Zeus on the Loose with Me!

It’s my turn!! Yeah!! Have you ever played Zeus on the Loose?? We love it! It’s basically a counting strategy game. That description doesn’t do much for it, but take my word for it. It’s fun!

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Originally I wanted to make a notebook cover for my son, but my Improv Lightening Bolts kept being too big, so it turned into a pillow! It was really hard to get it as small as I wanted it to be!

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I went through a few plans of projects to make this year. Usually I know exactly what I want to make. Not this year. Then I remembered our new favorite game. But what to make?? At first I got my Greek Gods confused and for a minute I was designing something with a trident… Um, hello, my to ‘I minored in Ancient History’ self…. Zeus and tridents do not go together. Lightening Bolt my friend!!!  Then I was all over it!

I’ll give you a super quick idea of how I made it! Since it’s improv, there are no dimensions or anything to go with! To make the Improv Lightening bolt is simple!

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First, cut out a ‘leaning’ triangle, then sew on a thin layer of the ‘bright light’ fabric and then a thicker layer of the background fabric. So that you end up with two ‘leaning’ triangles. And you want them to both be leaning in the same direction!

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Next, I folded over the top of the triangle to get an overlap. Once I liked where the overlap was, I ironed it flat. This ironed line is where I sew-ed it together.

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And then I trimmed a quarter inch seam. Repeat these last two steps over and over until you have each side of the lightening bolt how you like them. then sew the two halves together!

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Add in the rest of the background fabric for the shape you need for either a notebook cover, a pillow top or quilt blocks…. And quilt away!

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I thought it turned out pretty cool. And once I got my husbands seal of approval, I knew it was pretty cool! (yes, he’s very honest and has no qualms telling the truth about his feelings on my work! Usually he likes it, but not all the time!) I think it’s going to be loved, along with it’s inspiring game!

 

 

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Sept 9th- Liz and LiZ  from Simple Simon and Co

Sept 14th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Sept 16th- Narelle from Threadistry

Sept 19th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Sept 23rd- Al from Shaffer Sisters

Sept 26th- Michelle from Factotum of Arts

Sept 28th- Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne

Sept 30th- The Recap!

 

 

 

A Memory Quilt Using the Complete Quilt Design Planner

Remember the Friendship Bracelet quilt that I finished not long ago? Well, originally I agreed to test Blair Stocker’s, AKA WiseCraft, pattern to make a memory quilt. Very quickly I realized that wasn’t going to work for that pattern.

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Then she asked me to test another pattern, The Complete Quilt Design Planner Pattern. I was one, very intrigued by the name, but also knew it would work well with my memory quilt idea!

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The pattern is really not a pattern at all, but step by step guide to designing your own one of a kind quilt! It has layouts for 6 different sized quilts. It was really fun! My son and I laid out all the fabric we were going to use, grabbed some colored pencils and we both started designing!

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A friend of mine from way back… Like Middle School I think? I was actually best friends with her younger sister for a while… Anyway, she asked me to take her sons clothes to make into a quilt. I ended up separating the piles and using mostly wovens on the front and the knit t-shirts on the back.

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I really loved this little center guy from a baby outfit! I also think it also tied together the colors from the other clothing pieces. Once I had it designed, I realized not all the pinks were the same, etc… So there was a bunch of laying out and picking up and laying out again to get it right!

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And the back is a t-shirt quilt. These t-shirt quilts take a long time. I didn’t want just a bunch of regular squares, so it took a bit, I mean a lot, longer to layout than I thought it would! I also added in a few colored blocks to fill in the spaces in between.

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This is a great pattern, especially for beginners. It also got me to try something new. I don’t think I’ve ever done a whole quilt out of the same size blocks before. It’s always fun to look at quilt design a little out of your design comfort zone and this is exactly was I experienced with this one.

You can see more examples of this quilt here.

AND… It’s the one thing that I actually finished this quarter! oops…

 

 

Technicolor Galaxy Quilt Update

I took a LONG break from this one and finally got it back out!

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I finally finished the outer circle. It’s 3 blocks, 4 times… 12 blocks. I did take some liberties on these blocks!

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The first one I did was supposed to be orange peels… But I hated them… I tired to do them per the directions. Didn’t work out. Then I tried them my own way… Still didn’t like them. Ok, the truth is I couldn’t make them. They looked horrible! So I branched off and did cathedral windows. They kinda resemble the orange peels. Maybe? Anyway, I like them!

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Next up was the hexie flowers…. Well, I didn’t want to do flowers. The idea is that this quilt might go on my son’s bed, and I didn’t want flowers. So I did a little random hexie thing!

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And lastly, the moons. Easy peasy. This is the same circle technique I used for my sports quilt. Love it!

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And here it is all put together! Well, not exactly PUT together, but laid out together. I just have one border to go! I can do this!

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Dad’s Quilt

Is finally done!

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I don’t know if you remember or not, but three Christmases ago I told my husband I’d make him a quilt. For Christmas I gave him the design and the fabric for Christmas! He was super excited! Ok, maybe not. He was excited to get a quilt, but not about unwrapping a pile of fabric!

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Well, it took forever!

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But I finally finished it! It’s just so big that it was hard to maneuver. I realized I’m not so great at really big quilts!! I believe it’s about 96″ square. I’ve since started to use QAYG on the larger quilts. But the trickiest part was squaring it up! How do you square up a quilt that is too large to lay out in any room of your home?  Not very easily I learned! Any tips would be appreciated! I had to square it up before I took it to The West Seattle Fabric Co for them to actually quilt!

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And the back! I actually love the back! I don’t know if I love it more than the front, but I might! I submitted it to Quiltcon, but it was rejected… I wonder if I had submitted the back if it would have gotten a better response? hmmmm….

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The center of the back was from a Round Robin I participated in at a Seattle Modern Quilt Guild retreat. I started it and then three other added on to it, all while a timer is ticking away.

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Like I mentioned, the quilting was done by The West Seattle Fabric Company and it looks great. I was just so ready to turn it over to someone to finish this one!  Too big and heavy for me and my machine. I now understand why people hire people to quilt quilts!

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And I can finally cross this off my Finish A Long list!

Tote-Ally Awesome Teacher Gift! A Tutorial and a Printable!

I think Teacher Appreciation Week might be this week…. I’ve been seeing a lot about it in the blogosphere, but our school doesn’t celebrate for a couple more weeks!

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So since most people seem to be doing it earlier than we do, I thought I’d post my tote bag project. We made a bunch for preschool teachers last year. Actually, my plan is to give these as end of year thank you’s, but I know some of you out there do more for Teacher Appreciation week.

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I think my favorite part is the tote bag pocket! I made these and debated on how to print them. Iron-on? Directly on to the fabric? Or Spoonflower? Spoonflower won! It’s sized to print quite a few pockets at once! And in different colors. You are welcome to go and buy it on the Spoonflower site for your own projects!

We are still fans of superheros, and in my book, teachers are pretty  much superheros! I know I could not do what they do! Even though my kiddo just says he plays all day, I am amazed at what his teachers do! And how they have him tricked to thinking he’s playing all day when he’s actually reading! That is some super powers at work!

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The kiddo helped me pick out the fabric for each of the bags. I used pretty much all fabrics from my stash! Oh, yeah! Loving using the stash! He even went so far as to pick each fabric for each teacher!

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And since the fabrics were all from the stash, the sizes of the bags vary a little here and there!

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And we made the tags, too! And we’re sharing the love with ya! You can download the PDF for the tote-ally awesome tags here.

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Would you like to make your own tote? You can make it for yourself too, if you’d like!

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For materials, it doesn’t take too much. I used a home decorating weight fabric for the totes. More cotton from the stash was used for the lining. The spoonflower fabric for the pockets. And webbing for the straps.

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Of course, the first thing is to cut all the pieces! For the top of the bag my pieces were approximately 12×16 inches. The bottom piece is approximately 7×16 inches. You’ll need 2 of each of these. The lining is approximately 18×16 inches and you’ll need 2 pieces. The pocket is 5.5×11 inches. The webbing is 45 inches on each side.

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Fold the pocket in half and center it on the front of the bag. Pin it in place. Pin the webbing over the sides of the pockets. Align both the pocket and the webbing with the bottom of the front piece.

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Sew on the webbing, stopping an inch from the top of the bag. Do this on the front and back.

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Sew the bottom of the bag and the top together, right sides together. And topstitch. Do this for both the front and back.

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Now sew the front and back together along both sides and the bottom. Do this for the lining, too. Leave a 3 to 4 inch hole in the lining stitching.

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Sew the bottom corners of both the outside and the lining together. Align the seams to create a triangle at the corners. I sewed a 3.5 inch corner. Then cut the corners.

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Put the lining inside the bag, right sides together, and sew along the top edge.

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Pull the bag out through the hole in the lining. And sew together the hole.

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Then topstitch!

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And you’ve got a tote! Pretty easy!

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And if you make a lot at once, you might just get a little silly!

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I might just have to make more!!! Do you think you’d make some?

 

 

The Mini Messenger Bag

I got to test a pattern for Katy of The Littlest Thistle! I’ve seen her make some fun bags so I was excited ot try this one.

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This one is the Mini Messenger Bag. I’ve made messenger bags before, but I was interested in seeing what made her’s different from the others. One is the size. It’s mini! It is exactly the right size for a kiddo, for sure.

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I wanted to make it for my son, but he didn’t want one. At least not until he saw mine…. The picture on the cover is a little girlie and I think he was blinded by the floral fabric. Because when he saw mine in person, even though it’s a little girlie though, he wanted mine! But I said no! And I used it the other day and it’s great!

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The second piece about it that was new to me was the insides! The pattern calls for some fusible interfacing that I had never actually used before. A woven interfacing, which I also learned is fantastic for clothing. And a fusible fleece. I’ve seen this before, but typically skip it since it isn’t in my sewing room… This time I bought it and the two interfacings really do give the bag a big sturdy shape!

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Lastly, for new ot me sewing, I have never done an adjustable strap! It seems like I would have with all the hundreds of purses I’ve made in my time (I used to sell purses…). But no! Super easy!

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I love a purse with an inside pocket! And it has one included in the pattern! Next time I might put one on each side.

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The outside pocket is perfect for my phone! I made it the contrasting color, but in hindsight, I think I’d stick with either the same color or at least not as contrasting because part of the pocket shows under the flap. which I didn’t realize in the process!

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And its’ a great size for a stuffie! I couldn’t resist, since this guy looked so cute in it! I actually didn’t carry Mt. Doodles around in it. I used it for carrying books and I really loved how the strap felt on my shoulder. I have a problem with bags falling off my shoulder, but this one didn’t!

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Now to get your own pattern! You can purchase the pattern here at Katy’s shop. To celebrate the launch of her new pattern she’s offering 25% off ALL the patterns in her shop! Hurry over, the discount is available until April 10th with the code HOPPYEASTER15.

 

 

De Plane, De Plane, De Quilt!

The funny thing is, we were flipping through the channels the other day and Fantasy Island was on! I hadn’t seen that in ages! Anyway, Fantasy Island has nothing to do with this quilt, but planes do!

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This quilt is my first finish for 2015! But was supposed to be done a couple of years ago. This is a memory quilt for a very wonderful family friend. Our families have been close for years. But a couple of years ago we lost the Mr.

Mr. was the father of one of my best friends growing up. I guess it was middle school when we were always at each other’s houses. Mr. was like a second father to me for years. Mr. was an incredible man and had a wonderfully rich life with a large family and a lot of adventures! And you’ve probably guessed it… He was a pilot!

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I went home not too long after he passed and was able to collect a lot of his shirts. I had a traditional idea when I first asked if I could do this for them. But it obviously didn’t ring right to me. It then took me a couple of years, walking past this bag of shirts everyday and thinking about the right thing to do.

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Then it hit me! I had to do a plane! But I wanted it to be graphic, not a detailed paper pieced replica of a plane. A graphic representation.

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I was also going to ONLY use the shirts. But to make the plane pop, I decided to actually use an Essex Linen as a more neutral background. I did add in little pops of a blue shirt for ‘clouds’. They are actually a little harder to see than I planned. I love the close stitching that follows the lines of the plane! It took way longer than I was planning, but oh, well!

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For the plane, I made a little improv piece and then cut it apart in pieces to make the plane shapes.

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The back has a little more traditional feel.

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Using all his shirts, including a tshirt. That big Bama shirt was a must!

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I couldn’t NOT use his plane shirt! And I think he flew almost all the planes, if not all of them!

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For the binding, I continued to use the Mr.’s shirts. It’s a scrappy binding.

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I’m crossing my fingers that the family loves and enjoys it for years to come. It’s not a very traditional design, so I’m crossing my fingers they like it! I hate that it took me so long to get it to them, but I think it was worth the wait to come up with a design that spoke to me about the one, special Mr. that it was made to remember!

This is my first (and unfortunately might be my only) completed project from my Quarter 1 Finish Along list….

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

A Kitchen Inspired Gift Set

We didn’t know what to get my in-laws for Christmas. My husband wanted me to make placemats. I didn’t think I had time to make placemats…. So I bought a spoon…

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A really cool Spoon! And then I decided to buy some cool napkins at Bed Bath and Beyond to go with the spoon. When I found the awesome napkins, I also found a really cool Seattle neighborhood map cutting board (yes this one is Chicago, but our store actually had Seattle even though it’s not online. Trying not to take that personally…). And then of course, you need placemats to go with everything else!

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So I made placemats! Everyone needs them. I love making them. So why not!

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This one I used one of my favorite patterns, the Mini Trajectory Paper Piece pattern by Simply Cotton! I’ve used it before a few times… Once for a do Good block, I made a placemat for us with it and I used it for my paper piecing tutorial!

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The wonky log cabins is a favorite. No pattern here!

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Another no pattern mat… Just some hexi’s to match the napkins!

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Again, a bit of paper piecing with improv! This pattern is a free pattern from Wombat Quilts, the Star String Paper Pieced Pattern. I did have to scale the pattern down a bit, just like I did with our placemats!

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I do love the circlular stitching. I haven’t attempted it on a large quilt yet, but it looks awesome on the little placemats!

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And for the back, I used some fabric that I had been hoarding…. For the whole project I used fabric from my stash! So that felt really good!

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Don’t they look good together??? I think so!

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I LOVE making placemats! I think it’s the satisfaction of finishing a quilt, but it’s just a tiny quilt! I don’t do many mini quilts because I don’t’ have anywhere to hang them. And they just get rolled up and stashed… But the placemats get used so I feel like I can make them! And they make for a fantastic gift!

Valentine’s Day Quilted Postcards- a Tutorial

I’m super excited about this project! Our Seattle Modern Quilt Guild is doing a Valentine Postcard swap. When we first heard about it, I decided I was in, but I wasn’t super excited. Then I started making mine and got hooked!!! Obsessed!

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I came home and started looking around online for instructions and sizes so I could make some and mail them. I couldn’t find a tutorial that didn’t include an applique type edge. I wanted a more quilted look….

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The first one I made was this one. I used a bunch of 1 inch squares, but then couldn’t quite get the back to work. It’s also super thick for mailing with all the seams! So as much as I love this one, it’s not what I wanted for a quilted postcard valentine up taking the plunge into the mailbox!

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So I made some more! But this time I made patterns! More paper piecing for me! I couldn’t decide on just one, so the pattern actually has 3 patterns in it! I have the set of patterns in my Craftsy store, for $5.00. But the tutorial is free! So let’s get to it!

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You’ll need a little bit of fabric, a 4×6 piece of batting, a 4×6 piece of cardstock, patterns and I use basting spray. I used mostly scraps, so needless to say, you don’t need much fabric!

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Print and pick your favorite pattern. Each pattern has two outside lines. One for making a 4.5 x 6.5 inch block. The second is larger for making the postcards.

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Paper piece your hearts! If you’re new to paper piecing, my tutorial on that should help! Sew together and then tear off the paper.

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Center the batting on the quilt block. I use basting spray, but you can pin too. Spray the spray on the batting, not on the quilt block. You’ll have a little more than a half inch on each side.

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Quilt the block and the batting together.

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Iron the edges in half and over again.

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Spray baste the cardstock onto the batting.

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Time to do the ‘binding’! Fold the block over the edge of the card stock and start sewing. The corners are a bit tricky. Especially if you have a bunch of seams like I did in my first postcard. So following the pictures, fold, fold, fold and fold one last time. Then continue sewing!

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And you’re done! Ready for mailing!

 

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And just in case, I mailed one to myself, just to check… I did use a regular letter stamp instead of a postcard stamp. One, because I had it and I didn’t have a postcard stamp. And two, I though they might need extra postage since they are thicker than a plain postcard…..

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These are so fun! Pretty quick, too! Now I have to make more. I need some for the swap and now I want to send them on to family!

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Which one is your favorite!

A Wonky Block with a Tutorial

I usually don’t post my picks for my do.Good Stitches quilting months, but I posted a picture of the block coming together and I learned that some of my circle friends aren’t excited about wonky! And I learned a little something about wonky while I was making these, so I thought I’d share!

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The block we’re doing for the February Nurture Circle of do.Good Stitches is made up of 5 blocks and 2 solid pieces. And once you put them all together you end up with 1 12.5 x 24.5 inch block.

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I’m loving the look of these blocks. Log cabin wonky, my friend! Love it! For this large block you’ll need:

(1) 12.5 inch wonky log cabin block

(1) 8.5 inch wonky log cabin block

(3) 4.5 inch wonky log cabin blocks

(2) 4.5 inch solid back ground blocks, these can be pieced or just a simple cut piece of fabric. However you do it, it need to be all background color.

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You’ll need some fabric, of course! Ha! For the center piece you’ll need scraps. Any scraps. I’d prefer mostly solids, but…  And an array of whites and/or creams for the outside. For mine I used, Kona Snow, Kona White and Kona Oyster. I also added in a few white pattern on white fabric scraps.

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Here’s what I learned. When I start with a square, the wonky log cabins always turn out looking nicer.

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This is a big ole oops that didn’t make it into my block!  First off, I started with a wonky shaped center and tried to make it work. Secondly, I was using all scraps. So I sewed on this triangle. When I think wonky, I also think I can use odd shaped pieces. But, um, no. I mean I guess if you’re really good at it you can…. But mine always turn out nicer starting with a square.

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Then make your little log cabin. Mine stayed between 4 inches to 2 inches, approximately.

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Here’s the key to wonky (at least for me)- The wonky part of the whole thing comes in the cutting, not the piecing! After piecing I ended up with a traditional square. After cutting, I ended up with a wonky block! Just rotate that cutting square!

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Next you keep building on the center piece just like you would any log cabin. This one just happens to not be a square! For the do. Good quilt, I’d like these to have the colored center off center. The off center thing seems to go along with the whole wonky thing, don’t you think!

I use scraps, not straight pieces for the side of the log cabin. Different widths, some are pieced, most aren’t straight. This also helps add to the wonkiness!

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Just like you did with the center, you use the cutting square to cut your SQUARE off kilter from the middle. This is where you do want to cut a real square!

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Like I mentioned before, here are the blocks you need:

(1) 12.5 inch wonky log cabin block

(1) 8.5 inch wonky log cabin block

(3) 4.5 inch wonky log cabin blocks

(2) 4.5 inch solid back ground blocks, these can be pieced or just a simple cut piece of fabric. However you do it, it need to be all background color.

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The fun part… Arranging the ‘mini’ blocks to make the overall block.

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Then back to the sewing machine! Sew the pieces together so that you end up with a 12.5 x 24.5 inch block.

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I’m so exicted to see how this comes together for the quilt circle!!! Yea!!!