Mom’s Block of the Month #1: Dutchman’s Puzzle

A couple of month’s ago, I asked my mom, who lives far away from me in Texas, is she would like to have a little Block of the Month club of our own.  She is recuperating from a stroke.  I think that she will enjoy sewing more again.  She has her sewing machines set up and ready to go.  I know that sewing helps soothe my soul when I am frustrated, aggravated or upset.  When I am not feeling well, time in the sewing room makes me feel whole again.  Maybe this will help my Mom, too!

There were several events that led to this idea.

  1. Recently, I inherited some items that I did not have.  One of these things was the Quick & Easy Block Tool.   My version is a little different looking, but it is a great tool all the same.  I choose 12 inch blocks because the larger size pieces are easier to control as we work.  This tool gives cutting sizes for blocks if you speed piece or make 2 half square blocks at the same time.  I will need to adjust these sizes because of the next item on my list.
  2. My husband bought me an Accuquilt  fabric cutting system so I will be cutting the pieces.  I chose blocks that I have the cutting dies to make.  (I also bought a few more as a Mother’s Day gift…from my DH, too.)
  3. My mother requested blues and greens.  Not a problem…my favorite color palette.  I have quite a stockpile of fabric to share.
  4. I am going to make each of the blocks and write directions.  The directions and a set of pieces will be sent to my mother.  In the end, we will both have similar quilts and she will get some free quilt therapy.

Block #1: Dutchman’s Puzzle

To download these directions as a PDF, click here.

This is a picture from the Quick & Easy Block tool from C&T publishing. This should make an easy starting block.

Since the pieces are already cut, lay them out as shown in the pictures below.

This is all about making flying geese.  The blue pieces are the geese.  The background or sky pieces are cream or white.  To begin lay one of the background pieces onto the large goose pieces, right sides together.

Sew them together along the short side of the triangles.  I suggest speed piecing or sewing them all at the same time.

Press the background piece away from the goose.

Lay the other background piece on top, right sides together.

Speed piece all 8 geese at one time. Press towards the background fabric.

Now it is decision time.  You can go with either option below…as long as you make all of the blocks the same.  I am going with the second option…dark blue on the bottom…that will put the darker triangles in the center in the end.

option 1

option 2

As you sew the two geese together, make sure you sew above where these threads cross.  This will make your points sharp and crisp when you are finished.  Press when you are finished…towards the geese or larger triangle.

Now assemble two units to make a larger unit.  Follow the picture below.  Make 2 of these larger blocks.  Finally, press towards the goose fabric.

Dutchman’s Puzzle

In conclusion, join the two larger blocks together to finish the block.  Ta-dah!  The first block of Mom’s Block of the Month is finished!


Quilt Camp Rejuvenation Time

Way back at the beginning of May, it was quilt camp time again.  It was very rejuvenating to hang out with the Camp Frame Fireside Quilters again this year.

Here are the photos from this year stay.  I apologize if the photos are not quite professional quality.  The quilts were fantastic again this year!

I love disappearing nine patch.



It is amazing that two quilts that are made from the same pattern can look so different.


This is a Popsicle stick project that was presented last year:  

This was a red, black, and white quilt challenge from a couple of years ago:

This one started as a panel in the center:

Lovely woven quilts!

Fantastic star samplers!

Carpenter’s wheel…a great large block quilt!

A very cool sampler quilt… 

Here are a few table runners:

Deb’s very precise paper-pieced star runner:  

This one has painted barns:

The center of this is done with embroidery and like a stained glass quilt.  Beautiful delectable mountains!

Love these twinkling star quilts!


This was a black and white challenge from a few years ago.

What a beautiful antique quilts!


It was wonderful to work and hang out with such a talented group of ladies for the weekend!  I feel refreshed and ready to sew and sew and sew!

This is my tea towel: My friend, Richele, did an excellent job teaching.  She made six examples while I made this one little mermaid.

I also have a few photos from my friend, Diane.  She made this fantastic quilt.  She did an especially good job on the quilting…it looks like modern Aztec. 

I hope you enjoyed the eye candy!  I always enjoy looking at other people’s quilts…in person is best, but when that can’t be had…pictures will do!

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!  Safe travels.  School is almost finished for the year.  Relaxation is just a week a way for me!

New quilt…with cat’itude from scraps

How do you get rid of your scraps?

I have bins, bags, boxes, and baskets of them!  That would be many, many scraps!  Some are cut to specific sizes: 2 1/2″, 4 1/2″, etc.  I think that this list of specific sizes will probably grow now that my DH bought me an accuquilt GO! for my 50th birthday.  You didn’t stop by to read stories about me being older…or having new, cool toys.

Back to the original topic!

Last May I started a new project at Quilt Camp.  This was really a study of contrast, not color…like the economy block on an over-the-edge, grand scale.

What do you get when you make 400…yes, I said, four hundred, of these blocks…

I know exactly what you are thinking…that is one ugly block.  I say that you are correct.  It is incredibly UGLY!  But as you know from the ugly duckling grows a beautiful swan…

For a brief moment, I had a lot less scraps…for just a few, fleeting minutes.

When I assembled all 400 of those blocks…1,600 pieces…this was the end result:

My catitude quilt

My catitude quilt

I tried to pick random colors from the scrap bin, but there seems to be a lot of green.  That is the reason I chose the wide green border.  The quilt will get one more border of cream on cream off fabric on the outside so the eyes have a place to rest.

Catitude Book

Catitude Book

The pattern came from this book.  I think I paid $20 something for the book and ruler.

Catitude black and white photo

Catitude black and white photo

cat'itude ruler

cat’itude ruler

It came with a great little ruler that made the original block easier to make.  The directions for the ruler were clear in the pictures on the direction sheet.  The only hint that was not part of the directions was to press the seams open for the first squares and rectangles that you sew together.  That was very helpful in the end.

If you would like more information on the cat’attude book and ruler, drop me a comment and I will get back to you!  Happy quilting!




January 2017 Goal Revisit

75% is still a “C” on most grading scales, thus my grade on my January 2017 goals.

I joined the 2017 Planning Party at the beginning of the month.

Here are the goals I set to get me started:

First goal:

finish quilting the “baby” quilt for my nephew Max….

It was buried under a bunch of stuff on the quilting machine….buried deep.  It took me two afternoons to relocate all of the things I had stacked there.

Max's quilt on the machine...covered with stuff

I started this before he was born about three years ago.   It was on the machine so long that I had forgotten what was on the front of the quilt. Here is the print on the back of the quilt:

backing fabric

I “traced” around the animal faces on the back to quilt the front.  This would have been a great idea, except the animals do not line up neatly.  I had to adjust the rails on the quilt machine after almost every animal head.  I only have a 6 to 8 inch area that can be quilted at one time.

Here is a lion face quilted on the front.  Not perfect, but cute.

lion face

I really don’t know what took me so long to finish this little project.  Drum roll, please!  Goal number one is finished!  I finally remembered what was on the front…a printed panel with red monkey border.

finished quilt

Second goal:

Quilt this sampler quilt for my husband’s colleague as a wedding present.  This is the goal that I did not meet this month.  It is my first goal for February.

Denise and Ed's Wedding quilt

Third goal:

My third goal was to post on my blog at least twice this month.  Ta-da.  This post meets my goal!

Fourth and final goal for this post:

Sew something…anything…at least once a week.  I met this goal more easily than I thought I would.  In December, we were traveling or shopping or going to the movies almost every second of every weekend or free moment.  We were home more in January…a lot more.  I also sewed a lot more, too!

2017…Here we come!

Happy 2017!

I hope this new year brings lots of happiness and healthiness to all of you this year!  In my last post I set some goals for the month of January…to make 2017 a little more productive.  I don’t want to think beyond that…unless we are talking summer vacation!

Belated Merry Christmas to everyone, too!  We were on the road most of the time.  We drove from West Virginia to Corpus Christi, TX.  That is 3,380 plus miles.  I have a good chauffeur!

Because of the way the holidays fell…Christmas on Sunday…New Year’s on Sunday…we couldn’t afford to go to the Florida Keys. $250 a night for 70’s hotel is just too much.  We were planning on 4 nights.  We decided to go to the Alamo instead.  Texas here we come!

Well, the Alamo was closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, so we decided to go to the beach.  It is the off season in Corpus Christi.  That means cheap.  We stayed ON THE BEACH at a Quality Inn.  They put us in a suite that was bigger than our first apartment together for less than $100 a night.  Wahoo!

Let me share some pictures…

While we were waiting for check-in time, we drove to Padre Island National Seashore to check it out.  I learned about the Kemp’s ridley turtles.  The dunes are impressive here. It was cloudy, but still 80 wonderful degrees F.  That felt fantastic compared to the freezing temperatures back in West Virginia.  How can this be the off-season?

Padre Island National Seashore Padre Island National Seashore

Between the dunes and the parking lot, these happy flowers were growing.  It is good to see some green, growing things at this time of the year.

Our views around the hotel…

USS Lexington

U.S.S. Lexington

Santa at the beach


Some very inebriated folks had Santa on their balcony in the hotel next door.  They were having a great time at the pre-Christmas celebration in their room.

Santa was not the only celebrity on the beach.

Spider man goes to the beach

Spidey, What are you doing here?

This was a boat that was out in the Gulf of Mexico.  I thought it was interesting to watch.  At night we could see lights out in the Gulf, too.  beach 2017

Of course, there has to be some gratuitous pictures of palm trees.  We were at the beach, after all.  I love going places where I can wear sandals and shorts at Christmas time.

palm trees

Ahhh…palm trees!

2017 palm trees

I will admit that I didn’t do much sewing on this trip…a little bit of hexagon piecing…plain, old Grandma’s Flower garden type stuff…not even picture worthy at the moment.

We had company for a couple of days.  I am free this afternoon to sew, organize, etc.  So I am off to do just that!  I hope you had great holidays with your family and friends. Here’s to getting 2017 off and running!