Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cactus Pot Quilt Block

Cactus Pot Quilt BlockThe Cactus Pot quilt block was first published in the Oklahoma Farmer Stockman, on January 1, 1930 in a monthly column that was included in the journal in the 20's and 30's called Good Cheer Quilt Patterns.


You'll need three fabrics for this block, which I will refer to as CACTUS, POT and BACKGROUND .

Note : if you are making this block for the May 2009 Block Lotto, at least one of your fabrics–it can be any of the three–must be be a flower print.


CACTUS Fabric CuttingFrom your CACTUS fabric:

One large triangle*, cut from a 3-7/8 inch square cut diagonally

Two 2-3/8 inch squares*

POT Fabric CuttingFrom your POT fabric:

One large triangle*, cut from a 3-7/8 inch square cut diagonally

Two small triangles, cut from a 2-3/8 inch square, cut diagonally

BACKGROUND Fabric cuttingFrom your BACKGROUND fabric:

One large triangle*, cut from a 3-7/8 inch square cut diagonally

Two 2-3/8 inch squares*

One 2 inch square

Two 2 inch by 3-1/2 inch rectangles

Note: The squares and triangles marked with asterisks* will be used to make half square triangle units. If you like to round up and trim afterward, these pieces can be cut larger.


Join the CACTUS and POT Large Triangles1. Sew the Large triangles of Cactus and Pot to form a square. It should measure 3.5 inches.
2. Use the 2-3/8 squares of Cactus and Background fabrics to make 4 half square triangle units. They should each measure 2 inches.

The squares of BACKGROUND and CACTUS fabrics form 4 HST Units

3. I find it helpful to lay out these units plus the square of background fabric, to make sure I have the cactus points going in the right direction before sewing them together . . . at least on the first block or two.

Sew two strips, one with two triangle units and the other with two triangle units and the background square.

Layout the triangle squares

4. First attach the strip with the 2 HST units.

Add joined HST units to one side

5. Then add the longer strip to the other side.

Add the other HST units to the other side

6. Next sew the two small Cactus triangles to the end of the Background rectangles.

You need to be very gentle when sewing and especially pressing these because of the bias edges at the “bottom” of this step.

Join POT small triangles to BACKGROUND rectangles

7. After these are sewn to the sides and, again, gently pressed to avoid stretching, the remaining, large background triangle (which should not be cut larger, will fit EXACTLY, to complete the block.

I left the “bunny ears” on the sides to make it a little easier to align the triangle at the bottom. If you trim first, the points will overhang a little so that after the seam is sewn, you have a straight edge.

Add Background triangle to the bottom

You’re done!

You're done

Monday, April 27, 2009

Very Mary and Synchronicty

Very Mary had a giveaway on Friday and I won! Thank you, Mary.

And, as it turns out, some of this sweet floral upcycled, fabric will be just perfect for the lotto blocks we're making for May . . . hint, hint, hint. Isn't Synchronicity a wonderful thing?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Best Intentions

April is National Poetry Month . . . and while I had the best of intentions to write, publish and honor National Poetry Month on my blog this month, it hasn't been happening, has it?

But when I saw this cartoon, on the Savage Chickens Blog, I had to give a passing nod to The World of Poetry and share.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Powering the Entire State of Texas by Solar

A recent study released by Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization, and several environmental organizations has concluded that solar technology alone could supply electricity for the whole state of Texas.

Isn't that simply amazing? Read more here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Shared History

Michael Emerson, the talented actor who plays Benjamin Linus on Lost, worked as a freelance illustrator for The Boston Globe in the 70's and the 80's. In this interview with Jimmy Fallon, you can see some of his work (he also reads a children's story . . . as only he can). I also worked at The Boston Globe briefly in the 80's.

Maybe we passed one another in the mammoth 24/7 cafeteria where everyone ate. I still remember the blue and black chairs in that space: you sat in a black chair if worked around the presses and might have ink on your clothes; you sat in the blue chairs if you didn't want to end up with ink on your clothes. Otherwise, eveyone ate together and the place was always buzzin'. There was a baker in the kitchen and the pastries in the morning were to die for . . . I probably gained upwards of 10 pounds working there . . .

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Drive

Surrounded by Bluebonnets
Standing on a hillside, completely surrounded by bluebonnets, I felt a little like Dorothy, approaching the Emerald City, in the field of poppies, with flowers as far as the eye could see, intoxicated by the aroma.

It was incredible. And all that fresh air, blue skies and beautiful nature really inspired some design ideas today.

Obviously, I opted for getting out of the city for some nature over going to the art fair today and went in search of bluebonnets and . . . found them: alongside the highway, in meadows and pastures, in front yards, on hill sides. They were spectacular.

Here are a few photos from the afternoon. Click for larger images of any of these. The gate on the left says Bluebonnet Hill. The "Hill" itself is on the right.

Bluebonnet Hill Gate Beyond the gate at Bluebonnet Hill

Hillside Close-up of wildflowers

This pair of artists really made me wish I had the confidence to set up an easel and spend the day painting as the parade of camera-toting tourists like me passed by.

Roadside Painters

Even these guys, grazing among the bluebonnets attracted quite a few admirers along the side of the road.

Hanging out with the tourists along the side of the road More grazing among the bluebonnets

Bluebonnet trail signI wonder if there's a term akin to leaf peeper for everyone who, like me, followed the signs and enjoyed the countryside today.

The trail, while well marked, at some point led me in a big circle . . . I confess, at that point, I pulled out my iPhone and asked it to navigate me home–I really need to remember to put MAPS in my car. As it turned out I was only about 10 miles back to the highway and familiar ground. Yay!

My Sunday afternoon drive in the country took me back to my childhood; I know my dad would have loved this day. When I came home, cooking a big pot of beans and rice, like he would have done, just felt so right, too . . . and it smells like it might be ready soon. Bon appetit and happy Sunday.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pennies from Heaven . . . Not!

Pennies, nickels, quarters . . . golf balls, tennis balls and baseballs–all weather terms in Texas, as it turns out, used to describe the size of hail that often accompanies the thunderstorms that have been passing through with some frequency. To the weather forecasters credit, they often predict, to within minutes, when the storms will be passing through the communities in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex and to the credit of the of Texans, they seem to duck and cover as the storms pass and continue on after the rain stops.

As much needed as the rain is, it can't be good for the artists and performers at the Main Street Arts Festival in Fort Worth (pictured here on Friday afternoon) or the organizers of the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival . . . who note on their website, Live entertainment will go on as planned only if weather permits! I'm thinking it was the voice of experience who suggested that disclaimer.

Another sidewalk mosaicI'm less resilient and will probably wait until tomorrow, when the rain stops, the fog clears and threat of lightning, thunder and penny, nickel, quarter or any ball-sized hail has passed before deciding if art fair or bluebonnets are in my plans this weekend. I walked to the post office and to my favorite downtown café this morning sans umbrella and got soaked on the way home. But before the rain came, I found a new quilt block in the sidewalk . . . this is one of my new favorites.

We've already had a bit of excitement this week. On Wednesday, I came home to the sounds of live music. By the time I parked, I figured out it was probably coming from the direction of city hall; by the time I was inside my loft and still hearing it quite clearly, I realized it was likely a tea-bagger tax protest rally. While I found the patriotic musical performances pleasant enough, they later gave way to over-amplified shrieky, speaches that I couldn't understand but could still hear several blocks away with all my doors and windows closed. My little kitty Grace, didn't like the noise, from the beginning. I had come home to find her under the covers on my bed.

Kitty Lumps

This is a relatively new behavior, that she and her brother Johnny Be Good developed on the road from Michigan to Texas and that Grace continues to fully embrace. Someone knocks on the door, Grace heads for the covers. Lightning strikes, heavy rain falls, someone starts moving furniture upstairs or, like Thursday night, the FIRE alarm for the building with a booming automated voice informing us that there has been an alarm in the building . . . she's a very alarmed kitty and wants to hide under the covers and definitely DOES NOT want to be put into her carrier and carried out of the building. For that matter, neither did her brother. I've never heard the two of them YOWL so loudly as we left the building, packed ourselves into the car and drove a couple blocks away to wait things out. According to them, you would have thought we were off on another 1200 mile cross-country road trip ;-)

Within an hour, the firemen had left and we were back inside. Both cats yowled loudly on the trip back inside, too . . . and one of my neighbors couldn't resist a sarcastic crack about how I had kept my kitties safe. Yep, I'm the old woman with cats on the floor–everyone else seems to be dog people. I got a good whiff of smoke near the elevator–it definitely wasn't a false alarm. today I was told by the property manager that i was a minor kitchen fire on the floors below me.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

So now I can tell you

On National Quilting Day, I was sorting through my scraps, pulling fabrics for April Block Lotto and working on the Thrifty quilt block directions so I could send it to the "sneek peekers"–anyone who enters a block a week early or earlier gets advance word on the next month's block. It seemed like a fine way to spend National Quilting Day, but . . . although I might have talked about it, I couldn't share any of the photos until the April Lotto Block, Thrifty, was public on April 1.

I decided I would pull out fabrics from my small scraps that fit the guidelines for the month and make as many blocks as I could. Using up the last bits of some favorite fabrics in the monthly lotto has been really enjoyable for me. Most of these are no wider than 2.5 inches. From this handful of scraps . . .

Fabric Scraps I used to make blocks

. . . I made these fifteen blocks for the block lotto.

I think this basic block, first published in the late 30's, has possibilities, in scrap quilts, as an alternate block, as a border, used an the bones for an I-spy quilt. I have a small project started and hope to share some directions for that, too. But first, we're having fun making lotto blocks. Lots of quilters who received the sneek peek email made early blocks and we already have 79 blocks entered into the lotto . . . we're off to a good start. Obviously my 15 helped fuel the fire, which was my intention; players can enter a max of 9 times, but as I have, are free to make more to sweeten the pot. We'd love to have some newbies join us . . . if this Good and Plenty candy-colored colorway appeals, click on over and play with us this month!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...