Sunday, September 23, 2012

"Coffee with Jeanne" Star Block

This block is my own creation for the GardenWeb Quilt Forum Birthday Block Exchange 2013. It is a simplified version of Brasstown Star.

This makes a 12" block finished size (12 1/2" unfinished)

Introducing the Coffee with Jeanne Star Block!

1. Select Your Fabrics

I had 3 coffee theme fabrics on hand. Either of the two on the left will work well. The one on the right is too light and will not allow for sufficient contrast. I want the white star to show up well. Keep that in mind when you select Color 3 also. Do not select a color that is too light for Color 3. It should be medium to dark.

There will be 3 fabrics in my block. For one, use a coffee themed novelty print. One will be white or white on white and the third will be a fabric that picks up one of the colors in the coffee print and is a solid or "reads like a solid from a distance." Here is what I selected.

Color 1 is the coffee novelty print.

Color 2 is the white or white on white

Color 3 is the solid or nearly solid in a color that coordinates with fabric Color 1

Coffee Theme Pieces (Color 1)

2. Cut your fabric pieces

From Color 1 (coffee novelty fabric), cut four 4 1/2" squares. If your fabric has a top and bottom like mine does, make sure to cut it so they all face the right way.
From Color 2 (white or white on white), cut one 4 1/2" square and eight 2 1/2" squares
From Color 3 (coordinating fabric), cut four 4 1/2" squares.

White Pieces (Color 2)


Coordinating "Solid" (Color 3)

3. Mark Diagonal Lines on White (WOW) Fabric

Draw a line on the diagonal of each of the eight 2 1/2" white (WOW) squares. If your fabric is like mine and there is a front and a back (my front side has small raised dots on it), mark on the back (wrong side) of the fabric. I use a handmade file folder lined with sandpaper under my fabric so it doesn't slip when I mark it. (I will be happy to give instructions on how you can make one.)


4. Sew the small squares on the novelty squares as shown in the two pictures below.

You see one piece pinned in position in the picture above. Place right sides together and your stitching line will be on top. Pay attention to how the block will fold once you stitch it so the points will be going the right way. Notice, too, how two of the 2 1/2" squares will be added at the top of one novelty block, two at the bottom of another novelty block, two at the left of a novelty block, and two at the right. This is a concern if you have directional print fabric.

I pinned all eight blocks in place in this photo below so you could see how to position them. Now it's time to sew them in place. I was always told to stitch one thread to the inside of the part that remains. That allows for the size taken up by folding over the fabric. You don't want this seam too far to the outside or the inside. Your corner should flip over and match what is underneath. Stitch only one corner at a time so you can press and check your work before moving on. Do not cut anything away until you press and measure your block. These remain 4 1/2" even after the flippy corners are added.

5. Check Your Work, Press, and Trim

Once you have your white (WOW) block sewn on the diagonal, fold along the stitching line and make sure the top piece completely covers the fabric underneath. If it is not large enough, your block will not finish at 4 1/2 x 4 1/2" - get out that stitch ripper and re-sew if needed. (I had to do it, too, so don't feel bad.) After you stitch one corner in place, then press, open your seam so the top layer is away from the two bottom layers and trim away the excess fabric underneath - but make sure you don't cut away the top layer - and leave 1/4" beyond the seam before you move on to add the second corner. You may even need to press everything lightly a second time before you add corner #2. You want the block to be flat and the correct size before you move on to the next step.

Do not cut until you measure carefully and make sure the top layer which will remain on the block is folded back and you don't trim it away.
See how I have the top white fabric folded back before I cut anything. When you cut the excess, place your ruler so that you are cutting 1/4" beyond the seam line. You are trimming away the excess so the block won't be so bulky.

6. Once The "Flippy Corners" Have Been Added

Once all eight flippy corners have been added, press again. Now you are ready to sew your rows together. Sew the top row, center row, and bottom row  - or left, right, and center. Either way is fine. I did top, center, and bottom. Make sure your points are laid out the right way! We want to see a white star in the middle.
In pressing each row of three blocks, I pressed towards the block without any seams.

Here the rows are sewn together.
Now you can sew your three sections together. One seam should go to the left and one to the right as you pin your sections together so they will be snug and lock in place. When you sew the seams that involve star points, it helps if you watch where the points fall as you are stitching. If needed, you can make the seam allowance just a little bit smaller so as not to cut off the point, but don't adjust much because then your block won't be the right size. Watch the "X" from the previous stitching which should be 1/4" from the edge to make sure you are stitching in just the right place.

7. You Are Finished!

I positioned my 12 1/2" ruler over the block to make sure the size is right.
Your block should look like this:

I made one block prior to this one. (I made the second block so I could take pictures as I went through the process.) Here are my two blocks placed side by side. 

This is going to be so much fun to see the different fabrics and colors that I receive from the swap!

If you're not in the Birthday Block Exchange, you can still make this block and enjoy it. However, do not print out the pattern for others or claim it as your own.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Busy Like a Bee

Things have been very busy here lately ... and my eye is still not well following my cataract surgery which makes it hard to stay on the computer for very long, but it is better and not worse so I keep hoping it will get back to normal.

So, what has been going on? In addition to things that normally go on (which keep me pretty busy all by themselves), I have been planning for activities at the quilt retreat in North Carolina, That starts really soon; and I have been planning for much of October when a good friend from Australia will be visiting with me here in South Carolina and then we will travel up the east coast for about 10 days... and I have started shopping for a horse.

If you read my blog, you will remember that my 33-year old horse that I had for 29 years died in January. I have never been so sad about losing a pet! All those years really make that animal part of the family. I know it will be hard to find the right horse - I am short, I am not young and flexible, and I like a horse with personality, but it has to be extremely safe. I say I am looking for a child safe horse for an adult! Then there is the additional part that I would love to have a Palomino because I've never had a Palomino horse... but I won't decide against a horse simply based on color. I will even consider a mule if it is a good choice for me. How's that for not being biased?

I haven't been sewing a lot because of my situation with my eye. However, I did sign up to participate in the GardenWeb Quilt Forum Birthday Block Exchange for 2013. This is the block I selected.

It's a block of my own creation, but based on Brasstown Star - really it's Brasstown Star simplified. I'm going to call it "Coffee with Jeanne." Anyway, I will be posting the instructions here for the exchange group so if you want to make it, just watch my blog and I'll have the instructions here soon. I'm calling it "Coffee with Jeanne" because I am requesting that the novelty fabric be coffee related. I am really excited to see what I will receive!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Etsy Treasuries

I make Treasuries on Etsy all the time. I enjoy looking through the lovely items on Etsy and trying to coordinate colors and textures. It's fun and a bit soothing to select the items. Anyway, I never knew how to add a Treasury picture here on my blog, but someone who I featured in this Treasury helped me out. She posted it on her blog, so now I was in business - I know how to copy and paste!

This is a Scavenger Hunt Treasury for the Theme Team. We get a list of words and look for items that portray that idea. Sometimes it's pretty easy. For example, the bear named Fanciful represents the word fanciful. Other times it's indirect. I used the flowers made from pages from the book Gone With the Wind for the word wind. The Serenity Prayer on the scrabble tile that has been made into a pendent is for the word serene. Chilled Eggnog (even if it is eyeshadow) represents yummy.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend. The Carolina Gamecocks won their game last evening so we had fun watching the game on TV and I was very happy about the outcome.

You can go to this site to find the full list of words used:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Anniversary with Golden Rose Crafters

The Golden Rose Crafters Team on Etsy is having their one year anniversary. Several members made all-team Treasuries to celebrate the anniversary. Here are links if you want to see what they have been up to. I have become a bit addicted to making Etsy Treasuries - it's so much fun!

We are not even half way though the month, so I suspect some more Treasuries will be posted.

Mums sure are pretty in the fall garden.

Temperatures are starting to drop here in South Carolina. I love it!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Baby Burp Cloths

I had the most fun last evening making these baby burp cloths. These were the kind my daughter and son-in-law really liked to use. They were so handy for preemies because they are made of flannel and so soft and they are single layered so fit comfortably snug up under the baby's chin. If you have been following my blog, you can tell I really like dogs so the dog fabric with the red and black plaid accents for slippers and bones was just the thing!

Now for some more complicated sewing, but this was a nice relaxing project for last evening.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Soon it will be time...

Soon it will be time for Camp Cheerio... this is an annual event that some of the Quilt Forum members on GardenWeb attend in the fall. We have so much fun and people come from all over the United States and from Canada... and this year we will have a quilter from Australia. Unfortunately my local friend who usually travels there with me can't make it this year.  I sure will miss her!

Yesterday after my annual physical, I stopped at a fabric store and bought some of the supplies I will need. I have no lack of projects to work on. They have really built up this year and need some attention.

Have a great day.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Halloween Table Runner

Once we get to September, it seems our thoughts jump ahead to Halloween. I have no idea why we are always getting ahead of ourselves.  Anyway, I finished this cute Halloween table runner yesterday. I love how bright and cheerful it is. I don't care for scary Halloween decorations - give a me friendly ghost or smiling Jack o'Lantern anytime.