Sunday, December 30, 2012

To Prewash Or Not To Prewash...

...that is the question...

Do you prewash your fabric?

I do!  I am terrified of fabric colors running into each other in my finished quilt after I've done hours and hours of stitching and even more hours and hours of hand quilting.  Any piece of fabric F8 or larger gets prewashed before it EVER gets to meet my stash.  So, guess what I did today... I prewashed!

I guess I don't really have to prewash white/neutral fabrics, but if everything else is prewashed, I feel like I should do these too so that they are not the only fabrics in the quilt with shrinkage.

As the fabric comes out of the dryer, I always trim up the edges (cutting off all the strings) and hand press (I don't bother ironing yet - these fabrics may stay in my stash for a while before being used).  Can you believe the pile of strings that come off of just 3 yards and 10 FQs?

Up next was the blue/purple/green batch washed with a color catcher.  1 yard and 20 FQs here.  Not much dye came off of these.  But...

...check this out!  Reds ALWAYS bleed in the wash.  Just look at that color catcher!  This was 1 yard of red backing fabric and 10 brown FQs.  I love color catchers!

And, before I give the quilt away or put it in my cabinet for use cuddling on the couch at home (see my avatar above - that's the cabinet!), I always give my quilts one good wash with a color catcher.  I would hate to have the recipient of any quilt have colors bleed in the wash, feel bad about it and/or not know what to do!  Just my thinking!

What do you do?


Monday, December 24, 2012

Easy Street Link Up - Part 5

Easy times on Easy Street this week with the completion of 64 house (turkey, etc...) blocks.  These were fun and relatively quick to churn out.  As usual, I still need to trim them up and measure to be sure they are a perfect 3 1/2," but they look pretty good!  

ES Pt 5 - 64 House Blocks

While adding the corner squares, I also sewed a scant 1/4" to the right in order to save the bonus triangles in HST units.  These babies measure up at a tiny unfinished 1 1/2" (just 1" finished)!  Now, where to use them, hmmm....I've still got more crumb blocks to finish!?!?!!!!

And...I'm linking up my Part 5 progress with Bonnie at Quiltville and Judy at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.  Check out their websites to see the progress others are making on their Easy Street Mystery and other projects!  

Happy Holidays!!!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Easy Street Link Up - Part 4

This week, Easy Street began with 64 double flying geese units.  I used BH's method, again, since I have the easy & companion angle rulers.  And this time I had better success.  Just simply being sure the dark line was ON the fabric and moving my needle one position to the right put the geese at the perfect measurement.  I did have to fudge those earlier geese in a bit by sewing SCANT seams, but I think they're looking good and will fit well.   I still need to trim them up (a bit hairy as Bonnie would say), but they are measuring up right at 3 1/2"!  No headless geese!

ES Pt 4 - 64 double flying geese

Also, included in part 4 was a bonus clue...another head start on another step!  So I cut up those 145 squares of green.  Anything to get a bit ahead!

ES Pt 4+ - 145 green squares
As usual, I'm linking up my Part 4 Easy Street Progress with Bonnie at Quiltville and Judy at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.  Check out their websites to see the progress others are making on their Easy Street Mystery and other projects!  

Have a wonderful week before Christmas!

A Sampling of America

I always loved to participate in swaps each year with the members of the Quilts Your Way Forum.  Even though the board is not active anymore, I still think of that group of quilters fondly every now and then.  Especially when putting together a quilt that was inspired by or begun by them.

"A Sampling of America" - finished quilt & tag

This quilt, for example, began with a "squishie swap" back in 2009.  The way the swap worked was each member sent the other members of the group a F8th of fabric.  The other members of the group would make a quilt block using the fabric and any special instructions given and send the block back to the original fabric owner.  In the end, we ended up with several coordinated (by fabric & special instructions) sampler blocks.

I finally quickly put the blocks together - I feel like it's been a UFO forever (it's my December UFO project chosen by Judy over at Patchwork times) - and I'm giving it to my in-laws as one of their Christmas presents.  I named it "A Sampling of America" because it's a sampler and the blocks were made by women from all over the USA!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Easy Street - Link Up #3

It's still a mystery, but this week, Easy Street began with 64 shaded 4-patch units.  I again used Bonnies's method since I have the easy & companion angle rulers.  They did come out better than last week's flying geese, so that's good.  I still needed to trim them up, but just barely.  Overall, an easy week on Easy Street!

Easy Street - Part 3
 Also, to jump ahead for another clue, BH told us to cut 4 half-square triangles in green...

Easy Street - Part 3
So, all caught up and so far the units are looking relatively good together.  Still not sure about my "grey."  It's not really grey, but a greyish-aqua printed with a grey floral motif.  Hopefully it will work out ok, but kinda wishing I went for a darker grey.  The good thing is that there's not all that much of it and grey is the only color we know for sure that we're done working with!

Easy Street Progress - Parts 1-3
As usual, I'm linking up my Part 3 Easy Street Progress with the Mystery Monday Link Up hosted by Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville and Judy Lacquidara at Patchwork Times for her Design Wall Monday.  Check out their blogs to see the progress others are making on their Easy Street Mystery and other projects!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Easy Street Link Up #2

Linking up my Part 2 Easy Street Progress with Bonnie at Quiltville and Judy at Patchwork Times for her Design Wall Monday.  Check out their websites to see the progress others are making on their Easy Street Mystery and other projects!

This week, Easy Street began with 128 flying geese units.  I tried BH's method since I have the easy & companion angle rulers.  They were easy to cut with...even for a lefty...but I'm not sure I love how the geese came out.  I still need to trim them up (or at least really measure for accuracy), but I'm not lovin' the amount of seam allowance I've got on top.  When they get sewn into their blocks it will be with a scant 1/4" for sure, otherwise I may end up with a flock of headless geese!

Easy Street Part 2 - 128 flying geese

Also, included in part 2 was a bonus step...kinda like a head start on the next step!  So I cut up those 64 bricks of black on white...

Easy Street Part 2 - 64 bricks

All caught up for now except that I really need to go back and square everything up, so that's the plan for the remainder of the week!

Friday, November 30, 2012

UFO Challenge - December

As predicted, no movement on my November UFO :(  But the good news is that our guild's quilt show was a hit!  I was able to get sleeves and labels on all 6 of my quilts I guess I'll give ya a little quilt show & tell since I am ashamed of the UFO progress (un-progress, de-progress, no-progress??!?!) this month.

Guild members

My quilts displayed

For December, and the last UFO challenge, Judy chose #4...this is my red/white/blue swap quilt.  This one is actually a quilt made from blocks exchanged during a squishie swap a few years ago over at Quilts Your Way forum which has since disbanded.  (Oh how I miss that group of ladies, but I digress...)  The quilt is a nice throw size and already sewn together into a top, but it's about to be taken apart again.  I didn't like the setting once it was done, so back into the closet it went.  I f I ever get this quilt done, it will go to my mother-in-law as she loves this color scheme and it's nice and feminine florals.  Hopefully I'll be able to give it to her for her birthday next year (August) that's the plan!

My 2012 UFO list:
  1. Jean Picnic Quilt for Kayla (February)
  2. Heart Quilt (May)
  3. Thai 'Ostrich Quilt' (July)
  4. RWB Swap Quilt (December)
  5. Jean Picnic Quilt for Larissa (January)
  6. Spring Flower Wallhanging (October) 
  7. Fan Quilt (August)
  8. China Scrapbook (March)
  9. School & Family Scrapbooks (November) 
  10. Recipe Card Scrapbooks (April)
  11. Military Scrapbook (September)
  12. Quilt Scrapbook (June)
And...Judy has announced a change up for next year in the UFO challenge.  It will be a monthly list of 4 items, a "Get It Done!" list, instead of a year-long list.  This could make things more do-able...we'll have to wait and see...  

Anyway, be sure to check over at Patchwork Times to see the progress others have made for this month!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Finish It Up Friday - 30 November 2012

I managed to get my Calendar Quilt top finished just this week:

Calendar Quilt
This has been a Block of the Month for our guild this year.  Since we do not have a December meeting, the block criteria for December was given early and that gave me a chance to jump ahead and get it all done.

Unfortunately, I'm not very happy with the setting and colors I chose for the sashing and borders, but I refuse to take it all apart again.  If I had it to do over again, I think I would have bordered each block with a dark from the block and sewed them all together without sashings.  I think that would have given it a more scrappy homey look.  At this rate, I may be donating this one to a kindergarten classroom!  Oh well....done is onto the quilting!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Charity Quilts

On Monday night, we had our last quilt guild meeting of the year.  Instead of exchanging gifts for each other, we decided to give what we could to one of the charities our guild supports.

Several years ago, while my daughter was still working towards her GS Gold Award project, she and a friend pieced together the quilt tops above from blocks and fabric donated to the cause.  This weekend, these UFOs finally came out of hiding and I quickly layered, quilted and bound them.   We finally donated these quilts, this year, along with other items from the charity's wish list.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Easy Street

Following tradition, Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville fame, has posted the first clue to the 2012 quilt mystery entitled Easy Street!  Bonnie posts a new mystery each year on the Friday morning following Thanksgiving.  Then, for 6-8 weeks following, Bonnie posts a new clue each and every Friday until the mystery is solved.  Woohoo!

Easy Street - Intro
I couldn't wait to get started!  As soon as the fabric selections were posted, I began to pull as many fabrics from my stash that I could come up with to meet the criteria.  This year, I was determined to follow BH's color scheme...why not?  She IS the expert and don't we all love her quilts?  That IS why we all play along, after all!

The only variation I really have to that scheme is that my grey is really a grey floral printed on a more light aqua-greyish background.  I hope it works!

Easy Street - Part 1
And at long last...and amid all the anticipation...the first part was posted...ahh....  In Part 1, we made 192 black on white & grey 4-patches!  I'm keeping up so far...bring on part 2!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

UFO Challenge - October

I am still following along with Judy's UFO Challenge and batting about 50% I think.  Not everything is getting done, but if the projects haven't gotten least most of them have gotten worked on (or some, like the fan quilt, got thought about, lol).

For the month of October, Judy chose #6:

Spring Flower Wallhanging... 

I used my guild's challenge fabric to finish it up (or start it in this case); it's long been on the to-do list!

Oh yeah, and I forgot to post progress last month, so I noted that September's UFO #11 - Military Scrapbook is up-to-date as of this month!  Woohoo...another one bites the dust!  It looks like I may still have 4 or 5 carry over onto next year's UFO list, though :(

Remaining on the list...
  1. Jean Picnic Quilt for Kayla (February)
  2. Heart Quilt (May)
  3. Thai 'Ostrich Quilt' (July)
  4. RWB Swap Quilt
  5. Jean Picnic Quilt for Larissa (January)
  6. Spring Flower Wallhanging (October) 
  7. Fan Quilt (August)
  8. China Scrapbook (March)
  9. School & Family Scrapbooks (November) 
  10. Recipe Card Scrapbooks (April)
  11. Military Scrapbook (September)
  12. Quilt Scrapbook (June)

Oh yeah, and Judy chose #9...School & Family Scrapbooks for November's UFO!  I've got quite a bit to catch up on here (in 3 different books).  These are my daughters' school pictures and class memories for each grade level.  And since I'm working on the committee to help organize our guild's November quilt show, I probably won't make much progress on this month's UFO.  Not to mention all the labels and hanging sleeves i have to get stitched on before then!  Eeek!

Anyway, be sure to check over at Patchwork Times to see the progress others have made for this month!  And...Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Crumb-a-long Update

First 3 weeks of Crumb-A-Long
These are my first 12 blocks for the Crumb-A-Long hosted by Jo at Jo's Country Junction. 
4 Flying Geese Blocks
4 Heart Blocks
4 Star Blocks (these bottom flying geese make the stars at the right).

The Crumb-A-Long is long over and I didn't keep up (wish I would have), but I'm working on these as leaders and enders.'s a longterm project...

New Guild Quilt


Another Friday Finish!  This was a joint project between guild members.  Belinda pieced and appliqued the top and Delilah quilted this puppy!   I've just added the hanging sleeves (5 small strips) and the binding.  It finishes at 45" square and will be a great guild advertisement for years to come!

Friday Finish - Challenge Quilt

"Spring Has Sprung"
This is my challenge quilt entry for my guild challenge:  3Bs.  The challenge was as follows:
1.  Use at least a 3" square of the green batik "challenge fabric"
2.  Use at least 3 buttons
3.  Use a "B word" theme (mine was "blossoms")
4.  Quilt must be no larger than a 36" square.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Design Wall Monday ~ 15 October 2012

September & October Challenge Quilt Blocks
Just finished up my September and October blocks for the guld challenge.  There is a definite calendar quilt theme going on here...don't ya think?!?!  And in case you didn't see them, here are the first 8 months of blocks...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Design Wall Monday ~ 17 September 2012

The Quilt of Valor is being quilted this week.  Slowly but surely...I'm hoping to be done quilting it this week.  Until then, this week on the "design porch" (lol)...

XOXO Quilt
I've gotten the the XOXO Quilt top pieced.  We sent out signature blocks to family and friends to write "well wishes" or marriage advice on.  Once I've got all of those back, I'll piece them into the back of the quilt and get it ready to quilt.  I'm hoping that my friend, Belinda, will let me try out her long arm for this project.  She's offered before, so I'm going to try to take her up on it!

For more of what's being pieced in blogland, check out Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Design Wall Monday ~ 10 September 2012

Quilt of Valor - Ready to Baste
On the design wall (or "design driveway") today is my Quilt of Valor.  Last week, you saw just the center medallion and over the week, I added the string blocks and final border.  The backing is just pieced in 3 panels:  a solid blue, the neutral pebble print from the final border, and a solid red.  And yes...I just barely had enough batting to cover the area (it stretched just a bit more after I took the photo).

Now, onto the quilting (this is the scary part for me since I have only accomplished a little SITD (stitch-in-the-ditch) since purchasing the new Bernina.  I have an idea of a few techniques that I would like to try.  Tell me what you think about this plan:

  • I thought first I would try a larger * in the center square (sort of SITD style).
  • Then maybe a FM free loopy loop in the thin blue border
  • Maybe a FM meander over the string blocks
  • Finally a FM wandering star design over the final border
So, some questions...what do you think of this plan?  Do I need to SITD between rounds? 

To see more fabulous projects on quilter's design walls, check out Judy's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

A Few More for Charity

Our quilt guild here is very involved in several local charities.  The guild members make quilts and adult bibs for the veteran's home.  They make quilts, pillowcases and soft toys for the women and children's shelter.  Baby quilts are donated to the local military hospital and school bags for a group of children in Uganda.  I'm sure I'm forgetting others because it seems like every month, there is a request for one charity or another.  

CareBear Pillowcases
This month we were asked to donate 2 pillowcases per member to the women and children's shelter.  We were also asked to begin work on one patriotic quilt each for the veteran's home or Quilts of Valor.  You can see my QOV in progress in my design wall post tomorrow morning!

Betty Boop Lap Quilt
This month I'll also be donating another lap quilt made from blocks and fabrics that were donated several years ago to my daughter's gold award project.  My friend Belinda also chipped in a great print for the backing that matched perfectly!

Baby Blankie
One more blankie to be donated will be this little cutie that was pieced together and tied by my oldest daughter, Kayla.  It's been sitting in the waiting to be finished pile for a long took it to my guild meeting and whipped the binding onto it!  Viola!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Design Wall Monday ~ 3 Sep 2012

Today, on my "design wall" is the beginnings of a Quilt of Valor being done medallion style. It began with an orphan star block in set with a windmill. Then, a round of hourglass units were added with half square corner blocks. Finally, I added a strip border of stars on a blue background to break up the craziness of what is yet to come.

Quilt of Valor - Center Medallion
What's next? How about a round of string blocks and then a final thicker strip of border. That's what the current plan is, but we'll see what happens!

Friday, August 31, 2012

August UFO Challenge

I am still following along with Judy's UFO Challenge.  For the month of August, Judy chose #7.

Fan Quilt... 

Fan Block

Well, to be honest, there hasn't been much progress there.  They are now just fans needing to be put onto a background square and put together into a top.  Hopefully these don't stay on the UFO list for too much longer.  The good news is...I've really been concentrating on charity quilts this month and I've got another one done and one top being pieced on the machine. (Check out other posts from this month!)

Remaining on the list...
  1. Jean Picnic Quilt for Kayla (February)
  2. Heart Quilt (May)
  3. Thai 'Ostrich Quilt' (July)
  4. RWB Swap Quilt
  5. Jean Picnic Quilt for Larissa (January)
  6. Recipe Scrapbook (April)
  7. Fan Quilt (August)
  8. China Scrapbook (March)
  9. School & Family Scrapbooks 
  10. Spring Flower Wallhanging 
  11. Military Scrapbook (September)
  12. Quilt Scrapbook (June)
I don't seem to be making an awful lot of progress on my UFOs this year...but I'll keep plugging away at them (and some may go back on the list for next year).

Oh yeah, and Judy chose #11...Military Scrapbook for September's UFO!  This is not far from being finished.  I only have a few more duty stations to add to it, but I've got to get my husband to decide which "work" photos need to go in it.  Hopefully this one will get done by the end of the month!

Be sure to check over at Patchwork Times to see the progress others have made for this month!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Charity Quilting

Amish Stars

More quilts for charity.  This Amish top was donated to Kayla for her to finish for her charity project.  She layered it and tied it and then left it for me to bind...all done!

Friendly Floral
This was another quilt top donated for Kayla to finish.  Again, she layered and tied it.  I pieced the backing with lots of her leftover fabrics in her charity stash.  They are not all cottons - some are "silkier" than others and one is a "faux-suede" from my little sisters Pocahontas costume!  Now it's bound and ready to deliver :)

Baby Shower Sew-In

Baby Shower Sew-In
On Saturday I was invited to a Baby Shower Sew-In at my friend Belinda's house (center photo).  The goal was to accomplish 2 quilts per person and we may have.  We'll see at the guild meeting!

I, however, did not finish my quilts at the shower, but I did meet the goal of 2 baby quilts.  My daughter  has been working to accomplish quilt tops for charity for a while, but since she's away at college, she left them to me to finish.
Nursery Stripes

This quilt top was made by Kayla a few years ago.  It's been sitting in her UFO pile for a while, so I used it as my first attempt at stitch-in-the-ditch on the new Bernina 820.  I finished it with a solid baby blue binding and I think it turned out pretty good.

Tea Kitty 
The center of this quilt was a panel in Kayla's stash that I added 2 borders to.  Belinda picked out the argyle fabric from her stash (thank you!) and it ended up being just enough!  I used a stitch-in-the-ditch technique for this one too, although in the panel it was really stitch between the lines in the "blocks."  I love the idea that I can whip up a baby quilt in a day now that I can machine quilt!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Building Blocks

X & O blocks for XOXO, Sunflower

This is the beginning of my most recent quilt "XOXO, Sunflower."  On the left, is the X block, just a simple 9-patch made with rectangles.  On the right, is the O block, just a simply framed rectangle block.  This is going to be an easy quilt to piece, but should have some nice impact.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

John Deere Bear

John Deere Bear
My latest finish, John Deere Bear, was made for my newest nephew, Jacob!  This was a simple quilt, and quick finish made up of just alternated solid fabric and "monkey wrench" blocks.   It was a fun one to make and hand quilt.  And ooohh...I love these colors (blues and greens...yummy)!  These fabrics were suggested by my oldest daughter, Kayla, and she even picked out a couple of John Deere rubber baby tractors and socks to send in the package!  

Baby Jacob and his new quilt, "John Deere Bear" and tractors

Isn't Jacob just adorable?  We were lucky enough to meet him and spend a little time with him during our visit to PA back in July, along with many of my other family members at my brother & sister-in-law's vow renewal weekend extravaganza.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My New Setup!

Bernina 820 & Accessories
There she is...isn't she pretty?  I've been craving a new sewing machine for years now and while my husband was deployed, he sent me a voucher good for one new machine.  Well, I never bought it...never did the research...but, set myself a budget.  I didn't want to spend any more than $1,000.  

Fast forward 4 years and still no machine.  My old JCPenny held up well over her 18 years of heavy use.  But, she's been missing her bobbin winder for a good 5 years now and I have been using my daughter's machine to wind about 15 bobbins at a time.  Then my wonderful family decided I needed one of those independent bobbin winders (The Sidewinder) and so they got me one, in pink, of course. That was 3 years ago.

Now...I've got my lovely, new Bernina 820 (no, it wasn't within that $1,000 limit I set for myself)!  I just love her!  She's been sitting in the box for a few weeks now, but my friend Belinda kept messaging me on Facebook encouraging me to get her set up (not to mention my husband and kids asking me if  was going to use the new machine for the projects I was working on!?!?).  What is it about the comfort of an old machine...even with all it's eccentricities?  It still works!  And will be my workshop/travel machine (with lots of pre-wound bobbins...I'm not hauling the sidewinder, too).

So, yesterday, Belinda and her son came over to help me set the machine.  I was busy folding fat quarters I had just washed when she got here and by the time I was done with my pile, Belinda had gotten the entire machine out of the box, manuals and extra parts organized, and had her son sorting all the accessories!  Belinda must LOVE setting up a new machine!
First attempt at machine quilting (well, second, if you count in the store)
Belinda is also a great teacher.  She came with a basket full of teaching tools!  By the time she left, I learned how to thread the machine, wind a bobbin, use many of the computerized function settings and what most of the feet and accessories are for (all without having to read a manual, my pet peeve).  I also learned to spray baste for machine quilting, to pre-draw designs on a dry erase board, and how to translate those drawing to machine quilting.  I probably learned a bunch more that I forgot to mention.  Not bad for a days work, huh?  Thanks, Belinda!

Thanks, honey, for my new what should I do first?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Calendar Quilt - Months 5-8

Guild BOM blocks 5-8
So, why am I posting calendar quilt blocks two days in a row?!?!?  Well because I am finally catching up!  I haven't brought my BOM blocks to the guild meeting since March because I haven't made a new one since March!

And here's what our block clues have been to date:

  • January - Snowman
  • February - Heart
  • March - Green
  • April - Showers and/or Flowers
  • May - Animals and/or Bugs
  • June - Nautical
  • July - Patriotic
  • August - Fruits and/or Vegetables
I was definitely on the right track when I began the calendar quilt idea, adding each month abbreviated in a freestyle sort of piecing.  I'm also really stretching my paper piecing skills by working from the book "365 Foundation Quilt Blocks" by Linda Causee.  And when I say stretching, I mean it.  In the April block, there were 71 pieces just in the flower design (no to mention the piecing in the letters and the piecing to put the whole block together).  In the May block, there are 97 pieces of fabric in the butterfly alone!  This is one block thick with seaming.  And add to it, the lettering and the background piecing, that makes well over 100 pieces in this block (and I'm not counting to be sure)!  

So do you paper piece?  Do you like it?  Where do you get your patterns? and are you crazy enough to take on piecing 100+ pieces in one 8x8 block?!?!?


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Calendar Quilt - The First 4 Months

BOM 2012 blocks 1- 4
Our guild is holding a mystery block of the month this year.  Since I didn't join the guild until March, I kinda got clued in quickly as to what the common thread for the year was.

When I joined, the first 2 block assignments were already given.  In the month of January, members were to create a "snowman" block and in February, the theme was "hearts."  Hmmm....would you get the idea that this was along the lines of a calendar quilt as well?  And the next couple of months...
  • January - Snowman
  • February - Heart
  • March - Green
  • April - Flowers and/or Showers

Still feeling the calendar vibe???  Yep, it is a good thing that I was really sure that I was on the right track because I was determined to make this a calendar quilt and had begun to add the names of the months into the designs!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Flower Garden Quilt

Flower Garden Quilt - 2008
Have I ever shared my flower quilt?  I'm not sure if I ever posted about it or not.  The flower quilt was a  BOM from a virtual quilt group I used to belong to called Quilts Your Way.  I loved that group!  We had such a great group of ladies there who posted about anything from daily life to anything and everything quilt related.  We also had a great photo album full of what everyone was working on.

Anyway...back to the quilt...all of the block patterns were found on Marcia Hohn's website, Quilter's Cache.  It's a great site full of 100s of free quilt block patterns!  Each month we had the choice of 2 blocks (I never chose the applique block, hehe).  Once we had all 12 blocks, our hostess gave us a chance to "fill in the blanks" with 3 additional bonus blocks.  Then she gave us the layout and we were off on our own to complete our Flower Garden.  

I never saw pictures of any of the other group member's finished quilts, but I'm sure hoping that others got the chance to complete this beautiful project.  I just love mine!