Monday, February 18, 2019

Meet Me at QuiltCon...

I will be at QuiltCon in Nashville on 
Friday the 22nd at 11am 
in the C&T booth signing my new book 

I would love to see you there!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentines Day!

I love Valentines Day! 

Maybe it's the hearts everywhere because I love hearts.

Maybe it's all the red and pink, because those two colors take turns being my favorite.

Maybe it's the flowers and chocolates because, well, flowers and chocolates!

(December 1992)

Maybe it's because I've been blessed with a truly wonderful love in my life to share so many years with. Not always happy or good, but all of them together. Anything in life is better when you have someone who loves you by your side. 

May your day be filled with hearts and flowers and love and chocolate and everything that makes you feel loved!


Read about last Valentines Day here.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Double (and Triple) Four Patch Play


I got this crazy notion to see if I could make a quilt that looked similar to a Burgoyne Surrounded by using only double and triple four patch blocks. Please don't ask where these crazy notions come from, I just woke up thinking about this... 


So I went straight to my EQ7 because I still haven't taken the time to learn how to use my EQ8 program yet. I'm sure it would be better for designing these things but sometimes the learning curve is just too daunting. Know what I mean?


But once I designed the two blocks (double 4 patch and triple 4 patch) in black and white, I started combining them and then twisting and turning them around. All of these blocks are shown at 8'' and set 8 x 10 so the dimensions are 64'' x 80'' (which happens to be a good generous twin size quilt.)


And then I decided to see what I could do with just the double four patches...






And how about just the triple four patches...







Oh but maybe a couple more designs with a combination of both blocks...



Now I want to make them all! This is what my brain looks like. Kind of scary isn't it? LOL

And I've totally forgotten about the Burgoyne Surrounded idea I was trying to make. Do you ever get distracted like this? Or is it just me?

Just for fun, help me decide which one to make first by voting on the number of your favorite.



Thursday, February 7, 2019

Sew Your Stash Along Step 6

Sew Your Stash Along Step 6
(44 blocks that are 5 ½'' made up of 2 flying geese each)

Cutting Instructions
This will depend on the piecing method chosen.
If using the strip method with a 45 degree ruler, all strips will need to be cut 3’’

Sewing the Blocks

Use your favorite method for making flying geese that are 3’’ x 5 ½’’.
Make 44 of one color combination and 44 of a second color combination.
Or make them all scrappy and see what happens!

Pair two flying geese together as shown and sew together. Press the seam open.
Make 44 blocks.These will be 5 ½’’ square.
Adding to the units to the quilt

Arrange the blocks as shown and sew them into 2 rows of 10 blocks each.

(diagrams are NOT to scale)

Arrange the remaining blocks as shown and sew them into 2 rows of 12 blocks each.

Sew the rows of 10 blocks to opposite sides of the quilt.
Sew the rows of 12 blocks to the remaining two sided of the quilt.
Press the seams toward the row just added.

The quilt will now be 60 1/2'' square.

© 2018

Coloring Sheet
Step 5
Step 6

Monday, February 4, 2019

The 'Sew Along' Retreat Recap

Another fun and productive quilt retreat is in the books! I finished binding the quilt above which is a smaller version of my Spring Cleaning pattern. It's a great scrap quilt that goes together quickly. I've made this in random scraps with a black chain, repros with a gray chain, fall fabrics with a brown chain and now this 30's with a red chain. I love them all! This will probably be donated to one of the guild charity events for auction. I quilted this one on my Amara with a double diamonds pattern using Glide thread. You can click on the photo for a close up.

Once I finished the binding and did a little work on my guild challenge quilt (not finished) I made this spool quilt. It's the strip version of the Selvage Spools quilt pattern found in my new book Strip Quilt Secrets. I ran out of green strips, but it will be easy enough to add the last block now that I'm home. I want to custom quilt this one. I'm thinking of doing a different design for each color spool.


Lots of my guild friends were working on their sew along quilts that we've been sharing since September. I loved seeing the progress over the weekend. I wish I had gotten more photos at the end so I could share their progress. It was so fun to see all of the different color choices and fabrics.



Diane B.





The best part of this sew along is that all of the quilts look so different! Isn't that awesome?

And of course my bee friends and I had to take our annual photo! I have photos of us going back 20 years! We may have sewn a lot of stitches and created some amazing quilts, but it's these friendships that are the most valuable and precious thing I carry home from this retreat each year.

Now I need to go sew a spool block! ;)


Thursday, January 31, 2019

January Reading List

Get the book HERE.

I listened to this book on CD and honestly, I think I'm a fairly well educated, socially aware person, but this book stunned me. It stunned me in that it is true, there are people who live like this even today in the United States. I knew that on an intellectual level, but seeing it through this girl's experience was both heart breaking and unbelievable. It's a well told story of survival and beating all the odds. There are some good and kind people in her life, but they were unable or unwilling to pull her from the chaos of her home created by her father's mental illness (my opinion). I highly recommend it, but it isn't an easy story to digest.

Get the book HERE.

I saw this on the library 'recommended' shelf and picked it up because of the cover. I liked the story very much but I would have preferred a few hundred more pages. I felt like there was some 'glossing over' of things that could have been explored in much more detail. The writing is beautiful and it's very sad that the author passed away. I am certain he would have written more amazing books. I recommend this book highly.

Get the book HERE.

I randomly found this book on the 'featured' shelves near the door. It's historical fiction, how could I go wrong? After staying up way too late several nights in a row, I'm hooked. It's a story that pulled me in immediately. I like the way it bounces back and forth between current day and the past. I also like how the characters are connected. Each one is developed in a way that is easy to relate to, even though they are very different. If you like historical fiction, or mystery, or adventure, this book is for you!

Get the book HERE.

I hadn't planned on reading another WWII book so soon but this book on CD was sitting on the featured shelf when I walked into the library. I have heard so much about it that I picked it up. It has been haunting me when I'm not listening to it in the car. I like the main character and his voice (the way he tells his story) but there have been a couple of times that something seemed a bit off. I think if I had the print version of the book I could easily flip back and check, but listening to the CD I can't. I highly recommend this book, but it's probably better to read than listen to. Just my opinion!

Get the book HERE.

In spite of all of the talk about this author and several of her popular books in past few years, I just hadn't read any of them. I don't know why. I am listening to this book on CD in the car. I like the story very much and the main character is one that I can't help but cheer on. She's young and naive but strong and determined. I haven't finished the book yet, but based on what I've heard so far, I would recommend it. It's an interesting story line with a variety of characters facing life choices. 

Get the book HERE.

I'm not sure why it's been so long since I've read an Anne Tyler book. I love her writing and her characters are just odd enough that they are people you imagine actually meeting in life. This book is no exception and I like the 'time hop' effect of the progression of the book. I highly recommend anything written by this author.

What have you been reading so far this year?

Enjoy every book!


The fine print: the links in this post are affiliate. I will earn a tiny reward for each purchase made through these links. As always, your support is greatly appreciated. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

It's nice to meet you!

Hi, my name is Diane and this blog is about my quilting adventures. I have many long time readers that probably know way more about me than they care to, but I've noticed lots of new visitors lately, so I thought it would be fun to share some things that you may not know about me...

I've been quilting for 22 years.
I took a quilting class while on maternity leave from work. I wanted to make a baby quilt for my first child. I was hooked from the first stitch. I had never really sewn anything before and didn't own a sewing machine until I needed to buy one for that class. I had slept under quilts that my great grandmother made, so I knew I loved quilts, I just didn't know how much I would love making them!

My hubby is a hard working airline pilot.
I've been happily married to my husband for 25 years. We met on a bus in NYC and were engaged 8 weeks later.  He is gone a lot because of his job so maybe that's the secret? LOL The rest is history...

I was a flight attendant for 10 years.
After using my college degree (education) for a two years, I decided I needed more adventure, so I became a flight attendant for American Airlines. I traveled internationally most of that time and loved every minute of it. I retired after my first maternity leave because I knew I couldn't be too far away from my baby! I still regret that I gave up that career, but the trade off was SO worth it!

I was a home school mom.
My husband and I planned to home school our kids through the middle school years before we even had our babies. We chose to educate and travel with them through those years because, sadly, public school is pretty much a waste land during those years. We had a wonderful time and I'm pretty sure we learned as much as the kids did! It was an amazing time to really enjoy as a family and I cherish those memories.

My three amazing kids are all currently in college.
My daughter Kelly, 21, is a junior at Berry College, majoring in animal science. She works at the equestrian center and is on the equestrian team. Her first love has always been horses! She is beginning the process of applying to veterinarian schools.
My sons David and Danny are 20 year old twins. They are 15.5 months younger than their sister. I'm still tired. David is a sophomore at UGA and majoring in computer science. He loves to run and work out. Danny is a sophomore at Virginia Tech and is majoring in mechanical engineering. He is a member of the roller coaster club and they travel to theme parks for behind-the-scenes the tours. He also likes to run and work out.

My fur babies are my constant companions.
Buddy is a 13 year lhasa apso. He is a bit grumpy but he still likes to play with the other dogs. Hubby says he's a cat that barks and that's fairly accurate.
Bailey is our 11 year black lab. She was a rescue and had some injuries to one of her back legs, but she doesn't let that slow her down! She is the sweetest dog ever. She's so tolerant of Boomer.
Boomer is our 4 year old golden retriever who is the happiest dog alive. He LOVES getting attention and playing and being wild. We love him just as much as he loves us, and that's a LOT.
We also have a rescue kitty named Luna. She is bipolar. You never know what you'll get with her, purring or a bite, could go either way at any time. She HATES the dogs. So we don't see much of her. I do like it when she curls up on my feet at night in bed. We savor her sweet moments as they can be fleeting.

I belong to 2 local quilt guilds.
One of the best parts of being a quilter is the connections we make with other quilters. I belong to two local guilds. One guild is very active and has lots of great speakers and workshops. I've been in that guild since I started quilting 22 years ago.
My other guild is a little group mostly for show and tell and social. They are a fun bunch of folks who like to laugh and have fun.
My bee group isn't a guild, but it's my favorite group. There are five of us who meet monthly and share everything about life, family, health, and of course, quilting. These are the women who really sustain me. I'm so lucky to be a part of this group.

I was first published in a quilting magazine in 2012.
The first quilt I ever submitted to a magazine was published in 2012. I was then published in multiple issues of almost every major quilting magazine. It was fun but it's not a financially lucrative pursuit. They pay doesn't cover the cost of fabric and shipping much less the time and effort. But it's a thrill to see my projects in print.
Sadly, the last four quilts I have submitted have been refused. That's what happens when one person is the acquisitions editor for all of the magazines. They either like your stuff or they don't. Oh well. I've been there and done that, no need to look back.

I've written 2 books.
The two books I've written for C&T Publishing are Scrap Quilt Secrets and Strip Quilt Secrets. I had planned to write another book next year called Selvage Quilt Secrets but they decided the market for that is limited and declined to move forward with it. I am so relieved. Writing a book is a huge labor of love and isn't for the faint of heart. There is a massive amount of work involved in learning how to format, code, and cross reference all of the things that will be in the book. The diagrams and illustrations all have to be drawn to scale and colored. Then it's all sent off and formatted. Once it's sent back, the author is responsible for editing and catching all errors and fixing all of the diagrams and illustrations that were interpreted incorrectly. And deadlines. Oh my the deadlines.
I'm not sure I have another book in me after these two. I just want to enjoy where I am now and worry about book writing later...

I got a Handi Quilter Amara almost a year ago.
Last year on Valentine's Day, my longarm arrived. I had never thought I would get a longarm. I learned how to use one at the local quilt shop where I work one day a week and found it much more fun than I expected. It wasn't as intimidating as I thought it would be. One thing led to another and I am the very happy owner of an Amara. I am going to attend Handi Quilter Academy in June to learn more about it but I've done pretty well so far, I've quilted over 50 quilts my first year! Click HERE if you want me to quilt for you! I would love to!

I love to travel.
After all these years, I still love to travel. I get to travel while teaching and sharing with quilt guilds and I love to travel to quilt shows. This year I am going to Quiltcon in Nashville and the Sydney Quilt Show for the first time ever! I also hope to attend the Pour L'Amour du Fil show again in the future.
Family travel is still a top priority and we are going to spend a week in northern California for spring break this year. I love seeing the world through my kids' eyes. They make everything more fun!

The future...
I don't really have any plans beyond the next two years of teaching and sharing the quilts I've designed. If you would like for me to visit your group or guild you can get more information HERE. I do plan to continue creating quilts and publishing patterns. I also plan to keep sharing all of the adventures right here (including the Sew Along and Mystery Quilts that have been so much fun, as well as free projects and patterns) on this blog and on Instagram and Facebook. I plan to spend time quilting with friends and enjoying my family as much as possible (when college schedules allow.)

I'm excited to see what the future holds. Thanks for sharing the adventures with me!

Enjoy every stitch!

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