Cracked Ice Is Ready to Travel

Cracked Ice was finished in November. If you are new to my blog or if you have forgotten, you can catch up here.

I’m excited to tell you it was juried into the AQS Quiltweek, April 22-25 in Paducah, KY.

It has its hanging sleeve.  I almost didn’t look at the directions for the hanging sleeve because “I know how to make those.” Good thing I did. They want it  made just a little bit differently. There is a label with my address, just in case it gets separated from its box (heaven forbid!). The quilt is in plastic just in case it gets wet (Let’s hope not). And all the labels and numbers and index cards are just like the directions say. Not for nothing did I go to grade school and learn to follow directions.

So tomorrow I’ll send it on its merry way. And chew nails and check the tracking info daily till it arrives.

It would be fun to be going too, but back when it was time to make decisions about which shows to attend, I hadn’t even thought about making a quilt to enter anywhere.  On one of those sleepless nights (of which, luckily I have very few) I got the idea. (Designing quilts is more fun than counting sheep.) I checked the time table–I think deadlines were a month or six weeks away, something like that. So I’ll be happy with photos friends take and with seeing it in the book published with quilts in the show.

Just had to link to Show Off Saturday, button on sidebar. Sorry the photo didn’t come through on the link, but you can get there from here


Filed under Uncategorized

Block Lotto Top–Red for February

Back in February I made and sent a pair of red blocks. I used up all my Waterfront Park red except for the bird fabric. I saved it in case I got the blocks back.

Red improv blocksI did win 12 blocks–there were two of us who won–and they arrived yesterday. I didn’t get my block back. But I still had the bird fabric.

I played with the blocks a bit and noticed they were rather dark. I put them up and went to bed.  My subconscious must have played with them while I slept, because I wakened and thought of the bird fabric and how it would lighten the dark blocks. I got them out again.

When I went to cut the borders/sashing I didn’t have as much fabric as I had remembered. Ah but there was blue in the blocks too. And I had the bird fabric in navy.

So this is the top in what we in Sunshine call the Tammy Setting because she popularized it.

Lotto top

40 x 40

I was swapping blocks in and out so fast I forgot to take pictures of the various options. But this is how it ended up. The photo is too dark to see that there are the bright blue cornerstones in each corner–because I didn’t have enough navy.

Once the top was finished and I was moving some stray fabric, what did I find but the rest of the white with red birds. Oh well, I think I like it better with the navy than if all had been light.

I really should be quilting bunk quilts–I did pin and start one.  But it seemed reasonable to stitch this top rather than struggle to put it away such that I’d be able to tell what I was thinking when I got it out. Or is that procrastination?

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday if and when the link is up–button in sidebar.


Filed under quilting

Improv Mystery Clue #5

I see Clue #6 is up, so I need to post #5 so I can go look at #6.

It is laid out and basted; the hand work to be continued.

clue 5 layout

Clue #4 had, besides the three circles, the meaning of the quilt. I’ve chosen to keep that symbolic instead of using words. I may include it in the title or the quilting…we’ll see.

Clue #5 wanted three in three blocks. I’m stretching a bit here. If you can add you will find the 3 in 3. I haven’t seen a place to put the “square(s) in three blocks,” and I might take that one as a suggestion and not do it. We’ll se if an idea comes to me for squares that would add but not intrude.

ETA I see I misread Clue #5. “add a number to three blocks” ; well, I have done that, no problem. No stretching even. Still thinking on the square. I may have to clip the corners off of a square. . . .

Off to read Clue #6.


Filed under Uncategorized

Class Project Becomes Doll Quilt

I signed up for Carol Friedlander’s Big Stitch class at QuiltCon. I’d registered too late to get into day classes, so I was pleased when they added some night classes. I’d become interested in big stitch–it adds just the right amount of interest sometimes. I’d wondered about starting, ending, and maintaining even stitches. It seemed to me that evenness would be harder large than small. I got the project out this week and started to work on it again. You can almost see the quilting in the full shot.

the fat quarter

We were to bring fat quarters; I’d brought two aqua ones. The man sitting beside me had brought two white ones to do double duty. He used them first in a fabric dying class then meant to big-stitch quilt them. When I admired this one, he admitted to not liking it much, and we swapped. I started out stitching along the dark lines, then decided it would be prudent to match thread and fabric as a beginner. So I began outlining “petals” of a “flower.” I finished one and started another in class. This detail view shows stitches except for where the flash washed them out.

Big stitch detail

And here is a back view.

back view

Oops. What looked like even stitches and spaces on the front doesn’t on the back. The only hint about sizing  in the class was that we could see if they looked even on the needle before pulling it through. Well, they had looked even. Here’s hoping that practice changes those small stitches and big spaces on the back. Carol taught stitching without a hoop and using a rocking stitch. I’m hoping the big puff is because I put it on the floor carelessly, and not that the back is going to be puckery.

I pondered what this project should become. Ah, fat quarters, the size is right for a doll quilt. With that thought, I decided it didn’t need more than two “flowers” to be hand quilted. So I finished the second one. I’m needing to see if my Featherweight will play nice with invisible thread, so I’ll try that for the rest of the quilting–design to be decided  when I sit down to do it. And I think I’ll fold the back to the front for binding. Lots of time. Doll quilts are not due till December; however, I’ll need the answer about invisible thread much sooner.

Linking with WIP Wednesday, Let’s Bee Social, and Needle and Thread Thursday. Buttons in the sidebar.


Filed under quilting

And Bunk Top #4 Is Finished

The 9-patch blocks that I started here behaved quite nicely as I assembled them. Only one discrepancy between the top and my plan.

Charm top

52 x 75

I’d intended the red 9-patch for the center. That was when I was planning the 7 block spaces for the patchwork. Since I had enough workable charms for 8 blocks, I rearranged and lost my center. Pretty minor, don’t you think? And I was undecided about sashing or borders. Sashing didn’t add anything when I auditioned the dark aqua, so borders it is.

Weeks Ringle, in her Craftsy class on modern quilt design, says that chaos is okay when contained. Although the shapes are not as chaotic as improv piecing, the prints are pretty busy. For the most part I controlled them a bit by light and dark and scale of the prints.  Could not do that perfectly because the distribution in a charm pack doesn’t always meet my design desires.  That would be the disadvantage of the packs. But the advantage is being able to sit down and sew almost immediately after getting an idea, without the cutting time in between. I don’t rush to buy precuts, but they do have a place.

The top will become a bunk quilt for Strength for the Journey, a summer camp for people with HIV/AIDS. Each new camper gets a quilt.


Filed under quilting

Improv Mystery Clue 4

I am a bit behind on this; Clue 5 has already been given. I still have not decided where to put my three circles for Clue 4.

If you have a preference of the three options for the group of three, or if you see another better location, leave a comment.

So far I have played along, doing only a little creative interpretation  (aka stretching) of clues. Clue 4 also asked us to add a message; I will let my message be symbolic; I’m not into doing letters. I have read Clue 5. I think I can add 3 on three blocks, but not sure if I can add a square. That could be too much variety.

I decided it was time to attach all six blocks–it will be mostly applique from now on. I can insert the two larger circles, but not the small one. Since machine applique is not an option for my straight stitch machine, the rest of the top will be needle turn applique. So I have time to think on Clue 5.

If you have missed the beginnings and care to see them, they are here, here, and here.

Linking up with The Quilted Snail. and with Off the Wall Fridays.



Filed under design, quilting

Charm Pack, Bunk Top, and Lotto

Two experiments today.

First, I read Riddle and Whimsey’s post about the Disappearing Hourglass and wanted to try it. I followed her post to the YouTube tutorial by Missouri Star that she used and thought of block lotto. Ah, but blocks have to be 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches. These disappearing variations are easiest when you can go with the flow and take the size you get. On the other hand, I know how to draft a pattern. It’s a little different when you work in reverse though. Normally I’d graph from the finished size (adding seam allowance at the time of cutting), and  when cutting I’d add 1 inch (7/8″ for people who sew so perfectly that their blocks come out right size–I need wiggle room and then I trim) when I want a HST and 1 3/8″ when I want a QST.

But if I am going to make a HST by cutting QSTs, which measurement should I use.

I tried a couple combinations–none came out exactly, but I got to a point where I could tweak it. I cut 10 3/4″ square; trimmed the HST to 7 inches. I ended up with 13 1/2″, made my cuts into thirds at 4.5″ and ended up with 12 1/2-inch block.

Disappearing Hourglass

OK, so I need two blocks for lotto. My fabric won’t make another 10 3/4 inch square so I’ll make my next HSTs the old way by cutting squares an inch larger than the desired finished size and cutting them diagonally. Actually I’ll probably always make this block that way since the quick method leaves every edge bias. But it was fun to play.

The second experiment was less complicated as it involved fabric instead of math. I was pondering the need for more bunk quilts and whether I had time to make another–this time just a top. I’d let the guild women tie it. Had to be something fast. And I thought of the charm pack in my goodies from QuiltCon. I did a quick sketch to see how many I needed. More than one pack. One of my friends had given me a charm pack, maybe . . .  The experiment was to see if I could get 7 or 8 decent blocks out of the combined charms.  And I did.

Charm pack 9-patch blocks

Trust me, there are two more; they just didn’t fit in the photo. A bit busy, but I think they will do. I’ll alternate blocks with squares of the light aqua that I’m auditioning in the photo. To get it up to size, I’ll either add a small border or insert narrow sashing. Leaning toward the latter.

ETA links: Details about the guild’s bunk quilt project and my first bunk quilt here. Second quilt top here. Third is the previous post.

Linking with WIP Wednesday, Let’s Bee Social, and Needle and Thread Thursday. Buttons in the side bar.


Filed under quilting