Miss Connections

This quilt has a story.

If you like that sort of thing, grab yourself a cup of tea and I’ll tell you all about it. If not, well, just scroll down through the pictures because this post is going to get a little wordy, but this quilt is definitely worth a look.

Let’s start almost two years ago when my little blog was just months old. Beth of Plum and June contacted me to ask if I’d like to part of the Let’s Get Acquainted New Blogger Blog Hop. I happily agreed and it was a great experience. I got to meet a lot of people who were just starting out on their online creative journey as I was, and I was introduced to a host of new blogs and the people behind them.

A year later, my blog was just over a year old, but since I was still fairly new, I jumped on the New Blogger Blog Hop Train again (I don’t think I can go for 3; I feel like once I’ve had this space for over 2 years, I can’t really call myself “new” anymore!). Another group of great, creative, inspiring people, and another set of new blogs to drool over.

This quilt is called Miss Connections, for Beth. She is Miss Connections because she put in the time and effort to organize and share all those new blogs. It’s like Miss Congeniality, only better, and a lot more work.

Now, we cut away for a moment, from the online side of things and talk about Virginia. Somewhere in our online correspondence, Beth and I discovered that we lived less than 2 hours from one another. A few friends occasionally met at Kim‘s place to sew and play and we loosely called ourselves the Midway Sewing Group since Kim lived midway between the D.C. area and me, in north central Virginia. We invited Beth to join us, but our schedules never lined up, so it never happened. And then I moved to Missouri. I feel like never meeting Beth in real life while we lived so close was a missed connection, and that is the secondary meaning of the name of this quilt.

Toward the end of the most recent edition of the Let’s Get Acquainted New Blogger Blog Hop, Jan at Sew and Sow Farm emailed everyone on the hop and proposed an idea. She thought it would be fun for each of us to make a block and put them together in a quilt as a Thank You to Beth for everything she did to make the blog hop run smoothly. Jan asked if someone take the lead to organize everyone, and volunteered. I felt like bringing us together on this project was a way I connect with Beth since I missed the in-person opportunity.

After considerable online discussion and a poll, we ultimately decided to go completely scrappy and make a “kitchen sink” quilt (from the saying “everything but the kitchen sink”). There’s a lot going on, but it works (the other options, in case you were wondering, were to unify by either color or block style). We felt that this plan would give each blogger the most autonomy and creative control over his/her contribution to the quilt. It really allows you to see the individuality within each block.

I made up a diagram for the quilt to determine how many blocks, and what sizes we needed, and then we each signed up for a block of either 6-, 9-, or 12-inches.

kitchen sink quilt design2.1

This quilt was a joy to put together. It was such an honor to take the creative work of so many individuals and turn it into one cohesive quilt. These blocks came to me from all over the world, and many hands have touched this project. Maybe the quilt, herself, is Miss Connection because she is the literal connection of all those blocks.

Miss Connections - Beth's Thank You Quilt

Here are some closer photos of the section of the quilt. Aren’t the blocks amazing? So much personality!

Miss Connections - Beth's Thank You Quilt

Some of the blocks are an obvious nod to their creator (like the mushroom block from Little Mushroom Cap, the banana from The Crooked Banana, and the diamond gemstone from {no} hats in the house which now available in the Craftsy pattern store) and others are a more subtle connection.

Miss Connections - Beth's Thank You Quilt

And speaking of missed connections, it seems I missed one of the block connections. See where New Zealand connects to the gray diamond dresden? Yeah, well, that whole unit was supposed to be flipped around, and now we have a finished quilt with an upside down New Zealand. I didn’t notice until I was quilting it, and well, by then I decided it was too late.

Miss Connections - Beth's Thank You Quilt Miss Connections - Beth's Thank You Quilt Miss Connections - Beth's Thank You Quilt

I pieced the name of the hop on the back and added the siggy squares everyone had included. (I didn’t realize that In the Boondocks had forgotten to include a signature block, but rest assured, I told Beth that you contributed!)

Miss Connections - Beth's Thank You Quilt

If you are looking for some new creative inspiration, there are some great spaces among these blogs!

Sew Fresh Quilts, Robot Mom Sews, So Sew Green, Kwilty Pleasures, Let’s Begin Sewing, The Sassy Quilter, NW Patchwork, The Rainbow Revolts, RobinSue Quilts, There’s a Thread, A Note to Follow Sew, Quarter Incher, {no} hats in the house, Lovelea Designs, Faffling, Wonderland by Alyce, Quilty Creations, Sew and Sow Farm, Caroline’s Craftiness, Simple Sewendipity, My Quilt Infatuation, Between Quilts, Little and Lots, Sassafras Lane, Hilltop House Creative Works, Chezzetcook Modern Quilts, Studiolo, Sew Sunshine, A Quilter’s Mission, The Crooked Banana, Sewing by Moonlight, Wasn’t Quilt in a Day, Ella and Nesta’s Little Room, Melia Mae Quilting, ayliN-Nilya, Factotem of Arts, Jolie Maxtin, Cloud Coucou Crafts, Kayak Quilting, Wombat Quilts, 13 Spools, Happy Fabric, Little Mushroom Cap, Molli Sparkles, Play Crafts, Owen’s Olivia, Making Happyness, Ella’s Cottage, Little Birdie Quilting, Bead Queene, On the Windy Side, In the Boondocks

Miss Connections - Beth's Thank You Quilt

If you’re wondering if Beth was surprised, you can read about it on her blog.

Miss Connections - Beth's Thank You Quilt

Collaborative work is awesome. If you haven’t worked with someone else on a project, I encourage you to do it. There are plenty of online quilting bees that you can join. Quilting is creative endeavor that is done mostly solo, and including the work of others with the same passion in a single quilt really strengthens your sense of community. I can now say I worked on a project with each of the talented people above, and I am so pleased I was able to help with this project to thank my friend Beth for all the hard work she did to bring us together.

4×5 Modern Quilt Bee is back

4x5 modern quilt bee is back

I have participated in several rounds of the 4×5 Modern Quilt Bee, and it has been great fun. It’s a fantastic way to interact with other quilter and to get a sampler quilt on the way to completion.

Recently, our fearless leader, Sukie, announced that she was stepping down from leading the bee and it would be no more without someone at the helm. I just couldn’t let that happen, so with the help of two other quilters, I will be the NEW queen bee of the 4×5 bee. I’m headed into unfamiliar territory, but Sukie has promised to mentor me.

Here’s how the 4×5 Modern Quilt Bee works.

First, you fill out a form with your color preferences and mailing address. This is shared with your hive caretaker and beemates so that your blocks can be mailed to you. You make a color mosaic so your hivemates have an idea of what you are looking for in your color choices.

4x5 color inspiration mosaic_citrus

You are assigned to be part of a hive with 5 other quilters. You choose your colors for your quilt, and each of your hivemates makes you a block of their pattern choice in your color choice. This was from a round of the bee when my colors were yellow, grays, black.

4x5 Quilt Bee, received blocks, 2011 Q4 + my additions

Then I changed my color choices to tangerine, lime, and lemon yellow (sounds delicious right?).

4x5 modern quilt bee quarter 1 received blocks

Meanwhile, you choose a block to make each of your beemates in their color choices. In this bee, we use our own fabrics. This block led to a tutorial for my Multiples of 3 block.

Multiples of 3 block for 4x5 Bee Fall Q 2012


After sign-ups, the bee runs for 6 weeks, so you have a week to choose your block pattern and pull fabrics, and then 5 weeks to sew. That allows for one block per week. At the end of the round, you mail off your blocks and receive 5 blocks in the mail.

Sign-ups are going slowly right now. With the redesign of Flickr and the uncertainty about the future of the bee, I don’t think people are checking in. But please join us in the 4×5 Modern Quilt Bee, and feel free to use that photo at the top to share and spread the word!

A big, big finish for Brian

It was over a year ago when I decided I wanted to make a quilt for my friend, Brian, who lost is home in Colorado’s Waldo Canyon Fire. My goal was to finish the quilt as a house-warming gift when he rebuilt his house. Brian moved into his home in April. The quilt was finished in May. But it still had to be bound, and we were moving, so my mom took the quilt to put the binding on. She brought it back when we moved in to our new house in August, and then it’s just hung out here since then. No excuses about why I didn’t mail it until last week. But Brian has it now, so I will show you.

Brian is an outdoor guy who lives in the mountains of Colorado, and that’s what inspired the color palate of grays, greens and blues.

IMG_0145 IMG_0147

My original plan was 6×7 16-inch squares, but that size turned out to be way larger in reality than I imagined, so I stopped at 6×6. I made about half of the blocks, and I had some help with the rest. My mom, who has known Brian as long as I have, made some, as did another friend, who has also known Brian since childhood (hi Monica!). I requested some blocks from Flickr friends, and so this quilt includes the loving work of people around the country and around the world.


IMG_0149 IMG_0148

The back of the quilt has blocks I didn’t use on the front, and a collection of the leftover fabric pieced together.


A friend in Virginia volunteered to quilt this for me, and I am eternally grateful to her because I don’t know how I would have gotten this 96 x 96 inch beast through my home machine. She used an all-over freeform leaf pattern, which fits nicely with the color theme of the quilt.


The binding is a nice saturated green.


Here’s the quilt on my queen size bed, I think it was a good thing I left off that last row! Enjoy, Brian. I hope you have many happy years in your new home! (When can I visit?)


Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday.

Missing you

I’m really missing the interaction that I usually look for in this awesome online sewing and quilting community. I’m also missing my sewing time as there has been very little of that lately.

Life has been busy and there have been other priorities. We closed on our new house Friday, moved in on Saturday. We bought a new car since my husband’s commute now demands we become a two car family. All of this is very exciting, but I am still up to my eyeballs in boxes, my future sewing room is begging for some attention and those darn kids still want to eat several times every single day!

Meanwhile, my oldest started kindergarten Thursday (does this seem insanely early to anyone besides me?) and the middle daughter began preschool yesterday. We had to buy a new fridge because the one in the house was way too small for a family of 5 and then we found out it was manufactured in 1984! The dog escaped from the yard and we caught him tearing apart the neighbor’s garbage (welcome to the neighborhood!) so we had to fix the fence, and my husband removed the door to the utility room to install a kitty door so the dog will stop trying to eat the litter only to find that the hinge broke off with some wood from the door attached.

Today, though, I escaped and forgot all about all there is left to do and all that will be discovered to do and went to my first ever quilt guild meeting. I am now a due paying member of the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild! It was so much fun to see what some of the members learned in a Jacquie Gering workshop last month and to see what people had finished during show and tell. I hope that I have something of my own to share very soon. Perhaps it will be “The Secret Project”. (wink)

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Okay, time to head to New Jersey. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about New Jersey, but I’ve got a good friend who lives there and it’s called the “garden state” so it sounds lovely enough, right? (Let’s just forget about all the Jersey Shore stereotype and focus on the “garden”, okay? We all love a nice garden, and you are going to love this block!)

There are a number of different ways this block could be put together. Possibilities I’m using include use mostly half square triangles or make the “legs” of the x a single piece of fabric. Instead, I’ll show you how to construct this block as a 3×3 grid made up of flying geese and half square triangles.

Road Trip Quilt Along 2013: New Jersey

Cutting directions for New Jersey quilt block:

From background fabric (gray for me):
(4) 2.5 inch x 4.5 inch rectangles

From fabric 2 (dark pink):
(1) 3-1/8 inch square (for center on point square)
(6) 3-inch squares (to use in the corner half square triangles)

From fabric 3 (yellow-gold):
(4) 2.5-inch squares
(12) 3-inch squares
*6 of these will be paired with dark pink to make HSTs
*sub-cut 2 of these on the diagonal to make 4 triangles to use around the center on-point square
*4 of these will be used to make flying geese

From fabric 4 (dark orange):
(1) 5.25 inch square (used to make 4 flying geese)

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Construct the block

1. Make the center square.
Use the 3-1/8 inch square of Fabric 2. Along each edge, sew a triangle from 1/2 of a 3-inch square. Trim the center square to 4.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

2. Make 12 half square triangles using (6) 3-inch squares of Fabric 2 and (6) 3-inch squares of Fabric 3. For a review of how to make HSTs, please revisit the Maryland tutorial. Trim each finished HST to 2.5-inches.

3. Make 4 flying geese using the 5.25 inch square of Fabric 4 and (4) 3-inch squares of Fabric 3. This is my favorite method for flying geese, but it works best when you need 4 (or multiples of 4) geese.

The first step is similar to how you make a HST. Begin by aligning two 3-inch squares in opposite corners of the 5.25-inch square. Draw a line from corner to corner, bisecting both of the smaller squares.

Sew a 1/4 inch line of stitches to each side of line you just drew. Cut the piece apart on the drawn line.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Iron the small triangles up away from the large triangle you created with your cut.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Align the remaining 3-inch squares in the remaining “empty” corner of the larger triangles. Again, draw a line bisecting the square into 2 triangles. The line will begin at the “empty” corner of the large triangle and end between where the two smaller triangles are attached.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Sew a line of stitches 1/4 inch to each side of the line you drew and cut the piece apart on the drawn line.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Iron the final small triangle open. Trim the flying goose to 4.5 inches x 2.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

4. Put together the sub-units of the block.
4a. Sew each flying goose unit to a 4.5 x 2.5 inch rectangle of background fabric along the long edge of the center triangle.
4b. Combine 3 half square triangles with (1) 2.5 inch square of Fabric 3 as seen below.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

5. Sew the 9 sub-units into rows, sew the rows together, and your done! Don’t forget to share your block in the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group!

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

Linking this up as my finish this week.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Delaware

I have not actually spent any significant time in Delaware. At most, I’ve driven through a portion. So, if you’ve been there, tell me something fun to do in Delaware.

This block is pretty straight forward and should come together really easily for you.

Cutting directions:

From background fabric:
Cut (1) 2.5 inch square
Cut (2) 6 inch squares, then sub-cut each of these on the diagonal to make 2 triangles (4 total)

From each of two focus fabrics:
Cut (2) 5.5 x 2.5 inch rectangles
Cut (1) 6.25 inch square

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

Making the block

Create half square triangles from the 6.25 inch squares.  Place the fabric right sides together. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. Sew a line 1/4 inch to each side of the drawn line. Cut the square apart on the drawn line. Iron open. For instructions with photos, go back to the Maryland tutorial.

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

When you’ve finished the HSTs, cut them apart on the diagonal through both fabrics as shown below.

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

Place each 2-color triangle right sides together with one of the triangles of background fabric and sew along the long edge. Iron open. Trim this piece to 5.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

From here, it’s just laying out the remaining pieces of the block and sewing them together.

Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

Easy! But remember to sew the pieces together so your background HSTs all point to the center? See that line at the top of this block: that’s where I sewed the last row on upside down. The seam ripper is my most important sewing tool!

Road Trip Quilt Along: Delaware

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland

From Virginia, our road trip takes us north into Maryland. During last year’s road trip, we made a Maryland Star, so this year, we’ll try something different. I’ve seen this called “Maryland Beauty” and it involves a series of “feathered triangles” with the feathers measuring just one inch. My husband saw me making this block with teeny tiny triangles and he said: “Why would you do that to yourself.”

Me: “Because. Doesn’t it look awesome?”
Hubs: “Yes. But … why would you do that to yourself?”

It’s worth the reward!

Cutting direction for Maryland Beauty quilt block:

Background fabric:
1/2 of a 13-inch square cut on the diagonal
1/2 of a 7-inch square cut on the diagonal
(18) 2-inch squares

From each of 3 focus fabrics:
1/2 of a 6-inch square cut on the diagonal (3, 1/2 squares in total)
(5) 2-inch squares (15 in total)
Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Create Half Square Triangles

From the (15) 2-inch squares of focus fabric and 15 of the 2-inch squares of background fabric, create half square triangles. Here’s how:

Align 1 square of focus fabric and 1 square of background fabric right sides together.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Draw a diagonal line through the square.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Sew a line 1/4 from each side of the marked line.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Cut the square in two along the line.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Iron each of the 2 halves open.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Trim each to 1.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Repeat 14 times. You will end up with 10 half square triangles from each of 3 fabrics, but you only need 9 of them.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Cut the remaining 3 squares of background fabric in half on the diagonal.

Put the block together

Begin with one of you 6-inch half square of focus fabric. You will add the small half square triangles along two edges. Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

All small HSTs will face the same direction. Sew 4 of them together horizontally, and add an extra half square of background fabric to the end. Sew 5 more small HSTs together vertically and add an extra half square of background fabric to the bottom.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Attach first the shorter piece and then the longer pieces to the large half square of focus fabric. Trim the long edge of the triangle so it is 45-degrees from each of the other edges.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Sew this piece to the 7-inch half square of background fabric.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Trim the resulting square to 6.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Create 2 additional feathered triangles by the same method and sew one to each remaining edge of the background fabric half square. Sew this entire piece to the half 13-inch square of background fabric.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Trim your Maryland Beauty block to 12.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Maryland Beauty block: the cheater way

If you agree with my husband and think “why would I do that to myself?”, there is a short cut to this block. It’s much easier to put together, but just remember: it’s not nearly as awesome!

You’ll need:
From background fabric:
1/2 of a 13-inch square cut on the diagonal
1/2 of a 7-inch square cut on the diagonal

From each of 3 focus fabrics:
1/2 of a 7-inch square cut on the diagonal (3, 1/2 squares in total)

Put the block together just as the direction indicate, but instead of constructing and then using the feathered triangles, you’ll just use the 1/2 7-inch squares.
Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial Road Trip Quilt Along

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia

Hello and welcome to the first stop on the Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia. This quilt along was born last summer when my family travelled through a total of 16 states in 8 weeks. In order to keep myself sewing while we were away, I decided to make a quilt block to represent each state we travelled through. This year, the road trip isn’t really happening, but the blocks we’ll be making represent states that are contiguous, so this is a hypothetical road trip, and you really could travel this route if you desired. When we are finished, we will have 12 blocks representing states from the northeastern United States.

Last year’s road trip also began in Virginia, and I showed you how to make a Virginia Star. This year, we’ll make something else to represent Virginia: the Virginia Reel (though, as of 2 weeks ago, I no longer live in Virginia. Perhaps next year we’ll begin our road trip in Missouri!).

Cutting directions:

*note: the block can be made with 2 different fabrics, rather than 4, as I used. If using 2 fabrics, you will need 2 center squares of each color.*

Center: Cut a 2-inch square of each color.

Radiating triangles: *You will need 1/2 squares (cut in half on the diagonal) of each color. If you are using 2 fabrics, you will use both halves. If you are using 4 fabrics, you will only use one half.*

Cut a square of each color in each of the following sizes:
3-1/8 inch
4 inch
5-1/4 inch
7 inch

Cut each square in half on the diagonal to make two triangles.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Construct the Virginia Reel block

All seams are 1/4 inch.

Sew the 4 center squares into a 4-patch. If using 2 fabrics, alternate their placement so a square is not adjacent to one of the same fabric. If your seam allowances are accurate, you should have a 3.5 inch 4-patch block.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Add the first round (smallest) triangles. The bottom left corner of each triangle should be touching the square of the same fabric. Trim this block to 4.75 inches square.



Add the next larger size triangle. Again, the bottom left corner of the triangle should be touching the triangle from the same fabric.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Trim the block to 6.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Continue in the same manner for the two remaining rounds of triangles. Trim the resulting block to 9 inches, and finally to 12.5 inches.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

I cut out a second center square of each color and used my other 1/2 square triangles to make a second block.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial

Easy, right? I thought this was a really fun block. Come and share yours in the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group!


Road Trip Quilt Along a GO

aka: Let’s DO this thing

aka: I finally found a little time to sew

aka: I’m starved for sewing interaction, please play with me?

The Road Trip Quilt Along, which was going to start the first Friday of June will BEGIN THIS FRIDAY, July 5th. Hooray! This week, I managed to make notes for the first 4 blocks, and I’ve already finished making the first block, Virginia Reel. I’ll post the tutorial Friday.

I will continue to post a tutorial of one state block every Friday for 12 week as we travel through 12 states on our hypothetical road trip from Virginia, up through Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York. Then we’ll travel through the New England states and back to Virginia by way of Pennsylvania.

Road Trip Quilt Along: block 3 Delaware plan


This is a sampler quilt composed of twelve 12-inch blocks with sashing.  The nature of a sampler means it’s tough to give you exact amounts of fabric that you will need. I recommend 2 yards of background fabric, and 2 to 2.5 yards of other fabric. So 4-5 half yards, 8-10 fat quarters, you get the idea.

I will be using all solids for my version of this sampler, in the color palette below. The dark gray is Kona coal and that will be my background.

Road Trip Quilt Along: solids color choice

The first block that we’ll be making, Virginia Reel, works equally well with 2 or 4 fabrics. I will be using 4 (and consequently, ending up with 2 blocks).

Road Trip Quilt Along: first block colors

Please join the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group to share your fabric choices and blocks. Hope to see you Friday!

One project at a time

I am working on one project right now. This is very strange for me, as I am usually one to have many irons in the fire. But this I want DONE! Though, when I say I’m working on one project, I really mean one sewing project, because the truth is, the MAJOR project around here right now is packing up our entire lives to move half way across the country.

I am flying out tomorrow night with the baby to spend 2 days looking for a house. Oh, I’m just going to go by a house. No big deal, right? (Please note the sarcasm as I am totally freaking out!) I’ll be back Thursday afternoon. My parents will arrive Friday. Meanwhile, we are having a birthday party for my almost 5-year-old Saturday (we really need to do this as it will be her last chance to see her Virginia friends. Sad.), moving container arrives Monday, is picked up Wednesday, and Thursday we load up and GO! HELP!!

Anyway, back to that sewing project: the top is DONE! I started out with 496 little squares and sewed on 496 little triangle. And now, they are all together as one happy little quilt top.


With borders!


And a couple nights ago, I actually got up out of bed to go downstairs and baste the thing. Ridiculous. But probably the only time I could have had the space in the kitchen to do that. There are boxes EVERYWHERE! Now to quilt and bind. Might be shooting high to finish before the move, but that’s what I’m shooting for!