Archive for the ‘Block of the Month’ Category

New Block of the Month announced!

November 16, 2013
Star and Plume quilt, made after I wrote a song about Sunbonnet Sue's happy-ending encounter with a bad guy.  The lyrics are almost exclusively quilt block names.

Star and Plume quilt, made after I wrote a song about Sunbonnet Sue’s happy-ending encounter with a bad guy. The lyrics are almost exclusively quilt block names.

During this tour, I’ve been asking my audiences if they’d be interested in participating in a Star and Plume block of the month.  I started this BOM 7 months ago with 20 participants, and they’re doing very well – haven’t had any complaints yet!!! LOL

I know there are lots of people who didn’t hear about this, and so I decided to start it again with a new group.  The first one is still going, of course, too.

So: We will begin another Star and Plume Block of the Month on December 15th.  You can sign up via PayPal on my website now (a couple of people have done that already!), and be ready for the December 15th email from me.  Here are the details:

Two patterns a month will arrive in your inbox from me.  They will be PDFs, complete with colour photos to illustrate the directions.  You will choose your own colour scheme, from your own stash.  This quilt consists of 48 blocks, so the BOM will last for 24 months in total. Instructions will include colour choices (at the beginning), and quilting and finishing suggestions (at the end), and will lead you from easy peasy blocks to more challenging ones that will  build on the skills you’ve developed along the way.  The techniques include 4-patch, half-square and quarter-square triangles, set-in and partial seams and mitres, curved piecing, diamonds and a very little bit of applique.

The cost? $5.00 a month.

To sign up, visit my website at . Follow the link to NEW Block of the Month.  There is a full description there of the project.  Click on “Subscribe”, and follow the PayPal instructions to complete the transaction.  You will be charged $5 every month for 24 months.  On the 15th of each month, you’ll receive the patterns via e-mail.


I know there will be lots of new people joining me in this quilt.  A couple of guilds in Texas had more than a few people signing up, so we might even see a subset of  Show and Tell at those guilds exclusively dedicated to the Star and Plume blocks!


May 1st – the Beginning

May 6, 2013

We have begun our 24 month journey into the Star and Plume block of the month, and a few people have already completed their first blocks!  You can see them at Each and every one will be so different. It’s very exciting for me to see the fabric and colour choices each person has made.

And it’s because of the Block of the Month that I’ve not doing much else on this blog! It was a busy time to prepare the patterns, and make sure I had everything ready before the launch.  I’m back now.

John and I are in final preparation for another tour.  We’ll be driving north, this time, to a place in Canada I’ve never been – the LAST place in Canada I’ve never been: the Yukon!

It’s a bit of a “busman’s holiday”, I suppose, but we do have some shows as we go.  Our first is in Dawson City Yukon – yes, famous for the Klondike Gold Rush.  I expect we’ll be steeped in gold history while we’re there.  I’ll be teaching my Mock Mola class for them while we’re there, and doing a concert at the Dawson City Museum (May 24th).

Then we’ll head across to John’s old stomping grounds: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.  He lived there for 11 years, and that’s where I met him.  We haven’t been back up there for years, and it’s about time for him to visit, see some old friends and check out how the town has changed, now that the gold mine is closed and the diamond mines have created a bit of a boom there.

Then we’ll be back down in the “southern climes” for a show and class in Whitecourt Alberta (just outside of Edmonton), and Calgary.  From there, I’ll be flying down to Quilt Camp in Flagstaff Arizona, for some quality quilty time with friends there, two classes and a concert by myself 😦

I’m just finishing up my 6th Refractions quilt. This one is a little mini-challenge within the larger one:  Eileen (the painter) did a sketch and painting in what she thought of as a “quilterly” style.  Louise (potter) and I were then to create pieces based on Eileen’s painting.

Here’s the original sketch:

Eileen's original sketch

Eileen’s original sketch

And here’s what I have made.  Still finishing up the quilting on it, but I’m happy with the result. I used Katie Pasquini Masopust’s idea of subdividing the pieces vertically to enhance the depth.

Lake Cowichan sunset

Lake Cowichan sunset

That’ll be the last bit of quilting I’ll be doing for a month or so.  Now I’m looking for more inspiration.  Perhaps this next adventure will provide some fodder.

One week to go!

April 23, 2013

The Star and Plume Block of the Month will be up and running in one week!

On May 1st, the first two blocks will be sent out to everyone who is participating.  If you haven’t signed up by then, you’ll have to wait until next time.

Just to whet your appetite, I have a picture of the first two blocks on the BoM blog.  I am making the quilt again in shades of grey, as you can see.  I can’t wait to see what colours the participants choose to work with !  Each different colour decision will make the quilts look entirely different.  You will be able to see the evolving quilts as they get made on the blog.

For details about signing up for this BoM, visit

Star and Plume Block of the Month

April 8, 2013
Do you want to make this quilt?

Do you want to make this quilt?

Over the years I’ve had many people (including Leah Day of Free Motion Quilting fame) approach me to get the pattern for this scrappy sampler quilt: “Star and Plume”.  I made it to illustrate the lyrics to the song I wrote of the same name: 48 blocks telling the story (through the block names) of a happy-ending encounter between our favourite quilty gal Sunbonnet Sue and an evil, thieving, “slasher” guy.  Sue “outguns” him (thanks to blocks like Bear’s Paw, Indian Hatchet and Anvil), and they live happily ever after – together. The blocks mostly came from Barbara Brackman’s wonderful book “Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns“.

The idea of writing a pattern for this quilt is daunting – it’s really a book, and I’ve been quite overwhelmed with the work involved to write it all up.  I see it as an instruction book for many of the essential skills for quilters who want to get better at – and be less fearful of –  tackling new and more challenging blocks.

So I have decided to offer this as a Block of the Month. It will last for 24 months, with the patterns for two blocks sent each month. I will send the patterns and instructions out via email, so there won’t be any shipping costs (or delay) involved.  I won’t be including fabric, so that each quilt will reflect the stash, scrap bag and taste of its maker, but there will be lots and lots of valuable technique information and advice.  I’ll also be available to answer any questions from participants. This is not a beginner quilt, but beginners can learn, through making the blocks, how to be better quilters.  My own learning curve, while making it, was huge.

What will you make?
The quilt is made up of 48 nine-inch blocks, mostly traditional, with sashing and cornerstone blocks.  It measures 68×88 inches finished.  This could be augmented to a larger size by adding an outside border.

What will you learn?
Four-patch and Nine-patch construction, chain piecing, set-in circles (for Drunkard’s Path), half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles, foundation paper piecing, curved piecing, set-in seams (ie for Lone Star), diamonds, mitering, machine and hand appliqué.

What do you need?
A sewing machine.  Access to a photocopier.  A stash in your chosen colours. A binder to keep all the patterns in one place. Each pattern will tell you exactly what you need to successfully complete the project, with pictures, when necessary.

By the end, you will have a binder full of essential information, tips and techniques to help you make quilts forever.

I plan to start this block of the month MAY 1st, 2013.  

So: who’s with me?

You can register for this BOM on the website now.

Just want to watch (although it won’t be NEARLY as much fun)? I have a new blog for this BOM at


PayPal on my website and a Block of the Month idea

March 6, 2013

It is now possible for you to order CDs, books and patterns from me directly on my website, using credit cards, without having to print out the order form and mail it in to me, or even use the telephone.  Of course, you still can do that, if you want to talk to me, or like to keep the postal service in business.

I’m planning a very exciting project for everyone to do for the next two years.  Do you enjoy Blocks of the Month?

While I’m setting up my block of the month project, I’d love to hear from you.  What do you love about them?  What do you hate about them?  Are they worth the money? If you’ve never done one, what would entice you to sign up? If you have done one, what was your experience?

I want to make this a smooth and wonderful learning experience for everyone.  What will be the quilt, you ask?

Do you want to make this quilt?

Do you want to make this quilt?


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