MixMash, Part 2

I posted a tutorial a long while back on a quilt I was making called MixMash. (You can find it HERE.)

Over the last couple years, I’ve been slowly chipping away at making hundreds of these blocks, and I finally got them finished and set into a quilt!

So I thought I’d make an appearance here today to give you a few more details about the quilt, and how I set mine together. This isn’t a formal tutorial, because you may or may not want to make your quilt as large as mine, so I’m leaving a little bit of the figuring work up to you, but hopefully this takes the hardest part out of it for you.

Here’s my finished quilt (pay no nevermind to the fact that I don’t have my binding on yet):

My quilt finishes at 85″ x 97″, a good queen-sized quilt. I began wondering at the wisdom of this about halfway through, but I was so in love with all the scrappy goodness, I kept going. (And I have lots of scraps to use up, and friends were donating their trash to me as I went, too!)

I made 419 four-inch (finished) blocks using the block tutorial HERE. You will need to adjust this number based on the size you want your finished quilt, and whether you will be setting them in straight rows or on point.

I set my blocks on point, but the quilt would be just as striking with a straight set, and then you don’t have to mess with setting triangles (and it is easier to set together in a straight set — no diagonal rows).

However, I was in love with the idea of the on-point setting, and I forged ahead, so if that’s how you want to do yours, too, you’ll need to cut squares that are 7 1/4″ for your setting triangles. You’ll have to figure up how many you need based on the size of quilt you’re making, then cut each square in half TWICE on the diagonal to make the setting triangles.

You’ll also need TWO squares 4″ x 4″ for the corners. Cut these in half ONCE on the diagonal and set them aside for the corners.

I used polka dot grunge for my setting triangles, and I really really love it — it makes the perfect frame for my wild scraps!

Once you have your blocks made and your setting triangles cut (if you need them), it’s time to arrange your blocks into rows as you want them (or diagonal rows with triangles on the ends, if on point), and sew them together in rows, then join the rows together.

NOTE: Make sure that you turn your blocks so that a side with no seams always matches up to a side with seams on the block next to it. (See the block tutorial.)

If you do the diagonal setting, you will find that your setting triangles are a bit oversized (this is for ease of piecing). Once you have the entire center portion set together, simply trim the edge of the quilt top 1/4″ outside the points of the blocks. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step.)

I then added a 2″ border all the way around my quilt. If you want to add borders, measure your quilt through the middle from top to bottom to get the measurements for your side border strips. I cut 2 1/2″ strips, then sewed them together to make one long strip, then cut my border lengths from that.

Sew the side borders on first, then measure the quilt from side to side including the borders you just added to get the measurements for your top and bottom border strips.

I found this fabulous backing fabric for mine at Missouri Star Quilt Company!

Since the quilt is so scrappy busy, it did not need custom or fancy quilting, so I just did an all-over medium meander to quilt it — very fast and easy (you can see it in the photo above). I thought about doing all-over loops, but when I do those, I don’t like them as much, so I went with the meander.

I plan to bind it with the same polka dot grunge.

Finished quilt details:

Size: 85″ x 97″
Block size: 4″
Number of blocks: 419, set on point
Border fabric (and setting triangles and binding): Grunge Hits the Spot in Turquoise
Backing fabric: Bee Backings and Borders by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet for Riley Blake Designs
Batting: Quilter’s Dream Poly Select white
Thread (for quilting): Superior OMNI #3096 Treasure Isle
Quilting: all-over freehand medium meander

As always, if you need clarification on any of this (since it’s pretty basic), or if you have any other questions, just give me a holler. And have fun using up all your tiniest of scraps!


There have been several Hazel’s Diary quilts appearing all over the place, now that the Block-of-the-Month is finished running, and the book has been out for awhile!

I’ve spotted several at various quilt shows I’ve attended, and some makers have even sent me pictures.

I’m thrilled to get to share some of these quilts with you!

First up, I’ll show you a pair of them hanging together at my guild’s annual quilt show. The one on the left was made by my friend, Cindy, and the one on the right was made by my sister, Katy.

You can see more pictures of Katy’s version, which we’ve named “Hazel Meets Elvis” in this post HERE.

I spotted not one, but TWO different versions of a Hazel’s Diary quilt at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival back in June. I was floored by this black version done by Wilma Lamfers. Wilma had sent me pictures of it earlier when she got it finished, but getting to see it in person at the show was a real treat! (Wilma’s version was beautifully quilted by Ida Houston.)

This version by JoAnn Borchelt done in all 1930s reproduction fabrics has such a soft look to it. JoAnn’s quilt was expertly quilted by Jane Bromberg.

I found out through Instagram that Maria was making a beautiful version of the quilt, and when I went to a retreat in Minnesota last summer, I found out that Maria lives close to where we were, and she came over to visit and meet all of us retreaters, AND then . . . she invited us out to her house at the lake for dinner, and we got to tour her gorgeous home and see her quilting studio, and I got to see her quilt for myself, hanging in her stairwell! How often would something like that actually happen? It was so unreal — and so fun — and Maria is wonderful! So is her quilt — I love her turquoise border in place of the gray, and I’m really wondering why I didn’t think of that! Maria’s quilt was wonderfully quilted by Rebecca Silbaugh of Ruby Blue Quilts. And Maria knits, too — such gorgeous creations — if you’re on Instagram, go follow her @quiltmomoffive — you’ll love her as much as I do!

This version was made by Paula Smith, and quilted by Becky Collis (find her at Collis Country Quilting on FaceBook), and I spotted it hanging in the Marshall, Missouri, quilt guild’s annual show last year. So fun to see, and great work by both of these gals!

A couple of my friends have made their own versions, too. My friend, Linda, made her outer border checkerboard red and gray. I got to quilt this one for her!

And Jeannie made her version with an entirely different border, which I really love, too. All the extra red is wonderful, as are the scrappy squares set on point. Jeanie’s quilt was quilted by Jessica Defibaugh at Sew Sweet Quilt Shop.

Very inspiring, huh? I really love seeing the personal touches and the spin-off ideas that all these quilters put on their quilts.

If you’ve made one of your own, I’d love to see it — send me pictures or links!

So far this blog has been all about Hazel . . . and her teenage life . . . and her family . . . and we’ve only heard about Dale when Hazel mentions him in the diary. Since Dale did become Hazel’s husband, and my father, I thought I’d give you a little more information on him and his family.

Dale was born on December 9, 1934, in College Mound, Missouri, on the back side of his parents farm, in a section we’ve always referred to as “The Bett’s Place.”

Dale’s parents were Salvatore Franklin Pagliai, also known as “Rod”, and Lulu Pearl Britt, who was always called “Pearl”.

When Dale was born, Rod’s little sister, Alice, who was just a teenager at the time, came to stay with Pearl to help with the baby while Rod was away working.

As Rod was leaving for work when Dale was only 3 days old, he got up the hill, and for some reason, looked back, and saw the house on fire!

He raced back down the hill, and as he entered the house, he met Alice coming out, carrying the baby all bundled up. He sped into the bedroom, scooped his wife up out of her bed, and as he was carrying her out of the burning house, the roof was caving in behind them.

They lost everything.

And it was winter.

But they were all safe, thankfully.

They did rebuild on the same spot, and a few years later, they had the house moved up from the Bett’s Place to the top of the hill along the main road. Dale, his brother, Damon, and their sister, Patty, grew up there.

Now the farm is owned by my sister, Katy, and just this summer, the old house was torn down because it was falling in on itself. They’re building their new house on the same spot, and trying to save the old barn from falling in, too.

Hazel met Dale and his brother on December 11, 1951. You can read that diary entry HERE.

Quilters, The Musical is having a run right now at the Maples Repertory Theater in Macon, Missouri.

Tomorrow, you can come see the musical at 2:00 pm, and right after the musical, I’m doing a trunk show of the quilts from my book, “A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s,” and you can get in to see it FREE if you have your ticket stub from the musical!

If you’ve already seen the musical, but still want to see my trunk show at 4:30, tickets for the trunk show by itself are only $10. I hope you’ll come out and see the quilts if you’re in the area. I’d love to see you there!

You can also see not only MY quilts, but over 30 quilts from area quilters that are on display in a quilt show that is running in conjunction with the musical, so you don’t want to miss that, either. And Ben Franklin is having a big fabric sale — just sayin’!

Many of you locals mentioned that you missed my presentation at the museum last summer, so now’s your chance to get to see it, and see a fabulous musical all on the same day!

Give the theater a call at 660-385-2924 for more info and to get your tickets.

We’re doing a workshop in the morning, but it’s all sold out, and I’m really excited to get to share the day with so many quilters tomorrow. Hope to see you there!

If you want to see the musical, but can’t make it this weekend, there is still one more week of the musical, and you can see the schedule HERE. Next weekend, there is also another workshop, with Carl Hentsch of Three Dog Design Company, and he’ll be teaching paper foundation piecing and also doing a trunk show. If you’ve been wanting to learn paper foundation piecing, Carl has a great project for you to learn on in his class, and seriously, you do NOT want to miss his trunk show, because his quilts are spectacular! I’m planning to be there to see his trunk show myself. If you love color and pattern, you’ll want to be there to witness all the eye candy. You can come sit with me!

Happy Birthday, Hazel!

Today, Hazel would have turned 81 years old! It’s been 63 years since she was making the last few entries into her little red diary. Sixty-three years since she graduated high school; 63 years since she and Dale were married.

You can read how she celebrated her birthday through her high school years by visiting these posts:

September 19, 1951

September 19, 1952

September 19, 1953

September 19, 1954

By the time she celebrated her 18th birthday in 1954, she was busy planning her wedding, and she and Dale were getting their little rented farmhouse all ready to move into.

It’s Memorial Day weekend! The official beginning of summer, right?

It’s now safe for My Cowboy to wear his white cowboy hat for the season — whew!

To help kick off your own summer in retro style, C&T Publishing is offering up my “Summer of ’51 Tablecloth” pattern for free on their blog this week.

It’s the tablecloth pattern from my book, “A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s“.

You can get the tablecloth instructions HERE, if you don’t already own the book. Or, if you’d like to own the book and have all the patterns, you can purchase it HERE.

Also, don’t forget that the quilting design pattern for the tablecloth is also available for free on the free downloads page for The Life of Hazel Ilene.

For some added entertainment, check out my interview with C&T Publishing HERE.

I’m hard at work on the next Quilt-Along that will begin later this summer, so stay tuned!

We just wrapped up the 7th quilt-along here on The Life of Hazel Ilene.

My sister has made her own versions of nearly every quilt-along quilt since the quilt-alongs started — sometimes more than one version!

So she and I decided that we would treat our guild to a trunk show of all the quilts we’ve made from the quilt-alongs, in hopes of inspiring some of our fellow guild members to give one (or more) of the quilt-alongs a try. They are free, after all!

Thanks to Linda K., I got pictures from the trunk show to share with you today.

The blog started back in 2010, with the diary entries beginning in 1951. With each diary entry, there was a step of a quilt, which was a mystery, and if you followed along, doing each step every day, at the end of the year, you’d have a finished quilt top. Here is the original quilt from that first quilt-along, Hazel’s Stars, made by my sister. Mine is exactly like hers.

There was also an option to make a smaller version of the quilt that year, and here’s what it looks like:

My sister also made a version in purple, for her daughter:

And a version in blues and browns for her son:

The next quilt-along came along in early 2012, and was called Bouquets for Hazel. This quilt featured appliqué, and I wrote tutorials for different methods you could use. Here’s the original of mine:

And my sister chose to do hers in a dark palette — lovely!

In late 2012, the third quilt-along began, called Hazel’s Summer Wildflowers. This time, I featured embroidery for the main blocks. Participants could choose to embroider their blocks simply, or add in lots of details like I did in mine:

There were also lots of bonus projects to go along with this quilt-along, showing other various ways to use the embroidered blocks.

My sister again chose a dark palette, creating this very dramatic version, which I love:

The quilt-along for 2014 featured a quick and easy scrap quilt called Happy and Scrappy:

In 2015, the Hazel’s Diary quilt was featured in the Kansas City Star Sunday paper monthly, so I let that serve as our quilt-along for that year. Since my original version is gone to Paducah to hang in the AQS Show this spring, my sister brought her pink and black version of the quilt along to show, which we named Hazel Meets Elvis! I love this color version a lot.

2016’s quilt-along was called Triangle Salad, and featured 5 different tutorials for making half-square triangles in all different sizes. After the tutorials were finished, we used the units we had made to make blocks and set them into this modern quilt. Here’s mine:

And here’s Katy’s, done in an all purple scheme with white background. She’s named hers The Grapes of Wrath!

And the quilt-along from early this year, called Canning Season, which we just wrapped up, also used a lot of half-square triangles. Here’s mine:

And here’s Katy’s colorful version:

I have taken down most of the instructions for the 2010 quilt-along, and will be offering the Hazel’s Stars Sampler quilts as a pattern soon. All the steps and instructions for all the other quilt-alongs are still on the blog, and still available for free. Just scroll through the sidebar at the right to get to the one you’d like to visit.

I’m planning the next quilt-along for later this year; I’m hoping August at the latest. My sister says it’s not allowed to have any half-square triangles in it! So stay tuned for more information!