy, controlled scrappy quilts. And look how nicely this Single Wedding Ring coordinates with some other recent finishes!

Thanks for visiting, and have fun making your very own Single Wedding Ring block!

butterflies with blogger's choice bundle

Thank you all SO much for the Greg Jones Blogger's Choice Bundle love! I've enjoyed reading all your comments. And for those of you who purchased the bundle, thank you, thank you (you can get yours here). The GIVEAWAY will remain open until the end of this week, so you still have time to enter. Here's a link to the GIVEAWAY post.  

Ok, so now what to sew? Actually, I had one specific quilt in mind when I chose these fabrics. It's the Painted Ladies quilt pattern by Fig Tree & Co. I'm using the full-sized pattern with 7" butterflies, but there is also a mini version available.

I bought this pattern when it was released a few years ago, and it's been waiting for the perfect fabric. And then in November I had a run-in with a whole big bunch of butterflies.

I met my butterfly friends at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. They were in their own butterfly pavilion. And they clung to visitors, landing on people's arms, legs and heads. (The butterfly show was apparently so popular that tickets were issued on a timed basis. While awaiting our turn, we visited the Hope Diamond, which has been reset into a new necklace.) I said goodbye to the butterflies (really) and I knew that I needed to finally make the Painted Ladies quilt. I kept that in mind while selecting the fabrics for the fat quarter bundle.


It's nice to have a really easy quilt block to work on. No need to worry about cutting off any points here! I added the grey gingham butterfly bodies from my stash, but otherwise, I'm using every print and solid fat quarter from the blogger's choice bundle. I bought yardage of the white dot for my background.

I love this blue Wildflower Meadow print by Melly & Me with little hummingbirds and Queen Anne's Lace flowers. Kinda perfect for a butterfly quilt!

It's funny that I'm sewing butterflies, because as I write this, NYC is just beginning to feel THE blizzard. Will we really get 30" of snow? I hope so! Bring on the snow!

blogger bundle GIVEAWAY!


Yes, yes, yes! It's my first GIVEAWAY ever! I'm so proud to introduce you to the Greg Jones Blogger's Choice Fat Quarter Bundle for Fat Quarter Shop!

I was excited when Fat Quarter Shop asked me if I'd like to curate a collection of fabric. Actually, that's a huge understatement. I was completely over-the-moon excited! It's the closest that I've gotten to my "gee wouldn't it be fabulous to be a quilt fabric designer" dream. So here it is, my first group of fabrics just for you! 

My goal was to put together a collection that would give you the full Grey Dogwood Studio fabric experience. I try to incorporate dots, plaids, florals, and an occasional novelty print into every quilt project. And in the past year I've been experimenting with white-on-white and colored backgrounds. They really do add a whole new layer of interest to quilts. So of course, we needed some of those fabrics for you.

Here we have three of my favorite Moda Bella Solids in Fuchsia, 30's Yellow and Amelia Green, atop a classic white-on-white dot by Sunrise Studio / Lakehouse. Pure vintage color, just like the quilt that I WISH I would find at the flea market or antique shop.

I added in 11 brand new fabrics from Just Dreamy 2 by Zoe Pearn for Riley Blake, Pam Kitty Morning for Lakehouse Dry Goods and Wildflower Meadow by Melly & Me for Riley Blake.

Ok, so here's my little insider secret that won't be a secret anymore. I chose these fabrics by scouring/stalking the designer's websites, because the fabrics hadn't even been printed yet. And I had to just hope that they'd all work together. When the first blogger bundle arrived from Fat Quarter Shop last week I just couldn't believe how beautiful they are and how well they all play together. I've already started to cut mine up and very soon I'll show you a butterfly quilt that I'm working on.

I hope that you like it as much as I do. I hope that you hop over to Fat Quarter Shop to pick up your Greg Jones Blogger's Choice Fat Quarter Bundle. (And don't forget that it's ok to buy yourself a Valentine's Day gift!)

And those lovely people over at Fat Quarter Shop have given me an extra blogger bundle to give away! All you need to do is leave me a comment here (not an email) and let me know what you would make with this bundle. No need to do anything tricky, although, of course, I'd love it if you choose to follow me via Bloglovin' or subscription (links on top right column) or even over on Instagram (I'm greydogwoodstudio). Easy, right? And make sure that your email address is included when you comment so that I can notify the winner. I'll leave the giveaway open until Saturday, January 31 midnight EST. (UPDATE - GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.)

playing dressmaker

Nine happy, springy dresses are all sewn into the quilt center! The best part has been coming up with each color combination. Really, it's hard to go wrong with these Pam Kitty Garden prints. I love how the For The Frill Of It pattern requires NO sashing! The blocks all nest together perfectly with no seams to match. Love that.

And now it's border time. The pattern has a scalloped, postage stamp style border. I'm just trying to decide on my fabrics so I can get them ordered! Aqua? Pink? Red? Decisions! The kit features red, white and blue borders... but I might go with pink and fuchsia. Or maybe scrappy? 

At least my dresses aren't all black, like the dresses that I saw on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in NYC this past weekend. Let me explain.

Death Becomes Her features a century of dresses, accessories, illustrations and photos related to mourning. Thirty outfits are displayed, representing the impact of fashion on mourning attire from 1815 to 1915. It was fascinating to learn about the informal rules governing how women dressed, starting with simple black crepe and gradually adding touches of white, grey, lilac and embellishment. There were even shops that sold only mourning apparel and accessories! Mourning gowns worn by Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra are included. The exhibit runs through February 1. (It's actually been there for a few months, but who wants to see mourning gowns during Christmas happiness?!)

for the frill of it

It's finally here! I am so excited that the new Pam Kitty Garden fabric has arrived!

How perfect is this? The colors and patterns seamlessly coordinate with all the previous collections by Pam Kitty Morning. But now she's added AQUA to the lineup. I love those cute little bluebirds with umbrellas. (I'm sure that they are singing in the rain.) And then there's the vintage seed catalog with an overprint of flowers and tiny strawberries. The plaid will be the perfect binding fabric. Pam Kitty Garden comes in two colorways, Aster (aqua/red/yellow) and Pansy (navy/pink/green).

Ok, so now what to make with it?

How about For The Frill Of It by It's Sew Emma?

This pattern features 9 dresses in two different styles - a wrap top and a sundress. Maybe if Diane Von Furstenberg made dresses in Pam Kitty Morning's fabric they would look like this. (Or maybe I'm just crazy, or perhaps I've been overly influenced by Diane's reality tv show "House of DVF" that just wrapped last week. Haha. Get it?)

Where was I before that digression?!

Oh, the other dress! It's a sundress.

As I was sewing the sundresses, I cracked up at how funny the partially completed blocks were... see, it looks like I was making something else, right?

sundresses 2.jpg

I used a solid Kona White background for all my blocks. The plainness feels fresh right now. Most of my recent quilts have had print or white-on-white backgrounds.

I also really like how the navy prints help to cut the sweetness factor, and I used them sparingly.

The pattern is fully pieced, with stitch-and-flip corners. No triangles, no templates and no paper piecing either! I found that they were much easier than I had expected... especially the sundresses.

All nine dresses have been made, and now it's time to stitch them together into the top. I also need to order some fabric for the pieced border, once I figure out which prints to use!

Meanwhile, I'm already working on a second, secret project with more Pam Kitty Garden fabric! There are LOTS of half-square-triangles. Here's just a sneek peek. I'll have the full quilt to show you in late January.

Pam is also working on a few projects using her new fabric. Have you checked out her blog here? She always has something entertaining going on!

When I was writing this up, I discovered that Fat Quarter Shop has even created a kit for this same quilt, which will be available to ship in January. It has the same fabrics as mine, but different placement, and my border will probably be different colors. Or of course, you can use your stash and personalize your dresses.

In case we don't have a chance to talk tomorrow, Happy New Year! Have fun and be safe! I'll be at home watching tv - New Yorkers don't go anywhere near Times Square! I used to live on West 43rd Street, RIGHT THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF IT. Now I like seeing it... from afar! (The ball was installed today! Here it is!) 



Happy New Year!

quilty fun birthday party!

Happy First Birthday, Quilty Fun! Welcome to my stop on the birthday blog hop! 

Quilty Fun by Lori Holt has quickly become my go-to book for fun, scrappy patchwork designs. Seriously, I would like to make everything in this book! The book contains clear, easy-to-understand diagrams for creating the row quilt shown on the cover, plus ten additional projects ranging from pillows to runners to quilts, all using rotary cutting with no templates. 

To help celebrate the first birthday, Lori Holt has created a special, fun birthday cake block!

Mmmm chocolate layer cake. My favorite! I was so excited to print out the free pdf of this pattern's cutting instructions, and I immediately started sewing my birthday cake. But I liked it so much that I needed another piece of cake. How about a red velvet cake?

And because I have so many favorite cake flavors I just kept going! Anybody want a piece of strawberry cream cake?

Before I knew it, this happened. Twelve cakes with rainbow sprinkles sashing!

Who wouldn't love a fancy cake for Valentine's Day?

Or maybe a pretty birthday cake with fanciful buttercream rosettes?

Could I tempt you with a slice of chocolate mud cake?

Seriously, you are going to LOVE making these cakes. One would be cute as a pillow. Three would make a great birthday table runner. Or go crazy like I did and make twelve (or more)! Download the FREE copy of the Quilty Fun birthday cake pdf pattern here. You can also view all twelve of my birthday cake blocks on my Flickr page.

But don't leave yet because the birthday party is just getting started! Here are some of the amazingly fantabulous patterns in Lori's book. There's the full row along quilt that I made last year.

I loved making the Snowball Fight table runner. I really need to have this quilted before Christmas!

And the Quilty Fun book also has directions for Lori's signature bee pattern. Here I've reduced the size of the bee and made a quartet of them!

I do hope that you'll help me in celebrating Quilty Fun's first birthday. Pour yourself a nice hot (or cold!) drink, download the birthday cake pattern and start stitching!

Thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to visit the Fat Quarter Shop for a copy of the Quilty Fun book. Their blog will also have links to all the other bloggers participating in the hop. And drop by to see what Lori is working on here. I'll see you soon!



friday finish - strawberry social!

It's done! The Strawberry Social top is completely assembled!

strawberry social 023.JPG
One of my all time favorite Flower Sugar prints. 

One of my all time favorite Flower Sugar prints. 

It's always an extra-good Friday when I finish a quilt top, and this is my second finish this month! I know that I say I love all my quilt tops, but I really, really love this one. I had fun sewing every single berry. I used all my favorite reds and pinks from Pam Kitty Morning, Lori Holt, Flower Sugar and Bonnie & Camille. The pink-on-white dotted background is from the Pam Kitty Picnic collection. 

The pattern is Strawberry Social by Margot Languedoc's The Pattern Basket. Her instructions are very clear and easy to understand, although the leaf portion takes a bit of concentration.

I also made my quilt larger than the pattern. I think that it's the perfect sofa size. My top contains 36 berries and measures 62" x 75" - the pattern measures 53" x 66" and has 25 berries. 

Remember the two experimental blocks? I decided that they weren't ripe enough for this quilt, and so I turned them into jam. Ha ha! I'm glad that I tried something quirky, but, um, no... just too weird. 

I love this recipe print from Lori Holt's Bake Sale collection.

I love this recipe print from Lori Holt's Bake Sale collection.

Yes, that's a strawberry covered in cherries!

Yes, that's a strawberry covered in cherries!

Thanks for taking the time to visit with me today! I'm linking up with Finish It Up Fridays at Crazy Mom Quilts. I'll check out what everybody else finished this week after lunch. And maybe dessert. A strawberry sundae? A strawberry shake? I saw strawberry cream filled Twinkies at my grocery store last night, but they scare me.

socializing with strawberry social

I spent some time socializing with the Strawberry Social quilt blocks last night. I'm aiming for two quilt finishes this month! 

Here they are on my "design floor." I almost started to sew them randomly (it's hot and humid and I'm lazy) but I knew that the only way to evenly distribute the pinks and reds was to do the layout. Then the berries were sewn into vertical strips with more of that cute pink dot from Pam Kitty Picnic. 

And of course, the rows are marked with color coordinating Post-it notes. Actually, that was just a happy coincidence! Six rows of fresh berries! I'm making my quilt larger than the pattern, so I have 36 berries set 6 across and 6 down. 

Soon I'll need to choose border fabrics! Here are the leading candidates. I'm thinking of a narrow inner border of the green print and a wider outer border of the white wreath print. The two plaids are the binding options. I'm sure that the quilt will tell me what it needs once it's fully sashed. Your quilts talk to you, too, right?!

Can I have a second Friday finish for July? Stay tuned! And see what other quilters are working on this week at Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Finally, thanks so much for all the Butterscotch Tart quilt love! I really appreciate the nice comments and emails. Making that quilt was a fun challenge, and I'm glad that you enjoyed watching my progress.

friday finish - butterscotch tart!

Guess what? It's D-O-N-E! The Butterscotch Tart quilt is finished! It's time for some fireworks!

I hope that you'll allow me to gush about my own quilt. I love everything about this! The goal was to do a patriotic quilt, but without any patriotic fabrics. There are no stars or fireworks here, but there are plenty of dots, flowers, cherries and strawberries. And then I dared myself to add light blue and pink. 

I feel a little bittersweet now that this is completed. I was in a big rush to complete it (yeah, I missed my July 4 goal), and yet, I felt a bit of sadness when I sewed that last border strip. Sadness as in, oh no, it's done and I won't get to sew any more of these cute blocks!

The quilt pattern is Butterscotch Tart by Fig Tree and Co and measures 66" square. I used a happy fabric mix from Pam Kitty Morning and Lori Holt. Special thanks to my Instagram buddies who cheered me on throughout the whole process. You can follow me there at @greydogwoodstudio to see daily updates of my projects. 

And, just for fun, I put the quilt onto my bed. It blends in perfectly with my collection of new and vintage Ralph Lauren bedding. The red and white faux drunkard's path was the second quilt that I ever made, and it's hand quilted with Baptist fans and dated November 98 - November 99. I'll never tire of red, white and blue quilts!

I'm linking up today with Finish It Up Fridays at Crazy Mom Quilts. Hop over there to see what other quilters have finished this week. And happy weekend, everybody!

assembling the butterscotch tart quilt

Finally! I have started to put it all together!

As you can see, it's always helpful to have a friend. (Ok, maybe not so much!) I like to use LOTS of pins. I pin about every half inch, and even more if it's a tricky block. And I even have a color coded system. The blue pins are removed just as the needle approaches the presser foot. But the yellow pins anchor hidden seams that point away from the presser foot, and I sew right over them to hold the seams flat. 

Putting these together takes a little longer than I'd like (you know that I'm dying to work on the house blocks, right?!) but I pin and go slowly to make sure that I don't accidentally chop off any star points. 

I think that these little pinwheel setting stones are just so cute. They add the right amount of movement without distracting from the larger blocks. 

The next three rows are ready to be sewn. I have my hopelessly old fashioned way of keeping everything organized. The row number is always pinned to the left block of each row. It helps to keep my layout accurate without having to look at the blurry photo on my iPhone. 

And now I need to stay focused so that I can finish this. I started exactly one month ago today, and I'm really looking forward to the big finish!

Butterscotch Tart is a quilt pattern by Fig Tree Quilts, and my fabrics are a mix of Pam Kitty Morning and Lori Holt. Thanks for stopping by today!


I'm nearing the end of the Butterscotch Tart quilt! I needed a break from the tart blocks so I worked on the pinwheel sashing posts. 

There are 24 of these guys. They measure 3" now, and will be 2.5" when finished.

I've completed 11 of the tart blocks and have just two more to make before I can start the big quilt assembly!  The blocks will be sashed with a pale blue print from Pam Kitty Picnic that I used very sparingly in my blocks. I used no light blue or pink in the pinwheels because I want darker colors to "pop" against the sashing. Can you believe that the sashing print is actually current and in stock? No midnight Ebay and Etsy searches this time! It's due to arrive in the mail tomorrow, so you'll see it very soon. 

butterscotch tart pinwheels 1.jpg

I actually like making half-square triangles. I know that I'm in the minority here. I make them too big, and then trim them down to size using my 6" square ruler. This ensures that I always have exactly the correct size. (I take the pattern measurement and add 1/2" regardless of what the directions specify.) Yes, there's waste involved. But I don't need to squish and mash and stretch the blocks to get them the right size. I did that for years and was always unhappy with the results. And really, what's a little waste? It reduces my stash faster and frees up space for more new fabric!

Butterscotch Tart is a pattern by Fig Tree Quilts, and my fabric is mostly by Pam Kitty Morning. The tart blocks also have several red and pink prints by Lori Holt, plus a few random pieces of Lakehouse, Riley Blake and Bonnie & Camille. 

butterscotch tarts + a special quilt

I've finished another three Butterscotch Tart blocks! See that red rose print? Probably one of my favorite prints from the past few years. Love it. It's Annie's Farm Stand by the talented Holly Holderman at Lakehouse. I knew that I wanted to use this fabric. It's so American Beauty - the rose, not the movie! Just one problem. I checked my stash and found none in the studio. I used it all up on last year's Quilty Barn quilt. Panic! I considered sending a note to Holly or putting out an SOS on Instagram. Never mind that there are a gazillion other rose prints. I needed THAT one. So, late one night I searched online and found just one seller who had some. When it arrived I made one block with a rosy center. And then another with a rosy ring. 

Plus, I made another block with an alternate rose print by Pam Kitty Morning. 

I've been working towards an even distribution of red and blue outer rings which isn't so easy because I've come up with lots of fabric combinations! The final three blocks might see just a bit more pink. And so far I've avoided stripes and gingham because of the fear of wonkiness. I expect to finish the last three by early next week, and then I can start the sashing with fun pinwheel posts. I've been auditioning sashing fabric (scrappy whites? pale blue print?) and thinking about my outer border. 

On a more serious note... 

I read just a few days ago that fabric designer Aneela Hoey was scheduled for surgery for breast cancer this week. I've loved Aneela's fabrics for a few years. They're so naively whimsical. She opened up her quaint English house to us on her blog. She's given us lots of fun fabric collections, such as Sherbet Pips, Little Apples and Cherry Christmas. And now a group of quilters is getting together to create quilt blocks that will be assembled into a special quilt for Aneela. The request is to create two simple blocks using Aneela's fabric and to ship them by the end of the month. You can read how you can help here. I'm happy to contribute. And now I need to admit that I ran out of my supply of Aneela's fabric when making the Quilty Barns last year. So I just bought more of her Posy collection from an Etsy seller and asked her to put a special rush on my order. Are you noticing a common thread here with me always running out of the perfect fabric?! Oh well. I can't wait for it to arrive!

butterscotch tart's new colors

The experimental blocks are done for my Butterscotch Tart quilt. I've completed the blue-on-blue star, and the red-on-pink star. And here they are!

And you know what? I'm loving the addition of the pink! I was positive that the light blue would work, but the pink was iffy. But I didn't just stop there. Oh no. How about some blue strawberries?

And maybe some pink and red polka dots?

I'm having so much fun putting fabric combos together that this is the only quilt that I want to work on! I'm not the slightest bit bored. And I am sooo excited that I'm more than halfway through. 7 blocks done and 6 to go. Woo hoo. I can finish these blocks by the end of July. Yes, I can! Now I just gotta come up with a few more fabric combos. Hummm, maybe some stripes will be next...

The Butterscotch Tart pattern is by Fig Tree Quilts, and I have used an assortment of fabric by Pam Kitty Morning and Lori Holt.

Thank you for stopping by. I'll be back in a few days with an update, and I promise to not add any green or yellow!

butterscotch tart

I've made it official. I have now pledged allegiance to my latest quilt blocks. 

butterscotch tart red white blue 7.jpg

It's so much fun to see these blocks come together. The first block was easy (but time consuming) to sew and I hoped that the next one would go together as easily. I reversed a few of the pressing directions so now the seams all nest perfectly. Just for fun I checked to see how many pieces are in each block. Sixty five pieces! These are definitely a make-one-at-a-time blocks. But once I've turned on iTunes radio I'm good to go!

(Have you checked out iTunes radio? You choose an artist that you like and then you get an endless stream of similar music. So for anybody curious, tonight's block was courtesy of Kylie Minogue radio - all dance. Last night's block was accompanied by Martina McBride's country radio.)

And coming soon are some experimental blocks! I'm curious to see light and dark blue together, and red with pink. Yes, pink in my patriotic quilt. It's just light red, right?! I think that light blue and pink will add a bit of whimsy and help to reduce the sameness of the blocks. The Butterscotch Tart quilt pattern is by Fig Tree Quilts and you can pick up a copy here. I've had a few requests about my background. It's Pam Kitty Love and is now out of print, but there is a similar white with pink dots currently available in the Pam Kitty Picnic collection. Here's a sneak peek of some upcoming star fabrics - the reds are Lori Holt's out-of-print Polka Dot Stitches, and the light blues are Pam Kitty Picnic and Pam Kitty Morning. I'm making strawberry print stars. Imagine that, it's my never-ending strawberry addiction. And look at how different and soft the pattern can look when made from Fig Tree fabrics. I think that this pattern would be perfect for a Christmas quilt, too. 

I'm off to slice up this new fabric stack. Be back soon with more stars!

a fresh start

My patriotic quilt month continues! Remember last week's Milky Way stars? I loved them, but I just wasn't having fun sewing them. And quilting needs to be fun, right?! My third block finished lumpy and bumpy and I knew that it was time to hoist the white flag and surrender.

But I'm not ready to give up on my patriotic quilt dream just yet. And so began the time consuming search for a new pattern. Of course, nearly every pattern that I own is scrappy, so I had to imagine what they'd look like in three colors. I pulled patterns out of my notebooks. I bookmarked photos of vintage quilts. I bought more pattern downloads. I searched Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram for new ideas. I am an expert at making myself myself crazy! And then I remembered that I had a pretty pattern from Fig Tree Quilts called Butterscotch Tart. It's from several years ago, with on-point blocks in pale caramel, taupe, ivory and pink. Aha! Couldn't this classic carpenter's wheel block look like a firework if I did it in red, white and blue?!

It looks firework-y to me. I like this block even better than the previous blocks! It was fairly easy to sew, although I might change the direction of some seams on my next block so that they'll nest better. It's 10" and is designed to be set with sashings and pinwheels. 

And even though I've been quiet for a few days don't think that I haven't been sewing. I was back in the strawberry fabric patch. I have just a few more strawberries to sew and then I can begin the big assembly!

milky way

If it's June, then it must be patriotic quilt time! Meet Milky Way by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts.

I often like to piece with fabrics that match the seasons, and in the hot summer months I think of red, white and blue. I also like overblown garden florals. (No pumpkins for me in June. They need to wait for their turn in September!) My initial fabric pull is a Pam Kitty Morning assortment, but I'll also add in other fabrics as I progress. I had been searching for just the right Fourth of July quilt idea. That involved considering just about every pattern that I own. And then I remembered this quilt, and how Joanna calls the red, white and blue version "Firework." Perfect! The only problem was that I had been dreading all the bias edges. And there are a lot of them. So with starch, pins and about 5 hours, I got my first block.

After Instagraming this block (and whining about how making it almost killed me), I received some good advice from Joanna herself. She told me to remember to measure and cut carefully, handle the bias edges as little as possible, and that the only seams that really need to match are the perimeter of the center star. Ok, deep breath. I can do this. I am not a quilty quitter! I will beat the bias! On to the second block.

This one went together MUCH easier and even took less time. The center is just a smidge off but I think that I can live with it. And you know I'm not redoing it because those bias edges would just s  t  r  e  t  c  h. This block is 19" and I will also be making 14" and 9" blocks. I think that the smaller blocks should probably go together easier (and quicker, please!) now that I've got the method down. 

I ran out of the background fabric after just two blocks! It's from Pam Kitty Morning's "Love" collection last year. Now why did I use a discontinued fabric for my background?! I'm very happy that I found a seller on eBay with 7 yards. I bought all of it, and I can resume star making in a few days. My crazy self-imposed deadline is July 4!

Milky Way. Hummm. I love the Milky Way Dark candy bars. They aren't red, white, blue or floral but they are delicious. Wish I hadn't just thought of that...

Thanks for stopping by to visit with me today! 

a great granny squared finish!

It's done! The mini Great Granny Squared quilt is finished!

Wow, didn't I just start this a few weeks ago? I made Lori Holt's quilt pattern at half size, and my finished quilt top measures 20x26. It is the perfect size for a standard bed pillow sham!   

I managed to follow all of my own "rules" - I used a colored background instead of white (It's Kona Bluebell), I integrated some white prints that I don't usually use, and I avoided darks. It seemed to take forever to choose a border print. And now I definitely want to make more quilts with pale pastel-y backgrounds! 

Reducing the size by 50% was definitely a challenge. Why can't I just follow the directions?!  Many pieces were cut at 3/4" and 1" and weren't always a pleasure to sew. I'm sure that they would have been really easy if I had done them at full size. There might have been a lot of swearing and seam ripping. And yet every time I finished a block I felt like I had accomplished something (and deserved to eat a New Mexican chocolate truffle).  I like to reinvent!

The Great Granny Squared pattern book can be found here, and each week's customized pattern pdfs can all be found here. My block fabric is an assortment of Pam Kitty Morning, Lori Holt, Atsuko Matsuyama, Bonnie & Camille and Riley Blake.

Did you see that Lori announced another sew along on her blog last week? I already have the pattern!

I'm linking up today with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.