Saturday, January 29, 2011


The Angel kits are ready. at Quilter's Corner!  Sue Cook of Larkspur Lane Designs created this charmer.

Click the link above to read the story of the lovely commemorative angel that my friend Sue Cook has designed as a benefit for the Cleland family.

You might have an angel of your own to commemorate with this sweet little quilt...
Kits are available at Quilter's Corner at 724-348-8010.

And stop by Sue's blog and tell her what a wonderful person she is!

Friday, January 28, 2011

another day, another dollar

Love to spend a few chatting today - esp. considering the weather!  but, have to clear the car & get to work, so I'll see you later!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thea's Star - QCE BOM Tutorial

Here is the tutuorial I promised you for this month's block - named after myself, since I couldn't find anything exactly like it in any of my reference books.  This is a 12" finished size block - a basic 9 patch!
(This is intended to be a baby/child quilt for a special new arrival.)
This easy 9 patch block will use the ‘Fast Flying Geese’ method found on page 76 of Georgia Bonesteel’s EASY DOES IT QUILTS.  Or the online version that was distributed last year: 
Or this more detailed tutorial:

Every quilter has favorite methods for making simple pieced units. Flying Geese are also known as FG’s. This block will use 4” x 2” finished size FG units, strip piecing, and five plain 4 ½” squares.

Each block kit contains: Two strips of pink and a strip of red for the strippy units, Four small green squares and a large red square for the flying geese, and five 4 1/2” squares, (1 green & 4 pink)

Sort the pieces – set the 4 ½” sqs aside for now.

Check your ¼” seam before starting.  (Remember - the lines on an index card are 1/4" apart.)

Sew the pink strips on either side of the red strip – press the pink toward the red. This should measure 4 ½” x 10”. Cut this into FOUR 2 ½”.sections and set them aside.

Now, make the FG (Flying Geese) units.  You can use whichever method you prefer - the kit uses the method referenced in the links above.  If you need it, here are my step-by-step pics...
Line up two of the small squares on opposite corners of the lager square:
draw a light pencil line across small squares corner to corner, sew 1/4" away from BOTH SIDES of this line - then cut on the line.
Press toward the 'dark' or larger triangles (formerly the square)

 Now you will have pieces that look like this:
Add the other two squares, also with lines drawn on the diagonal, and sew on both sides of those lines.  I recommend using a scrap 'leader' so the points don't get jammed into the needle hole and cause a nasty ole' thread nest..... which is what happended to me just after I snapped this picture!

 chain piece both sections at once - or more if you are making a lot of blocks at a time.
 Then cut these apart on the line and press the seam allowance in the opposite direction.
 At this point, you might want to check the size -- mine sometimes stretch a bit and need a little trim.  Yours might, too!
Now join the geese to the strip pieced section to make the arrows.

I recommend using a skewer to guide the seam intersection directly under the needle so you get a nice sharp point on that goosey beak!
Now you are ready to join the 9 pieces together into the block.
Join the sections together to make the block:

wrong side, showing seam alignment

wrong side, showing seam alignment

Notice seams going in opposing directions?

Join seams with points of geese facing up so you can see the points as you sew.  Again, use the skewer to guide the seam intersection directly under the needle.

Here's what it would look like done with 12 blocks, straight set:

and here's the same block set on point this time with 13 blocks:


Drop a note and let me know how you like this block / quilt.

All quilts designed inEQ7 by Thea McCurry (c) 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Suspense in the sewing room.... the mystery is solved!

The Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt - Roll Roll Cotton Boll - is 'solved' at last...  here is the version I've drawn in EQ7, which is not quite accurate, but will give you an idea how this will look...  to see more completed versions, you would need to join the QUILTVILLE Yahoo Group and browse through the album - some of the other color schemes are wonderful...or check Bonnie Hunter's blog here - but if you're not into that, you can make do with this, at least in theory:

However, the reality is this:
and each of these little darlings is taking me about 45 minutes, so it may be a while yet before all of these blocks are assembled and combined with their alternate blocks (which are completed and trimmed) and assembled into the top, and then I'll be working on those lovely pieced borders - which my sketch above just doesn't really portray accurately at all!  Those little shapes are not diamonds, they are squares!... and there are hundreds of them patiently waiting in strips, resting comfortably in their own little drawer. 

... and I'm debating with myself whether to make this a square quilt - instead of a long quilt - because the square will be plenty big enough for our bed anyway.  And then I could make a table runner for a 10' banquet table from the leftovers!  Anyone have a 10' table that needs a tablerunner?

Check back soon for a tutorial on this block - I just need a snow day to get it ready!

I've named this "Thea's Star" since I could not find it online or in any of my quilt block reference books.
I've gotta run - teaching another class this morning!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quilting 101 class today!

Teaching is my 'alternate' career.  I do it for the joy.  I love teaching, always have.

I'll be teaching a "Quilting 101" class this afternoon - I love introducing new quilters to the mysteries of quilting.  The tools, the fabrics, the colors, the 1/4 inch seam.... 
the pressing, well, you get the idea.... it's a lot to teach in 2 hours! 

Quilting is like a game that you can learn in an afternoon and spend the rest of your life enjoying. The experience of playing the game never gets boring!  Well, maybe for my sons, but not for me!

I have a very low boredom threshold, personally, so I try to keep my classes moving along at a  quick pace.

The block we make in the Quilting 101 class is a 'simple' 9 patch in a 13 1/2" size. 

I try to show them the 'value' 'contrast' 'scale' and 'design' options in this simple block by showing the students different samples...   and I watch for the moment when they 'get it'!  the light bulbs over their heads suddenly brighten and the big wide smiles cross their faces.... that magic moment is what I look forward to most of all.

They may or may not come out of the class with a finished block or have any idea what they will eventually do with it, but as long as that light inside of them is on I've achieved my goal.

"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me." ~Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Habits for a New Year!

I found this quote on Nancy Zeiman's blog - "Forming a new “habit” takes 30 days. If, during the month of January, you use one short “10-20-or 30 Minute pocket of time” each day, you will be amazed by what you can accomplish. Be sure to take “before” and “after” photos." 

I bought her book, 10, 20, 30 Minutes to Sew when it was first published.  I put many of her suggestions into practice, and today my friends tell me how 'productive' I am!   I often sew (or quilt) in short spurts of inspiration (or for instant gratification) now.... but when my children were small, it was a necessity!   Now Nancy has a TV show, an online store, all the modern goodies... and a line of patterns based on the 10, 20, 30 minutes concept!  She is one productive lady!  ... and I mean that as a compliment.

I try to have some handwork near my rocking chair so if I sit down to rest my feet, my hands have something to play with.  Usually knitting or crochet, sometimes snipping or 'unstitching' - but this weekend I started to use up the rolls of selvages and scraps of rug yarn tht have been lurking around for way longer than I care to think of, and this is what I made:
Kitty Snuggler #1

This is a kitty snuggler for a rescued cat - I found the idea online, of course!  the one in the picture was made of yarn, and crocheted to look like bricks.  Hmm, fat chance I could get that effect!  There are dozens of patterns for all kinds of supplies at:

They even have a pattern for 'Fun Fur' yarn - which has gone somewhat out of style for humans, but kitties still love the stuff - so if you have some in your stash, maybe you would consider making a kitty happy?

The rescue cats love these - you know how cats like to play in bags, right?
and it gives them a better place to sleep than in their litter box!

So, my goal for January is to use up all of my rug yarn and fabric strips (1 1/2") to make 5 more of these for Traci's rescue kitties, and then maybe make a few more for the local animal shelters. 

So, when I have a bit of fabric to trim from a quilt before I put that binding on... this is where those strips will go.  I sure hope the kitties enjoy them!