Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tips & Tricks ~ October 2011 (and a surPRIZE, too!)

This month’s block is a wee bit late – thank you all sew very much for your patience. There is a little surprise at the end of this post, and I am hopeful that you all feel this block and your “prize” were worth the wait.

This month I am feeling my family’s support in my re-entering the traditional sit-at-a-desk-in-an-office workplace. I’ve worked my own direct sales business from home now for so long, that it’s upset the household and the family dynamic a bit (okay A LOT) and I’ve realized just how important it is to sit and enjoy my family. So, I picked our block to be Table for Four. It reminds me of my husband and two kids and I sitting around the dinner table catching up with each other after a day of being apart.

(I should note that the photos, well, aren’t the best. I have to work on this now in the evenings, and that is so not the best time to take pictures. Thx for bearing with me.)

The original pattern came from Quilter’s Cache and may be found here. In this pattern only two fabrics are used. I changed it up a bit to a scrappier look, and that changed the cutting directions, too.

So, here we go…

Pick your fabrics: Select from your stash a solid or tone on tone that will be your background. Then pull out a variety of medium and dark fabrics.

Tips & Tricks October 2011


4 each – 3 ½” x 4”rectangles

2 each 4 ½” squares

2 each 2” squares

1 each 3 ½” squareTips & Tricks October 2011


Medium and Dark Fabrics:

4 each 4 ½” squares

2 each 2” squares

8 each 1 ½” x 4” rectangles

4 each 1 ½” x 3 ½” rectangles

Tips & Tricks October 2011

Using a pencil, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of each 4 ½” and 2” background square.

Pair a background square with a colored squares of the same size right sides together.

Tips & Tricks October 2011

Sew a scant ¼” seam on either side of the draw line on all square pairs.

Tips & Tricks October 2011

TIP #1: Press all the squares once sewn. This helps to have more accurate cutting in the next step. Cut all squares apart on the drawn line.

Tips & Tricks October 2011

Press all HST units open to the darker fabric. You’ll now have 2 identical sets of HST.

Trim the four smaller ones to 1 ½” and set aside.

Tips & Tricks October 2011

Separate the larger HST into two piles each with different fabrics in them. Take one pile, untrimmed, and set it aside for your surprise. TIP #2: There is ALWAYS a way to use every bit of fabric we have! Trim the other set of four to 4” square.

Tips & Tricks October 2011

Layout your block using my photo as a guide. TIP #3: Double-check your layout before sewing! You’ll avoid problems later.

Tips & Tricks October 2011

Sew first into rows and then sew the rows together. Remember to press your seams so they nest together nicely. Trim to 12 ½” unfinished.

Tips & Tricks October 2011

Ta da! I just love this block – happily scrappy and fun!

Now, your SURPRIZE! October is a BONUS block month, and we will use some of our leftover HST units for it! Wa hoo!

I found this neat 6” block called Little Geese. It’s was a Block of the Day from Quilt-Pro Systems back in September. It’s perfect to use some of our extra HSTs that have been just waiting and waiting to be pieced into a block.

Tips & Tricks October 2011 BONUS

Sew, pull out those 4 HST from above, and 4 more from your “extra” pile.

Trim the all to 2 ½” square.

Cut one (1) 2 ½” square from a scrap piece of fabric to be your center.

Tips & Tricks October 2011 BONUS

Layout as shown in my photo, sew together into rows (being careful to match and next your seams). Sew your rows together and press.

Tips & Tricks October 2011 BONUS

Trim to 6 ½” unfinished. Here’s my block – what do you think? I mixed it up a bit by throwing some reds in there {wink}.

Congratulations! You now have six bonus blocks, 10 large blocks and one signature block.

Don’t forget to post your block in our group photo album! Enjoy the rest of October and Halloween – boo! Thanks for sewing with me!clip_image001

©2011, Carrie Graziano, crickets studio

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It’s my turn!

Yay! It’s my turn for my block to be posted for the Moose on the Porch Fat Quarter Quilt Along! So silly exciting, isn’t it? Mine is block #2.
It’s a cool block based on friendship and fun – I call it “Friendship Twist”. You just never know when a new friend will turn up thru all the twists and turns of life. Or, as in my case, a steady rock of a friend will shine brighter and delight, surprise and fill my heart with love in the blink of an eye.
I’ve recently found that out during my sudden babysitting job loss and then resulting search for a full time traditional desk job. The wonderful support of my friends and family, some friends I knew were awesome, and during my family crisis, they stepped up and showed me they could be even more amazing than ever!
I made it with Origins by Basic Grey for Moda. The soft colors represent the friends that hover in the background, quietly supporting and affirming your actions all the while waiting for the moment to come into the foreground and shine just for a moment, but at the exact right moment.
Fat Quarter Star Quilt Along
I dedicate this block to them. Without their encouragement I so could not have found a new really good job in only 27 days!
Sew, pop on over to see Konda’s blog and her wonderful new Quilt Along. It’s just started so it’s easy to catch up and win neat prizes, too.
Let me know if you’re joining the quilt along!
P.S. I’ve sewn up the October Tips & Tricks block and now have to type up the post. Thx sew very much for your patience!!!!! There’s a surprise in the post for you, too, for having to wait a while for this one…{grin}.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I am late with the October Tips & Tricks block. Sew very sorry! I've been job hunting all of September, and yes! I did find a job. A truly wonderful full time job doing what I'm really good at. I am really blessed. However, I've not worked in a traditional work place since having my kids. AND I only found out about the job this Thursday and I start this coming MONDAY! Eek! I have no professional clothes, only "mommie" clothes, have to get child-care squared away and who is picking up which kid when….in a bit of a pickle, but I'll work it out.

It's all good.

Even the mommie-guilt I am carrying around and I haven't even started the job yet.

Keep checking back – I'll get the October block up soon.

Really, I will.



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