Sunday, February 26, 2012

Square Knot Block Tutorial

The artist of Lillian's Stitches can now be found at Walking With Feathers.

I woke up one morning with the design for this block in my head. After checking here, here, and here, I couldn't find a name for the block or a designer for it, so I guess I'll claim it and name it!

Presenting the Square Knot Block, my first original quilt block and first block tutorial!

You will need two fabrics in strips of the following widths to make a 12.5 inch square block. The number in parentheses indicates how many of each length you'll need. For example, cut (1) 1.5 x 3.5 inch strip and (2) 1.5 x 4.5 inch strips in your first color.

For this tutorial, my Color 1 is blue and my Color 2 is white.

Using a quarter inch seam, start by stitching each 1.5 x 4.5 inch  strip (blue) to either end of the 4.5 inch square (white), then stitch the 3.5 x 8.5 inch and 3.5 inch square (white) to either end of the 1.5 x 3.5 inch strip (blue).

Press seams towards the darker color, or press open (either way works). Do this throughout.

Stitch the 1.5 x 6.5 inch strip (blue) to the central piece as shown.

Next, stitch the 3.5 x 5.5 inch strip (white) to the right side of the center.

Stitch the 1.5 x 9.5 inch strip (blue) to the top of the central piece.

Stitch the 3.5 x 6.5 inch strip (white) to the left side of the central piece.

Stitch the top and bottom to the central piece, aligning Color 1 strips.

And you're done!

Now make a few more and make a square knot...

... or...



I got carried away and made sixteen blocks for four full square knots.

And in case the picture doesn't tell you loudly enough, these blocks were a great way to use up scraps and remnants!

Hope you've enjoyed my first block tutorial. Please let me know if you have any questions or ways I could improve! Thanks, and happy stitching!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Blocks and a Bee Peek

Where has the week gone? I feel like I've hardly sewn a stitch... Between variable work schedules and spontaneous social engagements, I've barely found a slice of time for Sew. Happy. Quilt. A-Long blocks:

Progress... only two more blocks to go, and it's time to consider settings!

In the Orange You Glad Bee, we're working on an "Orphan Block Challenge". I was sent four fabulous "orphan" blocks that I'm working into a--well, it ought to be obvious, but I'll not give away the story quite yet.

And that grey block in the foreground? I woke up one morning with the shape in mind and was unable to find it listed under any terms I could come up with. If it's unclaimed, I'll name it and write a tutorial. If y'all know anything about it, please let me know!

Mentally, I've got umpteen quilts in motion. In reality, I've got a plan and a prayer... and the daffodils are blooming, and my garden's calling my name... and I am so very thankful for the ability to live life choosing to do things I love and be with people I enjoy. Happy weekend, y'all!

Linking up with Sarah this week.

P.S. On a personal note, I had the joy of hearing Ben Rector play the Ryman Auditorium last night. He was fantastic! He closed with this tribute to the late, great Ms. Houston and had all the audience singing. Check him out if you haven't heard of him! (Another favorite--albeit another cover... but had to share since I so prefer his take to the original!)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Love Stream

This one's for my babies.

It's not uncommon to be sitting in church and an image of a quilt or a block drop into my consciousness. This sort of thing has happened to me in the past and involved some sort of creative endeavor that goes on to be a gift tailored to someone specific. Not this time. Two weeks ago, this baby quilt dropped into my mind, and in record time (for me) I've completed the top. I used a matching yard and fat quarter purchased in Paducah, as well as a few remnants of red, etc., from various locations. Unbleached muslin borders complete it, and I'll use the same in the back.

They say hope deferred makes a heart sick, but when desire comes, it's a tree of life. Whenever my tree of life comes, it is sure to be well-nourished and healthy, fed by loving expectation and confidence in the goodness of God to bring to completion everything He's spoken to me.

And so my husband and children will receive the work of my hands, supported by a heart full of trust, faithfulness, and, of course, love.

Friday, February 3, 2012


It's better to give than to receive, but it's still good to receive!

It happens, on occasion, that when friends realize I am a quilter, exclamations of "Oh, would you like--" follow. For example:

"There's this quilt we have in storage. We don't know who made it. We found it in his grandmother's trunk. It smells like moth balls, though, and it's falling to pieces. Oh, and the backing looks like an old granny's wallpaper. But if you want it, we'd rather it be used than not."

Would I like it? Well...

Silk, velvet and embroidery, what! A couple of sticks of incense dispelled the moth ball smell, and yes, the silk is shredding in some places, but I *do* have a stash of deconstructed silk tops lying around, and that dupioni remnant... But meanwhile, I'll just pet it. And snuggle under it.

And the backing? Pah! Who cares when all that glory's on top!

Speaking of glory, I got a surprise package yesterday containing...

AACK! Thank you, dearest Orange You Glad hivemate! My jaw dropped. For several minutes. Literally. The only explanation was an invitation to PLAY! YAY!

Now to give. Convention may dictate this worth a post of its own, but, though fully awake, I'd rather finish up this post and get to sewing!

Tomorrow I'm off to visit my Grandmother. She's been part of so many firsts in my life:  first bath, first ice cream, first doll dress sewing, first Krispy Kreme, first trip to the emergency room... My first free motion quilt went to her last year (has it been a year already?!), and before that, my first quilted gift (coasters). To brighten up her room, I decided to make a first just for her:

That Alexander Henry backing is Grandmother to a T. She is a prolific reader, art aficionado, and quite as classically coiffed. I look forward to surprising her tomorrow and pray all the virtues of love, health, hope, faith, beauty and healing accompany her through this stage of life.

linked with sarah

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Odd Blocks

Anyone else wax philosophical on less sleep than usual? Or find there's a negative correlation between the previous night's hours of quality sleep and the average number of syllables in your idiom? Seems the more tired I am, the longer and clunkier my vocabulary becomes.

I'm not even sure what text to put with these photos. A single phrase, such as "disparate elements of various projects", might suffice, but the post title communicates this. To say, "I've been sewing blocks" seems obvious... Ah, well. Onward!

I'm starting a quilt using a yard and a fat quarter I found in Paducah, KY, with the MCMQG gals. It's an experiment in plan-as-you-go. Here are the first bits in that so-cute-it's-practically-not-me print (and--bonus!--an overuse of dashes!)

Another project:  the Sew Happy Geek Quilt-Along. Last week's block:

Finally, a block pieced from this tutorial. It's got a story, too, but I'll wait on it for now, maybe until a time when I'm feeling less sesquipedalian?

Happy sewing and sweet dreams!