Saturday, April 18, 2015

For the Simple Love of Simple Squares!

Wonderful things happen when you think far enough ahead to cut down scraps as you make them.

I LOVE boxes of individual squares, whatever size they are.

They are quick to grab for simple Leader & Ender units, and I can ALWAYS find places to use a four patch or a nine patch ---

If that scrap on my cutting table is big enough to cut a square from it I will.

The best thing about this little box?  VARIETY!

Variety means I don’t have to comb through boxes of fat quarters, yardage, or untamed scraps and head to the ironing board to press before I can cut what I need.

They are already ready!

Last night during Quilt-Cam I was able to assemble these four blocks ---while chatting away and answering questions and sharing emails from those of you who were with me via the wonder of Google Hangouts.


Four down, many to go!

These all started as simple 4 patches, many of them made from that box of squares, using pairs of squares to start and end each line of chain stitching – just leave the pair under the presser foot, and snip your work off from behind the foot ---they grow on their own!

I have many many more of these to make.  I’ve cut plenty of turquoise triangles and am baggy-ing these up for my trip to Kansas and Washington State. 

My flight leaves tomorrow afternoon!

More fun with squares:


My Idaho Square Dance Blocks are growing!

This is the block featured in my Addicted to Scraps column in the May/June 2015 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.  This would make a TERRIFIC Leader & Ender project!  So I plan to make more of these, keeping my handy box of squares at the ready.  You can see here that a couple have blue centers and the rest have red..I’m still in the experimenting stage.  This block is based on an antique quilt in my collection, I love it for all of its scrappy goodness!

If you are looking to start a Leader & Ender project, feel free to join me!

My Saturday has been a restful one.  I hope yours has been too!

It’s not often that I get a Saturday home alone to putter in the studio, rearrange things, sort things, CLEAN THINGS ---I’ve spent time taming some gifted scraps, cutting them into strips and squares and squirreling them away for another quilty day.

I also took the trimmings and leftovers from assembling yesterday’s blue orphan backing and cleaned those up, slicing them down into my most useable sizes so they are ready to go for another project.

I spent a couple of hours kitting up the 40 handwork projects I’ll need for my mini workshop that I am teaching for my travelers in TUSCANY, ITALY in just a couple of weeks!  I’m so excited, and I’m glad these are ready to go and now off of the “to do” list.

I really haven’t sewn today ---it’s just been a day to putter, and I needed that.

However, that does not mean that there won’t be some stitching tonight!

Love from the Basement --

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  1. It sounds like a perfect day. Ahh what a trip that will be for you and your crew ! Enjoy.

  2. Sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday, I was trying to finalize what to put in my suitcase for Tuscany. I can't believe it is only 2 weeks away. I am so excited for this holiday and will be fun to see what you have planned for us to sew on.
    Looking forward to meeting you there and seeing some wonderful places that I have only read about.

  3. I had some Grandma time at 2 baseball games. The Idaho Square Dance blocks look fun to make. I'll have to stock up my scrappy totes to make some along with you. My family has some roots in Idaho, too.

  4. I am still working on the Lozenges. It takes me longer than it does you. For Smiley Quilter, justvtake black bottoms, slacks, jeans, skirt, then you can pack 3 or 4 colorful tops. I find I can travel light if I do this. Nobody knows if you wear the same black slacks 2 days in a row. I also take my old underwear and discard as I go. I hate dirty laundry.

  5. I'm excited for Tuscany as well. I have been stacking things I "think" I want to take. Soon I'll have to make a decision!

  6. Bonnie,

    All beautiful as usual. I love that turquoise! Can you please show the antique quilt that inspired your squares blocks? I'd love to see where you started and where you headed on your own.


  7. Getting ready for Tuscany too. My friend and I are bringing our latest preoccupation- our rosette a month hand quilt-Millefiore- from the New Hexagon book by Katja Marek. We are extending our stay so hope to get at least one month done.

  8. Good for you! I've been puttering today too. I went to Tuscany 3 years ago, so I'll check your itinerary and see where you will be and send you some suggestions. One thing I did was take lots of pictures of the mosiacs and tilework, in the hopes of someday making a quilt using those photo to design some inspiration blocks. Time to move that to the top of the wish list, I think! PS: You might want to carry a camera in addition to your galaxy phone - the interior lighting in some places aren't great for camera phone pics.

  9. I have been looking at the Idaho square dance block for 2 weeks, then last Sunday I sat down to just make 1 block to see how it worked. I have made 21 blocks so far with more to come. my centers are all different colors. thanks Bonnie for another great block. Can't wait to see how you set them.

  10. Thanks for the suggestions Susie...I travel with carry on only and have been trying to decide if black pants would be too hot. Guess I'll take the chance; can't wait.

  11. Ooh, Can we see a photo of your antique quilt that Idaho Square Dance is based on?

  12. So many great quilts! I am with you. My boxes with squared scraps are loaded.

  13. I love the Idaho squares. As Susie has said - I also travel light and do the same things she does....One has to if travelling from Oz across that big watery pond to the US. I want to come home with quilting stuff not dirty clothes....

  14. Don't have magazine yet, Would someone please tell me how big to cut the squares for the Idaho quilt. Thanks
    Paula in KY

  15. I made a special trip to purchase the latest Quiltmaker magazine with your quilt on the cover. I love it and the block of the month (Idaho Square Dance). Glad to get two of your patterns with the purchase. Definitely will be participating in the leader & ender project. Bonnie, could you post a photo of the vintage quilt that was the inspiration for Idaho Square Dance?

  16. I am so excited now to be preparing for my trip to Tuscany just 2 weeks away. I know Bonnie will be able to answer this as she is such a frequent flyer. Exactly what sewing supplies are we allowed to bring into the plane? I have hand work I'm hoping to pass some of the time doing. Also, are there any special supplies we'll need for our mornings with you? Last but not least, should we pack a bathing suit?


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