Silver Lining Quilt Alternate Color Options

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I started playing around with alternate color options for the Silver Lining quilts and came up with some that would be great for baby quilts and kids quilts.  The 3 x 3 blocks set would measure 36″ square before borders are added.  Enjoy!

Link to Silver Lining Quilt Two Block Design Guide

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I have created a guide that contains the quilt images and cutting and assembly information for each of the blocks. This guide is available now on my website as a PDF download.   Link to Silver Lining Quilt Two Block Design Guide

A big thank to everyone who has made a purchase from my website, it means a lot to me now since sales from my website are my only source of income for the foreseeable future.  A virtual hug to all of you!

Stay safe, stay home, and quilt!


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Baby Quilts / Lap Quilts Part 4

Hooray! We dodged last night’s snow storm! Originally the forecast was a winter storm warning and an estimated 6 to 9 inches of snow, it went south of the Twin Cities.  So I was able to spend some time quilting instead of snow removal detail.

Time to catch you up on the Baby Quilts / Lap Quilts.  Yes, as soon as Roxie saw this quilt set together she said she wants one to use as a lap quilt and it will be the perfect size for a lap quilt.

This is how I cut the table runners into sections for the sashing columns, I just folded them a couple of times and cut 2 ½” strips.

Table Runners Cut

I cut the strips from several table runners and arranged them into sashing columns, staggering where the denim squares were ending up. This is the design wall audition for the sashing columns.

Table Runners pieced into sashing

Now to try everything out together on the design wall; block columns separated by the table runner sashing.  I love it!

Blocks and sashing on design wall

This quilt has been put together and is ready to load on the longarm.  I just have to clear off all the clutter that has accumulated on the machine and get going!


Table Runners From Plaid and Denim

I designed the baby quilts I’m working on by starting with the desire to use these table runners somewhere in them. To tell you about the table runners I need to take you back to last summer and the preparations for Roxie & Tom’s wedding.  My daughter Roxie and her husband Tom love plaid and love the concept of upcycling.  Well … I just happened to have on-hand tubs full of men’s plaid shirts many of which I only paid 25¢ a piece for.  All are 100% cotton and were intended to be cut into 5″ squares for quilts.  Roxie decided the shirts could be put to better use first as table runners in their plaid themed wedding, she does come up with some good ideas!

Mary, Tom’s mom (and also a quilter), volunteered to sew the table runners and I helped out by cutting the backs out of 60+ shirts and chunks of denim from women’s dresses to help speed the process along.  Knowing that we wanted to use the fabrics in the table runners again for quilts after the wedding, all the seams were serged so that they wouldn’t ravel when they were washed.  Here are the piles of men’s shirt backs and chunks of denim ready to be turned over to Mary.

Plaid and Denim

One of the completed table runners. They measure about 20″ x 68″.

Table Runner

The table runners were a perfect complement for the birch tree candle holders used on the tables.

Table Runner with candles

In addition to plaid table runners Mary also made plaid pennants from the same thrift store shirts to hang as decoration at the wedding and reception.


In true upcycling style the pennants are also used again to decorate Roxie’s Frostbeard Studio booth at craft shows.

This craft show was the No Coast Craft-o-Rama held in Minneapolis in December.  I helped Roxie set up for the craft show and it was fun for me to be just a helper this time.  In the past Roxie has helped me set up at Quilt Market so we do have experience setting up, taking down, and hauling stuff in and out of buildings.

craftorama booth

Now, how am I going to use those table runners in the baby quilts? Stay tuned!


Baby Quilts Part 3

I’m back at home after being on the road teaching for the last three out of four weeks.  My laptop is not working so I’ve been unable to use it while away from home.  It’s been a strange start for my year as far as electronics go- first my DVD player quit working, just when I want to watch a few movies while staying tucked in my house on these winter evenings. Then my camera refused to turn on (sent it off for repairs), third  my external hard drive stopped working, and lastly it was my laptop.  I’m a little afraid to touch my longarm!

Now to catch up on the baby quilts.  To avoid complete chaos with all the plaids in the quilt, I’m going to divide and conquer by surrounding the blocks with denim sashing.  The denim is dress weight or shirt weight denim.  The strips are cut 2″ wide and rather than measuring the exact length for the block (8 1/2″) I’m just sewing pieces on and will trim later.

Block with side sashing

Sashing on two sides

Trimming after both sides have been added.

Side sashing trimmed

Then adding top and bottom sashing in the same manner as the sides.

Top and bottom sashing added

For these quilts I’m going to set the blocks in columns separated by additional pieced sashing.  They are going to be three block columns wide so the blocks at the top of the columns will have denim sashing around the entire block.

Three top blocks

The remainder of the blocks only need sashing on the sides and bottom.  I’m making fifteen of these blocks for one quilt.

Blocks with 3 sides sashed

Here are the columns arranged on the design wall and ready to sew together.

Blocks in columns

Next it’s on to the sashing that will separate the columns of blocks.


A Perfect Winter Evening

I found the perfect way to spend a rainy winter evening. Yes rain, hooray for rain, in St. Paul, MN in January it would normally be snow! I made good progress on the pinwheel blocks for one of the baby quilts.

Pinwheel Blocks

Warmed up with some great tea in a mustache mug(!) my daughter Roxie made. You too can have one of these original mugs, many different styles are available on the Frostbeard etsy site. Yes this is shameless promotion for my daughter!

Mug of Tea

And I listened to, These High Green Hills by Jan Karon.  It’s the third book in her Mitford series and all the books are delightful.  They’re a good change for me from the mysteries I often listen to; sometimes you just need a break from murder and mayhem!

These High Green Hills

What is inspiring for me is to know that Jan Karon the author of these books was over the age of fifty when she left a successful career in advertising to move to the mountain village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and write books. “I stepped out on faith to follow my lifelong dream of being an author,” she says. “I made real sacrifices and took big risks. But living, it seems to me, is largely about risk.”

A good example to follow and I think the world is just a little bit better when we do reach for our dreams!


Baby Quilts Part 2

I finished all the half square triangles for the three Baby Quilts I started earlier this month.  I decided to make each quilt a little different by using different blocks for each quilt.  One quilt will have the half square triangle units arranged into pinwheel blocks.


The second quilt will have the units arranged into a broken dishes block.

Broken dishes

The third will use this simple block idea. This block has no name right now, it has elements of the traditional Indian Hatchet, Cedar Tree, and Simple Triangle blocks combined.

Simple Triangles

At this point I lay out all the half square triangles and start arranging sets of them into blocks, stacking each set on either paper plates or cardboard dividers.  This way I can distribute the plaids between all the quilts and I won’t end up with just blue plaids or small brown plaids for the last quilt.  I work this way even when I am making just one quilt to distribute the fabrics throughout the quilt.

Blocks for 3 quilts copy

My next step is to get these blocks sewn together!


Baby Quilts

It’s the first of the year and time to do one of my favorite things: start a new project!  I have many UFOs, but I love to start new quilts and my daughter Roxie gave me a great excuse to do just that.  Three of her close friends have had babies and she asked me if I would make them quilts.  All three babies are boys and both Roxie and I love the idea of upcyling plaid shirts into quilts.  Also added to these quilts will be pieces of the table runners used at Roxie and Tom’s wedding reception.  These are some of the half-square-triangles in the process of being trimmed.

Trimming in progress

I tell people that half-square-triangles are my favorite unit to make and I’m not lying, I can create a pile of them in no time!

Stack of HST

When I have about three-fourths the number of units made that I need I lay them out to look them over before selecting the remainder of the plaids.  I like to make sure I have a good mix of colors and values.

HST in rows

Now it’s back to the sewing machine to finish the rest of the units and then assemble them into blocks.


Vintage Quilt Fix

I stopped at an antique mall in Story City, Iowa and found some very cheerful quilts that would adapt nicely to using 5″ squares.

This first one is on my “must do” list – what a great way to show off some 1930s’ prints! I would make hourglass units as the alternate blocks and set this on point.

Another happy quilt pictured below – I like the use of the blue as the background fabric.  I would use connecting corners on the bow ties rather than set in seams.  And probably use sashing rather than the large plain alternate blocks since I wouldn’t have any hand quilting to show off.

What a great fast idea for a baby quilt shown here in red.  I can see this with lots of novelty prints for an “I Spy” quilt.

The list of quilts I want to make just keeps growing!