GALentine? It’s a Thing.

You learn something new everyday.

The first of the monthly challenge projects for the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors was to make a mug rug celebrating Galentine’s Day. That is not a typo. Galentine’s Day is an actual thing. Inspired by a character on the television series “Parks & Recreation”, it is a day set aside to celebrate our female friends.

For future reference, Galentine’s Day is February 13th.

Island Batik sent me a pretty little bundle of five pink, red and neutral fat quarters to use in my mug rug, and I promptly set three of them aside and broke open the Stash Builder package of  5″ strips. I decided to make an 8″ hexagonal block that I designed to teach the Sidekick® tool designed by Julie at Jaybird Quilts.

Figure 1

Figure 3

Figure 2


The feature I like…no, love…about the Sidekick is that your triangles have a flat top, which (Fig. 1) makes them easy to line up for stitching. No trying to eyeball that perfect 1/4″ notch. If you press your seams open (Fig. 2), you have a dog-ear that also helps (Fig 3.) in positioning your pieces.

For this mat, I cut 24 1.5″ triangles from the off-white dotted fabric and a dozen 1.5″ triangles from the beige and green print. I also cut six 2.5″ triangles of a multicolor print, and six light pint and twelve dark pink 1.5″ diamonds.

Setting aside the larger triangles, I sewed six of each of these pieced units.

Notice the difference in the top two units. In one the darker triangle is to the right of the dark pink diamond, and in the other, the darker triangle is on the left of the diamond.



Then, those three units are stitched to the multicolored triangles to make six matching triangle segments.

You can trim those dog-ears off now if they bother you. If they don’t shadow through the fabric, I just leave them be.





Now you can sew the segments together. Sew two half-hexagons, with three segments in each one, then sew the halves together to complete your hexagon. At this point, it measures 8.5″ top to bottom.

Layer your top, batting and backing. I used a little corner of the 80/20 Heirloom batting Hobbs sent me in this project, and quilted it with the ecru thread provided by Aurifil.


I quilted 1/8th inch around the outside of the lighter pink center star, and the larger multi-color star, then inside the beige and green diamonds on the outer edge of the mat. I also decided to go back and quilt inside the center star.

I was able to use the inside edge of my machine’s 1/4″ foot as my guide.


I used a 2″ folded binding in the beige and green print to finish my Galentine’s Day mug rug.

Thanks again to Island Batik, Hobbs and Aurifil for sponsoring the Ambassadors!

One project down, thirteen to go! Up next: Mini Love. In fact, a few of my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors have already begun posting their mini quilts.

Follow the links below to visit their blogs.


Barbara at Bejeweled Quilts
Bea at BeaQuilter
Jeanette at Inchworm Fabrics
Jennifer at Curlicue Creations
Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Maryellen at Mary Mack Made Mine
Michelle at Creative Blonde
Pamela at PamelaQuilts
Sally at Sally Manke
Sandra at MMM Quilts
Stephanie at Steph Jacobson


Categories: Aurifil Threads, FQ Projects, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Other Blocks & Patterns, Placemats, Tools | 3 Comments

Once Around the Block


“Starshine” by Anne Wiens – 2017

Welcome to my stop on the Road Rally celebrating the latest issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks! My contribution to volume 16 is “Starshine”.

If you wander through some of my previous blog posts, you’ll see that I am a big fan of scrap quilts. One reason is that I have a very low tolerance for tedium, and I find making the same block in the same colors over and over very tedious. Even when it’s my block, and even when I know the quilt would be fabulous. Given my druthers, I’ll make it a scrap quilt almost every time.

I built the color scheme for “Starshine”on the colors in the center square. As much as I love the original block, I couldn’t resist moving the colors around. If my math serves, there should be 720 possible combinations of the six colors in this block. Here are six, starting with the color placement in the sample block and simply rotating them through the positions:

Color Rotation

The rotation is top row, left to right, then bottom row, right to left.

When I show someone a new block design, the inevitable question is, “Now, what are you going to do with it?” Well, to stay with the Road Rally theme, that puts me at a crossroad. I decided on making placemats, and came up with three designs:


If you see one (or more) you like, follow the instructions in the magazine to construct the block. The instructions below are for two 3″ wide borders to turn the 12″ (finished) block into a 12″ x 18″ placemat.


Pmat 1


Pmat 2


Pmat 3

Vol16-Cover-200pxNow, who wants a free copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 16? Leave a comment below, and you’ll be entered into a random drawing, which will take place Sunday evening, Nov. 19.

If you enjoy scrap quilts, click the FOLLOW button at the bottom of this blog, and you’ll be notified anytime there’s a new post. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but there is usually a block pattern involved.

You can also “Like” Sweetgrass Creative Designs on Facebook!

Return to Quilty Pleasures to continue the Road Rally.

Categories: 100 Blocks, Other Blocks & Patterns, Placemats, Quiltmaker Magazine, Uncategorized | 91 Comments

BBQ Season is Here…Picnic Placemats

Have you ever been taunted by a fabric?

It happens to me occasionally at my local quilt shop. I walk in and a fabric calls my name. Now, usually I know immediately what I would make with that fabric. You could call it a gift, I suppose, but it’s also a bit of a curse because it’s exactly how I became the keeper of a Fuji-esque mountain of unfinished projects. Now and again, however, a fabric stumps me. It may not be the first bolt I see on subsequent visits, but I know it’s there, and sooner or later it catches my eye, daring me to take it home and make something of it.

This is my latest antagonist:

"Big Stripe" by Michael Miller Fabrics

“Big Stripe” by Michael Miller Fabrics

It looks like your Grandma’s a patio awning, doesn’t it? (Not that that’s a bad thing.)

It’s taunted me long enough. I have turned it into a summery set of picnic placemats!

This pattern will work with any striped fabric, provided the stripes run lengthwise.

1-3/4 yards of the striped fabric will yield 8 placemats and a tablerunner, or 10 placemats.You will also need 3-1/2 yards of a coordinating fabric (I used solid white) for the backs and bindings. You will need a 60° triangle ruler. I used the Marti Michel ruler, but any brand will work as long as you can cut an 8″ tall triangle.

Step 1: Cut five 8″ strips lengthwise (parallel to the selvedge).

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 2: Line up the 8-1/2″ baseline of the triangle ruler with the bottom edge of a fabric strip and cut the triangle from the strip.

 GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 3: Rotate the ruler and line up the 8-1/2″ baseline with the top edge of the strip. Cut the triangle from the strip.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3, working your way down the strip until you have two sets of six triangles. Note: Right-handed cutters start at the left end of the strip and work to the right. Left-handed cutters start at the right end of the strip and work to the left.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 5: Sew two matching triangles together, and add a third triangle to make a half-hexagon. Make another one just like it.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 6: Sew the two hexagon halves together to complete your placemat top. How easy was that?

Each strip of fabric will yield two placemats.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAStep 7: Cut one fat quarter (18″ x 22″) from your coordinating fabric for each placemat. Cut a piece of batting the same size. I prefer a flat batting for placemats and tablerunners…I like Fusible Fleece, Quilter’s Dream or Cotton Theory.

Step 8: Quilt as desired. I just machine quilted along the stripes.

Step 9: Cut two 2-1/4″ x width of fabric strips of coordinating fabric for binding each placemat. (obviously, I still have some work to do!)

GE DIGITAL CAMERADo I smell Barbeque?

Categories: Other Blocks & Patterns, Placemats, Tutorials | 4 Comments

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