Friday, April 29, 2011

Just One Star

…in the nick of time!

Just One Star submission

Just mailed these two blocks off to Moda Fabrics for their Just One Star Project. They are due May 1st, so I just got them in under the wire.

Now off to my Scrapbooking Weekend Getaway in Massachusetts. Love organizing these retreats so we can get out of town for a few days, celebrate our memories and connect with friends!

Enjoy your weekend!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Hope you and yours are enjoying a wonderful family day together today.

Easter day

Here are my two bunnies on our way to church this morning.

Give someone bunny hugs today.clip_image001

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tips & Tricks ~ April BONUS BLOCK 2011

We’ll be sewing at least six 6” bonus blocks during our fun quilt along. They’ll pop up here and there during the year. In March we pieced a Friendship Star, one of my all time favorite block patterns. I thought since our April block was sew much fun, I’d throw you another bonus block – yippee!

I’m hoping the bonus blocks will build on the skills and tips we’ve already covered in past tutes, so the tips and instruction here will be light. The bonus for April is the Spool Block. You only need TWO fabrics for this block – I know, call me crazy! As usual, I pulled from my stash.

  • Lights: 2 each 2 1/2” x 6 1/2” rectangles
  • Medium or Dark: 1 each 2 1/2” x 6 1/2” rectangle and 4 each 2 1/2” squares

Here are mine

Tips & Tricks April BONUS block

Make the side units using the flip and sew method as described in our Tips & Tricks January posting. Take the light rectangles and piece the 2 1/2” squares and sew them onto each side…using the lines drawn on the back as your sewing line. See below:Tips & Tricks April BONUS block

Tips & Tricks April BONUS block

Don’t forget, I like to sew an additional seam to create an extra HST – look in the photo below….

Tips & Tricks April BONUS block

Cut between seams and press.

Tips & Tricks April BONUS blockTips & Tricks April BONUS blockTips & Tricks April BONUS block

Sew these end pieces to the remaining dark rectangle – here’s how I laid out my block.

Tips & Tricks April BONUS block

And my completed block – measures at 6 1/2” UNfinished.

Tips & Tricks April BONUS block    


Our 2nd bonus block is completed – cool! Please post your blocks in the Tips & Tricks photo album (or my crickets studio blog flickr group) and show off your blocks!

Can’t wait to see your blocks!clip_image001

©2011, Carrie Graziano, crickets studio

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quilting bee blocks done!

And with them, the bee is complete (I think). Still have to check on that {grin}.

For the very first time throughout this year long online quilting bee, I was late. It was so weighing on me. So, even tho’ I still have a ton of work to do on the round robin top (that yes, I am also late on by a few days now), I took a break from crazy patches and made my online bee buddy Kristin her two blocks.

Here they are:

Bee Improvisational March 2011

 Bee Improvisational March 2011

Kristin asked us to make 10” blocks based on the Mod Mosaic Floor Pillow tute on the Oh Fransson! blog. I got them pieced so fast – it was fun and easy. My kind of block, well, not really as I tend to lean away from modern and more toward traditional, but you get the idea.

So, I have to now get back to the round robin top. As much fun as it’s been working on these tops since August, this for me, is the most tedious round. I am working in colors I don’t really prefer as pretty as they are, and it right now just feels like “block after block” of the same thing. That’s why samplers appeal to me, different blocks every time! So not a gal who makes 120 of the same block – need more excitement {smile}. I have 13 blocks left to paper-piece (out of a total of 36), then I’ll need to sew them into borders and then onto the quilt top. No where near where I needed to be. Photo coming when I make more progress! (I have also rec’d my own top back, but I am not peeking at it. Not fair to enjoy it when I haven’t yet completed my commitment yet). Photo of that will come soon, too!

Between tax season and my bronchitis that just won’t quit, I am so behind!

Can’t wait to be caught up again…clip_image001[4]

Thursday, April 7, 2011

She’s seven today

…and it’s so bittersweet.

I am so proud of the young lady she is becoming, yet I long for the baby she was not too long along.

My oldest is seven years old today.

Seven years of the best girl in the world, yup, I am so biased!

I was feeling kind of empty and blue last night after the kids went to sleep, so I threw myself into a new project. I took these from my card-making supplies:

Juliana birthday prep

And some of these I got at the dollar store, a pack of seven for $1…

Juliana birthday prep

And made these for the birthday girl!Juliana birthday prepJuliana birthday prep

Lots of buttons, flowers and rhinestones I rarely use for cards given new life on custom headbands. Of course I made one to perfectly match her birthday outfit, until she changed her mind and wore something else! Instead, she wore TWO headbands to school – too cute.

I also wrapped her presents

Juliana birthday prep

And made her a cake – which has to be the most absolute ugliest cakes ever, but she’ll love it. Pink and purple are her faves right now and she really prefers me to make her cakes. No store bought ones for her!

Juliana birthday morning

This morning she awoke to a room full of balloons (no picture of her super messy room) and pancakes with a candle. The darling girl even sang to herself as we sang to her!

 Juliana birthday morning

Making a super special “I am seven now” wish…

Juliana birthday morning 

Here she is – my wonderful seven year old fabulous girl –

Juliana birthday morning

Happy Birthday to the BEST GIRL EVER!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Tips & Tricks ~ April 2011

**REPOSTING** Blogger and I have had some issues this month and my original post was deleted….ugh! So, I am reposting it in hopes it stays this time!

Happy April! Have you had any April showers, yet? Believe it or not, here in New York, we are getting a big Nor'easter as I type this – crazy, huh?

Sew, it’s April, and a new month brings us a new Tips & Tricks block, yay! Honesty is important, sew I’ll let ya know, I am a bit under the weather as I put this tute together for you. Here is my disclaimer: the cold medicine I’m taking may result in wonky instructions. If you find such wonkiness, just let me know and I’ll fix it. Thanks for your understanding {hugs}.

Our block this month is called “A Dandy” and I found it on here on Quilter’s Cache. Instead of the patriotic colors they used, I went for more of a traditional scrappy look, again, pulling fabrics from my stash.

Let’s pull out some fabrics:

· Lights: 4 each 2 1/2” x 4 1/2” rectangles, 2 each 5” squares and 1 each 4 1/2” square

· Medium (my red): 4 each 2 1/2” x 4 1/2” rectangles

· Dark (my greens): 8 each 2 1/2” squares and 2 each 5” squares


Take out the 5” squares and as described in the March T&T block posting, make four half square triangles (HSTs). Briefly, mark your sewing lines of the back of the light squares


Match up the light squares with the dark squares, right sides together


Sew on the sewing lines,


cut apart along point to point and press.


I press toward the dark fabric.

Trim up to 4 1/2” square. Set aside.


Have you sewn flying geese before? I actually have used a fancy new fun method, and then due to this silly bronchitis, promptly forgot to do it when making my block! Sew, that method will will wait a bit. Today, I am making flying geese using the flip and sew technique I showed you in the January T&T block posting. Pull out your 8 2/12” dark squares and the 4 medium rectangles.

First, mark the backs of all the squares from point to point as shown. This is your sewing line.


Place this square, right side down, onto a rectangle as shown


Sew a scant thread line next to the drawn line. That’ll give you some wiggle room when you fold over the resulting triangle.


Before removing the unit from your machine, swing it around and sew another seam 5/8” away toward the outside from the first seam.


This is what you should have….


Trim 1/4” away from the first seam line and viola!


Instead of wasting that corner of fabric, you now have an cute little extra HST to use somewhere else in our quilt top. Save it and we’ll see where we can put it later. Next, press your medium fabric outward as shown:clip_image026

Repeat this now of the other side of the rectangle


Once pressed open, you have a flying geese unit. It should measure 2 1/2” x 4 1/2”. Repeat to make three more.


   Layout these flying geese with the light rectangles.


I pressed toward the light fabric to reduce bulk. Trim to 4 1/2” square.


Layout your block


I pieced mine by working in rows first, then putting the rows together. Of course, I have some tips for this.

Turn over the unit that contains the flying geese. See where the “x” forms at the top and sides of the triangle? That’s an important intersection.


When you’re piecing this unit to another, make sure your seams is just a threads width away from that intersection, toward to outside edge.


Most directions call for this seam to go right thru this “X” perfectly in the center, but I find that the treads width away gives me just the right amount of space needed to get the perfect point once the seam is pressed. See my nice point below?


Sew, piece your rows and then your rows into a 12 1/2” unfinished block.Here’s is mine:


And here are my extra HSTs ready to trim and stash away for when I’m ready to put them into the quilt top.


Woo hoo – block #4 is done!!!  Please post your blocks in the Tips & Tricks photo album (or my crickets studio blog flickr group) and show off your blocks! Also, watch for a another 6” bonus block mid-month….

Oops – just saw that I didn’t separate out all my tips for you – they are in there, I promise! Kinda like when we hide veggies in our meals to fool the kids – they get ‘em, they just don’t know it!

Thanks for sewing with me!


©2011, Carrie Graziano, crickets studio

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