Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Give Away Winner!!!

Good Morning!
     We have a winner of last Friday's blog post for the Splendid Sampler! It's sort of been like a whirlwind of days leading up to that and following it. The day after the Splendid Sampler block reveal, was the Crazy Seasons Mystery Quilt block 5 reveal! So if you can imagine...I had a mess to clean up today. On Wednesdays I have a group of friends who come and sew with me. They mostly all started out as customers of the Woolen Willow and quickly grew into wonderful friends. I'm writing this post as I wait for them to arrive.

I had to clean up the mess from kit is my sofa covered with boxes of kits for future orders, and the quilts from the Summer and Fall 2019 issues of Primitive Quilts and projects! My design wall has the Splendid Sampler II blocks I have done so far, and the Crazy Seasons Mystery Quilt block #5! I'm very far behind on my Splendid Sampler blocks, so I think that is what I'll work on today!

The winner of the prize, which is my book "Primitive Style" and a one year subscription goes to..............................RenaC!!!!  Rena, I need you to email me at and give me your contact info so I can get your prizes to you! Congratulations!

Thank you so much, everyone for all the nice comments on the recent blog posts and on my facebook page posts! You were all included in the chance for the prize.....maybe next time!

Have a wonderful day to you all, and I'm hoping to do some video tutorials soon, when I can get my nerve up! Ha ha!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Crazy Seasons Mystery Quilt block 5!

Good morning!
It's time again for a new block on this fun adventure! I am loving seeing everyone's beautiful work on the Facebook group for this project! If you don't know about it.....go check it out! Twice a month, a designer releases a beautiful Free Crazy block for you to download and make, or you may order a nice kit from each designer, so you don't have to work so hard choosing fabrics and making decisions! At the end of this fun project there will be a finishing kit as well, from Rhonda McCray of Farmhouse Threads, who organized this wonderful idea! Thank you Rhonda!

Okay.....the moment you have been waiting is my block!
You will find the free downloadable pattern on my website, as well as the kit, should you chose to purchase one. You may also order the printed pattern, if you don't want to bother with the downloading and printing! Here is the link to my website....there is a button to click at the top of the home page.

A couple things I found very helpful in making my block...

I hate to trace templates for Crazy quilts...what if I don't do it exact?  I found these wonderful printer friendly freezer paper sheets that you can just copy the templates to with your printer!
It saved a ton of time, and there are 50 sheets in the pack, so you can use them for the next blocks as well.  Once I copied the patch templates onto the freezer paper sheets in my printer, I cut them out on the drawn lines, pressed each one onto the corresponding fabric, and cut out using my rotary cutter and ruler, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance past the edge of the ruler. I didn't include the seam allowance, because I know some of you may be doing another method where you will need a larger seam allowance, so you can decide! I chose to sew my blocks together by machine. Here is a picture of my fabrics cut with the freezer paper still on them...the nice thing with the package of copier freezer papers, is that the numbers of each patch will automatically be there, and the placement diagrams of the applique as well! In my picture, you won't see that, because I didn't have the  pattern written yet when I did my block.
All the instructions are in the pattern, but I wanted to just show you a few things. After your patch pieces are sewn together, I found it really helpful to stitch around the edge of the block as Shawn from Rusty crow did. Then I fused the whole block onto Shape Flex fusible interfacing. This really helped the block to not stretch or fray, and it was so light and easy to stitch through!  

You will either do your crazy stitches next, or you will do your wool applique. That is all up to you. I did my wool applique first, but it may have been easier to handle the fabric for the crazy stitching, had I waited on the applique. I have some photos for you showing how I did the flag. I cut the red wool the whole size of the flag, and then appliqued the white strips and blue star field on top.
Here is how I did the stitching. I love using a chalk wheel to mark stitching lines on my wool. If needed I use a small ruler. Its just a nice guideline and I really believe that things don't have to be absolutely perfect to be beautiful!
Next I added colonial knots in the spaces.
Here are a few more photos showing how I made lines and did simple stitching....
On the sunflower, I drew the lines, made running stitches on the lines for texture, and then filled in the spaces with colonial or french knots.
I did the same thing for the Bee Skep...drew lines with the chalk wheel, followed on the lines with a running stitch. 
This is a cool variation of the feather stitch. By now, you have all made feather stitches on the previous blocks. For this stitch, you follow the seam line, and instead of going back and forth with each "arm" of the feather, you stay on each side for three stitches. Then I added a french or colonial knot at the tip of each one. here is an example with contrasting colors for you to see.
The regular stitch is on the left, and the variation on the right. I drew a seam line to follow with pencil, just so you could see. 
Just a few more pictures for you of the stitches close up that I used. They are all simple ones, as I'm not a proficient crazy stitcher! Well, I might be crazy...but I'm not proficient! Ha ha!  This one is just a simple cross stitch with a french or colonial knot inside each space.
This photo is just to show you the detail on the spool. I used the chalk wheel and free handed some zig zags, then stitched over with a back stitch.
In this photo I just wanted to show you the simple feather stitch with a french or colonial knot at the end of each stitch, and the star stitch. These are just long straight stitches caught up in the middle with a tack stitch! Very easy!

I hope you enjoy making this block and all the blocks! Keep posting them on the Facebook Group "Crazy Seasons Mystery Quilt." Below you will find the list of all the designers participating and the date when the blocks are all released on their websites! 
Happy Crazy Stitching!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Splendid Sampler II, it's my turn!

Good morning!
It's time to share my block, Little Willow, on page 112 in the Splendid Sampler II.  For those of you new to my blog, I'm Jenifer Gaston, owner of Woolen Willow Designs, and Owner/Partner of Primitive Quilts and Projects Magazine. I've been quilting for 25 years and sewing since I was a little girl. 

The designers were to say what their happy place was, and that was hard to answer. I'm most happy with my Granddaughter and family! But I really do love being in my sewing room playing with my cotton and wool! When I was a little girl, I used to count willow trees, which I love, on car rides to see family that lived far away, and my parents planted one for me when I was 12. I tend to put a lot of them in my designs, and the name of my former quilt shop with my sister Gretchen was The Woolen Willow. Here is my block!
This block was adapted from a larger quilt I designed for our magazine back in 2011, with a 12" block. So to shrink it down, I needed to use paper piecing. I don't do much paper piecing, so I was happily surprised at how it turned out. The trick to making it work is to get that 1/4" seam perfect when you make the strip sets, and when you piece the sections together.  The block on the right was my trial block before I made the one for the book. the one on the left will go in my Splendid Sampler II quilt! I have several blocks made, and hope to get time to get more done in the weeks to come! 
Here are the blocks I have made so far!
This is such a fun project to be a part of, and I'm so thankful to have been asked to join the designer team, thanks Pat and Jane!  To celebrate, I would like to offer a giveaway prize of my book with Martingale, Primitive Style, and a one year subscription to Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine! Just comment once below, or on my Facebook posts about the Splendid Sampler, or you can follow me and comment on my Instagram post @Jenifer Gaston.  Be sure to check back, as there is a great Mystery Quilt post coming up tomorrow, and you just might see a sneak peak of it at the bottom of that last photo! Check out for more information on prizes and other blocks being released and join in the fun on the Facebook group as well! 

Have a Splendid day!