Susan at Desert Sky Quilting is hosting a block-of-the-month quilt-along featuring stars and pinwheels. The first block is Indian Star – an easy but interesting block offered in two options. The first option is using squares and half-square triangles; the second option has flying geese patches.
Since I have back problems and don’t make large quilts any longer, I’m participating in this quilt-along by using each block as I make it into something I can use at home or into a project that will make a nice gift. I made the blocks in both versions.
I used the first block to make a book bag for carrying my requisite 4-books-at-a-time back and forth to the library. The back of the bag includes a vintage embroidery piece adapted from an old coloring book.
The second version was made into a project box which I designed to set on my sewing table with pockets on the inside to hold instructions and other essentials along with the fabric for the project. I lined the bag with medium-weight canvas and added stiff interlining so the bag will set upright.
The embroidered panel is from one I found on the internet and good for me since I do almost all of my quilting on the machine.
This promises to be a fun quilt-along and Susan is meticulous about her instructions which makes everything easy and enjoyable. Hope you’ll join us here.
I completed the final block in the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM, which in my case was Bonus Block 2. It turned out to be my favorite block because of the chevrons in the patchwork and the blue fabrics I used.
Since I only had 5 bluebird embroidery patterns and needed 6, I made a duplicate of one of the blocks and used blue floss for the flowers.
Jacquelynne posted the final instructions and the time has come for me to decide what to do with these pretty blocks. I really don’t need another wall hanging and the embroidery patterns were of kitchen subjects, so I decided to make panel curtains for my kitchen windows. I have a bay window with three sections and a large window over the sink. I decided to make one-block sections for the two small bay windows and two blocks each in the larger windows.
The first step was to pin the blocks to a backing ….
…and then do some very simple big-stitch hand quilting along with some random starbursts.
I auditioned several different approaches to making the curtains, including using some old lace material, but decided to keep it simple and streamlined, using sashing and borders. I just completed the curtains and the first non-snowy, bright, cheerful day that comes along, I’ll post some pictures.
This has been an interesting BOM series and you can still make your version from Jacquelynne’s web site – she doesn’t archive patterns for very long, so it‘s best to copy the free patterns and save them for when it‘s time for a new project in your sewing room.
The embroidery patterns were found here.
I combined some hand-embroidered squares with some paper-pieced hearts to make a runner for Valentine’s Day. Some of the embroidery patterns were found online and I made up some of them using vintage Valentines from my collection as a source.
The boy and girl in the top row of these squares are from a Valentine my mother received from her teacher in 1923.
I added a sleeve to the back so I can also hang this piece.
I like this cheerful addition to my Valentine’s Day decorations. Hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day.
I’ve completed Block 4 of this series with another hand-embroidered vintage bluebird.
I’ve decided to make the two bonus blocks to make a total of six and here is Bonus Block #1.
I have one more Bonus Block to complete and have already finished the bluebird for it. Now, I have to wait until the end of the month to see what finishing instructions are provided and make up my mind how I want to assemble the blocks. It’s been an interesting series.
For free vintage embroidery patterns: https://www.flickr.com/photos/29529717@N04/
I just completed BOM #3 in Jacquelynne Steves’ Sew Sweet Simplicity series.
I’m using vintage bluebird patterns to embroider the center block for these 12-inch finished blocks. I’m using coordinating scraps for the block itself but each one will be a little bit different.
The blocks will be turned into some kind of project for the kitchen. The block is not difficult to piece, yet gives some very pretty results.
Click here for lots of free vintage embroidery patterns.
Since Christmas preparations took top priority this past month, I just completed block #2 in Jacquelynne Steves’ block-of-the-month series, Sew Sweet Simplicity. As with the first block, I used an embroidered panel of a vintage bluebird design. I’m not sure yet how I’ll be using the blocks.
The piecing isn’t perfect, but then neither is the embroidery. I like the overall effect, though. I already have block #3 cut out and ready to assemble.
This was block #1.
The free vintage embroidery patterns are available here:
I was interested in a new BOM offered by JacquelineSteves.com because I have been doing a lot of embroidering from vintage patterns lately and her BOM has a nice 6-1/2 center block to fill with embroidery or applique. Jacqueline supplies a simple embroidery/applique design but I wanted to use a series of darling bluebird-in-the-kitchen patterns that I found online.
This is the first of the Sew Sweet Simplicty BOM series which finishes at 12-1/2 inches unfinished.
I made this block from scraps using suggested colors except I substituted blue for red to accent the little birds.
This is a fairly easy pattern to sew with a couple of helpful tips from Jacqueline. We can make a four or six-block wall hanging and I haven’t decided yet how I’ll use my blocks, but they will all be scrappy with a bluebird in the center.
The free vintage embroidery pattern (plus many, many more arranged in albums) is available at
Click on pictures to enlarge.
Last Saturday, my daughter and I visited a favorite antique mall, Venice Pavilion Antique Mall in Ross, Ohio (near Cincinnati). I have been on the lookout for a small doll’s bed to display some mini quilts. I didn’t find a bed but I did find this really nice wide rocker for only $6.50. It measures 7-1/2 inches wide x 9 inches high
As soon as I got home, I made up a pillow with a Thanksgiving theme.
It was a cute pillow but I really wanted one that was wider. I found four 3-½ inch blocks that I had paper-pieced 6 or 7 years ago. With a few strips as borders, they turned out to be the exact size I needed. This is confirmation of my old argument that if you keep something long enough, some day you’ll find a use for it. All of the blocks were patterns from my Electric Quilt software (#5 at that time). This one is called Bird of Paradise.
This pattern is called Lucky Star…
I couldn’t find my file with the name for this block, but I like the blue fabrics.
This block is called Jack’s Delight and shows an advantage the rocker has over a bed – the space to display small items on the seat.
The best use may be as a comfortable resting place for my doll Emily who is wearing a doll dress made by my mother out of one of my dresses almost 80 years ago.
I’m still working on my goals for this year of using up all of the small scraps I have. I found a lot of fussy-cut scraps from some material I bought 5 years ago to make this apron which won a blue ribbon at our county fair.
I used a few more pieces in small projects but still had a lot of scraps that I couldn’t bear to throw away. I used them along with some green/yellow scraps to make this wall hanging.
I pieced the squares on-point and for the corners found a vintage pillow cover fabric among my scraps to use as corners.
I still had some odd-shaped pieces of fabric left and put those together with scraps to make a cover for a large cushion.
I’m down to one large bag of scraps to work with now – brown, tan, and orange shades. I might make my goal of emptying all of the bags by the end of the year.
A few months ago, I bought a vintage folding chair at an antique store and made a cushion set for it. I thought it was time to have a change of cushions and looked through my scraps to see what I could come up with. Recently, I’ve been embroidering in the evening while watching TV. My embroidery skills demand simple designs with basic stitches. Actually, I prefer the kind of 1930s-40s embroidery that all of the women in my family did while I was growing up. This design of a swan holding summer flowers seemed just right for summertime cushions.
I used a quilt pattern named Children’s Delight from my EQ6 software to make 5-½ inch blocks. The pillow measures 17×17 inches. When assembling the top cushion, I added a 15 inch piece of 2-½ inch elastic on the back to hold it in place while on the chair.
I made an unquilted fabric seat cushion to keep the focus on the top cushion with the swan.
I had just put the finished set on the chair and left to get my camera. When I came back to the room, I found that Addie loves the new cushions.