31 May 2012

DIY: Wonky Star block

June is my month as the quilter in the Believe circle at do. Good Stitches.  We are making a Wonky Star quilt so I thought I would put together a tutorial for making a block.

First, decide how big you want your block.  I chose a 12" x 12" finished block size.  

To know what size of fabric pieces you need, divide the finished size by 3 (because there are three pieces on each side) and add 1/2" for seam allowances.  

12" ÷ 3 = 4"
4" + 1/2" = 4 1/2"

If you were making a 15" finished block your math would look like this...
15" ÷ 3 = 5"
5" + 1/2" = 5 1/2"

Keep in mind...
1.  1/4" seam allowance
2.  RST means right-sides-together
3.  To keep this less confusing, I am going to refer to the background fabric as 'white' and the printed fabric as 'orange'.  But by all means, use whatever colors your want!  :)
4.  "Finished" means after the block has been stitched together with other blocks.  An unfinished block is 1/2" wider and longer then your finished block.  This extra 1/2" allows for a 1/4" seam allowance on each side.

Okay, to begin you will need 8 white squares and five orange squares.  All of them need to be 
4 1/2" square.  

To get a visual of the anatomy of this block, it is put together like a 9-patch as shown below.

Take four of the orange squares and cut diagonally as shown.

Set aside the four white corner squares and your center orange square.

Place one of your orange triangles on top of a white square (RST).  To get a variety in the wonkiness of your star points, place the triangles at different angles as shown below.  Make sure the point at the right angle is pointed into the block.

Stitch a 1/4" from the diagonal edge as shown below.

Press your seam and flip your fabric over so you are looking at the back side.  Two sides of the printed fabric need to be visible on the backside or else your white fabric will show through on the front.

Now cut along the edge of the white fabric where orange fabric is visible.

Flip your square back over so you are looking at the front side.  Lift the orange triangle so you can see the white behind it.  Cut along the diagonal edge of the orange to get rid of the white.

Now, repeat with the other side of the square.  Be sure to complete the above steps with one orange triangle before stitching on the second triangle or else you will end up with this...

I tried to speed things up but didn't think about what I was actually doing.  I stitched over one triangle before pressing it.  Don't do that.  :)

Once you have the second triangle pressed and trimmed, cut off the white behind it.

Repeat the above steps with three more of your white squares and the remaining six orange triangles.

Lay out all your squares as shown...

Stitch blocks together within each row.  Be sure to press seams in the opposite direction as the row(s) next to it (to reduce bulk).  For example, press the top and bottom row seams to the right and press the middle row seams to the left. 

Apologies for the "fluorescent" pictures, I took these at night.

Line up seams when you stitch the rows together.

Square your block to 12 1/2" and voila!  Your block is done.  When you square up your block make sure there is at least 1/4" of white fabric between the tip of your points and the edge of the block.  If it is less then 1/4" your points will be eaten up by the seam when your blocks are all stitched together.

For my do. Good Stitches block I want it to be 16" finished but I didn't want the star to take up the whole block so I need to add strips of white fabric to the sides to get the size I want.  I chose to off center the star so I added strips to two sides .

Then I squared it up to 16 1/2" unfinished.

A couple variations that might be fun...
Using a darker fabric for the background and a light color for the star.
Making the star itty-bitty (like maybe 3" square) in a big 16" block.
Making a smaller star to be used in hot pads.

If you want a wider range of wonkiness in your star points you can increase the size of the four orange squares that you cut at a diagonal.  However, I stuck to 4 1/2" orange squares and I am happy with the wonkiness.

I hope you found this tutorial useful!!

29 May 2012

Words from a 3 year-old...

I saw a dog so I said cock-a-doodle-doo! 

25 May 2012

SMS Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone who left a comment!  I received some great suggestions and already have plans in the works...it'll be fun!

The winners of this beautiful bundle are...

Blogger Margaret said...
Who doesn't want more tutorials? What a great bundle o' fabric!
Blogger Andrea said...
I love seeing things that inspire me to get behind the sewing machine. Things like titoruals or fun fabrics and color combinations.

Congratulations!!  I will be emailing you shortly.  Thanks again everyone.  Enjoy your weekend and don't forget that everything in my shop is 20% OFF right now.  Sale ends Monday evening.

Memorial Day Sale

Monday is Memorial Day in the states.  To celebrate, I am offering 20% off everything in my shop now through Monday, May 28.

I carry both patterns...

and quilts in my shop.

Use code MEMORIALDAY20 at checkout.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

And thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway.  If you haven't entered yet do it now!!  There are a few hours left before it closes.

21 May 2012

SMS Giveaway Day

Welcome everyone!  As most of you know today begins SewMamaSew Giveaway Day.  A weeklong event in which you get to look through hundreds of blogs/websites of giveaways put together by SewMamaSew.

This FrozenKnickers blog is the little corner of my life where I show-and-tell about my sewing/quilting adventures--success or failure!  My Etsy shop is where I sell some of these things.

This go-around, I will be giving away two Fat Quarter bundles of each of these beautiful designer prints.

My three year-old son and his little John Deere were keeping me company...as they often do.

To enter the giveaway you need to answer this one question...what would you like to see more of on my blog?  Only one entry please.  If you forgot something and want to comment about it, please delete your first comment before leaving me another. 

These prizes ship internationally...woohoo!!!

I will be emailing the winners, so if you are a no-reply commenter PLEASE include your email address or I will have to choose a different winner if you are picked. 

This giveaway will stay open until Friday, May 25...PST evening sometime.   

Feel free to browse through my blog.  Check out my tutorials or look through past posts.  And go back to SewMamaSew and enter more giveaways!!

Also, I am offering 15% OFF all the items in my Etsy shop now through Friday; enter SEWMAMA15 at checkout.

17 May 2012

wonky plus quilt

You know how sometimes you have this great plan!  Beautiful product selection.  Speedy and precise execution.  And then you change your mind.  You know, right!?  Because surely I am not the only person this happens to.

The plan was a wonky brick quilt somewhere between this and this.  I chain pieced a border onto all 62 rectangles...

These chain pieced Arcadia blocks turned out so nicely bunched up there behind my machine.

cut and wonk-ified them...

and admired the nice little stack of one of my favorite fabric lines.  Then, as I was sitting and admiring, I changed my mind.  GRRR!  Sometimes I hate it when I do that. 

But with this little dude, Mr. Smiles, sitting next to me I quickly regrouped and moved on. 

Usually, I like the change of plan even better!    These fabrics have a sort of funky-retro flair to them and, although these bricks would have shown off the designs very nicely, they needed something a little more fun.

So, they went from safe and conservative...

 to a little bit bold and funky.

This particular quilt is heading to England to be snuggled around my soon-to-be new baby niece.  Now, how to quilt it?  The best part...I have enough of the bricks left to make another!!

Tip of the day...  Keep an open mind! 

16 May 2012


During a conference talk on Mother's day a couple years back, a local church leader said something to this effect...

On Mother's Day, women tend to think about all the things they are doing wrong, all the mistakes they make as a mother and what they need to be doing better.  In contrast, on Father's Day, dads think, "Heck yes!  I'm awesome and this day is all about me!"   

I couldn't help but laugh because for me and my husband, that was true.  Since then, I have done better to make a greater effort on Mother's Day to celebrate the joy of being a mother. 

I know it's a few days late.  I have a tendency, at times, to over think...a lot...before I act.  I have been reflecting on the mother I am now and the mother I hope to be someday.  However, as I was doing this reflecting, I realized I am not so far from where I "want to be"...which is always a good thing.

I try to keep my eyes up, looking ahead at the big picture.  What matters most in the long run and focusing on the "milestones".  Then I watched this video and was reminded that sometimes, the most important things are the little ones.  The small, perhaps seemingly insignificant, experiences that help to shape us, our children, and those around us.


-- side note --
I told my husband I hate these Mormon Messages because I always cry.  He thought it was a bit bold and perhaps inappropriate to say that.  But there it is.  :)  I really do love the messages, I just can't control the water works. 

I love the sweet tender moments I share with my precious, rambunctious, energetic, entertaining (sometimes a little overly) children that make everyday worth living!

Also, I have a great mother and mother-in-law!  I have been blessed to have such wonderful people in my life...I love you both!

I've debated whether or not to share this here but I have come to the conclusion that it is time.

My mother was recently diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).  Google paints a pretty grim picture, so I don't research it much anymore.  I would rather be aware, but take one day at a time. 

The first couple months after her diagnosis were especially wearing on her, and the rest of us, emotionally.   She was going through her own sort of grieving process; shock, anger, depression.  I must say though, just within the last couple weeks she has been smiling again.  

She now has a motorized wheelchair which allows her to get around by herself.  She is spending time outside.  She had her toenails painted bright green (she was absolutely shocked at herself for choosing that color, but it is fun and refreshing...just what she needed).

We have a long road ahead of us, but I know God doesn't leave us alone.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone, mother or not!  Enjoy the small moments that make up the journey we call life.  :)