Friday, January 26, 2024


It's been a while since I've had a quilt to bind and it felt so good! 

This is a rather small quilt (55" x 65") and it didn't take long to bind it, but it sure felt good to do that last night. I love it when a quilt gets to the binding stage. 

Maybe this is just what I needed to get focused on finishing projects. :-) 

Saturday, January 20, 2024

The Best Winter Colors

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I enjoy watching birds from out of the many windows in my sewing area. I especially enjoy watching them when there is snow on the ground. Jack is diligent with making sure there is plenty of food for the birds when the temperatures drop and the snow falls, and this year has been no different. 

We haven't had much snow, so this morning was the first time that I sat with a cup of coffee and marveled at the birds and their beautiful colors. 

I wasn't thinking about taking pictures when I first sat down; but when I remembered that I hadn't shared any on the blog yet (or much of any content, for that matter), I grabbed my phone. It's difficult to see in this picture, but this is a blue jay and his color is beautiful. Do you notice how the smaller birds stay far away from the blue jay? Jack and I enjoy watching the dynamic of these birds and how they interact with each other. 

While this picture is even more challenging to see, this male cardinal is gorgeous. I love the bright red against the white snow. Beautiful!! The male cardinals don't seem to mind sharing the same space with other birds, but they do NOT like to share it with other male cardinals. And typically, the males and females take turns going to the feeders or to the seeds on the ground. 

As you can see in the pictures, there is a wooded ravine behind the birds. Because of that, we are blessed to see a lot of birds and other animals. Deer and fox are pretty common sights for us and we always enjoy seeing them as well. 

The trees bring out the woodpeckers and we often see a variety of them. I love the red head on this one so of course I took a lot of pictures.  :-)  

As you can see in the picture below, the woodpeckers generally are ok with sharing the area with other varieties of birds too. 

We didn't see any eagles or hawks today, but hopefully we'll get a chance to do so soon.

The birds provide color on cold and snowy winter day; and for that, I am grateful.

Monday, January 1, 2024

2024 Color Challenge

It's time for the 2024 
Monthly Color Challenge. 

Jen over at Patterns by Jen, always a great way to start a new year and 2024 is no different! 
Jen is the "hostess with the mostest" of the Monthly Color Challenge, and I'm thrilled to join her again for my 6th year. 

Each month, Jen will pick a color and a quilt block featuring that color. Not only does she choose a block, she provides instruction on how to make that block. The instructions are FREE during the featured month, but can be purchased for $1 after that. 

Jen always finds a fun way to introduce each month's color and she's done it again for 2024. Each month will be introduced via a fish, and I don't mean a simple, basic fish. Just take a look at this list! What fun!!    

January - Green Tiger Barb (Green)
February - Discus (Orange)
March - Cherry Barb (Red)
April - Electric Blue Hap (Blue)
May - Electric Yellow Lab (Yellow)
June - Harlequin Rasboras (Raspberry)
July - Duboisi Cichlid (Silver)
August - Purple Dottyback (Purple)
September - Kuhli Loach (Brown)
October - Wrought Iron Butterfly (Black)
November - Gourami (Teal)
December - Marigold Wag Swordtail (Gold) 

Jen's has lots more information on her blog, so why not jump over and read more about. 

Let's get started! 
January - The Green Tiger Barb

I have to be honest and say that I have never heard of the Green Tiger Barb. I did a quick internet search and found some lovely pictures; and I must say, this is quite a pretty fish. 

Thanks to its fluorescent green body, this fish will not be overlooked in any tank! While there are variations, the green body, with silver and gold blotches are topped off with really cool orange fins, making these fish a beautiful sight.

The Green Tiger Barb is know for being quite active and they like to have lots of plants in their aquariums. 
They also like their friends! Like most quilters I know, the Green Tiger Barbs don't particularly like being alone and should be put in schools of six or more.   

While Jen has made her blocks with two different greens, I chose to make mine with a single green and a white/silver dot background. The general rule is a fat quarter of light and a fat quarter of dark will be enough for each block.
The finished size of each month's block will be 12".

I will be keeping my background consistent all year. If you would like to do the same, Jen has all the information on how to do that, and even has information on how to cut the background for all 12 months most efficiently. WooHoo!

Use this link and scroll down the page a bit to find where to get the pdf for that. 

Here are the fabrics I've chosen. Don't you think the green texture kind of looks like fish scales? I do and am going to attempt to have each month's color print have a similar texture. 

This month's block is one of my all-time favorite blocks - Square in a Square.

Jen's instructions are very well written and one of the things I like is that block units are oversized and will be trimmed to the actual size needed. Doing this also helps keep all those beautiful points. No cut off tips here. I LOVE that!

This unit looks a bit untidy and rough... 

but once it's trimmed, it looks great! 

You will be making some flying geese units and those are oversized as well. 
Click HERE for my tutorial on how I like to trim those unit and get perfect flying geese every time. 


Jen provides pressing instructions for all of her blocks. While she likes to press seams to one side; lately, I've found that I am more successful with accurate points when I press my seams open. 

But...honestly, I don't think there really is a right or wrong way to press seams or do most of anything sewing-related. Generally, I say that as long as it's safe, whatever method is easiest for you and provides you with the results that make you happy, then that's the method you should follow. :-) 

I had a lot of fun making this block and I'm looking forward to making the remaining eleven. Who's going to join me?

Don't you think that my background in this picture looks like the bottom of a stream? I think so. It's actually our back patio, but I like it and plan to take pictures of each of my finished blocks there. We'll see if that happens, especially if there is snow when I finish the block.  LOL