I know a couple of you are done with your Canning Season tops, and several more of you are moving along quite steadily. I hope you send me pictures when you’re done!

We’re wrapping up this quilt-along today, and I had hoped to be able to show you how I quilted my quilt, but alas, that is not to be. I don’t have mine quilted yet, but I hope to soon. I’ve been a bit under the weather, and had more important deadlines that I had to attend to when I did feel like working, so I just keep getting further and further behind, as usual.

So I’ll save that for another post later on, and we’ll move on to binding.

Once you get your quilt quilted, which may be sooner than I get mine quilted, you’ll want to bind it. I’m using one print for my binding; it’s from the collection of fat quarters I used in my blocks (Vintage Kitchen by Andrea Muller for Riley Blake Designs), so it matches perfectly:

But you could certainly make your binding scrappy, too. I love a good scrappy binding!

There’s a tutorial here on Making Scrappy Binding. This tutorial will work for making your binding from all one fabric as well, you’ll just be using longer strips.

And there’s a tutorial here on Attaching Binding to Your Quilt.

And one final tutorial that talks about how to whip the binding down on the back, and how to make and attach a label, if you need help with those things: The Final Touches.

If you have any questions about anything we’ve covered, don’t hesitate to ask.

And now, to celebrate the end of the Canning Season Quilt-Along, I’m having a give-away!

In some of my travels, I stumbled upon a cookbook exactly like the cookbook Hazel used when she was a young wife and mother and homemaker. I can remember standing on a chair at the kitchen table helping her make brownies from the recipe on page 195. I was 5 years old, and I wore a little red and white polka dotted apron she had made me, and I got to stir the batter, and lick the bowl when we were done!

I still have her cookbook and use it sometimes — it’s one of my most treasured possessions. This one is in much better shape than Hazel’s is!

If you love old cookbooks, and if you’d like to own a cookbook just like Hazel’s, here’s your chance to win one. Simply leave a comment on this post, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win. It doesn’t matter if you participated in the quilt-along or not — the give-away is open to anyone reading.

I’ll draw for a winner on Monday, March 20th.

If you’d like to read about my visit to Cotton and Chocolate Quilt Company in California, please visit THIS POST on my main blog. I presented “The Life of Hazel Ilene” program to their Saturday Sampler group.

Don’t forget that this coming Saturday, March 18th, is Worldwide Quilting Day — I hope you’ll be quilting!

UPDATE: The winner of the cookbook is Mary!


Some of you are whipping right along on your Canning Season blocks, so you may indeed be ready for these border instructions by now!

By the way . . . borders are optional. You may decide that you don’t want borders on your quilt. Either way, this first step needs to be completed before you add your borders or otherwise finish your quilt top.

Since the setting and corner triangles we used were cut oversized to make the piecing a little easier, you probably now have a bit of an uneven edge on your quilt top. This needs to be trimmed so that the quilt is ready for the borders.

We’ll be trimming the edges of the quilt 1/4″ outside of the intersections where the triangles meet, so lay your quilt top on your cutting surface and position your ruler along the edge as shown. The 1/4″ mark is at the point of the block, and the straight edge of the ruler is along the outer edge of the triangle. Line up with the point of the next block in the row with the 1/4″ mark on the ruler. You’ll have to do this in little sections all along the sides of the quilt.

Trim carefully to straighten the edges of your quilt. Do all four sides.

When you come to a corner, use the edge you’ve already straightened, and line up that 1/4″ mark against the block, and trim the corner square.

After you’ve done the first corner, you can use the trimmed edge of that corner as an additional line to line up with to make the corner nice and square as you start trimming the next side.

If you decide to add borders, here’s how . . .

Cut eight 3 1/2″ by WOF (width of fabric) strips of background fabric, and remove the selvages from each strip. (You might need nine strips, but we’ll start with eight, in case you don’t. You can always go back and cut one extra if you need it.)

First, I measured my quilt from top to bottom right down the middle (not along an edge). Make sure when you do this, not to stretch or pull your quilt top. Mine measured 86 1/2″.

Sew two of the border strips together, end to end, pressing the seam to one side. Then measure it. If it’s long enough to cut your border strip from, then cut the length you need from this longer strip. If it’s not long enough, sew one more strip onto the end to make it longer, then cut your border strip. You will need two border strips this length, so you’ll need to repeat this to get a second strip. Locate the center point of each of these strips and mark it with a pin or by finger pressing a little crease at the midpoint of the strip.


We’re going to sew these two long strips to the sides of the quilt top.

Locate the center point of one long side of the quilt top, and the center point of one long border strip. Match them up, right sides together, and pin.

Then pin the end of the strip even with the end of the quilt top.

Place pins in between until you have the border strip securely pinned to the quilt top, then do the same for the other half of the border strip. First pin the end, then fill in with pins in between the end and the middle.

Sew the strip to the quilt top, and press the seam toward the strip. Repeat for the other long side of the quilt.

Now you’re ready to add the top and bottom borders. Measure your quilt from side to side through the middle, being careful not to stretch. Mine measured 74 1/2″.

Sew two of the border strips together, end to end, pressing the seam to one side. Then cut the length you need from this longer strip. Repeat this to get a second strip this length. Locate the center point of each of these strips and mark it with a pin or by finger pressing a little crease at the midpoint of the strip.

Again matching up the center points of the quilt top and the strip, pin a border strip to the top of the quilt, right sides together, and sew it on. Backstitch at the beginning and end of this seam, since it’s along the outer edge of the quilt. Press the seam toward the strip.

Repeat with the final border strip on the bottom of the quilt, and you’re all finished!

Next week is the wrap-up! I’ve moved it to Wednesday, too, since I moved this post back a couple days. I hope to talk about how I quilted my quilt, provide information on binding, answer any questions you may have, and host a give-away to celebrate being finished!

So if you have any questions, let me know. Meanwhile, happy stitching!

I hope you’ve been getting along OK sewing all those triangle squares!

I’m back today to post the setting instructions, so when you’re ready, they’ll be available. And if any of you are already ready, you won’t get held up any longer waiting.

When you’re done making all your blocks, you should have 14 leftover block sections. We are going to use these for the setting, but first we need to cut some additional background pieces.

From your background fabric, cut nine squares 10″ x 10″.

Cut two of these squares in half on the diagonal to make a total of 4 triangles. Set these aside for now.


Cut the remaining seven squares in half on the diagonal twice to make 28 triangles. We’ll use these first.


Also cut nine strips 3 1/2″ wide x the width of fabric. Set these aside for the borders we’ll be doing next week.

Using two of the triangles from the group of 28, lay them out with a block section as shown here, making sure you have your block section turned correctly (the triangles are pointing down):


Sew the short side of one setting triangle to one side of the block section, and press the seam toward the triangle. Make sure you are not stretching the triangle piece as you sew it on, as there is a bias edge on it.


Sew the other triangle to the adjacent side of the block section, again pressing the seam toward the triangle.


Make 14 setting sections like this. Don’t worry about the triangles not fitting just right. We’ll be trimming it all even before we add the borders. They should be a bit oversized, so they’re easy to sew and you don’t have to be too careful (even tho mine don’t look too oversized in this photo).

Now you can start arranging all your blocks into a layout that you like. Since I made all my sections from one color, I had to put them on my design wall in order to get all the colors evenly distributed across my quilt top. If you’ve done completely scrappy (or two-color), this part will be much easier for you!

The blocks go on point, four across, five down, and blocks fill in between all the gaps as well. The setting units go along the edges, and the four leftover triangles go in each corner. Follow this diagram to get them arranged:


The next step is to sew them together into diagonal rows. You can press your seams however you choose.


Then join all the rows together to complete the center portion of your quilt top.

I’ll be back on March 6th with information on adding your borders, so happy stitching this week!

A Sad Tale

Local folks who know our family, and those who have read the book, know that Hazel died unexpectedly at a young age.

Hazel and Dale married in 1954, and Hazel’s main ambition was to be a farmer’s wife and a mother. By 1961, Hazel’s brothers, Donald and Larry, were both married and each had their first child. Hazel was still not even pregnant. And Donald was working on his second one, born in 1961.

Donald and his wife, Ruth Ann, with their sons, Greg and Jeff (the infant):


Larry and his wife, Carole, with their son, Tony:


Here’s Hazel holding Larry’s son, on the left, and Donald’s son, on the right:


Even Dale’s brother, Damon, was married by now and had a daughter, Susan:


So when a little boy came up for adoption in their area, Dale and Hazel decided to adopt.


They named him Gary.



Mildred and Vern were grandparents of four little boys!



And Hazel found out she was pregnant! I was born in 1962, the first girl among the grandchildren on Hazel’s side of the family.

In 1962, Donald and Larry each had another son, making 3 boys for Donald, and 2 boys for Larry. What a group!

After 14 months, I finally learned how to walk. My mother wrote in my baby book: “A slow walker, but a fast talker.” I must get that from my father!


Then I turned three,


and Hazel gave birth to her third child on Christmas Eve, 1965 — Darin:


He was quite the active little fellow, and still is!



Gary, the dutiful big brother:


In 1968, Hazel was pregnant for the third time, with her fourth child, and in early 1969, she contracted the Hong Kong flu. Dale was working full time, and since Hazel was so sick, she and us three kids went to stay with Hazel’s parents, so Hazel would have help and could rest.

The doctor was concerned about Hazel’s weakened state from the flu when she went into labor on February 11th, 1969. Not having enough strength to deliver the baby normally, it was decided to do a C-section, and during that procedure, something went horribly awry.

The baby was saved, a little girl they named Katherine Louise. But due to complications from the procedure, Hazel entered a vegetative state that she never recovered from. She passed away on February 17th, 1969 — 48 years ago today. Katy was only 6 days old.

Hazel’s unexpected passing left the community and all who knew her and Dale in shock, and left Dale with four small children to raise.

Hazel was laid to rest in the Locust Grove Cemetery in Callao, not far from where she lived, and only a few blocks from the school she attended while writing in her little red diary.

And her Happily Ever After with Dale came to an end.

It appears that none of Hazel’s Valentine’s Days during high school were very exciting or eventful. You can read about them all at these links:

Valentine’s Day 1951

Valentine’s Day 1952

Valentine’s Day 1953

Valentine’s Day 1954

And the tutorial for the heart apron she’s wearing can be found HERE.


Is anyone actually finished with all their block sections?

I’m not expecting anyone to say yes to that, unless that’s the only thing you did all week, day and night. That’s a lot of sewing!

NOTE: I went back and added a bit of information to the last post, in the event you are making a two-color version of the quilt. Of the 142 blocks sections you’ll make, 80 of them should be one color (red in the diagram), and 62 should be the other color (yellow in the diagram). I should have clarified that earlier, but I think I’ve probably caught you in time!

I’m back this week to go over how to assemble a block once you have all your sections made. Even though most of you probably aren’t near ready for this stage, I wanted to put it out here so that you’re not waiting on me when the time comes that you are ready.

If you remember from the beginning, I said that I altered the assembly from the way the block appears in the book, so if you’re following along from the book, this is NOT the way it’s presented there. I did it this way so that we could mix up the sections better for an easier way to get a scrappy look. You don’t have to plan each block as carefully, and you can move the sections around if you need to.

Each block takes four sections, and we’ll be making 32 blocks. This should mean that once you have all your blocks made, you will have 14 block sections left over. We’ll use these in the setting.

So you’ll only be using 128 of your sections to make the blocks.

If you want to have all your sections finished, and then arrange them on a design wall for the best layout, that’s fine. That’s pretty much what I did. I wanted my colors to be scattered evenly around on my finished quilt. For really scrappy blocks, this is not as important. They’ll look good no matter where they are in the quilt.

If you’re itching to see what a complete block will look like, then you can go ahead and put a couple together just to see. Here’s how you do it . . .

Choose four of your finished sections that you want to go into your block, and lay them out as shown:



Make sure you have them turned as shown, or the desired effect in the finished quilt will not happen! (The small squares go in the outer corners, and the triangles all point toward the outside.)

NOTE: If you are making a two-color version of this quilt, choose four block sections that are all the same color.

Sew them together into pairs:


Then sew the two pairs together to complete the block:


That’s all there is to it!

Don’t forget, be sure and save 14 of your sections for the setting later on. You only need 32 blocks like this for the quilt.

NOTE: If you are making a two-color version of the quilt, the 14 sections you save should be all one color (yellow in the diagram) — see the first note above. In other words, make all 80 of the first color into 20 blocks, then make 12 blocks from the second color, and save the remaining 14 sections of the second color for the setting.

If you’re just finding us, you can click the links in the sidebar under Canning Season Quilt-Along to get started and join in. You’re not too far behind yet!

I won’t post the next step until February 27th, so that gives you a couple weeks to keep working on half-square triangles, block sections, and blocks. I think that’ll keep you busy!

I might entertain you with some other stuff in between, so check in if you take a notion!

For the Canning Season quilt, we’re gonna need a lot of half-square triangles. And I do mean a LOT!

But don’t let that deter you. If you stick with it, you’ll have a great quilt, and all that work will be worth it in the end!

I’m not going to have you cut all your pieces for the entire quilt at once, because that would probably be all you’d get done this week. Plus, I want you to be able to make a sample block section, and see if you like your color choices, etc., before you go any further.

Before we get started with any of that, however, Linda and Norma helped me get some better pictures of my quilt top, so you can see the quilt lots better. Here’s the full top:


And a close-up:


Do these help you a bit more? There’s no tree shadow to mess with your eyes!

I also thought I’d include a shot of all the fabrics I used in my quilt. This is the Vintage Kitchen line by Andrea Muller for Riley Blake Designs. My background is also a Riley Blake print, an off-white with a barely discernible polka dot in it.


Please read through all of the information below before beginning, because I’m presenting lots of options, and you’ll want to consider all those options before you start. And please, if you have any questions at all, simply leave me a comment, or email me, and I’ll be more than happy to answer them. I don’t want any confusion or frustration, or missing parts or pieces, so definitely ask for clarification if and when you need it!

I realize that you all probably have lots of various sizes of scraps that you want to work with, so for making your triangle squares, you have lots of options, and you can choose the method you like the best, or the method that works the best for the size of scraps you have.

So check out the links below for all the various tutorials on making your half-square triangles. For purposes of today’s Section Tutorial, you’ll need 7 triangle-square units, each measuring 2 1/2″ to finish at 2″ in your quilt. You can make them all alike, or you can make each one different if you want a really scrappy look to your quilt.

Each tutorial gives instructions for various sizes, with a formula for making them the size you need. When cutting for your particular method, pay close attention to the size you need to cut to achieve the 2″ finished units you need for the Canning Season quilt.

Tutorial #1: Using two squares to make two units alike. (My personal favorite for getting a great variety.)

Tutorial #2: Make 8 at a time using larger squares.

Tutorial #3: Use Star Singles papers.

Tutorial #4: Use Thangles papers. This method will work great for the Canning Season quilt if you are using a jelly roll or want to use up other 2 1/2″ strips.

Tutorial #5: Use Triangles on a Roll paper.

You may find that you want to use several of these methods, depending on the size of scraps you want to use up. For my quilt, I used Tutorial #1, and cut my squares larger so that they could be trimmed down.

I cut 3″ squares, then trimmed the triangle-square units to 2 1/2″ unfinished. Since we’re sewing a lot of these units together, accuracy helps a lot with getting so many small units to line up correctly in our finished section.

I’ve had a couple of other questions from participants, too, and the answers I gave them might help you out, so here are a couple more options.

• If you have leftover half-square triangle units from another quilt, feel free to use them for this quilt. I mean, why not? They’re already made! If they’re not the correct size, simply trim them down to 2 1/2″ unfinished. Then all you’ll have to do is cut the background pieces and follow the Section Tutorial to put them together. A head start!

• If you have leftover half-square triangle units from another project that are too small, and you want to use them anyway, that’s perfectly fine, too. You can certainly use them, you’ll just have to make adjustments to the section as necessary to get everything to fit, and keep in mind that your blocks will be smaller, so therefore, your quilt will be smaller, or you will have to make extra blocks to make the quilt bigger. The choice is yours. I’ll provide an example below for further clarification on how to do this, so read on.

• If you do not want to purchase 6 1/2 yards of background fabric, and want your background to be scrappy, too, that is a fabulous idea! I’m all about using up the stash and the scraps. Try to choose fabrics that read at about the same level of color — a grouping of creams and light tans, for example, or a bunch of great low-volume prints. See the color examples I was playing around with below.

OK . . . once you have some half-square triangle units made, we’re ready to go on with the section!

Choose the 7 half-square triangle units you want to use for your section. You can mix them all up:


Or you can make them all alike (which is what I ended up doing):


Here are a couple of other color suggestions for using up scraps. A more traditional look, using creams and light tans for background:


A modern scrappy look using low-volume prints for the background with bright colors:


Or a dark background with pops of bright color! (I’d love to see one done this way.)


Also, don’t forget that if you want to go really planned, you can refer to the mockup in the Introductory post to see what it would look like done in only two colors with your chosen background.

In addition to your chosen 7 half-square triangle units, you will need 2 squares of background fabric that measure 2 1/2″ square, the same size as your unfinished HST units.

Lay these 9 pieces out as shown, making sure you get your HST units all turned correctly:


We’ll assemble these like a simple 9-patch block. Sew the units together into rows, being careful not to turn them the wrong direction while you’re sewing:


You can press the seams however you prefer. I pressed mine to the right in the top and bottom rows, and to the left in the middle row, so I could nest my seams. If you find that this is too much bulk, you can press seams open to alleviate that somewhat. As we get further along, they end up not nesting well, anyway, because of the orientation of the sections, so open seams might work better, if you feel that you have trouble lining things up.

Sew the rows together to complete the section, again pressing seams however you prefer:


That completes a section! The section should measure 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ unfinished.

So your job this week is to make 1000 half-square triangle units! Yes, you’re reading that correctly.

You will actually only need 994, but seriously, just go ahead and make the extra 6, so you’ll have a few to play around with. You’re not gonna notice that little bit extra, I promise!

You will need a total of 284 of the 2 1/2″ background squares as well. So once you’re comfortable with your fabric choices, and you’ve made a sample section to see if everything goes together right, feel free to go ahead and cut those when you’re ready.

You will need a total of 142 of the block sections made from this tutorial to complete the Canning Season quilt as shown. I don’t expect you to get this done in just one week, so don’t panic! That’s why I’ve left a 2-week gap in the schedule after next week’s tutorial. I don’t want you to feel too rushed, and the instructions will remain here indefinitely, so please work at your own pace. Also, if this is simply too daunting a task for you to imagine, you can certainly make your quilt smaller. But honestly, I think you will be glad you did the work once you get this quilt finished.

NOTE: If you decide to make a two-color version of the quilt as shown in the diagram in this post, you will need 80 of your block sections to be from one color (red in the diagram), and 62 of your block sections to be in the other color (yellow in the diagram).

sizesAs promised above, here’s an example of the section being made with smaller units. I’m showing the smaller one here compared to the bigger one. The units in this sample (the bottom block) each measure 2″ unfinished. Therefore, you’d need to also cut your background squares to 2″ square to make them fit. The section is assembled in the same manner as above, it just comes out smaller. This one measures 5″ x 5″ unfinished, and will finish in the quilt at 4 1/2″ square. If you love working with smaller pieces, give it a try!

To state that another way: Whatever size your unfinished half-square triangles are, that’s the size you need to cut your two background squares as well.



OK, you have your work cut out for you for the next few weeks. I’ll be back with the next tutorial on Monday, February 13th, but don’t think that you have to have everything all done by then. I’m simply providing it so that those who are ready can move on. Then I’m giving you a 2-week break to sew your little hearts out before we go any further. So get to sewing, and I’ll see you next Monday!

And don’t forget, if you have ANY questions at all, please do not hesitate to ask. I’ll be here.