Sunday, September 20, 2015

Millefiori La Passacaglia Quilt Along Link Up 1

Here we go!  Time to start linking up.  If you don't already have the book and materials to get started, I will refer you to a prior post which lists what you will need to get going. Click on the link and you can get together the items you'll need.

Some rules for the link up:

1. You may post once during each link up.
2. You must link back to this post.. 
3. Advertisers, please be respectful and don't post unless you are quilting along with us.  If you do, you will be removed and blocked. Should you wish to advertise on my blog, please contact me directly and we can discuss that separate from this link up.

Each month as we move along, you can join in anytime!  I am excited to see what you are putting together.  If you have hints and tips that you feel will be helpful, please send them along to me at

My first tip to you is, in additon to obtaining Willyne Hammersteins's book Millefiori Quilts, if you are just learning English Paper Piecing, I would strongly suggest that you also purchase Diane Gilleland's book All Points Patchwork.  It is an excellent resourse to help you with how to manage your fabric around your paper pieces. You can get a digital download pretty inexpensively $9.99 on

Tip two: if you are not going to purchase the acrylic templates from then I suggest that you purchase some inexpensive template plastic, you don't need a large sheet, from your local craft or quilt shop and create some templates for yourself.  This will help you to fussy cut your fabric and to keep your pieces neat.  It will ensure that you are cutting a piece large enough to actually properly encompass your paper piece.   

To do this, I put a little dab of glue on a template, placed it on the plastic and used my ruler to draw around it with a fine point indelible marker, then measure again, 1/4 inch away from your paper piece and draw another set of lines.  This will be your selvage and will fold over your paper piece.   By using template plastic you can easily mark key points on your fabric to line up your pieces for fussy cutting.  Mark your templates with the pattern piece alpha letter so that you are using the proper template.

Tip three: I have never used the glue method before, I am a convert!  The pieces for La Passacaglia are so small that it really makes it fast and easy to get your pieces pasted and ready to stitch together. Drawback, removal and reuse of the papers is not really practical. Here is a picture of the backside of my starting rosette. You can see that it makes for a very neat and tidy result.  

There is a great group of folks on Facebook and I would encourage you to join that group, lots of inspiration and good camaraderie. You can find them by searching Millefiori/ La Passacaglia English Paper Piecing.

On their site is a great little link for The Flat Back Stitch a tutorial which is posted here: The Flat Back Stitch on the DIY Addict Blog.

Alrighty then! Open for link up!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Walk In The Park

Labor Day Weekend, staying off the road and enjoying my time working on a "Walk In The Park" designed by Debbie Caffrey.This quilt pattern is published in 4 installments in Quilt Maker Magazine, with the first installment being published in their March/April 2015 issue.

If I'm working on a detailed pattern and I'm switching up the colors from what is illustrated, it helps to have a little guide next to me as a reference.  On this paper, I glue swatches of each of the fabrics and number them to correspond to the fabrics in the pattern. Just an inexpensive glue stick works fine.  I list the name of the quilt, who designed it, the finish size, quantities of fabric needed for both the top and the backing.  I slip it into a plastic sleeve and I'm ready to go.  It helps to keep things straight when there are lots of pieces.

It would be helpful to list where you purchased your fabric, incase you want more.  In this instance I am shopping from my stash.  

One of the gals on my Facebook page says that she copies her pattern and puts it in the sleeve as well, thus preserving her magazine copy. 

Friday afternoon was spent selecting fabric and cutting.  Saturday I started sewing in the evening and decided to stay up into the wee hours. I think it was about 1am or 2 by the time I finally got to bed. The basic components were assembled. Installment 1 was completed and all was right with the world. 

Sewing at night is the best.  It's quiet. There are no interruptions. The cool night air was drifting in through the window and it was perfectly still outside.  We live in the woods and you would think it's normally very quiet at night, but actually it's not. There is a lot going on out there most nights, deer, raccoon, bear, skunks, owls, squirrels...etc.  They are a busy bunch!  But last night it was very quiet, just the sound of my sewing machine as I chain pieced the segments.

Today I spent time with my husband, made some cookies and worked on the second installment.  Tomorrow I will be finishing up installment 2 and moving on to installment 3.

If you want to make this quilt, you can order past issues of Quilt Maker Magazine here:

I hope you will check back for updates to this post as I finish each segment.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

#La Passacaglia Quilt Along Begins

Willyne Hammerstein has created some breathtaking quilts in her book Millefiori Quilts. I thought it might be fun to do a Quilt Along of her La Passacaglia quilt. This post will contain links to obtain the book and materials so you can play along.  

Lilabelle Lane

Paper has the book in stock, as well as pre-cut paper pieces for you to use. You can cut your own, there is a pattern in the book, but it can be time consuming and personally, I would rather spend that time sewing.

To get the pre-cut paper pieces:

Note: there are several packs available, you can get a small pack for as little as $25. and as you create your rosettes, you can remove the papers carefully and reuse them. Or, you can get a starter pack for $56. or get the complete piece pack for $116.

photo by Flossie Tea Cakes
They also have acrylic templates available for you to fussy cut your fabric pieces. Now, before you go out an purchase those I want you to look at this alternative by Flossie Tea Cakes that will show you how to fussy cut your fabric bits. Check out her post here:

Photo by Flossie Tea Cakes

Okay, we have the book, we have the papers...what else do we need? This is where you can vere off, some people like to stitch their English Paper Pieces (EPP) some people like the glue method. 

I will include tutorial links for both methods and you can decide for yourself which you prefer.  

Julie Zaichuk-Ryan from Button Button

EPP hand basting method will require a needle, thread and some small scissors. It is portable, you can put it all in a little plastic baggie and take it in your purse with you anywhere. Here is a link to a tutorial for EPP basting method:

Julie Zaichuk-Ryan from Button Button
With this method, you will need to remove the basting stitches to retrieve your paper pieces after you have stitched all your pieces together.

Hexie Tutorial by Sister of The Divide

Hexies by Sister of The Divide

Here is a link for the glue method:


Check with your local quilt store, they should have the Sewline glue stick in stock, if they do not, they you can google it online and there are about a gazillion places that sell them. They run somewhere around $7.00 Fons and Porter also makes one. I will be using an Elmer's Glue Stick, you can buy them at the grocery store or most office supply stores and they run about $2.00 for three sticks. They work just fine. 

I'm going to try the glue method this go around and I'll let you know what my thoughts are.  

Here is another fabulous link for ideas and inspiration on Fussy Cutting for your La Passacaglia:  They have a great free download with lots of ideas.

Okay, I have my book and I can't wait to get my paper pieces in the mail so I can get started! I hope you'll join in the fun!

Next month I will put up a link on the blog so you can link up and share your progress as well.  Let's spur each other to the finish line!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Giveaway and A Quilt-Along !

Yes, hexagons!  They are so much fun!!!  This month we are giving away Katja Marek's book The New Hexagon published by Martingale/That Patchwork Place. 

To Enter the giveaway:

#1.  LIKE our Facebook page.  Click here it will take you right to it!

#2.  COMMENT on our Facebook post.  

#3.  SHARE our Facebook post on your Facebook page.

That's all.  Nothing ever to purchase.  Random drawing will be held August 31, 2015.  Winner will be notified via Facebook messenger and will be announced on our Facebook page by September 1, 2015.

If you haven't seen the amazing creations that are being made with the instructions in this book...check out...

Join Katja's Quilt Along.  Each month a new block.  Her requirements are simple.  Buy her book and register on her site to receive your updates. Here is a link to purchase her book:

You can also find it at Martingale Publishing here:

Your local quilt shop may have a copy as well, check with them first if you need it right away.  (I know, sometimes I don't like to wait for the mail, especially when I get excited, I want it now!)

Block Kits are available from for each block. Precut paper pieces if you don't want to cut your own.  Go to:

AND...there is a Facebook page where you can share your progress and look at other's blocks for inspiration!  Check it out here:

Okay, I am off to have some quilting fun today. Be sure to take a minute and enter the giveaway...the drawing will be soon!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Mid Century Color Block Table Runner - Update

My son Andrew, loves mid century style. I created this table runner for his dining table. Here's how to make this easy runner.

The fabrics I used were Michael Miller Pin Dot for the yellow
Michael Miller Painter's Canvas for the slate and Artisan Spirit by Northcott Fabrics for the turquoise.

The finished size of this table runner is 33.5" x 11.5"

I purchased 1 yard of the Slate fabric, 1/2 yard of each of the others.That is way more than you will need.  

You need some scraps of the yellow and some scraps of the turquoise. A 2.5" x 12 " strip of each will be plenty. Dig through your stash, I'm sure you have something you can use. Your runner doesn't have to be these exact colors, you can make it any way you wish.

You will need a piece of the slate fabric cut 12.5" wide by the width of the fabric.

You will need a piece for your backing that is just a bit bigger.  I like a couple inches wider and longer all the way around to allow for quilting.

You will need a piece of thin batting that is just a bit bigger than your finished runner but a tiny bit smaller than your backing.

Other items needed, cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler, sewing machine, pins, thread...the normal stuff.

Let's get started:

Open out your slate colored fabric and measure about 12 inches in on each end.  Make a cut straight across with your rotary cutter and ruler. Set these two end pieces aside, we will reattach them later. 

Using that middle piece of fabric, cut it into random strips no smaller in width than 1 1/2". Differing widths will add interest. Lay them out and decide where you want your color blocks, make a crossways cut in your strip and insert your color block.  You can slide them a little one way or the other but there is not a lot of wiggle room, so try to get your color block where you want it before cutting your strip crossways.  

Stitch all your color blocks in place, they can be any width you want, again, mixing up the sizes adds interest.  Lay them out on your cutting mat and make sure you like the layout before you stitch the completed strips together.  Also, I would suggest that you keep your blocks away from the edge of the strips, you will be trimming this area and you don't want to lose your effect.

Stitch your strips back together to create your center panel. Once you have your center portion stitched and pressed, trim it to measure the same width as your reserve pieces.  Stitch your reserve pieces onto the center panel,  one on each end.  Layer your batting and backing and pin in place.  

Starting in the center of your center panel, stitch straight lines across through all layers, using a longer stitch to quilt it together. Roll your runner up and it will be easier to get through your machine. Stitch straight across at varying widths to create a quilted effect that you like. Move from the center to the end and then turn it around and do the same to complete your quilting. This will help to keep things smooth as you quilt.

To bind I cut 3 strips 2.5" x WOF (Width of Fabric), pieced them together and folded it in half.  I chose to bind with the slate fabric to keep the interest on the color blocks.

And there you have it! You can make one in an afternoon and have it on your table for dinner!  

Update:  They love it!  Here it is on their table.  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Happy Halloween Village!

Last weekend, you will remember, my friend Noell Phipps and I went up to Sugar Pine Quilt Shop in Grass Valley. While I was in a fabric frenzie, I notice that Anne was cutting several fabrics and she had a book open on her counter. I asked her what she was doing and she said she was getting fabric ready for a class. I looked at the book and had to have it!  Happy Villages by Karen Eckmeier.

The outside of the book didn't peak my interest, it was what was inside that caught my eye. I never would have picked this up if Anne hadn't had it open to a very cool project. Thumbing through I noticed the Halloween Village and the Christmas Village...CUTE!

This weekend, my friend Brenda Allen came over, she needed some help finishing up the mitered borders on her quilt, so we worked on that and just sewed the day away.  Sometimes it's just great to have that creative synergy of another person to sew with. Anyway, at the end of the day I showed her the book and said...what do you think? Well we were off and running! I was pulling halloween colors last night and so was Brenda, we made our templates and got to cutting...I jumped the gun a little but she caught right up!

Last night I was playing with the bits and getting the basics laid down...this morning I scrapped it and started over...haha!  Fickle.

Brenda came over after church and we really got busy. Scissors flying!

My kitchen is thrashed!  But we are having a ball. The beauty of this sewing, you glue the bits down. There is a process and I would suggest that you get the book and read thoroughly the basic instructions. You are using basic shapes and if you ever played with Colorforms as a kid you will be right at home! Don't be afraid to move things around!  

As you get the basic shapes down and start to embellish them, that is when the fun begins. Here is Brenda's quilt:

The beauty of this's only 16 inches square. You probably have everything you need to make it in your scrap bins or your stash. It goes quickly and you will have immediate gratification. Putting the roofs on is when the fun begins because you start seeing it coming together.

This was the Happy Halloween Village from Karen Eckmeier's book, you can see how much fun you can have embellishing, the sky is the limit.

Finished for today, I'll be adding to this after work each evening I'm sure, as the inspiration hits.  Check back to see the finish!

Don't forget to visit our Facebook page to enter our giveaway this month!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Where to find The Real GOLD In Placer County!

Placer County in Northern California is famed for the 1849 gold rush, 49er miners would come from all over the world to try their hand at placer mining in the hopes that they would get rich...although those days of golden glory are gone, there is still plenty of REAL GOLD to be found for quilters at the Sugar Pine Quilt Shop!  This quiet unassuming little building is packed to the rafters with a wonderful eclectic mix of fabrics.  You will never be disappointed and I challenge you to leave their shop without purchasing a basket full of fat quarters!  It cannot be done!

Located in historic Grass Valley the home of the Empire Mine. You can find them at 452 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945.  They are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm.


The Empire Mine operated for 106 years, from 1850-1956, producing some 5.8 million ounces of gold from 367 miles of underground workings. The Empire Mine was the richest individual gold mine in California

George Roberts, the original discoverer of the gold, on what became known as the Ophir vein,  soon sold his interest and by 1869 William Bourn Sr. owned controlling interest. The Bourn family maintained control of the mine until 1929 when it was sold to Newmont Mining. Newmont also purchased the North Star Mine, resulting in Empire-Star Mines, Ltd.

By the 1950s, inflation costs for gold mining were leaving the operation unprofitable. In 1956 a crippling miners strike over falling wages ceased operations. The mine was officially closed a year later on May 28, 1957 when the last water pumps were shut and removed.

In 1975 the State purchased the surface property as the Empire Mine State Historic Park.

There is no need for you to get dirty and ride underground to 

find the treasures that abound at Sugar Pine!

Do you like Kaffe and Jacobs...they have it, like batiks....they have it, like Michael Miller...they have it, like contemporary...they have it, like traditional...they have it...oh, I could go on for hours but you get the idea.

Everyroom, every nook and cranny has quilter's notions, rulers, pins, patterns, ideas, inspiration.  If it's not here, you don't need it. Each room that you walk into, invites deeper exploration.

"Why yes I am purchasing more of that cute little house fabric and what is it that you are cutting fabric for right now?" I asked Ann as she measured my fabric..."We are teaching a class in Happy Villages by Karen Eckmeier " she said.  "Let me see that book, I think I need that, that looks like fun!"  She explained the technique and the book flew into my basket.  It's like that at Sugar Pine, it's contagious creativity at it's best!

Every room has just a little different flavor, exciting unexpected patterns, books and fabrics are at every turn.  Your mind will be spinning very quickly.  There is even a little window seat where you can sit quietly and look through the quilt books and baskets of patterns.

Sometimes you just want a fat quarter of that special fabric, you may be collecting for a particular project or just love that one fabric...well, no problem!  Ann will cut you a fat quarter of absolutely any fabric in the store!  Often you will find the fat quarter already cut and on the shelf under your selection or rolled up and poking out the top of the bolt.  Your wish is their command.
You never need to go home and say, I wish I could get a fat quarter of that fabric I loved but they only cut a  1/2 yard minimum...not here! You want a fat quarter of that fabic, well by golly, that is what you will get!

Cheerful corners await you filled with treasures!

Sample flimsies and beautifully finished quilts are at every turn.

There are fun projects for you above every shelf of fabric.

Fabrics are somewhat color coordinated for your viewing pleasure, just know that you will be easily side tracked by flickers of color everywhere. You've heard of the legendary Gold Fever...well that is nothing compared to the Fabric Fever Frenzie that will bite you when you enter!

Precuts, jellyrolls, layer cakes, sale's all here waiting for you.  As you enter the store, be sure to grab one of their little baskets, it can get cumbersome balancing all your bounty!

The gals are happy to help you put together a run of fabric for the project you are working on.  I get carried away everytime I go into their store, I just love it! So here are my purchases for today...I added some white and black.  The dot and the bees I have in my stash but I wanted a little more.

These pinks and this aqua were singing to me...they also will go in my stash.

This gray and this yellow are going to be a table runner, mostly gray with pops of colored squares and rectangles, the yellow may or may not make it into this project, but it's in my stash now...

This batik with the blue dots will be the background in a winter wall hanging that I am collecting for.  Originally I was going to get some white fabric and dye it, but this batik is absolutely perfect for what I am doing...More to be revealed.

And of course, I had to purchase some more of this little house fabric.  Crazy for it...I used it last year to make a table topper and I am in love with it!

And finally these little penguins were dancing and singing to me...I could see them out of the corner of my eye and they danced their way right into my basket!  After all, Christmas is coming!

If you have the opportunity to get to Northern California, be sure to take the time to visit the Sugar Pine Quilt Shop, you will NOT be disappointed and you will surely discover the Real Gold in Placer County!