Category Archives: quilting

SAHRR 5, 6 in Progress

Well I had hoped to have prompts 5 and 6 finished, but got only so far as cutting pieces and making four pinwheels. Prompt 5 and its linky is here and prompt 6 here.

The farther along in a medallion, the longer the rows. I am always lulled into thinking a project is going speedily on the early borders. And it was even more lulling this time to be piecing only partial, rows, but the square-in-a-square border will be pieced all the way around (60squares and 248 triangles plus the pinwheels). It also takes longer to cut from scraps than from yardage. (The pathos of many excuses, LOL)

The sixth prompt was pinwheels. And I decided they would be perfect to transition the design from the swirling motion to being contained, so each side will have one square that is a pinwheel. Though I didn’t have time to sew a strip, I had to lay it out for a preview. I doubt I’d have even thought of transitioning without the prompt, so I’m very glad for it.

I think it will work. In the week of 3/13 the linky will be open for us to show completed tops or quilts. I’ll have 5 and 6 completed, but probably not the whole top since I’ll need 20 more inches (10 more inches of border) to get to a usable size. Once I abandoned 40 inches, I gave no attention to finished size. Just made rows the size needed. We’ll see how far I get–I do have a plan.



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Show Quilt Finished and Named

After a concentrated week, I got the quilt finished for the local guild show, right on time. First I had to add the final 2-inch border. I’d had it cut out and managed not to lose it for a couple years. I added it the lazy way, cutting a strip and sewing instead of measuring first. I’d been careful up till then and thought the last one couldn’t make that much difference. It turned out that I had to take a little tuck when quilting to absorb some extra on two sides. Lesson learned. Next to make the back.

The plaid is flannel; the red and yellow are not. I’m determined to use up stash for backings, even though it usually means piecing them. I do try to do some designing when piecing them, but don’t always get fancy. This one was mostly plain and utilitarian.

Next came quilting. I’d originally planned some fancy quilting for the big triangles and some experimenting on each border. But with the time crunch, I decided to go with a simple meander.

And it seems no matter how careful I am, at less once I catch the back in the quilting. Sigh.

But eventually I did get it all quilted, bound, and labeled.

It measures 68′ x 68′. Because the center block is named Turkey in the Straw and the definite square look of the borders, I named it Square Dance.

All the quilts we’d made in the project were to be shown in the 2021 or 2022 show, I forget which. But of course, both got cancelled. So I set it aside. It’s nice to have it finally finished. The show is March 10 and 11, Portland people (details here).

Now I can get back to the Stay At Home Round Robin. The sixth prompt is pinwheel. It may take some imagination to make that one fit in.

Quilt history:

Beginning October 2020

Sketching April 2021

Completed first border April 2021

Second border May 2021

Third border finished and fourth started June 2021

Fourth Border August 2021


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Decision Time SAHRR

After last week’s pause, I thought of one more possibility. I arranged the parts yet once more and decided this was it for the fist four prompts. And finally I sewed.

I managed to keep the best of each of last week’s ideas. I got the blocks spaced so that they were less cluttery, yet I kept the flying flying geese at the edge And the diagonal stars.

Emily of The Darling Dogwood provided the fifth prompt, which I find just perfect: square in a square. It is time for the fly away browns to be corralled, and the square-in-a-sqiare block will make a nice whole border. In brown. I’m beginnng to think the image the quilt makes has changed from juggler to fireworks.

I’ll not get to making the next border right away. I got a sudden jolt of time reality when I saw the drop off dates for my guld’s spring quilt sow. They are two weeks earlier than I had remembered, and one of the qults I entered isn’t finished yet. So I have to shift my attention for a week. Meanwhile you can go to Emily’s blog to see the linky with all the different interpretations of the prompts. And I’ll be back to check on the sixth prompt, and hopefully be ready to sew again. After some serious math to make the row work out.


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Still Undecided on SAHRR

I left off leaning toward a rectangle with stars going diagonally (here) on my stay-at-home-round-robin. I pondered it a day or so and decided, No, I’d keep the quilt square, and I’d figure a use for it whatever size it ended up, or add borders or something. But my first thought was that there was way too much white space. (I know lots of negative space is a feature of modern quilt design, but it wasn’t working in this design in my head. Proportions were off, I think. By then I had the second prompt from Chris at Chrisknitssews, (The link is a generic link to Chris’ site; I will edit if I find how to get to a previous post.) the hourglass block. Maybe I could combine them.

By the time I finished making the 8 additional star blocks and the hourglass blocks, Anja at Anja Quilts had published the fourth prompt, flying geese, so I made those as well then started laying out the pieces.

For the first try. I considered keeping the diagonal star arrangement. but combining a star with a row of patterned blocks instead of a plain strip. It seemed it would work with hourglass and flying geese, and I could always repeat spool or hourglass if the next prompt didn’t work. So I laid it out.

I’ll admit to being disappointed; it had looked a lot better in my head than it did on the floor. Here it just looked cluttered and busy. I did like the positioning of the flying geese and I could tinker with using fewer hourglass blocks. Or I could try something else.

So I tried a row of three stars, now that I had 12 to work with.

So far so good. It didn’t seem to lose the spiral motion. So I added the hourglass and flying geese rows.

As of now, I think I like it. I may stitch it and stop dithering, or I may just wait to see what prompt #5 brings.


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SAHRR #2: Indecision

Wendy at Pieceful Thoughts posted the second prompt for the Stay At Home Round Robin yesterday. The prompt was “any star.” which appeals to me. I picked the Friendship Star–if it is still named that when the center is a four-patch. It seemed good to echo the center ov my center block. Choosing the star wasn’t the cause of indecision; layout was.

Ever since I’ve been doing medallion quilts I’ve wanted to do one with pieced triangles to set the center on point. I always consider it, but usually my center block doesn’t like being on point. This was no exception, although in my mind the design “standing” on one “leg” seemed it would add motion to the juggler motion already noted. But it didn’t.

Instead of increasing the motion it decreased it. The dark squares formed solid looking verticals and horizontals and way too much stability. So no on-point this quilt.

I’d also considered closing it in with the next border and starting ordinary borders but a suggestion from last week to continue the spiral effect caught my fancy. My first thought was to do so with a star on each side.

I wasn’t thrilled, but then further borders could make it work. I began to think measurements. The star row will be another 3-inch border, and my original plan had been a 40 x 40 quilt. That would leave only 6 inches for the next four borders. And making the stars smaller than a three-inch block wouldn’t seem to be good proportion. Even though Sally Collins in her Borders, Bindings, and Edges recommends the border pieces be smaller than pieces in the center block. I’d not started out with smaller. And in addition the 3-inch spool block looks larger than the 3-inch star block–very interesting what placement of lights and darks does. Of course I could also change the finished measurement goal. But if I were to go for a larger quilt I’d probably want a rectangle. So I considered two stars top and bottom.

It has potential, and I like it better than one on each side. But there’s one more thing to try: echoing the three squared that make the juggler effect with a placement of three.

I think I like it. But again a lot depends on what the next prompt brings. Oh I know I can skip a row or modify a row, or do my own thing. But for me part of the challenge is to take the prompt and make it work.

So, till next week . . .


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“First” Border SAHRR

On Monday the prompt arrived for the Stay At Home Round Robin’s first border. (Rosanne and Sue’s instructions and linky here ) In my title “first” is in quotation marks because it is my second border. I showed the orphan block that I used for a starter here. I knew I needed a mix of backgrounds somehow, since I was using a block from an exchange and didn’t have the same background fabric to add to it. Nor did I have enough of any one off-white to do the whole. I had decided on a row of squares in various creams and tans,then got the idea to extend the tail with one brown square in each row. I waited till I saw the prompt to see if I could combine my idea with the it; I couldn’t. So I added my rows.

It’s 16 x 16 here. It doesn’t show every off-white that I’ll be using, but it gives the idea of a mix. Too bad I can’t repeat that orange and brown print somewhere later on; mixed oranges and rusts will have to do. I haven’t dug into those fabrics yet because they are deeper down than the neutrals were.

The next row will use the spools of the prompt to add some more neutrals; they will give me a place to use my slightly darker neutrals. Again, a mix.

Here is the first layout.

I was deciding two things: to pair the two spools with the same fabric or different? to place them the same way or different? I’d made two per side for both design reasons and time reasons. I’d seen enough modern quilts to know that partial rows were an option, as is asymmetry. So far , the center is leading me to symmetry. As a design I was thinking of kite tails. Though looking at the piece the image of a juggler comes more readily to mind. Anyway, I made my decision and sewed it up.

Now it is 22 x 22, and the spools are 3-inch blocks. I’d considered 1 1/2-inch blocks, but the proportion didn’t seem right. (I’m not afraid of 1/2-inch squares.) I await the next clue.


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Starting Another Medallion

A while back I enjoyed a local guild project where we made our own medallion quilt by using (or modifying) one of two suggestions for each row (here). I hang my head to admit it is yet unfinished–one small final plain 2-inch border to go, then quilting. But that doesn’t mean I can’t start another. I learned of Quilting Gail’s Stay At Home Round Robin project (from Susan I think) and thought to try it. It will move a little faster–a suggestion a week instead of every two months! We’ll see how long I keep up.

At any rate, I had an orphan block (12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″) to start with from back when I was doing block swaps. I’d made a couple small quilts from my blocks received, and still had a couple waiting for a project.

This one should make a good center block and I have fabric that coordinates with it–buried too deeply to show now, but you’ll see them in time.

Visit Quilting Gail to see other starting centers and instructions in case you care to join.


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Quilted and Bound Birthday Quilt

It’s finished and on time. I don’t have anyone handy to hold it for me, so I’ll show it in parts. (The full view of the top is here.and as full a view as I could get of the back is here.) I’d originally planned .to use gold for the binding, except I used too much when I had to piece the back. So I decided on a pieced binding. Took a bit longer, but the quilting had taken less time than I’d allowed (a rare occurrence). I didn’t make any plan to match or not match to blocks nearby. I tried to do some variation of size strips and order of fabrics, but not totally random either.

As whole a view as you get:

You can see the baseball fabric on the backing, which I added after learning of a new interest. Neither the camera nor the operator knew how to adjust the light for the white of the backing and the dark of the top. The camera chose to adjust to the lighter part.

And various views: As much as I can get into one photo first.

And the two lower corners

As you can see the quilting is simple meandering. I decided that the size of the top was enough challenge; I didn’t need to add complex design, though I have several I want to be trying. There will be other chances.


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It’s Time to Quilt

What was once “plenty of time” is now “crunch time.” I made the top back in July. So now the birthday is a couple weeks away, and I’ve pieced the back today. It’s bigger than I have made for a while and doesn’t fit on my design bed. Or on available floor for that matter. So I’ll be experimenting with a roll up method I’ve read about.

I did get baseball and car fabric for pillowcases to acknowledge new interests since I had made the top.

The car fabric is the wrong colorway, but it is the only car fabric I could find. Guess it will mostly be hidden, so it won’t really matter. I’ll be curious to see if the cars are recognizable, and if grandson knows them.

Although I’d not used the baseball fabric in the front, I did use it in the back.

And here’s the finished back.

I didn’t have a place where I could get far enough away to show the whole thing, but you get the idea. By the time I added the extra around the edges, it seems huge. It will be a bit of a challenge to quilt it on my Featherweight, but it isn’t queen size. And Christna Carmeli assures me she has done a queen on hers. This time you can see that the flaming soccer balls are not the ghosts they looked like in the earlier post. The music fabric could be more clear, so here it is.

And the cat fabric is in honor of the family kitty, named Hairiette. (She’s a very fluffy long-hair.). White is not serviceable color, though. And I already got to test the old saying about saliva removing blood. I’d stuck myself on a pin while messing with the big pieces and not noticed it till blood appeared on the white. It took a bit of rubbing with a cotton ball, but it worked! (I’ve heard that the spit and blood have to be from the same person; don’t know if that is true or not.)

I really hate working with the large pieces. Maybe that is why so many tops have a long wait for their finishes.


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Quilt Retreat Time

It’s been a while since I’ve been to an in-person guild retreat, but the time was right. I had a project in mind, all the fabric, and plenty of time. I cut at home, as is my custom, and assembled the top there. I had a couple back up projects as always, but only spent a little time on one.

The project is a quilt for my grandson who likes soccer, basketball, and plays the recorder. He’ll be 10.

76″ x 104″

I started with twin size in mind, but added inches to fit the design. I have forgotten how to make a picture so that you can click and see it larger. The light print is basketball themed, the second from the top left that looks like ghosts on my screen is actually flaming soccer balls, and the middle top fabric is music staffs and clefs. He has other interests, but these were the dominant ones when I designed the quilt. Colors were chosen to go with his bedroom’s orange walls. Perhaps it’s a lazy approach to let the fabric prints do most of the work, but it was fun.

Of course even though I bought wide backing fabric, I didn’t get enough. I thought two yards would be plenty. Silly me. So I’ll be piecing the back. I have till January. Should be plenty of time.


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