September 23, 2015

The Final Out ... It's Over

Yogi Berra image courtesy public domain
Yogi Berra
1925 - 2015
Baseball legend Yogi Berra was one of the funniest men who ever lived. And ... most of the time it was unintentional .. or was it?

A little history of Yogi:
Yogi was commonly thought to be one of the greatest baseball catchers of all time and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. The New York Yankees had him for most of the 19 seasons of his career. He was one of only four players to to be named the MVP three times in his career. As either a player, coach or manager, Yogi was part of 21 World Series games, winning in 13 of those.

Lawrence Peter Berra gained his nickname "Yogi" from his fellow baseball pal Bobby Hofman when Hofman commented on his frequent pose of sitting with arms and legs crossed while waiting to bat. Hofman thought he looked like a Hindu yogi, and the name stuck.

Yogi is well known for his observations of life and baseball. You have likely heard (or used) many of these quotes during your own lifetime. Here is just a sampling of those "Yogi-isms".
  • "Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets."
  • "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."
  • "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
  • "It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much."
  • "It's like déjà vu, all over again."
  • "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."
  • "I made a wrong mistake."
  • "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else."
  • "I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four."
  • "You can observe a lot by watching."
  • "The future ain’t what it used to be."
  • "It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility."
  • "Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical."
  • "He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious."
  • "Pair up in threes."
and probably his most famous quote ...
  • "It ain't over 'til it's over."
Sadly, on September 22, 2015, the world lost Yogi Berra at the age of 90. It's over.

One final note .. I can imagine that there will be hundreds and hundreds of people attending Yogi's funeral. He likely followed his own advice.
  • "You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours."

Yogi Berra image courtesy public domain

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September 22, 2015

[Music Maestro please] ... If I Were a Carpenter ...

Carpenter's Wheel is one of my all-time favourite quilt blocks. I just like the shape and I find it intriguing. What I don't find any fun is in the usual construction method of this block. Most of the time you will see this block made with only squares and diamonds, which then result in those dreaded set in seams. So, I believe making the block should be non-stressful and as a result, I have changed it up to use only squares and half square triangles instead. (I would like to take credit for this method, but it is not an original idea.) There are more pieces to sew, but the method is easier, in my opinion, and why not take the easy road?

Since it is one of my favourite blocks, I could not help but play around with it, switching up the colours. So, the pattern has more pages than usual, because I just kept playing and had to "show and tell". I'm sure you will not really mind.

Carpenter's Wheel quilt blocks

Precision is the thing

  • "It is the accuracy and detail inherent in crafted goods that endows them with lasting value. It is the time and attention paid by the carpenter, the seamstress and the tailor that makes this detail possible."
    ~ Tim Jackson

An Oldie but definitely a Goodie

If I Were a Carpenter by Bobby Darin

'Carpenter's Wheel' quilt block images © W. Russell,

September 14, 2015

Sandy Dunes and other hot things ...

Sandy Dunes quilt block image © W. Russell,
Sandy Dunes quilt block
Another five patch which supposedly means easy math. Yay!

The Sandy Dunes quilt block is a great starter for beginners, as it contains only two different patches -- one of them being the square. The other is a flying geese unit, which is used in many, many quilt blocks. I played around with colour and the layout to produce two very different quilts. What can you come  up with?

Download the free quilt block pattern.

Where there is sand, there is heat ...

image courtesy thefridacinema.orgAnd speaking of heat ... "Sugar" gave us a few laughs in the movie Some Like it Hot

  • Sugar: "Real diamonds! They must be worth their weight in gold!"

  • Sugar: "Story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop.

'Sandy Dunes' quilt block image © W. Russell,
'Some Like it Hot' image courtesy

September 10, 2015

Back to Vegas ...

Roulette Wheel quilt block © W. Russell,
Roulette Wheel quilt block
Last week I was directing you along the Road to Vegas. This week I'm introducing you to Roulette Wheel.  Hmmm ... is there a trend here?

This four patch quilt block is made entirely of half square triangles, in two different sizes. The construction is a little different than the norm, as not all of the triangles are made into squares. With careful handling of the individual pieces (to avoid distortion of the bias edge), this block will go together in no time.

Reflections on Gambling

'Roulette Wheel' image courtesy of patrisyu at

  • There is no gambling like politics.
    ~ Benjamin Disraeli

  • Gambling: The sure way of getting nothing for something.
    ~ Wilson Mizner

  • Part of it went on gambling, and part of it went on women. The rest I spent foolishly.
    ~ George Raft

'Roulette Wheel' quilt block image © W. Russell,
'Roulette Wheel' image courtesy of patrisyu at

September 03, 2015

Bluebonnet is today's featured block

Bluebonnet quilt block image © W. Russell,
Bluebonnet quilt block
I couldn't think of a catchy title for this blog post except for the old commercial for Bluebonnet margarine. Cast your mind back to that era and see if you can remember the tune. (I would have used it but was not sure of the copyright issue.)

This five patch block is an easy one and your quilts can become quite creative by using 90 degree rotations of the multiple blocks to produce secondary patterns. The two sample quilts illustrated in the free download will give you an idea (but the changes are subtle).

I did take a bit of a liberty with this Bluebonnet quilt block, as there were originally no rectangles -- just two squares sewn together instead. My thought on that is why create extra seams? So I replaced those two squares with a rectangle instead (times four).

Fun thoughts for today

  • "I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific."
    ~ Lily Tomlin

  • "By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher."
    ~ Socrates