Sunday, December 18, 2011

And the winners are ...


Thanks to everyone who voted for my next project!  Idea #7 was the winner.  Idea #4 came in second and #5 was third.  I plan to start on #7 after the first of the year.  I will post my progress on this blog so stay tuned.

Thanks also for participating in the Blog Hop Party and Give-away. The winners of the 5 patterns I gave away have been chosen and an e-mail has been sent to each winner so check your e-mail!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Today's the Day!

Today is the day I turn 55 and end my Double Nickel Quilt Challenge.  What a hectic year it has been!  Wondering where I ended up? I made 48 quilts, 13 of which still need to be quilted. Throughout the posts of this blog, you will find more than 55 ways to use 5" squares of fabric also known as nickel squares or charm squares.  I hope you can find inspiration here to make your own nickel quilt.

My Flower Garden is the last quilt of my challenge. It's not finished but here it is on my design wall.

I finally decided that I like this layout the best.  Where the white of the design wall is showing through is where I will use a background fabric that I don't have yet.  I hope to find it today as I am going to lunch with my quilting friends and then off to visit two new quilt shops in our area.

Here are some additional designs for using nickel squares that I am playing around with-






Starting Saturday, December 10th through Dec. 17th, join in on the Blog Hop Party hosted by Quilting Gallery in celebration of their 4th anniversary. There will be give-aways and lots of sites to visit.  Tell all your friends too.

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

I'll be giving away 5 FREE patterns (the ones on my website) To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment on this post giving me the number of the design above that you think I should work on next.  Make sure I have an email address for you so I can send you a pattern if you are chosen.  All winners will be chosen at random.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Crosses and Dots quilt

Crosses and Dots quilt
My Crosses and Dots quilt is another quilt from my Nickel Nine Patch series of nickel quilts.  I call it Crosses and Dots because it reminds me of the old saying, "Be sure to dot your i's and cross your t's".
The blocks are nine patch blocks made from nickel (5") squares or 5" wide strips of fabric.  In this block, I prefer to use a 5" strip down the center of the block if I have the fabric available though three 5" squares sewn together works also.  I used both methods in this quilt depending on what fabric I had available for each block.

Using nine 5" charm squares makes a nine patch block that finishes at 13 1/2".  The large size means you don't have to make alot of blocks to make a quilt.  I have used many variations of nickel nine patch blocks throughout this challenge. I use just 20 blocks for a lap size quilt that's 54" X 68".  Crosses and Dots has only 12 blocks but with the added sashing and cornerstones is actually 4 1/2" longer and wider than if I had made 20 blocks and used no sashing!

On another note, this challenge ends on December 9th, my 55th birthday.  If you are wondering if I completed the challenge, the answer is YES!!  On this blog, you will find 55 ways to use 5" (nickel) squares of fabric in your quilting after my next post.  Stay tuned, there will also be a give-away posted on December 9th.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Crosswise quilt

Crosswise quilt
The Churn Dash block is a perfect quilt block for using nickel squares of fabric.  It's a nine patch block and a 5" square can be used in the middle of the block without being cut down.  Many patterns have you cut your 5" charms to 4 1/2".  To me, this defeats the purpose a little but is necessary if you are using squares with half square triangles made from 5" squares, for example. 

With the Churn Dash block, the center stays at 5", the half square triangles are 4 1/2" and the remaining two patch block is 4 1/2" X 5"!!  This means that you can make two half square triangles blocks from two 5" squares and two of the two patch blocks from two 5" squares.

Why am I talking about Churn Dash blocks?  My Crosswise quilt is made from them.  However, I used a different color placement than the traditional block and actually created a Greek Cross block unbeknownst to me at the time that I was messing around with the pieces of the block.  Whatever you call the block, I'll be doing more variations of it because the nickel squares are perfect for it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nickel Argyle quilt

Nickel Argyle quilt

My Nickel Argyle quilt is my attempt at creating a masculine quilt.  I plan to have it quilted with straight lines using black thread to create the look of the traditional argyle sweaters and socks.  I once again used only fabrics from my fabric stash.  I chose red, brown and cream fabrics simply because I like the color combination.  I used varying shades of each color limited only by what I had available in my stash.

Only two different four patch blocks were used to make this quilt.  They were made from nickel squares and set on point.

On a different note, check out L&R Designs for a chance to win a copy of Jennifer Chiaverini's new book entitled "The Wedding Quilt".  You have until Nov. 27th to enter.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Roll of Nickels quilt

Roll of Nickels quilt
Roll of Nickels is another quilt made from my stash of homespun fabrics.  The tan background fabric is also homespun fabric.  All of the plaids and checks are nickel (5") squares.  I used the disappearing nine patch construction method on this quilt.  Can you see it?

Here's how it went- 

Step 1-Make a 9 patch
Step 2- Cut in fourths
Step 3- Rotate sections
Step 4- Sew sections together

I added strips to one long side and one short side to finish the sashing.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nickel Crosses quilt

Nickel Crosses quilt
My Nickel Crosses quilt is made from my stash of homespun fabric.  I love the mixture of plaids and checks and the graphic quality created by their colors. I used 143 nickel squares and will use another 3 1/2 yards of fabric for the backing and binding. Yippee! 

This quilt took more thinking and planning than most of the scrappy quilts I have made.  I laid out the whole top before I sewed anything.  Just couldn't figure out a better way to create the look that I wanted.  I did however sew it together as nine patch blocks for the most part.  By constructing it this way I avoided having to join long rows of squares and was actually finishing 3 rows all at once!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chevrony quilt

Have a stack of fat quarters that you would like to use? My Chevrony quilt is the perfect project for using fat quarters.  It uses sixteen! The inspiration for this quilt is the floral fabric in the center of the quilt.  I had a fat quarter of it and two coordinating fabrics that I wanted to use.  One coordinate didn't work out but I pulled the other fabrics from my stash with the exception of another fat quarter of the inspiration fabric and one of the coordinates and 3/8 yard of the bright green fabric. I only needed the additional fabric to get the effect I wanted.

Each stripe uses one fat quarter of fabric.  Each fat quarter is cut into twelve nickel (5") squares.  Two squares are then made into two half square triangle blocks and sewn together to make the zigzag or chevron pattern.  This is how one chevron block gets sewn together-

This is one quilt I will likely make several times because it is fast and easy and uses lots of fat quarters.  I can hardly wait to see what a different set of fabrics will look like!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Twist and Turn quilt

Only 25 days until my birthday and the end of this Double Nickel Quilt Challenge and what a challenge it has been!  Even though I have used fabric from my stash for every quilt, I still have more fabric that needs to be used.  But now, I have lots of ideas about how to use it.  By December 9, 2011, my 55th birthday, I will have shown readers of this blog 55 ways to use 5" fabric squares in their quilting.

Here is idea #48 made entirely from half square triangle blocks, my Twist and Turn quilt-

Twist and Turn is a two color quilt made from scraps of red fabric with the cream fabric in the center of the quilt being the same for all the blocks.  A different cream fabric is used in the blocks of the outer border. I could have used scraps of cream fabric but I didn't have any left! Yay!  They have all been used in other projects shown on this blog.  So maybe I am making at least a small dent in my fabric stash.

Two variations of the same block are used-

The fabric placement is what makes them look so different.  In the first one, the background is white and the swirly design is red.  In the second block, the background is red and the swirly design is white.  Doesn't even look like the same block, at first glance anyway. I really like the way the two blocks work together in this quilt and create several secondary patterns. The outside border of half square triangles set askew adds to the "twisting and turning".

This quilt has not been quilted yet.  It's getting too close to the holidays to have many more quilts quilted.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Twister templates

I have been wanting to use the Lil' Twister tool for quite some time because it is made especially for nickel (5") squares of fabric.  I decided to follow the pattern that came with the tool and make a doll quilt for my granddaughters.  I chose some nickel squares in shades of pink that I did not care much about just in case I messed it up.  It was actually quite easy!  These photos show the steps-

Sew nickel squares together and add border. Position the Lil' Twister on fabric as instructed and cut out new squares.  Second photo shows fabric after new squares have been cut.

                          Sew new squares back together and get pinwheels, border and all!

And if you want to be really thrifty,  you can make a miniature with the left over fabric. 
Just cut 2 1/2" squares from the uncut areas like shown in this photo-

Then follow the same process of sewing the squares together and adding a border.  To cut your new squares, there is an Itty Bitty Twister tool creates 1 1/2" pinwheels as shown in the miniature above.

                            Here's what the tools look like- 


The original Twister tool is made for a 10" square of fabric.  Check out Linda's Twister quilt here.  I love it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

To and Fro quilt

This is my first time joining the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival hosted by Amy’s Creative Side.

To and Fro is another quilt made using fabric entirely from my stash.  Each block starts with a nickel (5") square of fabric.  The square gets cut on the diagonal and a strip of fabric is inserted.  It's really a quick, fun way to use a lot of fabric scraps up.  Here's what a block looks like-

Just alternate the blocks in rows to get the zigzag effect and add some strips between the rows.

No pieced back for this one. It is a kid size quilt, just a width of fabric wide. I think this bright swirly fabric of orange, red, yellow and green is the perfect choice for the backing and binding.

Linda used a Spiral Path pantograph and variegated thread to machine quilt this quilt. Check out her post to see a better photo of the quilting.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Flower Hexies

Recently my friend Linda and I participated in a 2 day Bus Hop.  We traveled to 8 quilt shops that had been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Quilt Sampler magazine.  All of the shops were in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.  We boarded the bus at The Woolen Needle in Williamsburg, Iowa which is about 30 miles west of home.  They were featured in the Fall 2010 magazine.

We knew we would be on the bus for 2 hours at a time, several times and decided that this would be a great time to do some English paper piecing.  I took along my 2" hexagons to work on and Linda worked on some 1" hexagons.  We accomplished alot though it is not easy to thread a needle while the bus is moving!

A nickel (5") square works well for a 2" hexagon.  Each side of the hexagon is 2" long.  The picture below shows how the paper piece fits on a nickel square.  The second picture is of one of my hexagon flowers.  The flowers measure around 10 " across.  I hope to make a lap size quilt from them.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Picnic Quilt

My Picnic Quilt is a nickel nine patch quilt, a quilt made up of nine patch blocks that are made from nickel (5") squares of fabric.  A nickel nine patch block finishes at 13 1/2" which means you don't need to make many of these blocks to make a large quilt very quickly. The Picnic Quilt has only 20 blocks in the center.  The two borders add another 13 1/2" to it's size making it big enough to have a picnic on, thus the name.  I used a three color block but any nine patch block color scheme would work. I used bright scraps from my stash to try to make a cheery quilt though I could see this pattern made from plaids or florals too.   

The back is pieced from more bright fabric from my stash.  Woohoo, another quilt entirely from my stash! I believe quilts should be used and I can't wait to throw it on the ground and have a picnic!

Linda used bright green thread and a Nouveau Feather Meander quilting design to finish this quilt for me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Scrappy Again! quilt contest

The Quilting Gallery has a weekly quilt contest where you can submit a quilt you have made and win a prize.  The theme for this week's contest is Scrappy Again! Quilts. is the sponsor this week and is giving away two gift certificates, $20 to the first place winner and $10 for second place.  They are also offering a $5.00 bonus to everyone!

I entered my Twirligig quilt and you have until Thursday evening to enter a quilt also.  Voting begins on Friday.  Be sure to check out the site and vote for your favorite quilt.  If you have never visited the Quilting Gallery, you should.  There is a directory of quilting bloggers, a quilt shop locator, guest bloggers, free quilting projects and lots more.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Just Add Scraps #1 and #2

Just Add Scraps #1
Just Add Scraps #2

Can you believe these two quilts were made from the same quilt pattern? Can you believe the pattern uses a disappearing nine patch (D9P) block?  It's all about color placement.  Read on to see how I did it. 

Both quilts started with a basic nine patch quilt block,

were cut down the center both ways creating four new blocks,

the four pieces were rotated to create the look of sashing and corner stones,

and each of the 4 pieces was then combined with 3 pieces from 3 different blocks to create a new 4 patch block.

To finish the look of the sashing and corner stones, additional pieces were added to one short side and one long side as shown below at the right side of the  block.

You have two very different looks from a simple nine patch block based on color placement.  Just Add Scraps #1 has nine different fabrics in each block.  Just Add Scraps #2 has a green fabric in the center and the same cream fabric for every other square as shown above.

All of the nine patch blocks were made using 5" squares.  The additional sashing pieces are 2 1/2" X 5" and the corner stones are 2 1/2" squares.  I love this pattern as a great way to use lots of scraps really fast.  The small quilt starts out with only 12 nine patch blocks!  The larger one has 20 nine patch blocks.
I pieced the back of the Just Add Scraps #2 quilt from an assortment of green scraps that were in my stash. ( It actually looks better than this picture.)  The bright orange quilt backing used on Just Add Scraps #1 is from my stash also.  The width of the fabric worked for this small quilt so I didn't need to piece it.  Two more quilts using only fabric from my stash!  Forty one down, fourteen to go with only nine weeks left!

The two quilts are quilted very differently also.  Linda of L&R Designs came up with some very creative custom designs for them.

The first pattern she calls Square Loops Meander

 and the second one is Sine Waves

Click on the links for more detailed info. on the quilting designs.