Block 6/52 #52weekswith thequiltersplanner “Eastern Shore”


Here is my version of the Eastern Shore block.  It was a fun one to do and I wanted to capture our sunsets on our “Eastern Shore” with my Anna Maria Horner fabrics. I actually really like this block and I do not very often gravitate to what I sew (I am my own worst critic!).

See my usual high tech picture below for what you need to cut to make this a 9″ finished block like mine above. The tutorial is found on @wandaslifesampler blog – she is the creator of this great block in a 12.5″ unfinished version that is in the Quilter’s Planner. So here are my measurements:


Have fun with this one and will see you next Wednesday with block 7/52!



2016 Cloud 9 Fabrics New Block Blog Hop


Welcome to the first day of this new block blog hop! Be sure to check out all the other block tutorials (there will be more than 70 released over the next few days). I always love this challenge and was happy to be asked by @quiltingjetgirl @latenightquilter and @meadowmistdesigns  to participate again this year.

It is hard to believe September is already here! Life has gotten crazy with back to school in our house and both my husband and myself work outside the home. Currently we both have some big life decisions to make. This led to the inspiration behind my block for this hop that I’ve named Crossroads.

Crossroads Block
Crossroads Block

It did make me laugh to look at my block for the last Blog Hop. Apparently I do a lot of my thinking in the car! I hope you enjoy this block. You can use it in various ways. I again challenged myself to use all of the colours.

The Cloud 9 Fabric Cirrus solids are gorgeous in their depth of colour and feel. If you like to work with a stiffer fabric I suggest using starch when you press the fabric before making your cuts. I did not, but my Block would have benefited from it.

The gorgeous Cirrus solids
The gorgeous Cirrus solids

This block is both simple and complex! The simple part is that you first make 4 half-square triangles (HSTs) – two at once – so it’s super fast!

I’ve divided this 12.5″ unfinished block into 4 – 6.5″ blocks that come together to make it. Once you have pressed your four main fabrics simply cut out of each a 7″ square which will give 6.5″ HSTs if you are a super precise piecer.  I left myself plenty of wiggle room by cutting out 7.5″ squares and then trimming down.


I love my Fons & Porter HST ruler!


You simply draw lines on either side of it (I love my Frixxon for this!) and then sew on the lines.


If you do not have one just draw a line in the middle and sew lines on each side 1/4″ away from the centre line.

Next you cut them through the middle, press (I prefer to press open) and then square up to 6.5″. I always place the diagonal line on my ruler across the diagonal seam when doing this.


Trim off the access. I actually save these scraps for my small studies – yes I’m THAT crazy fabric scrap lady!

Now you need to cut out your crossroads. I simply made myself a template. You need 8 of these triangles. Cut the triangles at 1.5″ on one end and 3/8″ at the other end. The straight edge is 6.5″ long. I used my ruler to line up the first one. See diagram.

Creating your template
Creating your template
I use one to trace out the rest
I use one to trace out the rest

To sew these to your HSTs you will line up using the 1″ Mark.

Line up at the 1" Mark from edge and join points. Ensure 90° angle is edge that you are not sewing on.
Line up at the 1″ Mark from edge and join points. Ensure 90° angle is edge that you are not sewing on.
Remember to trim the extra piece you have now off before pressing seams open.
Remember to trim the extra piece you have now off before pressing seams open.

I find this easier than paper piecing and less fabric wasting but some of you may prefer to do this one by paper piecing and one certainly could easily do it that way.

Square up to 6.5"
Square up to 6.5″

Now you can add the other triangle crossroad.


Again square up to 6.5"
Again square up to 6.5″ after trim excess

Now you can sew two 6.5″ blocks together. Ensure you have the HSTs rotated correctly for how you want your block to look. I usually layout all my cut pieces at the start to avoid mix-up! (Which sometimes still occur..)

These pieces can shift if cut on the bias so pin!
These pieces can shift if cut on the bias so ensure to pin!
Press in the middle repeatedly to create a smooth seam
Press in the middle repeatedly to create a smooth seam.

Finish the other two 6.5″ blocks in the same fashion and sew together to create the other half of the 12.5″ block.


The two halves
The two halves

With this block you want to ensure you press well as there is a lot of bulk in the middle seam. You can even “hammer” it – I used a Pelligrino bottle to give it a good smack!

The last step is sewing the two halves together. I lined up the seams of the triangles, the crossroads, as well as pinned a lot. When I reached the middle bulk while sewing it together I slowed my sewing and did a couple of stitches just using straight up and down a couple of times with my foot pedal.

My points could definitely be sharper in this block but I am happy with the overall effect and from a distance it even appears as though you are looking down a road.

Crossroads Block
Crossroads Block

It would be a great block to use even just two colours in all of the HSTs or even just using a solid 6.5″ piece and adding the crossroads to them. I hope this sparks someone to create and experiment as that is what this is all about. I like the organic look to this one but if you prefer a precise block you can draw out a paper pieced 6.5″ block using my measuremets above then multiply x four. Most importantly just have fun!

I hope if you are ever at a crossroads in your life you can look at it as an opportunity to grow – just as this block was for myself.

Continue reading “2016 Cloud 9 Fabrics New Block Blog Hop”

2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop



I am excited to once again be a part of over 30 bloggers participating in creating 12.5″ block designs from a bundle of fabric mailed out to us. The new line of solids is called Ocean Sunrise and included six different fabrics: White, Coral, Peach, Daydream, Midnight and Bordeaux.


The challenge was to design  a 12.5″ unfinished block using at least three of these fabrics. I challenged myself to use all six, just as I did on the previous New Block Blog Hop with Modern Popsicle.

I took my inspiration from one of our many drives home from our mountain cabin.


On these drives there is no cell nor satellite service for hours. We talk. And think. A lot. The colours reminded me of the sunsets we see as we get closer to the city; but, also the road ahead and how these talks always keep us on track ensuring we take The High Road no matter what life is throwing at us.

I took my image and created a geometric abstraction so this block is easily recreated and one can easily use some fussy cuts and focus fabrics as the light (the white) as it functions like a window frame.


I like to press my fabrics with Flatter before cutting as it gives just a little stiffness to the fabrics which is helpful in keeping a perfect 1/4″ seam when sewing the 1 inch pieces. Fig is my favorite Flatter but there is also Unscented for those who are sensitive to smells.


I also LOVE my Creative Grids rulers – one of the square rulers makes quick work of this cutting list!

Creative Grids

Cut the following out of each fabric listed:

Coral  2   4.5″x 4.5″ pieces

Peach  1  3.5″x 4.5″ piece

White 2  4.5″x 1″ pieces

1   4.5″x 2.5″ piece

1   1″x 12.5″ piece

Daydream 2  4.5″x 2.5″ pieces

Midnight  1  2″x 12.5″ piece

Bordeaux 1  4.5″x 12.5″ piece


Lay your fabrics out according to this picture:


Block Layout
Block Layout

This block is perfect for chain piecing. I am a “pinner” – it is up to you to pin or not to pin!

If you approach this block as having five horizontal sections it is easier to piece each of the five rows and then attach these rows together. Follow my diagrams to see the order of chain piecing that I did to make this come together quickly.


I also ensure I have a true 1/4″ seam that I am sewing having tested this on my machine before and I have a little Owl washi tape that I can nest the fabric against to ensure it stays true.


Chain piece away!


I press all my seams – with steam – and there was no trouble with these fabrics.


Press seams
Press seams


I like to press all my seams open – then I don’t have to commit to how I will join future blocks and I also love how flat blocks will lay when pressed open. I just move my index finger of my non-dominant hand in front of the iron as I go to help prop the seam open. It goes quickly.


Open Seams
Open Seams


Continue joining the rows – I do use the marks on my cutting mat to ensure that the pieces are lined up properly and did not get a small wiggle when I sewed my seams. I then use these lines to align the next piece on top pre pinning.


Pin Overload!!! It’s just my way….


When you get to the last two section to join together you can either use a ruler and Frixon pen to mark a line through to ensure it stays lined up OR use the mat how I have again.


Frixon pen
Frixon pen
Using the mat to line up
Using the mat to line up

I have heard stories of Frixon pens showing through again when quilts get cold so if you are going to use and mark do on the back side not the front to be safe.

And voila The High Road is finished.

2016-03-29 18 06 10

There are various ways you can use this block – I did play around with it a bit on the photo collage app to see if you turn it around and join it assorted ways you can develop some fun patterns.

Screenshot_2016-03-29-17-47-42-1        Screenshot_2016-03-29-17-46-03-1    Screenshot_2016-03-29-17-54-45-1      Screenshot_2016-03-29-17-47-01-1

I would like to try it with some Fussy Cuts in the “window panes” such as some Charley Harper. It is always the way – one project creates another one in your mind that now I just have to do!

Please check out all the other bloggers on this three day tour. Today’s host The Late Night Quilter @thelatenightquilter has the list of today’s bloggers with all the new releases as well as the past couple of days.

Have fun and hopefully you pick up a pointer or two!

And here is to always taking The High Road 👍👍


Until next time,


The Modern Popsicle – The New Fabri-Quilt Block Blog Hop


Block Design – The Modern Popsicle

We were given 6 fat eighths to create an original quilt design block that finishes at 12-inches square (12.5 inches unfinished). A fat eighth is typically 9″x20″. We were to use at least 3 of the colours from the Watermelon Summer palette and only the fabric provided by Fabri-Quilt. Summer was to be used as our inspiration.

Fabri-quilt Watermelon Summer Colour Palette
Fabri-quilt Watermelon Summer Colour Palette

Jumping fully into any challenge I decided I would find a way to use all the fabric sent! And what says summer to a mom of four kids more than popsicles!

Inspiration picture
Inspiration picture

2015-09-03 15.31.41

  • I am a modern quilter and I designed this block with the intent that it can also be used as an abstract modern graphic block in various contexts. I did some samples using Kona solids to make some testers and I do like the secondary designs that occur in the variations. This week is all about Fabri-quilt so I will post variations next week. So here it is, The Modern Popsicle:Modern Popsicle

The Modern Popsicle Tutorial

The first thing to do is prepare your fabric. There is so much debate in the Quilt Universe on this one. I am just going to tell you how I do it. I DO NOT PRE-WASH. I have enough washing with four kids that I never ever pre-wash. (Do use colour catchers when you go to wash your final quilt).


I also use Flatter and I dry iron. If I am trying to “revive” Flatter I will use a bit of steam. However, I mainly uses Flatter to just get big folding creases out. I am not a starch girl but many people are – if you are starch before you cut the fabrics.

Pieces to cut:

Background fabric (if using one colour):

(2) 12.5″x1.5″                (8) 2.5″x 3/4″

(1) 12.5″x2.5″                (4) 2.5″x1.0″

(4) 6.5″x1.5″                  (8) 1.5″x 3/4″

I used one background fabric in this block but you can also divide this into four and cut out four different background colours as below:

From each background colour (if using four different ones) cut:

(3) 6.5″x1.5″                  (2) 2.5″x 3/4″

(1) 2.5″x1.0″                  (2) 1.5″x 3/4″

For “popsicle sticks” cut: (in my block this is white)

(4) 1.5″x1.0″                  (8) 2.5″x1.0″

From each colour of “popsicle” cut:

Piece A 4.5″x2.5″ (1) and a Piece B 5.5″x1.5″ (1)

You could make these all the same colour or all different for variations. There are 4 Piece Bs and 4 Piece As in each 12.5″ block.

Creative Grids Ruler 2.5
Creative Grids Ruler 2.5″

I love my 2.5″ ruler. If you follow me on Instagram you will get the sense that I am rarely in the same place which is true. So my sewing has to be portable and I have a bag that I carry this ruler and my Creative Grids 6.5″ rulers around in. I love Creative Grids rulers! Using a rotatory cutter I do the age old measure twice cut once. Stack your pieces into their size categories as you cut to not mix them up.

Prepare your layout:


I always layout my pieces of my blocks in the order they should be. That way I can quickly see any cutting errors – as yes, they still happen. You can see here that I actually had put the wrong pieces in between the white popsicle sticks on the bottom right. A 2.5″x1.0″ background piece goes in between the two white 2.5″x1.0″ pieces. The outside pieces should then be the two 2.5″x 3/4″ background pieces. It is a subtle difference so be careful as you do your layout.

Begin chain piecing:

Chain piecing
Chain piecing

Start chain piecing the “sticks” and background.


As you go cut pieces of the chain off to set seams, press open and reposition into your layout to ensure you are still matching with the correct pieces. It can become like a jigsaw puzzle I find if I chain piece everything without doing this in steps. It is slower but I also just the enjoy the process.

As you go keep putting pieces back into the layout
As you go keep putting pieces back into the layout

Next join the sticks to the popsicles.


You will see that this block is really broken into 4 quadrants. There are upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right units. These could actually be used as 6.5″ blocks onto themselves and be rotated in different directions to create varying effects as well. To me this is just the block that keeps on giving!

Next join the two popsicles in each quadrant to each other.



Now join a left side unit to a right side unit as laid out above.

I wanted to show what this could look like as well if you left out the added background pieces to create another neat take on this.

An alternate block layout
An alternate block layout
And another side by side alternate
And another side by side alternate

Now join the long 12.5″x1.5″ pieces to each unit.


Lastly sew the 12.5″x2.5″ background piece to one unit and then attach the other to this.

The final seam!
The final seam!

Square up and presto you have your 12.5″ square Modern Popsicle block!

The Modern Popsicle
The Modern Popsicle

Be sure to check out all the other Fabri-Quilt New Blocks on this Blog Hop today and the ones from earlier this week:

Monday, August 31st
Host – Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl
Tuesday, September 1st
Host – Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs
Wednesday, September 2nd
Host – Stephanie of Late Night Quilter
Thursday, September 3rd
Host – Terri Ann of Childlike Fascination
Robyn of Hoops & Thimbles
Helen of Midget Gem Quilts
Jinger of Trials of a Newbie Quilter
Anja of Anja Quilts
Kathryn of Upitis Quilts
Mary of Quilting is in my Blood
Emma of My Handmade Home
Francine of Mocha Wild Child
Dina of Living Water Quilter
Deb of The Farmhouse Quilter
Lori of SewPsyched!
Amy of 13 Spools
Denise of CrafTraditions
Sandra of The Bias Edge

Sandra of One Million Stitches

There are 60 in total for the week so lots of fun free projects to be had. A big thank you to the amazing hosts! I had a great time doing this and as always I am truly amazed by all the talent in this community of ours.

Until next week when I show you some Kona playing,


Mini On The Bubble Quilt Tutorial

Mini On the Bubble Quilt
Mini On the Bubble Quilt

Happy Tuesday everyone! I promised many this tutorial today. If there is any component that is not clear or does not make sense just ask away. No question is a stupid question in my life.

I made this mini using 81 squares as to me that is how the gradation worked out best and still kept this within Mini size. I cut my squares using the AccuQuilt system which I love for projects like this. I used the 2.5″ square die that cuts squares and the 1 3/4″ die for circles.

AccuQuilt system
AccuQuilt system

Fabrics – I used the Silent Film Layer Cake by Kona – you could use a Charm pack as you do not need as many as are in the Layer Cake I just liked cutting 9 squares at once that you get from each slice of Cake and I was using for other projects as well.

Kona Silent Film Layer Cake
Kona Silent Film Layer Cake

I did cut a square of Kona white for the centre and used Kona snow in the other four surrounding squares. These do not come in the Silent Film palette. See my square layout below.


After the first cut with the die on the circles (it cuts two at a time) I kept the fabric scrap to use as a Fussy cutting window which I then placed over spots of fabric to see if I liked how the piece would look and centre any animal figure. Then I would rough cut that out and lay it on the die – I would do six at a time this way (so three layers of fabric – you can do up to six layers but I was nervous about potential shifting as these are fussy cut as well with rough cut pieces I figured in some spots there could be six layers and why push it).

Fussy cutting
Fussy cutting

Next, I lay out how I felt the circles looked best on the squares – pointer, if you have an extra cutting mat just do that on it as then it makes for easy transport back and forth from machine and iron etc. I choose to glue baste after experimenting with doing circle raw edge applique which does work really well. If you want to do hand needle-turn applique cut your circles at 2 1/4″ if you want the exact effect I achieved as that gives you your 1/4″ seam allowance all around. There is a size for this on the die I used as well.


In the end I loved my Big glue stick vs my EPP glue stick as it was the perfect size – I assembly lined glue and iron then back to design area not to mix them up.

Glue basting
Glue basting

Next I joined them in pairs – I prefer to pin as I like to ensure seams and edges all align especially when working small as a tiny shift gets very magnified – and quickly! I also press my seams open. After I made pairs I then joined into sets of 2 by 2 then 2 by 4. For each “row” it will become a 2 by 4 and a 2 by 5. So you are now laying out rectangles. I did this again to avoid shift as single rows can get wonky very fast – in my house anyways!

Be pin happy!
Be pin happy!

In the end I ended up waiting until I was ready quilt to sew down the circles. I used my darning foot and Free Motion Quilted using white Aurifil thread going three times around each circle. I reverse stitched at the start and the end and just trimmed the threads closely vs burying them. Do three off kilter passes to make it look more organic. I used cotton batting and still got a nice bubble effect with the circles.

Stitching circles - showing the three times around
Stitching circles – showing the three times around

To finish I then stitched closely beside each horizontal and vertical seam in Aurifil light grey thread lining up just the one edge of one toe width and ensured I stitched between the circle edge and seam as made each pass. I started in the centre seam going straight across. Once one line is done just turn and come across the other side of the seam – again this creates less shift. To travel to the next seam just sew staright along the edge until you reach it. I quilted this part just using my basic piecing foot not a walking foot.

A quick binding – Kona black from a jelly roll is perfect size and no cutting needed.

Have fun with this and showcase some of your favorite lines – I may do one with my Tula Scraps next for my sewing area. Post pictures using the hashtag minionthebubblequilt as I would love to see your take on this fun project!

Blog tip of the day

A quick tip for today is to ensure you add Tags and Categories to your posts. This brings your posts up as other search different areas. It is recommended to use 5-15 tags. Yes, I am just learning this one myself so I need to start tagging away. Word press gives a great example of a recipe for brownies to describe the difference between a Category and a Tag. Say you are posting  recipe for brownies. The categories would be Dessert and Baking. Tags would be Chocolate, Brownie and Walnuts. Happy tagging!

For example in today’s post I used Mini Quilt and Tutorial as categories and AccuQuilt, Cotton and Steel, and Fussy cutting as some tags.

Quilt tip of the day

Rebel Quilt in process
Rebel Quilt in process

Here is another tip for HSTs that I seem to be doing endless amounts of lately. I just finished all the blocks for my Rebel Quilt (pattern by Libs Elliot). To trim these HSTs I always use a square with my diagonal ruler line laying directly on the diagonal seam of my HST. Trim the top and the right edge flip the HST and do the same again. Now you will have a fully square HST not just one the size you are aiming for. And yes, I cut my squares all 1/8″ larger than the pattern calls for remember – you are trimming to square up anyways so why not.

Random Fun Facts about me

So 20 things about me – with four days left this week I will post five a day.

1) I am the youngest of 5 (four older brothers and I was adopted)

2) I was published when I was in Grade 8 (poetry) – I was a big short story writer and poems.  I did start writing a novel when my twins were born – still have it have finished 200 pages and the whole outline – a medical thriller

3) I have twins! – girls aged 11 – and a boy who is 13 and a younger girl who is 9.

4) I used to wish I had lived during Little House on the Prairie times so I could ride my horse to school everyday… I guess it still would be cool to ride him to work everyday!

5) I think about my father every single day. Miss him dearly, and love that he gave me this life. He passed away suddenly in 2007 and I was able to get from the airport to his bedside before the ambulance arrived and see him before he lost consciousness. I will remember and cherish that moment forever and it still feels like yesterday.

Tomorrow – some more fun random facts about myself and tips!

Until then,