Welcome to American Homestead. I'm happy you have found my blog. Make yourself comfy and see what's been happening around here. I write about the things that interest me ~ creativity, travel, food, nature and a happy life. I'd love to read your comments.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chock-A-Block Wednesday

Disappearing 9-Patch Variation

This is another way to transform
a 9-patch block into something
more interesting.

Fabric Requirements:

Block A:
4 - 5" squares of dark fabric
5 - 5" squares of light fabric

Block B:
4 - 5" squares of light fabric
5 - 5" squares of dark fabric

Layout squares as shown as
sew together in 3 rows.  Press
seams in rows 1 & 3 to the outside
and seams in row 2 to the inside.

Sew rows together and press
seams to the outside.

Now here comes the interesting
part.  Measure the center block,
in this case it is 4 1/2", now take
half of that measurement which
is 2 1/4" and cut 2 1/4" off both
sides of the blocks as shown.
Set aside strips.

Now take the inner section and
cut 2 1/4" strips from the top
and bottom.  Set strips aside.

Swap the smaller center strips
from each block, layout as shown
and sew back together.

Swap the longer side pieces from
each block and sew together taking
care to match the intersections of the
seams.  Notice there will be extra
fabric at each end.  Square to 13".

And there are your two finished blocks.

These blocks would make
a very interesting quilt.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Field Report from Nature Girl

Finding Joy in Life's Simplicity

I have been very lucky to have
led an life filled with excitement.

I don't know how it happened ~ I'm
just a quiet, rather shy person but
I guess I have always been in the
right place at the right time.

Someone will say, "I'm going to ____
want to come along?"  So I go and
that is how life has always been.
I have had thrilling experiences.

But life is not only about the
big ticket thrills, the simple
everyday things can be equally
and sometimes more rewarding.

I try to spend part of everyday
on a trail in the woods with my
best friend, Mia the Wonder Dog.
Sometimes my other best friend,
Mr. Wonderful, gets to join us.

Tonight I saw some beautiful
funghi and a barred owl.
Simply wonderful.

Very soon I'll head outside to have
a good long look at the night sky.  Last
night we saw quite a few shooting stars. 

Where do you find simple pleasures?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Night in Hong Kong

It is almost brighter once the sun goes down.

Hong Kong is a nice city during
the day but it comes alive
when the sun goes down.

It is a chaotic atmosphere on
the street at night.

I love the neon, it reminds
me of the old Times Square.

Cars, buses, taxis, people
and vendors all share the street.

In the night market, a few tarps
are hung, tables and stools are
thrown out on the street and
you have a busy restaurant.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Civil War Remembered ~ Block 35

Star of the West

We are quilting along with Barbara
Brackman's Civil War Quilt 2011.

Fabric Requirements:

Fabric A: Light (White)
4 - 2 1/2" squares
2 - 3 1/4" squares

Fabric B: Medium (Gold)
4 - 2 1/2" squares

Fabric C: Dark (Blue)
2 - 3 1/4" squares

Fabric D: Dark (Red)
4 - 3 1/4" squares  - Mark
a diagonal line on the back.

Make Half Square Triangles:

Pair 3 1/4" squares with right sides
together in the following combinations:
2 - A/D     2 - C/D
Sew 1/4" away from wach side of drawn
line and press to the darker fabric.
Square to 2 1/2".

Make Corner Units:

Layout units as shown and sew together
in 2 rows.  Press seam in row 1 to the left
and seam in row 2 to the right. 

 Sew rows together and press seam
to the top.  Square to 4 1/2".
Make 4.

Assemble Block:

Layout  units as shown and sew together
in 2 rows.  Press seam in row 1 to the left
and seam in row 2 to the right.

Sew rows together and press final seam
open to reduce bulk.  Square to 8 1/2.

Check out everyone's work
at Dustin's Flickr site:

This week I used scraps from my
Hopes and Dreams Quilt.  I
designed this quilt a few years ago
for a local guild's Block of the Month.
It was inspired by the American pioneers
who headed West with their hopes & dreams.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Quilts of the Indiana State Fair

In the Home & Family Arts Building
at the Indiana State Fair there is always
a lovely display of quilts made from all
over the State.  I thought you might like to
see them.

Sorry for the poor picture quality
but this is not a great place to
photograph quilts.  The following
quilts are in glass cases and there
is a lot of glare from lighting but
I included them because the
quilts are so lovely.

For those who live outside of
the United States, do you have
something like a State Fair?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Quilt Class: Flying Geese

This is the method I use to make
the Flying Geese unit.  There are
many methods and tools out there
but I have found this to be the easiest
and most accurate.

A Flying Geese unit starts with a
rectangle that is twice as long as
it is high.  For instance, 2" x 4",
3" x 6", 4" x 8".
This is the finished measurement,
so you will need to add 1/2" to your
measurements to allow for a 1/4"
seam on each side.  So those rectangles
would now be, 2 1/2" x 4 1/2", etc.

We are making a 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" unit.
To this we will place a 2 1/2" square
with a diagonal line marked on the
back on the left side of the rectangle
as shown above.  You will sew a thread
width below the drawn line to
accomodate the turn of the fabric when

 Press to the corner and then
trim the back 2 layers of fabric to 1/4".

Now place another 2 1/2" square with a
diagonal line drawn on back, right sides
together on the right side of the rectangle
as shown.  Sew a thread width below the
drawn line.

Press to the corner and trim the
back 2 layers of fabric to 1/4".
Square to 2 1/2" x 4 1/2".