I’m so excited that I finally got time to work on my Cathedral Window Quilt (some call it a Pincushion Quilt). It was my birthday treat to myself to have a whole day to quilt without worrying about what mess the kids were making.
A couple years ago I saw a quilt on the cover of the L.L. Bean catalog and fell in love with the design. After much searching on the internet I found out that the quilt pattern was called Cathedral Windows.
I used a coupon for JoAnn Fabrics and bought my white muslin background material with it. I used my sewing machine to piece together the background and then finished by handquilting the curved white windows open.
Keep the luck of the Irish with you all March with a simple Irish Chain quilt pattern for St. Patrick’s Day! Hang it on the wall or use as a lap quilt or bedspread. It is an easy quilt to make. It could even be a great pattern for a keepsake baby quilt for a baby who has Irish heritage.
I love playing with my EQ4 quilt design software to see what combination of light and dark colors, fabric patterns or solids, and borders will do to a quilt before even purchasing fabric. Here are some variations that I played with using a basic 9-patch quilt block to make an Irish Chain quilt pattern.
The Irish Chain 9-patch block is made up of 5 darker colored fabrics with 4 lighter colors. The lighter colors could be the same as your alternating solid blocks which will make the chain really stand out, or they could be different which will make the chain not be so visible. I found also that I really liked using a small inner dark border to make the chain area stand out more and not have it run into the larger border fabric.
Take a look at my variations below to see what you like best.
A cute heirloom baby quilt look for a boy or girl!
Here is how the quilt will look if you use the same chain fabric as your large border fabric and your background fabric all the same light color.
Here is how the quilt will look if you use a different dark fabric for the 9-patch blocks and the main border fabric.
The Irish Chain pattern disappears a bit here if you use a different light fabric in the 9-patch blocks than your solid alternating blocks.
Here I tried to tie in the main border fabric with the 9-patch blocks.
Here I show the 9-patch block using many different dark green fabrics.
Looking for an easy craft for Thanksgiving that you can use through the holidays? Pomanders, or scented balls made from oranges and whole stemmed cloves are a delightfully fragrant ornament to decorate with!
Last week at homeschool co-op we had a great time at our Colonial Day fieldtrip the 5th graders sponsored. Moms signed up to man stations such as applesauce making, butter making, broom making, finger knitting, rag rug making, whirligigs, cypher wheels, and pomanders. I was in charge of the whirligigs and cypher wheels and was fortunate to be in the room with the pomanders. The smell of cloves and oranges was breathtaking.
Pomanders were used back in the old days when people did not bathe as often as we do today. Inorder to make yourself smell nice you would make a pomander with citrus fruit or apples and hang it in with your clothing or in your kitchen.
Today they are a great ornament for your Christmas tree! As an activity on Thanksgiving Day, my husband’s family has had the tradition of making a homemade ornament. This year we are going to make pomanders and hang them on the Christmas tree.
Materials Needed for one:
1 small orange (or other citrus or apple)
whole stemmed cloves (wash hands after handling as oils can irritate)
tulle netting approx. 6 inches x 18 inches
2 ribbons 1/4 inch x 8 inches
If you find it hard to push the clove into the orange, use the skewer to create small holes on the orange, a few at a time and then push in the clove.
Once the orange is full, place the orange on the center of the tulle and bring the sides up and twist tightly to hold the orange in it like a sack.
With 1 ribbon tie the ends together to create a closed loop. Use the other ribbon and thread it through the closed loop ribbon. Tie this ribbon in a bow around the tuelle to hold it around the orange.
Use the looped ribbon to hang the pomander on a hook or your tree.
We are in the middle of a homeschooling science unit on weather. We are making some simple weather instruments that you can do at home with your children.
Learning about the weather can be lots of fun when you include weather crafts into your learning. Here are the pictures of the instruments we have made.
With your homemade weather vane, orient your compass rose on the paper plate to point to the correct directions, then let the wind blow. The way your arrow is pointing will be the direction the wind is coming from. (It really was blowing when I took the picture!)
An anemometer measures wind speed. We used small plastic cups and the wind spun them around. The kids loved this one, especially today on a windy day.
How much rain did you get? Make this easy rain guage out of a plastic bottle. We used rocks in the bottom to keep it from blowing over. We only had water bottles with bumpy sides. To get a more accurate measurement, use a 1-liter bottle with smooth sides. We can’t wait for tomorrow to measure how much it rained over night.
You can measure the amount of water vapor or humidity in the air by filling a glass with ice and water and then setting it outside. After 10 minutes check the outside of the glass. If it is dry or just barley wet, then the humidity is low. The more water that has condensed on the outside of the glass, the higher the humidity. We got a lot of water on the outside of our glass today and it is supposed to rain later.
Here are some great books we found on science. They make science easy to understand and they have science experiments you can do at home. I would recommend them for children ages 5 to 10. The series is called “Let’s Read and Find Out Science”.
For more weather fun…. both children and adults love to use these weather instruments. Great gift ideas!
If you like to decorate for Halloween, here are some of the Halloween themed quilts I saw at PIQF 2011 a few weeks ago.
(Sorry, no information on this one!)
This one cracked me up! My MIL called her third son her “little pumpkin”. This gives new meaning to it, especially if your name is Jack.
I love landscape quilts. This one is a great Autumn landscape!
I like the cat with the newspaper print background. You could easily make your own newspaper fabric that is tailored to what you want it to say! My children had me take pictures of the ones they liked the best.
What is Halloween without a black cat silhouette upon the moon?
Here are two festive scarecrows that I unfortunately did not get information on.
The scariest quilt I would have to say was this one commemorating the “Day of the Dead”! Yes, it is 3D with pink tutu material sticking out and ribbons on the ballet shoes!
Take a virtual tour with me through some of the quilts I enjoyed the most at the Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) 2011! Here is part 2!
I just love the red baskets and flowers in this quilt!
Turquoise fabrics are some of my latest favorites. This quilt is a great inspiration for a bedspread I want to quilt with turquoise fabrics. I love the star and pinwheel quilt blocks!
What do you do with all those ties your husband and son don’t use anymore? Make a quilt using men’s ties! This is a great design. I bet this quilt is heavy and great for use in the winter if you dare use it!
Take a virtual tour of some of my favorite quilts from the 2011 Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) held this last week in Santa Clara, CA.
I’ve been going to PIQF for the last 13 years. It is a great way to renew my enthusiasm for quilting and get great new inspiration, especially when children and housework seem to be the biggest priority! Sometimes you just have to make time for your hobby to reenergize yourself.
Here are some of the quilts I saw that made me want to pull out the sewing machine and quilting tools. I tried to take better pictures this year and get all the details of the quilts. Some were good and some did not turn out as well. When it is crowded and you have 3 children in tow, there is only so much you can do.
The paper-pieced houses on this quilt were quite large! I’d say they were 12 inches to 15 inches square and then they were tilted onto their sides wth sashing pieces added to make four pointed stars between the houses. I love the playfulness of the houses. They are one of my favorite designs to paper-piece.
Unfortunately, this is one of the few I did not get a photo of who created this quilt.
This tertiary quilt caught my eye! The gray certainly makes the orange color pop!
I love the fun colors of the Whirlygig on the white background. Whirlygigs were spinning toys that children of long ago played with.