Sunday, January 31, 2016

My boss is a slave driver!

No - I'm not talking about my day job.  Nope - it's that darn little book with all the goals in it.  She's TOUGH!!!  You know why???  She makes me ACCOUNTABLE.  Because I wrote things in it that I wanted to accomplish - the expectation is that I get them done. And she's darn BOSSY to boot.

I did manage to get 1/3 of the items done this week.  That means that I have stuff  to carry over this week. I don't like the carry over thing but I don't have a choice and as I remove things - then other things become a priority. I will get better at it - but it's working!

However I did have one compromise from the BOOK - I must give that book a name. Any suggestions?  Anyway - I made a deal that we would have our meeting this morning instead of last night so that I could get one big thing accomplished. And I did - so we're both happy!

I taught a bag class yesterday - there were 16 in the class.  I'll post the pictures tomorrow.  But this is what I did after I came home and got myself down to the studio.

I had a peek in the CONFETTI box - well those 1 1/2" squares.  I goofed and last week - I called it spaghetti - not confetti!  HA!

Amongst all the little squares that I cut - there was a box that I had received from becoming a member of Keepsake Quilting club. Many many years ago.

What's in the box????

Little squares

And now they are part of the bigger collection

Not much progress - but I haven't been sewing much!

So I got the enders and leaders prepped.  The ironing board needs to be cleaned off, but I managed to work on that little space last night.  I know - it's ridiculous!!!!!   And there was my dessert and my tea!

The ironing board with NOT much room

And what did I work on????   The 365 block Challenge.   I'm sure you are familiar with it by now, but if you're not - have a look.

365 Quilt
365 Block Challenge quilt

Now here's the scary thing.  There is ONE block a day for 365 days.  That's a lot of blocks.  Right now - we're working on the dark inner border which is make up of 3 inch squares.  They are all fairly simple blocks. But look what is going to happen as we move out - those lighter colored blocks are BIGGER!!!!!

Anyway - I was behind and now I'm not!!!!   I'm caught up - hard to believe. I'm just using green scraps and I'm not really caring a lot about the shades of green or the values in some cases.  Like below - you can't really see the little four patches.

One block with little four patches and did I twirl the seams???

Couldn't help myself

Yes - I did 17 blocks last night and this morning!!!!!!

Let's put it this way - not doing that again.  I don't mind to do 4 or 5 at once, but 17 was a bit much.  But that is what I was in the mood to do!!!!!

January blocks - all 31 of them

And it is perfect - I have my tablet right on the cutting table so I can see the patterns and sizes.  I cut and sew and press and look at the tablet and no need to print.  I'm not sure I can anyway - I've pretty much given up on getting the printer to work.  And let's not forget that I'm unsubscribing from e-mail stuff.  What a long process that is going to be.

And in the event that I don't get an e-mail sent to everyone - my new e-mail is   That's pretty easy to remember.  The old one will work for at least another month or so.

Lexi has learned a very annoying habit.  She will sit by the computer, lean on me and proceed to use her nose to take my hand off the keyboard.  STOP TYPING and play with ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   But she already had her turn at the computer this moring - check out her blog.  I'm not sure why she is complaining!!!!

On that note - I've a ton of stuff to get done today.  That little book is making me accountable and by the end of the week that crate (at work) is being packed to go to Quiltcon.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, January 30, 2016

What I learned at work today!

We live in a weird and wacky world that is very much dictated by what happens in the US.

One thing that drives me crazy is the English language.  We have British English  and then we have US English.  Well - we already know about COLOUR - or is that COLOR?  Colour is the British version and color is the American version.

You can use the one you want, BUT if you happen to be writing for the public for sources outside Canada, please use the American version.  Like I said - it drives me crazy, but I'm getting used to it.

When I write for QUILTSocial, I think the only one that I really have to pay attention to is COLOR/COLOUR.

However yesterday I was preparing a document that would be seen by folks in the US and I learned a new word that has an American spelling.  Quite frankly - it knocked my socks off!!!!   Do you want to know what the word is?????   We (as quilters) are all familiar with the word.

What is it?????   SELVEDGE.   Yes - that is the British spelling.  The American is SELVAGE.   Don't trust me????  Follow this link.    I was in total shock!  Who knew????   OK - that really drives me crazy and I shall endeavour to write future text WITHOUT using the word colour or selvedge!!!   I think that will be kind of difficult.

What are your thoughts about the color/colour  - selvedge/selvage thing????   Any other words that I need to be aware of????

Well - it's going to be another absolutely crazy weekend.  No rest for me and I have a class waiting for me and a ton of stuff to put in the car so I had better get in gear or I'll be late.

I heard through the grapevine that Lexi's been at the computer again. Check out what she's been up to.

Have an awesome day!!!!!


Friday, January 29, 2016

A good day's work!

Very happy to report that I had a successful day working from home.  Working from home isn't all it's cracked up to be.  It's not like you can just sit down and read a book when you are bored of what you're doing.  That means I got a lot of work done.  I went as far as I could on one of my projects.  Need to stop and pick up the rest of my supplies today.  So all is good there. 

By this time, it was getting sort of late in the day and I thought - I could do this other work project that required some machine embroidery.  Yep - I cranked up MY OWN Husqvarna Viking Ruby Deluxe and got busy.  

Let me tell you that if you had one of the older embroidery sewing machines (like I do) and then you move to this new generation - it is like NIGHT and DAY.  I did everything I needed to on the screen - no need to use a computer. Easy to edit - it was great. 

Start of the work project
So while I was embroidering on one machine - I was sewing on the other!!!!!   The other day when I was working, I had one machine set up for sewing, one for quilting and I really wanted to do some embroidery, however, it appears that I have misplaced the power cord for one of the machines (my Ruby!!!!)   Now how did that happen??   No idea, but I bought a new one last night and I'm good to go.  I can fire up all three sewing machine - one to do applique, one to piece and one doing machine embroidery!!   I really really want to do some machine embroidery applique.

Working at two machines 

I know this looks like a mess, but it was a very efficient way of hooping the projects and it's done.  Just have to clean them up (trim threads, rip off stabilizer) today and then I have a little present for the staff!  I'll tell you about it after I present it to them.

A mass of embroidered stuff

Had fun speaking at the guild last night.  So many memories in those group quilts.  And so many group projects are still sitting there waiting to be done.  Because those quilts have way more meaning than many of my others, perhaps that should become the focus of what I work on this year. Provided I have any spare time which isn't the case.

On that note - have a great day!!!!!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Do as I say - not as I do!

It's OK to have a few panic attacks along the way.  But HOLY HANNAH - it's almost SHIPPING date and what have I got done?

Let's step back a few minutes.   I've been working with 19 or 20 quilt designers to get help make our quilts for the display at the Northcott booth for Quiltcon 2016.  Obviously there is a deadline - what would life be without a deadline.  I've received 7 of the 24 quilts. One more is sitting in our US office and I think 2 are in the mail.  OK - so not bad, but the deadline for me to receive them is Feb 3.  Let's not panic as there is still time and there are a handful that will arrive at our hotel.

But what about me???   Yep - two of those quilts have my name beside them.  Have I started them?  NO...............    don't make me confess.  OK - I've started one but just!   All I can say is thank goodness modern quilts are not heavily pieced - well most of them aren't.

Now worse case scenario, I could take the quilts with me on the plane, but I also have five other items and those absolutely must be on the crate.  Don't fret - I've been working on them.   The main parts are assembled, found a very important supply earlier this week and those are ready for pick up today (they had to be custom cut).  A bit of trimming and sewing and then a bit of nasty hand sewing and I'll be done!!!!

Leftovers from my one project

My quilt - GASP - it's not orange

I know - I tried and it just didn't work.   But you wait - some of those designers definitely had me in mind when they put their colors together.  You better wear sunglasses!!!!

So today is a heads down day - cutting, sewing, trimming, pressing - repeat!!!!!   I'm going to need lots of tea and lots of chocolate!!!!   Maybe I need some wine - I do have Bailey's.   Too bad I don't have more of Helen Anne's fruit cake which was heavily laced with rum - now that was a fruit cake!  (Thanks again Helen Anne!)

But TONIGHT if you live in this area and want something to do - I`ll be speaking at the Brampton Quilter`s Guild.  They meet at Jim Archdekin rec center in Brampton.   I`ll be chatting about GROUP QUILTS.  Oh my - some of this stuff has NEVER been seen by anyone.  While every quilt has a good story - these group quilts - oh my!   They have the best stories!!!!

Getting ready for the trunk show

As I mentioned - I created a new e-mail account yesterday. Some of you may have gotten an e-mail from me yesterday.   There is a VERY seamless interface that transfers your e-mail from the old to the new.  Although I don`t think it does everything and you still have to notify people about the change.   I started to make changes this morning.  OH MY GOD - that is a daunting task.  I`m not sure where to even begin.  I think I will start by CANCELLING all the e-mails that I receive from stores/groups etc.  There are tons (most I don't read) and often times there is NO way to change your e-mail address.  You can unsubscribe.  That just sounds a whole lot easier and I have to be selective about what goes into the new address or I'll end up in a HUGE mess again.

I also started an INSTAGRAM account.  I know - why not just call me crazy!   Well - now that you say that - my account is CRAZYQUILTERONABIKE     - hey - it's a brand and it's mine!!!   So find me and follow me on Instagram!

I best get on with my day - loads to do and I gain an hour and a half since I'm hunkered down to sew at home today.

Have an AWESOME day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Moving on................

Before you get in a panic!   I'm not moving - but wait and you'll see what I mean.

I thought I'd start by sharing my office space.  I'm always posting pictures of my studio and it's a near write off - but looks much better these days.  So my office?????  Well you decide!

One side

The other side
Yep - "my" office couch is buried under quilts that we've received for Quiltcon. Sneak peeks of those later this week. The desk is littered with paper - reading materials, projects, patterns to write and much much more EXCITING stuff.    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my inspiration board - I must tidy it up a bit as it is getting out of hand, but so many cool things to save!!!!

But here's what I think.   Don't forget that today is Bell Let's Talk day - the awareness campaign for mental illness.  We are all wired so differently - some of us can handle and thrive on the mess above - others would be totally incapacitated.  There are days when I feel overwhelmed with the enormity of the situation, but most days - I'm loving it!

I think we all need to find that comfort zone so that we can work comfortably.  And one thing and I truly believe this - we need to find the root of the problem.  Oh in this case - STOP buying stuff - that would fix the problem!!!!!   And that's going to happen!  HA HA HA HA!!!

I firmly believe that much of the mental illness situation today is that we are overwhelmed with e-mail, our stuff, social media, advertising, family, hobbies, demands of everyone.  We don't want to cull things, we only see the GOOD stuff posted on-line - people rarely post their mistakes and we start to feel like a failure because we can't do everything.   STOP - PRIORITIZE - FOCUS - WIN.  It has a lot to be said for everything that we do!!!!!!!!!!!!   And LET IT GO!!!!!    If things aren't perfect - I don't care any more.  I don't have time nor the energy!!!  Well I do, but I don't want to waste it on silly things.

OK - so here's the moving deal.  I watched a webinar last night about Social Media.  Hmmmmm - while I'm somewhat knowledgeable about social media - there are people that social media is THEIR JOB.  Wow - I guess people would look at me like that and say - how lucky I am. And yes - I am truly blessed with my job!

I was dreading having to change my e-mail address - not for any bad reason - just consolidating services and that means my e-mail account will go away.  ACK!!!!!!   Now that will set me in a panic for sure. BUT after watching the webinar - I now see it as a great opportunity and I'm pumped to get started. .  However I've already got a NEW e-mail set up this morning and I'm pumped and ready to tackle SOCIAL MEDIA.

Stay tuned for that!!!!!   I will be sending out notices to everyone about the change of e-mail within the next couple of days. Trust me - it's very easy to remember!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

There is a THIEF amongst us!!!!!

Let it be said that while I LOVE my job, I do miss my sewing groups - a LOT. While my work colleagues do get excited about quilting stuff, they really don't appreciate it from a quilter's point of view. And it's hard to discuss the merits of a particular method of sewing versus another.  However it does bring a whole new way to look at patterns/quilting/marketing and that's from the business side.  How much does it cost to make this kit?  How effectively does this pattern use fabric, etc.   All of those things are right up my alley because of my business background - so yes - I LOVE my job, but Thursday ladies and Monday Mania - I MISS YOU!!!!

Now having said that - I do get to see the Monday group for 1 1/2 hours before I go to work on Monday. It's my way to stay connected to a quilting group.  But 1 1/2 hours is not the same as an entire day.  But it's better than nothing!  I'm not complaining.  Actually I feel very fortunate that I was able to work out an arrangement to keep that connection. Thank goodness, I went to work for a fabric company instead of a bank. I think it would be hard to convince the bank that I need a quilting fix before I come to work!

So speaking of the Monday group - I have some show n tell from them.

Maria has been working on a one-block wonder for a number of weeks.  It's finally together and she brought it to share with us.  Wow - that's crazy!!!!!!    I love the cubes and think they add some great highlights to the quilt.  Also love how she popped those cubes outside the quilt and into the border.

Maria's One Block wonder
Cube close-up!!!!

I spied this on Jan's table and had to have a peek.  She's been working on the 2015 Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.  I had seen a picture of the finished one on-line and much nicer than 2014.  The pattern is very defined.  I might be tempted to make this one myself.  AHA - who am I kidding!!!!!   I have scores and scores of ideas running around in my head.  Nope - I need someone who just wants to sew (for free), but not have to pay for their fabric and they don't get to keep the quilt. AND they may not have a pattern to work with - just a picture or a sketch.   I don't ask for much - do I?????   I'm serious - if there are any takers - get in touch!

Anyway - here is Jan's quilt.

Jan's Bonnie Hunter mystery
This is the border she is going to put on it.  I don't think this was part of the mystery. She came up with that border herself.

Jan's border
You can find the final reveal from Bonnie's blog at this link.

Sandra was over using the long arm on Sunday and she quilted this MASSIVE quilt.  Took a long time, but while she was quilting, I was sewing and I got a lot done!   More on that another day. 

Sandra's quilt

 So the other day, I was looking for something.  Oh yes - I did find my pink thread last night. And the tables/floor are looking pretty nice.  No time for pictures.  Are you kidding me?  We had a meeting for QuiltCon yesterday.  I have a lot of work to do  and CRIPES - I just lost a week because of shipping and photography and well there is NO time to waste!!!!!   Cannot wait to share it all with you.

So the other day, I was looking for something.  At some point, I had purchased a couple of small orange bows that clip into your hair. I knew where they were when I first bought them, but they had been moved.  Where to?????   No clue.   This morning, I'm standing at the cutting table, trimming up some blocks and I happened to look at Manni (my mannequin friend) and OH MY GOD - she STOLE those orange bows.   They were in her hair.  Well one of them was and I'm sure the other one is under her hat!   How dare she take my things.  She's worse than having a sister!!!!!!

Manni stole my orange hair bow!!!!

Well - there you have it - another episode of total craziness.  I keep saying it's going to get better, but it doesn't and it won't.  And you know what?   I don't want it to.  Nope - I kind of like the craziness - I feed off it and I get excited about what crazy adventures each day will hold.  Yes - some days are more boring than others, but there is usually some crazy nugget in each day!!!!!

Have an awesome day (and can you believe that weather?  - it's so warm out!)


Monday, January 25, 2016

Making head way or not?

It really is all about trying to keep one's head above the water level.  Some days I feel 100% in control and other days - I'm a goner!

The more serious I have become about this problem, there are way more days when I feel like I'm in control and that's a good thing!

Here is the "system" that I now have in place for class materials.  I have several one time classes that I teach and I have a lot of on-going classes. I now have designated table space for each class.  That way, when I think of something (book/thread/pattern or idea) for that particular class - I put it on the appropriate pile.  Then when it comes time to prep the class, pack for the class - things are ready to go!!!!

Yep - doesn't get easier than that!!!!!

Designated table space for each class
Not everything is there yet, but I'm working on it!!!!!

Case in point, I went to continue on a project this morning and WHERE IS THE THREAD that goes with that project??????   Couldn't find it at that moment. Something to look for tonight.

I made a couple of feeble attempts to clear up the "working" work tables.   Progress has been made - I just didn't have a chance to take a second picture.

The "working" work tables!
Here is my new ender and leader project.  Remember those spaghetti quilts?   Yes - those 1 1/2" squares?  Well I dug out the 1 1/2" squares that I had stored away.   Found this cool sectioned box and I'm ready.  I'm sewing pairs together.  Then I'll sew those pairs together to get four patches and so on, until I'm done!!!!!

1 1/2" project
Now I bet you're wondering how I'm doing on those not one but TWO 365 day projects that I'm undertaking???   Working on both - behind on both, but I did manage to get four more blocks done in the pieced one.   I think I'm 10 days behind, but they don't take long so I'm not worried.  Last week was a crazy week - hopefully this week will be calmer!    HA HA HA - already things have exploded - not going to be quiet at all!!!!

365 Block Challenge - Blocks 10- 14

I did manage to get the backing of a quilt done (it was on the task list!)   Yeah!!!!!

Backing, top and binding - DONE and in the TO BE QUILTED pile

And that dining room????   GOD - the desk where I work is a disaster.  And it seems there is no time to fix that.  Look at the mess!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My desk top!!!!

Ok - I probably did a bad thing. I grabbed two bags and got rid of most of the stuff.  It cannot sit in the bags forever as there is important stuff that needs to be dealt with.  But I get so overwhelmed and nothing gets done.  So - I have to take a couple items out of the bag each day and deal with it.  Paperwork and me - have never been friends!!!!!   I laugh because if you saw my work desk some days - my office is a reflection of my home.  The desk is covered with paper/files/shade cards and there are quilts and fabric littering the rest of the office space - draped on chairs and my little couch!!!!!   Great pictures on the walls and inspiration everywhere.  Oh yes - I feel right at home here!!!!!

On that note - I'm out of here.

Have an awesome day and remember - we aren't shovelling snow - it could be a lot worse!!!!!


Sunday, January 24, 2016


Good morning!

While this blog post is specifically for my Reminisce class, there are loads of tips that you could hopefully use in your current project.  So feel free to read through and if you`re really intriguted - maybe you can join our class at the Hobby Horse.  Note they will be closed for two weeks so if you try to call - you might not get an answer.

Reminisce by Lori Smith - From my heart to your hands

I figured it would be easier for some of you to see these close up pictures of my block to help you put yours together.   

If you have any questions - leave a comment or send me an e-mail. 

The biggest issue for me with this quilt was what fabric to use.  ACK - so many choices. My first thought was to go with red and white.  Simply because I'm intrigued with the red/white quilt thing.  I dumped out one of my baskets of red and decided that it would be too limiting. 

Then I thought about what lectures/classes I have coming up and perhaps I could make something that would suit one of my trunk shows.  AHA - I'm getting smart - trying to kill two birds with one stone. 

I do have a lecture on SCRAP QUILTS which is happening at Quilt Canda in June 2016.  Hmmm - I don't think I have a scrap batik quilt.  Got two boxes of batik scraps - sounds like a plan.  

My two boxes of batik scraps
 Never mind - SHOULD I run out of scraps or can't find anything approprite - I've lots of batiks as a fall back plan.  My goal is to dig through these two plastic shoe boxes and whatever it the appropriate size - that's was the next piece is going to be.  YES - I will try to coordinate it somewhat - but you get the picture.   No matching or being too fussy with this.  We are making do with what we have in those boxes!   It's like a challenge!

I really feel that scrappy is going to be the best look for this quilt.  Another option is to pick certain colors.  Like this quilt - it is very scrappy and was made with reds, greens/ purples, blues and blacks.  Medium to dark values.   No rhyme or reason as to how the colors were placed except I tried to not put a red beside a red, but that was it!  It is one of my favourite quilts and I get lots of comments on it.

Scrappy quilt - blues/reds/greens/purples and blacks

Another alternative is to use up your UGLY fabrics.  Come on - we all have some.  Then you could say that you used those.  As you have probably guessed by now - I love telling stories and to me - the more interesting the story about how the fabrics were found/located/bought - the more interesting that quilt becomes. Yes - I like going to the store to buy new stuff as well, but that's not nearly as exciting as hunting down that exact fabric or digging through scraps to make do.  I guess it's all in how you look at it!!!!!

Since I'm using scraps, I wasn't always able to start with the squares as per the pattern.  I found that using the Template Set A from Marti Michelle was the exact size needed to cut parts of this block.  (Lucy - I'll send the equalivents to you!)

Cutting the scraps with Marti Michelle templates

Now we have to make a lot of flying geese in this quilt so best to start off on the right foot.  After you add the first colored triangle to the left or the right of the bigger light triangle (it does't matter which one you start with), press that seam AWAY from the bigger triangle. Away from the center!   Then add the second colored triangle and also press away from the center.

Now this next step is CRITICAL and I do it for everything quilt I make.  I TRIM as I go!!!!!   So I'm going to trim this flying geese unit.  We chatted yesterday about how to figure out the size.  We know it is supposed to be 2" by 3 1/2".  When trimming, let your ruler do the work for you!!!!   If you're right handed, place that 1 inch and 1 inch markings on the top right hand side of the unit you are trimming.  If left handed, place those markings on the left hand side.

Now there is a center of this unit and it should be where those two colored triangles meet.   So if my flying geese is 3 1/2" wide, the center should be 1 3/4".  You can see on my ruler that the DOT marking the 1 3/4" mark is placed right where that intersection is. I also have the bottom of the ruler (well the 2" marking) along the bottom of my flying geese unit.   See the dog ears - we don't want them.

Now you trim up the right hand side of the ruler and carefully across the top.

Trim right and top
 Rotate the flying geese 180 degrees and now line up the 3 1/2" on the left side and 2" on the bottom.  Now trim again along the right and top.
Rotate unit and trim again
 Have a look at what I trimmed away.  Not a lot, but if you had a lot of flying geese, these small amounts could greatly distort the final look.

This is what I trimmed away. 

OK - now we have to add the flying geese units to the center square in a square unit. But how to get those points to mach up?

First step - place the two pieces right sides together.  Then take a sharp pin and poke it through the wrong side of the top piece (the brown/cream below) and then poke the pin through the EXACT same spot on the piece underneath (green/gold).    |I pulled that brown triangle (middle bottom) out of the way so you can see the pin in the underneath part.

Matching up the points - flying geese to square in a square

You may have to manipulate the pieces but you want that pin to be standing straight up, with the beginning and end edges lined up.  Sometimes the seam allowance at the point will stick over (on one of the pieces) and this is normal as the point may not be exactly the same distance from the edge on both pieces.  Rarely happens that those seams line up exactly.

When that pin is standing straight up, stick two more pins into the work to hold that point secure and remove the standing up pin.

Secure with two pins

Now you're going to sew that seam. Notice the two pins in the fabric - I leave them in and YES - I sew over them. Carefully. If you prefer to remove them - do so just before you get to the pin.  DO NOT readjust those seam allowances to match.  That defeats the purpose of the pinning process.

Notice also in the photo below, that I'm using a quilter's awl or stiletto to control the fabric (metal pointy thing in the bottom middle).  As those thick points go under the foot of your sewing machine, they will have a tendency to shift to the left. Keep them in place by using the quilter's awl.  It will feel very cumbersome at first, but once you get used to it - your accuracy will be way improved.

Sewing the seam with the points - use a quilter's awl

In the next two photos, you can see where that vertical seam line hits the point which is formed by the intersection of those two diagonal seams.  In the first sample, the vertical seam is just a smidgen too far to the left and when you open up the sample, the point will be slightly gone on the gold.  I'm talking teeny tiny!!!

Seam is about one thread wide too far to the left of the intersection

This one is just a smidgen to the right of the intersection - perfect
 By having the seam just a smidgen to the outer edge of that intersection, you're allowing for some ease as the fabric goes over the seam allowance.   It is very hard to get BOTH of them perfect.  You usually get one or the other right, rarely both.

Let's just say that I'm happy with the results below.   (I did modify the seam on the upper sample so the point wouldn't get lost).

Perfect points!
Two things when pressing this point.  USE STEAM -  set the seam first (by placing the iron on the seam on the wrong side).  Then gently flip the top piece over and press.  These seams were pressed to ONE side and while there is a bit of bulk at that intersection, I'm very happy with them.   In addition to using STEAM - use a HOT iron and PLEASE  press from the front as described above.  You CANNOT successfully press these from the wrong side.  You might get lucky - but from the front is way better.  The other thing is that I may have to manipulate those two points with my fingers as I am pressing.  You can see that the thickness of the seam allowance will interfere with how the points show up.  Try it with your piece.  By pushing with your thumb nail against that intersection - you can have a matching point, where you didn't think you did!  Gently pull those fabrics OPEN or APART at the point to expose the point!

Perfectly FLAT

And there is the very center of our quilt.

Center block

Seams pressed flat.  
 Notice that I was consistent and pressed all the seams toward the center.  I didn't twirl anything here as sometimes it throws the block out of whack.  I would rather have the seams all go towards the center - if I twirled, that wouldn't have happened.  Sorry - that is just something I've learned from years and years of practise.  Remember - 10,000 hours!!!!!   Then you can call yourself a professional!

Pretty darn close to 6 1/2".  Close ENOUGH!!!!!
 Now let's look at those four patches in the corners.   You have to make the half square triangles first.  Remember - those get trimmed to 2". Always trim!!!!!   Then lay the four patch out and sew it together.  I chain piece everything and when I cut the four patches apart, I leave them in pairs.  Here is the first pair ready to be pressed.  (you can't see the half square triangles as they are underneath these squares).  Press one to the left and one to the right.  In this case, I press to the plain square.

Pressing the half square triangle

Yes - I twirled the seam on this one - it makes the center lie flatter
 Since this is the more consisent way to press this block - yes - I twirl the seam.  For a tutorial on twirling the seams - check out this link.  

Now let's have a look at those bigger flying geese units in the second round of this quilt.

You can see below that I have started with the small flying geese unit.  I added a triangle to either side of it and then lastly, I added the triangle on top.   You can see that the diagonal edges are pretty straight.  What you don't want is a big jog where the top triangle meets the bottom part.  It would be next to impossible to sew the next piece on.

Straight edges along the diagonals
 To square up that unit - use the edge of a ruler.  Check - is the unit pretty much a 90 degree "square".  If so, trim off those dog ears (again - do the side and top without moving the ruler).

Trim off dog ears and check for the 90 degrees

Sew on those two bigger colored triangles to get the bigger flying geese unit.  Notice that my seam along the top isn't perfectly lined up, but I measured with the rule and will trim a bit of the one on the right away - phew - I don't have to rip.  Remember - it doesn't have to be perfect, but you don't want to cause problems when you go to sew the next seam.

Flying geese unit is together
 And them trim the unit - this one is 3 1/2" by 6 1/2".

Nice flat seams - always press away from the center

My nine pieces are assembled and waiting for the final step.

Components are assembled and waiting final seaming

Pressing scheme for the block

VOILA - quilt center is DONE

I'm pretty happy with that.  I notice that I mostly used browns/creams and greens.  Nothing bright, nothing blue.  Hmmm - going to have to sneak something in - I've got a lot of that in the scrap box!!!!   I guess we'll just have to wait until next time to see what comes out of the box!!!!!  OK - I did cheat -  the ligher colors, I pulled from my batik stash box. 

Have fun with the block - remember it is better to be done, than perfect.   Oh yes - notice how the edges of the block are SMOOTH.  No jagged edges.  As I mentioned before, that is CRITICAL to getting this quilt to work.  And yes - it measures 12 1/2".    TRIM each component as you work.  Don't wait until the end. It never works. 

Have a great day - if you have questions - PLEASE PLEASE e-mail me or leave a comment so I can help out.