Chaos at Sea

For the past week I have been trying to make this quilt top work.  It just doesn’t want to play nicely.  The blocks are paper foundation pieced, which means no design wall.  Crawling around on the floor is not conducive to inspiration for me.   I set it up, walk away for a day and the next time I look at it, it’s still not working.  I think it’s just too scrappy, I should have made the blocks with more consistent shading.  Something like all the inner squares light and the outer triangles dark or medium shades.  In the beginning I was looking to create an ocean of waves, sparkling with the many blues of water and wave and light.  I don’t think its a total loss though, I will sew it together and maybe with some strong quilting lines it will “gel”.  The last picture on the right is the final mock-up.

Last week I also worked on a T-shirt quilt with a friend.  Her daughter is in a sorority at San Diego State.  When they graduate, they have a tradition of making quilts out of their t-shirts.  My friend has been dreading making this quilt for the past few years, as she doesn’t sew and really wants to make it special for her daughter.  There is a whole presentation ceremony that goes along with this sorority tradition, as you can imagine.  We had a fun and stress free afternoon cutting out the shirts and stabilizing them.  She was in charge of the iron and I did the rotary cutting.  I asked her if she’d like to cut, but she was happy to iron.  She did the layout too.  I am going to add lavender sashing and a burgundy colored minky backing, the quilting is a simple bird (their mascot is a dove) with loopy flowers.


On my design table this week is a baby quilt for one of my Dh’s associates at work.  The pattern is from Carrie Nelson’s book “Schnibbles” called Reveille.  This is the small version, but I added nine more blocks, as the original quilt finishes at 37 inches square.  The fabric is a really cute collection called Stellar Baby.  I used most of a layer cake and about a yard of white to make these 6 3/4 inch square blocks and the border.

This week ended on an up-beat though despite the chaos on my floor, I hope to have the S@S quilt put together this week.

I’m linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.  Check out her pretty Valentine Day quilt!

Farmers Wife Quilt


I finished quilting the Farmers Wife quilt the week before I went on the retreat.  I had some time to square it up and bind it this past Saturday.  First I needed to make 11 yards of binding, I thought I might go with scrappy, like the inner border.  I still had a bunch of scraps left from piecing this top.  But finally decided to use the left over backing scraps, which were already in long lengths and just needed to be cut into 2 1/4 inch widths.  I usually machine sew my bindings, I think the last one I hand bound was the Hampton Ridge Sampler (pictured below, un-quilted) two years ago.  Which also happens to be on my bed at the moment 🙂


Hampton Ridge Quilt

My method is to cut the strips 2 1/4 inches wide, fold them in half and press them well.  Then I machine sew them to the back side with a 1/4 inch allowance.  Then I wrap the binding to the front, clip it with the magic clover clips and sew it down with a straight stitch about 1/16 of an inch in.  Neat and tidy, a bit faster too.

Getting back to the Farmer’s Wife quilt, I used apple green Kona to sash and border it. Tiny assorted squares break up the sashing and a border of 2 inch squares goes all around.  Those details are here The Last Monday of March , funny that it’s almost a year ago, but things get done, eventually 🙂 . Pictured below are most of my individual blocks, I made one or two a week for a year. I quilted it with a pretty simple pantograph, leaves and loops.  I couldn’t begin to think about individually quilting each block.  Many of them have lots of seam lines and tiny pieces, plus after finishing RD&G, a simple computer design was in order.  The quilt is so bright and cheery, I think I’m going to leave it on my bed for a while, especially as we have rain in our forecast for the rest of the week.



I’m steadily working on the Storm at Sea quilt made from assorted blue batiks.  I’m paper foundation piecing it, so its slow going.  My consolation will be at how perfectly all the points match up 😉



Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict  for “Can I Get a Whoop Whoop” today.



This week I have been working on the “Inner Circle” quilt pattern by Modern Quilt Studio.  I made my striped fabric panels, carefully ironed all the seams open and printed out the 35 sheets that make up the templates for cutting out the circles.  As I was cutting the circles out of me fabric, I thought to myself, these are not going to be fun to set into the background with the machine.  No, not at all.  What the pattern has you do is make two panels of contrasting stripes, cut the circles out of one, then cut corresponding holes in the other panel.  It then gives instructions to machine sew them together, matching all the seams.  This step was not going to happen on my version.  I consider myself a pretty good piecer and would much rather piece by machine than hand stitch.  But this quilt was telling me that those circles should be appliquéd on top and the underneath fabric cut away.  IMG_3281

I carefully pressed the 1/2 seam allowance under and used a bit of Elmers school glue to keep it folded under.  Then I pinned every stripe together, keeping it straight and true.  Hand sewing took a few hours, and made me think of an appliqué  UFO that has been languishing, maybe if I got it out I could work on it.  My hand work has been knitting for the past 8 months, but summer is coming, and I just don’t like to knit as much in the summer.  MQS has a YouTube video Inner Circle Tutorial on how to assemble this quilt their way, Bill Ringle makes it look easy.  For me, appliqué is easier, not quite as fast, but my resulting quilt looks good to me.IMG_3284

 I was able to use some of the left over circle stripes to add length to the backing.


Then, I got it on the frame, and started the E2E pantograph I choose for it.  Its called “Feathers and More” by Nancy Haacke of Wasatch Quilting .  Only 10 more rows to go, but it’ll wait, tomorrows another day.


Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for todays “Can I Get Whoop Whoop?”

Thanks for reading.

Designing Away

Last week I spent six days at the Empty Spools seminars in Asilomar (Pacific Grove) CA.  The class I took was called Taking Shape, and was led by Cathy Doughty of Material Obsession near Sydney Australia.  For five days we explored color, fabric patterns and design all while using 60 degree angles.  Hexagons, diamonds and triangles were the shapes of choice.  I brought along a fat quarter collection of Cotton and Steel from 2014, and a few other sort of modern prints I had.  All cool colored tones and small scale prints.  Cathy’s fabric lines are all about Australia, big, bright, organic shapes, aboriginal dots and motifs,  and the color pallet of that country.  So beautiful, I bought some to make a quilt with on my own.  The class was about designing a quilt on the fly, no pattern is needed, because all the pieces fit together one way or another.  For me, I needed a little bit of an outline so to speak.  I came up with a gem shape made up of triangles and hexagons.  Then I made six of these shapes, put them into a star shape and then filled in the center with diamonds


The outer space is currently set in trapezoids using the woven striped fabric.  I want to add a few more shapes, probably appliquéd to the background and a 2 inch border around the star.  Then finish with a 4 inch triangle border using up the scraps from the inner star fabrics.


My design wall at home is covered in the second part of the Modern Quilts Illustrated pattern “Inner Circle”.  I need to iron the seams open, thats why it has a bit of a curve to it.  I am liking the contrasts between the light and dark pieces as seen in the photo to the right.  Next up is cutting these big pieces into large circles.


Linking up today with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Diamonds Rubies and Garnets

I finished quilting DR&G yesterday.  YAY!  I am so glad its done.

The purple marker will be gone it a few days, it’s been humid here, so it stays visible longer.  I tried to quilt each block differently, most of them have ruler work to accent the angles and break up the big spaces.  I finished this top on March 11th 2016, this post Red and White All Over has all the numbers and stats for it.  Funny, I don’t really remember making all those HST’s, but I’m glad I did, as they really make this quilt sing.  Now on to the binding.

Linking up today with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for “Can I get a Whoop Whoop?”  and while I’m at it,  Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.

Monday Monday

Whats on my design wall?  A couple of things.  Physically, the strips for my version of the quilt “Inner Circle” by Modern Quilt Studio are hanging on it.  I think it’s a bit too dark, and I am awaiting the delivery of another pack of gray batik strips to arrive.  The contrasting fabrics will be taupe and cream, I am trying not to create too much contrast, more of a shadowing effect.


Next are the blocks done for a quilt I saw recently at Missouri Star Quilting called “Falling Charms”.  There is a YouTube video tutorial if you’re interested.  I am trying to use up the rest of my 1930’s repo fabric, left over from making my Farmers Wife quilt.  I still have some, but I may just cut it up into 2 1/2 ” squares and be done.



In the TBQ pile, I finished a crib size top this past week too.  Again trying to use up the last of the fabric line called “Story Time”.  There were three fat quarters that had 3 inch square blocks printed on them.  I cut them out and interspaced them with a neutral print from the same line in a half block drop columns pattern.  Finished with a three inch border of another coordinating print.


Waiting in the box it came in is the batik fabric for a blue Storm at Sea quilt.  I am waiting/wanting to get to the printers to print the foundations for this block.  I think square in a square and square in a rectangle blocks are easier to paper foundation sew.  With the added benefits of turning out square/true and creating a huge mess of tiny bits of ripped paper everywhere.IMG_3203

Not on the wall, but on the frame, is my Diamonds Rubies and Garnets quilt.  I am about three hours away from finishing it.  Most of the blocks are done with ruler work, and geometric designs in red and white So Fine thread.   IMG_3204

In knitting news, I am doing a KAL with Curious Handmade Sock Society on Ravelry.  This pair is called Winter Rose.  I have Hellebores blooming all over my yard right now, but mine are white and dull purple.  This yarn is from my stash, it’s called Brick house, but the color is brighter than an old brick, and not that orange.  Last night I realized I made an error in the second round after the ribbing.  I was about to start the heel flaps, when I realized I didn’t have enough stitches, I was twelve short.  So I had to rip back, both socks to the ribbing and start over.  So sad.  The good thing is that I have the pattern memorized now, and won’t forget the yarn overs this time.


First attempt/fail

Looking back I think it was a busy and productive week for me.  I hope to finish the DR&G quilt today and get a few smaller quilts that need pantographs done.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for design was Monday today.


This week I finished up a few tops and started getting more my quilts up on Etsy.  I finished a mitten, took an online Art and Stitch class and designed a few quilts for clients on EQ8.


I used the Kaffe Paperweight fabric for the outer border on the heart quilt.  It ties in nicely with the inner colors.  There is a stripe of it down the middle of the backing too.


The Crayon Box quilt was fun to piece and I think I need to do mitered corners on my borders more often.  Jinny Beyer has an easy way to measure and cut them, if you go to her website and go to “free patterns” there are a few that you can download with the instructions for how to do the mitered borders.  I bought this as a kit from Craftsy last year, it was on sale and looked simple enough.  The directions are well written and there are full color fabric pictures so when you are separating the strips, you know which is which.  There are 36 different prints in this project.  The only bad thing about this kit was that they shrank the instructions down to fit two pages on one page.  At times I had to break out the magnifier.  There were many inset and Y seams, and the majority of them turned out well.


I started another kit I had bought on sale, I think in 2016, too.  I’m planning on making it into two smaller quilts, instead of a twin size.  The prints are too cute for an older child, but just right for a baby or toddler.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.



This weeks finish is a sweater named Stråle by Woolfolk.  I can’t remember when I started it, but I finished the body of it some time last winter.  I remember stopping because it had become too warm to have all that wool on my lap.  This past summer I participated in a KAL with Curious Handmade on Ravelry, I needed something to knit while I was between patterns and the sweater was in my basket.  I did one sleeve and put it down again.  Last week I picked it up again and finished off the other sleeve and collar. I want to block it, but our weather has been very wet and cloudy, I know it would take a week for it to dry.

I didn’t do much sewing this past week.  Yesterday I got my serger/coverstitch machine out to hem two pairs of pajama pants.  It took me two hours to wrestle with the machine to get it to sew the hems.  Once I got the needles in the right place, threaded it right, and used the proper foot it was a breeze.  In other sewing news, I traded in my machine for the next model.  I want to start a new project with it, I’ve been designing a teeshirt quilt for a client and I was hoping that I could get started on it. Unfortunately the client has big plans for the tee shirts, and we haven’t found a design that appeals to her.  She sent me a few cute ideas, but they are small throws and use faux fur on the back.  Her tee shirts are 12″ blocks, not cute little 4″ squares of coordinating fabric.  Sigh.  I’ll come up with something, maybe I’ll end up making two quilts for her.  I am getting lots of practice with EQ8 in the meanwhile.

Linking up with Sara at Confessions of a Fabric Addict today for “Can I get a Whoop Whoop” Friday.

First Finish for 2018

Yesterday  (1/5/18) I finished quilting and binding my On Ringo Lake Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.IMG_3097

I’m so happy with how it turned out!  Finished size is 75″ x 90″.

I posted it on the facebook group for Quiltville and I’ve gotten over 1000 likes.  Wow!  I’m a fairly reserved person, not liking the spot light on me.  But you know, sometimes a crafter just needs a pat on the back, a great job comment, or even a WOW!  I think my family is just so used to me making things that they think its common place.  My daughter said “it’s nice”, no comment yet from DH though.  So if you’ve commented out loud to yourself or here on my blog, thank you! I appreciate it.

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for “Can I get a Whoop Whoop?”  and Quiltville’s Quips and Snips!! for “Monday Mystery Link up”  today.


Over Achiever


I finished my On Ringo Lake mystery quilt top last night.  Started on November 24th and finished on January 2.  There are 3339 pieces, some as small as 1 1/2 inches square.  I loaded up the backing a few days ago, and now to quilt it.  I surpassed last years personal challenge (En Provence) by two days.  I was wondering if I just made the clues one after the other, how long it would take me.  Six weeks is a long time (for me) in which to complete a quilt top.  Most of these clues/parts took me from one to two days the complete.   If I was truly an over achiever, I think I could do this top in about ten days.  That would certainly suck any fun out of it though, not to mention the wear and tear on me and my machine.


In other news, I restarted the 365 block challenge.  Fortunately for me, the quilter who runs the challenge decided to re-do the 2016 quilt.  I have completed all the blocks up to March.  So I won’t be starting it (again) until then.  As of now, the blocks live in their tote, happily hibernating.  IMG_1367

I have two commission quilts to make in the next month or so.  A tee-shirt quilt and a Storm at Sea quilt.  The Tee-shirt quilt parts are in a plastic bag right now.  I was waiting until the new year to open it and lay everything out, maybe after I quilt the ORL quilt.  The S@S quilt I need to get fabric for, Batiks maybe.  I’m not sure if I want to paper piece it or not.  Those diamond in a rectangle blocks are tough to get straight.  I can’t remember how I did my red and white S@S, hmmm.  I think I used the block-loc rulers and templates.  I should really take notes LOL.