A couple of years ago I saw a quilt that captured my imagination. It was called Stairway to Heaven. I did a little searching and I discovered that it was originally published in McCalls in 1997 and was designed by Barbara Dubovsky. Here is the link to the pattern:
Make sure you look for the link to the printable PDF templates for the cats and the moon.
I have been wanting to make this quilt for a special lady who turned into a crazy cat lady early in life. On Monday, December 26 I got up and decided to start making my own version. That day I also got sick. Luckily I had already made all the fence rail blocks from my various pink fabrics. I puttered along at getting the quilt getting together and finally finished piecing it on Thursday, December 29 despite the fact that I was still sick. On Friday I was feeling a little better so I loaded the quilt on my longarm and then crashed and took a nap. All afternoon I worked on quilting it and finished about 6. My plan was to bind the quilt on Saturday, but something told me I better get it done. About 10:30 I decided to just make the binding. Step by step I just kept going and finished at about 12:15AM.
Saturday I was a mess. So wiped out I couldn’t do anything. I did manage to get a ribbon around the quilt and a Quilt Care packet tucked inside. My husband went to the New Year’s Eve party for our tribe and gifted the quilt to my bonus daughter-in-law Frazier. She was thrilled.
For the record. . . I didn’t follow the pattern at all. My quilt is made up of 9″ blocks and uses Fence Rail blocks instead of nine patches. The cat templates that come with the pattern were too small and I wanted some different poses. I found some cat silhouettes on Google and imported and resized them in Photoshop. I used Heat and Bond Lite to attach the cats and then I satin stitched around the edges. That took quite a while. I used a really cute digital quilting pattern called “Kitty Cat Love 2” designed by Kalynda Grant for Intelligent Quilting and it looked great on the Cuddle fabric from Shannon.
To make the 9″ (finished) blocks I used strips that were 3.5″ x the width of the fabric. I sewed three together and then cut them into 9.5″ squares. The blue part is mostly longer 9.5″ strips.
Although I have participated in the Quilt Block Mania for a couple of years, I kind of fell off the wagon in 2022. I have recommitted for 2023 and here is the first block!
In case you are new to Quilt Block Mania, it is a FREE program that gives us quilt designers a theme for each month. We design a 12″ (finished) quilt block and provide it FREE for at least one month. We are also supposed to link to all the other designers so it is easy for you to jump around and get the blocks that you want.
This month’s theme is : DESSERT.
How could I NOT participate????
My block features a cake on a cake stand. You may not know, but I have a thing about cake stands. . . I probably own 7-8 of them and I rarely make cakes anymore. I also love milk glass so that is why I made the stand white. Please feel fee to re-color your block to fit your needs!!!
This is a Foundation Paper Pieced Pattern. If you haven’t ever done FPP, it is pretty easy and you will end up with beautifully near-perfect blocks. You will waste a bit more fabric than with traditional piecing, but there’s a lot less quilty math and measuring involved!
There are all sorts of FPP tutorials online. I have one, but feel free to search for others as well!
To get the free pattern, you will click on the button below and it will take you to a landing page where you will put in your e-mail address and first name. Yes. . . you are subscribing to my once-a-month newsletter. (Keep reading- this makes it easier for you in the future!) Once you press the submit button you will be taken to the block download page. You will download the PDF pattern to your computer and you will be able to print the templates to make the block.
IN THE FUTURE- You are always welcome to go through the process listed above, but once you sign up for the newsletter I will send you the FREE block design every month and there will be no hoops to jump through. You will get to go straight to the download page.
This blog post is a little late. . . but I have been on the road!
Last week I had the opportunity to visit a place that I had been before. Believe it or not, the first time I went to Hamilton, MO was in 2014 and I actually left the Missouri Star Quilt Company WITHOUT BUYING ANYTHING!!!! I know. It sounds crazy, but it is true. I was just starting to quilt again after a long hiatus and I got overwhelmed. So I walked out.
Now. . . on to this year’s experience. I certainly did NOT walk away without buying anything. I bought at least $50 in most of the shops!!! But I had an ulterior motive for that.
We arrived on Monday the 17th around 2 in the afternoon and rolled into “A Country Charm RV Park”. We did have reservations because you don’t really go anywhere in a 43 foot motorhome without knowing there is a place for you. There were quite a few spots in the park but only 3-4 pull throughs, so I was glad I called ahead. Jerry helped us get parked and happened to notice oil on one of our tires. That resulted in my husband spending his day on Tuesday getting some sort of seal on the tire fixed, but we were so grateful that Jerry noticed and told us! We were probably spared problems down the road- literally!
On Monday afternoon I took the opportunity to wander through ALL the MSQC shops to get the lay of the land to avoid overload. I started in the Main Store where no one spoke to me. We were not off to a good start because I tend to judge a store by their welcome. I went to the Mercantile next where quite a few people were shopping. The employees were focused on a couple and seemed to be ignoring everyone else. (I later discerned that the woman in question is some kind of a manager at MSQC who was shopping with her son who used to be an employee, so that explains the level of attention.) That was a Strike Two and I was feeling kind of depressed.
The moment I stepped into the Floral Shop the employee at the desk greeted me and asked if he could help me. I was very happy that I was experiencing the type of customer service I expect at ANY quilt shop. And to be honest. . . he looked like he would be more comfortable at a gaming convention than a quilt store- but he did his job!
Although I don’t do much with yarn, the Yarn Shop is beautiful and the employee went above and beyond to be warm and welcoming. She almost had me starting a shawl until I remembered how far behind I was on quilting projects! My time in the Yarn Shop really made me feel more like shopping.
I did quick runs through the other shops and was pleased with the level of helpfulness of the employees even when they were faced with a situation out of their control that was awkward. I can’t really say any more about that without revealing someone known having a bad moment, so I wont. We all have bad moments.
On my tours through the shops I noticed some different flannels and had a question about wool flannel so I went back to the Mercantile. This time I was greeted by an employee named Jane who not only answered my questions but was super warm and helpful. Despite the fact that I was NOT buying on Monday, I bought a book about Feed Sacks and Jenny’s autobiography. That is when I learned that if you spend $50 at any one of the stores you get a patch. My goal was set!
Jane was able to fix a couple of issues in my store profile (I was already an online customer) and she told me to go back to the Main Store, find the iPads to check in, and I would get a shoppers card that would streamline the checkout process at each shop. Why nobody in the Main Shop told me this, I don’t know, but they didn’t.
I happily went back to the RV Park. We tried to go to Kathy’s Kitchen for dinner but they were closed for a private event so we drove to Cameron and had a delicious dinner at Dino’s Diner. In fact dinner was so good that we went back for breakfast on Tuesday morning.
That evening I read 4-5 chapters of Jenny’s book before going to bed. There was a lot about her early life that I did not know. I highly recommend the book. It will give you some things to think about and I like knowing the back story of the store’s success.
After breakfast on Tuesday I was ready to shop. I bought something in every shop- except Florals! I didn’t even go in that store. . . not sure why. . . just not feeling floral-y I guess. I also managed to not buy yarn.
I ate lunch at Eggo’s cafe and bought some fudge at Candy Gran Sweet Shop. One of my favorite shops was the new Bag Shop. I am not great at making bags but I love all the findings and let me tell you. . . they had EVERYTHING. There was a Sallie Tomato pattern that I wanted but they were out in the shop. The store employee ordered one from the warehouse for me and in just a couple of hours it was waiting for me at the Main Shop.
There is a leather area in the Bag Shop and I got to do a Make and Take. It was delightful to learn a new technique and make something beautiful. It really filled my creative soul and I was able to make a gift for a friend for Christmas. (I might have to make a separate post about that. . . after Christmas!)
I tried to go to ALL the shops on Main Street and I purchased at most of them. It really is a cute little town! I have discovered that I missed a gem, though. I did not go in the grocery store and I understand they have wooden quilt blocks. I won’t miss them next time I go!
On Jane’s recommendation, my husband and I went to the Missouri Quilt Museum which is NOT part of MSQC but is supported by the town and and MSQC. The admission was $10 but well worth the experience. My favorite display was the toy sewing machines with the mini quilts running a close second.
Here are a couple photos of some of my goodies.
My husband got burgers for us at Kathy’s after my long day of shopping and we ate them in our motor home with my feet propped up. I also finished reading Jenny’s book. Yup. I am a fast reader.
All in all it was a wonderful trip to the Happiest Place for Quilters. I enjoyed the displays: they are real eye candy. I think I will be going back again pretty soon!