Austen Family Quilt Back Again

Greetings from a muggy hot day in South Texas.  I am hoping for 4 inches of rain – someday!   Things have been extremely hectic here so my quilting has been put on the back burner.  Before a family emergency hit us on Tuesday, I was still working on perfecting Block 1 of the Austen Family Quilt by Barbara Brackman.  I am doing mine in 6″ blocks and Block 1 was driving me absolutely nuts!  On Monday and Tuesday I finally had the light bulb come on.  I downloaded the templates from EQ7 and grabbed my Marti Michell template packages (I have almost all of them) and found that I had her templates that would fit this block.

I started over again and before the emergency call came in I had a section of the block sewn and IT WORKED!  I am  back in my Quilting Studio unwinding from the stressful week, and today I put the block together!!!  I have not worked on many 6″ blocks (well I remember when I worked on my Storm at Sea and wanted to give up but did not) so this is wonderful practice for me.  Here is the new block, and from now on when I am working with small blocks, I will go to Marti’s templates!

My 4th try on the Block - Success!
My 4th try on the Block – Success!


There is one little problem with this block – can you pick it out??????????  I will not correct it as I was trying for perfection of the 6 1/2″ unfinished block and that was achieved!  In fact, I think I like the way I did this one!

I have now downloaded my April block for the BB 2014 Mystery Quilt, have 2 blocks to make for the Austen quilt, and select some fabrics for Lucy Austen.  I am sure that I will need some hand work projects to work on in the near future and will have the time. I will post the other blocks as I finish them.

Until then, have a blessed week-end.

Ms Austen, EQ7, Frustration and them Perfection!

Well, the weather is absolutely beautiful here in South Texas.  Wish it were this way year round, well, I do like the cold weather during winter, but this would be nice if we had a mild summer.    See how positive I am?

Well, that is a coverup!  I have discovered that frustration lies almost anywhere there is a quilt pattern!  Oh well.  I started out with a 12″ block for my Jane Austen project.  Of course, I have to take credit for messing that one up.  I had the fabric selected, BUT, when one does not cut it out the way it was laid out – need I say more.  I did not like my colorway, and I really did not want to make a large quilt, so I decided to make my blocks 6″.  I have Blockbase and EQ7, so I figured this would be much easier……. OK, again I mis-calculated that one.

12" Jane Austen Block -
12″ Jane Austen Block – Headed to UFO  Drawer

I cut block 2 out based on the EQ7 rotary cutting instructions from the 1802c block. I selected the size as a 6″ block (finished).  Well, what I ended up with was a mess – The squares were cut a 1 3/4″…. The HSTs were 1 1/2″………..So I had a decision to make.  Either redo the HSTs and make them 1 3/4″ or cut the squares down to 1 1/2″.  I took the easy way out, cut them, laid them on the sewing table and quit for the day.  I decided to play Scarlett O’Hara and think about it tomorrow (now today)!

This morning I started sewing the pieces together………..Nice – the block would never be 6 1/2″ unfinished – it was to be a 5 1/2″ square, well not really.  I called EQ7 and discussed this with them.  Of course we all know that computers do not lie………The bottom line is this.  I should have realized that the block was a 5 grid block – not a 6 grid block!   But I did not believe I needed to really pay attention to that one – so shame on me again.  By the time I had wasted my expensive fabric (I know it was not that much but the time involved is) I realized that I needed to confer with EQ7 again.  The block is set for 6″ finished, but the grid is set at 25 instead of 24.  Now I will lose those who hate math, but the problem is that when you divide 6 by 5 you get 1.2!  That means that the block is not going to be an easy one to do to achieve a 6″ block finished!  In fact – it will never happen.  EQ7 told me to use the templates – Well, I did and guess what!  The block came out to 6 3/4″ square —–  OK – I thought I would just not do the project as by now I have a massive headache!  But the old “stick-to-it-until-you-die” attitude came into play.

I sewed the block that I had cut out yesterday using all pieces at 1 1/2″ (squares and HSTs)  The block came out at 5 3/8″ – Wonderful.  But I decided to add a border (the young man at EQ7 made that suggestion) and so here is the outcome.  I like the block – It will be interesting to see if I continue to have issues with the blocks.  Hopefully I am a little more distrustful of EQ7, along with quilting patterns.

Please note that I am not slamming anyone or EQ7… I am just sharing how a Perfectionist can drive themselves nuts!  But I have the answer and I understand and am smarter for it.  Maybe next week I will not have to take 6 hours to make a 6″ block!


Jane Austen Block 2 - 6"
Jane Austen Block 2 – 6″
Jane Austen - Block 2
Jane Austen – Block 2 – 6″

It is now time for me to become Susie Homemaker and go cook Spaghetti for my Dear Hubby is building a wonderful porch roof for our Studio.  It will be so nice to go outside in the shade and Applique’ when I become frustrated with 6″ blocks.  Hope all had a little laughter on my behalf!  Lightens the soul!

Catching Up and Still Washing Fabric!

Well, Spring has sprung and I think Fall is in the Air! Yup – waiting on the Cold Front – no longer are they Vortex – Now we have Vortex Allergy Season. Love it – a name for everything!

Here is another Lucy Boston Block (potential)  As you see I have not sewn them together – Can I take credit for doing this much (LOL).   I am still on the look out for more Jinny Beyer border fabrics.

Lucy Boston Block 2
Lucy Boston Block 2


I received my new order of Jinny Beyer fabrics and this should be very interesting. There are many possibilities for Lucy Boston, not sure but may have to really work on incorporating colors. Good Exercise! Here are the fabrics. I may be yelling for help on this one.


Monochrome in Black
Monochrome in Black – Jinny Beyer
Monochrome in Blue
Monochrome in Blue – Jinny Beyer
Monochrome in Red
Monochrome in Red – Jinny Beyer

I am very pleased with this shipment of fabric from another source.  The fabric was cut not ripped, and I was given about 1 to 1 1/2″ for the shrinkage.  It appears that this RJR line shrinks about 1 to 2 inches.  There was some loss but not a lot.

I have finished the April Block for the Pat Sloan BOM.

San Juan, Puerto Rico Block
San Juan, Puerto Rico Block


Today my goal is to finish working on the Medallion for my Di Ford Mystery Quilt.  I need to applique the stems down so I can cut out my flowers accordingly.  There is not a lot of work in this Medallion, the time is in the selection of fabric in order to get the right colorway.

Have a Blessed Palm Sunday.   This week for sure will be more productive as I “think” I am through with the fabric shopping.  (for a while)

Di Ford’s Mystery Quilt and Lucy Boston

Well, this was the week that was!   Spring is here and the leaves are absolutely such a beautiful green.  The Bluebonnets are gone along with the Indian Paints.  We had a wonderful wildflower season and such a surprise since it was such a dry winter.

It was a fun week looking for reproduction fabrics with flowers for Di Ford’s Mystery Quilt and finding  new fabrics for Lucy Boston quilt.

Topic for the day is a discussion on whether or not to rip or not rip fabric.  Years ago when we purchased fabric for our clothes, it was usually “ripped”, meaning that they would make a small cut and then rip the fabric off the bolt!  Yup, that was then.  About 12 years ago I had just started quilting and 10 years ago I started piecing as a “serious quilter” using the better grade of fabric from Quilt Shops.  I remember in 2003 ordering (on the phone) some Robyn Pandolph Folk Art Christmas fabrics from a local quilt store.  I was recuperating from back surgery and was unable to go for long drives, so they mailed the fabric to me.

Well, stupid me thought that “quilt stores” did not “rip” fabric for quilts, but I was so wrong.  I made a quilt with the fabric and started to hand quilt it (before I had a long arm machine) and the first needle stab yielded a run in the fabric.  This was caused by the fact that the fabric was “ripped”.  In fact, on all of the Folk Art Christmas (which was heavily dyed)  the thread breakage went about 2″ into the fabric and caused the threads to be weakened throughout the yardage.   I did not think it was necessary to ask if they ripped or cut fabric, but after this experience I made it a habit of asking before purchasing.

That shipment of fabric cost me dearly.  Each piece had to be trimmed and I lost at least 1 1/2″ off each piece.   Muslin will shrink about 3″ and Moda fabrics always shrink about an inch, so a good quilt shop will make sure that you are given an extra inch to accommodate that shrinkage.  This particular store did not.

A few years down the road, the fabric suppliers started putting tags on the bolts indicating that “this fabric should not be ripped.”   I was so happy to see them do that and I thought that those “rip or cut” questions were over.  One time I was in a store and forgot to ask and when I saw that they had ripped it I refused to purchase it. In addition, I do not purchase fabric from a store that has previously ripped the fabric off the bolt because the problem is still within that bolt.

So, shock of all shocks when I received an order from Jinny Beyer last week I could not believe my eyes – all fabric had been ripped.  I had ordered 1/2 yards, plus a 1/4 of a yard of a variety of border fabrics.  Strings were everywhere and I knew that I was the loser because by the time I had trimmed and washed the fabric I would have been lucky to have had 14 inches to work with as the pieces were cut right at 18″.

The mistake was on me  for not asking “rip or cut”.  This mistake cost me $12.00 in shipping,  plus a 15% restocking fee for returning the fabric.  I was advised by the store that they state that they rip fabric on their website.   I found it embedded in their “Customer Service” so shame on me for not asking, or searching the web site for that information.  Who would have known?

If you prefer to not have your fabric ripped you might want to purchase it from another quilt store. This is by no means a statement to slam Ms Beyer because I love her fabrics.  It is a choice.   There is a reason that some of the stores still “rip” at least this is what I am usually told, “it puts the fabric back on the straight of grain”.  OK, but I would rather deal with that and not deal with fabric that I will lose 2 to 3 inches because it was ripped instead of cut.

In the meantime,  I have dealt with quite a few shops over the US this week and I must say the Customer Service was wonderful.  I have received most of my fabrics that I have ordered, along with my or of  3″ clam shell, 1/2″ Hexagons, and 1″ squares from for my Lucy Boston.

I have also been working on Di Ford’s Mystery Quilt.  Another blogger, Happy Appliquer had indicated that she had a problem with the second border and it really concerned me because I have never participated in a mystery quilt.   If I have learned anything about patterns it is to make test pattern before cutting out all fabrics for the project.  I am so glad I did because I left the squares at 2″, put a strip together and realized that it would have been too long.  Whew!  Saved myself some heartache!  I decided that I needed to confer with someone regarding this so I contacted Homestead Hearth and asked about the border cutting instructions.  We discussed the problem I was concerned about and after I spoke with them the light bulb came on in my head!   Sue also sent me a confirming email this morning.   Many thanks to them for clarifying the instructions for me.

Bottom line – the instructions are a bit confusing since they forgot to add one “itty bitty” piece of information which was to trim the 2″ square that has tiny appliqued circles on them,  down to 1 7/8″ before you sew the pieces together for the 2nd border.  Problem resolved.  

I really have not accomplished a lot this week other than spend a lot of bucks on fabric, watch Hubby put a porch roof on our Studio, and had two doctor appointments.  So next week I might have something more interesting to blog about!  Oh yes, I did work on fabric selection for the center medallion of the Di Ford project.  Doesn’t look like I accomplished a lot, but it does take time to make sure the fabrics will blend well together.   (Good excuse?)  I am still auditioning the final choices for flowers.


Medallion for Di Ford Mystery Quilt
Medallion for Di Ford Mystery Quilt


Fabrics for Broiderie Perse Flowers
Fabrics for Broderie Perse Flowers

Have a great week-end and enjoy your quilting.

Moving Up to the Big Girls Quilting World from Grade School!

The Quilting world has changed so much in the 12 years I have been quilting.  It is amazing how the colors were in the early 2000’s and now some of those colors are coming back.  Reproductions were around, but not near as much as they are now.  Batiks were just beginning to catch on and very popular.  Needle turn applique was popular and many Quilters loved it.  I began to quilt in 2002 and learned the popular Designers and their line of  fabrics and patterns.  I began to buy books and fabric.  In 2004 I attended the Houston Quilt Show and was hooked!  I progressed to making quilts to enter into Quilt Shows because it provided me a challenge and deadlines to meet.  I enjoyed showing my quilts and it was so much fun to make friends with the Vendors and visit with other Quilters and see their work.

In 2004, the Artisans found the quilting world and things began to change.  “Contemporary” quilting was becoming the “thing” and “Traditional” was getting shoved to the back of the room. For some reason, I always wanted to stick with the Traditional because I wanted to learn everything I could about quilting.  Yes, I tried shortcuts, rulers, gimmicks, and all the things they sell to catch a Quilter’s eye.  I continued to build up my stash and slowly added a heavy stash of batiks, along with Moda Marbles, Fossil Ferns, Thimbleberries, etc.

What makes this year so exciting to me is I realize I have found a whole new world of quilting which has been opened up to me through  Australian Designer Di Ford and the Australian Quilters and their beautiful quilts by other Quilters.  Their work is absolutely beautiful and Designers such as Di Ford provide one heck of a challenge to a Quilter who loves traditional quilting and the Reproduction Era quilts.  I have also found Barbara Brackman’s Blog.  What an exciting time for me.  I have discovered Quiltmania magazine and Primarily Quilts (by Di Ford).  I have also realized that I was missing out on so much.  I was becoming board with the regular magazines and the Quilters who continued to make the same quilts.  My original goal was to make a Hunter Star quilt, Feathered Stars, Log Cabins, etc as they are  quilts that I have never made, but always wanted to.

I have a friend who has taken the Best of Show for the last 2 or 3 years at the local Quilt Shows.  Last week I realized why!  She loves the Reproduction Era and only stays with those quilts and fabrics.  She does absolutely beautiful work too!  What an eye opener!  Another friend is also moving more toward the Australian Designer and Quilters.  She and I are so excited and are making the same quilts, in fact all three of us will be working on a Di Ford or Quiltmania project this year.

So here I go – I have cancelled all of my magazines and will only subscribe to Quiltmania.  It is an expensive magazine, but oh so beautiful and so challenging.  I have purchased more of Jo Morton fabrics,  Barbara Brackman’s Ladies Album, and one purchase that I will probably never do again is 2 yards of DenHaan & Wagenmaker’s BeHur border fabric called Island Marken Border Cream.  I will use it for the Broderie Perse in Di Ford’s 2014 Mystery Quilt.  Until last Friday I had never desired to try Broiderie Perse applique.

I have also discovered new quilt stores through Rosemary and Jan –  Happiness Is Quilting, in McKinney, Texas, Reproduction Fabrics in Montana and The Quilted Moose.  What a find!  Also, my friend Jaydee who provides such wonderful insight to things.

This week was productive but expensive (LOL).  It has been fun and now it is time to get serious and start quilting!  Here are some pictures of my new fabrics and my first shot at Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC).  I have decided to use Jinny Beyer fabrics for this project.  She has some beautiful border fabrics and for some reason while in Sierra Vista, AZ this winter I purchased quite a few of her fabrics.


Lucy Boston Book
Lind Franz Lucy Boston Book. I will be using English Paper Piecing for the quilt. Check out Linda’s Blog.
Lucy Boston Fabrics
Jinny Beyer fabrics. I pulled these for consideration for Block 1.
Lucy Boston Block 1
This is the first block for Lucy Boston. I wanted to see if I could get the effect I wanted from Jinny Beyer fabric line. I rather like the colors….



Prairie Rose Pattern

Prairie Rose fabrics
Jo Morton - Prairie Rose
Jo Morton Prairie Rose Fabrics


Jo Morton's Lights



Jo Morton Fabrics
Jo Morton Fabrics for the Di Ford Quilt


Di Ford - Mystery Quilt
Fabrics for Di Ford 2014 Mystery Quilt. They are Amelia by Jo Morton.


Hope you have enjoyed the walk down memory lane and my graduating to the “Big Girls Quilting World”!  And thanks to all who have opened the door and invited me in!


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