Saturday 30 June 2012

Calm Blue Ocean Month Seven

Oh my gosh, you guys, I totally forgot to upload this yesterday.  I’m so sorry!

It’s going to be a little sporadic the next two weeks – I have little ones at home now for school holidays.

Here it is.  Enjoy!

Click here to directly download the next step, or click here to go over to the mystery quilt page.



Thursday 28 June 2012

Dear Jane C12 Family Reunion

Family Reunion C12

It’s funny.  When I was sewing some sections that finished at 1”, I thought that was pretty fiddly.

Now I’ve made a block with .5” finished sections and those 1” strips look like monsters!

Till tomorrow


Wednesday 27 June 2012

Floral Nine Patch

Floral Nine Patch Cropped Image

I managed to get another quilt hung up on my design wall and photographed today.  You’ve seen this one before, but it happened to be on top of the pile so it got the attention first. 

I’m trying to develop a little process now. 

When I finish a quilt, sometimes I’m particularly slack at cutting off threads, giving it that final press – you know, all the boring stuff.

I’ve been trying to do better, and now have beautifully pressed two quilts, cut all the threads off, made a backing for both of them, photographed them, and folded them (in a different way than originally) and popped them away.  I only have about 100 to go. 

Oh, you think I’m joking?

If I do one a day, which is easy peasy, I’ll use up a lot of my fat quarter stash for backings, and they’ll be refolded properly, and they’ll be all set for the quilting.

This one was also one of my very first quilts.  The nine patches were part of a swap, and I used my mother’s hand dyed fabrics for the applique.  It’s only small, 1.10m x 1.35m and sat, very unfinished for probably fifteen years. 

Yeah, I know.

I pulled it out the other day, I stitched the pink border on, made some side squares to whack on the border, and now it’s a top.  It took about a day. 

So many of my things are need only a few hours to be finished.  I’m hopeless. 

But I’m working on it.

Till tomorrow,


Tuesday 26 June 2012

Rainbow Log Cabin


I think I’ve posted this one before, but I took a photo of it with my fancy schmancy camera today as part of my aim to properly photograph all my quilts.

I’ve made two versions of this quilt.  The first one was just the inset (log cabin) part.  I knew nothing about quilting and followed the directions (in centimetres) using whatever fabrics I had on hand, which was mostly polycottons.  It was probably about 1992 when I began it.

I only ever finished the centre bit, having decided it was far too complicated to ever get involved in this whole quilting lark.  I quilted it up with a piece of fluffy, fat polyester wadding (believe me, it was as ghastly as it sounds) and promptly forgot I’d ever made such a monstrosity.

But I never forgot the quilt.  I adored that pattern and so after a few years, when I knew more about quilting, I remade it.  This time I only made it to the edge of the four borders.  That was probably about 1995.  I’d lost the pattern by then, having only a picture left and couldn’t work out the maths to make the quilt work.

Again, I put it away.

Once I retired from the quilt shop, I knew a lot more about quilting, and felt confident enough to have a go at my own maths.  And it went together really well.  I made it out to the current borders you can see.  It now measures 1.25 metres x 1.65 metres.

But that’s as far as I have got, and as far as I will go.  It’s so old that the fabrics were those deliciously light and flowery Concord cottons (only the real old timers will remember those) and they just don’t exist any more.  I haven’t enough left to make it any bigger, and I think this is an okay size anyway.

So now, I’ve pieced a back, taken a lovely photo of it, and shall put it away until such time as I am ready to quilt it. 

It remains one of my favourite quilts and has reignited in me a real need to do another log cabin quilt.  It’s been a very long time since I’ve done anything like that.

Maybe we can do a log cabin quilt along one day.  We’ll see.

Till tomorrow,


Little houses…

I’ve had the PDF for the Building Houses From Scraps since the blog owner started her blog.  I was definitely ABSOLUTELY going to make one a day and by the end of this year I would have enough for a whole quilt.

Then I took a deep breath and told myself to quit starting new things and finish some things already.

But yesterday, I reneged.  I have so much willpower.  Not.

Image (2)

I don’t know if I’ll make more, but it was much easier than I thought.  A couple of places didn’t line up beautifully like they should, but practice will make perfect.

I may make more than one.  We will wait and see.  If I made two a day I’d be up to date by Christmas.  Hopeless, aren’t I?

Till tomorrow,


Sunday 24 June 2012

Dear Jane E3 Paddle Wheels

Paddle Wheels E2

Love Love LOVE this one.  What is about reproduction reds?  Just love it to bits.

And mostly everything lines up and that’s always a bonus too!

Another one bites the dust.


Saturday 23 June 2012

Dear Jane Progress Chart


One version of the Dear Jane Quilt – this one showing what I’ve done by taking them out.


Another version of the Dear Jane Quilt.  This one shows how many I’ve made, and how many more there are to go. 

But I’m pleased with my progress.  So far so good.

Till tomorrow,


Friday 22 June 2012

Calm Blue Ocean Update

I've decided to post a template for the paper piecing girls who want them for the previous step.

Click here and download.  When printing remember that it needs to be 3.5" unfinished.  Very important.

Good luck!


Calm Blue Ocean Part Six

***just a quick note – it’s been asked if you can paper piece the previous step.  Absolutely you can, but you can’t use the picture on top of the PDF as its not to scale.  Draw your template out as I have instructed, and DON’T cut them apart into template A, B and C.  Paper piece as desired, remembering that your block must be 3.5” when complete (that’s 3” finished, with 1/4” seam allowance around.  Please email me if you’re confused).

Down to this week’s step!

So I’ve decided not to reveal each part of the mystery quilt on the main page from now on, just in case you’re not up to the current step and don’t want to see the quilt till it’s done. 

So click on here to download the PDF, or head over to the Mystery Quilt page to download the next step!

Have fun!


Thursday 21 June 2012

A little show and tell

I’ve got nothing new to show you yet so I’ve been looking back at some of my quilts.  The many, many quilts.


Picture 005




I’ve always loved scrap quilts.  I love the way that you can throw any colour in and it works.  I think I’ll being doing scrap quilts now till I die.

Not much conversation today.  Perhaps tomorrow.

Have a good one!


Wednesday 20 June 2012

Dear Jane–Block D5 Cathedral Window

Oh dear, Dear Jane.  Did a dog’s breakfast of this one.  My first attempt at freezer paper foundation piecing and it’s a more than little bit on the wonky side.

d5 Cathedral Windows

I’m torn between doing it again, or just chalking it up to experience, realising that in the overall scheme of the quilt a wonky block or two won’t matter, and move on to the next one.  I unpicked and resewed the borders many times. 

What I probably will do is just leave it for now, move on to another one, and in a few months time if it still bothers me, I’ll make it then.

Till tomorrow,


Tuesday 19 June 2012

Dear Jane Crooked Creek K1

Image (2)

This little buggar gave me some issues.  I had to unpick and resew them many times.  But it went together in the end, and it’s done.

I think I was tired.  I pushed myself to do just one more block, and in hindsight it was one more block too many.

Never mind.  Done now. 

Till tomorrow,


Monday 18 June 2012

Dear Jane C3

The name of this one escapes me right now and I don’t have the book handy, but I’m pleased with it. 


I can machine piece anything bigger than about half an inch finished, which is good because when you break them down, there are a lot there that can be made that way.  I’m a bit scared to start foundation piecing them, or hand piecing but I expect it won’t be as difficult as I imagine.

Till tomorrow


Sunday 17 June 2012

A new way to waste time

*edited to fix up the truly woeful editing that the Ipad does.  Ghastly.*

I've long been a member of, and most days visit there to see if I can find some interesting and new blogs to read.  

But to be honest, it's has got very commercial lately and it's hard to find a decent blog in between all the shops spruiking their wares. Don't get me wrong, I'm as keen as the next person to spend money on quilting fabrics, but I'd rather surf quilt blogs than quiltshop blogs, if you know what I mean.

So I was delighted to find the mother load of blogs here at Red Pepper Quilts. There are close to a thousand blogs there you can spend hours of your day checking out, neglecting all the housework and quilting and stuff.

You're welcome.

Why not post yours there too?

Till tomorrow, Suzie

Saturday 16 June 2012

Sunbonnet Sue


Isn’t she pretty?  I found a picture of something like her on the net years and years ago, and loved the idea of piecing her skirt.  I was going to buttonhole the applique but I thought, in the spirit of Dear Jane and all that – I should try to improve my skills.  I took this to a quilt day where I sat next to our group’s best appliquer, and she told me I did ‘very good’.  I told her to be honest, and she was.  She gave me a few tips, but as a first draft, I’m really rather proud of my first effort.

I only have to do about fifty more to make a decent sized quilt.  Hmm.  Wish me luck.


Friday 15 June 2012

Calm Blue Ocean Part Five

Click here for a printer friendly PDF.  Remember, the pictures are much nicer on the PDF plus I have included a third method for printing the templates.

As always, remember scrappy is best! Use lots of different fabric choices when cutting.

We will now be working with templates.

It is very important that this template measures the right size. I’ve given you two ways to make sure that you have the correct size template.

Method A

Download and print out your template, get your ruler and measure each finished (bold) line.

Template A should measure 3” x 3 5/8” x 3 5/8”

Template B should measure 1 ½” x 3 5/8” x 3”

Template C should measure 1 ½” x 3 5/8” x 3”

Enlarge your copy if required.

Method B

Alternatively, on a blank piece of paper, draw a 3” square.

Measure across the bottom line of square and mark the 1 ½” point with a dot.

Join a line from the top left of your square to this dot. Then join a line from the top right of your square to the dot.

Cut the triangles apart and glue onto cardboard. Draw a ¼” seam all around the shapes, and cut apart.


From background fabric, cut 224 of template B and 224 of template C.

From coloured fabrics, cut 112 of template A.

Piece the units in the following way:

· On the wrong side of all three units, trace a ¼” seam.

· Lay template B fabric triangle on right side of a template A triangle right sides together, matching raw edges and pinning if required. Use pins to match ¼” pencil line drawn.

· Sew along ¼” seam line on pinned side.

· Gently press open with seam allowance towards template B fabric.

· Lay template C triangle on the other long side of template A triangle, right sides together and matching raw edges.

· Stitch a ¼ seam on matched side

· Gently press open with seam allowance towards template B fabric.

Confused? Don’t be. Check my website under Tutorials to find a photographic display of how to do it. This block is apparently called a Square Goose. Who knew?

Continue stitching these units until you have pieced 112 of them. Put into a ziplock bag marked Unit Five.


Unit Five – Make 112

Triangle In A Square Tutorial

There are lots of these units out there in quilting land, and if you’re like me, you’ve avoided them because of the dreaded template. 

But they are easy, and you shouldn’t avoid them because they make the most spectacular quilt blocks.

So here’s a quick tutorial to show you just how easy they are.

First – download the templates from here.  When printing, it’s important that the finished size of your templates is correct – I need to check the Fit Picture To Frame button to make it fit.  You may need to check the Actual Size button – it all depends on your printer.  The straight edge of your templates B & C (not the picture in the top left corner) should measure 3 1/2” when printed correctly.   Adjust if necessary.

If you like, you can stabilise your template by gluing it to some cardboard before cutting out.  It makes life easier, but it’s not totally necessary.  If you’re doing more than one of these units, and let’s face it, you probably will, this will make sure to keep the template strong and in shape for longer.

Cut template out on the 1/4” line.  (i.e. the lighter line)


Lay template onto your chosen fabrics on the wrong side. 


Trace all around, and cut out.


Lay your Unit B right sides together over Unit A as shown.


Stitch 1/4 inch along.


Fold back and press.


Lay your Unit C right sides together over Unit A/B.


Stitch 1/4 inch along.


Fold back and press.


Trim if needed.  Mine are ALWAYS out and always need a little bit of a shave.  Just a smidgen, that’s all mine need to make them a perfect (cough cough) 3 1/2” unit.

Hope this helps you a little bit!

Till tomorrow,


Thursday 14 June 2012

Some more Dear Jane to share

I’ve got a real problem now.  Dear Jane is threatening to take what little spare time I had left.  I stitch a block, and then I think ‘Oh, I’ll just do one more…’ and so it goes.  All chores are left, the dinner isn’t cooked – I’m hopeless.

k2 grandpas chickens

K12 Grandpa’s Chickens. 

All machine pieced.  Haven’t had to try paper piecing yet.

m12 hopscotch

M12 Hopscotch 

Another relatively easy one, though it scanned very badly.  In real life, it’s not as crooked as it looks.

k9 scouts honor

K9 Scouts Honour.

I adore this one.  The colors are so lovely and rich, and it went together like a dream.  I’ve been piecing another quilt with triangles sewn on the outside like this one, and I’ve been getting better, I must say.  So practice making perfect and all that.

That’s all for today.  I did a couple more of them but they still need some applique on top.  I’ll post them when I finish.

I know I’ve said it before, but it’s so worth doing this quilt.  I am sure that this quilt is responsible for a lot of technical improvement in the general quilting world.  It’s a very special quilt.

Till tomorrow,


Tuesday 12 June 2012


It’s been brought to my attention that in my last post of Bountiful Bouquet, I totally missed a row!

I’ll redo that month’s instructions again, and hopefully it’ll be clearer for you.  Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention!

Month One – we should have a strip measuring 9.5” x 42.5”


Month Two – we should have two strips measuring 4.5” x 42.5”



Month Three – we should have our log cabin row measuring 7.5” x 42.5”


Month Four – we should have one strip measuring 4.5” x 42.5”


and one measuring 2.5” x 42.5”


Month Five – we should have one strip measuring 7.5” x 42.5”


Month Six – we should have one strip measuring 6.5” x 42.5”


Month Seven – we should have a strip measuring 6.5” x 42.5”


**please note – this is the month where the single flowers are appliqued on.  I do not know how to add this flower to my electric quilt programme yet, which is why there is no picture on this block**

Month Eight – we should have one strip measuring 8.5” x 42.5”


to have a finished quilt centre as below:


When all stitched together, your quilt top should measure 57.5” x 42.5”.

Now we need the half yard of inner border fabric we have set aside previously. I have used a plummy purple.

Cross cut into six (2) inch strips.

Join together into one long strip and cut this into four smaller strips, two measuring 42.5” and two measuring 60.5”.

Stitch a 42.5” strip to top and bottom of your quilt and press. Stitch the longer strips to either side of your quilt and press.

Quilt should now measure 45.5” x 60.5”

Monday 11 June 2012

Some questions

I’ve had a couple of questions posted to me about both the Block of the Month and the Mystery Quilt.  Today is a messy, messy day and when I have five minutes later on (before I go to bed) I promise to answer them all personally. 

Thanks so much


Saturday 9 June 2012

Dear Jane Block C1 Trooper Green’s Badge

Football season is excellent.  I get to lock myself in the sewing room on Friday nights while he is watching his team play football.  It’s a win-win!

This is last week’s Friday night block, C1 Trooper Green’s Badge.  I machine pieced it, and it went together surprisingly easier than I imagined.


This is a great quilt for your quilting self esteem.  I highly recommend you give it a whirl.

Till tomorrow,


Friday 8 June 2012

Dear Jane … a summary to date

I have been v. v. industrious lately and have tried hard to get on top of these little suckers.  Time will tell how long it takes me to finish this quilt, though I started it in October 2010.

Dear Jane Pinwheel Gone Awry A1Dear Jane Uncle Homer A6Dear Jane Field Of Dreams D13c1Dear Jane Batchelor's Buttons B1_thumb[4]

Dear Jane Four Corner Press B13_thumb[4]Dear Jane I1 Ralph and Nelda's Wedding_thumbDear Jane Simple Simon M10Dear Jane M5 Mother's Point_thumbDear Jane I2 Kaye's Courtyard_thumb

Dear Jane K13 Brandon's Star_thumb[1]Dear Jane K3 Seven Sisters_thumb[1]c3L7