Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Hello everyone!  Enjoying the summer?  We had a mostly-dry weekend! It was great. And since there is a big holiday at the end of the week, this is a short work week for Best Husband Ever, which he loves, even though it will cut into my library time.  I guess I'll just have to make up for it with some brats and beer or something. Does testing different barbecue sauces count as research?

For this week, I am working again on a quilt I thought I was done with. Remember this one?

I called this Terrestrial Star and thought I finished it off  back in May.  Well, even after I showed it I wasn't really pleased with it.  There's nothing wrong with it, but it just didn't feel right to me.  Plus, I had this to deal with:

Yes, a big pile of leftover brown strings! Wow, that's a lot. What to do with them all?

So, what I finally decided to do was take the borders of the quilt off and expand the center using the strings.  I cut several pieces of this paper in half lengthwise:

This is just extra-cheap paper from somewhere, maybe a dollar store, maybe a big box store.  As I said, I cut some sheets in half lengthwise, which makes them about 4-1/2 inches wide, and just started string piecing across the lengths. 

I'm thinking that I will put a row of these around the center and then see where I want to go from there.  If nothing else, it will be more visually interesting than what I had. Thankfully, I have a bit of the green left, so I can still finish off the borders with that beautiful green.

As I said, there was nothing wrong with the quilt the way it was, but I just wasn't happy with it. So I guess it's back to work-in-progress status.  The good news is that the string piecing goes really fast (I do them at least two at a time to keep the strings flowing) and I should be finishing this up really quickly. I hope!

So, that's my project for this short holiday week.  Not sure that I'll get it done, but it's nice to have goals.  I also did make some more progress on the Kaleidoscope quilt and bought this fabric for Roman Floors:

 Don't those look yummy?  I can't wait to start work on that quilt in earnest.

Hope everyone has a great week and gets to do something fun.  And a very happy Canada Day tomorrow to all my Canadian friends!

Linking to Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, and WIP Wednesday.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Scrappy blue stars

Hello again, friends! Yes, I know, it's been a busy week.  And before we go any further, congratulations to fellow blogger Lane at That Man Quilts? He got married yesterday!  Many blessings and much happiness to them and to everyone who ran to the courthouse yesterday to get married.  So wonderful to see so much happiness!

So now, just an update on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects.  I made some actual progress this week!  I've finished up the light blue crumb star and the larger frame for it:

How cute is that? As ambivalent as I've been about the crumb blocks, I really like this one.  The frame fabric is the very, very last of some fabric that I loved from about 2007.  I have just a few squares of it left, but otherwise it's finally used up.  I'd say that's a good use of resources.

Just as a reminder, the frames for these blocks are from the Moda Love pattern, which is a free pattern in 3 sizes that can be found HERE. (Should go straight to a pdf pattern.) Such an easy and versatile pattern, and I'll bet that I'll use this one again many times.

[You know, other bloggers have pictures of perfect, lovely blocks, but mine always have strings and threads hanging off them.  Sighhhh.]

Since there is no separate aqua month this year, but I have a bunch of aqua scraps, I decided to go ahead and make up some aqua string blocks:

Those will fit right in. I'm leaving the paper on these until I get to constructing the quilt.  I've noticed with the crumb blocks that they can get very stretchy because of all the seams, and who wants to try to put together distorted blocks? 

Since I had the aqua scrap box out, I dug to the bottom and made an aqua crumb block as well:

Don't know which I like more, the block or the day lilies!  Amanda at crazy mom quilts is offering a quilt along for her Scrap Vortex quilt, and I tried the basic method she describes for this block.  It worked well enough.  Turned out a little bit "log-cabiny," but it looks okay.  And yes, that's a little white bit in the middle there.  The aqua dot and white were left over from a strip and already sewn together and I was too lazy to rip them apart. I think it worked fine.

I haven't made a star or a frame for this one, and I think I'll hang on to it until the end. Usually we have 11 colors, so I might need this one for an extra block to finish off the quilt, or I might want to replace a color, like brown.  I'll have this at the ready, and if I don't need it, it can go in with the string blocks as an interesting element.

On a related scrappy topic, does anyone else ever get tired of the scraps they have left over?  I keep seeing the same ones over and over and passing over the same ones.  I'm seriously thinking of taking the colors we've already used and cutting everything left into 1-1/2 and 2-inch squares. I already have a bunch of pieces in these sizes for a couple of "someday" quilts (one of which takes 10,000 1-1/2 inch squares) so it's not completely crazy.  Anyone ever done this? Am I nuts? Seriously, what's the worst that could happen-- I'd have to buy more fabric?  Tragedy!

Hope everyone is enjoying a lovely summer weekend!  Be sure to turn on the air conditioning in the sewing room so you don't get too warm to sew!

Linking up to Scrap Happy Saturday with Angela at soscrappy.

Friday, June 26, 2015

It's magic!

Hello all, and greetings from my very soggy home! Seriously, it will not stop raining.  As you'll see in the following pictures, there are puddles everywhere, and the grass feels like a sponge.  The sump pump is running quite a lot.  The sad part is that we're still down several inches from where we should be because the last couple of years we were in drought.  Some of the pictures today are darkish because I had to dance between the raindrops to get them, so sorry about that!

Today I am showing off the completely finished Mutant Elephants quilt, complete with a really snappy machine-finished binding!

Well, at least you can really see the quilting! I was going to quilt this myself, but I chickened out.  Just too big, and with limited time in my life, it was better to send it to the longarmer.  I know the turtle and the frog are a little wide-eyed, but I like them.  Plus, those birds are flying, because I forgot to give them legs.  Next time I'll piece some legs in, but for now, they're flying.

I took this lovely little quilt to the park and tried to get some good pictures, but it was really wet.  See the puddles?

Who's going to lay their quilt on that?  Not me!

For this quilt, I did the machine binding again using the tutorial for Susie's Magic Binding, found HERE.  It really is magic! I think it looks fantastic. Look how it turns out:

This binding took me about an hour and 45 minutes, with several breaks, mainly because of the pressing involved.  And stitching that looooong seam in the binding, which was tedious but not difficult. I used my zipper foot to stitch this binding down on the front and it worked great. Plus, last time someone suggested that I do the sides and then do the corners last.  This was a great idea, at least until I get the hang of machine binding quickly.  Even with the "piping," my corners turned out great:

My only trouble with this binding is that I didn't realize that so much of the under fabric would be "lost" and the stripes would essentially be invisible.  Here is a swatch of the two fabrics I used:

See how much of the stripe pattern was hidden?  Next time I'll put a solid on the underside.  The good part is that you can use less of each fabric since they are both cut narrowly, so if you have a really cute fabric but not quite enough for a binding, you can still use it along with something else on the underside. Win!

Everybody have a great weekend.  I'll be checking my north side for moss.  Imagine finding some--wouldn't that be a situation? 

One last thing: The Academic Quilter is now listed on QuilterBlogs.com! We'll see what happens.  This does NOT mean there will be ads.  Still non-profit! But if you are looking for something new or different, head on over there to look around! 

Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict and also Finish it up Friday.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Happy news

Hi all! Don't know about you, but I got up this morning and realized that we are very close to the end of June.  How did this happen? Stop rushing by so fast! I have too much to do this summer for it to go so quickly!

I have some very happy news to share with the world today.  Let's see if you can guess what it is from these quilty pictures:

Pretty! And artsy, too, there in the tree. 

Didn't guess from that block pattern name? Okay, try this one:

This is a lovely block, but I swear I am never making it again.  (Which means, of course, that I will make it again because it's just so darned challenging, but would look lovely in a quilt.)

Still didn't get it?  Well, this will do it:

Yes! We are very happy to share that our daughter is getting married!  We are so happy about this.  Her fiance is a wonderful young man and we like him very much. The wedding is next April.  I'm told that's not very long to plan everything, but I do like a challenge.  They are fairly relaxed as these things go, so it should be all right.  Right?

It's hard to photograph white fabric, but I tried.  Of course, that's the paper doll pattern that is one of my RSC15 projects. The veil is just tacked on since I'll have to remove it for quilting.  Actually, I'll probably find some tulle instead of this netting and just stitch it into the block. 

For anyone who wants to know, the top block is called Single Wedding Ring and is very easy to piece.  The pink flower block is called Bride's Bouquet and was a real bear to piece, even though I paper pieced it.  I actually think it would be easier to hand piece this one than to paper piece it.  Fitting those yellow triangles into squares was a fairly bad idea!

Before anyone asks, there will be a wedding quilt for them, but it won't be a surprise. I want them to choose the colors and some of the fabrics so that they can enjoy it for a long time.  I'll put some special touches in there, though, so there will still be some surprise. 

Anyway, that's the happy news from this quarter!  Hope you are having a happy day too.  And if you have any wedding-planning advice, I'd be glad to hear it!

Linking to Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, and WIP Wednesday.

Friday, June 19, 2015

On the road again

Hi folks, and welcome back to summer!  It isn't raining here today! Apparently we get to have a little bit of summer before it's back to rain and lows in the 40s.  In related news, I now live in the middle of a jungle.  Seriously, suddenly all the plant life around here is totally out of control. Must be all that water. I feel like I should have a machete going into the back yard. But the soft soil makes the weeds easier to pull, so that's good.

Today I have a non-quilty finish to share.  Here it is:

Isn't that fun-looking?  This is a small duffel bag that is just the perfect size for a change of clothes and a book. You know, if you're going away for a weekend or something.  This turned out  to be about 20 inches long, 9 inches wide, and 9 inches high.

This was made with a piece of double-sided pre-quilted Moda fabric from a line called Fresh Air that is more than a couple of years old.  I used this same fabric to make a larger bag for my daughter and made this from the almost-yard that was left over.

This duffel bag was easy enough to make, even though it seemed to take me forever.  Don't know why, but it did.  I used French seams instead of enclosing everything in bias tape, which saved a lot of trouble.  I also added a few details just for me.  On the inside are these pockets:

Yes, there are threads. Sighhh. But look at the pocket! I took a bag-making class at least 10 years ago and the instructor called this "stacking the pockets."  I just like how the zippered ones turn out.

Because I stitched this on the inside, I covered it on the outside with another pocket, even though I didn't really need to because the stitching was pretty much lost in the fabric print.  Looking at the pictures, I'm really not sure I should have put that rust color out instead of the print. But it did give me another opportunity for a pocket!

I am super-happy with that! A place for my change or maybe some chocolate or something. The button is just decorative, by the way.

I used up almost all of the fabric I had, but with the biggest piece I had left I made this matching little bag:

I was going for a glamor shot, but didn't quite make it.  This little pouch is about 6 inches square and is for holding my cords and such.  I even tested out a new technique by putting a vinyl window in it. It worked okay. Here's my one tip for putting vinyl windows in:  the vinyl comes wrapped in tissue paper.  Keep that paper stuck to the vinyl until it's stitched in to the piece:

It keeps the vinyl from sticking to the machine, and you can just tear it off when you're done.  It actually turns out great.

Also, if you ever come across these, buy them in every color:

This has saved my bacon more than once! Easy to use and extremely useful!

So, that's my big finish for now.  I am off again for the weekend on a secret mission.  There may be fabric involved, but probably no quilting. Lots of fun, though!

Everybody have a great weekend.  Hope you have some secret missions of your own to keep you busy!

Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict and also Finish it up Friday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Let's finish this!

Hi folks! I hope you all are having a great day. I had a great time at my conference and can relax a little bit now that my presentation is over.  It's always nerve-wracking for me, like taking a test, so I'm happy that it went well. 

First, congratulations to Rose, who has adopted my orphan project! Thanks to everyone for entering. It's amazing how great it feels to have that out of here.

Back in the sewing room, it's time to really push and get this Kaleidoscope quilt finished (and come up with a new name for it).  To that end, I've made the last of the four different blocks I needed:

Those are pretty good-looking, I think. I'm also putting together the "hopscotch" border, which is actually pieced into the quilt in sections along with even more log cabin blocks:

These are super-easy, because once again I'm ignoring the instructions and constructing them in a much more logical way. I have three more of these sections to make and then the border is done!

Finally, I cut the border pieces and the appliques for the border:

These are freezer paper appliques.  A lot of turning and basting to do! Still, this makes me happy, because it looks like progress.

So that's my big thing for this week, trying to finish this up.  I've been thinking that it would look very nice on my bed, so it would be great to have it all finished by the fall when it gets cold again.

It's pouring rain again here, so I think I'll go sew.  I really need to trim the bushes out front, but it's just been too wet!  Wish I could send this out to my friends and relatives in the droughts out West.  Oh, and I forgot that I need to go fabric shopping for the Floors quilt--  I think I'll have to do that too!

Happy sewing, everyone!

Linking to Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, and WIP Wednesday.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Roman floors

Hi all, and happy weekend! If you're reading this on Friday or Saturday, I am off at an academic conference, which sounds really dull but usually isn't.  Cross your fingers that my presentation goes well. I am leaving behind this post, though, to tell you about a new project that I just finished starting. Or started finishing.  Don't really know, but I'm quite excited about it!

We travel pretty often, and I've been to a lot of places around the world, many more than I ever thought I would back when I was a teenager stuck in a crummy school.  One of the places I've been to several times is Rome.  All of Rome is interesting, but one of the best places to visit is the Vatican, which I know is not really Rome but Vatican City, but you have to go to Rome to get there. If you like art, iconography, religion, symbolism, guards in very strange costumes, or random graves, St. Peter's is the place to be.

I'm always struck by the floors there. Weird, I know, but every one of them is a quilt pattern.  Take a look at a few pictures from my last trip:

Pretty sure this was one of the floors in a gallery on the way to the Sistine Chapel.  It's like someone threw several quilts on the floor. Or a really odd quilt show!

Here's another:

This one is also in a gallery, and I remember another artifact case just off the top of this photo.

One more:

This one is very near the Sistine Chapel.  The Chapel also has an interesting floor, but I was too distracted by the very large Michelangelo painting in there to remember to take floor pictures.  Plus the guards kept yelling "no photo!" every few minutes. It's one of our biggest memories of the Chapel.  (True fact--we got a wi-fi signal in the Sistine Chapel so we got to look up some of the paintings online while we were standing there. I love the 21st century.)

With all of this great inspiration, what's a quilter to do? Copy one of these for a quilt, of course! I've been meaning to do this for a year or more, and I finally got around to drafting some blocks and putting them together recently. I made drawings for a lot of the floor blocks pictured here, but I decided to make a quilt just like that bottom floor picture. Doesn't it look like a quilt already?

So far, I made up 6 blocks to test the pattern I drafted:

I think they look pretty good! These blocks will finish at 8 inches square. I originally tried to make them the same size as the floor blocks, which is about 5-1/2 inches square, but the measurements were so odd that I finally gave up.  (Yes, I measured the floor, down on my knees. I think people thought I was praying. My daughter practically disowned me right there.)

The blocks are all batiks, which I think mimics the marble pretty well. The dark is a navy blue, not a black, though I may use a black batik for a very narrow sashing.I haven't decided yet, or decided how big to make the quilt.

Anyway, that's my finished start for this week! Or started finish! I think what will really make this quilt great will be the fabrics, and I have to go shopping for some more because I really need batik solids for this. Won't that just be awful?

If you have floor pictures of your own, I'd love a look! Also, last reminder to leave a comment HERE if you would like to adopt an orphan project absolutely free.

Everyone have a great weekend! Hope you aren't spending it in a conference room!

Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict and also Finish it up Friday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Stringing along

Hi folks! What are you all up to today?  I am feverishly getting ready for a conference this week. I always wait until the last minute so I get pretty stressed. What can I say? I do this to myself.

In order to deal with all my stress, I spent some time making up some string blocks in light blue:

The blocks are a little washed out, but they're pretty boring, so I took them out to the garden for a glamor shot. I don't have much light blue at all, so this is all I got out of the strings I had. Sad, I know.

I also made a light blue "crumb" block, in the same style that I made the green one last month:

These were the teeny pieces that I had at the very bottom of the light blue scraps bin.  That bin is just about empty now.  Cause for happiness, or cause for despair? Hmmm.

And just because I never showed them, here are all the green string blocks I made last month:

Two. Yep, that's all the green strings I had, and I had to scramble for those. That bin is just about empty, too. But don't they look nice with the flowers?

So that's it for the string blocks, BUT! Nancy at Pug Mom Quilts has nominated me for One Lovely Blog!  Thanks Nancy!  She has a wonderful blog herself and the cutest pug dogs ever.  And great quilts, too.

So, for the blog hop, the only thing I really have to do is tell you 7 things about me.  I hope I can think up 7 non-quilty things!  Here goes:

1. I've been to almost every ball park in Major League Baseball.  Really! Wish I could say "all," but they keep building new ones and it's hard to keep up!  Our favorite (except for Miller Park, our hometown park, of course) is PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Not saying what the least-favorite is, but trust me, it's a pit.

2. I hate cooking and will do almost anything to get out of it.  All food tastes better if someone else makes it.  (Especially salads, for some reason.)  As far as I'm concerned, restaurants are the happiest places on earth. Maybe that's why our son became a chef.

3. I love books and read every day, usually while Best Husband Ever is watching a sporting event on TV.  I have too many favorite books to list, but almost any genre and any well-written book is good with me.  Sometimes I feel like the characters are my real friends. I wonder what that means? (If you have a young adult in your life, check out Seven Stones, a new book by Julia Lee. I know the author!)

4. I also love movies! Especially action movies. Romantic comedies, not so much. My favorite movie ever is Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which I first saw in high school. Some things never get old. "Try sculpture!"

5. I can read in 7 languages (besides English), most of them for research purposes. I can only say "where is the restroom, please?" in four, though. Gotta work on that.

6. I'm the author of 3 books, with another coming out next year and yet another in progress for 2017. Hope to be done with that manuscript by December.  They're not quilty books, so most people would find them very boring. Heck, sometimes I find them very boring!

7. I am a volunteer literacy tutor, teaching adults to read (or read better). It's probably the most rewarding teaching I'll ever do.

Hey, that's 7 things.  Hurray! That was hard.

The last part of the blog hop is to nominate ten more blogs.  Most of the blogs I like have already been nominated, so I'm just going to tell you a few of my favorites, in no particular order with no obligations attached.  Some are newer, and some are old friends. I'm afraid to leave anyone out! If your blog isn't here, there just wasn't room!

Angela at soscrappy.
Bernie at Needle and Foot.
Jo at ButterZ.
Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.
Wanda at Exuberant Color.

That's a good mix that should give everyone some good reading! Hope you all find some new friends to visit.

Thanks again to Nancy, and everyone have a really good week! (Also, if you are interested in adopting and finishing one of my orphan projects absolutely free, check out last Sunday's post.)

Linking to Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social,  and soscrappy for RSC15.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Orphan adoption project

Hi folks!  Yesterday I was happily catching up on some blog reading and came across several people who are giving away works in progress.  Turns out that Cindy at Quilting is More Fun than Housework had the best idea ever--an orphan adoption event.  She offered one of her own orphaned WIPs for adoption by someone who would finish it and offered a linkup for anyone else who wanted to do the same.  Do I need to tell you what a genius idea this is?  Just genius!

So, I am offering an old work-in-not-much-progress of my own for adoption by someone who will finish it and love it.  You can have it absolutely FREE, no postage or anything, with one little catch--you agree to give a similarly-sized quilt (any quilt, not necessarily this one) to a charity that will give it a good home.  I would prefer that it go to adults as there are tons of charities for baby quilts.  Homeless shelters, women's shelters, nursing homes, and Quilts of Valor are all good choices.  Give away one quilt and enjoy this one forever without guilt!

So, this quilt is called Wine Country and was an impulse purchase years ago (at least 4, maybe more) at the quilt shop. Here is the pattern:

It comes with this fabric, and includes substitution directions--red is substituted for pink, etc.:

The red piece there is 2 yards.  The browns are quarter yards and the greens are probably half-yards, though I didn't measure them.  This should be enough for the top, including the pieced border. No backing, sorry.  I didn't make the quilt so I didn't get a backing!

The quilt sample made up from this was darling, which is why I bought it to begin with.  (You've never done that, right?)  Here is all the progress I made on it:

Yep, all I did was cut the 6-1/2 inch squares for the snowballs. Sadness!  Don't know why I didn't work on it again--I guess it just didn't hold my attention.  It's not really my color, though the fabric is quite nice.  I really want this to go to someone who will make it up, so please keep that in mind when you enter.  And I'd love a picture when it's finished!

This could be yours to finish and snuggle up in! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me one fun fact about yourself or where you live.  For example, I live in Waukesha, Wisconsin, which is the birth place of Les Paul, a musician who invented the solid body electric guitar.  We have a parkway, a museum, and a middle school named for him and our city symbol is a guitar in his honor.

I will send this anywhere in the US or Canada free of charge, but will ask to share the shipping cost to anyone anywhere else in the world.  We'll split it in half, with me paying half and you paying half.  Overseas postage is horrendous, so I think that's fair.

I'll be away at a conference for much of this week, so I will draw a winner using the magic random number widget thingy when I get back on Sunday, June 14.  You have until about 3 pm Sunday to leave a comment.

Congratulations to Rose, who has adopted this orphan project! Thanks everyone for entering!

I feel so much better just knowing this is in the envelope waiting to go to a good home! Whew--all the guilt over not finishing is out of here! If you're interested in more adoption opportunities, jump on over to Cindy's (HERE) and take a look at the other links. And many thanks to Cindy for the fantastic idea!

Not sharing this anywhere but Cindy's linkup, but feel free to tell all your friends!

 Happy sewing, everyone!

Friday, June 5, 2015

A little help from my friends

Hi folks!  How is everyone this week?  If you're like me, you are busy, busy, busy.  Why is it that there always seems to be a ton more work to be done when you get to be at home instead of at work?  I guess that housework expands when it knows you have time to pay attention to it.  Otherwise, I can't explain where all this dirt came from.

This week I mainly worked on the house and on my paper for the conference next week, but I also squeezed in some time to work on blocks for a block swap I'm participating in with some friends.  Here are my blocks for this month:

Well, they're kind of blowing around there, but they look okay.  Every month our fearless leader gives us colors to use for the different parts of the block, then we send them to her and she swaps them.  It's been a good experience.  Here are some of the blocks I've gotten in return:

A lot of variety there! That's the great part about swaps--seeing everyone else's fabric choices and interpretations of the block.  We only have one month to go and then I'll have a Christmas quilt to show off!

If you're interested, we're using this pattern, which is free: Santa's Rising Sun Quilt. You should know that these babies turn out great, but they take forever to put together.  At least they do for me.  Maybe I'm extra slow, but read the pattern and see what you think.

Now that that swap is winding down, I joined another one with my quilt group. Yeah, I know, nothing like obligations.  But these are friendship stars, with very few rules, and no month to month color requirements. There were several groups, like scrappy, batik, Christmas, etc.  For some reason, I chose solids.  What is it about solids that is drawing me in lately? Here is my first batch:

It was sunny and difficult to get a good picture of the pinks, so I tried to be artsy and put them on the grass in the shade. Well. The corner triangles are really a yellow green, which don't show up so well, but you get the idea!  One thing I discovered while making these (which was MUCH faster than the Santa blocks) was that the solids will show if you are even one thread off on the corners or the matching, which wasn't much problem but made me nervous.

That was my sewing week!  Hope you got a lot more done than I did! Everyone enjoy the weekend.  Stay away from the housework--like I said, it expands. Best to be safe and stay out of the way!

Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict and also Finish it up Friday. Come on over and have a look!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Classic stitches--Light blue

Hi, and welcome back to the Classic Stitches row quilt!  If this is your first time here, jump in! Make a block, a row, a short row, or a mini block. Add a row to a quilt you're planning. If you are planning to make some Row by Row Experience pieces, this month's block would be especially good to mix in with water-themed rows.

This month's color is a cool light blue, and I've chosen the Water Wheel block for our row.

Doesn't that look like an old-fashioned water wheel?  Blocks like this always look to me like someone is throwing something, like snowballs. (Probably the result of having many brothers.) This block dates sometime between 1930 and 1970 and resembles a much more complicated Snail's Trail block, but Water Wheel uses easier and more straightforward shapes to create the turning illusion.  This block is quick and easy and turns out just lovely with very little effort.

Instructions below are for cutting and assembly of a 6-inch finished block.  Cutting directions for other sizes, including a 12-inch block, are given at the end of the assembly instructions.


For a 6-inch finished block, you will need a light blue and a background color.  My backgrounds are white, but yours can be any color.  From the background, cut 2 2-7/8 inch squares, 4 1-1/2 inch squares**, and 4 1-1/2 by 2-1/2 inch rectangles.  From the light blue, cut 2 2-7/8 inch squares, 4 1-1/2 inch squares,** and one 2-1/2 inch square.  (**NOTE: if your scraps are long enough, you could cut a 7 inch strip of each of the blue and the background instead of cutting the 1-1/2 inch squares.)

 That's it for the cutting!


First, use the 2-7/8 inch squares of each color to make 4 half-square triangles that measure 2-1/2 inches to finish at 2 inches in the block:

Next, make the corner units. Pair up the 1-1/2 inch squares and stitch together to make this small unit:

(If using the strips, stitch them together lengthwise, press, and then cut into 4 1-1/2 inch segments.) Next, match this little unit with the 1-1/2 by 2-1/2 inch rectangles and stitch as shown:

These units should measure 2-1/2 inches square.

As quick as that, all that's left is to lay out the block and stitch it up! Lay out your pieces as shown, paying attention to the orientation of both the half-square triangles and the small blue squares:

Stitch it all together and ta dah--

A finished Water Wheel block! This block should measure 6-1/2 inches to finish at 6 inches in the quilt. Ten blocks will make a row that should measure 60-1/2 inches wide to finish at 60 inches in the quilt. Six blocks will make a 36-inch row.


Switch the colors in order to have white water wheels on a blue background.

Use a 4-patch unit made with 2 blue and 2 white squares instead of the corner units shown.  This will "hook" the blocks to each other when stitched into a row.

I made a tiny 4-1/2 inch block using 2 2-3/8 inch white squares, along with 1-1/4 inch white squares and 1-1/4  by 2 inch white rectangles, and 2 2-3/8 inch blue squares, one 2-inch blue square, and 4 1-1/4 inch blue squares. 

Isn't it darling? If you are thinking of making a row of smaller blocks, this would be an easy-to-construct choice.

For a 9-inch block, cut 2  3-7/8 white squares, 4 2-inch white squares, and 4 2 by 3-1/2 inch rectangles, along with 2 3-7/8 inch blue squares, 4 2-inch blue squares, and one 3-1/2 inch blue square. Assemble as above.

For my row, I chose to make blocks that will finish at 7-1/2 inch each. This row takes 8 blocks to make a 60-inch row. 

For the 7-1/2 inch size, cut 2 3-3/8 inch white squares, 4  1-3/4 inch white squares, and 4 1-3/4 by 3 inch white rectangles, along with 2 3-3/8 inch blue squares, 4 1-3/4 inch blue squares, and one 3-inch blue square.  Assemble as shown above.

For a 12-inch block with a giant water wheel, cut 2 4-7/8 inch white squares, 4 2-1/2 inch white squares, and 4 2-1/2 by 4-1/2 inch rectangles, along with 2 4-7/8 inch blue squares, 4 2-1/2 inch blue squares, and one 4-1/2 inch blue square.

Of course, the 12-inch block looks more interesting when made with 4 6-inch blocks.  I chose this option for my block, made up with an aqua pin dot fabric:

And here are all three of my blocks together:

I would love to hear from anyone out there who is making some blocks and/or rows! One person I know suggested a link-up for people to show off their rows or blocks at the half-way point, but it turns out there is a cost for using those link widgets.  I don't want to give a party and have no one show up, so let me know if you are interested! I was thinking about the last Tuesday in June, which is June 30th.

Enjoy making the Water Wheel blocks, and come back on July 1 for the next row! (This is a change from the earlier posted dates since the first Tuesday in July is well into the month!)

Linking to Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social,  and soscrappy for RSC15, and also to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday.