The Reveal

3 09 2015

Are you a person who likes a surprise, or like me do you read the end of the book long before actually progressing to that point?  I admire the people who sign up for a mystery quilt with little to no idea of what to expect for the end result.  I may admire them, but I’m not one of them!  I want to know what I am making!

All this leads up to how I am involved with a mystery quilt.  It’s simple, I choose them and lead them, so yes I do know the  end.  Today is the big reveal .  It is very different from the one we did last year, and the colors might not be for everyone. But, I love how it turned out.


I took the photo in a classroom with flourescent lighting so the colors aren’t true.

It seems there are other people wanting to “read the end before it’s time.”  I loaded the tutorial video for putting the whole quilt together last night and when I looked at 6 am there had already been 20 views.

We will be having another mystery beginning Oct.1 and today is the deadline for sign-ups at Ruth’s Stitchery.  Next year’s mystery is quilt blocks A to Z, the only applique is optional at the end, and the fabrics will be mostly from Civil War reproduction lines. Here’s a sneak peek–

First Thursday Sneak

Finally to give credit where it is due, the pattern for this year’s mystery was “Little House in the Garden” by Under the Garden Moon,.


First Thursday Mystery Reveal

17 09 2014

Based upon the number of posts I’ve made this year, one could assume all I do is going to work then come home and collapse at the end of the day.  And while that is often the way I feel, it isn’t in reality the case.

One of the things I’ve been doing over the last twelve months is leading a mystery.  Participants enrolled last fall and paid for the first block.  After that as long as they brought their finished homework on the next first Thursday of the month they got their new kit for free.

Big deal you say, all you have to do is construct the block each month.  Not so, I chose the fabrics each month, cut and packaged the kits for each participant (yes, the cutting was mostly at work, but eventually the packaging came home with me).  I had to make my sample (before class — what would I ever accomplish without deadlines?) as well as demo pieces.  If that wasn’t enough, I decided to do video tutorials for anyone that missed the demos in the store.  So if you’ve missed me, you can actually go watch the videos on the Ruth’s Stitchery Channel on YouTube.  I sound like I’m in a water tank because I removed background noise with software, maybe the background noise would be better.

I demonstrated several techniques that were not included in that pattern.  For instance, the pattern used starch and press exclusively, but I demonstrated starch and press, fused, freezer paper, facing and back basting applique over the months.

The mystery started in October 2013 and the reveal was this month.

First-Thursday-MysteryNow that it has been revealed, I can say the pattern is Blackbird at My Window by Under the Garden Moon.  I am starting another mystery in October.  It is the same concept, but a completely different quilt.  If you are interested, registration is open until September 21, 2014 at Ruth’s Stitchery in person or by phone.  The kits can be mailed, but in that case they are $5 per month plus postage.  Anyone that doesn’t come in on the day of the demos also must pay $5 for the new kit.

Polka Dot Pinwheel Quilt — Free Pattern

3 04 2014

I’m thinking Spring, although the several inches of snow today would make the season questionable.  I love polka dots and wanted to do something with a few of them.  Polka dots are a happy print, and  pinwheels are a happy block.  So I combined the two and added an alternate fabric to come up with this baby quilt.  I finished the binding this morning.


Once again I had a piece of fabric that was almost big enough for the back.  So I pieced scraps from the front to get it wide enough.  I don’t try to space my pieced strips evenly.  I just pick a spot and slice the large piece of fabric.  I added the squares and it still wasn’t quite wide enough (because there was a hole I had to cut around in the striped fabric), so then I really was down to the last of the fabric and just put together anything I could.

polka-Dot-Pinwheel-backThis will hang at the store and many quilters could figure out how to make it with out a pattern.  However, I did write directions and the hard copy will be free at Ruth’s Stitchery with a fabric purchase.  But because you are special, you can download it here by clicking on the title!

Polka Dot Pinwheels


Sweet Pea Under the Sea

29 03 2014

I finished another sample for the store this week.  The quilt is made from the Sweet Pea pattern by Anka’s Treasures.  I’ve done this pattern before, but this time a made a few minor modifications.  Rather than the throw size with 30 blocks this is a baby size with only 16 blocks.  I fussy cut the centers of each block and instead of the flower from the pattern I made star fish appliques to go with the main fabric.

Under-Sea-Sweet-Pea-FrontI could be called cheap, frugal, or creative but I played with the back (I love pieced backs).  I only bought one width of fabric for the backing and then had to make it larger somehow.  So I pieced scraps from the front.



I used up almost all the remaining fabric from the front for the scrappy binding.  Oh, and the corner stones in the borders on the front were added so I didn’t have to piece the border fabric.

No my blocks are not wavy and neither is the strip on the back, just the result of standing on a chair and hovering over the quilt to take the picture.

The quilt should be at Ruth’s Stitchery next week.

Winter or Spring

12 03 2014

Sunday and Monday we had gorgeous Spring weather here.  Yesterday we were back to snow and windy cold, and today the sun is back.  Because I need to do some clean-up I’m removing all the winter decorations today (technically Spring is just a little over a week away).

As I was preparing this quilt for storage, I realized it was a UFO I’d finished just before Christmas and never marked off my list!  The pattern is Winter Wonderland from Crabapple Hill Studio.


Because I am no longer doing custom quilting for hire, it was actually fun to take my time and quilt this one for me!

Winter-Wonderland-DetailNow I can store the quilt with a clear conscience.  😀


Bluebird of Happiness

12 07 2013

It appears I’m gaining on the finished items for this year.  I allowed the month of June for the Bluebird block for Audubon’s Christmas.  I’m happy to say I pulled off the block in just a week.

IMG_4599The leaves were from the same fabric as the Chickadee block.  The berries were bigger (and fewer in number) on this block so I decided to go ahead and applique them .  They came from the scrap from a table runner backing and are actually supposed to be cherries in that fabric.


I added a fair amount of embroidery to the birds themselves.

Snowmen in July

3 07 2013

I just put the last stitch in this top at about noon today.

Postcard-CutiesNolan purchased the pattern “Postcard Cuties for Winter” from Bunny Hill Designs for me for Christmas several years ago.  I never quite decided what fabric I wanted to use until I saw that the pattern was being reissued using the Primitive Gatherings Snowman Gathering line of fabric.  We already had the precuts in the store so I grabbed those in early April.  The  same week I got those, the yardage arrived and I took it home the same day UPS delivered it to the store.

The blocks were super fast.  I was doing two a day for the first few days.  (Remember I get dropped off at work up to 2-1/2 hours early during the school year.)  In fact I made it all the way to just a little work on the last two blocks before I decided I had to go back to Audubon’s Christmas to be ready for class.  I  pulled it all back out last Sunday night and finished it up.  There are buttons that I will add after quilting.  I used Pendleton Wool for the snowmen which I picked up when I went to Walla Walla for the boys soccer tournament.

I had my blocks at the store during the time I was working on them and we had preorders for several patterns before they were ever released and the fabric line zipped out the door.   We were told this line wouldn’t be reprinted, but it looks like that may have changed.  We are waiting to see.