Today begins the 31st Annual Hands of Friendship Quilt Show in Kirksville, Missouri.

You can read more about it and get all the location and time details HERE.

This is our raffle quilt this year — isn’t it gorgeous?


If you’re in the Kirksville area, I hope you’ll come see the show — it’s worth the trip.

I’ll be there signing copies of my book, A Simple Life, so if you’ve been wanting one, you can get it there while doing a LOT of other fun stuff — hope to see you there!

There’s a new Quilt-Along starting here on the Hazel’s Diary blog. I wanted to start it on Monday, the 30th, but first of all, I didn’t realize it was a holiday (because I’m never quite sure what day it is), and I didn’t want to start it on a holiday (even tho I’m not sure why that matters) and secondly, My Cowboy spent several days in the hospital last week, so I didn’t get much done in the way of real work, so I’m just not ready yet.

And since I’m busy this week getting ready for my guild’s quilt show this Thursday and Friday, I’ve decided to not be too hard on myself, and just get the party started next week instead. It’s a free Quilt-Along — it’ll be worth waiting for!

So while you’re waiting . . .

I’m having a give-away for a copy of my book, “A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s”:


The new Quilt-Along is called Canning Season, and it’s a quilt that didn’t make it into the book, based on one of the blocks from the Hazel’s Diary quilt. You do NOT need the book to join in on the Quilt-Along, so don’t worry about that, but I, of course, think you need the book anyway, just because!

Here’s your chance to win a free copy, simply by leaving a comment on this post!

Also, to double your chances, you can visit my friend, Victoria, HERE, where she is also having a give-away for a copy of the book!

She’s making the blocks for Hazel’s Diary from her new fabric line, Mostly Manor — don’t they look cute in these fabrics?


I’ll be back next week with all the info on the Canning Season Quilt-Along, with a picture of the quilt, and the fabric requirements for making the quilt along with me. I can’t wait for you to see it, so check back soon!

I’ll draw for a winner of the book on Monday, June 6th.

UPDATE: The winner is: Sandy R. Congratulations, Sandy! I hope you love the book.

Quilt Market

International Quilt Market is later this week in Salt Lake City. It’s the twice-yearly trade show for the quilting industry, where industry professionals and quilt shop owners can go to promote their new stuff or see all the new stuff they want for their shops or businesses.

We’ll get to see all the newest fabric lines coming out, watch demos of new tools and gadgets, look at lots of new patterns and books, and get inspired. They also have an entire schedule of professional development classes that attendees can take to help them run their businesses better. It’s quite a deal!

Since my book just came out:



I’ll be at Market this time to help promote it.

I’m participating in a Schoolhouse session on Thursday at 1:20 with a couple more Kansas City Star Quilts authors.

Schoolhouse is a series of professional development presentations given in 30-minute increments all day long. There are hundreds of sessions to choose from, given by designers, authors, and industry folks — chock full of ideas for what shop owners can do with all the new products and trends that are coming out. Then the shop owners bring all those great ideas and products home to their shops for us, as quilt shop customers, to enjoy!

I’m also doing a book signing in C&T Publishing’s booth (#2141) on Saturday at 11:00.

That leaves Friday open for me to run around and see everything! And it’ll feel like running — there’s a lot to see in a short time at Market. I hope my new boots are really comfy!



If you are someone who attends Quilt Market, be sure and look me up — I’d love to meet you!

Quilt 4U

I’m doing a book signing for “A Simple Life” tomorrow (May 15th) at Quilt 4U in Columbia, Missouri.

I’ll be showing all the quilts from the book, and the shop will have copies of the book for sale, and I’ll be there to sign them for you!

It starts at 1:30, and if you’re a member of their club, it’s free — if not, admission is $5.

Their address is 908 Rain Forest Parkway, Suite E. If you’re on 763, they’re in the same little strip of shops that Jimmy John’s is in, north of town. Hope to see you there!

A Simple Life

They’re on the way!!! Woohoo!

“A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s” is available now!


To get your signed copy, you can purchase it here in my Etsy shop, or contact me if you prefer a different method, and we’ll work something out.

I also urge you to check with your local quilt shop, as I hope a lot of shops will be carrying it — buying from your LQS helps support them, and saves you shipping costs.

Here’s a couple more sneak peeks of some of the projects you’ll find in the book.

This quilt is called Happily Ever After:


And my favorite quilt in the entire book — I love this quilt so much — is called Fancy Farm Girl:


There are nine projects total included in the book. I hope you’ll love them all as much as I do!

If you order now, I’ll be shipping books on Monday, May 2nd, and Friday, May 6th. After that, I should have them in stock for immediate shipment at the time you place your order.

If you prefer to purchase from me in person, check HERE for a schedule of where I’ll be doing book signings, and visit me there!

If your group or organization would like a trunk show on “The Life of Hazel Ilene”, just give me a holler and we’ll work out the details.

Next Week

I have it on good authority . . . altho I AM from the Show-Me State . . . that “A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s” is shipping next week! Woohoo! Finally!


I thought I’d show you a few sneak peeks over the next few days, as much as I’m allowed to.

I’m gonna start with this lovely shot of all the quilts in one big stack!


I took these photos during the photo shoot we did for the book at The Vintage House.


We played around with props quite a bit, switching things in and out of the photos.


Here’s Aaron, trying to get the stack to sit just right:


I’ll let you guess which one ended up in the book!

I love this shot of all the quilts from the book together.


The book has 9 projects in it, the main one being the Block-of-the-Month quilt, Hazel’s Diary.

There are some alternate versions of the Hazel’s Diary quilt, and lots of spin-off projects, including 6 more quilts. I love quilts. Quilts are what I want to make, so my book is full of quilt projects!

Here’s a sneak peek of one of the alternate versions. This one was pieced and appliquéd by my sister, Katy. You’ll love it (I hope)!


I mentioned earlier that the next quilt-along is starting in May. I’ll have more information on it coming real soon. It’s a project that didn’t make it into the book, a wonderful scrappy quilt called Canning Season, so stay tuned for the announcement of that, as well as the official announcement that the book is out!


It should come as no surprise that I have a lot of fabric scraps. Lately, I’ve been playing in them quite a bit, trying to get them organized.

That has led to me realizing that I have too many too actually “organize”, and I need to be using them up as I go.

Which then led to me starting several new scrap quilts, which should also come as no surprise!

Funny how that works, huh?

I wrote about one of them today over on my other blog: My Tile Quilt.

But I’m also posting a mini-tutorial for another one here on this blog. If you’re looking for a way to use up little scraps, either one of these will be great for that. If you’re just wanting to get rid of your little scraps — feel free to send them on to me! (I need them! Haha!)

I’m calling this quilt MixMash. It’s a complete mess of any bright scrap I can come up with. As I’m working through my scraps, I cut them into pre-cut sizes, the smallest of which is 1 1/2″ squares and 1 1/2″ strips. This quilt, however, can use 1 1/4″ pieces, so now I can use up that size as well.

Here’s how I’m doing it . . .

Each little block measures 4 1/2″, to finish at 4″ in my quilt.
All seams are 1/4″.
You may press your seams however you like.

You’ll need the following pieces for each block:

  • One 1 1/2″ square (for the center)
  • Two 1 1/2″ x 1 1/4″ rectangles
  • Four 1 1/4″ x 3″ rectangles
  • Two 1 1/4″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles


Begin by sewing the two smallest rectangles to two opposite sides of the center square:


Then sew a 3″ rectangle to the sides of this unit:


Sew the two remaining 3″ rectangles to the sides:


Then add the 4 1/2″ rectangles to square it up:


It’s that simple! Now you just need to make 400+ of these for a big quilt!

It’s basically a small version of a Courthouse Steps block.

Here’s a few other notes about this quilt . . .

As I’ve been working on the scraps, I cut pieces for this quilt while I’m at it. Then I just store them in these labelled baggies and they’re ready when I am.


I have another bag to keep my finished blocks in. I’m not really counting how many I have right now. I’m just using up scraps for the time being, and when I get enough that I think I can do something with, I’ll see what happens from there!

When you get ready to set your blocks together, you’ll want to lay them out with the blocks rotated so that a side with seams matches up to a side without seams on the next block, as shown here:


Join them in pairs:


Then join these pairs together to make a larger section:


I’m not planning to join too many of mine together right now. I want to have a lot of blocks made, and then play around with the arrangement so that the color is evenly dispersed. I know my scraps will evolve as I’m cutting, and I don’t want all of one fabric bunched up in one area of the finished quilt.

My color choices are completely random — I’m just grabbing and sewing. I simply try not to get two fabrics alike right next to each other. That’s what helped me come up with the name!

I also plan to set these on point, so when I get ready to do that, I’ll be back with more information on my setting.

For now, I’m just happily making blocks. They make a fantastic leader/ender project, and you can have a handful of them finished in no time. If you need to use up some little scraps, I hope you’ll join me in making some of these blocks!

I’m also making a black and white version, in which I’ll alternate the blocks. This one is going to look very “op art” when I’m done. I’m excited to see it come together. A two-color version requires you to be a bit more deliberate in your cutting, but it’s still easy to figure out.


If you have any questions about any of this, please let me know, and I’ll try to answer them in a future updated post on this quilt. You’ll be seeing these two quilts again as they grow!

And FYI: There’s a new Quilt-Along coming in May to go along with the book, which, after too long a time coming, will be here soon, so stay tuned!


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