Saturday, November 21, 2020

Around the Block - US Tour - North Dakota


Welcome to my 2nd design in the U.S. Tour of Quilting Around the Block Event. If you missed my Apple from Washington you can find it here. The entire list of designers with block links is here.

So why am I designing a block for North Dakota?
My grandfather was born in Alsen, North Dakota -- a first generation American. 

I found this on the internet from 1916
-- included in the Jubilee Celebration Booklet of the town of Alsen in 1980

 This photo is Jacob (my great-great grandfather, d. 1911) with his wife, Barbara (Peters) and one of their daughters (Nettie).  He was one of two brothers who came to America in the late 1800s. The brother--Gerhard, had settled in Delft--near Mountain Lake, MN.

One of Jacob and Barbara's sons, also Jacob, is in this picture with his wife K(C?)atherine (Peters--but different lineage than her mother-in-law) (my great-grandparents) on their Golden Wedding Anniversary in California. So this is likely the Jacob J. Baerg mentioned in the above booklet exerpt. 

My grandfather had already been born by the time the account above took place. So he was probably running around as a toddler on the farm (see below).  

The town of Munich (less than 10 miles away from Alsen) had their jubilee celebration in 1975 and included in the booklet it talks about another Baerg owning property along the railroad.

This image c.1913 is near Munich of the Peters family (Katherine's parents and siblings/spouses/children) and includes my grandfather --the little guy sitting on his Grandpa Peters lap.

My great-grandfather's sister - Margaret moved from Mountain Lake, MN in 1900 to Otter Creek, ND with her husband John Jacob Wiebe. Here they first built this sod shanty that I got to visit back in 2004. The family homestead gravesite is still nearby. 


Later that summer a rock house was built from sandstone and the roof covered with sod (photo below c.1907 after Margaret had died).

c. 1914-15 on the same homestead.

Another family homestead (likely one of the children's places as they started out on their own) in great disrepair in 2004.

One of the last big trips my dad took across the U.S. (2015) before his passing (2018), included going to North Dakota and driving through the town of Alsen (what is left anyway).

The family (great-grandparents) migrated to California when my grandfather was a young boy and our family had 2 more generations there.

A favorite memory --Grandpa would always have a can of nuts that he shared when I was up on his lap when we would go to visit him in the Bakersfield, California. And later in life, I still had a special connection with my Grandpa.

While reading the account in the family history, one of Margaret's son's described seeing something wet like syrup running down the side of the barn, turned out it was honey. "So as Grandpa Baerg was a Bee Man, he built a hive and soon we had our own honey!"

When looking at what North Dakota is known for, the thing that struck me was honey! It is the largest producer in the nation. As a farmer, bees are critical!

So, I do have a special place in my heart for this state and was excited to be able to design a block to represent the state of North Dakota. I thought a honeycomb would make a fun block for this project.

Ordinarily for English Paper Piecing, we sew the hexagons together. But I felt without sashings the honeycomb effect would not be as clear. 

So, for this iconic style, just make the hexagons and applique them down.  Batiks or wool will work best if you choose to not finish the edge, but any fabrics would work if finishing the edges. The pattern includes a page to print the hexagon template and a placement guide.

I chose to use freezer paper which made this quick and easy to form the hexagons with finished edges. Put the waxie side of the freezer paper away from the back side of the fabric. Press the edges over the freezer paper towards the waxie side careful not to get the iron on the wax (just the fabric) and let it cool in place. The freezer paper will peel away when you're ready to stitch it down and leave the crease.

To transfer the design onto black fabric, I took a pin and stuck holes at each corner and a couple in between each corner, then took a white chalk mechanical pencil and marked through each hole the design onto the fabric. This made it easy to set the prepped hexies onto the black fabric and pin in place.

If you do a finished edge, you might use a big stitch, machine stitch, or do a hidden ladder stitch to sew them in place. I just did a straight stitch less than 1/8" from the finished edge.

Order Fabric kit here $3.00 plus applicable tax and shipping (first class parcel). Kit will include (Northcott Toscana Sunglow-531 and Double Dipped Solid Black) with printed pattern and freezer paper. Note: First 18 kit orders will ship when purchased. All subsequent kit purchases will be shipped Dec. 3 (due to shop closure Thanksgiving week +). Thanks for understanding. If you'd like to get free shipping order at least $75 of merchandise and I'll ship it all out Dec. 3.

Be sure to get in on this!

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The past two weeks:
The next two designers:

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Monday, October 12, 2020

It's A Garden Party Show 'n Tell

Did you enjoy the designs during the It's A Garden Party Rowalong?

Here are the designs I chose to make from this year's event for today's Show 'n Tell:

My own of course - Poppy Dance Party. Read all about it here.

I also made 
Kathleen McMusing - Picnic Under the Quilt Block

Words & Stitches - Picket Fence

Heleen Pinkster's Home-Tweet-Home (one component from it)

Ms P Designs - Pinwheel Posey Parade -- think Forget-me-knots

Stitchin' at Home -  Garden Blooms

I then got out my bricks (Humpty Dumpty's Wall) from last year's Rowalong
 --both a horizontal set and a vertical set that my mom made 'testing' the pattern for me

--and resurrected my Dogwood Branch from 2015!

Adding some extra stems, sky, tree trunk and grass filled in a few bits to organize all the elements into a single scene. Then added a black frame to finish it off. Fun! Right?
This is now my Spring Garden Party

Did you make any of the designs? Put something together? Tell us where to see it in the comments! Thanks for following along!

Thanks to #northcottfabrics for providing us samples each year.
Thanks to #electricquilt #eq8  (been with it since version 5!) couldn't design without it!

I've got several available in the shop(including the Dogwood branch), I hope you'll stop by and check them out and all the other fabrics and patterns I have available. This link will take you to my Northcott offerings, browse around the rest of the site for more.

Want to see what others have put together?

* they used my row!!

Hope you'll want to see more of my designs and choose to follow-along via email newsletter, instagram, Facebook or as a blog follower (see sidebar). I've even decided to start adding content to my YouTube channel. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

It's A Garden Party Row Along - Come Join my Poppy Dance Party!

So many events happening, thanks for stopping in and checking out this one! If you're coming to join the U.S. Tour Around the Block, you'll find week 3 (Washington Apple) here and come back in November for another state block that I've designed --but read the rest below and join in on this event too!

Back again for the annual Row Along w/Marian Pena ......for this year's theme It's A Garden Party, I chose the beautiful shaped poppy flower and bunting. It's a Poppy Dance Party!

Thanks to
for sponsoring again this year!

The original row size is 12" x 30" (no frame) and incorporates Northcott and moda fabrics.

I'm working on a collaborative result of many rows from this event, so this will be incorporated into a larger project for the show 'n tell event in October.

The kit comes with 5" x width of fabric for a frame --to be cut 1.5" wide,
which would make it 14" x 32"

Read below for giveaways and discount codes available from more sponsors.

Get your pattern digital download here. (free thru Sept 17)

I do hope you'll follow along by liking my Facebook page, Follow on Instagram or here on the blog. All are available in the right sidebar.

How about joining my newsletter? Sign-up here.

I've also suggested several fabrics that you might like to add to your order that go with this theme. $75+ orders get free shipping!

Tutorials are included below and are not included in the pattern.

Corner-to-corner method
Using one red square, add small corner square and sew corner to corner as shown.

Set seam. Fold point from center of block to the outer corner and check that edges align. Return to position in which it was sewn. Trim to 1/4" seam allowance towards the outer corner. Fold point from center of block to the outer corner. Press. 

Bunting triangles
Using the templates, corners are trimmed so that it is clear how to line up the corners for sewing.

Interested in a row kit? You can purchase it here and it will include a printed pattern.

Come back to see how I incorporated this into a larger quilt on October 13.

Thanks for joining us! I look forward to seeing your creations. See below for giveaway opportunities!


Accents In Design Domestic Home Machine Ruler Bundle Including the CLARITY Ruler Foot
Winner will need to provide Machine Brand, Model and if possible if machine is low or high shank
Image shows: Accents In Design-Set Including the CLARITY Ruler Foot
Shipping Is USA/Canada Only
Value $76.00
Links To Actual Products Found On Seams to be Sew Blog Page
Starts September 10, 2020/ Ends September 17, 2020
Sponsor Hashtag: @accentsindesign

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***** EXTRA = EXTRA = EXTRA *****
Electric Quilt ( is offering a 20% discount code
off any products except for EQ Academy during the row along. The coupon
code is: GARDENPARTY20.

I use Electric Quilt for most of my designs. Love it!!

#electricquilt #eq8

Patterns released today for this event:

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Garden Party RAL kicks off today!


If you're stopping by from the U.S. Tour - Around the Block event, my post is here. I'm loving it and we're only at week 6 so not too late to jump in.

Today kicks off another fun Row Along. I've been participating in this event for several years, hosted by Marian Pena of Seams to be Sew and this one is looking like a super fun set of rows that you won't want to miss! I've got a special reveal coming during Show and Tell later in October. My own row will release on Thursday, so come back for all the details on that. Below is the schedule and I hope you'll follow-along!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Blue Heron Quilting
Carolyn Butterfield
Made By Marney
Pumpkin Patch BC
The Devoted Quilter

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Bobbin In Quilts Blog
Kissed Quilts
Patchwork Breeze
Songbird Designs/Brenda's Blog
Stitchin’ at Home

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Daughters of Dorinda
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Just Let Me Quilt
Lovingly Lissa
The Quilt Rambler

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Fabric Bash
For the Love of Geese
Kathleen McMusing
Ms P Designs USA

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Heleen Pinkster Quilt Design
Patti’s Patchwork
Quilt Schmilt
Your Sewing Friend

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Charisma’s Corner
Clever Chameleon
Dragonfly's Quilting Design Studio
Kathy's Kwilts and More
Mountain Meadow Designs

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Cynthia’s Creating Ark
Miss Loreen's Schoolhouse
Moose Stash Quilting
Tuning My Heart Quilts
Cheryl LaPlante

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Barbara Dieges
Linda B Creative
Orange Blossom Quilt Design Studio
Sunflower Stitcheries and Quilting
Ursa Minor

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Bumbleberry Stitches
Charlie's Daughter
Seams To Be Sew
The Quilting Room with Mel
Words & Stitches

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Lynn's Beauty
Quilt Art
Renee's Quilting Addiction
Sew Incredibly Crazy

Huge shoutout to Northcott Fabrics for sponsoring fabrics for each of our row designs.

Special offer happening with Electric Quilt --I'm also one of their artists so this is especially exciting. I know the power of this software and use it for most all my designs.

20% discount code
off any products except for EQ Academy during the row along. 

The coupon
code is: GARDENPARTY20.

See you on Thursday for my row reveal and free pattern download opportunity!

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Lots happening! Don't miss out!

Just had to write a post here to keep you up on all the exciting things going on this month!

Quilting Around the Block - U.S.  tour continues 

Week 1 - Massachusetts - Dragonfly's Quilting Design Studio
Week 2 - Alaska - Appliques Quilts and more
Week 3 - Washington - my own design

Pick up the free pattern here.
Purchase a printed pattern with fabric kit here.

Week 4 - California Poppy (my version)

Find the pattern at

Week 5 - Florida Manatees - Off the Wall Quilt - Find the pattern information here.

Designer's Tips and Techniques - September Edition 

Tuesday September 1st 
2:00 PM  Annette Ornelas  
3:00 PM  Kate Colleran  
5:00 PM  Marlene Oddie 
6:00 PM  Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis  

Wednesday September 2nd 
12:00 PM  Teresa Weaver  
1:00 PM  Cherry Guidry  
2:00 PM  Nancy Scott 
4:00 PM  Sue Griffiths  
5:00 PM  Swan Sheridan  
6:00 PM  Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis  
7:00 PM  Bunnie Cleland  

Thursday September 3rd 
12:00 PM  Debbie Wendt  
2:00 PM  Daisy Aschehoug  
3:00 PM  Becca Fenstermaker 
4:00 PM  Patti Carey  
5:00 PM  Heidi Pridemore  
6:00 PM  Reed Johnson for Blue Bear Quilts  
7:00 PM  Dragonfly's Quilting Design Studio  
8:00 PM  Scott A Flanagan 

Garden Party Row-Along kicks off September 8

Can't wait to show you what I've got in store for my own row,
but I'm also using multiple rows to create a scene for Show and Tell day at the end.

I'll do a full post of the schedule on the kickoff day, so please return to check it out on Sept. 8!

Hope you're staying healthy! Happy Sewing!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Around the block - Washington Apple

Hi! Marlene here, welcoming you to the next block in our Around the Block hop - US Tour. I live in Grand Coulee, WA where I have a small quilt shop and provide long-arm machine quilting services. I also enjoy designing unique quilts and am excited to share this block design with you as part of this project.

Every apple isn't perfect, so don't get too stressed about getting the angles just right on the corners of the apple. This is a forgiving design and will be just right with however you make it.

If you've got kids going back to school, maybe this is just the design you need to make something for your favorite teacher.

In my sample, I've used a directional 'grass' fabric for the background. It isn't that difficult to maintain the direction--really!!

Tutorial for this block - Corner to Corner Method
When thinking about the direction of the background, I lay the fabric the way I want it to be in the end, then flip on the same diagonal I'm going to sew. If you fold along the diagonal you can verify the positioning will be correct after you sew it.

Pick up the free pattern here.
Purchase a printed pattern with fabric kit here.
Find me on Facebook and Instagram - just check sidebar.
Sign-up for my approx. monthly email here.

Blocks so far:

Coming up....


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Thanks for stopping by!