Saturday, January 11, 2020

Cut it Up, Use it Up!

I have another project at hand!

And I am SO excited.  The whole thing makes me giddy with anticipation – I climbed out of bed at 6am, eager to pull fabrics and get cutting.

Yes, it’s a busy weekend ahead.  There is painting to happen at Quiltville Inn today – starting with the Hen Den and moving through the kitchen and the back entry.

And our nephew arrives from Texas this evening for a visit. 

My friend Jill will be on her way down from Pennsylvania tomorrow.

I’ll have a full house – and there are meals to consider among other things.

But this PROJECT!!  I need to make this project!

Cutting out and kitting up!

I want to make a table topper.  A small batch of nine Irish Courthouse blocks!  In red, white & blue!

You’ll have to pardon the off colors in the photos. There is an LED light over my cutting table, and it was (and still is) dark out while I type this – the colors in my mat photos are garish, and they really aren’t that bad.

Pulling fabric?  OH – I am down to the dregs in some of these colors – blue and red specifically.  It’s time to restock what I have here at the cabin, and I’m trying to find a way to reorganize my space here so I can at least bring my fat-quarter stash up.  There has to be a way.  I may have to give up design wall space, but I’m willing to do it as I mostly prefer to use the floor anyway.

Neutrals? No problem. Have bins of those on hand.  Blues?  Ehhhh…I have enough to make this work.  Reds?  NOT A LOT HERE! in fact one of the reds I pulled was a scrap of 1980s paw print.  VIP.  Classic.  And nearly vintage! LOL!

My mat is NOT this yellow!

But that blue -

RJR Millennium 2000 Y2K print.

It’s going to end up very small in the block, so it is doubtful that it will even be discernible – and that makes me giggle.  It’s about the color.  This blue is gorgeous. I will use it.

One set for one block ready to sew!

But likely not until tomorrow afternoon when Jill gets here.

I had the most fun making this blocks, and then turning them into the quilt.  Somewhat like an Irish Chain, but scrappier. Somewhat like a log cabin, but different.  It rings all my bells!

Five of my blocks will have red as the inner chain with blue surrounding, and the remaining 4 will have the opposite – blue in the center of the chain, surrounded by red.

I’ll think of borders when I get there – but this whole shebang is going to measure less than 40’’ square.  That’s my goal anyway. For now.

Things to watch for if you want to sew along with me?  NIX THE BIG PRINTS!

NO!  Just NO!

This is a sample block I used to show how a big multicolored print would just smear all over and make the block non-descript.

I’ve kept it on my design wall as a reminder to myself.  The smaller the piecing, the greater the contrast needs to be. 

The green batik center chain is lovely – the fabric surrounding the green?  It makes the green disappear and then the heinous big print even blends somewhat into the neutrals in places blurring those lines.

Contrast!!  I did some searching for examples and found this photo from when I taught Irish Courthouse as a workshop for Mary’s Quilt Shop in Bedford, Pennsylvania a couple summers ago:


And I also like that she kept the background fabric consistent with each block – instead of mixing them up the way I did.  This is always a great option.

Our January half-price PDF Pattern of the month -

I had a hard time deciding just which pattern to put at 50% off for the month of January.  Irish Courthouse won out for many reasons -

The biggest one of all being NO TRIANGLES! The pattern is only $4.00 and no coupon is needed.

Sew SO Scrappy, Sew Much Fun!

This Irish Chain variation starts with a simple 9 patch and grows from there! Easy strip piecing and full color photos. Fat Quarter Friendly as well! Quilt size: 93’’ X 93’’.

You’ll love making this quilt block-by-block easily from strips.  It’s fast, it’s satisfying, and destined to chase away those winter blahs that tend to follow when the holidays are behind us but spring is still far off into the future.

I will be making my nine blocks over the next few days while my friend is visiting.  Why not join me?  The pattern has all of the simple cutting you need to make your block kits and we can be sewing together.

And remember – leave out the big prints and go for contrast!  I’ll be sharing my progress through social media using the hash tags #irishcourthousequilt and #quiltville on Instagram.  Please tag me @quiltville_bonnie so I can follow along with your progress too!

More Quiltville Inn Retreat Rally Fun!

Yesterday the random number generator drew entry 96, Kim McKee & the Sew Blessed group.  

They got back with me yesterday to let me know that they wanted the available May dates.  Those dates have now been removed from the available dates list leaving us with the following available weekends:

Mar 5-8
Apr 2 -5
Apr 30 – May 3
July 23-26
Aug 13-16
Nov 12-15
Nov 19-22

You may add additional days to your stay, and even add in a workshop should your group desire!  Operation "Fill the Retreat!" is turning out to be so much fun!

And this morning’s drawing winner:

Number 8!

Pam Thorne and the Scrappy Sisters!

Pam, I’ve sent you an email at the address you provided when registering.  Get with your group, decide on your dates, and get back to me!  Once decided, I’ll remove those dates from the list and draw the next group.

It’s not too late to add your group into the drawing for dates.  Just click the Quiltville Inn Rally tab at the top of the blog and enter your group info into the form.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Your job this weekend is to build yourself up, not tear yourself down!

Take some time to magnify your strengths, not focus on your faults.

Have a wonderful Saturday, everyone - I'm off to wield a paint brush!


  1. Happy Painting, Bonnie! This weekend is all about hunkering down to avoid a rain/sleet/ice/snow storm hitting the Chicago area. For me, I can't think of a better way to build myself up than getting some quilting time - a lot of quilting time!

  2. Hi Bonnie! I am usually a "silent fan" however, I had to giggle at your post this morning. I am going through my "inheritance" from my mom - what is left of her stash. A LOT of VIP Cranston, Jinny Beyer, some Moda and a TON of Hoffmans. All circa late 1980s - 2005 (she died in 2013 from early onset Alzheimers). Keep up the joy, and if you ever get to Denver, holler &I will buy lunch!

  3. Oh, Bonnie, this is fantastic! Have fun with this table topper! Enjoy your nephew and your friend Jill. Love your quote of the day! Magnify your strengths!!!! Glad you are filling up the retreat dates!

  4. I have a plan/urge to work on a RWB project, too, but the ideas are still percolating. Thanks for the enticement to get moving, though!

  5. Thanks for the word smear.. it's perfect.. but, what does one do with large prints other than backing? Hope your weekend is all you want it to be.

  6. I am so glad to be part of the group and have this opportunity to come to Quiltville Inn

  7. I hope you have a wonderful time with your nephew and your friend Jill. Today was a snowy, cold day after a night of rain turning to ice in MO. I got to sew in my new sewing room today. I have not gotten everything put up but getting close. I decided I needed a sewing day as I haven't had one really since our move on Dec. 9. I enjoyed it so much, but took a break in the afternoon for some baking. I am ready to start again, then tomorrow I will see if I can get my hubby to put the rest of my stuff up on the wall tomorrow so I can finish unpacking everything. Then I will be ready to start on Frolic!

  8. Thanks for all that you do Bonnie!

  9. Love the Irish Courthouse block and you tips on the colour choices to make this really pop.
    Thank you so much for the advice
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xx

  10. Just getting Saturday's post on Sunday, so I'll get to enjoy a double scoop pf Bonnie today. :D I've been spending my afternoons this week kitting up my three sizes (4, 6, & 12) of QOV scraps for my Leaders and Enders challenge. The 4 inchers are my challenge, as I rarely make blocks with parts that are this small. I'm hoping this will make a good dent in my scraps. Will share a pic of the finished top or quilt later this year.


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