Monday, December 31, 2012

Is My Blog Infected With A Trojan?

I seem to be getting a warning and blocking from my virus checker about a Trojan virus every time I open my blog in Firefox.  Is anyone else having this happen with my blog?  I am wondering if someone has attached something to my blog or if I have a problem with my computer in general?  So far the virus prevention program I have on my computer is blocking it but want to know if the blog is a problem so I can get it resolved before someone else gets hacked.

If it is my Blog that has the problem what are my options?  Please advise if you have any suggestions.

Thanks in advance….Lynn

Monday, December 24, 2012

Another Jeans Stocking for the Fireplace

IMG_0674When I found out my brother would be here at the same time as our daughters and their families this Christmas I knew I needed to make a stocking for him from another old pair of jeans.  If you want to make one of your own please refer to the Tips and Tutorials page of my blog for the 5 part series of photos and directions for making these stockings from an old pair of denim blue jeans.  Starting on November 21, 2010, I made 12 of these stockings.IMG_0670Here are the pieces needed to make the stocking….a front cut from the waistband for the top of the this piece, a back piece that is cut from the hem of the jeans for the top edge and cut about 1/2” wider than the front piece, two pieces of cotton print for the toe pieces and a long piece with the excess fabric trimmed away from the flat felled seam of the jeans.  As you can see I left the pocket intact and hanging out right now.  It will be trimmed off after the pieces are stitched together.IMG_0819IMG_0824Using coordinating or contrasting thread stitch some lines of decorative stitches with your machine to outline the fused toe and heel pieces and anywhere else you want to add a little embellishment.IMG_0672Pin the front to the back, straightening the pocket that hangs out to lie flat.  Match the top edges and pin the layers together and as you can see the back sticks out beyond the front.  The edges will be stitched 1/4” inside the front pieces then trim the back even with the front.  RAW EDGES stay on the outside so this is an easy stocking to make.  No lining either.

Stitch a loop from the flat felled seam and stitch to the back edge of the stocking and hang.  I wanted to add my brother’s name to the stocking so I took a piece of the denim and hand guided the fabric to machine embroider his name on it.  I cut a slit in the top, wrapped it under the belt loop then stitched then ends together.  I wanted this stocking to be used again if we have guests at Christmas so the name can be changed, easy peasy!IMG_0818
IMG_0817All finished and ready to use.  We celebrated with our daughters and their families and my brother over the weekend.  Chris was so surprised at the stocking and the goodies it contained.  Christmas day we will travel to see my mother and more siblings so more gatherings to come.

Update: Here are the links to all the stocking blog posts.
Part 1 Christmas Stocking Fun
Part 2 Christmas Stocking Fun Part 2
Part 3 Christmas Stocking Tips
Part 4 Denim Jeans Christmas Stockings
Part 5 More Stocking Hints And Observations
Part 6 Two More Christmas Stockings
Part 7 Hanging The Stockings
Part 8 More Stockings To Show
Part 9 Another Jeans Stocking For The Fireplace
Part 10 Pattern

Thursday, December 20, 2012


IMG_0680The other day I dropped my camera bag, just slipped out of my hand and landed, kerplunk, on the floor.  I didn’t think anything was hurt but when I took my camera out of the bag this is what I found.  Yes I broke the UV filter so had to buy another.  Thank goodness it wasn’t the lens as a filter is much less expensive for sure.  I had my camera in the bag with this shorter lens on and my charger below the lens so when I dropped the bag the cap was bumped loose by the charger and smashed into the filter.  I am glad the filter was there to protect the lens so it goes to show they are a good investment.

No one will ever accuse me of being graceful!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Cardinal

IMG_0627Today, as I promised,  I have a surprise…..I am giving you all the applique pattern for my “Christmas Cardinal” wall hanging.  I have made a PDF file of my line drawing that you can download here. Remember this is the drawing I worked from and is maybe a little rough with some smudges but the design is sharp.  This can be appliqued with your choice of applique method but I fused the shapes to my background then edge stitched them when I quilted the piece.  Remember you will have to reverse the design if you fuse your design unless you don’t care if the bird and branch go the other way.

I added the simple borders to my background rectangle before I appliqued the designs.  Cut a rectangle you feel fits the size of the applique then add borders.   I find it is easier to center the design that way with the applique fused on after the borders are stitched to the center section.  The narrow border on my quilt is a finished width of 1/2” and the wider border is finished at  2 1/4”.  The borders are simple and easy to do as I didn’t miter but stitched the side pieces on first then the top and bottom borders…do the same for both borders. IMG_0548 I used some shiny red thread and one of the embroidery stitches on my machine to stitch the decorative stitching on the inside of the narrow red border – something new for me.  I like the way it adds another design element.  You can see some of the background quilting on this photo too.  I did some swirls, some feathers, some bubbles and some echo quilting.  I pretty much just quilted what I wanted and it was fun to not have a plan and to just quilt.IMG_0544
IMG_0546 IMG_0549
To add more bling I couched down some heavy gold thread/cord using 39C foot on my Bernina.  I started and ended in one corner then buried the tail in the layers.  This is something I have not done before either and I would definitely do it again as it was really easy to stitch this thread/cord onto the edge of that border.IMG_0553Something that did not work so well was how I finished the edge of the quilt.  I decided I wanted to couch the gold thread/cord next to the binding too.  I stitched the binding to the back first and intended to pull it to the front and couch the thread down with a zig-zag stitch at the same time as I was stitching the binding to the front. (BIG MISTAKE!)   I should have put the binding on the way I usually do…stitch it to the front then pull to the back and either hand stitch or stitch in the ditch from the front to secure and then add the cord last after the binding was finished.  As you can see from the photo above I had a hard time stitching the cord and binding simultaneously.  I had several areas on the binding that I had to go back and stitch down as the first stitching did not catch the binding.  When you look at the finished photo at the top or bottom the binding looks wavy and it is because of all the problems I had getting it stitched down and using the striped fabric accentuates the waviness.  I want to block the quilt at some point and hope to get it more square but hung it on the wall for now.IMG_0634It is not perfect but I had fun making it and will enjoy hanging it.  The Happy Holidays sign is one of those temporary clear decals that I stuck to the wall beside my Christmas Cardinal.

This is the first time I have downloaded a PDF file so hope it works.  I won’t know until I post this blog entry and try it out so if the post is here then disappears for a while it is because I didn’t get it to work.

I posted, now edited the post to upload the PDF of the pattern from Google Docs but you still have to sign in to be able to print the pattern.  I had used Scribd the first time and didn't like doing it that way.  Does anyone have a better way to load a file to blogger?  I usually compose my blog posts in Windows Live Writer.

Until Later,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Time…A Fleeting Thing

I have said it before and will say it again….”Where has the time gone?”  I feel so guilty for not posting anything since the end of November that I hang my head in shame.  Once I didn’t post anything for a week it got harder and harder to sit down and type up something to post.

I have been concentrating and spending a lot of time on my weight loss regime it seems.  Not that I am exercising all the time or planning what to eat all the time but it does seem I am focused on that right at the moment.  As of last weeks Weight Watchers weigh in I have lost 18.6 lb. now.  I try not to obsess about my weight loss but have a lot of bad habits I need to curtail so end up thinking about it quite a bit and planning meals to keep me on track.IMG_0627This "no posting" time has not been completely without sewing/quilting though.  I designed and made this quick small wall hanging I finished a week ago.  Hopefully tonight I will get my next blog post finished and I'll show you how I made it plus a special surprise at the end….now I have you really curious don’t I?

Until Later...hopefully not too much later this time!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nebraska Beauty

We have had such beautiful sunsets lately and living here in rural Nebraska we have a good view of them with nothing between us and the wonderful color and I wanted to share it with you all.  The first photo was taken as the color was just starting to show on the undersides of the clouds.IMG_0499The next two photos were taken just a few minutes later and you can see the deepening color.  The sunset spread across a wide area north to south in a riot of pinks, oranges and deep purples.IMG_0498
IMG_0503It is moments like this this that make me love living where I live even more.  It is such an awesome sight that makes the locals and visitors alike want to stop and watch the sun as it sinks in the west causing the sky to fire up during the last minutes before it becomes dark.  John was doing some fall fertilizing several miles away and called me to see if I was watching the color unfold and told me later a neighbor stopped to visit a bit and mentioned the beautiful sunset that evening too. 

I understand that the sunrises are beautiful now too but am never quite with it (or even out of bed) that early to get outside to photograph but will take everyone’s word that they are beautiful as well.

Until Later,

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Loosing Weight….A Lot of Work

Several weeks ago I decided to join Weight Watchers in an effort to loose those pesky pounds that have 12178628141677313153AJ_Buddy_frightened.svg.medinvaded my body the last 15 or so years.  As the pounds gradually add up I didn’t notice at first then clothes don’t fit quite the way they should and the next thing you know I have to buy the next size up, and so on.  I am not going to post a before photo and probably won’t post an after photo as that would be just too scary!

A Weight Watcher’s group formed in our town and I didn’t join when they first organized the group the first part of September but after talking to a couple of friends that had joined I decided to give it a try as they were having success.  It has been a learning experience and not too difficult to follow the program.  I have found that I was eating way too large of servings and have cut down the amount of meat I eat but eat a well balanced diet and don’t feel hungry most of the time.  I love the support of the group as well as the new things I have learned and have not missed a meeting.

Weight Watchers also encourages increasing your physical activity to help loose the pounds.  I started walking and now walk around 30 minutes at least every other day.  At first I walked shorter times and distances but have worked up to walking almost 1 1/2 of a mile in those 30 minutes.  Going from a rather sedentary life it took me a while to actually enjoy walking but now I miss it if I can’t walk.  clip-art-walking-879180What might surprise you is where I walk.  I walk at our town cemetery….surprised?  It is the perfect place to walk and a lot of local people do walk there for exercise so I wave at friends as we meet on the streets.  It is a pretty little cemetery with paved streets and most of the time there are no cars driving around so it is safe too.  The outside road is exactly 1/2 mile so twice around is a mile, isn't that convenient!  I live in the country along a highway that is just too busy and too dangerous to walk so needed another option.  Was glad when I was told so many people walk at the cemetery as it is perfect and only about 5 miles away and I had never thought of walking there before.

I love listening to audio books as I walk as the time flies while the stories unfold.  I also like to read the names on the stones as I pass and imagine what those unknown people were like, where they lived, who they loved, etc.  The older names are just wonderful - Artha and Floydean, two women who's earthly bodies rest there.

The weather so far has cooperated with walking outside most days and last week the temperatures were in the low 60s but have dropped to mid 40s this week so have to bundle up more.  One of these days it will be too snowy, cold or wet to walk outside so will have to use the treadmill.  Walking feels good, my ankle is more flexible and getting out into the fresh air and sunshine can’t be beat.

Now the good news…..drum roll……I have lost 13 pounds in 6 weeks.  I am absolutely thrilled!  Loosing weight keeps me motivated and hope I can keep loosing a little at a time until I reach my goal.  I have a goal set through the program but I don’t necessarily feel I need to get that low so will just decided when I feel good at where I am I will stop and go to a maintenance program even if it is not down to the set goal.  I don’t want my weight so low I can’t maintain it but will try to keep my portions in check and keep doing the walking to stay healthy.

I have weigh in and meetings on Wed. afternoons so don’t know how I did with Thanksgiving dinner for a few more days yet.  According to the WW points system I think I was OK and did not overeat.  I have not been able to walk as much earlier this week so am hoping I will have lost again when I weigh in on Wed. 

Until later,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

For beauty in nature, Your glory we see
For joy and health, friends and family,
For daily provision, Your mercy and care
These are the blessings You graciously share.
So today we offer this response of praise
With a promise to follow You all of our days.
                                                                              --Mary Fairchild

Monday, November 19, 2012

Guild Challenge Block 2

IMG_0353Here is the second block of the challenge.  One border is added and now I will add the second one.  I choose to add a triangle border with two fabric that I believed were shades of the original but this photo sure makes the background of one of them look gold instead of tan.  It is better in person  and not so gold looking but after I looked at it for a while it is not the best choice I guess.  Hope it doesn’t detract but it really looks a little like mush …I probably should have taken it off and started over…Oh well, that is how it goes sometimes.  I did use a spacer strip to make the triangles fit.  It is a lot of pressure doing something on someone else's block or quilt. IMG_0358
Until later,

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fall Day Color

Since no sewing is going on here I will show you some photos I took earlier this fall.  John and I took a ride down to our small river to look at the beautiful color on the trees.  You can see the harvested corn field in the foreground and down the hill to the river.  The yellow trees just glow.IMG_0317We don’t always get pretty colored leaves in the fall if it freezes too soon, too late or whatever reason but this year the trees were so pretty.  Most of them are Cottonwood or Burr Oak trees.  The tree in the photo below is a very large Burr Oak in one of the pastures where we graze our cattle each summer.  IMG_0331You can see how dry and brown the grass is around the tree.  It is not brown just because it is autumn but also because we have not had much rain at all during the summer and fall.

Above are views of the river which is still very low but was beautiful and so calm the day we were down there.  We looked for Indian arrowheads along the shore but didn’t find any.  People find arrowheads here at times so we always keep our eyes on the sandy shore hoping to find one. 

The sun was just setting when we neared our home but needed to check on two of the horses that have been in a pasture for the summer.  Bart and Sally have enjoyed it but it was about time to get them back to the barn.  Bart is not ridden and I call him the idiot….not a nice name I know but he just can’t remember his training.  John certainly doesn’t need to get dumped on the ground and Bart doesn’t seem to get the idea even though he has been to a trainer more than once.  Sally, the one with the black mane, is not able to be ridden anymore as she had gotten a disease several years ago that makes her not sure footed.  She will stumble at times yet, even though she is cured of the original disease.  This is a disease, EPM (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis), that is caused by opossum's defecating on the hay the horses eat – sounds gross I know but it is not really that uncommon.  It is a disease of the central nervous system in horses caused by protozoal parasites in the opossom gut.

Well, guess that was a depressing paragraph wasn’t it….but aren’t the photos of them both pretty?


Friday, November 2, 2012

Guild Challenge Block 1

Each year my quilt guild has a quilt challenge that members can either choose to participate in or not…their choice.  I try to do the challenge each year as it stretches my imagination, makes me learn new techniques, and besides is lots of fun too.

The challenge this year is a border challenge.  We were all to make a quilt block between 8” and 12” and bring it to the next meeting in the brown paper bag we were given.  The challenge leader put a number on the bottom of our bag and put them all on a table.  She mixed the bags up and we all chose one to work on the first month.IMG_0310The leader is keeping track of all the bag numbers so we don’t choose our own bag or one that we have already worked on.  The block above is the block that was in the bag I choose for round one.

The rules also stated that we were to make our blocks in only 2 colors and must use the 2 colors the block maker chose for the borders we add.  We can do pretty much anything we want on the borders but don’t want just a plane strip of fabric.  We have to add borders to all 4 sides as well.IMG_0312Here are the strips I have made for the borders I will add to the block.  There will be 9 patch blocks in the corners with the opposing colors stitched between the corners.IMG_0314All ready to be folded and put back in it’s bag for the next meeting.  Block one done and block two will be next when I add a second border.


Sad Faced Me

Doggie Toy from
I am wearing a sad face because I just had to change my blog comment settings to not accept anonymous comments because of all the spam I have been getting lately.  Check your settings if you are not able to comment on my blog and maybe you need to change some settings if you are a registered user or you may have to sign up for a free Google account.

I know I have had comments from anonymous readers that are legitimate but the spam ones have ruined that option for the “good guys”.  Sorry about that but I am tired of getting emails with spam links and don’t want to expose any of my comment readers to possible infection in their computers or in mine.

Until Later,

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival–Fall 2012

Thanks to Amy of Amy’s Creative Side for sponsoring the Bloggers Quilt Festival again this fall.  Jump over to her sight and take a look at all the other quilts on her Bloggers Quilt Festival.  I think there is voting too so take a look at that information too.  The quilt I am going to show you is the latest miniature quilt I finished this summer.  I call it “Silk Refrain” and it measures 11 1/4 x 10 1/2”.IMG_0365It is made of 100% silk fabric that is woven with one color of thread going horizontal and another color going vertical.  If you enlarge my close up photos below of this quilt’s details you might be able to see the different colors of the woven fabric.  I believe this type is called Shot Silk.  When the fabric is viewed from different angles it changes color and it has a beautiful soft sheen.  Because this fabric is shiny it is very difficult to get good photos of the quilt but  I think if you click on the photos I post to get larger versions you might be able to see the details more easily.IMG_0362I purchased this fabric in Paducah, KY at the 2011 AQS show from one of the vendors and I knew when I bought it that I wanted to do a whole cloth quilt from it.  I wrote about the making of this quilt on my blog Nebraska Views starting Friday Aug. 24, 2012 through Aug. 30th.IMG_0363 I quilted it with YLI #100 silk thread using my Bernina 730 sewing machine using the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator).  The BSR really aided me when quilting this quilt as I wanted a smaller stitch and a regular sized stitch which the foot helped me to achieve.  I set my stitch length down to 1.8 so it has pretty short stitches.  I also used the walking foot for the straight line skinny border.  I tried doing those straight lines by sight and free hand but they looked really wobbly so I un-stitched them and re-sewed them using the walking foot.IMG_0364I usually use a thin batting like Thermore for my miniatures but decided to try wool batting this time.  I wanted the design areas to puff up a little and didn’t want to try to trapunto on this small of motif.  It really worked great and I have another whole cloth silk miniature in the process of being made using the same silk fabric but a different color and am using the wool batting in it too.IMG_9327I entered this quilt in the 2012 Nebraska State Fair and it won first place machine quilted miniature and 1st place miniature over all.  I was super thrilled to say the least.  Fall-2012-BQF-button-e1347251460705Enjoy looking at all the quilts on Amy’s Creative Side…just scroll to the bottom and click on the individual photo links to the fabulous quilts!

Quilt Stats
Entry Number:  405
Designed, Pieced, and Quilted by:  Me
Technique: Wholecloth
Size: 11 1/2” x 10 1/4”
Category: Doll/Miniature Quilt

Until Later,

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It’s Been A Long, Long Time….

I sure don’t know where the time has gone since my last post but here it is several weeks later.  Time goes by like the snap of the fingers.

I have been doing a little sewing/quilting which I will post about in a day or two when I get my photos sized and the post written but for today I will show you some pictures I took of Daphinee (granddaughter’s spelling) and her kittens to keep you entertained.
The kittens are bigger now and running around more since these photos were taken 3 weeks ago.  Don’t you just love the way little kittens look with their turned down ears?

John is still trying to catch them all each morning and give them a pet to keep them somewhat tame but they are fast at running behind the hay bales in the barn.  Another surprise to us was when Emma (black and white momma cat) brought 2 kittens into the barn that are a little older then these 4.  We didn't even know she had another litter and have no idea where she had them hidden until she brought them to the barn.  John has been trying to catch them too but they had more time being wild and it is not so easy now.  At least they are tame enough they don’t scratch and bite like fully wild kittens get.

That’s all for now,

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Nebraska Pied Piper

We have a parade each morning following John to the barn.  All the cats make their way to the back door about the time John is ready to go out each morning.  He walks out on the deck, says hello to all of them and starts walking toward the barn.IMG_0095The photo above doesn’t show all of them but as you can see John has to step carefully as they walk/trot back and forth between his legs.  The yellow and white cat in the rear is “Mr. Cat” our oldest cat on the farm.  He is between 17 and 19 years old.  He sleeps in the shop but still makes his rounds each morning after he eats to check for mice.IMG_0099Joined by a couple more cats as he gets closer to the barn.  The white and black one is “Dafinee” (spelling by Granddaughter 3 years ago.)  She had 4 kittens about 3 weeks ago and they are just the cutest things.  One black one and 3 that are all white with black spots.  Right now they have their eyes open and are little butterballs.  I go out every day to pet them to keep them tame as the grandkids love to play with the cats when they come and if we don’t handle them as they grow up they get wild.

We don’t feed the cats close to the house as that encourages them to hang out near the back door or the garage door.  That leads to cats getting run over and we don’t want that.  We like them to hang out in the barn where there are hay bales to snuggle in when it gets cold and they also keep the mice from taking over. 

All the cats have names of course.  The grandchildren provide most of the names and it is fun to see what they come up with.  This is the list of cats from oldest to youngest.
*Mr. Cat – old yellow and white neutered tomcat lives in the heated shop in the winter
*Darkness - surprise, surprise she is black and spayed and also lives in the heated shop in the winter.
*Anew -  a-new-cat …he was a stray kitten we found 1/2 mile from us in a ditch a year ago -  he has not been around for a while-hopefully visiting a neighbor
*Emma – a black female cat with some white markings, a sister to Dafinee.  She had kittens last summer but the kittens were killed by a raccoon and she has not had another litter.
*Dafinee – white female cat with black spots and 4 new kittens which are not all named for sure yet.  So far we have Darth the black one, Leperd, white with medium black spots - spelling by grandson, Spots, white with big spots,  Buttons, the last white with black spots kitten.
*Mars – yellow tomcat and his brother Saturn a grey and white tomcat- (granddaughters gave us these two and they name their litters of kittens by theme names and this litter was planets) Saturn has also decided to go elsewhere and we hope he is also visiting the neighbors.
*Faith and Chuck – Siamese colored kittens that are so cute that were brought out from someone in town that couldn’t keep them.
*Louis and Kenna – Dark tabby kittens and litter mates of Faith and Chuck and also like to cuddle.  Kenna got her name changed as she was first named Ken but later we figured out the granddaughters had not quite ID correctly as the he was a she.  They are pretty good at figuring out the sex but on little tiny kittens it is sometimes hard to tell until they are a little older.

I know this seems like a lot of cats but on a farm the life span of cats can be short or they leave to  live elsewhere so new kittens each year are needed.  We need cats to hunt in all the outside buildings on the farmstead, hunt around the big bales of hay as well.  Rodents can do a lot of damage if not kept in check. We hope Anew and Saturn show up again but they may not chose live here again which is not uncommon for tomcats.  It is unusual for an outside farm cat to live as long as Mr. Cat so we are very watchful of him when we drive in and out of the yard with vehicles or farm machinery.  He doesn’t see or hear the best anymore and only walks at one pace and that is slooooow… step at a time.  We just wait until he gets out of our path as he will not run out of the way no matter what you do to hurry him along.

I remember growing up on the farm I lived on as a kid with lots of cats and in Nebraska that is the norm on most farms.  My brothers and sisters and I played and played with them and had them all named of course.  The big challenge each spring was to watch the mama cats to see where they came from when you called so we could find the kittens.  They always tried to hide them and sometimes were quite ingenious in the spots they chose and some times they would take the long way around to come to eat so we would not find their babies but we kept up our vigil and usually found them before they were too old.

Harvest is marching along here on our farm and even though I am not out in the field driving a piece of equipment I don’t seem to get much done as far as quilting goes.  I am cooking for the crew and delivering the evening meals and help move the equipment to new fields, etc.   Every once in a while I get the sewing machine cranked up then get interrupted and have to stop.   We may have a little more than a week left then will have all the crops harvested for this year.  They finished combining the yellow corn yesterday and are working on soybeans now but have about 100 acres of white corn left as well.  Our corn has yielded very well, best yields we have ever had and the soybeans are doing OK but not exceptional.  We have irrigation on most of the land we farm so even though the drought included Nebraska we could keep the crops watered except on the corners of he center pivots and a few other plots of ground.

 This post is from the blog, Nebraska Views. If you are not currently reading this via e-mail or an RSS feed, then this post has been stolen or scraped from the Nebraska Views blog.  Stolen content can be reported HERE .”

Until Later,

Friday, September 28, 2012

Drafting A Quilt Block

IMG_9610Remember my September 10 post…I made the following statement:  “I looked on the internet at other barn quilts and through my quilt books and decided on two blocks to use for the barn quilts.  I chose blocks that could be easily drafted on the 4’ boards.  It is no different drawing them on this large scale as it is to draw small blocks to piece of fabric.”

There have been a few questions about drafting a pieced block so thought I would take you through the steps I use.  (I do use the Electric Quilt program on my computer too to draft and print but it is always good to know how to do it with pencil, paper and rulers.)  You can use this technique to draft a small block or in the case of my barn quilt one that is very large.  I feel that photos really help tell the story so this post will be photo heavy so be warned. Winking smile

The first thing you need to do is find a photo or drawing of the quilt block you want to draft.  In this case I just used the printed block I used for one of the barn quilts I made.  Next draw a square the finished size you want your block to be and in this case you can see I drew a 7” block. (I know an odd size for a quilt block but wanted something that would not be simple one to draw the grid for.) The seam allowances are not included at this point but they are added at the very end so the square you draw is what you want FINISHED.IMG_0216Ok, the outside perimeter is drawn out and next thing to do is study the block picture and see what the basic grid of the block is.  This block is a 4 by 4 equal grid so we will first need to draw grid lines with 4 equal spaces both directions.  It might sound hard to divide 7” into 4 equal spaces but there is a trick to make it easy.IMG_0220First take a ruler and put 0 in one corner….so far not too hard.  The next part is to lay a number on the other side as you see in the photo above and you want to put a number that is divisible by the number of sections you want.  I put the number 8 on the line as you can divide 8 by 4 to get 2”.  Make a dot every 2” along that line….enlarge the photo if you can not see this.  Notice how the width of the block is now divided into 4 equal spaces.

The next step is to draw lines perpendicular to the side edges with the dot as the guide where the line is positioned.  Take a larger ruler and place a line on the ruler on the bottom edge of the block keeping it perfectly lined up then nudge the ruler over until the dot is even with the vertical side of the ruler.  Now is the time to draw a straight line from the top to the bottom.  This will perfectly divide off the first section.  The most important part is keeping the bottom line of the ruler and the bottom line of the block perfectly lined up.  If your ruler is not lined up on that bottom line you will get a section that will be narrower at the top or bottom and you do not want that to happen.IMG_0221Continue to do the same thing with all those dots you made and draw the lines…see now you have the first part of the block drafted.IMG_0222Now the lines need to be drawn the other direction to make our 4 x 4 grid.  It is the same process only instead of putting the 8” mark on the side you put it on the top.  Mark the dots every 2” like before.  IMG_0224Here is a close up photo of the ruler perfectly straight on the bottom of the block and the dot on the right edge of the ruler and all ready for the long line to be drawn.IMG_0226Ta Da….the grid is drawn and ready to put in the block lines.IMG_0228Using a ruler draw in the block divisions.  As you can see I have the main star drawn at this point.IMG_0229As you can also see from the printed block there is a small star in the one section and three stripes in the other three center sections.  They are divided the same way as the larger star so follow along with the photos to see how I did it.IMG_0230For this small star I made my divisions every 1/2”.IMG_0231
IMG_0236For the stripes I used 3/4” marks to make the divisions for the 3 stripes in the single section.  Corner of ruler at 0 and side at 2 1/4” and dots every 3/4”.IMG_0239In the area where the stripes go across 2 sections I made my dots every inch.  It doesn’t matter what number you use so long as it is divisible by the number of sections you are trying to create.  Corner of ruler on 0 and side at 3” and dots every 1”.IMG_0240IMG_0241The block is all drafted and ready.  Since this is an odd sized block at 7” it probably can not be quick pieced or strip cut.    If it is a size that you can strip piece make sure you add 1/4” seam allowances on all sides before you cut.  I would probably make templates and piece this 7” block from the template shapes.  Trace the shape you want from the pattern you just made onto template plastic.  Use your ruler and make another line 1/4” all the way around for seam allowances.  That is it….you have now drafted a block from start to finish.  You can draw any block any size from now on and are not limited to a printed pattern or set of directions for a specific sized block.IMG_0242One thing I do want to mention is I used a large sharpie marker to draw the above block so you could see it but if you are doing this for a real block you would want to use a very sharp pencil or mechanical pencil so you have more accurate lines.

Here is a web page from Quilters Cache with the same kind of drafting I do and a trick or two that are different.  If you are interested in easily drafting other types of blocks just do an internet search as there are lots of good tutorials that are easy to follow the directions.

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Happy Drafting,


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