Archive for Fabric

Little Quilts Blog Tour — Next Stop!

Greetings! The Little Quilts blog tour is rolling along! This week, stop by and visit the lovely Nedra over at Cactus Needle! Woot!!

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Little Quilts Blog Tour!


It’s time for a little party for little quilts and Little Quilts! We are gleeful over the wonderful reception for our little (am I overusing that??) book so far, and we want the celebration to continue! Sarah and I have devised a blog tour and swap with some of our favorite people. Indeed, in the spirit of Little Quilts, we’ll make and swap wee (see, I didn’t say little) quilts and talk about our progress in blog posts. Our swappers don’t know from whom they’ll receive a quilt, so there will be mystery reveals when the mail arrives. Ooooh, tricksy, it was almost more than my summer brain could handle figuring that out (I know, it’s really not that difficult…).

I’ve already been pondering options for my swap partner. Hmm…


Which of these lovelies shall it be? Should I make one of mine?



Or should it be one of Sarah’s?


Who doesn’t love the Honeycomb quilt? Surely I can manage the embroidery, yes?!

As we all ponder and make, we’ll be checking in, so keep an eye out for our fabulous friends who have joined us. Here’s the Little Quilts visiting schedule for the next six weeks.

September 1: Amy and Sarah

September 8: Pam Vieira-McGinnis

September 15: Nedra Sorenson

September 22: Lynne Goldsworthy and Krista Hennebury

September 29: John Adams

October 6: Katy Jones

Should you care to join us in the making (or make and then send a small quilt to a friend!) and don’t (yet) own Little Quilts, you will find the pattern for Sarah’s Little Red Riding Hood quilt on the Ryland Peters blog.

Little Red


And befitting such a celebration, each stop will have a drawing for a copy of Little Quilts, courtesy of our spectacular publisher, Cico Books! So, if you’d like a chance to win a copy (what? you don’t already own one?) from this stop on the blog tour, leave a comment (making sure I can contact you via email behind the scenes) by the end of the day on September 7 — just before the tour stops off with the ever delightful Miss Pamkittymorning.

We hope you’ll join us in our continuing excitement about our book and have a visit with our lovely bloggers at each stop! I’ll check in regularly too to make sure you don’t miss any of the fun!

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Hand Quilted with Love blog tour

My dear friend Sarah has written another book. Maybe you’ve heard of it — Hand Quilted with Love. I’ve horned in on her book blog tour to celebrate her talent and creativity, among her many other fine attributes.

I admit that I squeal every time I get to take a sneak peek into her latest work. Yes, I am lucky that way. So, she may have showed me some of the quilts from the book in advance. And I squealed like a little girl and once again decided that I wanted to make every quilt in the upcoming book. Seeing as I am still working on quilts from the last book….ahem…why not dive in and start a quilt from the new book too?! Frankly though, I see nothing wrong with that because, as the book’s subtitle says, “Patchwork projects inspired by a passion for quilting.” And who doesn’t get a little carried away by the passion for quilting? And I can feel Sarah’s passion for quilts in each of the designs in Hand Quilted with Love. And so I get carried away and squeal a little and decide that every one of the quilts speaks to me (and says “make me….”).

In the sewing room, you will find my copy of Hand Quilted with Love duly page marked on All That and the Hatter.


You will find a stack of light Kaffe Fassett shot cotton fat quarters and a stack of Liberty Lifestyle Stile fat quarters.


You will find me puttering around with background stripe combinations and cup and saucer combinations and teapot combinations.




You might also find me squealing like a little girl over the fun I’m having with Sarah’s lovely design. This one is VERY, VERY satisfying to undertake as well — put the thinking cap on on occasion, it’s a good thing.

Sarah’s new book also includes an incredibly special design. You might have seen it. Or been a part of it. Along with squealing, there was crying. Which is to be expected. Seeing it in print took my breath away. Not in a bad way. Just in the way that it is.


The version in the book is Anabel’s quilt.


At fall quilt market, I picked up my quilt. I have slept under it every night since Sarah presented it to me. In fact, she had it on the bed at the hotel. I am still overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity and caring for us. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Please know that not a day goes by when I don’t look at this quilt in amazement and appreciation. It is a great comfort to read your names and admire your fabric choices. Thank you.


In the future, I hope you will also find me making more of the quilts from Sarah’s wonderful new book. Congratulations, miss! I’m thrilled for you, I admire your talents and hard work and I’m so happy to call you a friend!

Be sure to visit the other stops on the blog tour:

SewTake a Hike – 4th May

Belinda Stitches – 5th May

True Up - 6th May

LilysQuilts (UK) – 7th May

Creative Dabbling (Australia) 8th May

Mrs Schmenkman Quilts (USA) 9th May  (you are here)

I’m A Ginger Monkey (UK) – 10th May

Petits Elefants -(Australia) 10th May

Prints Charming (Australia) – 11th May

RedPepper Quilts (Australia) – 12th May

HandMade by Alissa (USA) – 13th May

Meet Me at Mikes (Australia) – 14th May

Sew Mama Sew (USA) – 15th May

Since I have been away away away for so long, I’ll include some updates. I came back from quilt market in the fall to news of another serious health concern in my immediate family. It was jarring and once again scary and it set me back somewhat. But all is now well and we’ve been lucky to have had the best outcomes all the way along.

I have also been keeping up with the kid. Here are some recent action shots because it seems that she is all action and I am her personal assistant making sure she is where she needs to be and she is fed and garbed.




Good kid.

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Bloggers’ Bar Hop Quiltalong – Block 10 Cross Bar

I was thrilled when Scott Hansen asked – despite my absence around here – if I would like to participate in his latest quiltalong, the Bloggers’ Bar Hop Quiltalong. Thrilled.

Then I received the fabrics kindly supplied by Clothworks from their European Taupe VIII collection by Kinkame. You had me at taupe, Scott. Then I began to worry that someone had been snooping in my stash and would therefore know that I have been known to have a Japanese taupe addiction (NO, this is not a situation of what fabric am I NOT addicted to…stop it).

These are the fabrics I received:

A longtime admirer of the low-contrast combinations of these fabrics, I decided to be subtle and add only a cool solid grey to make my 12″ Cross Bar block.

For this block, you will need five fabrics. The block finishes to 12″. All seams are 1/4″.

Fabric 1, solid grey, cut 4 – 2 7/8″ squares and cut in half once on the diagonal:

Fabric 2, brown woven check, cut 4 – 3 3/8″ x 4 3/4″ rectangles:

Fabric 3, burgundy tonal, cut 4 – 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles AND 1 – 2 1/2″ square:

Fabric 4, brown floral check, cut 4 – 3 7/8″ squares and cut in half once on the diagonal:

Fabric 5, grey rose print, cut 4 – 2  1/2″ squares:

1. Begin by sewing 2 brown floral check triangles to both long sides of the brown plaid rectangle. Repeat with remaining three brown plaid rectangles.

2. Sew solid grey triangles to the short sides of the brown plaid rectangle. Repeat with remaining three brown plaid rectangles.

3. Sew burgundy tonal rectangle to grey rose square. Repeat with remaining three burgundy tonal rectangles.

4. Arrange burgundy tonal/grey rose units as shown in the photo below. Sew burgundy tonal square between the burgundy tonal/grey rose units.

5. Sew brown plaid units to both sides of burgundy tonal/grey rose units as shown in the photo below. Repeat for bottom row of block.

6. Sew block units together as shown.

There  you go. I think this would make a wonderful subtle scrappy quilt. Yes, imagine it scrappy.

Here’s the line-up for the remaining blocks on the Bloggers’ Bar Hop Quiltalong:

October 1 Amy Ellis

October 2 Lynn Harris   

October 3   Heather Jones    

October 4   Jackie Kunkel    

October 5 Ashley Jones

October 6  Emily Cier 

October 7 Scott Hansen

October 8 Jan Peoples

October 9 April Rosenthal

October 10 Amy Lobsiger (you are here)

October 11  Cara Quilts

October 12   Konda Luckau

October 13  Alethea Ballard

October 14 Charlie Scott

You can see blocks going up at the quiltalong Flickr group page too.

Thanks for visiting and thanks, Scott, for inviting me to join in the fun!

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Testing, testing

Is this thing on?




Edited to add: quilt pattern is called Bleachers, an Angela Walters design for Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio.

I also recently finished Empty Bobbin’s Zigzagged. Fun stuff!



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Nearly lost in translation

Despite the quiet around this blog, I have been sewing. And sewing. And sewing. But I feel like I’ve been working on the same three quilts for a very long time. Which I have.

This is the last of three big buggers. Finally finished the top today. This is a wedding gift. I collected a very large pile of fabric first, including 13 yards of the Alexander Henry mustache fabric (most for the backing). I thought I would wing it, patternwise. When it came time to start, I thought better of the winging it approach and went hunting for a pattern. I settled on Emily Cier’s Discontinuity.

And then I decided to make it differently. Emily’s design uses her clever pixel piecing. I decided to translate it to be able to sew with bigger chunks.


First, print the schematic and don’t panic. Next, sew up a couple of sections. Third, ask what the heck am I doing? Fourth, head down, eyes on your own paper, cut, sew, cut, sew, do a little math, get out the seam ripper, work out some partial seams thanks to your “clever” translation, cut, sew, press. Until some time days later, the queen sized top is done, there are threads hatching from every seam that will need to be trimmed. It could really use a good re-pressing.


And now to do the quilting. Straight line. Straight-ish line. Wobbly line. I have a cone of thread ready for the task.

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Blogger’s Block of the Month :: Block 8, April

Welcome to the Mrs. Schmenkmanquilts’ stop on the Blogger’s Block of the Month tour! Thanks to Jackie for including me — much appreciated to have a goal and to be able to play along!

My block is called Triangle Squares. Hmm, creative. Well, that’s what Grandma Dexter called it, and it is block no. 2041 in Barbara Brackman‘s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns (ooh, ouch, when did that go out of print?).  Whatever you call it, I like it. It’s easy to make and you’ve got a lot of areas for the variations of your choice. For example, use more than one background fabric. Mine is gold. Use one on the inside of the block and one on the outside. Or make your corners match your center. Use two more contrasting fabrics in the half square triangle blocks — those could definitely add some pop.

Let’s get started!


The finished block size for Triangle Squares is 8″.

For the block background, I used the gold Guinea flower print.
Cut 6 – 2 7/8″ squares.

Cut the squares in half once diagnally.

For the corners, cut four 2 1/2″ squares of purple spot:

For the half-square triangle blocks, cut two 2 7/8″ squares from each of two fabrics.

Cut these squares in half once diagnally:

For the center, cut one 3 1/4″ square.


Be sure you are sewing scant 1/4″ seams. You can either press seams open or to one side. I have used a combination — pressing the half-square triangle units to one side and pressing the final seams open to better distribute bulk.

To piece the block center, surround the 3 1/4″ center square with four half-square triangles of the gold guinea flower:

First sew in one side triangle:

Follow that with the opposite side’s triangle:

Press these triangles out and trim the triangle corners even with the center square if you desire.

Now add the other two side triangles:

Press and trim any little triangle ears. The piece should measure 4 1/2″. It’s important that there be 1/4″ seam allowance beyond the corners of the blue and green center square — you don’t want to lose your corners into the next seam.

Now piece the half-square triangle blocks. First match up triangles with background triangles and sew four of each.

Trim the corners and make sure your half-square triangle blocks measure 2 1/2″.

Now it’s time to assemble your Triangle Squares blocks.

Arrange the block units like so:

Begin assembly by piecing together the half-square triangle blocks on each side.

On the top and bottom, piece the outer corner (purple spot) together with its neighboring half-square triangle block.

Next sew the units in the top, middle and bottom rows together:

Finally, sew the top and bottom rows to the center row. Press well and you are done!

I hope you enjoy the block!

You can see what other quilters are up to in the Bloggers BOM Flickr group.

Here are links to other blocks in this series, completed and ones to come. Don’t miss ‘em.
September – Sherri McConnell – A Quilting Life
October – Vicki Welsh – Field Trips in Fiber
November - Stephanie Dunphy – Loft Creations
December – Pat Sloan – The Voice Of Quilting
January – John Adams – Quilt Dad
February - Amy Smart – Diary of a Quilter
March – Allison Harris – Cluck, Cluck, Sew
April - Amy Lobsiger – Mrs. Schmenkmen Quilts YOU ARE HERE
May - Cathy Underhill – Cabbage Quilts
June – Pam Vieira-McGinnis – Pam Kitty Morning
July – Victoria Findlay Wolfe – Bumble Beans Inc.
August – Amy Ellis – Amy’s Creative Side
September – Sarah Fielke – The Last Piece
October – Jackie Kunkel – Canton Village Quilt Works 

Happy stitching!

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