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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Triangle Quilt Tutorial


Triangle Quilt finishes approx. 73" x 90"

Fabric Requirements

73" x 90" quilt - 54 fat quarters
65" x 70" quilt - 40 fat quarters
1/2 yd for binding

Monday, October 25, 2021

The Dottie Quilt Tutorial

Dottie was designed by Moda. It uses Jelly Rolls or you can cut your own 2-1/2" x WOF strips.

The quilt in the pattern uses 36 blocks and finishes at 72" square. Since I'm not a fan of square quilts, mine finishes at 72" x 84" and uses 42 blocks. The blocks are 12" finished. The image below is from QuiltPro. I use this software to quickly test quilt sizes and block placement.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Around The Block Quilt Pattern

 Make this fast and easy quilt in two sizes using all squares.

Instructions and video included below.

Choose 4 accent fabrics and a background.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Twinkle Star Video Workshop

Twinkle Star was designed by Judy and Bradley Niemeyer for paper piecing. The pattern uses basic paper piecing techniques that can be applied to many Quiltworx lone star projects. This is a great introductory pattern for learning how Quiltworx lone star quilts are made in a small project that can be completed very quickly.

This tutorial includes 22 videos and instructions for paper piecing the Twinkle Star quilt designed by Quiltworx.

Twinkle Star Quilt made by Carol Thelen
The video below is an introduction to this workshop

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Fake Rail Fence Quilt

I saw a picture of a quilt in a catalog the other day. It looked like a Rail Fence block but it was actually made from a single fabric. The fabric looked like wood slats. I have some fabric similar to that so I tried it.

Fake Rail Fence Quilt

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

No Bake Jolly Bar Quilt Free Pattern

 I liked this pattern so much I made 4 quilts from it! Three of the quilts went to nieces and nephew. The fourth one was a Quilt of Valor. This free pattern is from The Fat Quarter Shop. They sell pre-cut fabric cut  in 5" x 10" rectangles. This is basically a 10" square cut in half once. I used layer cakes for the kid's quilts. For the Quilt of Valor I cut rectangles.

This quilt is fast to cut and fast to piece. Easy too!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Puzzle Box Free Quilt Pattern Download

 I was attempting to organize my large pile of scraps and one of the categories I made was width of fabric pieces. These pieces range from 3" to 17" in length. I decided to cut everything into 2-1/2" strips and start making scrap quilt from the strips.

This is Puzzle Box by Christa Watson. Christa's company is Christa Quilts.  I have made several quilts using this pattern. Here is one I made for a veteran.

The pattern uses 2-1/2" x Width Of Fabric (WOF) strips and is a great way to use scraps. You will need 80 strips to make this 64" x 80" quilt. 

Download the free pattern from Christa Quilts by clicking here --> Download Puzzle Box.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Lemonade Quilt - Free Pattern Download

This pattern is from Benartex (Kanvas Studio). The quilt finishes about 60" x 75".  It uses 27 pre-cut 10" squares along with some additional yardage. I made this several years ago for the shop to showcase a fabric collection from Kaffe Fassett. I didn't take a picture of that quilt.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Corner Four Patch Quilt

The Corner 4-Patch block finishes at 8" and is easy and fun to make. There is a 4-patch unit in the corner. The rest of the block consists of a 4″ square and a 4″ x 8″ rectangle. Use scraps, fat quarters, yardage or a combination of all three. Use strip piecing, patchwork piecing or both to construct this unit. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Jiffy Jelly Quilt Free Pattern

This pattern is one of Moda Fabrics "Patterns To Share" as part of The Cutting Table. It is a simple, fast quilt to make and a great pattern to introduce new quilters to 2-1/2" strips. The printed pattern uses 32 strips or one Jelly Roll™ and the finished quilt is 48" x 60". The picture below uses 64 strips or about two Jelly Rolls™ and the finished quilt is 60" x 72".

Finished Size 60" x 72"

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Download Free Pattern - Gwen's Color Quilt In Two Sizes


Finished Size Approx. 67” x 84”

One of my customers chose a coral color small check and a light teal fabric for one of her quilts. I loved the combination so much I decided to use the fabrics in one of my quilts.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Homespun Crumb Quilt

I decided to try making a crumb quilt. I have had a block of the month quilt and fabric for over 15 years. It was designed by Winnie Fleming and made from plaid homespun fabrics. I tried making the quilt, which I think is beautiful, but only got to month three. I used a lot of the remaining fabric for this quilt.

To find out how to make a crumb quilt I found this tutorial:

Crumb Quilting: What's It All About

I sewed the pieces together to make  a size at least 9" x 18". This allowed me to cut two 8-1/2" blocks.

Some of the pieces I made large enough to cut 3 blocks. I made a total of 42 blocks.

Landscaping Project #1 is Finished!

We have finished the first major landscaping project. We still want to add a fountain and some yard art but the plants are in for now. Here are pictures of the project.

The grassy area to the left will be an extension of the driveway. It will be crushed granite and another car can park there.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Framed Blocks

 A great way to add interest to a quilt block or to make the quilt block larger is to add a frame.  You could also call it a border for your block.

A plain 4" finished block framed with a 1" finished border.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Stitch and Flip Piecing

2018 -- 05 Stitch and flip is a piecing technique that uses squares or rectangles to make triangles. In this tutorial you learn to use the stitch and flip method to make the Snowball block and the Flying Geese unit. Here is the 60 second video.

Stitch and Flip Tutorial

Start with one 6-1/2" square for the snowball and four 2-1/2" squares for the background.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Update on Plants and Gardens

Eggplant starting to blossom

Tomatoes are getting very large. A few blossoms here and there. In the foreground the yellow squash is really taking off.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Throw Yourself a Cutting Party!

 If you have been quilting for more than a few years, you probably have fabric scraps busting out at the seams. I know I do! Scrap quilts to the rescue. I have made about 6 scrap quilts this year and still have more fabric.

This is a scrap quilt made with 4" finished half square triangles.

 A cutting party is where you make a list of quilts to make, sort your scraps then cut the pieces you need. Here is what I do.

Plan Your Quilts and Cutting Requirements

Here are the quilts I have planned and the size strips I need for each.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Bowtie Quilt

This week I started working on 2" finished bowtie blocks. I bought the new 4" Qube Mix and Match plus the companion sets. If you don't have an AccuQuilt cutter yet, I have included instructions below to make a 4" finished bowtie block the traditional way.

These pieces were cut using the 4" Companion Set - Corners. The background is cut with die #11.1 and the small triangle is cut with die #12.1.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Product Review: Fusible Fleece for Sewing and Quilting Projects

Many of us like to make projects such as purses, bags and totes. In addition to being quick and fun to make, these projects are useful and make great gifts. Before making a project you need to decide how stable you want the finished product to be. If you're making a reusable bag for groceries, you might want to add a thin layer of batting to give it just a little body. If you're making a wallet, you probably want a lot of stability to hold credit cards and cash in place. Fusible fleece, available in various thicknesses, is one solution.

Lightweight fusible fleece was used to make the lining in this Mondo Bag For more information see the article, How To Make A Mondo Bag.

What is Fusible Fleece?

Fleece is a synthetic material made from polyester. It is available in different thicknesses or lofts. Fusible means an adhesive has been applied to on or both sides of the fleece. The products discussed in this article have fusible material applied to one side only. The fusible material appears as small bumps on the surface.

Fusing to Fabric

Follow these basic instructions to fuse fabric to fleece:

  1. Place the fusible fleece on the ironing surface with the adhesive (bumpy) side facing up.
  2. With right side facing up, place the fabric on top of the fusible fleece.
  3. Use a hot iron to melt the adhesive, fusing the fleece and fabric together.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for using steam and for fusing time. I suggest using an applique pressing sheet while fusing the fabrics together. The applique pressing sheet protects the fabrics and holds them in place as you fuse. The video below demonstrates how to fuse fabric to fleece.


Lightweight and low loft, adds a layer of softness, body, and stability. Fuse to fabric, cardboard and wood. It is sewing machine safe, will not gunk up the needle. Black works especially well with dark fabrics. Machine wash warm, delicate cycle. Tumble dry low or dry clean.

  • White
  • 100% Low Loft Acid-Free Polyester
  • 45″ by-the-yard width

Happy quilting!


Saturday, March 27, 2021

Fertilizing the Pecan Trees

Today I fertilized the two pecan trees in the west lawn. They are just about the only plant on the property that has not shown any green yet. A friend told me that they are the last to green up.

I have no idea what type of pecan they are. I fertilized with Nirto-Phos. 

Citrus & Pecan Tree Fertilizer 16-8-4

Citrus & Pecan Tree Fertilizer:

  • 16% nitrogen promotes vigorous growth.
  • 3% zinc and 1% iron for better nutrition and production.
  • ​16% sulfur has a soil acidifying effect. A slightly acid soil provides for the maximum availability of phosphorus needed for flower bud formulation and increased fruit and nut production.

NP-PC168-2020 LB.100/PALLET
6 12294 90003 6
NP-PCF-44 LB.6/CS6 12294 90029 6

Each tree is about 8 inches in diameter. I put 8 cups (8 pounds) of fertilizer around each tree. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Another Scrap Quilt - Half Square Triangles

Using nothing but scraps and my AccuQuilt Fabric Cutter, I made this quilt with half square triangles. If you look at a log cabin block you see it has a light side and a dark side. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Fractured Star Video Tutorial

I made this quilt in the summer of 2017. The pattern is Fractured Star by Quiltworx. It was designed as a beginner pattern to introduce quilters to paper piecing. The quilt finishes 80″ x 80″.

This 6 lesson tutorial shows how to piece the entire top.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Scrap Garden Quilt Tutorial

 Here is the Scrap Garden quilt made entirely from scraps.

It looks complicated but it's really not. Only two blocks are used:

54-40 Or Fight - Make 32

Shoo Fly - Make 31

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Side Triangle and Corner Triangle Cutting Cart

Quilters use this triangle cutting chart when piecing a diagonal layout quilt. In a diagonal layout, blocks are placed on-point. The blocks are shown in white above. The corner triangles, shown in black, are in the corners. Side triangles, shown in gray, are along the edges.  

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Oriental Arborvitae

Today we planted 25 Oriental Arborvitae seedlings along 100 feet of the south fence line. The seedlings were shipped from West Texas Nursery in Idalou Texas, part of the Texas A & M Forest Service.  Home | West Texas Nursery

The following information is from The Morton Arboretum - The Morton Arboretum

Oriental arborvitae

Foliage of oriental arborvitae.

Oriental arborvitae is similar in appearance to other species of arborvitae. Nurseries usually sell the cultivars of this plant rather than the actual species and those cultivars can vary greatly in appearance. Winter protection may be needed for this plant. Because it is typically short in stature, oriental arborvitae may be planted under utility lines. Also known as Thuja orientalis.

Botanical name: 

Platycladus orientalis

All common names: 

oriental arborvitae

Family (English): 


Family (Botanic): 


Planting Site: 

  • Residential and parks, 
  • Under utility lines

Tree or Plant Type: 



    Evergreen (foliage year-round)

Native Locale: 


Landscape Uses: 

  • Foundation, 
  • Hedge, 
  • Mixed border, 
  • Patio/sidewalk, 
  • Screen, 
  • Specimen, 
  • Utility

Size Range: 

  • Small tree (15-25 feet), 
  • Compact tree (10-15 feet), 
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet), 
  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet), 
  • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

Mature Height: 

18-25 feet

Mature Width: 

10-15 feet

Light Exposure: 

    Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

Hardiness Zones: 

  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7, 
  • Zone 8, 
  • Zone 9, 
  • Zone 10, 
  • Zone 11

Soil Preference: 

    Moist, well-drained soil


  • Dry sites, 
  • Alkaline soil

Acid Soils: 


Alkaline Soils: 


Salt Spray: 

    Moderately Tolerant

Soil Salt: 


Drought Conditions: 


Poor Drainage: 


A few days  later I realized we found some poison ivy. Itch, itch, itch....yuck!

Update on May 7

These plants have not been doing very well where they are planted. I decided to put them in pots and put the pots around the vegetable garden. They seem to be doing better but just not thriving.....

This tree was given to us by our sister-in-law, Dorothy. She got it as a cutting from my brother, Louis and his wife Donna. 

This is not the actual picture of the tree.

Here it is on March 20, 2021

May 7 2021

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Chain Piecing

Chain piecing is a method of speed piecing where segments of fabric are fed into the sewing machine one after the other without stopping to cut the threads. This produces a chain of sewn segments that are then cut apart and pressed.

Chain Piecing Steps

Here are the steps to accomplish the chain piecing technique:

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Needle Plate

The needle plate, sometimes called the throat plate, covers the area near the needle. There are 2 commonly used needle plates: the zig zag plate, shown above, and the straight stitch plate shown below. In this article you will learn about the differences in these plates and why you might want to have both of them on hand.

Using Scraps From Pre-Cut Strips

NOTE: In October 2017 I posted this one minute video on using scraps from pre-cut strips. Since that time I have probably made 5 or 6 more of these. That's a lot of scraps.

Here is the finished quilt!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Strip Piecing: Free Pattern and Tutorial

If you need a quilt that's easy, fast and fun to make, the Strip Pieced Diagonal Beginner quilt is for you. I found this easy strip piecing pattern a few years back when I was looking for easy quilts to make for Veterans.

Using just three fabrics and strip piecing, you will love how quickly this quilt comes together.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Paper Piecing Floating Points - Free Pattern and Tutorial

I have seen plenty of paper piecing patterns with spikes and star points. Paper piecing makes these points nice and sharp at the seam allowance. Even with the precision of paper piecing, we can sometimes end up with cut off points when piecing the units together.

What can we do to prevent ever cutting off our points? The answer is paper piecing floating points. Floating points mean the points do not end at the seam allowance. Instead, the points end in the interior of the unit.

The floating points for these spikes will never be cut off because the points don't end at the seam lines for the unit.

Amazon Star, The Biggest Quilt I Ever Made!

Here it is guys. Amazon Star designed by It finishes at 104" x 104". I have never made a quilt this big. My daughter, Diane, wanted a duvet cover for a king size bed. So I offered to make one for her. This is a picture of the finished quilt top taken by China at Sew Special Quilts in Katy Texas, where I purchased the fabrics.

Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial

Quilters use paper or fabric as a foundation for piecing quilt tops. this tutorial shows how to use the foundation paper piecing method. Quilters use paper foundation to quickly and easily piece designs with strong, sharp points. Other paper pieced designs include very detailed flowers, faces, animals and lots more. 

There are many ways to obtain designs for foundation paper piecing.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Color Block Quilt

The Color Block Quilt is pieced using strips of fabric. Choose 13 coordinating or contrasting fabrics. Cut each fabric into strips then piece the strips together into rows. Fabric from one row flows into the next. You’ll be amazed how fast this top goes together. The Color Block quilt finishes about 60″ x 72″.

Strip Piecing Tutorial

Strip piecing is a technique using strips of fabric sewn together in parallel rows. The parallel rows are called strip sets. Cut the strip set into segments called units. Sew the units into the quilt top. This strip piecing tutorial shows you how.

Strips are cut in various widths from selvage to selvage. Using this method cuts down on the time it takes to cut and sew units together.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

String Quilts

Traditionally string quilts are pieced using a foundation of lightweight muslin or newspapers. In old quilts you often see the newspapers still inside. A string quilt uses long scraps of fabric. You can use scraps of any color or use coordinating colors for your quilt.

For my Quilts of Valor I use scraps of blue and red with a single white or tan fabric on the diagonal. I place the blue fabrics on one side of the diagonal and the red fabrics on the other side. This creates a look that is similar to the log cabin block. Where log cabin blocks have a light and a dark side, this block has a red and a blue side.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Lone Star Block Mini Workshop

Lone star block workshop

The Lone Star block is a classic design. It is traditionally made by piecing rows and rows of diamond shaped fabrics into larger diamond shapes. Piecing these diamond shapes, with all the bias edges, is often difficult to do, especially for beginner quilters. Instead of cutting fabric into diamonds, this workshop shows you how to use fabric strips. This free mini workshop shows you step by step how to make a Lone Star block. The following techniques will be demonstrated and explained:

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Understanding Quiltworx Papers

This set of 8 videos were the first videos I ever made and shared on YouTube in March of 2017. I had just become a Certified Instructor for Quiltworx, Judy Niemeyer Quilting. If you are a fan of Quiltworx patterns, I hope these videos help you!

This tutorial will help you understand how to use the paper piecing patterns published by Quiltworx.  It demonstrates how to cut fabric and paper piece the flying geese units shown here. 

Monday, February 15, 2021

How To Fold And Store A Quilt

My friend, Jackie Theriot, owner of Black Cat Creations, suggested an article on how to fold and store a quilt without getting creases in it over time. This is something that has always concerned me. Generally, most of my quilts are given away or donated to causes. But the ones I will always keep are simply folded and placed on a shelf. They do have creases in them but Jackie has inspired me to look into this problem and find a solution. Here is what I found.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Download Free Quilt Pattern - Shaded Nine Patch Scrap Quilt

The Shaded Nine Patch block consists of three light squares, three dark squares and three half square triangles made from both light and dark fabrics. When you look at the completed block it resembles a half square triangle. This means you can set these blocks in a multitude of ways. All the log cabin settings will work, all the pinwheel settings work and any setting that uses half square triangles works. In this download there are seven example layouts. What I like most about this block is that you can piece lots of them and decide later how to set them.

The finished block in this quilt is 9" so each of the squares and half square triangles finish at 3".
  • The squares are cut at 3-1/2".
  • For the half square triangles normally the squares are cut at 3-7/8" but we will cut them 4" and square up the half square triangle later.
Here are a few setting for the Shaded Nine Patch block.

All facing the same way.

Streak of Lightning

Zig Zag


Barn Raising

Download Free Quilt Pattern - Shaded Nine Patch Scrap Quilt

Happy quilting!


Five Steps To Mitered Corners

This article was originally posted in July of 2018 on my old website.

Mitered corners look great on quilts. Many quilters shy away from sewing them because it seems complicated. Break it down to these 5 simple steps and get the results you want every time.

Step 1: Cut Border Strips

In this example we use a quilt top that measures 11" x 14".

The borders are cut at 3-1/2" and finish at 3".

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