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Outlander Stitch Along – Thistle

The national flower of Scotland, the thistle, has a rich and interesting history. Read more about its history and legends at the Scottish at Heart website.

Find the free pattern here!


Layer Cake Explosion – Step Four

Yay! It’s time for step four! Now, don’t panic, this steps includes a very simple introduction to  a technique called foundation paper piecing.

If you have paper pieced before, this will be a fast and easy step. If you haven’t, it’s a great chance to try it out.

Please take a look at my video tutorial to help you get started. You can print extra from this step for practice, or you can try my TULIP PATTERN. The skills will transfer to these blocks.

You will need to visit Craftsy and download the template for this step, for free.

Using the template provided, you will make four of these blocks. Print as many as you need to get it right. Practice a few with other scrap fabrics, before using your layer cake scraps and background.

Each block takes four of the template pieces and they are labeled with letters and numbers to help you get them put together correctly. The numbers refer to piecing order within a unit, and the letters are the units within the block. Please let me know if you have any questions!

You’ll need 16 units. After you have the units made, sew them together to make four blocks.

Add 1.5″ border or sashing strips to bring these blocks up to 9.5″.

Happy Paper Piecing!


Layer Cake Explosion – Step Three

I’ve gotten some feedback and it seems most of you are ready for the next step. IF you are not keeping up, please don’t worry! I am still working on both step 2 and 3 myself. Work at your own pace, whether that means completing the step the same day it’s posted, working ahead because you found the other steps on Craftsy, or putting along like I am and working on this along with several other projects. That being said, let’s roll right into step three!

This is a short step, making just four blocks that each consist of two flying geese. You may use the method below, OR you may use your preferred flying geese method. Just keep in mind how this method uses the layer cake and that you need to save your scraps after this step! WE WILL USE THEM LATER!

  • From your remaining layer cake blocks (there should be seven), cut
    eight (8) 5” x 9.5” rectangles.
  • From background fabric, cut sixteen
    (16) 5” squares.




  • Using a ruler, draw a pencil line on the diagonal of each of your background squares.
  • Place the background square, right sides together, with the large rectangle and sew along the diagonal line. For a perfect seam, sew a few threads shy of the line, on the side closest to the outer corner.

  • Fold the square out to make sure it is meeting up with the corner of the rectangle, and then you can trim off the excess if you like. This is called the “Flip and Sew” method.
  • Repeat this process for the other corner, then for each rectangle.
  • Pair the units up into four blocks.


Whichever method you use, you need to make four (4) flying geese blocks that consist each of two geese and measure 9.5″

Save your scraps!

Layer Cake Explosion – Step Two

Here we are! Step Two!
Start by choosing sixteen (16)  5″ charm squares, and sub-cut them into sixty-four (64) 2.5″ mini charm squares.

From your background fabric, cut eighty (80)
2.5″ mini charms.

Arrange and piece these units into sixteen (16) nine patch
blocks, with the background fabric taking more spots than your focus fabrics. See below if that sounds confusing.

From your background fabric, cut strips 2 1/8” wide and use them to attach a border to each block, to bring this up to a 9.5” block.

You could also overcut the strips at 2.5″ or 3″ and then press and trim the block down to 9.5″. This is helpful for beginners or anyone who struggles with accuracy or seam allowance consistency.

Make 16 of these blocks.

Happy Stitching!

Layer Cake Explosion Quilt Along Step 1

Hooray! Here we go with our Twilter Quilt Along!

Fabric requirements
Focus fabric: One layer cake
Background fabric: 5 3/4 yards  Make sure this contrasts with your layer cake prints.

This quilt will finish at 85″ x 85″ and would look great with an extra border of background if you need it bigger.

This is a beginner friendly pattern, and we will take it step by step.


If you haven’t already, check out the intro info and do a little prep work. Pick out and set aside 21 of the layer cake squares. These are to be used whole in the quilt and not sub-cut. Trim these down to 9.5″ square.

Pick another 12 layer cake squares, and sub-cut them into 5″ charms.


Step 1

You can download the printable pdf instructions on Craftsy, but I will also list the details here.

In the prep stage, you got a pile of 5″ charms. Choose 32 of them to use for this step.

Cut the same number of 5″ squares from your background fabric. (32)

Assemble these into 16 four-patch blocks.

These should measure 9.5″ square. It’s a good idea to check the first couple to make sure your seam allowance is good before making them all.


Many thanks to Angela Gross for the free pattern.

Make sure to stop by the Twilter facebook group and share pics and progress, or share on Twitter using #twilterQAL


Outlander Stitch Along – A. Malcolm, Printer

I am not sure which number this is in the series, so let’s just call it a comeback block. I am working on a page where I will list a compilation of all the blocks for ease of use.

For now, let’s get stitching again! I need to re-stitch that A in AND. My markings had rubbed away and I couldn’t see it very well.. I think it came out a bit small. 😀

Any messy stitches you see are the fault of my needle..  (alright, my fingers) not the pattern.

Download the pattern for free, from Craftsy

And check out my other patterns

including more Outlander inspired embroidery blocks.

The following excerpt is taken from Voyager, Chapter 24, copyright 1994 by Diana Gabaldon

It was a longish, winding close, and the printshop was at the foot. There were thriving businesses and tenements on either side, but I had no attention to spare for anything beyond the neat white sign that hung on the door.



it said, and underneath this, Books, calling cards, pamphlets, broadsheets, etc.

I stretched out my hand and touched the black letters of the name. A. Malcolm. Alexander Malcolm. James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser. Perhaps.

Another minute and I would lose my nerve. I shoved open the door and walked in.

There was a broad counter across the front of the room, with an open flap in it, and a rack to one side that held several trays of type. Posters and notices of all sorts were tacked up on the opposite wall; samples, no doubt.

The door into the back room was open, showing the bulky angular frame of a printing press. Bent over it, his back turned to me, was Jamie.

“Is that you Geordie?” he asked, not turning around. He was dressed in shirt and breeches, and has a small tool of some kind in his hand, with which he was doing something to the innards of the press. “Took ye long enough. Did ye get the–“

“It isn’t Geordie,” I said. My voice was higher than usual. “It’s me,” I said. “Claire.”

He straightened up very slowly. He wore his hair long; a thick tail of a deep, rich auburn sparked with copper. I had time to see that the neat ribbon that tied it back was green, and then he turned around.

He stared at me without speaking. A tremor ran down the muscular throat as he swallowed, but still he didn’t say anything.

It was the same broad, good-humored face, dark blue eyes aslant the high, flat cheekbones of a Viking, long mouth curling at the ends as though always on the verge of smiling. The lines surrounding the eyes and mouth were deeper, of course. The nose had changed just a bit. The knife-edge bridge was slightly thickened near the base by the ridge of an old, healed fracture. It made him look fiercer, I thought, but lessened that air of aloof reserve, and lent his appearance a new rough charm.

I walked through the flap in the counter, seeing nothing but that unblinking stare. I cleared my throat.

“When did you break your nose?”

The corners of the wide mouth lifted slightly.

“About three minutes after I saw ye last–Sassenach.”

There was a hesitation, almost a question in the name. There was no more than a foot between us. I reached out tentatively and touched the tiny line of the break, where the bone pressed white against the bronze of his skin.

He flinched backward as though an electric spark had arced between us, the calm expression shattered.

“You’re real,” he whispered. I had thought him pale already. Now all vestiges of color drained from his face. His eyes rolled up and he slumped to the floor in a shower of papers and oddments that had been sitting on the press–he fell rather gracefully for such a large man, I thought abstractedly.

~end excerpt~


LDQ #82 Valerie

This episode is dedicated to Valerie Lamont.




I decided not to do a play by play of QuiltCon, because it’s old news now, isn’t it? I did touch on some highlights, and I sure I will continue to do that over the next couple episodes. At the end of this episode, there is a small tribute to my friend, Valerie. It’s not a quality recording, but it is from my heart.

Here are the finished quilts I talked about. I did not pick the best time of day to photograph these, but there it is.

Cheese Slices is a gift for the guidance counselor of our school. She is amazing and works tirelessly. These were the magenta stars from the En Provence Mystery Quilt from Bonnie Hunter. I added the scrappy star sashing, and I like the effect. I may use this sashing idea again. It’s easy to do with a little organisation. It’s sashing with cornerstones, basically. Each long sashing strip gets some wonky points, sometimes on both ends. I used my design wall to lay all this out.

This is the purple and green portions of En Provence. It came out pretty great. This will be for an amazing teacher who has taught both of my kids. I have one more to make and then no more teacher quilts until I have grandchildren. Times, they are a changing.

I also finished my Round Robin, finally! Well, except for the label, which I will be sewing to the back the next time there is anything worth watching on tv.

AND…. here’s my glorious book haul!

I only found one Anita Brookner title this year. Last year I had three or four. I’m also especially excited about Judy Blume, Joyce Carol Oates, and Anne Lamott. This stack should keep me occupied at least until next year’s book sale.


The book I reviewed this episode is-

My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

I wish I could give this book ten stars. I loved it so much. There are some uncomfortable passages that deal with sexual assault, and some with icky teen lust, but the overall story is one of love and compassion and family. I can’t express how much I loved this book. It’s set in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the passages about the misconceptions about the place resonated with me. We don’t ride gators or paddle to a school in a pirogue. And not all Louisiana cities are like New Orleans. It’s a rich story that left me feeling great at the end.


I am a Queen!

Hi guys. I am participating in a Hive, which is a Block Bee, and February is my month to be Queen. This means I get to pick a block, and all my Worker Bees will make one and send it to me. Then each month I will make a block for the next Queen. Hooray! This is going to be a lot of fun. If you’re going to Quilt Con in Savannah, bring your block in person instead of mailing! I hope to see you.

I chose a 17″ semicolon block. I drew it out on graph paper. I realise it was supposed to be 16.5″ or smaller, but the math just didn’t work otherwise, and I didn’t want to make you guys work with tiny pieces.

Here is a step by step tutorial for my Bees, or to make your own.

The only guidelines I am asking for my bee blocks-

  1. Any gray background
  2. Any scrappy happy colorway
  3. No brown 😉
  4. Feel free to go really scrappy, as long as you stay within a color family. All pinks, all blues, all greens, all yellows, etc.  I wish I had used more variety in my test block. I am so looking forward to seeing the variety I will get back.

Here we go!


Fabric Requirements and Cutting instructions-

You will need the following:

  • Two- 2″ solid background squares
  • Ten- 2″ scrappy squares in your chosen colorway
  • Three- 2″ x 5″  background rectangles
  • Twelve- 2″ half square triangle units using background and your scrappy colorway  (I’m leaving the method up to you, use your favourite one and trim them to 2″)
  • Two- 6.5″ x 17″ background rectangles

*Please note that most of these measurements do NOT have a .5″ included. That’s for a reason. The math works. If it says 2″.. cut it 2″ NOT 2.5″


Block Construction-

We start with a pile of pieces. I used an Easy Angle Ruler to cut my triangles from 2″ strips. Use whichever method you prefer, and trim them to 2″.


First we make our half square triangle units. I am sewing this block on my Kenmore, because I like the accuracy of this quarter inch foot, and the machine was already on the table. Hey, I’m lazy. I pressed the seams open in this area to reduce bulk.


Here we have all our units and are ready to lay out the block.



Here is how it all goes together, with everything in its proper place, all triangle points facing the correct direction.


I chain pieced the center portions, and left the threads connected. instead of clipping them apart so that I won’t get anything flipped the wrong direction in the next few steps. I call this “webbing” a block.


Almost done! After you have constructed those center portions of the semicolon, sew them into a vertical row with the small rectangles. From this point forward, I pressed the seams wherever they needed to go to reduce bulk.


Finally. attach the large rectangles to either side, and give it a final press.


I am so excited to put these together! Thanks for playing along!





LDQ #81 Lavender Fields Forever

In this episode, I talked about how I split my En Provence units into two separate quilts! I think I will call the purple one, Lavender Fields Forever.


I finished a crocheted wrap.


I spent some time organizing my embroidery threads, and started a couple small X-stitch projects.  (subversive with naughty words)


Checkout episode 65 of Dear Book Nerd, where they answered my question. (I’m Classically Challenged) If you haven’t listened before, you are in for a treat. The podcast has ended now, but there are about 70 back episodes to devour.

You should watch Love Between the Covers on Netflix. It’s fantastic.

And I read a bunch of books! Follow me on goodreads (verylazydaisy) to see my lists.

Twilt On



Sandy’s (from Quilting for the Rest of Us) theme for this year’s quilty resolutions is “Balance,”

Here’s what I have to say about balance in my quilt life..

I have not been particularly good at balance. I can get a little obsessive and forget or neglect to take care of the things that fall outside the scope of whatever I am focused on at the moment. Sometimes it’s too much play and not enough adulting. But, mostly this past year it has been too much worky work, and not enough personal sewing time.

I miss the repetition of sewing a whole pile of quilt blocks in one sitting. It’s like therapy to me, and I have been out of my mind a lot this year. Perhaps I just didn’t get enough therapy sewing time in.
My quilty resolution this year is to not over commit myself in quilting for others. I’m enjoying working as a longarmer from home because it is so different from doing it in a shop where I also had other responsibilities like cleaning and working the front. And wearing pants.

Pants are so dumb.

I think I will be better at balance this year (says the girl who has read as many books as there have been days so far this new year) because I have the more flexibility now. I don’t want to be so sick of looking at quilts that I lose the joy I used to find in sitting down at my own machine. So far with my longarming, I have not been swamped with so much that I couldn’t keep up. Just a few quilts here and there. And that’s just fine by me.

That plays into my word of the year which is “Nope.” It was going to be a simple NO, but when I saw Pam’s latest creation, (from Hip to Be a Square and The Stitch) I was inspired to go the full nope. Isn’t is interesting how “nope” is just a little bit sassier than “no”…?

I need to take better care of myself, even if someone else doesn’t like it. I will rest when I need to rest. I will be alone when I need peace and quiet. I will not be guilted into doing things I don’t want to do.

This is the year I learn to say “NO”

Now I will get back to my sewing room, right after I balance it with some laundry.