Wednesday, May 31, 2023


  This quilt is the 2023 Block of the Month quilt for The Quilt Show. It was designed by Sarah Fielke exclusively for The Quilt Show and is only available at The Quilt Show. The best news is it's FREE for Star Members of The Quilt Show. Each month in 2023 a new part of the quilt is released for download to Star Members. 

This month we make ALL the stars that will complete the entire quilt. Here you see 4 of them added to the pieced borders made in Month 5:

There are 3 Stars, two are small and one is large. It can be confusing to figure out which fabrics are used for which stars, especially if you are using the Kit. This information should help.

First, I need to say I CHANGED THE SMALL STARS CONSTRUCTION for my blocks.. The pattern makes the star points from two Half Square Triangles, like this:

I prefer star points made from Flying Geese, like this:

There is a detailed TUTORIAL on this Blog for making four flying geese at once, oversized so you can "trim to perfection". All my TUTORIALS are listed above in the TUTORIALS tab. You can also find it here:

Four Flying Geese

This photo shows the FABRICS for the TWO DIFFERENT SMALL STARS. STAR A has peach points and the blue background ladybugs in the center. STAR B has purple points and the white background ladybugs.

NOTE: I used a different background for my quilt so I could start before the Kit arrived. The BACKGROUND SQUARE is cut 3 1/2":

BIG TIP: the fastest way to draw diagonal lines on the back of 2 1/8" squares is to CUT A 4 1/4" SQUARE. Use a mechanical pencil to draw two diagonal lines from corner to corner. Then carefully cut the 4 1/4" square into 4 small squares, each 2 1/8" with the pencil line already drawn. Much faster than cutting MANY very small squares and drawing the lines separately:

IMPORTANT NOTE: cutting 4.25” squares requires more fabric than the half square triangle method. If using the Kit, this might be a factor. Especially with dark purple. I will choose another dark purple for the cabin roofs in month 11 if I don’t have enough.

Here is STAR A showing the various steps to making four Flying Geese at once. Refer to the TUTORIAL for specific info:

Here are the completed SMALL STARS. Make 12 STAR A and make 8 STAR B:

The final star is LARGE: STAR C. It is a Friendship Star block. Make 4 of these. 

I have a love/hate relationship with this Star. I am usually quite unsuccessful at making the "Star Point" unit for this block. NOTE: These are NOT 60 degree triangles. Use the template in the pattern.

If I  had to make a lot of these I would simply create a Paper Piecing pattern for that unit. This time I stuck it out, trying to make at least one of these stars accurately. Once again, not real successful. I must have a mental block against it. These will have to do.

The secret must be using the TEMPLATES as accurately as possible. Hold the template firmly in place as you trim. And be sure to trim off the very small angular cuts on the bottom of the points--they help with aligning the points to the background triangle. 

If you are cutting your own templates from the pattern, make them as accurately as possible. If using the plastic templates from the Accessory Kit, hold them firmly in place as you cut. 

At least ONE of those outer points will be HIDDEN when the Star is sewn into the quilt. Oh, well...

Once you have ALL 24 STAR BLOCKS made, you are done for the Month. 

In Month 7 we start on the wide applique borders that feature the birds and lots of leaves and flowers. We will work on these four borders in Months 7, 8 and 9.

Here is my TIP for those borders: cut them wider than needed so they can be trimmed once sewn. I had a lot of fraying on all four of the borders--there is a lot of time spent handling them--I did mostly needle turn hand applique. It is a bit tricky to do because the top and bottom borders include a STAR A and a square on either end--those are made the exact size needed. More info on all that next month.

While on my recent TEXAS TOUR, I met Venetta M, who is making her Homeward Bound by machine applique, with a narrow zigzag stitch. Her work was spectacular! The background was crisp and firm, no fraying at all. She had cut the background slightly bigger than needed and marked the seam allowance so she could place the circles inside the design area correctly.

She explained she treated the background fabric with TERIAL MAGIC --buy it from the Quilt Show Store! She said a light spritz was all that was needed. I sure wish I had done that:

So, that does it for Month 6--enjoy the  process. Here is Sarah's quilt with Star A in place:

Let's quilt.


Sunday, May 28, 2023


 While sorting and clearing out things that need to go, I came upon these gorgeous garment fabrics I bought some years ago. Since there is little likelihood I will make anything with them, I am offering them to you. I hope you find something you love. I believe much of it is linen/cotton fabric.

 Prices do not include shipping, $12-20 for most packages, depending on weight. 

1. Gathered Back Top, includes pattern, almost 4 yards hand-dyed linen/cotton:  $25

2. Crazy Quilt Vest Kit, includes pattern, fabrics, floss and beads: $20

3. Misty Moonlight Kit, includes beautiful buttons. Wish I knew what I intended to make: $40 SOLD

4. Dark Periwinkle Blue 1.5 yards x 52" hand-dyed printed linen/cotton, 3/4 x 60" solid hand-dyed blue: $40--I paid $81 some years ago, the receipt was with it SOLD

5. White Silk, 2+ yards: $25 SOLD

6. Brown hand-dyed floral linen/cotton, 26" x 38": $10

7. Green hand-dyed linen/cotton, 20" x 56": $10 SOLD

8. Plum hand-dyed print linen/cotton, 24" x 54": $10 SOLD

9. Brown/plum floral hand-dyed linen/cotton, 24" x 52", $10

10. Plum hand-dyed linen/cotton, 33" x 52":  $15 SOLD

11. Maybe I saved the best for last: 100% Silk braids for garments or quilts:$8 each, there are 10 now

What I made with these a few years ago, mini log cabins, printed on muslin so there is no paper to remove, 12.5" square: 

If you WANT IT ALL, $275 and shipping will be no more than $35, Priority USPS mail. You have to be first to GET IT ALL!

There are still a few quilt fabric bundles available on my first SUNDAY SALE POST--find it HERE.

Let's quilt.


Sunday, May 21, 2023


 Guess where I was teaching recently?

Longhorn Steakhouse art in Humble    TX

Hampton Inn Lufkin TX

It's no secret I love Texas and love teaching there. Every year since 1996 I have attended Quilt Market and Festival in Houston. But there is a LOT MORE to Texas than just Houston.

On a Sunday, I started in Huntsville, TEXAS--a town about an hour north of Bush IAH Airport in Houston. I was met by my contact Cathy and a friend and we headed north to get dinner and drop me off at the first Hampton Inn of the trip. Yummy Yummy was the name of the Mongolian BBQ place we ate dinner at and it was--yummy.

The next day was a free day until my pickup that evening. I was determined to get in exercise every day I could and I did. Right near the hotel was a big shopping center. Each day I walked around the entire building several times for an hour minimum. It was a great way to move and I much prefer it to fitness centers in hotels. After my walk I am a hot, sweaty, contented mess:

I ate a great lunch at McCallister's Deli, half salad, half sandwich:

Tall Pines Quilt Guild had about 65 in attendance for the lecture "Time Management for Quilters", a good turnout for them. It was also the  night they gave away a new sewing machine as a fundraiser for the guild. I was asked to pick the lucky winning ticket. One ticket fell on the floor so I took that one. Ramona, the lucky winner was thrilled:

After an hour's walk the next morning, I was picked up for the workshop: Charming Sampler. 13 folks enjoyed the day learning fast ways to make several blocks:

The next day we headed south to The Woodlands for the next leg of the trip. I was able to check in to a lovely Hyatt House hotel at noon. After lunch I changed clothes I did a power walk for more than an hour. Dinner was Mexican and I enjoyed it: 

Breakfast at the Hyatt House was amazing!

The Woodlands Area Quilt Guild had over 100 in attendance for the lecture "Time Management for Quilters":

 The lecture was very well received--many came to speak to me after about how much they enjoyed it. One woman told me she had been to many programs over many years at various places and this was the best one she ever heard. Now, that's really nice to hear. I aim to inspire.

I met two members of The Quilt Show who know me from the work I do on the Block of the Month quilts. Venetta M brought her 2023 Homeward Bound--it is beautifully done. She is doing machine applique and prepped the background with Terial Magic. Seeing how stable the background fabric is and how lovely her stitching is, I wished I  had chosen that method too--needle turn hand applique is taking a LOT of time:

Connie C is not working on the 2023 Block of the Month but has done several previous quilts. She told me she felt like I was her personal teacher as she used my Blog and Videos to supplement pattern instructions--thanks, Connie!

The next morning was the workshop "Five Easy Pieces". A small group learned the ins and outs of paper piecing. We kept so busy I forgot to take photos.

Class ended at 2 pm and I was out power walking for an hour and a half by 2:30. I loved breakfast so much that morning I brought duplicates of my breakfast to my room to have for dinner. The room had a refrigerator and microwave so I was all set. 

Friday was the start of a little vacation. A friend I know from Festival invited me to spend my down weekend at her home in Kingwood. She picked me up at 11 and we headed southeast to that area of metro Houston, almost an hour away. As I had done a long power walk that morning I was ready for lunch. I can't say enough great things about Salata, all healthy salad stuff they serve you based on your requests. Delicious! I would love to have one of these restaurants here:

Their motto, I concur: 

It was so great to spend time with Glennis, relaxing, talking and hand sewing for two days. An added bonus was being able to do a load of laundry. I only regret we didn't get a photo of she and I together. Next time.

Sunday morning it was time to move on. After a great Texas breakfast at the Humble City Cafe, Glennis drove me about an hour to Livingston where I was met by a couple from The Quilt Guild of the Piney Woods, Sarah and Doyle B. They drove the remaining 45 minutes into Lufkin, in East Texas. We ate a late lunch at Golden Corral so I was set for the rest of the day. 

After checking into the next Hampton Inn in Lufkin, I changed clothes and hit the huge parking lot for that usual power walk. There were 5 hotels in this lot, no restaurants or stores, so it was easy to just keep walking all around the parking areas, one lap was about a mile and I did 6 laps. 

Sarah picked me up in the morning for the lecture, wait for it, "Time Management for Quilters". Yes, each guild selected the same lecture. That helped with the packing. After a quick lunch--Chick Fil A has great salads--we did a 3 hour workshop called "The Village". Usually a 6 hour workshop, it can be taught in 3 hours but it moves at a fast pace. And we don't have time to sew any trees or stars. Liz got her first Quilter's Scrap House done: 

As soon as class was over, we put all the tables and chairs away, then jumped in the car for the almost two hour drive down to my final Hampton Inn of the trip, at the Bush IAH airport area. Dinner on the road was perfect--who knew Whataburger has great salads?! They do, I loved it, and it was the perfect end to 10 days of eating mostly smart and daily exercise. 

This was the nicest Hampton Inn of the trip and their shuttle service to the airport Tuesday morning was perfect. Yes, I do sleep under my own quilt at hotels--those duvets are just too hot. And a quilt is so much better.

All of my flights were uneventful and on time or early. I walked some at both airports, Bush in Houston, and Atlanta, rather than just sit. 

It was a great trip but I was definitely glad to see my man and my bed that night. The two pound blip up was gone in less than 48 hours--I call that a win.

I LOVE going to TEXAS and will teach there any time. TEXAS TOUR 2024 is already scheduled--in April 2024 I will be teaching in Beaumont and Victoria--my third visit to the Victoria guild. Dates and info is on the TEACHING CALENDAR at the top of this blog.

I hope to see you on my travels!

Let's quilt.