Bonnie Hunter’s Tropical Twist Workshop

Posted Saturday, August 5th, 2017 in My Projects, Quilt Guilds, Quilting | Read More

This has been a busy summer here in Columbus. We have been watching the granddaughters quite often (and enjoying every minute!). I did get to attend a workshop with Bonnie Hunter in June. We were working on the Tropical Twist quilt from her book, “Addicted to Scraps“. Bonnie is the queen of scraps, therefore, I tried to make the entire quilt from my scrap bin. I pulled the green, purple and blue scraps for the darker strips and a variety of light scraps for the background. On a few of the background strips, I used the back of the fabric as the right side to get a lighter shade. This was a tip that I had heard before but Bonnie reminded us of it at the workshop.

Another tip for this quilt was to use the leftover triangles (that are cut off in making the larger block) in the border. Bonnie has designed a nifty little ruler , the Bonus Buddy, that is made for this purpose. It was included with her triangle ruler that I purchased last year.  At the lecture the night before the workshop, she mentioned that we would be using the Bonus Buddy. I went home and packed it for the next day. It works great! She said it will be available as a single item soon.

Tropical Twist

All of the blocks were made from my scraps. I do have to confess that I bought fabric for the aqua and yellow inner borders. I didn’t have enough of either of those colors to make an entire border.

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A Quilt for Charlotte

Posted Saturday, July 15th, 2017 in My Projects, baby quilt | Read More

Little Miss Charlotte is one year old! We had a party for her in June for just the family. Now we are having a party for friends of the family ( postponed due to illness in June). I gave her a toy on her birthday and saved her quilt for the second party.

I bought the pattern for this quilt at the QT ReVu in 2016.The pattern includes three different quilts but I chose the fish for Charlie because Under the Sea is the theme of her nursery. I also found a cute panel with a doll (mermaid) and accessories.

The second picture has the true colors of the quilt and doll. I love this fabric and think that aqua is now my favorite color.

I free motion quilted it in a water pattern with a few swirls thrown in here and there. Click on the picture for a close up view.

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Mystery Solved

Posted Saturday, June 24th, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

I have enjoyed doing the mystery quilt. It was a very simple pattern. The fun part of making this was not knowing what fabric was in the brown bag and where each piece would be located in the quilt.

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How I Spent My Sunday Afternoon…

Posted Monday, May 1st, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

Last Sunday, my local quilt shop, Quilt Trends, held a program they call QuTee ReVue. They sell tickets and you get a reserved seat, a goodie bag, and refreshments. The program is an introduction to lots of new patterns, rulers, notions, demonstrations and prizes . All the items are sold at a discount the day of the event. I won a very nice prize, Bali Crackers, a collection of 40 ten inch batik fabrics.

I have a pattern that I have been planning to make with these exact colors. My prize could not have been a better fit for me!

Our goodie bags were useful and reusable bags with a snap to close the top. Inside were these nice gifts…

There was a package of machine needles in the white bag shown here along with a guide to all the different sizes and types of needles. The fat quarters and zipper were with  the pattern for the zippered bag. The magnet at the bottom of the picture matches one of the wall quilts that I have made for my sewing room.

Of course I had to purchase some goodies too! I bought two new specialty rulers, some patterns and a bundle of fat quarters to go with one of the new patterns. A couple of things that I ordered are on back order. They are an aqua colored rotary cutter and a nifty marking pencil.

These fat quarters will be used with one of the new patterns and specialty ruler that I bought. They had a sample quilt made using the same pattern and fabric and it was beautiful. I will use a plain white fabric for the background in this quilt.

While I was there, I picked up the next clue for the Brown Bag Mystery Quilt. The clues are very simple and easy to sew.  I made and pressed clue 4 this afternoon.

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2015 Snapshots BOM

Posted Thursday, April 20th, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

I was working on this Block of the Month in 2015 but didn’t keep up with it at the end of the year. It then became a UFO until this spring. I lost interest because of all the flippy corners. ( A method of putting triangles on the corners of rectangles, etc..) When I bought a new specialty ruler for another project, I found that it worked well for making the flippy corners without having to  draw a line, sew, and cut. I made the last three blocks for each quilt and completed both the large and small quilt tops.

The large quilt is 66 1/2″ X 88 1/2″ and the smaller version is 38 1/2 X 49 1/2″. I used my 1930s fabrics that I had been collecting for years. I had Fat Quarters and Jolly Bars (5″ X 10″) cuts of fabric.

Here is the larger quilt….

..and this is the mini version.

This shows them together to compare the sizes.

The larger quilt was much easier to make than the smaller version but they both went together very well. I did have to make a few adjustments on a couple of the blocks in the mini quilt to make the first round of sashing fit. The seam allowances caused a lot of bulk in the smaller blocks.

The pattern for the large quilt is available free at The Jolly Jabber, the blog at the Fat Quarter Shop. Sondra Davidson of the blog, Out of the Blue, made a smaller version of the Snapshots quilt.  The measurements for cutting a smaller quilt are available on her blog.

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Brown Bag Mystery Quilt – Clue 3

Posted Saturday, April 15th, 2017 in Quilting tools, mystery quilt | Read More

I made a quick trip to Quilt Trends this morning to pick up the next clue for the mystery quilt. This time we are making half square triangle units with the squares that we cut at the start of the mystery. I was able to use my new ruler again to cut the squares in half with a quarter inch seam allowance. We made 48 squares with 48 bonus squares left over. I am loving this new ruler!

This is not quilting related, but I wanted to share with you. Last evening Bob found a nest in our back yard next to but not under the pine tree. When we pulled the dried grass back we found a nest full of baby bunnies. Aren’t they cute?

We covered them up again and hope their momma comes back to take care of them.

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Brown Bag Mystery Quilt – Clue 2

Posted Sunday, April 2nd, 2017 in mystery quilt | Read More

April 1 was the date for the second clue in the mystery to be revealed. I arrived at Quilt Trends bright and early to get the new clue. This week we added a triangle to the same pieces that we made in the first clue. Using the ruler that I purchased for the first clue, I added the new fabric and again had leftover triangles. Not wanting to waste the beautiful fabric, I pieced them into half square triangle squares. I now have a total of 96 squares to be used for another project.

Here is one of the mystery quilt pieces and two of the half square triangle units that have been made from the leftovers.

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Brown Bag Mystery Quilt – Clue 1

Posted Saturday, March 18th, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

I visited my local quilt shop, QuiltTrends and picked up my first mystery quilt clue and a new ruler. Sue was demonstrating the Creative Grids Quick Trim Ruler and showing how it can be used to make the clue. I have been wanting a ruler to do this step but I didn’t know that one existed. This ruler is used when a square is added to the corner of another square or rectangle. Rather than drawing a line on the diagonal and sewing on the line and then cutting away the excess, it can be made by lining up the ruler with the square and cutting. When it is done this way, all the leftover corners are the same size and can be used for another project. I have always disliked drawing all those lines before I can get down to the business of sewing.

I cut the first corner, sewed it and measured to make sure it was the correct size. It was! I then put a piece of colored tape on the ruler so that I could pick it up and quickly see where to line it up for the next piece. I finished sewing and pressing all 48 pieces for clue 1. Next I sewed all the leftover HSTs and pressed them too. I now have 48 extra pieces to be used for another project.

I know that I will use this new ruler often. Yes, I am a ruler junkie!

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The Next Episode of a Brown Bag Mystery…

Posted Monday, March 13th, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

Sunday afternoon I began the process of cutting five yards of fabric into small pieces to be sewn back together again. How they will be sewn together is the mystery!

Next Saturday I will pick up the first clue to the mystery. Sue at Quilt Trends will demo helpful rulers for making the quilt and also demonstrating how to make the first clue.

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Brown Bag Mystery Quilt

Posted Sunday, March 12th, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

I don’t need another project but I couldn’t help myself! This mystery sounds like fun so I bought a kit at Quilt Trends last week. The kit includes 5 one yard pieces of fabric. They are inside a brown paper bag and stapled shut so you can’t see what you are getting. There are five paint chips tied to the outside of the bag to give a hint about the fabric colors inside. I chose a bag called Pacific Harbour with dark turquoise, gray, peach (or light orange), white and light turquoise paint chips. (I was really tempted to buy a bag with shades of pink and green but the turquoise won the battle!)

Inside the bag is an information sheet with instructions for cutting and and explaining how the mystery works. Clues will be given every two weeks starting on March 18.

This is the fabric from my mystery bag. I was surprised to see that one of the fabrics in the bag is from the same line of fabric I am using in Charlotte’s quilt.  I know I will like this quilt!

I am off to my sewing room to start cutting fabric. Watch for the next episode of the Brown Bag Mystery, coming soon!

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Life in Columbus / A New Machine

Posted Monday, March 6th, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

Since our move to Columbus in 2014, we have been adjusting to city life.  We have settled into a routine which includes watching our oldest granddaughter two days a week.  Sometimes we take her with us to get groceries at Meijer. She shops for “peanut butter sandwiches” (but we haven’t found them on the shelves yet). The shopping trip ends with a ride on the horse named Sandy. Sometimes Sandy is out of order and that requires her to check him out before we leave the store.

She turned three years old in December and keeps us on our toes. She loves to pretend and to act out stories I tell her. She especially likes to hear Goldilocks and the Three Bears every morning while she eats her oatmeal. She also loves to have me tell her the Cinderella story as she acts it out. Her facial expressions are priceless.

For the last two weeks she has been playing with her imaginary friends, Pooh, Tigger ( he bounces!), Piglet, and Mouse. As you can tell, the first three are Winnie the Pooh characters and Mouse is from the “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” book. We have to find them when she gets here in the morning and throughout the day. Sometimes Moose from “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” joins us too. She loves to have picnics with them and sets a plate for each one. Sometimes she says she is ‘exdasperdated’ (exasperated) with their antics.

I don’t have as much time for quilting as I had back home. I try to go upstairs to my sewing room for a while in the afternoon to sew when Sami isn’t here. Sometimes the weekend is my only sewing time. I have been working from my stash more than I did before the move. I also found a lot of things that I had started and am trying to finish some of them. I have made several new quilts and find I am drawn to making smaller baby and throw size quilts. My fabric choices are changing also. I am leaning toward brighter colors and more contemporary patterns. I am also trying to use up my stash and scraps. I have made Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilts each year since 2013. (It hasn’t even made a dent in my stash!)

In January, Jen and I joined a quilt guild. We each signed up for a “secret pal”. We are hoping this will help us get to know some of the quilters. I also signed up for the Bonnie Hunter workshop but am on the waiting list. I’m not wishing bad luck on anyone but I am hoping to get into the class. I have started cutting strips from my scraps so I will be prepared if I do get in.

My most recent purchase was a new sewing machine. My favorite machine is starting to have some issues and I had been looking at the new machines since last fall. In February I went to the Viking Gallery at Easton and looked at the models available that have the same features as my Quilt Designer. I found that the Sapphire models have the same features and went back with my daughter to try it out.  My old machine makes a perfect scant quarter inch seam and found that the Sapphire makes the same size seam with the foot from my old machine. All the extra feet that I had purchased for the Quilt Designer also fit the new machine. The extension table that I have won’t fit but the dealer said she would include an extension table for the Sapphire.

My first project with the new machine was to finish the hexagon quilt that I am making with Kaffe Collective Spots Kaleidoscope Hexagons from Missouri Star Quilt Company (more about that later). My next project was to use my Go! Cutter  to cut out Winding Ways blocks from the fat quarters I received in the gift exchange at Piecemakers last Christmas. I used the leftover white fabric from the hexagon quilt to cut the light fabric for Winding Ways. I am still in the process of sewing the blocks but I am getting familiar with using the Sapphire. I am LOVING it! It sews just like the old machine but much quieter, smoother and without the issues. It is also a little bigger than the Quilt Designer.

Sew, that is what has been happening here in Columbus.  Stay tuned to hear about the Brown Bag Mystery quilt that I am starting soon.

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En Provence Quilt Top Finished!

Posted Monday, February 13th, 2017 in Quilting | Read More

I finished the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt, En Provence, in January. I have been waiting for a sunny day to take a picture of the quilt top. The first picture was taken indoors and shows the true colors.  The outdoor pictures were taken in my backyard which is shaded in the morning.

All the fabric used in this quilt were from my stash except for the pink. I didn’t think I had much purple but I did find several fat quarters that were the right color. The light purple plaid was a piece leftover from an apron I made for a gift several years ago.

The free pattern for this quilt ended on February 1 but is now available for purchase from Bonnie’s website, Quiltville, as a digital pattern.

Click here to see En Provence quilts made in other colorways and lots of them just like mine.

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Mystery Quilt En Provence – Clues 1 and 2

Posted Monday, December 5th, 2016 in Quilting | Read More

I am having so much fun with this quilt! Last week I made all the four patch blocks and this week made the triangle in a square blocks.  You can still join the fun at Quiltville! Today you can see all the progress other quilters have made on the mystery quilt here at the link-up party.

Clue 1 took me all week to finish because I was too busy Christmas shopping to do much sewing. I finished pressing them before I started working on clue 2 on Friday. I  counted them into groups of ten and clipped them together. I ended up with a few extras of each block. I plan to use them on the back of the quilt. We will see what happens!

Sorry about the picture quality. It is so dark  today.

Click here to link back to the Link Up Party at Quiltville.

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Getting Ready for the Mystery Quilt

Posted Monday, November 21st, 2016 in Quilting | Read More

Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt is beginning on Friday, November 25.  The fabric requirements have been posted along with the colors she used. As in previous mysteries, she has given paint chip colors for easier fabric selection. She also explains how to use the  Ultimate 3-in1 Color Tool.  I picked up the paint chips at Lowes and I also have the Color Tool.

I love to make these mystery quilts entirely from my fabric stash if possible. I went through my fat quarters and fabric yardage and found everything I need except for the magenta.  I bought 2 magenta pieces, one for the constant in the quilt and the other for the binding.

This year she is introducing a new ruler that she designed. It is not necessary to use this tool.  I ordered the  Essential Triangle Tool and am excited to try it in this quilt.

These are my fabrics.

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Patchwork Table Runners

Posted Monday, September 26th, 2016 in table runner | Read More

I bought the pattern and a set of yellow strips to make this table runner last fall. Life happened and I didn’t start it until this summer. I have the top finished but not quilted yet. Hopefully it will be quilted soon and I will get to use it this fall. I will add a brown binding which will frame the entire runner.

I used the pattern “Patchwork Sunflower Table Runner Pattern” by Shabby Fabrics.

I used Shabby Fabrics “Patchwork Pumpkins” to make this pumpkin table runner last year.

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Be My Neighbor Quilt Along

Posted Sunday, September 25th, 2016 in QAL | Read More

I have always wanted to make a “house” quilt. I am excited to join the Moda Be My Neighbor quilt-along to make a house quilt.  There are several online quilt shops that are participating. The shops that I have visited for the patterns are Wool Felt Central and Bear Creek Quilting Company. Beginning on September 6, a new block will be added each Monday through December 19th.

I am printing them out each week. Here is my first block.

I am using fabric from a fat quarter bundle that I received for Christmas last year. I have used some of the bundle for another project so I am hoping that I will have enough to make all 16 blocks. I may have to go shopping if I run out. Wouldn’t that be terrible!

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“Mingled” Baby Quilt

Posted Saturday, September 24th, 2016 in Patterns, baby quilt | Read More

My local quilt shop had a “baby shower” sale last weekend. They had sample quilts hanging in the shop that were made from the new patterns/book. The first quilt to catch my attention was the Mingled pattern. It is a very simple quilt but the assembly was intriguing. When the shop owner explained how it went together, I knew I had to make one.

I had some leftover flannel from a kit I bought several years ago that would be perfect for this quilt. As soon as I got home with the pattern, I checked to see if I could use the flannel  to make the Mingled quilt. By adding just one more piece of flannel, I had enough to make it.

The quilt is made in three vertical rows with the center row made of Half Square Triangles (HST). The only difficulty I had in making this quilt top was turning the triangles the wrong direction. I put the pieces on my small portable design wall to make sure I had each color in the correct position. This is a very easy quilt to sew.

I have plans to use this pattern again and make some changes to the length of the larger pieces. By changing the size on one side, the points could be off center. To make a larger quilt, more fabrics could be added plus a border. I am not adding a border to this quilt. It is a small quilt, 34″ X 40″.

Stay tuned to see what other projects I have been sewing!

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Summer 2016

Posted Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 in Personal | Read More

This has been a busy and hot summer at the West residence. My sewing room is so warm in the afternoon that I have not enjoyed sewing in it, even with the fan blowing in my direction. The ceiling fan seems to make it warmer. I have used my stand-up fans to try to stay cool.  We have stayed busy playing with Samantha on Tuesdays and Thursdays and taking her with us to get groceries on Wednesdays. She enjoys bringing home lunch from Wendy’s and eating before we take her home. Another big thrill and the reason she likes to go shopping with us, is to ride the horsie. “Sandy” had been out of commission for several weeks. We had to inspect him every week and tell him to feel better before we could leave the store. Today he was working again, much to the delight of Sami!

I have made a few quilt tops but haven’t quilted them yet. I’m waiting for cooler weather to arrive before loading them on the frame. Lately I have been sewing string blocks using the template paper from Missouri Star Quilt Company to use strips from a Moda scrap bag. I bought both of these items years ago.  Most of the projects I have made this summer were from things in my stash. I hope to get them quilted soon and will show them to you then.

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Elephants on Parade

Posted Monday, April 18th, 2016 in baby quilt | Read More

We are expecting the birth of our third grandson any day and I haven’t finished his quilt. I have the quilt top done but it needs to be quilted. Before I can quilt it, I have to replace one of the leaders on my quilting frame. That is my goal for today!

Here is a picture of the baby quilt top.

I plan to quilt it with white thread in a large meander pattern.

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Zelda: The Quilt-Along — Sashing and Borders

Posted Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 in Quilting | Read More

Sketch of The Zelda Quilt-Along

If you have used interfacing in all of your blocks, you will need to use interfacing on the sashing and borders. The reason you will do this is because the sashing and borders will stretch more than the blocks and it will be difficult to keep it flat to quilt if it does not have interfacing.

Preparing and Cutting the Sashing and Borders

(Sashing = Strips of fabric that go between and around the blocks)

I cut a length of iron-on interfacing to fit the width (selvage to selvage)  of the black and the green (Kiwi) fabrics.  Press it onto the wrong side of the sashing and border fabrics.

After the interfacing is attached to the back of the fabric, cut 2 1/2 inch strips as follows for the sashing:

Green (Kiwi) = 7 strips

Black =12 strips

Assembling the Quilt Top

You have now assembled all your blocks and they are ready to be joined into sections using sashing strips between the blocks.

For the first section:

1. Sew the Key block to the top of the Candle block.

2. Sew the Fairy block to the top of the Bomb block.

We will join the two sections to the Link block by adding sashing to each long side of the of the Key/Candle block and the Fairy/Bomb block and sewing to the sides of Link.*

Helpful Hint: *Measure the length of the two sections and the Link block. If there is a large difference between the sections, you may need to add a piece to the shorter section. For example:  If the Key/Candle block is 1 inch shorter than the Link block, cut a 1.5 inch strip of interfaced black fabric. (The half inch is the seam allowance.) Measure the width of the Key/Candle block (15.5)and cut the 1.5 inch strip that length  –   1.5 X 15.5 inches.

Sashing will be added between the blocks in the middle and bottom sections of the quilt, using the same color fabric as the background in the blocks. Sashing will also be added all around the outside of each of the three sections. To do this, measure the length of each section and cut sashing to that measurement for the ends of the section. (It should be the same length as the sashing you added between the blocks.) Next measure the width of the entire section and sew a piece of sashing to the top and bottom of the section. Make sure each of the three large sections measure the same width.

When you have all three sections assembled, sew the sections together as shown above in the illustration of the quilt.

Adding the Border

(3 1/2 inch strips)

Green (Kiwi) = 8 strips

To make the border, I like to join all the strips end to end to make one long piece. Measure the length of the quilt top and cut 2 pieces that length. Sew one on each side of the quilt top. Next, measure the width of the quilt and cut 2 pieces that measurement. Sew to the top and bottom edge of the quilt.

Helpful Hint: If one piece is slightly larger than the other piece, place the larger piece on the bottom next to the feed dogs on the machine when you sew. This helps to ease the slightly different sized pieces together.

Congratulations! You have now finished the quilt top!

Quilt as desired.

I quilted my Zelda quilt on my short-arm quilting frame. Because of the thickness of the quilt top with all the seams and interfacing, I used a large needle in my machine and did a large meander design.


This is the only part of the quilt that will NOT have interfacing. I like to cut 2.5 inch strips and join them together with a diagonal seam. Use your favorite method of binding to finish your Zelda quilt.

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