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November Block of the Month

This month the local quilt store gave us the Sunlight and Shadow block from Quilt Blocks Galore.  They decided that our quilt needed more green, so they chose a nice deep green batik to pair with the gold.

November 2014 BOM - 1

You’ll need mostly squares, with a few HSTs made from more squares.  As usual, I like the draw a line method of making HSTs, so I’ll go with that again.

Fabric Requirements

Dark (green) – four 3-1/2 inch squares, and two 3-7/8 inch squares

Medium (gold) – two 3-1/2 inch squares, and two 3-7/8 inch squares

Background – two 3-1/2 inch squares, and four 3-7/8 inch squares

November 2014 BOM - 2

Draw a diagonal line on the back of the background 3-7/8 inch squares.  Layer the four 3-7/8-inch background squares with the dark and medium color squares of the same size right sides together.

November 2014 BOM - 3

Sew a scant 1/4-inch away from the line on either side, chain piecing back up the other side.

November 2014 BOM - 4

November 2014 BOM - 5

Whoops, forgot to change to Aurifil thread!! Excuse me while I wind a bobbin and rethread. OK, now cut on the diagonal line.  Press and square up to 3-1/2 inches.

November 2014 BOM - 6

November 2014 BOM - 7

Lay out your block.

November 2014 BOM - 8

Sew in rows, pressing the seams opposite.

November 2014 BOM - 9

Sew the rows together.

November 2014 BOM - 10

Done!!  Are you following along with this BOM?  The last block is next month.  I am already starting to think about how I want to put them together.  I have an idea that I think will surprise you, but I need to get more fabric.  Imagine that!!



Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  This is my favorite holiday of the year.  I always wake up with much anticipation for the day.  After making a pot of Thanksgiving Blend coffee from Starbucks, I’ll enjoy it while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I have been spending the holiday morning doing this for many years.  Seeing Tom Turkey kick off the parade is exciting every year!

TomTurkey©Macy’s, Inc

Did you know that they use the same floats year after year as well as balloons?  Each year, some are the same, and some are reworked into something new.  I think my favorite float would have to be the Marion-Carole Showboat float which has been in the parade more than 35 years.  It is one of the few times I have seen my name on something spelled with the E!  Usually the performer on that float is one I like to see.  The Big Apple float is also a favorite.

MarionCarole  BigApple

©Macy’s, Inc

Sometimes the balloons get a change of clothes.  In 1946 Harold was a baseball player, and had a role in the 1947 release of Miracle on 34th Street.  At another time, the same balloon was a Harold the Fireman.  The Macy’s Parade website says this was 1948.  But, the same site says the baseball player was 1949, when we know it was 1946 because of the movie.

HaroldBallplayer  HaroldFireman

©Macy’s, Inc

The scenes of the parade in the movie were made in 1946, the year before it was released, with the actual parade seen through the window!  They had to time the scene to correspond with the appearance of the baseball player to match the script.  Plus, all the parade scenes had to be shot that morning, as doing them over wasn’t possible.

Natalie-Wood-and-John-Payne-watching-parade©Twentieth Century Fox

Edmund Gwenn was really Santa Claus in 1946 so the scenes could be shot with him in them.  I love this version of Miracle on 34th Street, and I’ll watch it sometime this weekend.  None of the remakes have even come close.

EdmundGwynn©Macy’s, Inc

Santa©Twentieth Century Fox

 Snoopy is a classic too.

snoopy ©Macy’s, Inc

 They even have floats perfect for foodies!  The one on the left is by Lindt called The Enchanting World of Chocolate.  And on the right is Domino Sugar’s Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations.

WorldChocolate  Sugar

©Macy’s, Inc

And more floats!!

Celebearation CentralPark

Sesame 83rd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

 ©Macy’s, Inc

A couple of years ago I started a Pinterest board to save pictures of the iconic parade – Thanksgiving Parade!!  I wish I could share more of them on the blog, but you’ll just have to go to the link to see them.  There are images pinned from before WWII, modern images, and even some from Miracle on 34th Street.   Images I have used here are from the Macy’s media release, and are used with permission.

The holidays are now officially on, so I wish you all a very merry season!



Thanksgiving Stamping Fun

I had several stamping projects for the Thanksgiving holiday.  This is the best time of year to use all those beautiful fall colors of ribbons, and papers, and inks.

Thanksgiving 2014 -7

I wanted to make a couple of Thanksgiving cards to mail to family far away. This one uses the cut out from the leaves, with a patterned paper behind.  I love that little acorn stamp!

Thanksgiving 2014 -1

This one says Give Thanks, and has a lovely scene with a pumpkin, a bird sitting on a milk jug, and some fruit. I think my stamp pads are drying out, and they are getting a bit frayed. Santa, if you’re listening, I could use some new ones – (hint hint).

Thanksgiving 2014 -3

The green card on the left uses the leaf print ribbon, so pretty for autumn. It has a little iridescence to it.  The one on the right was stamped with a brand new pad I got recently.  That is what made me realize the others were getting a bit old.  The cornucopia is much clearer on this card than the scene on the card above.

Thanksgiving 2014 -4

And this one says Thankful Thoughts, and I used a silk leaf for an embellishment.

Thanksgiving 2014 -5

Then I made some place cards for our holiday table using cut-out leaves and gold card stock.

Thanksgiving 2014 - placecards

These postcard style cards went with the Autumn Candle Wreaths to our wonderful office staff. I started with the same tulle ribbon with fall leaves and gold card stock. I removed the wire in the edge so it was easier to glue down. I glued another card to the back to hide the raw edge.


I added cut-out leaves and a Thinking of You stamp.


Each one is a little different, because the leaves are different.



Done and in the mail, or gifted!!



How to Serge Perfect Fabric Napkins

How many times have you made placemats or a table runner, and then thought it would be so lovely to have matching napkins.  Truly, fabric napkins on the serger are very fast.  You can make a whole set in under an hour.  There is a trick to getting perfect serged corners, and I’ll show you how.

Serging Napkins 11

Start by cutting your squares for the napkins.  The ideal size is 16 inches, but I have made them at 12 inches for luncheon size, or up to 20 inches for a formal dinner size.  This fabric goes with the Three Maple Leaves Table Runner and the panel placemats.

Serging Napkins 1

Set your serger for a three-thread rolled edge.  Be sure to move your cutting blade down.  If you have a differential feed, set it on 1-to-1.  Serge the first side, stopping about 1 or 2 stitch lengths before you get to the edge.  This is a bit tough to see at first, but you’ll soon figure out where to stop.  Raise the needle up.

Serging Napkins 3

Serging Napkins 5

Lift the presser foot, and gently pull the fabric toward the back of the machine ever so slightly (just a millimeter or two) to release it from the flange, then turn it 90 degrees, pivoting around at the corner..  Try to minimize the amount of thread you pull.  Place it back under the presser foot lining up the top edge with the needle position.  Lower the needle and put the fabric next to it.  Lower your presser foot.

Serging Napkins 7

Serge the next side, and repeat until all four sides are done.

Serging Napkins 2

By limiting the amount of thread at the corner, you end up with perfect corners, no knots, no extra bunching up.

Serging Napkins 6

Here’s the back side.

Serging Napkins 8

On the last corner, serge off the end, then tie off or bury your threads.  I did four napkins in about 30 minutes!

Serging Napkins 9

Practice on some scraps first.  It will take a few tries to get the pivot point just right, but once you do, it is easy from there!

Serging Napkins 10

If you don’t have a serger, you can make the napkins quickly on your sewing machine by using a rolled edge foot to hide the raw edge. A serger makes this project super fast.  You can have beautiful matching napkins for all your table top creations!  Just get an extra yard of fabric, and you’ll have enough for six large dinner napkins.  A beautiful table is only a few stitches away.  Happy Serging!



Quilting Panels

I am never buying another panel. There, I said it.  I mean it.  Really.  I always have such a hard time deciding what to do with all the bits and pieces.  Do I sash them and fit them into a quilt?  Do I add them to other fabric for a tote bag like my Coffee Tote?  Well, this panel is the last one I have, and I decided to quilt all the bits and make a lot of little things.  I have had this thing for several years.  This year I am going to finish it up!  It is Autumn themed, so it is now or next year.

Autumn mulit quilting 2

I was going to load it as one piece, but I had the two Maple Leaf table runners to do too.  It wouldn’t fit as one piece, so I cut apart the individual motifs, and laid them out along the extra wide backing remnant in my stash.  What else are you going to do with a piece of fabric 108 inches wide but not that long?

Autumn mulit quilting 3

So, I loaded it all up.  In total there are two table runners, two wall hangings, four placemats, eight potholders and two hot mats.

Autumn mulit quilting 4

I began by stitching down all the edges close to the edge, so I can use a pantograph across several items without lifting up the edges.

Autumn mulit quilting 5

This pantograph is 14 inches wide, and I have loaded the items longways on the frame, so I can do 100 inches of panto in one pass. It is a dense leaf pattern called Luscious Leaves. It has a lot of turns and sewing in different directions, so it gives me good practice at moving the longarm. You can see how it works across several items at once.  The only problem was the length was more than one bobbin, so I kept running out of bobbin thread on every pass.  Annoying, but at least I was expecting it. (Update, now I use Bottom Line and get easily twice as much sewing out of every bobbin.)

Autumn mulit quilting 7

Of course, it meant I had to make 17 miles of binding, LOL, but that was OK.  It was a way to use up the striped print.

Border print

Other than cutting one out for a border on one of the Maple Leaf table runners, I could not figure out what else to do with it.  The wall hangings can also be used as table toppers, and the two lovely ladies that work at my office keeping everything running smoothly received them along with a matching potholder.


The rooster placemats will be used on the game table for breakfast and lunch.

Serging Napkins 10

The pilgrims look nice with them.

Pilgrim couple

Naturally the potholders will be used in the kitchen. Here was a happy accident, I sewed the binding on the wrong side of one.


Then found the hand work went a lot easier whipping it down on the front.


The eggs and chickens potholders can be used throughout the year.

Chicken Potholders

The best part is this panel is done, and parts have been gifted in time to use for the holiday.  The lovely autumn themed placemats and runners are being used this season.  Amazing, I actually got them finished this year!



Thanksgiving Tablescape

It is a wonderful time of year for setting a beautiful table.  Maybe it is just me, but I like mixing things together to create a work of art for the table.  One thing that always bugs me is centerpieces that are too tall.  I like to have a low decoration down the middle of the table.  It is to be enjoyed as you are seated and are eating, but isn’t in the way when you are talking to someone across the table.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 6

This year, I am using a pair of turkeys at each end, with crackle glass candle holders, and a large ceramic pumpkin in the center surrounded by fall leaves.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 5

My mother always loved autumn, and she also gave wonderful dinner parties with lovely tablescapes.  I think of her often as I set a table. The holiday is one of the few times I can set a formal table, and I really enjoy it.  The cranberry red chargers were her idea years ago, and we both had them. I love those pumpkin bowls too, perfect for a soup starter or a salad for any meal during the harvest season.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 3

I made the placemats a couple of years ago.  I got this beautiful fabric in a secret stitcher exchange.  That is so fun, to send fabrics and little goodies to someone you have never met and get a surprise in the mail from someone else you’ve never met.  I quilted these up with the same fabric on both sides using a pantograph called Maple Dance.  There was enough fabric to have napkins too.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 1

I have a collection of ceramic turkeys, and they are scattered all over the place in November.  Every year they roost in a different spot.  This one is special.  It is a gravy server I bought years ago.  My mother asked to borrow it that year as she was hosting.  She never gave it back.  It became a joke between us that the turkey loved her house more than mine.  It came out and was used every year, but no matter what, it always seemed to get back to her house after the meal.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 8

On our table this year are the Thanksgiving napkin rings I inherited from her. They are little turkeys that say Happy Thanksgiving across the bottom. I placed them on the bread plate with the napkins. The little bowl next to them is for the cranberry sauce.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2

I have little turkey salt and pepper shakers too. I swear I used to have four of these little guys, but I can only find two.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 7

The great thing about setting the table in advance, is you find out what needs to be done early. This year, the silver needed a bit of polishing, easy to accomplish a few days ahead rather than on that day.  The bright light behind the chairs is the sunlight coming through the floor to ceiling windows looking out over wonderful fall color in the valley.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 9

Happy Thanksgiving!!

What do you do for your tablescape?

The Scoop – Yvonne, I can’t find your button!

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Three Maple Leaves Table Runner

I promised an even faster Maple Leaf Table Runner, and here it is.  This time you will only need three Maple Leaf Blocks in different colors plus some large squares of an autumn print. This runner uses 9-inch finished size blocks.  The finished size is approximately 11-1/4 x 47 inches.

Three Leaf runner 3

Here is what you will need for this runner.
Background for each block
Two 4-inch squares
One 3-1/2 inch square
One 5-inch square
Border amount – about three width of fabric strips, 2 inches wide.

For each color –
Two 4-inch squares
Three 3-1/2-inch squares
One strip 7-inches long by 1-inch wide

Autumn Print
Two 9-1/2-inch squares
binding – about three width of fabric strips, 2-1/2 inches wide

Assembling the Maple Leaves is easy.  Make your half square triangles with the 4-inch squares.  Use the five inch background square and the long strip of color fabric to make the stem.

Maple Leaf block 4

Square up all the units to 3-1/2 inches.

Maple Leaf block 5

Try to cross the points right at the point where the seam lines make an X. I could have gotten this one a little better. Perfect points are made when all three sewing lines cross at exactly the same point.

Perfect Point

Assemble the leaf block in rows, pressing the seams alternating so they will nest together.

Maple Leaf block 8

Maple Leaf block 9

Square up the leaf blocks to 9-1/2 inches.  Now you will have three leaf blocks and two print blocks.

Maple 3 Leaf Table Runner -1

Place the leaves and autumn prints alternating in a row, varying the direction of the stems.

Maple 3 Leaf Table Runner -2

Add a border of background fabric.  I used a 2-inch wide border.

Maple 3 Leaf Table Runner -6

Quilt as desired. I quilted both these runners at once using a pantograph called Luscious Leaves.

Table Runners

Again on this runner, I used a straight-of-grain binding on this runner as it will not get a lot of stress on the edges, and it saved fabric.  Cut the binding 2-1/2 inches wide, join pieces as needed to get the total length you need.  See my tutorial on Binding a Quilt for specific directions on joining pieces, attaching to the quilt, and making perfect corners.  The binding is in the same print, and creates a nice frame around the runner.

Three Leaf runner 1

I display it on the small library table in the kitchen with a few items that only come out in the fall season. The cookbook is called Celebrate Autumn by Gooseberry Patch.  I have a lot of those books. The pumpkin plate is so cute, and the crackle glass candle holder has an autumn scent candle.

Three Leaf runner 2

Click on Maple Leaf Table Runner to see the tutorial for the five leaf design and more detail on assembling the Maple Leaf block.

Now, off to bake some pumpkin bread!

If you are visiting from Fave Quilts, welcome!  Please look around a bit while you are here, I have lots of projects and tutorials.  See the pages at the top or the categories on the sidebar.

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Val’s Tuesday Archives October 2016

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