Category Archives: Skills

At No Charge

At no charge?  Really.  At no charge as in a give-away.   You betcha.  Read on.


Did you see this?

Chintz Circles by Cathi at Quilt Obsession

or do you remember this?

Alabama Beauty by me.

I always thought there should be a pattern for this quilt and now there is.  Cathi, author of a blog that can be found here  is now a pattern company and that pattern company — Quilt-Obsession — is up and open and ready for creativity!!!

I could have used this pattern – Alabama Beauty – when I was making my quilt.  It gives instructions on how to construct the block, clearly labels each piece throughout the pattern not to mention a great diagram for the stitching sequence.  The pattern is written in a way that you can really learn something.  I think seeing how the block is put together and stitched is invaluable.  Practically a skill to take away with you.

For the record  – this block was mostly hand-pieced but if you’re really good with curves you can do it on the machine.  I did one block on the machine.  It’s definitely do-able depending upon your skill level there.

Some work from Quilt Obsession with Inklingo!

This is Cathi’s first pattern in what is going to be a great group of patterns to come.  And yes this is all done with the neat shapes offered by Inklingo.

→New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares  in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

Apprehensive about printing with freezer paper?  Using the Quick Start Free Collection start out playing with the Combo page printing first thing.  Need help?  Join the Inklingo group for all the help you need at:

So leave a comment if you’re ready to try something new with this pattern.  It can be viewed here and please note that you’ll need to have the Inklingo Orange Peel Deluxe collection in order to make the Alabama Beauty so be sure to look that over here but you don’t have the own that in order to win the pattern.  One step at a time, eh?  Sign up, join the giveaway, give it a shot, learn something new.  It’s fun!

Happy Monday and congratulations to Cathi for stepping out and making a dream come true!  *karendianne.

Another New "Skill"

As the year progresses I continue to learn new things.  Tuesday I learned a new way to make a quilt.  It’s kinda cool.  When you make the block, it’s finished – pieced and quilted and there you go.

You use a circle template, a 7 ¾ background square, 8″ square of Thermore, and 8″ four patches made out of scraps.  The class was taught at my LQS and by the way, don’t you just appreciate the effort folks put into the classes?  I had a great time and I sure feel grateful.

Class Learning Block – Front

Anyway, back to the block.  It’s 12″ finished with basting stitches left in until quilt completed.

Learning Block – Back

Sorry I don’t have any pictures from class.  I do have the handy dandy link to the snappy pattern called Less Than Traditional Starter Kit Medium starting with 8″ squares.  

I seriously enjoyed the class and time with friends.  Good fun.  Unfortunately I didn’t “wear well” and wouldn’t you know but I’ve been feeling poorly.  Not dramatic.  Just ragged out.  MS and heat – oil and water.  

Still, the class was great and I have a new way to create.  I’m going to keep on with this so I don’t forget.  New methods take some time to get burned onto the memory disc, don’t they?

With that bit of sharing, I’ll leave you.  Thank you for visiting, have a great day and try to get a bit of sew time in!  

The Stuff Coming out of LeeHaven

I’m probably not very good at this wavy/scalloped binding thing although I did apply the actual bias binding with skill – meaning I’ve improved.  It didn’t come naturally, let me put it that way.
I find this pattern to be quite forgiving with regard to color.  I made a grave error.  As mentioned in a previous post for some unknown reason I spaced out and pulled only dark blues. It’s really too bad as this could have been a real stunner!  I’m not done and I’m doing a salvage job but only due to the pattern I think.  I just love to look at it.  Plus, I have some scrappy backgrounds in there so that helps.  It’s hard to ruin this pattern but I darn sure almost about did.
I thought maybe you might like to see a part of the Alabama  Beauty as she’s being pieced.  Definitely click this one to see how it works.  It’s interesting.  Hand-piecing this one as a “daily practice” is helping my hand and eye coordination.  I’m not as shaky as I was. 
So friends, I’m told I got taken away with myself and my new found activities & new found friends.  Taken away, swept away, delighted and all charmed up.  That’s how it’s most likely I ended up not doing so well with my walking and getting around.  I was busy taking on the world, doing things and kind of forgetting I have MS.  It happens.  It does.  Right now though, lately, I remember. 
“Rest, rest, rest.  Read a book.  It’s getting hot anyway.” This was from my Neuro team.  Melanie.  When we finished she said “You know, we have no reason to think it’ll stay like this.  You can bounce back.  We’re not changing a thing!” 
I felt a sudden stream of healing energy at that very moment.  You never want to take away someone’s hope, that’s for sure, but to give someone hope – gosh, that’s ever healing. 
Back to the old lifestyle for a bit.  Downshifting.  And that’s another thing the the hand-piecing is good for because I’m one of those people that has “ants in her pants” and I’m fidgety.  I have to be doing something. 
*karendianne.  The Mistress of LeeHaven.

Implements of the Ancients

What was I doing a few days ago? Was I at your Blog and not leaving a comment or was I at someone else’s Blog, taking in the words & pictures but not able to leave a comment? I was here, taking in the musings of one Carrie Nelson
. A shock that I would loiter there, I know. I have two of her quilts on my banner and one hiding on my sidebar. At any rate, back to the posting I was reading and didn’t leave a comment about.

I enjoyed the post. How can I tell? I contemplated it. I wondered. I thought “what must it have been like all those years ago?” I started thinking about the comment regarding the then new Rotary Cutter and I couldn’t help but wonder ~ how many scissors did y’all have back then?

I know I have plenty of rotary cutters in various sizes. I like the biggest one the best! But if I have so many cutters, wouldn’t I be a quilter with tons of scissors? I’m just wondering, for all you quilters that were around back in the day” what variety of scissors did you have? Were they pricey? What requirements did you have for the feel of your scissors? My mom sews clothing so I am aware that some scissors are for certain fabrics and lord save me if I ever used her really good scissors for paper.

When I became an adult and married, I dropped a load of cash on a good pair of scissors for her. That was my way of making up for being ruinous to her sewing tools. I didn’t understand but I did know there were so many uses for those really bad ass scissors. Not the ones with the orange handle. I wanted to get my hands on the shiny blades! I was just a kid and didn’t have a special hobby to protect from others. Now I do and I understand.

“No Big Deal”

So what’s with “No Big Deal?” It’s my new mantra. Helps me to pull it all back and together. It helped me get to the grocery store and back. I despise that chore like you can’t imagine. Then I said to myself “No Big Deal” and I made it. I got a call today from the drug company. Probably they want to verify my enrollment information. I’m avoiding that call. This is where I’m supposed to reflect “No Big Deal.” Pulling it all together is different from being a procrastinator! I’m just sayin’…

Seams in Stiches

While reading a Lori Smith pattern I came across a tidbit about pressing seams open. Do you press seams open as needed or does it bother you under all circumstances?
In Lori’s pattern she offers up something clever (I thought). Reduce your stitch length where you’ll be pressing your seams open. Less likely you’ll ever see a pokey-hole. Maybe you already do this but I didn’t know.
Onto the little baskets of cute. I attempted a high, medium and low contrast basket. I think I achieved that. I think. There’s a good bit of cutting and piecing with these cute little baskets which isn’t so bad in and of itself but choosing fabrics took me forever. I think once I’m up and running I can pull just fine but at the start, I’m slow out-of-the-gate.

My Hourglass blocks are really moving along. I have a stack of square-me-up’s and a stack of she sits and sew’s then 25 final blocks. So really, by my count, I only have 14 left. Like my math? From what I counted and recounted and counted again I should have 148 – 6″ (finished) blocks. I think that means a quilt will begin to take shape soon.

I mostly had the computer OFF on this weekend, especially Sunday. The weather was lovely. Kismet came out and had a bath. She was so happy & funny to watch. While she sunned and bathed I sat on the porch and did some parrot-watching. Then we talked back and forth. It was pure fun!
If it looks like wisdom, but is unkind rather than loving, it’s not wisdom.
If it feels like love, but it’s not wise, it’s not love.

Making the Cut

I thought I’d share a new to me tool – you could very well have one of these? My new Rotating Mat [*on top of my regular mat] is a significant safety and precision cut improvement while I’m making the cut. It’s fantastical! I love the way my pieces come out and I completely dig the fact that I’m not breaking all the quilting safety rules while trying to turn back and cut, which I might add is completely illegal. If there were Quilt Police it would be total jail time for some of us! “Matter” is really great for your lower back, neck and shoulders.

This is how I cut with the Marti Michell templates. I like to line my ruler against my template…

…spin “Matter,” remove my template and cut against the ruler. I just find that safer.

I’ve moved my template a bit so you can see post initial cut. You can also see I have to nip off the tips. I didn’t think photos were needed of that process.

Here we have the cleanest, most even cut I’ve done. And it’s all because of my Rotating Mat!

It’s true, I’ve gone a long time without this wonderful tool and made plenty of blocks. But I feel as if someone just gave me a 1/4″ foot or something! It’s a great tool for me. Especially when you’re cutting teeny tiny pieces. So Cut Me Loose! I actually don’t mind a day of Cutting but it does wear you out so. This is like to make a big difference.
These mats come in 12″ and 17.” I was advised to get the 17″ and glad for that. I can see that’s a difference. They aren’t cheap but with your 50% JoAnns coupon you’re good.
Matter of Cuttin’ Loose with Love, *karendianne.