Tag Archives: NewFO

More Thoughts on Modern Quilting

ETA: Linking with Val’s archives. And no, I haven’t decided how to proceed with it. 4/26/16

I started blogging about modern here when I started the Classic Meets Modern Block of the month (BOM).  And then I missed working on February’s  BOM.  But I’m back in the swing for March. Besides the features I listed for modern quilts, friends added more in their comments. So the list grows. And my thinking continues.

I have enjoyed Barbara Brackman’s Historically Modern blog and the irony that modern WAS approximately 1870-1970. She too lists asymmetry as a feature but adds others, like use of simple shapes and flatness–not even trying for 3D effects. Here is her post on asymmetry. Interesting, her observation that as we tire of either asymmetry or symmetry, styles shift to the other.

When I was listing features, I forgot  the lack of frames/borders. And even more extremely, use of facing instead of binding to avoid framing the quilt completely. Brackman had several posts on this: here, here and here.

Of course, eliminating borders would be a whole quilt design more than a block design. I’m still working with asymmetry, wondering how many traditional blocks will remain  recognizable when made askew. This month’s classic block was the Drunkard’s Path two-piece unit in one of its variations.  I decided to modify the Fool’s Puzzle variant. (Image of the traditional quilt here.)

door prize fabricIn addition to asymmetry, I had modern fabric to use, Over a year ago I won this fabric, and it has been patiently waiting for a project.  (ETA the fabric line is Crazy Love by Jennifer Paganelli–glad I finally found the tag.)  And that is another feature of many modern quilts, using one line for the whole quilt. I don’t usually because the hunting and gathering phase is the most fun for me. But since I have it, this month’s block is modern in three ways. Maybe four. The 2-piece blocks are 4 inches, larger than usual. Though maybe not oversized enough to be a modern feature.

Oh, you wanted to see the block?

fool's puzzle --my versionThe top four units are like the upper right of the traditional Fool’s Puzzle blocks shown in the link (several variations exist–some color differences, some shape differences). The lower four are my modification. I have enough fabric to make  a lap quilt.  Haven’t decided whether to repeat this block or to keep improvising, whether to vary the size or keep it the same. No hurry. I can think on it.




Filed under design, quilting

Sewing Bee Blocks

Although the sewing is put away, I do have a photo of the blocks I have received so far as queen bee. (Can you tell I am stalling on the housecleaning project?)

bee blocks received

Urban Chicken Block

I have received two more, but with the design wall put away, can’t get them into the photo. One is pink and one is gray. Two people liked the block so much that they sent two, one with prints. The print one will find a good home in a future quilt–I like the pattern enough to do a repeat or two.

I asked my fellow bees in the Simply Solids Bee to stash dive. That meant I couldn’t request colors. I’m tickled at how balanced a palette resulted from all these people across the country selecting individually. Two more are to come in, and I’ll be making six more to cover the top of a single bed. Not sure yet what I’ll do for the borders. Unless something else pops up and demands my attention, this is my January project.

In case you love the block too, here is a link for the directions.

NewFO is starting a new year…check out peoples’ future plans.


Filed under quilting

A Monkey Charity Quilt and the A word

monkey starter block

One day I received a surprise package in the mail, a box of fabric and notions. Inside was a note to take what I wanted to use for a charity quilt and add what I wanted and move it along.  I took the above monkey fabric and coordinating prints. It was immediately apparent that there wasn’t enough fabric to get to 40 x 60, so I set it aside till I had time to stash dive. I did find some coordinating solids. And at a recent trip to the fabric store for another project, a bolt of striped fabric had “followed me home.” (Pauses to remember kids claiming a kitten had followed them home when she was sure she had heard, “Here Kitty, Kitty.”)

Over the weekend in a rare house cleaning moment, I decided it would be easier to sew it up than to put it away. 🙂 I cut 3  monkey blocks that were 10 1/2 x 10 1/2, 3 that were 5 1/2 and 7 that were 4 1/2; in other words, I cut as many pieces as I could as large as I could. I tried various settings with the coordinating fabrics and decided on the above for starters.

middle stripSo this is the middle strip with the wandering striped fabric.  It sits waiting my inspiration for using the solids.

I might have made more progress if I hadn’t signed up for a workshop with Nancy Lee Chong and spent yesterday learning <gasp> APPLIQUE.   I’ve resisted it for many years, but I do have to admit it often adds a nice finishing touch. Nancy’s approach sounded painless, and indeed it was.

applique start

Mini Blossom by Pacific Rim Quilt Company

  The Mini Blossom was designed to give practice in each of the five basic lines any applique would require. My first goal is to work on the project regularly enough to not forget what I learned. Maybe the second goal is to finish it. Although I never force myself to finish a class project, I don’t go so far as a friend of mine who takes a Sharpie and writes the date on what she has done in class so she never feels it as a UFO (UnFinished Object–for non-quilters). I leave the possibility open, but feel no guilt to leave it sitting. Tune in around next year to see the eventual decision.


Filed under quilting

Ohio Star Border

I have abandoned the plan for four lotto blocks mentioned in the previous post. Although I had a nice big piece for backing, I didn’t have enough other fabrics to extend the five blocks to 40 x 60. So I started to think square.

Ohio Star quilt plan

I extended the saw tooth star to “partner” with the Ohio Star. I was thinking of doing “something” with the hourglass block, but browsed Sally Collins’ Borders, Bindings & Edges and found this Ohio Star border.

I didn’t have enough light for background, so shifted to dark. That was getting too dark so I added the red center square.  From this trial, I can see that using only two fabrics on this border would really simplify the construction.

Normally I make up my QSTs and then lay out the quilt. However, this time I needed to be sure I’d calculated the number of all-red and the number of red-plus-blue QSTs correctly before stitching.  My first thought had been to alternate blocks with light and medium stars. But duh! The star blocks share one QST strip.  Maybe making a QST with one of each would work. It did till the lower left when in order to get the reds in the correct position, I had to ignore which light fabric was paired with it. Note to self: QSTs are directional.

So now I have to play before stitching. I don’t want all the irregularity in one spot, so I have to make it look like irregularity is what I had in mind all along. And a second issue. I do have some aqua (now looking quite green) shades that I had intended to use, but abandoned.  Their absence makes the “green” in the center look abandoned. I’ll have to think on that. Whatever I end up doing will be fine because the kids don’t care.  Charity quilts are a good way to experiment in design as well as to practice free-motion quilting.  It will go to Sunshine for WAS when finished. (Link to Sunshine blog on the right)


Filed under design, quilting

Time for Big and Bright

After working with 1 1/4-inch pastel HSTs, I’m ready for big and bright.

turtle quilt starter

Bright enough?

I think this will do the trick. I don’t remember where I got the fabric; it was pieces left over from some garment.  I rather guess it was from a quilt guild auction. You know how things get combined at an auction so that  you have to buy twenty things you don’t want to get the one thing you very much want? Yep, I’m sure that was it.

Close up of turtle fabric

Here is a closer look at the fabric. I hope some child enjoys the Turtle Triathalon. I don’t think they will need to know what a triathalon is to appreciate the fabric.

Since the print design is so large, I started out by cutting the biggest possible pieces to preserve as much as I could.  I may trim them to some regular size, or I may leave them irregular. I’ll decide in the morning.

I’m not quite sure what to put with it, but am looking for something a little “quieter.” I’m considering the cranberry (that looks almost brown in the photo) as one option. I’ve also thought of dark green or a brown. I’ll do some stash digging tomorrow and audition what I find.

It is for Sunshine, an online charity guild, which can use quilts in the range of 36 x 40 to 40 x 60. With narrow sashing and borders, this would be the smaller size. But as busy as that print is, it might take wider sashing and borders…tune in next week for another thrilling episode…I remember that line from radio soap operas when I was a kid home sick in bed with the shades pulled.

Visit Design Wall Monday and New FO to check on other projects


Filed under quilting