Row by Row: Maryland Eastern Shore

July 10, 2015

Last week, Patty, Linda and I visited several shops on the eastern shore side of Maryland. Linda has pictures of the insides of the shops on her blog.

I finally got an EZPass for the trip now that Maryland got rid of the ridiculous monthly maintenance fee for people like me who only need to pay a toll occasionally. There’s a toll going east over the Bay Bridge but no toll coming back. Now that I’m retired, I’ll be going up to Chicago to visit my brother after visiting our parents. It’s tolls all the way from Chicago through PA. It will be much easier to not have to stop to pay the tolls plus you get a discount in some places with the EZPass. Illinois has IPass but the two are reciprocal.

Our first stop was Lillies of the Field in Easton, MD.



I didn’t think I’d been here but Patty assures me that we visited this shop years ago when we went to a Mary Ellen Hopkins seminar but you sure couldn’t prove it by me. She’s usually right about that sort of thing. At any rate, the store was in a different location back then so, actually, we’re both right. This was a small, cute, bright shop. The owner has been trying to sell it for several years so I don’t know how long it will remain in business. It’s unlikely that we’ll revisit this shop.

Some fat quarters for my color scheme and purple and orange, because!

Some fat quarters for my color scheme and purple and orange, because!

The second stop was The Quilt Vine in Trappe, MD. This is a new shop that has been in business for 3 years. None of us have been here before. It is in an old house. Although they had a handicapped parking space, I didn’t see any handicapped access into the shop. Fun shop with lots of good stuff. There could well be additional visits here in our future.


Some fat quarters for my grandpa's farm quilt (someday) and some of the Row by Row H2O fabric.

Some fat quarters for my grandpa’s farm quilt (someday), some neutral fabrics with writing and some of the Row by Row blue H2O fabric.

We stopped for lunch at the Cambridge Diner in Cambridge, MD. The lunch specials were a main dish, soup or salad bar, 2 sides, rolls and desert for $10. The applesauce was chunky and I’m guessing homemade. Very good. The baby back ribs needed to cook a while longer to be falling off the bone the way I like them, though. No one left hungry.

Our third shop was a long drive after lunch down to Pocomoke City, MD to The Pincushion. Very discreet signage. We passed it and went twice around the block before spotting the sign.


Very small shop with a nice fabric selection. The row design was an artsy landscape of window views representing the four seasons of the shore. l got the kit because I don’t stash the type of materials needed to do this sort of thing. The question remains as to whether I will ever make the row. I wouldn’t put money on it, but you never know – stranger things have happened.

The row as kitted. However, the kit didn't include the "wall" fabric around the windows.

The row as kitted. However, the kit didn’t include the “wall” fabric around the windows. The following four pictures are closeups.





Other variations of the row:

Individual windows.

Individual windows.

Village scenes.

Village scenes.

Another shore version.

Another shore version.

Pastoral scenes.

Pastoral scenes.

There were many more colors of this nice blender but I limited myself to these four and the row kit because it included embellishments. I don't have that kind of thing hanging around waiting to be used.

There were many more colors of this nice blender print but I limited myself to these four. I got the row kit because it included the embellishments. I don’t keep that kind of thing hanging around waiting to be used.

Unfortunately, the restroom area of the shop turned me off. It was extremely narrow (maybe 2 ft wide from wall to wall), not very nice (reminded me of creepy gas station bathrooms) and the back of the store smelled badly – sewer gas vent problem? We all agreed that we didn’t need to go here again. Even though she had a nice selection, it’s just too far away.

Turning around, we retraced our steps to our fourth shop, The Dusty Attic in Fruitland, MD. This was another shop in an old house. I love the mosaic stars in the walkway to the porch.



The row pattern and kit

The row pattern and kit.

Nothing here that excited me and I don’t expect to go here again. However, we were all impressed with the way they handled the row pattern and kits. The pattern was laminated – no crumpled paper pattern by the time you get it home. They offered two kit options. One was fish fabric for broderie perse type applique. That’s the one I chose. The other was a fun fabric for cutting out fish using the pattern.

Our fifth and last shop for the day was Peggy’s Sewing Center in Centreville, MD. Although many in our guild have been there while on retreat, none of us have been there. We got there 15-20 minutes before closing time and didn’t notice until we were in the car to go home that it was well after closing time when we finished. The woman helping us never said a word about it being closing time and didn’t try to rush us. This is a nice large shop and we all found wonderful things.

A couple of Kaffe Fassett collective fish prints and a very cool cemetery print. I think I'll use that on the back of Buster Cat Does Halloween. Maybe this will be the incentive I need to get back to that project - I've only made one block.

A trio of Kaffe Fassett collective fish prints and a very cool cemetery print. They only had 3.5 yards left which isn’t enough. I think I’ll use ot on the back of Buster Cat Does Halloween. Maybe this will be the incentive I need to get back to that project – I’ve only made one block.

We headed for home during evening rush. Once we got to the bridge, traffic was mostly going the opposite direction. A very successful and enjoyable day was had by all. Next trip:  Lancaster co, PA.

Row by Row: Expedition 1

June 30, 2015

Living here in the mid-Atlantic region, I am fortunate to have access to dozens of quilt shops within a 2 hour drive. The Row by Row Experience started on June 21. I’ve found that shop hops can be overwhelming unless one has a plan of what to look for. I like to buy a little something at every shop to help keep them in business, especially when I’m getting something for free. I’m especially conscious of this since my home away from home quilt shop closed last year. While cutting fabric recently, I ran across this print.


The color scheme struck me as one I’d like to use soon. Although I could probably put together enough fabrics from my stash in these colors, I decided to use this as my fallback and look for fat quarters on the shop hop.

So, last Tuesday, Linda, Patty and I were off! Our first expedition was to shops in the Gettysburg, PA area.

First stop was Itchin’ 2 Stitch in Waynesboro, PA – a new shop that opened in November 2014. None of us had been there before.


They had a license plate but I couldn’t bring myself to buy it because they used an apostrophe in a plural, “Quilt’n Diva’s”. That sort of thing drives me nuts.


The ladies who waited on us at Itchin’ to Stitch.

The fat quarter table. Wouldn't you love to dive into this?

The fat quarter table. Wouldn’t you love to dive into this?

I fell for these lovely tone on tones.

I fell for these lovely tone on tones.

I’ve learned over the years that I prefer tone-on-tones that have multiple values of the color. If I’m remembering correctly, Alex Anderson calls these light givers.

Second stop was The Sew’n Place in Fayetteville, PA. This was also a new shop to all of us. Although the store has been in business for many years, the location was fairly new. She Who Must Be Obeyed (my GPS) wouldn’t offer their street number as a possibility so I had to choose the nearest number she allowed. This huge sign was a big help:


The Sew'n Place building.

The Sew’n Place building.

Pretty flowers hanging outside the store.

Pretty flowers hanging outside the store.

I saw this Halloween fabric with cats and had to get some. Bonus – it was on sale, 40% off.


I didn’t notice the spiders until I was at the cutting table. I don’t do spiders at all. I don’t know how my phobia began but I can’t even stand to see pictures of spiders. I’ve bypassed other fabric just because it had spiders on it. The most recent one had a spider about 2-3 feet long. Shudder. I decided I could live with these. Maybe because it’s so busy, I see the cats, houses and swirls mostly.

The people at this store informed us that the next store on our list, Needle and Thread in Gettysburg, was closed on Tuesdays. Well, pooh!  We headed to Gettysburg anyway because we were going to Springhouse Tavern at Dobbin House for lunch. We used to eat there when Quilt Odyssey was in Gettysburg.

Shop 3 was Simply Stashing Fabric & Quilts in Littlestown, PA. Patty and I had been there once years ago when it was The Quilt Patch. The current owner had been in business for 1 year. I got some fat quarters in my shop hop color scheme.


Our fourth stop in PA was Danner’s Bernina Shoppe in Hanover, PA. This was also a new store to all of us although Patty and I had seen them vending at a quilt show. Their new location is very large but focused on machines. I was surprised at how little fabric they had for such a large store. That said, they were the first store that had any of the Row by Row theme fabrics. Their row sample was the nicest we’ve seen. The woman who made it added borders and turned it into a table runner. I didn’t take a picture. It featured sailboats which goes perfectly with the Row by Row sailboat fabric.

The sailboat fabric is one of the row by row prints. The stripes were just gorgeous. The fat quarter goes with my color scheme.

The sailboat fabric is one of the row by row prints. The stripes were just gorgeous. The fat quarter goes with my color scheme.

We headed for home since that was the last shop on our list. On the way home while passing through Westminster, MD, we remembered that there was a shop there, Jomax Sew and Vac. It’s primarily a machine store and has only a little fabric. I got their license plate.


Since we had plenty of time left in the day, we decided to stop at Patches Quilting & Sewing in Mt. Airy, MD. They had a lot of the Row by Row prints so I picked up several. Somehow Jackie missed putting the pattern in my bag. I’ll have to remember to get it when I go to class in August.


We managed to just beat the horrific thunderstorms home. Tired but a satisfactory day for all. Tomorrow we’re hitting the shops on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Hearts for Colette

May 22, 2015

Around 2009 or so, my brother’s friend Colette spent Christmas with our family. One night she looked at me and said, “I want you to make me a quilt for my bed. It has to be all your own work. I want black, white and pink and hearts. I’ll pay for it.” I was so stunned I neglected to explore the question of how much she thought it might cost. Colette had been working as a real estate agent until the 2008 crash so I knew she didn’t have any money. She’d had to take on a roommate to pay her mortgage. I explained that, despite her insistence that I do it all myself, I wouldn’t do the quilting. I have someone I pay to do that, especially on a big quilt.

She then playfully berated me for not having made my brother a quilt. I looked at him and asked, “Do you want a quilt?” He said, “No.” I looked at Colette and said, “That’s why he doesn’t have one.”

I didn’t really know how serious she was about wanting a quilt – maybe it was just a passing fancy. I thought about it for a while and decided I’d make one but would choose something I liked for myself in case she wasn’t serious. My brother said she might forget about it, but she might not.

As it turned out, she didn’t forget about it. Occasionally she mentioned it to my brother. I don’t remember him saying much to me about it.

Colette is a girly girl type of woman, hence the pink and hearts. I’m not and hearts aren’t one of my favorite things. I found a design I liked in Billie Lauder’s book, Beyond the Rail Fence. I needed light, medium and dark pink, a whitish background and a black fabric. As I recall I found the pinks in my batik stash and got the black and background at my local quilt shop. The black print is an oriental print with small cranes. The background print was a Lonni Rossi design white with gray lines. For borders, I used the background fabric for a small inner border. I didn’t have enough of the black print left and it was no longer available, of course. I found a black scroll print to use. Some of the Sew & Tell folks didn’t like the border fabric but I knew I was planning to have it quilted with pink thread so I figured it was the best I was going to find and it wouldn’t look so stark after it was quilted. What I had a heck of a time finding was the hot pink fabric for the flange between the white and black borders. I only had a tiny piece of the dark pink batik left. The equivalent batiks in the stores then weren’t quite the right color. I bought several fabrics over the next few years that were rejected by the quilt. I finally found a hand dyed fabric at a local quilt show that was just the right color. I was then able to finish the top.

A closeup of the borders.

A closeup of the borders, unquilted.

I took it home with me in 2012 because we were spending Christmas at my brother’s house that year. I showed it to Colette. She loved it, of course. After that, the frequency of inquiries about how her quilt was coming along increased.

Hanging in my guild quilt show in 2014.

Hanging in my guild quilt show in 2014.

Maria O’Haver did the quilting and I finished the quilt in time to hang in my guild’s spring 2014 show. Apparently I neglected to take pictures of the quilting. Darn it! The borders are quilted with a heart design. The large heart is quilted with a feather design. Knowing that Colette couldn’t afford to pay for it and I could and she’s been friends with my brother for a very long time, I decided that it would be a gift. I gave the quilt to Colette in December 2014. She was thrilled with it.

Colette with the quilt.

Colette with the quilt.

While I was taking the picture of Colette with the quilt, this happend —

Smokey joins Colette on the quilt.

Smokey joined Colette on the quilt.

My brother doesn’t own any quilts and I don’t remember Smokey doing this when I was covered with a blanket but he knew exactly what to do when a quilt appeared.

The label.

The label. The wide backing fabric came from Miller’s Dry Goods outside Arcola, IL.

The quilt on Colette's bed.

The quilt on Colette’s bed.

Because most non-quilters don’t have a clue about the value of quilts, I had an insurance appraisal done to give her with the quilt. I told her to check with her agent to see if she needs a fine arts rider to cover it. There are several different types of appraisals. The insurance appraisal is the amount it would cost to pay someone to remake the quilt. Some of the things that the appraiser considers in determing the value are the cost of the fabric, the cost of the pattern, the cost of batting and thread, the amount paid to a quilter if the quilting was hired out, the size and number of blocks, size of the quilt, the label, the number of fabrics in the quilt, whether any quilts you’ve made have been published.

Stash Accounting, Jan 2015

April 24, 2015

Last year I rashly claimed that I was going to track incoming and outgoing fabric. That didn’t work out so well. If I’m going to track it this year, I’d better get started because it’s already the end of April.

I fell off the no-buy wagon very early in the year. On Jan 6, Mimi Dietrich’s grad school class met at Bear’s Paw. Judy came in to tell us the sale fabrics were on clearance.I’m sorry to say that I joined in the feeding frenzy. There was an extra bonus amount off for finishing the bolt which explains some of the yardage numbers.

3.5 yards. What can I say? I've been on a pink kick for a while.

3.5 yards. What can I say? I’ve been on a pink kick for a while.

2.5 yards. Who doesn't like a good oriental?

2.5 yards. Who doesn’t like a good oriental?

1 yard. Patriotic.

1 yard. Patriotic.

4.5 yards. Funky pandas will be a nice back for a boy quilt.

4.5 yards. Funky pandas will be a nice back for a boy quilt.

2 1/8th yards. Just because.

2 1/8th yards. Just because.

3/8 yard gifted from another quilter.

3/8 yard lighthouses gifted from another quilter.

Total stash added in January: 14 yards.

It’s All Patty’s Fault!

April 24, 2015

Patty and I went to the Friendship Star Quilters show at the Montgomery Co, MD fairgrounds. I didn’t take a lot of pictures but here’s a fun Row by Row experience quilt. It’s a two-sided quilt but they hung it so only one side shows. Darn. The other side is 8 different row designs and license plates.

Fun X Fun by Susan Holman. Artist's statement: Each license plate has the name of the shop and city/state where I purchased the kit. . . I machine quilted the rows back to back and attached them to each other with binding. Incredibly FUN to make!

Fun X Fun by Susan Holman.
Artist’s statement: Each license plate has the name of the shop and city/state where I purchased the kit. . . I machine quilted the rows back to back and attached them to each other with binding. Incredibly FUN to make!

Hancock Fabrics is around the corner from the fairgrounds so Patty wanted to go while we were in the area. I don’t usually buy chain store fabrics these days and I had no plans to buy anything because I have way too much. It’s all Patty’s fault! I saw this flannel and had to buy it for the back of a donation quilt that is in progress. I had planned to make a multi-floral pieced back to use up just a little of my pile of floral fabrics but I fell in love with this one.


4 yards

On my screen it’s looking kind of lavender but it is a pink background. Some little girl will love it.

After lunch at Red Lobster, we went to Capital Quilts because they just got in some Oriole’s fabric. I’m not a sports fan but my former co-workers are rabid avid O’s and Raven’s fans. I have some Ravens fabric but needed O’s. I wnat to make them re-useable grocery bags.


The ladies at the shop teased me and said if I bought O’s fabric I also had to buy National’s fabric. I said, “Nope, don’t know any Nat’s fans. Up north, it’s O’s and Ravens!”

Total stash in: 6 yards

I’ll end with one of the show quilts from a challenge that had something to do with endings. I failed to read the details of the challenge.

End of the Show Folks by Marie Quattrociocchi.

End of the Show Folks by Marie Quattrociocchi.

Cancelled, again!

March 2, 2015

I’m very glad that I don’t live in Boston. Our winter hasn’t been so bad, but I’m getting sick and tired of everything being cancelled because of weather. It’s the timing of the storms that has been the problem. Mimi Dietrich‘s grad school class was supposed to meet today but we were cancelled again. This group was also cancelled last month. Baltimore Applique Society was also cancelled in Jan and Feb. My guild has a group that meets every Monday evening and a group that meets every Thursday morning. Now that I’m retired, I go to both. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been cancelled this year. Tonight’s meeting is cancelled. I need to do laundry but my dryer vent is buried under snow and ice. Guess I’ll have to go out in the rain on Wed and try to free it.

I feel like I’m trapped in the house. The front of my house faces north and doesn’t get any sunshine so my steps and walk are solid ice. I do have some cleat things for walking on ice that I can strap on my shoes if I want to leave.

What’s the forecast for the rest of the week? Tues – Freezing rain, Wed – rain, Thurs – Snow. What do you want to bet that Thursday’s guild meeting is cancelled? Our daytime temps are supposed to be in the 50s this time of year.

If you haven’t heard, Mimi Dietrich is being inducted into the Quilter’s Hall of Fame this year. She’s having her students make blocks for a quilt to give to the Hall of Fame. They were due today. Mimi provided the background, stems, flower center and fabric for one leaf. The flower color and remaining leaves were our choice but had to be batiks.

I haven’t done hand applique in quite a while – longer than I realized. I’m sorry to say that this block isn’t the best work I’ve ever done. It did turn out better than I feared it was going to. Don’t look too closely, :-)


The stem looks a lot more puckered in the picture than it does in person. Guess I’d better spend more time with the steam iron before I send it off to Mimi.

The Cherokee Rose block was designed by Marie Webster in 1916.

Stash accounting 2014

February 8, 2015

Sometime last year I rashly claimed that I was going to track fabric coming in and going out. That didn’t happen. What did happen was this:

Row by Row + Quilters’ Quest = too much fabric = Stash Overflow.

While I was in Houston with my brother our cousin kidnapped me for a few days while he was in the hospital. She is not a quilter but wanted to provide something quilty for me so took me to Tea Time Quilting. I had to pick up some cowboy toile and barbed wire prints as well as a 30s charm pack and a layer cake of Little Black Dress. Unfortunately it was the day before Row by Row started. If I’d realized they were participating I’d have begged for the pattern early.

Tea Time Quilting

Once my brother improved enough that I didn’t need to be there 24/7, I took a day each of the last 2 weeks I was there and visited some Row by Row shops in the Chicago area. I managed 4 shops each day.

Quilter’s Quest, not to be confused with the Maryland-DC-Virginia shop hop which is Quilters’ Quest.

York 2014 and row by row 112 This was my favorite shop. I almost wish I lived near there except I don’t want to move back to the Chicago area.

York 2014 and row by row 115York 2014 and row by row 116

Gentler Times

York 2014 and row by row 121

York 2014 and row by row 122

Fabrics Etc. This was a huge store.

York 2014 and row by row 134

York 2014 and row by row 133

I seem to be missing pictures of the loot from the other 3 stores in the Chicago area.

In August Patty, Linda and I went to Lancaster County, PA where we visited 8 quilt shops in a single day. Seven of them were Row by Row shops. I had never realized how close all the shops were. This is not the order we visited them.

Log Cabin Quilt Shop. When we first entered, we thought it was just selling completed items. The fabrics and supplies were in the back room. I picked up a Nancy Drew panel.

York 2014 and row by row 124

The Old Country Store. We’re happy to see this store reopened under new management. Linda and I were choosing fabric for a quilt for our hairdresser’s first baby. We found the crayons for the outer border and the gray for the inner border and binding.

York 2014 and row by row 126

Dutchland Quilt Patch

York 2014 and row by row 127

Family Farm Quilt Shop

York 2014 and row by row 128

Piece by Piece Quilt Shop

York 2014 and row by row 129

The Quilt Shop At Miller’s. This one is part of a complex that includes a large buffet restaurant and other shops. This quilt shop doesn’t sell supplies, only completed items. They did have fat quarters of the Amish buggy fabric which they had used in their row pattern.

York 2014 and row by row 130

Sauder’s Fabrics Shop. This is always the first stop on my guild’s annual bus shopping trip. I don’t go on that trip anymore because I have too much fabric. As you can see from this post I need to not put myself into the path of temptation.

York 2014 and row by row 131

Sashing and backing for the baby quilt Linda and I were making.

York 2014 and row by row 132

I’m missing pictures from 2 of the Lancaster shops.

Around Maryland and Virginia, I visited the following shops.

Ellicott City Sew-Vac

York 2014 and row by row 125

Jinny Beyer Studio

York 2014 and row by row 120

Capital Quilts

York 2014 and row by row 119

I’m pretty sure I managed to get to one or two others but I don’t have anything to show for it. I do plan to account for my stash comings and goings in 2015 so I’ll know if it’s going in the right direction. But, I’d better get busy tracking it because I fell off the wagon on Jan 6th. Sigh.

Grand Illusion behind the scenes: Creating a big block back

February 7, 2015
Grand Illusion top.

Grand Illusion top.

Now that I’ve finished the top, I need a back. For the back of Easy Street, the 2012 mystery, I used one of the blocks from the front but blew it up to make a one block back. I liked that and did it again for Grand Illusion.

The first thing I do is determine the grid for the block and draw it on graph paper. This block uses a 6 by 6 grid.

wpid-20150126_115616.jpgThe second step is to determine what size the block needs to be. It can’t be the same size as the front of the quilt because the back needs to be bigger. I also have to take into account that my quilter needs extra fabric on the back for mounting onto the long-arm frame. I need to make the back block smaller than the quilt top because the quilter can’t exactly match them up and I don’t want pieces of the block cut off to make it not square. So, I make the block smaller and add a border. My quilter will do her best to center the top on the back but the borders won’t be exactly the same size when the quilt is finished.

How did I decide how big to make the block? The top was approximately 88″ square. 88″ divided by 6 (the number of sections in the block grid) is 14 and change. Making each section of the block 14″ would yield an 84″ block. That leaves only 2″ of border on each side when it is finished which is cutting it too close for my comfort. Making each section 13″ makes a 78″ block which is much more comfortable.

Uh oh, I just realized I forgot to divide the 10″ difference by 2 when making my borders. I should have made my borders about 10″ wide to provide the additional width the long-arm quilter needs. I was thinking each border would be 10″ plus the extra so I made them about 16″ wide. Oh, well, better too big than too small. If I’d done the math properly I’d have made the grid segments 12″ instead of 13″. That would have made the borders 8″ instead of 5″ which would look better.

To make the sections of the block, I used the leftovers from the front. But, most of the fabrics weren’t big enough to cut full pieces from. What’s a quilter to do? Sew the pieces together until the fabric is big enough. I think Bonnie would approve.

A brown square pieced from leftovers.

A brown square pieced from leftovers.

I only had enough yellow from the front to make one square. I found 3 fabrics with yellow backgrounds and prints in pink, turquoise and green for the remaining yellow squares. How perfect is that?

In the interest of best usage of fabric, I made the chevrons with half-square triangles instead of a single background piece like the front blocks. I didn’t want to have a bunch of large triangle scrap pieces left over.

I decided to do green borders instead of the checkerboard. After I pieced 2 slabs I ran out of green leftovers that I was willing to sacrifice for the back. The rest of my greens from the front were big enough to put back into stash. Because they’re the only fabrics I have of that color of green, that’s what I did.

I found another pile of brown scraps so made a square for one corner. Pink scraps went into another corner and the last 2 corners got neutral scraps. For the other 2 borders I used large pieces of turquoise from the front leftovers. Those 2 fabrics were bought on spec as borders for a different project but were rejected. I didn’t mind using them here since there was still quite a bit left.

Grand Illusion back.

Grand Illusion back.

See others’ progress on Grand Illusion at Quiltville.

Grand Illusion: Playing catch-up

February 7, 2015

Clue 4 is where I get behind because I leave home to spend the holidays with my elderly parents (87 and 91) and brother. After staying with my parents for several days, I went to Chicago to spend a couple of days with my brother.

One of my brother's Christmas trees.

One of my brother’s Christmas trees.

He has three mini Schnauzers.

Missy, AKA the small evil one, after her bath.

Missy, AKA the small evil one, after her bath.

Gibson, the sneaky one. Hard to get a decent picture of this one.

Gibson, the sneaky one. Hard to get a decent picture of this one.

Nobody sneaks up with Smokey on the job.

Nobody sneaks up with Smokey on the job.

Some of the neutrals in Grand Illusion.

Some of the neutrals in Grand Illusion. Quiet but with nice textures.

I cut lots of half-square triangles with my Accuquilt Go! cutter. Lots of pink triangles, lots of turquoise triangles, lots of neutral triangles and yellow and brown squares.

Clue 4 ready to sew.

Clue 4 ready to sew.

After cutting all these, I tidied up before leaving for the holidays. I found the baggie with the pink and turquoise half-square triangle squares set aside from a previous clue. Oops. I should read the instructions instead of just looking at the pictures. I didn’t need the pink triangles at all.

But, when I got to assembling the border pieces, I had half as many units as I needed. Apparently, I got the number 40 stuck in my head and made 20 pairs instead of 40 pairs of blocks. Back to the sewing machine.

Grand Illusion block.

Grand Illusion block.

I sewed and sewed and sewed. Every time I finished a step, there was something else to do. Eventually it was a completed top!

Grand Illusion top.

Grand Illusion top.

Grand Illusion Clue Roundup

December 18, 2014

In last week’s link-up clue 2 was on hiatus while I waited for the rectangle Go! cutter die to arrive. It came Thursday afternoon. I got busy rough cutting for the die, starching the fabric and cutting.

Basket of clue 2 pieces waiting for trimming and pressing.

Basket of some clue 2 pieces waiting for trimming and pressing.

Left - pefect. Middle - almost perfect. Right - not quite perfect.

Check out the seam where the neutral pieces meet. Left – perfect. Middle – almost perfect. Right – not quite perfect but close enough. The differences don’t show up as much in the picture as they do in real life.

I like to press seams open, especially with Bonnie’s mysteries. With Easy Street I had too many seems going the same direction. But, for this unit, because I did the rectangles and squares method for the bonus half-square triangle squares, my seams were too small for me to be comfortable with pressing them open. So, I pressed the small seams to the colored square and pressed the normal size seam between the units open.

Back of one unit.

Back of one unit.

Clue 2 with a basket of bonus half-square triangle squares.

Clue 2 with a basket of bonus half-square triangle squares.

I finished clue 2 on Sunday.

Monday, Patty and I ran down to Ikea to pick up “Bonnie” lamps. Online shows the desktop lamp in black or white only but the store had several other colors. I got a blue metallic. I also got an orange clip-on to take with me when I travel. I may also use it upstairs when doing hand work. The clip has quite a large mouth so should prove quite useful. I assembled the desktop one before starting clue 3 on Monday afternoon. What a difference it makes! I can actually see what I’m doing at the machine. It’s so bright I was seeing spots at the ironing board. The light there seems dim by comparison.

On to clue 3. I ride the scrappy train so my first thought was to cut squares for maximum scrappy goodness instead of using strips. I sat still till that urge passed. I’ve been ironing, cutting and sewing ever since. I like to do a little bit of each step, then repeat so i don’t get bored with doing a lot of one thing before moving on to the next step. I’m making 2 strip sets (one of each type) at a time and cutting them into the subunits. I got smart and started counting them as I go so I’ll know when to stop. I won’t sew them together until all the subunits are ready. Then I can mix and match for scrappy satisfaction.

Sing along with me to the Rawhide theme:

Ironing, cutting, sewing;
Keep those strip sets moving;
Ironing, cutting, sewing, woo hoo!

We want them to be scrappy,
So keep those strips sets coming,
Ironing, cutting sewing, we’re done!

Clue 3: ready to sew the 2 strips together.

Clue 3: ready to sew the 2 strips together.

Well, I’m not done yet, but I should finish tomorrow. I’ve sewn more than half of them.

See what others have done at the clue 3 link-up.


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