MMMM Cheesecake for breakfast. There's nothing like a little self indulgence on your day. I'm thrilled to report that after staying up late last night and taking a bit of time today, the blocks are FINISHED!!

My birthday wish is that all of you make time for yourself, a little bit every day over the course of the next year. You'd be amazed at things you are capable of with the gift of precious time in a busy world. Thank you, Tiny for reminding me that life begins at 40 in the Netherlands, I've adopted the mantra. Thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes! They're truly appreciated.

G-7, Center block

Pink & Green is one of my favorite combinations and has been for many years. The print is one of Judie Rothermel's early fabrics and was very difficult to locate. Thanks to an amazing fabric angel, a perfect shade of pink arrived not long ago in the pattern of my grandmother's favorite flower, Lily of the Valley. The green was found at last year's Chicago International Quilt Festival---where I happy danced in the aisles.

Best Wishes,


Last of the Yellows #168

YAY! Just one more to go. I had hoped to finish the last block by tonight but am happy completing todays...nothing like making it in just under the wire.

Happy Quilting,


EASY Half Square Triangles

pinwheels from my very first piecing session

I have been looking for a replacement tutorial for the charm pack half square triangles. Photos with explanations that can go through google translate seem like a wonderful option. I have had a couple of readers asking questions about the technique and finally found one of the blogs that demonstrate it, called quilt frenzy. Click on the quilt frenzy blog to head straight to the charm square to half square triangle tutorial.

I left a comment on the original blog where I stumbled upon this technique and have not been able to locate it since. I've tried google, bing, yahoo, etc. If anyone should find the original blog, I'd greatly appreciate a point in the right direction so I can credit the blogger who saved us tons of time on our next HST projects.

Purple Block #167


Just 2 more main blocks to go!
Enjoy your Tuesday! Be sure to join us on Twitter for a quilt chat this evening.




100th Post


Welcome to my 100th post, featuring block #166!! Just a few main blocks to go. It's an exciting time!

Breaking news: The Stash Manicure blog has some changes going on, be sure to stop by soon.
Bummer:  You may have noticed that a video tutorial was removed from the blog last night. Just so you are aware, one of the tutes in the series deomonstrates a pattern by a designer I follow without her permission. She was not given credit or even mentioned in the segement. I don't take that lightly, so the video has been removed until a resolution is reached.


On to happier things:  Whether you say "Merci, Gracias, Grazie,  Danksche, Dankë, Dzieki, Moran taing, Hvala, Takk, Tackar så mycket, Tusen takk, Chezu tinbade or Spasibo," Thank You so much for your support!  You're the best!! It's been a pleasure sharing my progress with you. Now, I couldn't imagine enjoying your lovely comments & just patting myself on the back---stay tuned for a special announcement this week.

All my best,


Block #165 and a PRIZE!!!


This fun fabric was mailed to me recently by a reader in Indiana. I was happy to include it in one of the last green squares. If you look carefully, there's a toy soldier with a sword for this block, called Crossed Swords.

Goodies from www.FabricsNQuilts.com

How exciting! Last week I won a fat quarter set from Fabric s N Quilts just by chatting with other quilters on Tuesday evenings on Twitter. If you haven't signed up for Twitter yet, be sure to do so & join us this week. It's fun!
Tuesdays from 8-10 pm (9-11 central US time), log on to Twitter and add #talknt to your text. You can search the same hashtag to see the conversation.

Happy Quilting,


Easiest Half Square Triangles and Pinwheels EVER.

Am I the last to find out or is this the coolest trick you've ever seen?
AWESOME! I'm never going old school with my HSTs again, 
thanks to Missouri Star Quilt Co.
Happy Quilting!!

And Then There Were Five


Thanks to Mr. Fabulous, I have computer access again. Life is good. After spending the morning out visiting a couple local quilt shops, C-11 came together quickly.

Hmm another yellow...wonder how many of those are left. It can't be too many because I only have 5 blocks remaining!!! WOO HOO!

Happy Quilting & Enjoy your weekend,



163 Completed


Wagon Wheel was a surprisingly fun block. I expected this one to be far more difficult.

Please excuse my delayed response to your lovely comments, as my computer seems to be on the fritz again. Luckily, the kids have an older computer that I can borrow in a pinch so I can keep up with my posts.

Best Wishes & Happy Quilting,


Seeing Stars!


This block was a lot of fun to TRY to fussy cut. I believe this makes number 162! Just 7 more main blocks to go!!
Happy Quilting,





Number 160, a combination block, was made with just a charm of focus fabric from an online swap.

Happy Quilting,


Just 10 More to GO!!


Hard to believe, but there are just ten more main blocks to go. This block is the 159th, 49 pieces go into its construction. Total pieces so far: 3380.

I-13 has 2 versions. If you are using the book only, pay close attention to the picture of the original. The 4 focus fabric squares are considerably smaller in Jane's quilt compared to the drafted block illustration. I chose to go with Brenda's version, since I felt that hers would highlight my chosen fabric.

Happy Piecing!


Applique Today


There's nothing like a laid back day of applique. This fabric was one of the first ones I purchased as a new quilter. I was unaware that it was a 30s reproduction at the time and just had to have it! The box was marked 'fat eighths'.

I had yet to master the terminology of quilting and was clueless as to what that meant but bought it anyway. That wonderful box full of possibilities had a lovely mixture of cheerful colors that reminded me of my great grandmother. As a blossoming scrap quilter, I had taken my very first step into what would become the driving force behind THE quilt (and admittedly, a bit of fabricholism).

Happy Quilting,


#157 Complete

I don't know how you feel about boats and tulips but I adore both, so you know I couldn't pass this windmill fabric up when I saw it. Perfect for the fussy cut pieced center, it was a pleasure to work with. May you thoroughly enjoy the process of whatever you are crafting this week.

Best Wishes,


Block Number 156


Today's block was appliqued outside in the warm sun.
Life is good.

Happy Friday!! Enjoy your weekend =)


Applique, Giveaway & Block of the Day

Who doesn't love a great giveaway? Julie over at Jaybird Quilts has a fantastic giveaway going on right now. Stop what you're doing and sign up. Seriously, I'll wait.

Now that you've checked it out, be sure to stop back by her site and the RK Swatch & Stitch Blog to see details of Piece O' Cake Designs upcoming fabric release. It's delicious and I can't wait to get my hot little hands on some. I don't know how I'll be able to wait until January! I know this goes without saying, but patience is a virtue that I do not always possess.

Speaking of my impaired patience, I had an interest in needle turn applique before I began blogging and being a super busy mom, made little time for my hobbies. I've yet to take a formal quilting class.

What's a modern sewist to do? I found Becky Goldsmith & Linda Jenkins Teach You to Applique the Piece O' Cake Way (2005 C&T Publishing) on DVD and had my own private tutors at my beckon call. There are so many tips and tricks included in the 2 1/2 hour DVD that it is well worth your time to view it on several occasions. In fact, I think I may watch it again this week just to brush up. The video was created to compliment one of the fantastic books by this pair of applique pros but is incredibly useful all on its own.

Today's block, Starburst had Y seams that I just didn't feel like doing...so I didn't. The points on the star edges are appliqued, making this yet another combination.

Happy Quilting and Best of Luck to RETRO-Fab Readers in the Giveaway!!


#154 is Another Combination

I appliqued the center portion to the background fabric since I was waiting around a good part of the morning. Then I pieced the 4 corners and put it together this afternoon. Another one that came together quickly (without curves!!). One of these days, I'll just have to try the curve master on the smaller blocks. If you have a chance to try it before me, let us know how it goes.



#153 & Importance of the Backup Plan


This went smoothly, though I chose not to try the Curve Master on it. The center pieces were appliqued and then applied to the pieced background. I have just one more pink block left in the pile! I'll have to save the rest of my pinks for the triangles.

Yes, I've decided to embark on the triangle/kite journey. Call me crazy.


FYI: Just before preparing for BLOCK BLITZ, I had some computer issues that I really didn't
 go into detail about here on the blog. After taking a little time to let it settle, I feel it's important to share the lesson so you can avoid it.

As many of you are aware, I was running the software for THE quilt out of EQ6.  I had no problem doing so for months. When I went to print the final 40 or so blocks, my DJ files in both programs became inaccessible. From what I gathered from the Electric Quilt tech department via email, this is a known EQ problem with no solution.

 Each of my blocks were color coded to match placement in my final quilt. The loss of hours of work cannot be replaced. To clarify, I can still access the original block information but all files that were tailored to my quilt are, for lack of a better word, gone.

Luckily, I am old school & drew my plans with crayons on paper or I'd still be highly upset. I couldn't be more relieved that I had a workable backup plan.

*If you do not have a saved paper copy of your quilt, please print one immediately.*

I've been using the DJ book by Brenda M. Papadakis for my blocks the past few weeks. It's nice to have the book, even if you are printing to your hearts' content. You never know when computer issues will arise---it's the nature of the beast.

Having said all this, I would still purchase the software if I had it to do over again. No doubt, I have saved time using the computer files instead of re-drafting every single block of this amazing quilt.

I recommend purchasing the templates, book & software
{if you're computer savvy & willing to run it as a totally separate program}.

All my best, RETRO-Fabulous readers!



Non-Jane Happenings

I have a few updates for those of you who enjoy a bit of news unrelated to THE quilt. I was hoping to make time to create another few blocks for RSVP but seem a little preoccupied with other *ah-hem* pressing deadlines. We shall see if I can manage to post a few more in the next couple weeks.

Pip's arrived from Australia and they are fantastic!

The volunteers are so excited to have their very first International contribution! In prior years, the farthest quilter participating in the fall fundraiser quilt was located in Alaska, US. There's quite a buzz about blocks all the way from Australia, as you can imagine.

Classes are still available if you are able to make it to Auburn, Indiana, USA. October 8 & 9. Class topics include free motion quilting, knitting, felted wool projects, locker hooking, applique, disappearing 9 patch, and a class just for kids, too. There's a book signing with Carol Loessel. Several vendors will be available for the shoppers among us...that's probably my favorite part!

They've confirmed that they'll be hosting the traveling Hoffman Challenge, a fashion show and have a selection of silent bid baskets in addition to the displays of quilts to enjoy. Hope to see you there!

For more information, please contact RSVP at 260-925-0917 or email rsvp at locl dot net

Speaking of quilt shows, I'm pleased to tell you about Marjorie's upcoming trunk show. For those of us with quilty friends out west, be sure to let them know. Marjorie's site is called Applique Addict. It's a wonderful blog with great projects including a fun states quilt that she's working on in reds & whites.
Details for her trunk show can be found here. Oh, I wished I lived closer!!

Another great site I've been meaning to tell you about is Marla's new blog. I mentioned Marla's work with hospitalized children not too long ago.  A couple followers were kind enough to send fat quarters her way. Thank you so much for your generosity. If you'd like to talk with Marla directly or check in on her angel work, please do so at All These Things.

As with any post, you're always free to contact me regarding any of the above sites & activities.

Best Wishes & Happy Quilting,

152 & Redo Plans for 151


I've been up since 5 am this morning, so I decided to go ahead and whip up a simpler block. This should give me time to at least consider a redo of yesterday's block. I hope I have enough fabric for it!

Happy Quilting,


#151 is Done!


Tic Tac Toe wonkiness is not my favorite block but out of 169, they can't all be our favorites, right? LOL

Happy Quilting,


Block Blitz Continues #150 Posted


M-7 was all applique for a change.
I wonder if I have any other applique blocks remaining.

Happy Quilting,


Quilt Block 149, Just 20 Main Blocks Remaining!!!


It is incredible to be going into the weekend with just 20 remaining blocks. Thank you everyone for all your fantastic support. I have the best followers!

I'd like to say hello to a special follower...my grandmother. You're amazing!

This block went quickly. If you think of it as a 9 patch, you're in business.

Enjoy your weekend.

Happy Quilting,



148 & Curve Master Playtime


Number 148 has 47 pieces in it. Well, I think it does...I'm not recounting again today.

One tiny green square is completely covered by a flower head pin and there are 7 pieces in a 1" square area. SEVEN!! No wonder this little block contains madness in the title!

While I cannot say I have mastered the Curve Master quite yet, playtime was a blast. By my 3rd block I felt like I was really getting the hang of it. I'm sticking with scraps for a few more blocks before I cut into the stash. So far, I'd say it's well worth the investment.

This is the first specialty foot I have shown any interest in and actually ordered.  I don't even own a quarter inch foot, believe it or not. I wish all machine feet came with so many attachments! I can use this foot on all my machines. How cool is that?

Using a good pair of tweezers* (or beading tweezers as pictured) as your final edges are getting close to the machine is most helpful. Without it, my first 2 blocks had incomplete seams the last half inch or so.

*Using tweezers was one of Julie's hints (Jaybirdquilts.com) on the video posted yesterday----it's completely worth replaying when yours arrives as a refresher.*

Happy Quilting,


A Relatively Easy #147

While I thought I might challenge myself today, I did need to recover from all the melon applique pieces from yesterday. Instead, I chose a mostly pieced block and some morning rest, and how can I forget? Some afternoon cleaning.

In other good news, my Curve Master arrived and I'm giddy as a school girl about it. I can't wait to dig in and start curved piecing....had I been blogging a year ago, you'd have written proof I swore I'd never do curves thanks to all the required pins. You'll just have to trust me, but I think it was somewhere along the lines of NEVER EVER!!

If you missed my twitter updates about it, be sure you check out the following video by Julie at Jaybird Quilts for a demonstration...it's awesome. The first portion is about the Accuquilt Go Cutter, the second portion, about 1 minute, 40 seconds in is the Cuve Master. Enjoy.

Happy Quilting,


Combination #146

Tonight I'm thrilled to add J-10 to the completed list. It was prepped last night and all applique was done today.
Have a goodnight and I'll see you back here tomorrow for yet another combo.

Happy Quilting,


Monday's Finished Block #145

Megan's Mountain Laurel

There are 45 pieces in this little combination, good thing I had a head start on the piecing last night or it would have been a LONG day in the sewing room.

Happy Quilting,


Combos Continue


Block 144, a combination has been added to the completed list, with several more coming up soon. I managed to prep another block today and may just have the energy to prep a second.

Happy Quilting,



Blue Combo Makes #143


I think I saved most of the combinations for the end of the main blocks...or at least it seems that way this weekend. It's nice to have a relaxed schedule to work on combos, since I don't seem to switch gears from piecing to applique very quickly.

I imagine Sunday and Monday's blocks will be combos as well so I can save my few pieced blocks for busy days.

Happy Quilting,


Fussy Cut 142


Combinations can go pretty smoothly, despite a busy life. I pieced early this morning and decided to wait to prep the applique diamonds. While listening to local news, the tiny applique pieces whipped up in no time.

Happy Quilting,


Passed the 3,000 Piece Mark

D-2 passed the 3,000 piece mark

Mouse in the Mirror was such a fun block. I'm glad I saved a smaller print for this one. It went smoothly with no fussy cutting or directional prints to deal with. 

Passing the 3,000 piece mark has given me a boost---I'm really ready for whatever block tomorrow brings. I moved all the piles separated by techniques (applique, combination & piecing) into a single stack for this last phase.

The fabrics were selected last night...I feel like I have all my little ducks in a row. 

Happy Quilting,



Today's block is E-7. This was not exactly my favorite block (read: redo!) but I'm grateful to be able to mark it done. This makes 140 blocks, inching closer to 3,000 pieces. I imagine I'll hit that milestone some time this week.