20 August 2018

Snowflake Monday


When I first saw this week's Moda Blockheads 2 pattern, I didn't think it needed a snowflake appliquè. I pulled out a really old snowflake draft I created on Christmas Eve 2011. The draft didn't turn out exactly the way I anticipated, and it joined the pile of flakes I would one day try again. Today is that day.


the 7-year-old prototype

As I worked on the new prototype, trying to figure out how to get all the hexagons to lay flat, I realized I could modify the week 11 Direction block to fit a snowflake a couple of different ways. I was magnetically drawn to an option that would use up more of my leftover triangles from the week 5 Impact block.


This is a totally scrappy version of the Direction block. This block uses up some of the final leftovers from the handkerchief hem skirt I made on Christmas Day in 2012. I used every embroidery stitch on my retired 1982 Viking Husqvarna, one on each side seam. I still wear the skirt every winter, and I usually wear it with that silly oversized snowflake top I bought on clearance in January of 2010. It's about six sizes too big, but it has a snowflake, and it was $6. How could I walk away???










The modified block meant I had to come up with a smaller version of today's flake to fit in the center. I wasn't sure at first if I liked the Round 3 mini version of today's snowflake pattern, so I embellished.


Then I decided there's no reason why the original flake pattern can't be modified with the new center. I've written the patterns for both the appliquéd mini and the original full-size flakes. If you like the popcorn center better than the plain center for your full-sized flake, just swap out the first two Rounds.


Ultimately, I decided to make the scrappy block with no snowflake.


I also tried my hand at the modified Pineapple block option I didn't get a chance to make at the end of July. I am not sure why the triangles in the finished block didn't turn out the way I planned in the pattern I drafted, but I'm not going to complain because I used up 16 more of the Impact triangle leftovers. Some of the triangles in my draft are SO teensy!!!


my inspiration


the pineapple pattern I drafted


Well… at least it uses up some scraps…


my pineapple blocks

I've made extra 12-inch blocks, so making a few extra 6-inch blocks should keep my block numbers in line. We won't know until the end of the 12-month project what the designers are planning for the layout, but I've got an idea of what I want to do with my blocks. If I have enough blocks ahead of the big reveal, I might just do my own thing.

I looked up how many people have joined Moda Blockheads, and there are more than 28,000 members! With more joining every week!

I simply cannot imagine 28,000 identical handmade quilts!!! Can you?!?

I'm enjoying this challenge tremendously. I love seeing all the different interpretations of each block. I enjoy seeing all the different color and fabric combinations. The appliqué work being done by a few members is outstanding. The fussy cutting by some makes me want to do more fussy cutting in my own quilt. The inspiration each week is sensational.

I'm not the only Blockhead wanting my quilt to be different than the other 27,999!

Who knows? Perhaps some of my blocks will become backings when I begin the QAYG portion of my project. Such as that goofy pineapple slush block…


You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 5.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 8 crochet thread, size 9 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Mini Hexie Madness Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through 2nd ch of starting ch 2 and replace loop on hook, pull loop through ch (starting popcorn stitch made), ch 3, * 5 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc (popcorn stitch made), ch 3; repeat from * 4 times, sl st in top of starting popcorn st. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Sl st into next ch 3 sp, ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 3 dc in same ch 3 sp, * ch 1, 4 dc in next ch 3 sp; repeat from 4 times; 1 hdc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 3: 1 sc over post of hdc directly below, * ch 5, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), ch 2, 1 sc over next ch 1; repeat from * 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.


Hexie Madness Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (count as 1 dc), 11 dc in ring; sl st into ch of starting ch 2. Pull magic ring tight.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same st as sl st; 2 dc in each st around for a total of 24; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 3: 1 sc in same st as sl st, * ch 5, sk 3 dc, 1 sc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 2, 1 tr in starting sc to form 6th ch 5 sp of Round.

Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc top of tr just worked, 1 dc in middle of tr, 1 dc in bottom of tr, * sk next sc, 1 dc in each of next 2 ch, 5 dc in next ch, 1 dc in each of next 2 ch; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 dc in each of next 2 ch, 2 dc in same st as starting 2 dc; sl st in 2 ch of starting ch 2.

Round 5: 1 sc in same st as sl st, * ch 9, sk 8 dc, 1 sc in next dc (middle dc of 5/dc group); repeat from * around 4 times; ch 4, 1 dtr in starting sc to form 6th ch 9 sp of Round.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 6: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same st as sl st, 4 dc across post of dtr directly below, * sk next sc, 1 dc in each of next 4 ch, 5 dc in next ch, 1 dc in each of next 4 ch; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 dc in each of next 4 ch, 2 dc in same st as starting 2 dc; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 7: 1 sc in same st as sl st, * ch 13, sk 13 dc, 1 sc in next dc (middle dc of 5/dc group); repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc.

Round 8: Sl st in next ch, ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), * 1 dc in each of next 5 ch, 5 dc in next ch, 1 dc in each of next 6 ch, sk next sc, 1 dc in next ch; repeat from * around, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 9: * 1 sc in each of next 3 dc, 1 hdc in each of next 3 dc, 1 dc in next dc, 5 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 hdc in each of next 3 dc, 1 sc in each of next 3 dc, sk next 2 dc, ch 3; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc.

Round 10: * 1 sc in each of next 3 st, 1 hdc in each of next 3 st, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 3 dc in next st (middle dc of 5/dc group), ch 1, sl st in top of dc just made (picot tip made), 2 dc in same st (middle dc of 5/dc group), 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 3 st, 1sc in each of next 3 st, sk next sc, 3 dc in ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp, sk next sc; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.


Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and My Quilt Infatuation.

16 August 2018

Garden Joy


Everything in my garden bloomed early this year. The heat caused August and September flowers to be done by the end of July. I planted more sunflowers this month, hoping there might still be enough season for them to grow and mature, and hoping those late-bloomers will add a little color to the yellowing landscape until true autumn gold arrives.


Thankfully, the marigolds are still going strong. They began blooming in July.


Only the cosmos are staying true to the calendar this year. It looks like I'm going to have a banner year... tons of plants, and the buds are just beginning to form.

The cosmos are coming up everywhere, even in places they shouldn't be and places you wouldn't think they could grow. I'm letting them keep going.




In early August, I noticed three new flower stalks I had not planted and did not recognize. I think a bird planted them for me. No complaints. But I'm curious as to their identification. All three stalks are together, and these particular blooms aren't anywhere else in my front or back yards. The stalks are about three inches tall, and the blooms are about an inch and a half long and look just a bit like honeysuckle.






My blue flowers this year were simply amazing. The chicory, cupid's darts and bachelor buttons still make an occasional appearance.

Cupid's Dart



bachelor button

A few years ago, I ordered three day lilies from a woman who specializes in cultivating blue. Most of the time, the day lilies are quite faded from the sun and ready to fold up by the time I get home from work.


Even though I get off work late a lot, I got to see the radiant color in a few of them this year.






My sweet husband, who bought me the most beautiful giant hibiscus plant last year, planted it in the backyard for me this year. For what felt like forever, the dried-up skeleton-like stalks were proof you can't plant a (non-nursery) potted flower in the garden and expect it to be as beautiful as it was in the pot. I was so discouraged. But I never gave up hope, and I kept watering it. One day, new stalks began appearing, and the first bloom has begun to form!!! I'm going to have at least one giant hibiscus this year!!!


The blue hydrangeas he bought me a few years ago are sporting such lovely leaves in the garden, but for five years now, not a single blossom.

in the beginning
before planting


after planting

I've planted red sunflowers, called Moulin Rouge, in the past, and I've allowed them to go to seed. Sometimes the birds get the best seeds, and that's okay, as long as I get good pictures of the birds eating the seeds. Ha ha!


I don't remember any red sunflowers last year, but I had two this year. They were stunning! Everyone is asking for seeds!!!



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