December 30, 2017

#plusblockQAL {schedule}

I am thrilled with all the excitement and interest in the #plusblockQAL. Some of you have already starting making blocks...a LOT of blocks! I love what I'm seeing so far and can't wait to get started on my own quilt.

This quilt-a-long is going to be pretty laid back and stress free. You decide how many blocks you want to make and how big you want your quilt to be. You pick your own fabrics. I have made a tentative schedule, but you can work at your own pace and not worry about falling behind. Since we're not swapping blocks, there's no hard and fast deadlines. The goal of this QAl is to take some time for yourselves and make something you want to make.

2018 #plusblockQAL Schedule
  • week 1: January 1 - January 7
    • blog and Instagram posts on planning, cutting, block assembly, etc
  • week 2: January 8 - January 14
  • week 3: January 15 - January 21
  • week 4: January 22 - January 28
  • week 5: January 29 - February 4
  • week 6: February 5 - February 11
  • week 7: February 12 - February 18
  • week 8: February 19 - February 25
    • blog and Instagram posts on quilt layout, quilt top assembly, quilting, and binding
  • week 9 & beyond: February 26 - ?
    • complete your quilts and show them off!
Weeks 2 through 8 (January 8 - February 25) will be all about making your blocks...that's 7 full weeks (56 days) to make as many blocks as you can/want. Try to post your block tally for each week on Sundays. Let us know how many blocks you completed that week and share a pic. Use #plusblockQAL on your posts so I and other QAL participants can find them.

Some thoughts on time management...

My son is in 5th grade, and I talk to him a LOT about time management. (That's kind of amusing since I'm quite the procrastinator.) When he's assigned a school project, it often seems like he has a lot of time before the project needs to be completed so he don't start right away. Inevitably, he ends up trying to do the whole thing at the last minute. One way to plan how to complete a project is to break the project down into parts and spread it over the time frame allotted. This works for quilting projects, too!

Let's say you want to make a queen-ish sized plus block quilt. If you're using the 11.5" block measurements, you would need 8 rows of 8 blocks (64 blocks total) for a finished quilt measuring approximately 88" x 88". If you break that down over the 7 week block-making time frame, you should be making 9.14 blocks per week. (Of course you can't make 0.14 block so make 10 per week, and you'll be ahead of the game!) You could further break it down by day...make 2 blocks on 3 days of the week and just 1 block on the remaining 4 days. Totally doable. If you're in a groove and feel like making more, even better.

I'm ready to start quilting with everyone. If you're selected fabrics, share a pic on Instagram!

do. Good Stitches Peace Circle November quilt top

December 8, 2017

Another {plus block}!

We're well into December, and I'm getting pretty excited for the #plusblockQAL I'll be hosting in January! I really love Moda Grunge and polka dots and decided to splurge on a Grunge Hits the Spots jelly roll for my quilt. Since a jelly roll consists of 2.5" strips, I modified the measurements of the original block to make it jelly roll friendly! Each jelly roll strip will make 3 pluses with a little fabric left over for your scrap bin. You can also use charm packs, mini charm packs and/or a layer cake for the background and make your entire quilt with precuts. This block is 10.5" (10" finished when sewn into a quilt top).

For each block, you will need two different fabric colors/ for the plus and one for the background. (My blocks will use various colors of Grunge polka dot fabrics for the pluses and scrappy low volume fabrics for the background.)

Cutting instructions for each block:
  • 2 squares 2.5" x 2.5" of plus fabric
  • 1 rectangle 6.5" x 2.5" of plus fabric
  • 4 squares 2.5" x 2.5" of background fabric
  • 4 squares 4.5" x 4.5" of background fabric

Please see my previous post for more details on the quilt-a-long. If you have an AccuQuilt die cutting system, stay tuned for a post on which dies to use to cut your pieces.

November 16, 2017

#plusblockQAL...coming soon!

I am so excited for our #plusblockQAL we'll be starting in January, 2018! There's only about 6 weeks until we start. I wanted to give you a few things to think about so we're all ready to go after we survive the holidays.

The Pattern
I have chosen these dimensions for Rachel's low volume charm plus block she shared on Flickr way back in March 2013. (Just to make this 100% clear, I did NOT come up with the dimension for the block we are using....Rachel of Wooden Spoon Quilts did. I am forever grateful for quilters that are so willing to share their ideas with non-quilt-math people like me. Please check out Rachel's blog, Flickr, and Instagram feeds to see her beautiful work.)

Each block finishes around 11.75" and I recommend trimming them to 11.5" for a finished (once assembled into a quilt) size of 11". Do you know what's great about 11" blocks? I can multiply by 11 in my head! Making a quilt 4 blocks wide by 5 blocks long? It will measure 44" x 55"! (I totally did that without a calculator.)

You can make whatever size quilt your want for this QAL. If you decide you're done after making one block, no worries! You just made yourself a cute little wall hanging or pillow cover. Want a queen-sized quilt? You only need 64 blocks. Totally doable.

Getting Ready...
Since we aren't starting until January, why am I posting this in November? (I's not even Thanksgiving yet!) Well, there's a few you can start thinking about/doing...

  • Color Scheme: I'm planning on doing a scrappy, low-volume background with Moda Grunge pluses in a variety of colors. This quilt would also be great in a low-volume background with the crosses in a single color....or you can do a two-color scheme...or how about a warm/cool combination. The possibilities are endless.
  • Quilt Size: You can make any size quilt you want...from a wall-hanging to a king-size quilt. Start thinking about what size you want so you can figure how many blocks and how much fabric you'll need.
  • Start Cutting: Now is a great time to start cutting pieces. Since I'm going scrappy, I've been picking out low-volume scraps in my stash to cut the 2.75" and 5" squares for my background.
  • Ask Santa for Fabric: The holidays are right around the corner. Maybe you should put that fabric bundle you've been eyeing on your wish list for Santa or ask your spouse/significant other/parent(s)/child(ren) for gift cards so you can make sure you get exactly what you want. :)
I realize there may be quilters of many different skill levels joining in the fun. If you have questions, please ask me here or send me a direct message on Instagram. (I'm @stephkucera on IG.) If there are things you need me to cover, I'm more than happy to explain them the best I can or refer you to a tutorial or instructions. I'd love some feedback on a preferred timeline. (I'm thinking 2 to 3 months for making blocks and a month to complete the quilt?) I'm really excited about this and can't wait to see what everyone creates.

A beautiful red & white version made for a Red Cross fundraiser.

September 29, 2017

It's time...the Red Cross Fundraiser Quilt!

One month ago, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and I had this crazy idea of making a quilt to help raise funds for the American Red Cross. I shared my idea and asked for help on Instagram. I expected responses of "you can't do that," "that's too much work," and "it's not possible". Instead I received responses of "I love it!" "I'm in!" and "How can I help?" My goal was to receive 42 red cross quilt blocks. In a time span of two weeks, I received 65. In just under a month this beautiful top was complete.

Don't you love how quilt tops kinda look like stained glass?

Now we need your help! For each $10 donation you make online to the American Red Cross, you will receive one entry into a drawing to win this quilt. For reals. 

The quilt is just a top at the moment, but it will be completed by the conclusion of the donation period (Friday, October 14, 2017). It will measure approximately 88" x 88" when complete. It will be longarm quilted by me using Warm & White cotton batting, an awesome pieced backing, and hand-stitched binding.

So how do you get in on this super-sweet fundraising adventure?
  1. Make an online donation to the American Red Cross between Friday, September 29, 2017 and midnight CST on Friday, October 14, 2017. This initial purpose of this fundraiser was to raise money for Hurricane Harvey. There are now many areas of need so you choose where your donation goes. (Doing this through the Red Cross website ensures ALL of your tax-deductible donations are going DIRECTLY to the Red Cross.)
  2. After making your donation, either forward a copy of your receipt from the Red Cross or take a screen shot and email it to You will receive one entry for every $10 donation made. Emailing me this info is your "ticket" for the drawing...I have no way of knowing you donated unless you do this! Include your name and email address. If you'd like to include where you're from, that is great but not required unless you are the lucky winner of the drawing. (Please, please, please...don't "fake" a donation. A lot of generous people donated a lot of time, effort and resources in making this quilt happen.) All emails will be deleted and the email account closed after the fundraising period. Your name and email address will not be shared with anyone. Ever. Promise.
  3. One winner will be drawn on Saturday, October 15, 2017. The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to reply with his/her mailing address. If the winner does not reply within 48 hours, another winner will be drawn.
  4. While donations from anywhere in the world are welcome, I am only able to select a winner from and ship the quilt within the US. (I apologize, but quilts are expensive to ship, and I cannot afford international shipping. Plus I don't know all the "rules" about fundraisers/drawings/raffles in other countries, and I definitely don't wanna get in trouble!)
  5. After you donate (and even if you can't donate at this time), please consider sharing this on social media! Use the hashtag #hhredcrossquilt to help spread the word! 
It's not a scam. One donor will win this awesome quilt. I love quilting, and I love helping others...I'm one happy gal when quilting helps others.

This is me. I really like quilting.

Thank you!

February 5, 2017

#inspiredquiltproject...more info!

For those of you interested in helping with the #inspiredquiltproject, here is some more info. I really, really believe that small things matter and we all have talents and gifts to share. Thank you so much for sharing yours with others.


We will be making one type of block...a rainbow/diamond block made with half-square triangles.

For instructions on making this block, please see this blog post. This is the same block as Missouri Star Quilt Company's Four Seasons Block, and there is a video tutorial that explains how to make the block. My apologies! While the block layout in the MSQC's video I linked to is the same, it shows a different way to make HSTs, and those HSTs end up smaller than what is needed for this particular block! 


I have been involved in making 4 versions of this quilt, and I think every version of the quilt is beautiful. It is perfect for scraps. No matter how many different people make these blocks, they always look so cohesive and pretty.

The blocks finish at a nice size (16.5"). It takes only 4 blocks with some sashing to make a 36" quilt. Just 12 blocks makes a nice lap-size/throw quilt (48" x  64"). With 20 blocks you get a nice, big quilt (64" x 80").


Use bright, colored fabrics combined with light/low-volume fabrics. Juvenile/novelty fabrics are fine as I will separate blocks based on if they would fit better in a "kids" quilt or a more "grown-up" quilt. You may use either solid or print fabrics.

Please use new, good-quality, 100%  "quilt-weight" cotton fabric. (I personally love quilts made from repurposed fabric, but many organizations that accept quilt donations require the quilts be made of new materials.) That being said, please do not feel obligated to purchase fabric for this project. Each block doesn't take too much fabric, so work from your stash!


Please mail your blocks to:

Stephanie Jacobson
PO Box 280
Boystown, NE  68010  USA

Don't spend more money to send your blocks than you have to! Here's a link to the inside scoop on lower postage rates. If you send blocks and are on Instagram, please include your Instagram name so I can give you credit.


I am going to do my best to sew every single block into a quilt top then longarm and bind every single quilt. Fortunately, I know some very lovely gals in the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild that will probably help me out!


Well...that's a good question. I am currently involved with the Lincoln, Nebraska chapter of Quilts for Kids and Project Linus in Omaha, so I'm sure some of the quilts will go to those organizations. (At least initially, most of the quilts will stay local to me (Omaha, Nebraska, USA) due to the expense of shipping.) Unfortunately, there seem to be tragedies every year that results in a call for quilt donations. I would love to be able to have quilts ready to go in these times of need. 

Bottom line...all of these quilts will be used for charitable causes. Not one of your quilt blocks or the resulting quilts will be for my own personal use. 

  1. You can make blocks! It doesn't matter if it's one block or more than one. I have the post office box for the rest of 2017 so make a block if/when you feel like it and mail them in whenever!
  2. All of the quilts will have a scrappy binding, so I will happily accept 2.5" strips of bright-colored fabric to use for bindings. They don't have to be the full width of fabric. If they're at least 20 inches long, that works!
  3. You can like/follow/share the Facebook page
  4. Use the hashtag #inspiredquiltproject on Instagram and other social media to help spread the word.

If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to ask!

February 1, 2017

rainbow diamond quilt blocks

For the #inspiredquiltproject, we're going to make beautiful, rainbow half-square triangle diamonds. One pattern. One beautiful, scrappy, rainbow color scheme. One whole year. Lots and lots and lots (I'm hoping!) of beautiful quilts to brighten the lives of those that need it.

For each block, you will need:

#8 print charm squares (5") in rainbow colors

#8 low-volume charm squares (5") in pale grays/whites/creams

Sew each print charm to one low-volume charm to make half-square triangles. Trim each HST to 4.5" square. 
If needed, you can find instructions on making half-square triangles here(I recently found this tutorial for trimming HSTs on Pinterest...why had I never thought of it?!) Assemble your HSTs into blocks as shows above.

Each block will measure 16.5" when completed. You don't need to trim it. Just send it to me, and I will sew them together!
Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

Of course back in January 2016 I thought I was being super original with this HST quilt block pattern. Of course the amazing Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company did it first. If you're the type that prefers YouTube videos, please check out her great Four Seasons Block video here. My apologies! While the block layout in the MSQC's video I linked to is the same, it shows a different way to make HSTs, and those HSTs end up smaller than what is needed for this particular block! 

 I'm in the process of getting a post office box that you can mail your blocks to. I'll have an address for you in the next few days!

January 30, 2017

knowing you contribute

I've been a part of do. Good Stitches for about 5 years now, first with the WISH circle and now with the PEACE circle. Each month, the quilter for that month chooses a quilt block pattern and color palette and the other members make blocks and send them to her. Last January I chose a scrappy bright and low-volume half-square triangle pattern which resulted in this beautiful quilt to be donated to Project Linus.

I had a few blocks left over so I made a few more blocks to make this smaller quilt for Quilts for Kids.

Then last spring, the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild received the opportunity to sell raffle tickets for a quilt at the Douglas County Fair. We were short on time and only had a few months to make a quilt and sell tickets, but it's amazing what you can accomplish when people work together.

At the January Omaha Quilt Guild meeting, members had a discussion about what people like and/or are looking for in our guild. We came up with a pretty great list.

It was that last comment that struck a chord with me, though. One of the members said (and I'm paraphrasing here) she didn't have a lot of free time, but she really liked the projects like the guild raffle quilt where members could contribute one or two blocks. She could look at the finished quilt, see her blocks in the quilt and know she contributed. I know EXACTLY how she feels. Every small contribution matters, and we can do amazing things when we work together.

And then a few weeks ago, one of the ladies in my PEACE circle group posted a quilted top she made.

(Hmmm...I really should have pressed that before I took a pic!) Judy liked the pattern so much she decided to make one block a month last year. Just one block a month made a whole quilt top that she then sent to me to longarm and donate to Project Linus. Well then the wheels started turning, and I've had this crazy idea rolling around in my head for much of January. I have a few things to work out, but look for a detailed post within the next week. Together we're going to do something amazing!

January 17, 2017

#organizedsewingspace 2017 Prize Sponsor!

So I'm a little blown away (and excited and motivated) by the response to my #organizedsewingspace2017 challenge over on Instagram. Seriously...head over to Instagram and check out the difference between the #sewingtablebefore and the #sewingtableafter posts. It's pretty awesome. We just wrapped up the first two week challenge to clean up and organize our sewing tables so we have a nice, welcoming place to sit and sew. As a little added bonus, there will be a drawing for a prize at the completion of each challenge. I couldn't offer these prizes without generous donations from some pretty great prize sponsors. The prize for the first challenge was donated by Sew Michelle.

Brooke was the lucky winner of a $15 gift certificate to SewMichelle's online shop!

Thank you so much Michelle for your donation for our challenge! You can see more of what she does on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.

The challenge runs through June, and you can join at any time. For more information, check out this post. If you would like to donate a prize for one of the challenges, please leave a comment here with your email address or send me a DM on Instagram @stephkucera.