Sharing fabric cuttings with my worldwide friends

Monday, April 25, 2016

Westering Women Block Three

For March we had the block Sweet Gum Leaf. Again, a dilemma; no center spot for my little wagon.

I was away at a quilter's retreat when I was making the block and had begun to cut it out without using the wagon fabric. Fortunately my friend Pinkdeenster, a compatriot on the Westering Women journey, was also at the retreat. She stepped over as I was cutting and suggested I could put it in the lower left corner. After a five minute pause I figured out that not only was she correct but I could use the fabric as the entire background. And I think it worked out well in the end.

The stem? Yes, it made it's own rules as well. I think the pattern called for it to bend to the right but no matter, there's room for all variations fortunately.

Do you like that pop of pink? I was happy with the final result and glad I had taken the time to do some fussy cutting.

For most of the time at retreat I was working on this project. I have planned a setting that requires thirteen setting blocks and the long hours available on such a weekend are perfect for doing that somewhat monotonous task. When I got a little tired of what I was doing I could take a break and go look at what someone else was stitching on, help with a layout issue, commiserate when a mistake was made or, the ultimate, go on a field trip to a quilt shop.

Block four for this project is due in a couple of days. And in ten days or so I am again going away for the weekend on a quilt retreat. Guess what I'll be doing then?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Westering Women Block Two

For the month of February the block was Indian.

For this month I had a design dilemma. The center of the block was a 6" square and I felt that would be somewhat bland. One option was to make four versions of the block at 6" each to create one 12" block. Then I saw the block that my friend Pinkdeenster had made and was inspired. She made a 6" version of the Indian block and replaced that unpieced center with the 6" block. Brilliant!

I'm hoping she understands that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".

Indian is the block chosen to go with the story of the Indian Territories. One of the several "jumping off places" for the would be settlers was St Joseph, Missouri. Heading west brought the wagons directly into the area that was set aside for the reserves assigned to various Eastern tribe. A map of the reserves shows they were neatly arranged in horizontal stripes.

For the outer edge of my block I used a striped fabric to recall the map and chose a print with circles to represent the wagon wheels that rolled all those thousands of wagons west through Indian land.

If you are just the tiniest curious about Pinkdeenster go visit her

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Westering Women Block One

Oh dear, I have not been keeping up on this blog. I do apologize.

At the beginning of the year our friendly quilt historian Barbara Brackman launched a new block of the month. If you have been reading this blog for some time you will know I have done many BOMs and even a couple of BOW with Barbara.

For 2016 she has chosen the topic of women heading west. To quote from Ms Brackman's inaugural post for the project it will be "celebrating the women who walked west on the overland trails in the 19th century".

Blocks are published, along with a short story from history, on the last Wednesday of each month. The block patterns will be for a 12" block and I am going to make mine in that size.

This first block is Independence Square and the story featured the start off point for many from the town of Independence, Missouri. Thousands of wagons headed out each May with optimistic families seeking a new life in the west.

For this project I am going to use a palette mostly of golden brown/amber representing the dirt and soil the trekkers would encounter along the way. I'll add some pops of color. For January those colors are green for the grass and blue for the hoped for blue sky trip. And, all going well, you'll find a small wagon in each of the blocks.

Maybe you'll join our happy group of stitchers as we walk along the trails...

You can read more about the project by going to