Sunday, February 27, 2011

Playing Catch-up with this Roman Stripe Quilt block

I have been so busy with sick kids, husband and even I got it bad enough to put me out of commission for a while- but I was still quilting- just not well enough to post anything- So I guess that it is about time huh??

This is a beautiful quilt that was a joy to quilt.  The pieced work was done by Nancy Arehart.  The colors are what I think are great.  This quilt keeps the traditional "black" in as the grounding color- but adds a very vibrant "spunky" flare of fresh bright jewel tone colors.  This pattern inspired me to look a little deeper into why this block received this specific name.  I couldn't find much out about the specific design- for instance why it was named this "the Roman Stripe" but I did find out some other interesting things.

Early block designs allowed quilters to use very small scraps of fabric- as to save and reuse all fabric that was saved.  Some of the earliest blocks were made up of 4 squares of fabric sewn together (4-patch) or 9 squares of fabric sewn together (9-patch) in many different variations.  One of the earliest 9-patch blocks was the Roman Square, also known as the Roman Stripe.  Although the directional design of the quilt blocks may vary, they all relate and may have derived from the roman square.  

I always think that the names for the quilt blocks are interesting.   They can reflect the historical time period of the United States, or the names can reflect something that was a strong influence to the quilters of the past.   For some blocks biblical influence is apparent, such as Jacob's Ladder or Job's Trouble.  The hardship of the pioneers can be seen from blocks with names such as the Rocky Road to California or the wagon wheel.  Or simply the quilt blocks were named from everyday life, with names like Churn Dash and Log Cabin.

Many quilt block patterns have several different names.  One quilt block pattern in the eastern side of the states is most likely to have a different name when in the Midwest or far-West.  Sometimes old names were changed for commercial purposes.  It is wonderful to learn about the history of quilt making because each generation of quilters will add its own variations to an old art form.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sharing Valentine Wall Quilts

Valentine's Day 
Wall Quilt
Log cabin design

I love Valentine's Day and love creating fun projects.  
When I saw this cute wall quilt, I couldn't stop thinking about how fun it was.

I asked the creator, Nancy Arehart,  if I could share it on this blog... 

and she said YES!!

She said that she saw this done once and decided to recreate it from memory... that's talent...

So I though that I would try to help the rest of us all with the assembly.

Fun Fabric detail too.

notice the fun ribbon embellishment in the center.

 The Log Cabin Assemble design:
I found a great explanation here at:
but more great assembly instructions are here at this site too.  I have visited there many times.
I simply re-posted it here -I have modified it a bit but for the most part its the same.

You will need:
8 red/white Log Cabin blocks
2 red Logs Cabin Blocks
2 white Log Cabin Blocks

The Border can be any width - a 3 inch boarder would be nice- you will need to cut it out to measure 3 1/2 inches wide to allow for the seam allowance.

You may like to add 2 boarders like in this creation.

Batting you might like to use will be a warm and natural or maybe a polyester - no more than 1/4 in thick.

You can use this for a Table Quilt or a Wall hanging.


The Log Cabin block uses three different fabrics. Traditionally, the center square was red fabric symbolizing the hearth, or the fireplace- which was a representation of the warmth (heart) of the home.

But you can use any and all colors- your design is only limited to your imagination.

  Fabric A
  Fabric B
  Fabric C

 Cutting the fabric

Note: The requirements given below are for those who wish to cut all of the "logs" before joining them to the block. This block requires:

 one 2-1/2" square of Fabric A
 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" rectangle of Fabric B
   1-1/2" x 3-1/2" rectangle of both Fabric B and Fabric C
   1-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangle of both Fabric B and Fabric C
   1-1/2" x 5-1/2" rectangle of both Fabric B and Fabric C
   1-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangle of both Fabric B and Fabric C
   1-1/2" x 7-1/2" rectangle of both Fabric B and Fabric C
   1-1/2" x 8-1/2" rectangle of both Fabric B and Fabric C

  Piecing the block

The Log Cabin block begins with a center fabric square which is surrounded by "logs". The logs are joined to the block in a circular fashion starting with shorter logs and working out to the longer ones. The logs are joined in a circular fashion with the block being rotated 90° counter-clockwise after each log is joined. The current log being joined is always started on the log which was just joined to the block.Pressing Note: The seam allowances in this block are always pressed toward the rectangle which has just been joined to the block.

 1) Join the 2-1/2" square of Fabric A to the 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" rectangle of Fabric B.
 2) Turn the block 90° counter-clockwise and join the 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" of Fabric B.
 3) Turn the block 90° counter-clockwise and join the 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" of Fabric C.
 4) Turn the block 90° counter-clockwise and join the 1-1/2" x 4-1/2" of Fabric C.
 5) Turn the block 90° counter-clockwise and join the 1-1/2" x 4-1/2" of Fabric B.
 6) Turn the block 90° counter-clockwise and join the 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" of Fabric B.
 7) Turn the block 90° counter-clockwise and join the 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" of Fabric C.
 8) Turn the block 90° counter-clockwise and join the 1-1/2" x 6-1/2" of Fabric C.
 9) Turn the block 90° counter-clockwise and join the 1-1/2" x 6-1/2" of Fabric B.
 10) Turn the block 90° counter-clockwise and join the 1-1/2" x 7-1/2" of Fabric B.
 11) Turn the block 90° counter-clockwise and join the 1-1/2" x 7-1/2" of Fabric C.
 12) Turn the block 90° counter-clockwise and join the 1-1/2" x 8-1/2" of Fabric C.

You may want to stop here and assemble your wall quilt- but to further the block , (make it larger) continue till you have reached your wanted size.

Other designs can be created as well-

to see other designs you may like to Click one of the following:

LogCabin- Furrows

Sunshine and Shadows

Barn raising

This method is also used and I actually like it best- It takes out all the pre-cutting.

 1) If making more than one Log Cabin block, it is quicker to cut the fabric strips after sewing the strip to the block rather than cutting the strips before. Cut the center 2-1/2" square of Fabric A as shown above. Then cut several 1-1/2" strips of Fabric B and several 1-1/2" strips of Fabric C. (The amount needed depends upon the number of blocks begin made. Start the block by joining the 2-1/2" squares of Fabric A to one of the 1-1/2" strips of Fabric B in a continuous line leaving a small space between each of the Fabric A Squares. Press the seam allowance toward the 1-1/2" strip.
 2) With the rotary cutter, carefully cut the Step 1 strip apart being sure that the cut is made straight along the side of the Fabric A square. In other words, make sure that the block stays square. Now, take these units, and piece them to the 1-1/2" strip of Fabric B, leaving a small space between each unit and being sure that the most recently pieced part of the block being the first part to be joined. Press the seam allowance toward the just added strip.
 Cut the Step 2 units apart as described above. Continue to add new strips, as described in Step 2, to the block, making sure that the strips are alternated between Fabric B and Fabric C every two "logs". After adding the new strip, press the seam allowance toward the most recently joined strip and making sure to cut the blocks even. Continue until the desired size is reached.

Piecing a Single Block

While the above technique shows several Log Cabin blocks being pieced at one time, the technique can be used to piece single blocks as well. Simple, sew the block to the correct 1-1/2" fabric strip and cut the strip to the correct length after the strip is joined.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Give Away Winner!!

Congratulations to the first

"Sew" fun with the Secret Closet's

GIVE AWAY winner!!!

Pam Duxbury

I will be contacting you through your email- so look in your inbox from me-

Pam you will have to share pictures of what you do with the fun fabric and notions that you won!
Congratulations again!!

Thank you to all those who participated!
I wish I had a 2nd and 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th... place winner gifts too!
 Keep on coming back to share more about sewing and quilting. might be next months winner
Stay tuned for our next Give Away coming in March!

More fun fabric and sewing notions!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


This is my first give away-
let's see how many of you are real quilters!!

Any one who is a quilter, crafter or "SEW"-er
 cannot pass up this giveaway!

This drawing will be for:

·       1/3 yard each of five different valentine fabrics 

·       One spool of light pink thread
·       3 spools of ribbon
·       3 accent iron on transfer embellishments thoughtfully donated by s.e.i.
·       3 doily flowers also donated by s.e.i.
·       3 sheets of Iron on Transfer Paper (one strip of valentine messages, one sheet of white curly letters, and one sheet of solid "make you own" pink polka-dots transfer paper) - all donated by s.e.i.
 Look at the other things they have for quilters, crafters and scrap-bookers alike!
they also have a page for all those "digital-scrap-bookers" too.
You should also visit them for other embellishments too at

A package worth $30- 

All you need to do is to...

"Follow Me" on my blog,

"LIKE" me on Facebook:


Post a comment telling me what you might like from my
ETSY store!! 

For each time you do this, you name will go into a drawing.

Love to see who wins!!  


Drawing ends on February 11th

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentine Boxes

This is a must to do for Valentine's Day
Who wouldn't L-O-V-E this cute little box to hold cards and treats for Valentine's Day?

My kids love Valentine's Day- really, who doesn't- when chocolate is involved??  I love this time of year- I get so giddy about the cute pink and red decorations, chocolate, flowers, heart shaped crafts your kids bring home from school, chocolate, heart shaped sugar cookies, chocolate, the extra hugs and kisses you get from your kids, a special dinner or night out with your true love and did I mention all the CHOCOLATE?

So this year we decided that super cute Valentine Boxes would be a
 fun project this year- we hope you like them too.  

Scrappy Crazy Quilt Blocks

This is a perfect way to use up all your scraps and make a very cute and personalized quilt block- you could use this in quilts, wall hangings, pillows and more.   

I love creating and I love NEW fabric- I'll be honest- I really take more after my Aunt Barbara when it comes to using fabric.
My mom and Grandmother have always been frugal, and conservative with fabric.  any fabric whether it was the old orange polyester (grandma pants kind of thick heavy polyester) or an old curtain or pair of pants- was saved- cut up into quilt blocks or strips to use for a later project... 
(OK- even old pantyhoses were cut up and used as ties for the plastic sacks the fabric was kept in)... so when I say frugal, and conservative you know just what I mean... 

Any way- like I said, I really took after my Aunt- meaning that she would take a super cute piece of fabric and cut out from the very center the little frog and then, stash the rest- maybe using it in another project... and when I think of another project whether it is a quilt, or a wall hanging- I find just the right print- "Fussy" cut it and stash the rest.

So just to be clear though...  I would ever throw anything away- I just LOVE using new fresh crispy fabric for most all my projects... but I have to say that this Scrappy Crazy is just as fun to create- even if I didn't use any NEW fabric.  

This is just the perfect project for all those quilters and sew-ers out there that are just like my mom and grandmother.

Lets get started...