Friday, March 30, 2012

Week 1 - Summer Treats Sunbonnet Sleuth Mystery

Here is our second mystery quilt project. The title is Summer Treats and I chose some fun fabrics because summer always screams FUN! The quilt size is: 58" wide x 70" high.

The fabrics are Spintastic by Marcus Fabrics -

You can look for these fabrics at your favorite quilt shop, shop online with your favorite web vendor, or substitute similar fabrics from your stash. When you substitute similar fabrics, take care to substitute fabrics of similar values and print type and scale.

9393-0113 - 1-1/4 yards large floral print
9387-0114 - 1/2 yard lime green mini dot
9394-0111 - 1 yard rick-rack stripe print
9389-0142 - 1-1/2 yards big dots
9387-0126 - 1-1/2 yards bright pink mini dots
9387-0133 - 2/3 yard yellow mini dots
9387-0120 - 1 yard aqua mini dots

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's like giving birth!

It is here at last! The Log Cabin Trim Tool I designed has arrived at my little quilt office and is ready to ship. If you like making log cabin quilt blocks you will love this tool! It is on my website along with a link to a youtube video showing how to use the tool. It is manufactured by Creative Grids, the premier ruler maker for the quilting industry. I am so excited. Here is an image of the tool. And a link to my website so you can watch the video. I am not sure how I thought of the tool, but I am so glad I did. I have made 9 log cabin quilts since the first of January, it makes sewing the blocks such a breeze.

Here's where to go to see the video and order the tool.....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lickety-split flying geese

My sister, Janet Houts, and I have been working on some Lickety-split concepts to make quilting fun and fast! Last hear at the Houston Quilt Festival in an event called "Sampler" we presented a fast way to sew Flying Geese units. It was a great success! Here is a quilt made using the Lickety-split method. It is a Streak of Lightening quilt made with Flying Geese units. The quilt is featured in my new book, Sashings and Settings - the Basics and Beyond.  The book is currently being printed and it will be available in mid-May. The publisher is Landauer Publishing Corp:

My website is being redesigned this weekend and it will include Lickety-split lessons. You will also be able to order the new book from my website:

The fabrics in the quilt come from the Autumn Moon collection - Marcus Fabrics:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hummingbird Quilters

I had a wonderful day yesterday with the Hummingbird Quilters in Lagrange, Georgia. It was a day trip for an all day workshop on Circle of Nine quilts. There were 16 quilters in the workshop and they all came prepared with 9 quilt blocks, ready to make a quilt. They were enthusiastic and sewed with determination all day. Several quilters went home with a finished quilt top. The rest of them went home with a top well under way, just needing to add their spacers and borders. They plan to have a show and tell at their next meeting as a way to encourage everyone to finish.

The workshop is really rewarding when quilters tell me they have gone into their UFO pile and chosen 9 blocks they stitched last year, two years ago, and even five years ago. At last they are going to sew  the blocks into a quilt! What fun! From UFO to completed project.

Here is the quilt they like the best from the 5 quilts I took to the workshop. It is one of my quilts featured in the book I wrote with my sister, Circle of Nine

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

National Quilt Day is this Saturday

I don't do many pay to belong quilt sites, but one I have really enjoyed is The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. If you haven't searched this one out, this weekend is your chance to view a show and wander the site for free. They are offering this opportunity to celebrate National Quilting Day. Here is the link to see a youtube video about the weekend activities:

Here is a photo of Alex as she starts the video. Many of us remember watching Alex for years on the HGTV network and we were really sad and disappointed when HGTV cancelled the show. The internet show has been available for several years now. Each week there is a new episode featuring some of today's top quilters and the techniques they use and teach. I learn so much when I watch the videos. I know you will too.

Here is the link again to watch the video:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sunbonnet Sleuth Mystery Quilt Solved

This week is the final week in the Sunbonnet Sleuth Mystery #1 - Just Squares. We will be making the borders and the rows to complete the quilt. The next mystery will begin the first Saturday in April, keeping with our plan of presenting six mystery quilt projects a year.

1. Sew (8) four patch units and (2) square-in-a-square units into a row as shown for the top and bottom borders. Make 2 identical borders. Use the four patch units made in week 1 and the square-in-a-square units made in step 4 to make the border rows. 

2. Sew (3) Rows 1 and (3) Rows 2 as shown in the diagram. Use the four patch units made in week 1 and the square-in-a-square units made in step 4 to make the border strips at the end of each row. Carefully note the orientation of the border four patch units. as the orientation of these units changes in the border strips at each end of the rows. It is wise to label the rows by pinning a piece of paper with the row number in the upper right corner of each row as it is complete. 

Just Squares Quilt

This is a modern quilt made using the principles of modern quilting, the new quilting movement that has captured the imagination of today's quilters. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Quilt Festival Houston

Great News! I have been accepted to teach 2 workshops at the Houston Quilt Festival in October. I will be co-teaching with my sister, Janet Houts. We will be teaching 2 classes this year plus a Sampler demonstration.  Here is the quilt for the Lickety Split Log Cabin quilt workshop. It is a half day workshop. Naturally, the blocks will be made using my new Log Cabin Trim Tool by Creative Grids.

Classes will soon be posted on the Quilts, Inc. website.
They make it easy to register online.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

getting back together

Yesterday was my getting back together from a week of travel day. It was also a day that I spent getting a quilt design and instructions together for Marcus Fabrics. I love the new modern quilts. This one is a combination of a bargello (from my needlepoint days) and stacked bricks. Stacked bricks are usually stacked at a 45° angle making a wall that looks like it is sliding off a cliff. I decided to stack these bricks to look just like my neighbors very straight wall in front of her house (it keeps her lawn from sliding into the street). I only had to look out of the window for inspiration.

The fabric collection is called Bold Moves and the free pattern will soon be on the Marcus Fabrics free project page -

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Week 4 - Sunbonnet Sleuth

What a wild Friday night it was! At 9:15 I got a call from my family in Georgia asking, "Where are you? There is a tornado headed straight towards your street!" I was relieved to say that I was not in Georgia at all but in Washington DC visiting my youngest daughter and my dog was boarded at a local kennel. About an hour later I got a call saying the tornado had only toppled a few trees in my neighborhood. Now I am waiting to see if any of those trees landed on my house (I have 4 big trees in my yard). I am hoping not.

Since I am safely away from the storm I have been able to complete step #4 of the Sunbonnet Sleuth Mystery. Next week will be the final week when you will put all of the elements together to complete the quilt. Here are the diagrams and instructions for this week.

Step 1. Cut (4) 5-1/2" x wof strips from fabric B. Recut these strips into (34) 5-1/2" squares.
Step 2. Cut (10) 3" x wof strips from fabric C. Recut these strips into (136) 3" squares.
Step 3. Position a fabric C 3" square in opposite corners of a fabric B 5-1/2" square. Stitch in a diagonal line from corner to corner on fabric C. Trim 1/4" from stitched line, fold out triangle and press. Repeat in two opposite corners to make a square-in-a-square block. Make 34.

Step 4. Cut (3) 5-1/2" x wof fabric F strips, recut into (24) 5-1/2" squares. Alternate (2) square-in-a-square blocks with (2) fabric F squares to make a block. Make 12 blocks.

Set the remainder of the square-in-a-square blocks aside to complete the quilt next week. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

train day

Today I am taking the train from downtown DC to Fairfax, VA to visit Debby Kratovil. We haven't seen each other since she moved from Atlanta several years ago although we have continued to work together at times. Debby is busy teaching at the Sewing Expo events throughout the country. If you want to have a really good workshop where you learn quick new techniques and have a lot of fun, sign up for one of Debby's workshops when she is in your area.

My challenge is taking the train to Virginia and back. My daughter is convinced I will get lost and end up who knows where. When did she become the mother, and I the one needing direction? Let's hope I get back because the next step in Sunbonnet Sleuth is due tomorrow.

Here is another picture of a circle of nine quilt in progress from my Athens GA workshop on Circle of Nine.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March - almost spring

It's March, it's almost spring, the sun is shining in Washington DC. I am in the capitol city visiting my daughter, her husband and my granddaughter who is almost 5 years old. She was placed in their home for adoption 2 years ago and the entire family is thriving and happy. I read a book to her this morning, "Anna Hibiscus", a story about a little African girl with a red-haired mother. Who ever would have thought that a lovely child's story book actually echos their own family. Love transcends all.

Cymia and her mother, Heidi, on Adoption Day for their adoption ceremony making them a forever family.