Alayna’s quilt


Alayna1This is my granddaughter, Alayna Margaret.  She’s a year old and the second child of my daughter and son-in-law.  Note she’s a year old and the second child, my third grandchild.  Note she celebrated her first birthday in May.  Dear Alayna still has not received a quilt from her O’Ma who owns a quilt shop !  You have heard the story of the cobbler’s kids with no shoes?  I have grandchildren with no quilts !  I have been working on a quilt for Alayna since Abby first told me she was expecting her.  I knew just the quilt – I had made one for my grandson, Cole and loved making it.  Besides I had the perfect fabric, of course !  But I just couldn’t seem to get it done but I became determined.  You know how you feel when that one project is just looming over your head, it doesn’t have to be a quilting project any project like painting the front porch or mopping the kitchen floor!  Alayna’s quilt is from Sharon Stroud’s technique for making dresden plates.  Her book, Dresden Plates of Distinction Dresden Plate and as I said I love making them.





Here’s a couple of photos of Alayna’s quilt as I tried to decide about borders.



Alayna quilt 2Without borders  Alayna quilt 2  What do you think?

Alayna quilt 3 I’m thinking I’m liking this.   Alayna finished And finally ready for quilting !!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  This is a photo of Sharon’s upcoming class – Monthly Bliss Doubled starting in September .She’s combining handpiecing and hand applique in this beautiful quilt.  Check out the gallery to see other color options – it totally changes the look of this quilt. Look for a Wordless Wednesday photo of Alayna’s quilt all finished !




May’s Book Review: “More Adventures with Leaders and Enders” by Bonnie K. Hunter

May’s Book Review

More Adventures with Leaders and Enders by Bonnie K. Hunter

More Adventures with Leaders and Enders by Bonnie K. Hunter

I admit it. I wasn’t terribly sure what leaders and enders were when I first saw this book. I learned quickly and realized I had actually done this technique before. Once. I found it cumbersome. That being said, author Bonnie K. Hunter says, “Sewing with Leaders and Enders might feel strange at first, but after a while you will find yourself automatically grabbing for something to feed into the machine before removing your chain piecing for pressing.” (page 9)

That sums it up. If you are a chain piecer (I’m not, at least not right now), you are already using a leader and ender to start and end your piecing. That means you are ending off with a piece of scrap fabric under your foot when you end your sewing session (your ender). When you start sewing again, the ender becomes your leader. What Hunter proposes and describes in this book and in her previous book, is that why not make those leaders and enders worth something. For example, use specific scraps (say 2” squares) as your leaders and enders and trim them off. When you do, set them aside and before you know it, you’ll have enough pieces or blocks to make an entire scrappy quilt. And wow! Hunter really makes some dynamite scrappy quilts using this method. The book includes pictures and directions for 12 scrappy quilts.

Hunter’s quilts are bright, cheery and lively. Unless you do an awful lot of sewing/quilting, however, I wonder how long it would take you to actually have enough to make one or two of these quilts. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Just keep putting the scraps aside and eventually you will have enough. And I think that is Hunter’s point exactly.

If you love scrappy quilts and if you love chain piecing, this book will be just the ticket for you.

Book Name:More Adventures with Leaders and Enders
Author: Bonnie K. Hunter
Publisher & Date: Kansas City Star Quilts, 2014
Pages: 96.

The book retails for about $28. Sue’s shop carries the book so stop in the shop or give her a call if you need a copy.

Full color pictures and good layout diagrams, in color. The layout is clear but I found the text could have been larger but that would have meant a longer book. Still, I think it would have been better.

My favorite pattern from this book is noted here. I would love to hear which ones are your favorites. And, if you make any of the patterns, send us a picture!

Betsy’s Favorite from More Adventures with Leaders and Enders
Lucy’s Baskets (p. 31) – I love basket quilts and I love appliqué. I also happen to like the juxtaposition of the scrappy striped border against the more orderly baskets.

Lovin’ It:
– The scrappy nature of all the quilts.
– The good use of color and layout even though the use of such a variety of scraps. was immense so it must have been tough to plan the quilts.
– The use of “cheddar” fabric in the “Cheddar Bowties” quilt. I love cheddar.
– Love the baskets in the basket quilt.
– Hunter’s description of “neutrals” and how to determine how dark a neutral could be. She states the darkest color she will go for a neutral is the color of a brown paper bag. I love that. Everyone knows what a brown paper bag looks like so it’s a great example.

Likin’ It:
– I felt the directions were a little wordy and would have been served better by lists or bullets.
– “The Scrap user’s System” and the “Scrap Strip Sizes” sections (page 10-11) overwhelmed me. I felt like I was back in math class being told to work out a math word problem (something that continues to make me hyperventilate). I know this won’t be the case for hardly anyone else but it caused me to pause. I thought, “Oh my gosh! I have to do all this before I even start?” I don’t know why it hit me that way but it did. Maybe I’m just not that organized but I’m sure you will be. J

To repeat, if you like scrappy quilts, you like to chain piece and you are good about organizing your scraps, you will absolutely LOVE this book.

Comment and let us know what you think! –Betsy

“Vintage Quilt Revival” – Book Review

Okay – I loved this book and I hope to make a quilt from it or at least let the patterns be inspiration for my own design.

April’s Book Review

Vintage Quilt Revival by Katie Clark Blakesley, Lee Heinrich and Faith Jones

Vintage Quilt Revival by Katie Clark Blakesley, Lee Heinrich and Faith Jones

Book Name:Vintage Quilt Revival: 22 modern designs from classic blocks
Author: Katie Clark Blakesley, Lee Heinrich and Faith Jones
Publisher & Date: Interweave, 2013
Pages: 159 plus CD of printable templates for paper piecing projects.

I’m a sucker for vintage – I’ll admit it. I have been buying and selling vintage since 2005. That’s another story but part of the reason why I took a closer look at this book.

I also was attracted to the colors on the cover, especially the teal. A book has got to look good to get your attention, right? This one was truly successful for me.

But then I opened the book……drool…drool…drool. I absolutely loved the designs and the “modern” way these traditional designs were assembled (settings) and the exciting color choices. If you’re not quite into making a full-size quilt there are also patterns for smaller projects such as a pouch, a bag, a table runner, a mini quilt and a pillow to whet your appetite without committing to a larger quilt. If you just can’t decide which blocks are your favorites, directions are included for two sampler quilts.

You get a lot of bang for your buck. With 22 different projects and a CD that includes all the templates for the paper-pieced projects (there are 12 of them), the book is worth its price which retails for about $28. It’s also available in a Kindle version. Sue’s shop carries the book so stop in the shop or give her a call if you need a copy.

The book starts out with an assumption that you have a basic knowledge of quilting but it still reviews tools and techniques including foundation piecing and a guide to partial seams. They are brief but worth reading. Full color pictures abound.

The layout of the book is excellent and very easy to read. For each project there is:
– A full color picture of the finished project
– A full color picture of the block
– Full color piecing diagrams
– Full color layout diagram
– Easy-to-see “Finished Size,” “Technique Used,” and “Skill Level”

For example, The project, “Spiced Chai Quilt,” states it is made from a “Tea Leaf” block, lists its size , and says the technique used is “simple piecing” and the skill level is for beginners. All of this in an easy-to-read layout.

Another part of the book that I especially like is that for each project there is a “Design Note.” The designer briefly talks about the pattern and the design she has chosen and also touches on the inspiration for that design. It’s such a nice addition that makes the book so much more personable. Kind of like sharing a pattern between friends.

I would not hesitate to purchase this book. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

My favorite patterns from the book are noted here. I would love to hear which ones are your favorites. And, if you make any of the patterns, send us a picture! Maybe I can get Sue to teach me paper piecing because I really, really, really like the Spin it Again Quilt. What do you think, Sue?

Betsy’s Favorites from Vintage Quilt Revival
Sugar Snow Quilt (p. 63) – The colors are exquisite as is the quilting.
Spin it Again Quilt (p. 87) – Colorful, a pattern with movement.

Lovin’ It or Likin’ It?
Lovin’ It:
– Great photography that always shows the pieces really well
– Clear directions with lots of diagrams in color
– Big variety of patterns for all skill levels
– Patterns that are clear
– Design notes
– CD with templates for the paper-pieced blocks.

Likin’ It:
– The CD has the templates for the paper-pieced blocks (there are 12) – I don’t think everyone does paper piecing so if you want to make one of those 12 projects and you don’t paper piece, the patterns may have to be modified.

I close this post with author Lee Heinrich’s inspiration for the Sugar Snow Quilt (found in this pattern’s Design Note):

“Around the time I was designing this quilt, I spent an afternoon at my daughter’s preschool, which is also a nature center and a working maple-sugar farm. I went with the class to tap a maple tree. While there, a teacher scooped up a handful of the icy, crystalline flakes called ‘sugar snow,’ which indicate that it’s time to tap the trees. As the light caught the snow, it hit me: I wanted to make a quilt that ‘sparkled’ like that snow.” (63)

Yes, we quilters get inspired by some very beautiful things. This book is one of those things.

Comment and let us know what you think! –Betsy
And don’t forget to enter the Blog Block Giveaway!


“Quilting in the Coop” – Book Review

Sew, O’Susannah! is excited to share their first book review with you. We plan to do this each month, so be sure to keep looking. There is a separate link here on the blog that will capture all the reviews so you’ll be able to find them easily in the future.

Our First Book Review: Quilting in the Coop

Quilting in the Coop by Emily McGlothlen

Book Name: Quilting in the Coop
Author: Emily McGlothlen
Publisher & Date: The Little Red Hen, 2012
Pages: 36

One of the first things I noticed about this book is it’s packed with 14 patterns and there is something for everyone. There is pieced work, appliqué, embroidery, wool work and even redwork.

My favorites are noted here. I would love to hear which ones are your favorites. And, if you make any of the patterns, post a picture!

Betsy’s Favorites from Quilting in the Coop

Irish Blessing (p. 4) – I love the blessing, house and sheep.
Grandma’s Redwork (p. 8) – reminds me of my mom. Oh – and I also love the vintage cherry clock shown in the picture.
All American (p.14) – love the fabric choices in this one. Makes the stars pop and float.
Laundry Fun (p.20) – this is just the cutest with the clothes hung on the line, “The Laundry Room. It’s Loads of Fun.”

Lovin’ It:
– Cute photography that always shows the pieces really well
– Clear directions
– Big variety of patterns for all skill levels
– Patterns that are clear

Likin’ It:
– A couple (but only a couple) of patterns have to be enlarged. I always find this difficult and I tend to shy from them. But that’s just me. This may not be an issue for you.
– Four patterns need Transfer-Eze (usually for lettering). I didn’t know exactly what that was but O’Susannah’s does carry it but it’s expensive. However, if you do a lot of lettering in your quilting or embroidery, I’m sure it’s worth the cost. I plan to check it out myself.

I close this post with the Irish Blessing:

“May you always have walls for the winds
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire.”

Comment and let us know what you think! –Betsy

Enter the Blog Block Giveaway through our Rafflecopter giveaway. Don’t forget to comment on the post.  We’ll be giving away all 12 blocks on May 1, 2014!