WIP Wednesday: With Guest Host Lucy from Charm About You

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Happy June everyone! I am Lucy and I blog at Charm About You. Mum of three, crazy in love with my husband and total fabric addict from Manchester, UK.

To be honest I have so many WIPs and not enough time to take pictures of them so I’m going to show you the things I’m currently loving working on…
My Rose Star quilt has been in progress since December 2011 and I’m finally working on the borders. The instigator of my English Paper Piecing love and the rose star block tutorial is by Clare at Selfsewn.
It’s one of those ongoing projects that gets picked up and put down between other things I’m working on, but since I received these gorgeous fabrics in a low volume swap, organised by my awesome friend Rebecca, I am motivated to finish the borders and get to work on hand quilting.

I started one of those ‘just because’ projects the other day—you will have seen snippets of this if you follow my blog or IG. After seeing Svetlana’s adorable slippers I got a copy of Stitch Magazine (Summer 2011) because I found it on sale. If you want to make some you can get the brilliant pattern by Ayumi here. The soles are quilted and I’m working on quilting the top parts, then proper construction can begin:

I’ve also made progress on my le challenge project. Le Challenge is another blog I host with my talented friend Nat from Made in Home. Every month we set a theme and have a link party for finishes on the 15th of each month, with one random link winning a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop. You can create something with any type of art or craft, and this month’s theme is CHARITY. I am planning to do some free motion quilting on this quilt top and I hope I can get finished in time (FYI a finished quilt top will count as a finish in the link party, I’m just trying to push myself!).

When I saw the beautiful hexy quilted ottoman that Adrianne made last summer I had to make one. The pattern is by Penny at Stitch Playroom. Because I used this dotty curtain fabric I felt like the centre needed something else. I was going to save this to show when I’d finished the whole thing but I finished it, love it and here seems as good a place as any to show it off 😉
I used DMC soluble canvas to cross stitch this pattern based on the famous Robert Indiana design. It is a perfect choice as it will always make me smile and is a reminder of our honeymoon, part of which was in New York. I can’t wait to finish this ottoman and put my feet up while I’m hand sewing!

Thank you to Lee for having me, and come and visit Charm About You to see these WIPs finished (eventually)!

And what are you working on this week? Here are the linky rules:

1. Link up any blog post from the past week that features an unfinished work-in-progress (WIP).
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog.
3. Comment on at least a few of the other WIP Wednesday links—commenting on the two or three links directly before yours works well to make sure everyone gets comments!

Vintage Quilt Revival Blog Hop: The Big Finale

I hope you all have enjoyed the Vintage Quilt Revival blog party this week! I want to give a huge thank-you to all of the bloggers who graciously agreed to make a block for us. I love how everyone put their own unique spin on the blocks—color and fabric choices really do personalize these designs.

If I could sum up Vintage Quilt Revival in one sentence, it would be: Think outside the grid. We would love for you to make the patterns in the book, of course. But more than anything, we hope Vintage Quilt Revival will inspire you to get creative with traditional blocks. You don’t have to just tile them across your quilt in the usual way—mix things up a little!

So when we asked 20 bloggers to make blocks from the book, Katie, Faith and I thought it would be fun to split those blocks up amongst ourselves and make small sampler quilts with the blocks in fresh, creative layouts. We told our blog hoppers they could use any colors or fabrics they wanted, so it was a bit of a design challenge getting all these blocks to work together, but I think the three of us were up for it.

So, here’s my sampler! Half-blocks and staggering: These are a few of my favorite things … If you’ve been to any of my guild lectures recently, you can probably sing it with me. : )

Seriously though, I do love a staggered layout, where the blocks are laid out like bricks instead of in a traditional grid. This is such a simple layout tweak that anybody can do with almost any block—yet it can do such cool things to a quilt design, you guys! And half-blocks along the edges of a quilt are a perfect compliment to staggering, because they make it look like the design extends right off the edges of the quilt. It all adds up to a look that I return to again and again.

I made two blocks and two half-blocks to complete the design. The background is Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman in Eggplant. Quick stipple quilting in a nice medium gray thread, and we’ve got ourselves a charity quilt.

Love the Joel Dewberry floral on the back. Such pretty colors in that print!

I’ve got a couple of local children’s charities in mind to approach with this one—I’m hoping a little girl who loves purple as much as my 4-year-old does will get this quilt.

If you missed any of the block posts by our blog hoppers, the full list is below. Thanks again, everyone! Don’t forget to visit Faith‘s and Katie’s blogs to see what they did with their blocks! And another reminder: The Vintage Quilt Revival Block-Along starts next week on Sukie’s blogGrab a copy of the book and sew along. Oh, and be sure to check the #vintagequiltrevival hash tag on Instagram! People are making some beautiful things from the book already!

Monday, January 13:
Crazy Mom Quilts – Amanda Jean
Don’t Call Me Betsy – Elizabeth
Film in the Fridge – Ashley
Happy Quilting – Melissa
Noodlehead – Anna

Tuesday, January 14:
Quilting Is My Therapy – Angela
A Quilting Life – Sherri
Sew Mama Sew – Kristin
Tall Grass Prairie Studio – Jacquie

Wednesday, January 15:
Christa Quilts – Christa
Diary of a Quilter – Amy
Quilting Gallery – Michele
Sew Take a Hike – Penny
V and Co. – Vanessa
West Coast Crafty – Susan

Thursday, January 16:
Bijou Lovely – Holly
Don’t You Know Who I Am – Sukie
Lily’s Quilts – Lynne
One Shabby Chick – Amber

Friday, January 17:
Swim, Bike, Quilt – Katie
Freshly Pieced – Lee
Fresh Lemons Quilts – Faith

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100 Quilts For Kids Baby Quilt

100 Quilts for Kids quilt

Because “in just under the wire” is now apparently my quilting motto, here it is—my entry for 100 Quilts for Kids, the charity quilt drive hosted by Katie at Swim Bike Quilt.

I’m just gonna say it: This quilt is kind of a hot mess. Fortunately, you have to look closely to fully appreciate the poor construction of some of these blocks. And my efforts to minimize the cut-off points just seemed to make the background wonky instead of improving things. So just don’t look too closely. Please and thank you. : )

100 Quilts for Kids quilt

That’s close enough!

100 Quilts for Kids quilt

Okay, I actually like this particular block a lot, so you can look a little closer at this section. : )

Other things I like about this quilt: My polka-dot background choice, the red cross-hatch binding, and the deliberately over-the-top vintagey goodness of the whole thing.

I quilted it with vertical wavy lines. This is my go-to form of quilting when I want to finish something in a hurry and without having to concentrate very much. Just set your machine to the wavy-line decorative stitch, adjust the settings to a much longer stitch-length and maximum width, and there you have it. It’s quilting that looks free-motion but actually isn’t. You move the quilt straight, the machine does all the work.

100 Quilts for Kids quilt
Threw a binding on and I was good to go. All told, I spent about two hours quilting and binding this little quilt. It’s nice to go for the fast finish every once in a while. I haven’t yet figured out where I’m donating this, but I hope whatever child ends up with it enjoys it, flaws and all.

The 100 Quilts for Kids linky closes tonight at midnight, but even if you’re reading this after the linky closes, stop over there and check out all the beautiful quilts! What an amazing outpouring of effort and kindness.

Have an A1 day!

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Owl Mini Quilt

So remember that owl with the teeny tiny paper piecing?

Owl mini
Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while might recall that I adore my daughters’ preschool. It’s a nature-focused preschool in a nature center on the shores of Lake Michigan, staffed by wonderful teachers who willingly take entire groups of 3- and 4-year-olds for hikes in the woods every day, rain, snow, or shine. They encourage the kids to stomp in mud puddles, climb on tree trunks and rocks, look for bugs and worms and other creatures, and explore the world around them. Every day for the past two weeks, my 3-year-old has come home coated in mud, but she sure does love that place! And I’m constantly amazed at the curiosity and motivation to learn that they inspire in these kids.

This year, sadly, the nature center is dealing with the devastation of the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive  insect species from Asia that is steadily killing off ash trees all over the midwest and northeast U.S. Trees can be given a preventative treatment (we’re treating three trees in my own backyard), but it’s expensive and must be given yearly, so that’s obviously not a possibility in a nature center with hundreds—maybe thousands—of ash trees. So the ashes are now being cut down all over the property and are being replaced with other tree varieties.

But in the meantime, one of the preschool teachers had a clever idea for a fundraiser called “Ash to Art.” Preschool families and local artists were invited to create art using ash tree “cookies” from the felled trees. The art will be auctioned off—what a great way to recycle, raise money for the preschool, and raise awareness of Emerald Ash Borer all at the same time.

I was invited to contribute as one of the “fine artists” whose work would be auctioned off at the event. Umm, I can’t tell you how nervous I am about this! I consider myself more of a designer than an artist. And there’s the small problem of me somehow incorporating a tree cookie into my … quilting?

Owl mini
At any rate, this little owl is my contribution to the fundraiser. I think he turned out quite nicely. : )

Tiny paper piecing!
I wanted to make an owl because that’s part of the nature center’s logo, and—well, it’s an owl. Who doesn’t love an owl? But the tree cookie itself was only about 6″ wide, so I knew that owl was going to have to be small. I looked at a lot of owl paper-piecing patterns online—I didn’t want anything too cartoonish or babyish or cutesy. Eventually I settled on this pattern of Hedwig from a Harry Potter quilt and shrunk it down about 60%.

Owl mini
I was as surprised as anybody that this paper-piecing actually turned out okay! I guess that’s the beauty of paper-piecing—you can do things this tiny and it’s really not that different from normal paper-piecing. As long as your eyesight is decent. : )

Owl mini - the back
The hardest part of it for me was dealing with all the seam allowances on the back, which in most cases were larger than the piece itself. It was so difficult to figure out where I could trim excess fabric and where I couldn’t!

Once I was done with the owl, I added a wonky star, and my teeny little block (around 5.5″ square) was done. But then I had to decide what to do with this little block and how to attach it to the tree cookie. I eventually decided to do a full-fledged teensy mini-quilt—quilted and bound and everything—and I attached it to the tree cookie with a simple band and some velcro. My quilting was my attempt at Angela Walters’ wood-grain quilting design (of course!).

But I’m still nervous about this, mainly because I just don’t know how somebody is supposed to actually use this thing. It’s way outside of my comfort zone as far as the finished product—I never even really got on board with the mug rug craze a while back, and I’m certainly no art quilter! But I figure someone can hang it up on the wall just as it is, as a rustic piece of art, or they could always take it off the tree cookie and hang it that way, or even use it as a mug rug or a coaster. It goes up for auction tonight, so I’ll put in a decent opening bid on it and if somebody else bids it up, great. Otherwise I get to bring this little owl back home with me. Nothing wrong with that. : )

But if you’re in the Milwaukee area and want to come bid on this little guy (or any of the other amazing artwork that will be there), the Ash to Art event is open to the public. It takes place tonight (Friday) from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. To check out some of the other amazing art pieces that will be available, check out the Ash to Art photostream on Flickr.



Silent Auction Quilt

So, remember the Spoonflower fabric I made with self-portraits of the kids in my daughter’s kindergarten class? Remember how I said I needed to use that fabric to make something for a silent auction, but I didn’t want to make a quilt?

Silent auction Spoonflower quilt

Well, of course, I made a quilt.

I considered a lot of other options, including pillowcases, a big pillow for a reading nook, a tote bag, etc. The problem was I had to make one large item that would entice people to bid high. Somehow, pillowcases or a tote bag just didn’t sound like something people would be willing to pay a lot for, even if it was plastered with their kid’s face! In the end, my husband was the unlikely one who talked me into a quilt. He said, “As much as I jokingly complain about all the quilts we have in this house, I do think people like them—I mean, who can’t use a nice quilt?” Thanks, honey. : )

Silent auction Spoonflower quilt

Of course, I spent so long trying to decide what to make, by the time I bit the bullet and committed myself to a quilt, I had exactly two days to make the thing, from start to finish. Ah, why do I do these things to myself??

But anyway, this is what I ended up with. I think it turned out really cute, in spite of being extremely rushed.

Silent auction Spoonflower quilt

Since I was working under such a tight time frame, I knew I wanted a simple design and a nice easy pattern to follow, so that I wouldn’t have to think. : ) Faith’s Lemon Squares pattern was perfect! It allowed me to feature some nice big squares of the kids’ fabric. I supplemented the kids’ print with some colorful fabric from my stash that coordinated with the little artists’ palettes.

Silent auction Spoonflower quilt

On the back, I used a nice big piece of the print, to show off all those great drawings. (FYI, some of these pictures were taken before the quilt was bound.)

The quilt ended up selling for $250, which I think is wonderful considering that it was a class project and therefore had a limited pool of bidders—only the parents of the other 20 kids in my daughter’s class would be interested in it, after all! I doubt a pair of pillowcases would have gotten even close to that much. And it fetched the highest price of all of the classroom projects (every class had its own). So I’m proud and happy that I could help raise some cash for the school, and I saw the high bidder walking out with it at the end of night, practically hugging it, she was so happy to have won it. That warmed my heart. : )

P.S. Just wanted to note that Heidi of Fabric Mutt has a blog hop starting today called “Girl Friday Sews”—all tutorials designed to freshen up your work space. I love stuff like that! Plus there will be giveaways, of course. : ) So head over there to follow along, and come back on Friday for my tutorial for a fabric-covered memo board!


100 Quilts for Kids

Swim, Bike, Quilt

Welcome to my stop on the 100 Quilts for Kids blog hop!

You all know about 100 Quilts for Kids, right? My friend Katie at Swim Bike Quilt and the D.C. Modern Quilt Guild co-host this annual charity quilt drive. It’s really easy: Just make a quilt and donate it to a child in need, locally if possible. Then link up your quilt online for a chance to win some prizes. Katie has even announced a 100 Quilts Quilt-Along, with a really cool pattern to boot! What a rewarding way to use our skills and creativity, right?

Wrapped In Hope quilt

I’ve made several quilts for charity, but my favorite by far is this one, which I made for a 12-year-old girl named Alissa as part of the Wrapped In Hope program through Margaret’s Hope Chest.

Wrapped In Hope is such a wonderful program—they provide quilts as birthday gifts for kids who have a parent in prison. Quilters can select a child from their list and make a quilt with that child’s favorite colors and/or things. (There are still a few kids left on their 2012 list, including one whose birthday is coming up soon on September 5!)

Alissa liked dogs, horses, art, and the color blue—so I knew right away that I wanted to use Aneela Hoey’s Sherbet Pips line for Alissa’s quilt. The pattern is from Elizabeth’s Sliced Coins Quilt-Along. It’s quick and easy to make, and it’s layer-cake-friendly, so if you’re looking for a pattern for your 100 Quilts For Kids quilt, I highly recommend it! And I used my favorite easy-peasey quilting strategy—wavy lines, using my walking foot and my machine’s decorative serpentine stitch.


Wrapped in Hope quilt - back

I hope Alissa is still enjoying this quilt today, even though her 13th birthday has now come and gone as well. And my fingers are crossed that Alissa’s mom has finished serving her time and is back home with her daughter. Thirteen would be such a tough age to be apart from your mom!

Wrapped In Hope quilt

There are so many kids who could be helped by a quilt—sick and injured children at hospitals, traumatized or abused children like those helped by Project Linus, orphaned kids overseas like those helped by Wrap Them In Love, and the Wrapped in Hope kids with incarcerated parents. A charity kids’ quilt doesn’t have to be large or complicated or made from fancy fabric—it just has to be made with love. So are you ready for 100 Quilts for Kids? Let’s turn out some quilts! Thank you to Katie for organizing it again this year!

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Asterisk Quilt

My Do. Good Stitches Asterisk quilt is done! This quilt is a little different—a bit more improvisational—than what I usually do, but I totally love how it turned out.

Back in November, I asked the ladies of the Love Circle of Do. Good Stitches to make asterisk blocks based on this tutorial. I left the design entirely up to them—the asterisks could be any size within the block, they could be wonky or straight, the strips could be any width they wanted, etc. I asked for a color palette inspired by a winter sunset—warm oranges and pinks, and cool grays and whites.

I wanted a lot of design variety in the finished quilt, and I definitely got it! Some of these blocks are kind of genuius twists on the asterisk theme, don’t you think? And Kate of Needle and Spatula was even kind enough to write this post about how to adjust the width of the asterisk strips and still keep the strips lined up. Thank you, Kate! Very handy.

I made four of these blocks myself. Of the four, this one is definitely my favorite. Too bad I miscalculated when I was making it, and the block ended up 1/2″ too small! Darn that quilty math. So I added that weird strip of Kona Coal around two sides. It works with the improvisational feel of the quilt, but I still would have liked it much better without it! Oh well.

So this one is off to Wrap Them In Love. Thank you, Love Circle, for all of these fun blocks. I really enjoyed putting this quilt together. And this quilt concludes my participation in Do. Good Stitches for the time being—I’m taking a little break from that bee while I concentrate on other commitments. But I hope to rejoin it again soon!

Quilt Stats
Design: Based on this asterisk block tutorial
Fabric: Various scraps contributed by members of the Do. Good Stitches Love Circle
Back: Flower Garden in Jelly, from Momo’s Just Wing It
Binding: Michael Miller Ta Dot Tangerine

Size: 48″ x 60″
Quilting: Free-motion stippling done by me on my home machine
Completed: March 2012

P.S. I did something a little different with my quilt pictures this time—these were all taken before I washed and crinkled the quilt. While I love love love a snuggly crinkly quilt, I’m not sure they photograph as well—the crinkles tend to obscure the details, especially in pictures. So what do you think? Do you prefer to see quilt pictures like the ones above, pre-crinkled? Or would you rather see the quilt as it will actually look when it’s in use? (Since I definitely plan to continue washing and crinkling my quilts—it’s just a matter of when in the process I should take the pictures.) I would love to hear your thoughts on this!


Hexy Quilt for Do Good Stitches

My hexy quilt for Do. Good Stitches is finished and looking great. But it was quite the ordeal getting it there.

I was so happy when I pulled this one out of the dryer yesterday. This is definitely my best free-motion quilting to date—my stitch lengths are starting to even up and my stippling is getting more curvy and flowing. And I couldn’t be more pleased with the design (which uses my Hexing Around block tutorial), not to mention the color palette. The ladies of the Do. Good Stitches Love Circle did a fabulous job on these blocks.

And then …

… I saw this.

And this.


Um, horrified! I’ve never had color-bleeding problems before. Just to be on the safe side, I wash all of my quilts with Shout Color Catchers. And they do often catch some dye. An amazing amount of red ended up on the Color Catcher when I washed my Warm/Cool quilt. But I’ve never had anything like this happen—and the Color Catcher that was in the wash with this quilt only came out with a tiny amount of blue on it! I don’t know how foolproof Color Catchers are supposed to be, but this one clearly didn’t do its job at all.

It wasn’t just one fabric that was the culprit, but appears to be at least two—one of which was in my own block, and it was a Park Slope print from Free Spirit! I am stunned that a high-end designer print like this would bleed so badly. If anyone has any thoughts as to why this may have happened on this particular quilt, please share. Because I’m stumped.

But thanks to wonderful advice from Jeni and several other ladies on Flickr, I’ve managed to clean up this disaster pretty well. Shout Ultra Gel stain remover, a bottle of Oxi-Clean, and three trips through the washing machine later, and the dye stains have faded considerably. In fact, it might be difficult to find them if you don’t know where to look. I hope so, anyway! And this quilt is nothing if not extremely clean, after four launderings. : )

I’m super happy with the back. I love the blue, green, and orange floral plaid from Meadowsweet, but it’s not the most usable print in the world. But on a back? Perfection! And it works great with my palette for this quilt.

This quilt is off to Wrap Them In Love, which distributes quilts to needy children around the world. Thank you, Love Circle, for contributing! I also was conveniently able to do this as part of Lynne’s Hex-a-Long at Lily’s Quilts, which you can check out here. Thank you, Lynne!


Quilt stats
Design: My own—see Hexing Around block tutorial here

Size: 44″ x 61″

Quilting: FMQ stippling by me on my home machine
Completed: September 2011


Do. Good Stitches Hexy Top

Remember this block? June was my month as quilter for the Love Circle of the Do. Good Stitches charity quilting bee. I asked each of the ladies to make two Hexing Around blocks for this quilt. Check out the results—even cuter than I was expecting!

I asked for bright, summery colors, and the Love Circle ladies really did it up in that department. These blocks are so fresh and fun. And even though I didn’t specifically ask for blocks with fussy-cut centers, almost everybody did fussy-cut theirs, adding another whole level of coolness to this quilt top. Among the blocks, there is a duck, a fish, an octopus (squid?), a sleeping princess, a cat, a giraffe, kitchen utensils, flowers, and—appropriately, on a couple of levels—several bees. So it’s almost turned into an I-spy quilt. What an unexpected bonus!

When laying out the top, I staggered the blocks—I like the honeycomb appearance that gives. Although, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have asked the Love Circle ladies to attach the strips to the top and bottom of the blocks. The whole point of that was to make the block square—I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me that the block doesn’t need to be square. It would have been much easier (and fewer seams) for me to attach one piece of sashing between each block. Well, lesson learned.

My little assistant was concerned about the quilt flying away in the breeze

Thank you, Love Circle ladies! And FYI, there are two more hexy blocks that I’m putting on the back, so if one of your blocks appears to be missing, you’ll see it on the back soon enough.


Updated to add: I’m jumping on board with the Hex-Along at Lily’s Quilts! This looks like a really fun, loose, no-rules kind of quilt-along (which is the only kind I’m capable of joining at the moment). Basically, you’re welcome to join with any project that includes hexagons in any form. So I’m in! Yay for dual-purpose projects!


Hexing Around Block

Um, blogging break? What blogging break? Of course, I said I’m taking a blogging break, and now here I am posting a full-fledged block tutorial. You knew I couldn’t stay away, didn’t you?

But June is my month as quilter for the Love Circle of Do. Good Stitches, and I changed my plan for the quilt at the last minute, and the new plan requires a block tutorial … and here we are. I’m calling this the “Hexing Around” block. Enjoy, whether you are in the Love Circle or not.

Hexing Around Block
This 12.5″ square log-cabin-style hexagon block is fun and easy to piece.

1. First, download my template for the center hexagon here. Click the printer icon in the upper left corner of the screen to print it, or download the original. In the printer dialogue box that comes up, be sure to un-click the box that says “Fit to Page.” This is very important for the hexagon to print at the correct size! When printed at actual size, the hexagon should be 2.75″ high (from flat edge to flat edge).

UPDATED 2/24/14: I think somebody must have just linked to this (rather old) tutorial, because suddenly I’m being inundated with requests for people to email me this template. You guys, I apologize, but I can’t spend all day individually emailing this template to everybody. Google Docs works, I promise. I just tried it myself and very easily printed it out. Click the link above, and then find the little printer icon in the upper left corner. Then, when the printer dialogue box comes up, just un-click “Fit to Page.” Thank you!

2. Use the template to cut out a hexagon for the center of your block. The template includes seam allowance, so no need to add for that.

3. Now cut 1.5″ wide strips for each side of your center hexie. Sew two of the strips onto opposite sides of your hexie, as shown. Press seams open.

4. Use the 60-degree angle mark on your ruler to trim the ends of the pieces you just added. Line up the 60-degree angle line with the seam opposite the strip you’re trimming.

5. When you’re done trimming the ends, you should have a unit that looks like this.

6. Add two more strips to opposite edges of the center hexagon.

7. Trim the ends of these strips by matching up the 1.25″ vertical line on your ruler with the seam that runs parallel to the edge you want to trim, and the 60-degree angle mark should line up with the raw edge of the unit, as shown.

8. When you’re done trimming, it should look like this.

9. Add your final two strips to opposite sides of the hexagon.

10. Again, trim the ends of the strips in the same way you did the previous two strips. Line up 1.25″ mark with a parallel seam, and the 60-degree line with a raw edge of the block.

11. Now your hexagon should look like this, with one complete round of “logs.”

12. Cut another set of 1.5″ strips and follow the steps above to sew another round of logs around your hexagon, in the same manner as the first.

13. Continue adding logs to make two more rounds. Your completed hexagon should be no more than 12.5″ wide, from point to point. If it’s more than 12.5″, go ahead and trim around the outer edge to bring it down to size. If it’s a little less than 12.5″ wide, that’s okay.

14. From your background fabric (I’m using solid white), cut two 5″ x 7″ rectangles. Now cut a diagonal line through each rectangle, like so.

15. Sew the background triangles onto the corners of your hexagon, as shown. The triangles will be larger than what you need, but I found it easier to make them too big and then trim down to nice 90-degree corners. Add triangles to all four corners.

16. Trim your block so that it measures 12.5″ wide by 11″ high. (There should be at least .25″ of white background at its narrowest point along each side of the block.)

17. Add 1.5″ strips to the top and bottom of your block and trim to 12.5″ square.

Thank you, ladies of the Love Circle! Now I’m going back into hiding until Thursday as planned, but I will be reachable by email if you have questions or problems with the block. Have a great holiday.

P.S. In case you’re dying for an update on the potty training … well, it’s going. That’s about the best I can say at this point. : )