Quilting on Wednesday: Preparing for 2014 Block of the Month

We are one week away from the 2014 Block of the Month! I hope you have your supplies gathered and have visited the website. If you haven’t heard what we’re doing yet, visit the link above. We’re building an attic windows block, which I hope will be a bit more advanced than a four or nine patch, a little challenging, but not overly so.

I plan to continue working on the skill builder series for our Wednesday quilting posts. I hope you will join in with me, as we both learn!


Quilting on Wednesday: Using Alternative Stencils and Templates for FMQ

Free motion quilting (or FMQ) is my favorite type of quilting. It’s like drawing on fabric! Very often, I like to create my own templates and stencils. Leaves, flowers, drawings, and internet images are all great sources of inspiration. Recently I finished a quilt for a young couple that had attended the same college and participated on the rowing team. They are now engaged and the girl’s mother had me make a quilt for them using their rowing team tees.I put a lot of effort and time into this quilt, adding things like half square rectangles and half herringbone borders. I also had to figure two different dimensions – one side using her tees and the other side using his. Of course, none of the tees were the same size and most of his had small images for the chest or pocket. I also bound the edges using long strips of blue and orange. This is what happened:

Her Side
His Side

The sun was shining full on that day, so I got show through, but I did use a nice cotton batting between the layers. The quilting on this didn’t settle in my mind until the very last minute. I couldn’t do stitch in the ditch because it wouldn’t look right on the other side. I also didn’t want to do a basic lattice design because I’d done that on the last 3 quilts and was sick of it.

I wanted to do something that represented the waves or ripples in the water when rowing. I also needed a stencil but didn’t want to go to the store to get one, being disappointed when they didn’t have one. I was two days from deadline, so ordering one was out of the question. Printing one out, tracing it, marking with the pounce – all took too long. So I started looking around the house for something to use. I was thinking something like a birthday banner.
Going into my kids’ room, I found an old paddle ball paddle that the ball was detached from. That was it! I traced it out, matching top to top and bottom to bottom, turning it back and forth to get a wave. I spaced it a couple of inches apart, and repeated the marking.
I think it turned out very well and my customer was extremely pleased. There are so many possibilities for making quilting stencils our of everyday household items. I hope this inspires you to come up with some too!

Quilting on Wednesday: Block of the Month 2014

Who would like to do a Block of the Month??? Yeah, some of us get into doing these things and find out that we love them. Blocks of the month increase our skills and knowledge and provide us with little bite-sized pieces that don’t necessarily have to develop into quilts. You can use your blocks to make a variety of things like pillows, pot holders and hot pads, mug rugs, etc.We will be doing one block a month, on the first Wednesday of the month. So our first one will start on February 5, 2014.

Our first block will be an Attic Windows block that measures 12″ x 12″. You will need:


  1. 3 different fabric colors; 1 light, 1 medium, 1 dark in the same scale. (For example, if I want blue, I would choose 1 dark blue, 1 medium blue, and 1 light blue. They can be patterned or solid, your choice. )
  2. Rotary cutter
  3. Cutting Mat
  4. Sewing Machine
  5. Thread (matching is recommended but not necessary. I generally use white.)
  6. Pattern downloaded from website
I will be using my Janome MC8900 and hopefully will be able to show you on video some of the features of this machine. We will also be using block designs from Marcia Hohn’s Quilt Cache website. Her patterns are free to use and download, but you cannot sell anything made from her original designs. Remember, these blocks are just for practice anyway! If you post images of your blocks made from any of her original designs that we make, you must include this information:
Name of the Block as it is on the website
Include website and Martha Hohn’s name
I am going to try to stick with traditional designs for now.
Ok, so you have until February 5, 2014 to get the fabric and necessary supplies before we start! I think this will be a lot of fun and I hope to get a lot of participation.

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