Stars and Pinwheels QAL – Block 8 – Christmas Pinwheel Star

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This is block 8 in Susan’s Stars and Pinwheels QAL called Christmas Pinwheel Star.

Since I’m making a small project each month with the featured block, I decided to use this block in a cover for a lumbar cushion.  Because the cushion is curved, it’s difficult to cover and I used a lined 30 inch x 10-½ inch panel with Velcro on either end to fit over the center of the cushion.

I reduced the size of the pattern to 8-½ inches unfinished (2.5 and 3.5 inch squares) and added borders plus some longer pieces for the cover to join in the back.

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I thought this was a very pretty block and it was easy to put together with half-square triangles.

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Stars and Pinwheels QAL – Block 5 – Split Star

This is block 5 in Susan’s stars and pinwheels quilt-along, called Split Star.  I’m using the blocks in this series to make a different project each month rather than saving them for a big quilt.  This month, I wanted to make a cover for my piano bench which accompanies my 1960s era piano.
I reduced the blocks to 7 inches and made 8 of them plus borders to make a 15-½ inch by 31 inch cover.

I had the chance to choose some pretty fall-themed fat quarters on a recent visit to Amish Country to use in this project.  There are several ways to arrange the blocks and I chose this design.

The Split Star pattern is pretty, easy to sew and easy to reduce in size.  I think it made a very nice bench cover.

Cozy Afternoon Quilt-Along – Block 4

blk4 (2)Jacquelynne Steves is offering another series of free blocks-of-the-month called Cozy Afternoon.

There will be five blocks, each with a pattern to embroider or applique for the center.  I have a large hassock with a lid which I’m going to cover, using five blocks – one for the top of the lid and four for the sides.

My version of Block 4 is shown in the top picture.  This will be one of the sides of the hassock cover, using a vintage embroidery pattern for the center.

Jacquelynne also provides a pattern for an embroidered or appliqued center.

This was an easy block to make and made a nice frame for the embroidered center.

Stars & Pinwheels QAL – Block 3 – Chunky Star

Susan3 (3)This is block 3 in Susan’s quilt-along featuring stars and pinwheels, called Chunky Star.  Once again, Susan has offered two versions – one with half-square triangles as shown in the picture at the beginning of the post   ….

…and one with flying geese.

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These are both easy blocks with good instructions.

I’m using the blocks from this quilt-along each month to make a small project.  I decided to put these two blocks together in a favorite tie bag.  I found this pattern online about 15 years ago and have made it in a large variety of sizes and fabrics.  Along the way, I adapted it to make better use of the fabric and it took very little to make this nice lined bag which will be a gift for someone later this year.

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Stars and Pinwheel QAL–Block 1 – Indian Star


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.


Disappearing Nine-Patch Quilt-Along

I wanted to participate in a quilt-along offered by Freda at Impera Magna and try the Disappearing Nine-Patch block.  My problem is that I’m not good at reporting my progress on quilt-alongs and before I know it, I’ve completed the quilt without really participating.

To audition the block, I made a doll’s quilt first ….


Then, I started making a child-size “I Spy” quilt for our local Linus Project which distributes quilts to children in  hospitals.  I used all scraps for this quilt and bought only the fleece for the backing (which the Linus group prefers) and thread.  It turned out to be bigger than I expected – 47 inches wide x 58 inches long.  I’ve been having back problems and didn’t want to wrestle a large quilt through my Bernina.  This quilt was bigger than I intended, but manageable.

Instead of turning the blocks as shown in Freda’s instructions, I simply switched the top right and bottom left square in each block so that my I Spy blocks would not be turned.




Rather than buy more fabric for the border, I made an extra row of blocks and did not use a border.  I used the fleece as backing and batting and did a very simple quilting pattern on the machine.


I draped the finished quilt over my couch and left the room to get my camera.  When I came back, Addie, the beagle, was well settled on the quilt, looking as though I had made it for her.  Luckily, the Linus group meticulously washes all of the quilts that are donated so I know it will be in good shape when it goes to the hospital.

Jacob’s Ladder Quiltalong

Back on October 3, 2011, I joined a Jacob’s Ladder Quilt-along hosted by

I explained in my post how I had started out to make a sofa topper but received a cute mini-quilt rack and decided to make a piece to fit it.  The original blocks were to be 9 inches finished and the mini-quilt blocks were 2-1/4 inches.

I used the original 9 inch block to make a backing.

The blocks were a devil to make and join in such a small size, but I have finished the quilt and in spite of a lot of “iffy” places, I like it.  The finished size is 10-1/2 x 12-1/2 inches.

The quilt-along is continuing with plenty of time to join and make something in the very pretty Jacob’s Ladder pattern.

Jacob’s Ladder Quilt-Along

On September 6, Imperamagna announced a quilt-along using the Jacob’s Ladder block.  On her blog she has a link to Bonnie Hunter’s measurements and tutorial.

I liked the idea of making the size and number of blocks you wanted into the project you wanted and in any time frame you chose.  I gathered three fabrics I thought would work well for a sofa topper.

I planned on the blocks being 9 inches finished and made a sample block.

The quilt-along began on September 28 and meanwhile I had received a gift of a 12×15 inch quilt rack.

Since I’ve only made one miniature quilt, I decided to change my plans and have this project be a 12×15 inch quilt with little 2-1/4 inch finished Jacob’s Ladder blocks.

The tiny blocks take longer to sew, especially with pressing all of the seams open to control bulk, but I think they will make an interesting quilt for my new rack.

The quilt-along is still in its first week and it’s an interesting block, so you might want to visit Imperamagna’s blog and see what’s going on.  There is also a Flickr group formed to keep up with what everybody’s doing.