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New BOM blocks and a tip

How’s everyone doing out there? Sheltering in place is a blessing in disguise for many, especially if you have a creative hobby that you love. I’ve been happily working on some new BOM (block of the month) blocks that I’m loving.

First up is the Safe At Home Modern Row by Row Quilt from Sara at Modern Handmade. “This will be an 8 week Quarantine Quilt-along! The price of the pattern is $25. Each week you will be emailed the week’s new block as a digital download. Then you will use the block to complete a row of the quilt. At the end of the 8 weeks you will have a gorgeous modern lap size quilt!

Safe at Home Quilt

I just finished the week 1 blocks and I love them so much! They are intentionally very scrappy and my color palette is salmon and grey (by request of my daughter, Sara). This will be a quilt for her new apartment in San Francisco.

There are a total of five identical blocks for row one that finish at 12″ square. I thought the center square was a good opportunity to use a fun print that coordinated so well with the other fabrics. The print fabric is from the Nature Walk collection by Tamara Kate for Michael Miller Fabrics. It’s an older line of fabric that I’ve had in my stash for a while.

New BOM blocks.  Block 1, row 1 of the Safe at Home Quilt .  Made by Julie Cefalu, designed by Sara at Modern Handmade.
Block 1, row 1 of the Safe at Home Quilt .  Made by Julie Cefalu, designed by Sara at Modern Handmade.

One small thing that happened to me while sewing the block sections together was the bottom seam flipped to the other direction. Usually I like to nest my seam allowances, but this time I pressed them open to reduce bulk. Once the seam allowance is flipped over, it doesn’t lay flat any more. I’m sure that’s happened to you before.

Seams that flip during sewing are easy to fix @ The Crafty Quilter

It’s an easy fix though. I just snipped into the seam allowance just a few threads away from the seam. This allows the rest of the seam to stay pressed as originally intended.

Seams that flip during sewing are easy to fix @ The Crafty Quilter
Snipping into the seam allowance.
Seams that flip during sewing are easy to fix @ The Crafty Quilter
Seams can now lay flat.

I did a full blog post on this topic a few years ago: How to fix and prevent flipped seam allowances. You’ll find an easy way to prevent this from happening in the future. I obviously need to follow my own advice!

How to fix and prevent flipped seam allowances @ The Crafty Quilter

The other BOM blocks that I finished this week were for the Timeless Tradition BOM that I’m co-teaching at The Granary Quilt Shop. This month I taught in a Zoom meeting (which means it was a virtual class). It was my first time teaching virtually, and I think it went OK all things considered.

Each month we make one 12″ block and two 6″ blocks. The 12″ block is really fun and I love the design. I need to give credit to my co-teacher, Dianne, because she picked the fabrics for me and did most of the piecing. I just had to finish things off.

BOM block for the Timeless Tradition BOM.  Made by Julie Cefalu & Dianne Sheppard.  Pattern by Bits n Pieces.

This 6″ block is really sweet, too. I’m liking this color palette and each month I get excited about the whole quilt!

BOM block for the Timeless Tradition BOM.  Made by Julie Cefalu & Dianne Sheppard.  Pattern by Bits n Pieces.

This last block is definitely more advanced. I tried to re-figure the instructions to make the piecing easier. It’s done with all triangles rather than a stitch and flip method using squares and rectangles. The flying geese measure 1 5/8″ x 2 3/4″ unfinished (so there’s that.) After putting it all together, it is too big and the edges aren’t straight.

BOM block for the Timeless Tradition BOM.  Made by Julie Cefalu & Dianne Sheppard.  Pattern by Bits n Pieces.

Honestly, this doesn’t happen to me very often. But I’m glad it did. This is a perfect learning AND teaching opportunity. I plan on doing a separate blog post on why your blocks don’t measure what they’re supposed to. Isn’t it great how life gives you these obstacles lessons? I’ll be re-making this block and sharing my tips with you.

I have slowed down on making face masks. I’m so glad that my tutorial has been helpful for many of you. If you’re interested in a face mask kit, The Granary has them available here.

I even taught my daughter, Nicole, to make a face mask while Facetime-ing on Sunday. Nicole had never touched a sewing machine before, so I had to get through the functions of the machine and then some terminology first (it’s called thread, not string). It was a funny exchange and she actually made a face mask! I’m so proud of her. She says if I can teach her to sew, I can teach anybody. Ha ha!

Other creative outlets have been keeping me busy, too – besides all of the cooking! Sara and I did a little watercolor lettering for Earth day. This was part of my Let’s Make Art subscription box and we had fun trying something new. Thankfully, there are free YouTube videos that go with the lessons.

Watercolor art made by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter.  Made using Let's Make Art lettering subscription box.

Sara recently finished a California State embroidery project. It turned out so cute! This was her first time doing embroidery, and I was able to teach her a little from my very minimal experience. It’s funny how you take basic knowledge for granted; like what the eye of a needle is!

California State Embroidery Kit from LemonMadeShop on Etsy.  Made by Sara Cefalu.

This embroidery project was a kit from LemonMadeShop on Etsy. It came with everything you need to make it including a really comprehensive stitch guide.

California State Embroidery Kit from LemonMadeShop on Etsy.  Made by Sara Cefalu.

The weather has been beautiful this week and we’ve been enjoying the warm sunshine and open windows. I had lunch on the front porch yesterday while I got caught up on my latest McCall’s Quilting magazine.

Our daughter, Sara, has been working from our home this week, and this was her view yesterday. Zoe is her furry cat and happy to have Sara home for a while.

Thanks for spending some time with me today. I hope you’re staying healthy and keeping the creative spark alive!

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  1. I just printed the mask pattern. Will make it tonight. I just want to let you know when you use the light lime green in your site, I find it extremely difficult to read it. I am constantly moving the screen to try and see it better. I am not trying to be mean, just an FYI and I am wearing glasses.

  2. Wow, you are so prolific, such beautiful blocks, love the colours and the painting is so well done! Thanks for sharing, I also think you´re a great teacher and always look up your blog for tips.

  3. Love the colours you chose, and fussy cutting the butterfly block really adds a finishing touch. Look forward to seeing the other blocks and finished quilt. Penny

  4. Loved you story about your daughter sewing for the first time in order to make a face mask. The line about thread not string was great.

  5. This post made me feel so happy and hopeful in these difficult days. The beautiful colors, the passing on of craft knowledge from one generation to another, and the homey details of breakfast. Thank you for all you do. Your posts on quilt binding have turned my least favorite part of the process into one of my favorites.

  6. Hi Julie, I taught my daughter how to make face masks as well! She made one, told her friends and now she has 30 cut, pinned and ready to go. She has also been learning about the machine as well because quite frankly, I just don’t have time or desire to thread that bobbin every time it runs out. Ever time she calls out, “Mom” – I use it as a teachable moment. I love your blocks and your color choices!

  7. I was so enjoying the kitty photo when, as someone else mentioned, I noticed and thought, ‘what a beautiful tablecloth!’ Glad you can have your daughter there. Our daughter has been bringing groceries and I feel very blessed to have her close enough and willing to do that for us. Thanks for your wonderful posts!

  8. Lots of fun & beautiful things here, Julie! So neat that you could help your daughter make a mask via conference call! That California embroidery is AMAZING! I looked and don’t see one for North Carolina but maybe she’ll add one.

  9. Thank you Julie, love to read your emails, love all the little tips you give. Take care and stay safe.

  10. Wow! Your daughters are so blessed to have a mamma like you to teach them to sew and quilt, embroider, and Oh My Goodness PAINT! I love the colors in the BOM, too. Thanks Julie for sharing.

  11. Do you ever sleep??? I do enjoy everything you send out way…especially “it’s thread, not string” that made me LOL. The cat photo is great. Thank you for being you.

  12. Your turquoise blocks are very beautiful! I went back to see your tutorial on how to prevent flipped edges – it’s great – I use the same solution you do by snipping with tiny scissors, but I never knew the reason they happened. Jeez! The solution was so simple that it required a self-smack-upside-the-head. Why didn’t that occur to me? But I’m delighted there’s someone smarter than me who figured it out. Thank you so much.

    What is it about cats? I’m a cat-lover and have had many much-loved pets over the years. They ALL have loved to get in the way when I want to read something. It used to be newspapers (remember those?), then it was paperbacks, now it’s a Kindle or the computer. They just love to demand attention when they see you reading. Personally, as far as computers are concerned, I think they like the hum and the warmth. And my current affectionate male tabby ADORES my newest electronic sewing machine too – maybe it has a hum that I can’t hear. He wants to sit on my shoulder, purr, nuzzle my neck and watch. The little bugger is heavy!
    Zoe is a beautiful kitty, she looks soft and “pet-able”.

    I’m sure you’re happy to have Sara around. We’re in the most-vulnerable group so we’re keeping a tight quarantine and only get to see our younger daughter at a distance. And our older daughter lives an hour and a half away. Sigh! But I know this will come to an end; we just need patience.

    Stay happy and healthy.

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