Judy Martin–Free Pattern–Modern Basket

Modern Basket

Judy Martin has just posted a free pattern in her Block of the Moment series.  Like all of Judy’s patterns, it takes easy patches and turns them into something a little different.

Modern Basket2

I made my test block from scraps and it’s not perfect, but very pretty and I have notes now if I choose to make a larger hanging of four blocks such as Judy shows in her post and incorporate some really pretty fabric.

Judy doesn’t archive her free pattern for long periods of time, so if you’re interested, it might be a good time to print this one.


Star Cluster Block


One of my Mother’s Day gifts from my son and daughter-in-law in St. Louis was a two-yard length of some exciting fabric.  I love the silhouettes of a hometown marching band with exploding fireworks (click on photo to see fabric design).

I used 1-½ yards to make myself a patriotic coverall apron with a nice big pocket.


I used the remainder to make a pillow and desk mat.  Judy Martin (my favorite designer) had a BOM on her website called Star Cluster which I thought would work well with the fabric.  I used the marching band fabric along with red/white/blue scraps to make a 16 inch block which became a pillow …


…and two 12-inch blocks for a large mat for my father’s 1940s-era homemade desk.
012 013


Like all of Judy’s designs, she has taken an easy pattern and added her own twists to make it unique.

Thank you to my St. Louis family for a gift that multiplied itself into three nice items.


Country Fair Mini-Quilt – Table Topper


When I gave my youngest daughter an anniversary mini-quilt and rack in October, I knew I would be supplying new quilts as the occasion arose.  I made Thanksgiving and Christmas quilts, then realized mid-January she didn’t have a quilt for her table topper.  I made what I call an “interim quilt” which means it would work out for non-seasonal, non-holiday display.

Last year about this time, I spent some time making some of Judy Martin’s variations on LeMoyne stars.  I particularly liked this one called “Country Fair“.  The block I made is far from perfect and convinced me I didn’t want to make a big quilt from this block, but I still think it’s nice as a mini-quilt with some strips added to fit the rack.


I quilted it to a fleece backing, added sleeve, label and binding – and my daughter has an interim quilt to display until time to put up the Valentine’s Day decorations.


LeMoyne Star Blocks

I love LeMoyne Stars but have never felt completely satisfied with the ones I made.  I decided to devote some time this week to making some LeMoyne Stars and trying to get more comfortable with them.

I have a piece of software by one of my favorite designers, Judy Martin.   Stars and Sets has over 200 blocks for several types of stars – Ohio, Variable, Lone Star, Compass, Spikey Star and LeMoyne.  The software is difficult to find but the patterns I chose are also in her books as noted.

The patterns are rated 1 to 4 stars, with 1 star being the easiest.  There is no one-star LeMoyne block so I chose four two-star patterns to try.  I made all them in the 8-inch finished size.

SALSA – I combined rotary cutting and templates and it went together fairly well.  There are a couple of points that are a little short, but otherwise I like the block.  This block also appeared in Judy’s book, Block Book, pg 38

LAKE OF THE WOODS – I used Judy’s suggestion of cutting the center triangles from the same pattern of fabric to form a kaleidoscope.  The block went together well and I really like it.  Also in Judy’s book, Scraps, Blocks & Quilts, pg 33

BUILDING BLOCK – Made this block completely from templates.  Judy provides piecing diagrams for all of her blocks which made it go together fairly easily.  The center hexagon was quite small and difficult to sew with a partial seam.

While I was working on this block, it didn’t look promising but it was like a puzzle and other than wishing I had made a couple of different fabric choices, the block is impressive.

Also in Judy’s book, Judy Martin’s Ultimate Book of Quilt Block Patterns, pg 31

THE RIVER JORDAN – I used both templates and rotary cutting.  A nice pattern and not too difficult.  Also in Judy’s book, The Block Book, pg 34

I had a fun, challenging week, but now I’m ready to piece something a little easier.  Some day, I hope to actually make one of the 3-star or 4-star versions.

Scottie Valentine Silhouettes

Scotties are perfect for silhouettes and Scottie silhouettes are perfect for Valentine’s Day decorations.

I made this wall hanging with a vintage Christmas card as my inspiration.  I drew the various pieces on Steam-A-Seam Double Stick Lite Fusible Web, then fused them to the bits of fabric.  I cut out the various pieces of the design and arranged them on an applique mat before fusing them to the background fabric.  They were stitched in place with invisible thread and a narrow zigzag stitch.  I added some strips and borders to complete the piece and did some very simple quilting.

A few years ago, I made this wall hanging for the kitchen.

The background of the heart is a pretty scene from a calendar that was scanned and then printed on June Tailor Sew In Colorfast Fabric.  The Scottie also was inspired by a greeting card and was fused onto the piece and stitched with invisible thread.  The block is STATE FAIR from Judy Martin’s Stars and Sets software.

Last year, I made a hanging using a pineapple block with a center showing a silhouette of a 1930s era woman and her Scottie.

This was scanned from a vintage reverse painting on glass.

Scottie silhouettes are also good on greeting cards.  My daughter made these two cards for me on past Valentine’s Days.

I love Scotties, I love silhouettes and I love Valentine’s Day!

Back-to-School Redwork Wall Hanging

fulltwoTo commemorate back-to-school time, my oldest daughter gave me a redwork panel she had embroidered with a charming old-fashioned schoolroom scene.  She got the pattern from Quilting Bee Designs and used her usual excellent embroidery skills to make it special.


I thought the size of the panel would make it an ideal piece for a wall hanging and started thinking of what I could use as a border that would frame the work without overwhelming it.  I found a block pattern on Judy Martin’s Stars and Sets software that I adapted to use as a border.  The name of the block is Virginia Backroads and typical of Judy Martin’s designs, it takes a relatively easy pattern and adds an extra twist or two to make it interesting – to sew and to view.  I like the way the star overlaps the adjoining blocks and I extended the 9-patch portion to make the size I needed on each side of the embroidered piece.


I used a lot of scraps in red and white to piece the backing and the quilting is made up of very simple outline stitches and stitch-in-the-ditch with machine embroidered feather stitching along the edge of the panel.

The finished size of the wall hanging is 20×26-1/2 inches.

Above the wall hanging I like to place a small picture or piece of needlework.  My daughter adapted an internet drawing to make a design of a schoolhouse and tree with falling leaves which she did in redwork.  I simply framed the piece with a border.


These cheerful, colorful pieces are a nice addition to my living room.

Kentucky Log Cabin Quilt


I love Judy Martin’s quilt designs.  Even on fairly easy patterns, there’s a little something extra and interesting.  Last summer her web site featured glimpses of her newest book, Judy Martin’s Log Cabin Quilt Book.  On her web site her readers were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite patterns in the book and I immediately fell in love with the Kentucky Log Cabin.  I had decorated one bedroom in a lodge/cabin theme and had yet to make a quilt for the full sized bed.  I requested the book for my birthday in September, but didn’t have time to start the quilt until after the Christmas holidays.

I changed the layout to give me the look and size I wanted – big enough to cover the entire mattress plus an overhang on sides and bottom to come to a certain point on the bedskirt. 


Although the pattern wasn’t difficult, a degree of precision cutting and piecing was required and I wore out three rotary blades making this quilt.  I felt it was worth it.

I was in the middle of making pillow covers to match the spread when I saw a forum discussion of an old-fashioned method of covering pillows by making a large flat topper that would cover the pillows, tuck under top and bottom and have an overhang to match the quilt.  This is basically a long, narrow flat piece that I designed using four applique cabin blocks and some of the coordinating maroon fabric.  This was my answer and I know in the future I’ll always make a matching or coordinating topper rather than covers that have to be removed every time the bed is used.


I machine quilted using stippling for the body of the quilt and decorative stitching on the borders.  I like the quilt very much with the pieced log cabins and secondary star design.