Quilt Finish · This-and-That

Quilt Finish: Blossom and This & That for May 2023

I’ve been storing up some This-and-Thats, so buckle up, here we go.

First up is a quilt finish. I started this in June of 2021, and finished it today. I was teaching classes about this to Guilds and thought I needed to make up a sample. Or two. Or three. But finally, the genesis of all the samples is finished. I promised it to my sister, who always impresses me with her ability to adapt to whatever the world throws at her. She told me it will probably hang in her soon-to-be-finished basement (she lives in a colder climate than we do).

I quilted the petals simply, and the surrounding area and little more densely. It’s made of all Anna Maria Horton fabrics, from a wide range of her collections.

I seem to be going through irons like water lately. That means that this last one only lasted a few years, instead of decades. We’ll see what the new Shark one does. I’m sort of over name-brand irons. I look for the vent holes and if it has a ton of places for the steam to exit, I usually buy it.

Thought you’d like to see the full branching of that Mother of Pearl plant I showed you last week. These colors!

This popped up on Sherri McConnell’s Instagram today, and I love them. You’ve got to keep your eye on Sherri. She is Industry personified, and always has such fun things to share. So head over to her blog to see all her talents as well as links to the download. The free downloads for this block can also be found at Fat Quarter Shop, as they are building a Charity Quilt with delightful blocks.

Continuing with the flower theme, the geraniums on the left are from our front yard, and have just thrived in this cool, rainy weather we’ve had. The flower on the right is from our Chinese Fringe bush in the side yard. I love how they uncurl like they are strips of paper (like quilling? remember that?).

We’re three weeks into the garden, and so far we haven’t killed anything. The bare-limbed jacaranda took a hit this year from all the cold weather and the jury is still out on whether it will come back to life. Once the heat lands, we spend all summer trying to keep the vegetables alive, working hard to get our proverbial “64-dollar tomato.”

Why yes, I will be up early to watch all the Pomp-and-Circumstance, especially the bagpipers. I already purchased my souvenir, but it won’t be here for a couple of weeks:

I plan to use this when I inaugurate my kitchen. If you want to have your eyes glaze over, a lot of it is on Instagram under the hashtag #itsnewkitchentime2023 but that does not mean I’m doing this in 2024, or 2025, or ever again. I’m weary of not being to cook normally, although we are getting good at soaking our pasta to make dinner. And I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I made a pan of brownies:

That Breville oven has saved my sanity during this past eight weeks. The tile went up today on the backsplash, and as I type this, our contractor, Saintly Dennis, is installing the drawer/door fronts. Okay, hang on. We are almost finished.

Did you see the costumery of the 2023 Met Gala? This outfit above wasn’t one of them, but it was waaaay better looking that most of them, and this Rainbow Woman is completely covered, unlike a lot of what was worn at the Gala. Geesh. It had such potential.

Two sides of motherhood (in advance of Mother’s Day):

When your Young Adults are of a certain age, this might be a great sweatshirt for them.

And this is for when your Mom has passed away, and you are surprised that Reality is so different than the Expectation.

Happy May Flowers to you, all!

Free Quilt Pattern · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt


My nephew’s wife, Grace, wrote to me and asked for help.  She is a young quilter, who makes awesome gooseberry jam (she shared a jar with me), so I wanted to help. The quilt was for someone close to her who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and she thought a quilt was needed.  I agree.


She sent me the screen shot you see above, and since it was on Pinterest…and you know how much I LOVE their search engines (NOT), I thought it was easier to draft it on my computer using QuiltPro than try to find the original design (I tried…and failed…but kudos to whoever dreamed it up).  Besides, that was one of those “barn” quilts, painted on wood, not a cloth quilt.

This is what I came up with.  But I knew Grace wanted to move quickly, and yeah–all those pieces?

I thought about my Home Sweet Home mini quilt, and how she could make fewer blocks, but bigger blocks?

UPDATE: There is now a pattern for this block included in the Home, Sweet Home mini quilt pattern.

Grace wrote back.  She loved what I’d done, but now they were thinking poppies. She sent me a sample of a quilt she’d seen.  I drafted it up in my QuiltPro program, drew up a quilt.  But I thought I should test out my own pattern, so I made a Poppy Block:

Poppy block constructon1
trimming snowball corners
Poppy for Grace

I think it will be cute quilt.  This is a 10-inch block and I thought you’d like to have the pattern, too.  Each is a PDF file which you can download.

Here’s the Poppy Block:  Poppies for Grace

And here’s the quilt instructions: Poppies for Grace Quilt

It can be made in reds and greens and be thought of as poinsettias for Christmas.  Or made to commemorate Anzac Day in April, for the Australians.  Or red and white for a bouquet of posies for Valentine’s Day.  Have fun, but please don’t print off dozens for a class or for your friends–send them here to get their own free pattern.  Thanks.

About QuiltPro: they do not pay me or give me free stuff.  I started using that quilt program eons ago, and they are still going strong.  If you are struggling with the current software (I know, I have it and love/hate it too), consider trying this software, as it’s based on making shapes, not connecting lines.  I find it pretty intuitive, but as with anything, there is a learning curve–it’s just that theirs is not quite as steep.

redwhite triangles1
redwhite triangles2

Making that block added to my collection of red and white triangles (ignore the interlopers in the upper right corner).  I trim them to whatever measurement’s closest, without it being a weird number, and save them.

Every once in a while, I sew them into four-patches.

I haven’t decided yet what to do with them, but a couple of questions arise: do I include the Christmas prints?  Or do they get their own collection? (I think so.)

Do you ever quilt with “rules”?  It’s about all I remember from my beginning art classes, ages ago in college.  The assignments laid out rules to create by — an edge to the sandbox — if you will, and went something like this:

  • Take an old piece of clothing, adhere it to a canvas and paint it like something else.
  • Use three shapes only.
  • Create a composition by taking a square of black paper, cutting out some shape and using the negative and positive pieces.
  • This assignment will use only two colors, but you may use any range of those colors.

And so on.  There are many books out there in the marketplace for guided creativity, but they all start with a rule.

Sometimes I find little bags of treasures in my sewing room, with pieces inside that have been collected according to some rule.  Like the red and white triangle rule.  Or the 3-inch square rule, but I kind of think that last one’s a bit of a cheat.

HST quilt

About seven years ago, I saw this on Jan Burgwinkle’s blog, Be*mused, and fell in love with it.  Maybe that’s why I started making little HSTs.  (While she doesn’t seem to update her blog much these days, it’s still amazing to read through the archives.) So that’s my rule and I’m sticking with it: red and white triangles, although seeing this quilt again does make me wonder if I should break it.

Gridsters · Quilts

Piggies! (and other stuff)

Thanks to all who entered the Paintbrush Studios giveaway for the Painter’s Palette Solids.  I used the Husband Random Number Generator, and he picked Lisa J. for the scraps and Susan H. for the Paint Chips.  It was fun reading all your comments!


I’m sure you’ve seen piggies flying across my screen on Instagram…piggies and more piggies.  It’s because I was Queen Bee for this month’s Gridster Bee, and all my beemates were quick and sent them right out.  So I honored them by sewing them all up into rows and getting the quilt top done.  (Don’t you hate it when you make blocks for bees and they all seem to go into someone’s bottom drawer, never to be seen again?  That happens, even to the best of us.)Piggies_2

I made a few more piggies, but imitated the heart in this curlicue pigtail from Carol.Piggies_1

I started to run into troubles because some piggies were facing left and some were facing right, and some were going uphill and some were going down, so my advice is have fun making them go left and right, but keep count, so you know how many you need of each. My husband made the suggestion to have the half-rows facing each other, so I did that in the middle of the quilt.

Another suggestion, from Mary, is to sew the grass on last, instead of first (like I wrote it in the tutorial).  She’s right.  I thought it wouldn’t matter much after the trimming, but it does.  So that’s why I added the scrappy strips of green underneath the rows of pigs.

And last, arrange your piglets up on the wall, decide on the balance/color,etc. THEN start tilting them uphill or down.  I also alternated the uphill/downhill at the start of the rows. It wasn’t that hard, if I just worked sequentially.
Piggies-signature blocks

I started sewing the back together, then realized I was missing a beemate’s signature block.  It’s come to a halt while I wait for it to arrive, but it will be great to have them all.Flowers2017

These white flowers (smallish, about 1 1/2″ across) are all over my bushes out front, and the whole yard is blooming.  We’ve had a lovely rainy winter, so everything in the yard is very happy.  So am I, to see these!fabrics spring 2017

And I did a little spring shopping at our local brick and mortar quilt shop, finding some backing for the En Provence mystery quilt (still in process) on the sale shelves.April Gridster Bee 2017b

April Gridster Bee 2017a

For April’s Gridster Bee block, Nancy of Patchwork Breeze drew up her own design, and asked us to make it up in some bold large-scale prints.  This was a paper-pieced block in some places, and just plain pieced, in other places, and I think they turned out great.
new york beauties book

This book will open your eyes up to color and piecing possibilities for New York Beauties, coupled with Flying Geese.  I love it.  You can find the author, Carl Hentsch on Instagram.  I’m in love with another one of his quilts:

Hentsch_Color Block

It’s slightly fuzzy because I screen-shotted it from Instagram.  What talent!

funny text
from *here*

And that’s all.  Happy Spring!!