Saturday, August 16, 2014


What is your name? Melanie Bendorf. I've been a Deputy District Attorney in a small northern California county for about 15 years. I still love it. It's challenging, but we are tasked with seeing justice done, so we have a lot of leeway with how we handle cases. Every one is different.

Where do you live?  Rocklin, CA.  It's about 20 minutes northeast of Sacramento. We're basically 1.5 hours away from everything--San Francisco, Tahoe, etc. It's a great place for families.

Tell us about your family: I have a husband, Robert, and two grown stepkids, Robbie and Samantha. Robbie is out of college, employed, and engaged to be married next year to a lovely girl he met online, of all places! Sammy is the slow starter-she's working full time and still living with us trying to figure out what she wants to do. She makes an excellent roommate :)

And I almost forgot the most important member of the household!
We love Boston Terriers :)

The most recent addition to my family is my stepfather Ernie! As most of you noticed, this month's block post is very, very late. My mom and now-stepfather decided to get married and gave us all about two weeks' notice. As Ernie put it "At out age, not much point in waiting"---tough to argue with, really :)

They are why this month's post is soooo late, and I can't thank you ladies enough for your patience and consideration. It was tough to throw together a proper wedding with such short notice and the bride KEPT CHANGING HER MIND, lol. One day it was a simple ice cream social afterward. The next day, when she was supposed to leave me a message about what ice cream flavors to get it became a tray of deviled eggs, a tray of sandwiches, chips and get the drill :)

How I got interested in quilting: My aunt lives pretty close by and was always wanting to spend time together and tbh pestering me to try quilting. I finally gave in and agreed to do a local quilt shop's block of the month SOLELY to make my aunt happy. Ten years and a whole lot of money later, I'm more of a fanatic than she is :)

How I organize my stash: Eh, it's *sort* of organized. I have a hall closet to myself and it's stuffed to the gills with yardage, precuts, and stuff I haven't got around to cutting up yet.

I also have some things organized in plastic drawers and tubs, scraps, fat quarters, random 3" squares,
stuff like that. My ideal is to get the spare bedroom closet cleared out and take it over!

Favorite fabric designers:  gosh, I'm not super picky. I like Tula Pink, Art Gallery, and Bonnie and Camille. Pretty eclectic taste.

The one thing I wish I'd known when I started quilting: thread size vs. needle size. Would have saved myself so much frustration with skipped stitches, etc if I'd known about it. The Schmetz website has a great needle chart available.

My favorite quilting tool:  probably the Quilter's Block Tool. It has tons of blocks with multiple sizes, so you can basically look at any quilt and reconstruct it yourself.

My favorite fictional character: I can't pick one! This is waaayy too hard a question!


I decided on an X-Plus block in bright colors with a grey solid background. I used Kona Shadow and Kona Ash. Anything in a light grey solid or something that reads as solid is fine. For the prints--go colorful, go wild. This quilt is going to be for my mom and Ernie's bed, and they love 60's and brights. May have something to do with aging eyesight, too, lol.

You will need:

Eight 2.5" grey squares
Four 2.5" printed squares
Four 4.5" printed squares
One 2.5"x 6.5" bright solid rectangle and TWO matching bright solid 2.5" squares.

First, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on each of the grey squares:

Then, get out your four 4.5" print squares:

Take the grey squares and place them right sides together on two opposite corners of the 4.5" print squares:

Trim 1/4" away from the seam toward the corner. Press seam open. You will then have:

Take your bright rectangle and matching squares and place them in a cross position:

Lay out your corner units around the cross and place the print 2.5" squares as shown below:
Sew one print square to either end of the rectangle. Sew the other print squares to their corresponding bright solid square.  Sew a corner square to each side of the short arm of the cross:
Sew the three sections together. You will end up with:
The block should end up approximately 10", but don't worry about exact sizing. Use a scant quarter-inch seam and press seams open. I can make just about anything fit!
Please take whatever time you need to get this block made. I know this post is very late and you all have other obligations.


Melodee said...

Looks great Melanie! I've had this block on my wish list for a long while :)
just to give a heads up, my family will be on vacation until after Labor Day but as soon as I am able I'll get this sewn up!! Just curious, what's your final quilt size plan?

Melanie B said...

Queen, lol. I need all the help I can get!

Melodee said...

Melanie I'm having a hard time finding the light gray. I have a medium dark gray in my stash. I am going to buy some hopefully tomorrow. Just wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten about your block I'm just struggling a bit :)