Tag Archives: patchwork

I Can Stop Holding My Breath

The top is finished.

1 top flat

After I made the red numbers, 4 X 6 seemed overwhelmingly large, so the bottom letters are 2 X 3, enough bigger than the scale numbers (discussed here) to still be an easier accomplishment. Plus using all one color allowed for more chain piecing.

I think I would have liked a bit more background between the year and the top months; however, I was being frugal with the dwindling background fabric. With good reason.

1 left over background

That is all that was left when I finished it as it is.

Today’s project is making the back. I think I have enough of each color to make a striped pieced backing. If not I’ll add another friendly color.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday. Lots to see there–go have a peek.



Filed under quilting

Numbers, Numbers . . .

Luckily, the quilt was draped over the sofa, and yet more luckily, I was studying it. Otherwise I might not have noticed that December had been sewn in upside down!  (Bet you didn’t either–here in case you want to check.) I usually avoid ripping if it looks okay as is, but this one needed to be right so that the temperatures came out right. (Yeah, I know, no one will likely ever check.)

Being a glass-half-full kind of person, I noticed that it was in the easiest possible spot to rip and replace.

1 oops

I might have let it pass had it been in the middle or if more borders had been sewn already.

That fixed, I moved on to the numbers. They were indeed tedious. I’m glad I started with them because the larger letters I am working on now seem easy by comparison.

1 left border

Each number block is 3 inches X 2 inches. Not sure I would do it again (until the next time. 🙂  )  You may remember me complaining when piecing blocks about all the solid stretches of one color.  Had I chosen smaller increments than 10 degrees, I’d have had more interesting blocks.  But I resisted that because I didn’t want to make twice as many number blocks. Sound basis for a design decision, no?

I debated about whether or not to use 20 and 100, temperatures we never experienced as highs. (There were some lows in the 20s.) I decided the palette was more interesting with them. And so that they don’t stand alone, I’ll use red and purple in the text top and bottom.

Although it isn’t officially a block-of-the-month project, it had to be worked on monthly and I worked with a group. Besides, I want to say , HI, to BOMs Away.

Here’s to smooth finishing and enough background fabric.


Filed under quilting

When a Little Looks Like a Lot

So yesterday I pulled out an old project (here); today I cheated a bit. Instead of following up by working on the numbers, I assembled the blocks.

weather quilt

Isn’t that more impressive than a couple 3-inch blocks?

The papers remain because they identify the month that the block represents.  I want to quilt in month names, and it won’t be possible to check for accurate month identification when the quilt is rolled up under the Featherweight.

I don’t usually design this way, accepting some arbitrary scheme and following it. (Sudoku quilts are another example of assigning a color to a number and creating a quilt without thought to design principles.) But I have to admit it is fun sometimes. Especially when a group of friends is working on the same “paint by numbers” as it were.

The numbers/colors “key” will fill the left border. Maybe tomorrow.


Filed under quilting

Quilting Shoves Its Way In

A couple days ago, my UFOs (Unfinished Objects) started yelling. One in particular, the weather quilt I started in 2016, said I had to work on it before its information became paleoclimate studies. (I had left off here, approximately 2 years ago.) So I shoved knitting and reading aside and got the blocks out.

Nothing is worse than trying to pick up where I left off when hurriedly packing a project away, even with notes.

sketch and pieces

When I put it away, I am sure this all made sense. I had the scale noted on the note page for the numbers, and I had cut pieces for the number 20. The pieces for the 2 fit, but the 0??? Nothing made those pieces work. I finally admitted they must have been a mistake and cut more. And order was partially restored.


But the other page of notes for the letters? There was no scale noted, and nothing that I pondered made sense for the area available. So I redid all the calculations till I had something that will probably work. I’ll keep you posted.

Linking with Em’s Moving it Forward.


Filed under quilting, Uncategorized

Group Project: 9 Cuts

It all started with Thomas Knauer‘s Quilt Design Coloring Workbook. The small group in my modern quilt guild that focuses on design was working on some of the starters. One in the ‘Chance and Intuition in Modern Art’ suggested seeing how many shapes we could make by drawing 9 lines. One member made a block using 9 cuts of random fabrics.

From that the idea morphed to make a group quilt.  Each would have two fat quarters of the same fabric, one a background color and one a print. Each would add a third coordinating fat quarter of their choice. Basically we would make a cut, then shift top fabric to bottom on one piece, then either cut again or seam. Eight times.  We saved the 9th for when we would get together.  Here are my three blocks.

We had a sew day yesterday.  I wish I had thought to get a photo of each person’s blocks; however, we were too into next step planning. We set aside one of each set to keep whole, then piled two stacks of three and one of four and made the 9th cut, shifted one piece and added small insert strips of accent colors. We did this to better distribute the colors.

Next we had a discussion of whether to trim to standard squares the size of the longest possible edge on the smallest block or to trim each block’s four sides to the largest they could be. We did the latter.

Here is an early layout.

2 early layout

Of course much rearranging followed. And since the blocks were not all the same size, much measuring as well. We added varying amounts of blue on the sides of each block and  blue wherever it was needed to get to a straight seam across.

And here is the top, all but the final border to get it to twin size.

2 top sans bordr

It was quite fun. If you plan to try something similar, be forewarned that it took a lot of time. We started at 10ish, took a lunch break, and packed up  a little after 6.  Early on we had two sewing machines, then three. But often we had to wait to see a row before making final decisions on the next row. Or a third seam couldn’t be sewn till we got a piece back from its second seam. We used some of the waiting time for math but some was just waiting.

I’ll be linking with Ad Hoc Improv Quilters and Tuesday Colour Linky Party (buttons in sidebar).


Filed under quilting

Border Solution

I left off on this top after being disappointed that my choice for a border did not work.

NW Rail Fence Border Audition

Plan A had been to make the border from stash.  However, nothing that I already owned really worked. I finally gave in and went shopping (oh darn!). And I am happy with my choice.

Rail Fence with border

64 X 80 inches

Guild has been in need of twin sized quilts the last couple of months, so it was time to get this one on its way.  Someone else will be quilting/knotting and binding it, so I’ll not see the finish nor be able to show it here.

To visitors from Scrap Happy:  This is at least partly a scrap quilt. The middle color is from my scraps and the kit was made up from guild members’ left overs. Other readers might like to view Scrap Happy to see what folks are doing with all scraps.

Quilt history

Blocks made at 2016 Fall Retreat (no photo)

Blocks trimmed and arranged in preparation for 2017 retreat

Blocks assembled at 2017 retreat and border audition

And during the quilting silence, I’ve been knitting squares for blankets for orphans.


A friend of mine had volunteered more than he could get finished, and I had time, so  helped a bit. It would certainly be fun to be on the receiving end and be arranging squares from 400+ selection! The square was a perfect size for using up bits of left over yarn that had been seeking a project. You can see I have a few ends to weave in. Every craft has its dull moments.


Filed under knitting, quilting

“Stretching Art”* Top Finished

Once I stopped dithering, sewing went relatively quickly, so now the top is finished.

a stretching art 19 top

Because I have several small projects ahead, I’ve set up my portable (52 x 52) design wall. I’d thought I’d be using it for this project too, but since I was following a paper diagram, I had to lay the pieces flat until now when they are attached. You may notice a couple small changes from the preferred arrangement of a couple days ago.

I got several design suggestions, but only one before I’d done a fair amount of sewing.  Kate suggested the bottom left “vein” that had been in the first rejected layout. It took me a while to remember why I had dropped it. At the time I was thinking of the way the veins really angled in the photo of the leaf. But when abstracting from reality, such things as realistic angles don’t matter. and I agreed with Kate that the design needed it.

In case you are wondering, No, the angle variations are not a mistake. I wanted the traditional blocks to be at a traditional on-point angle, and the leaf “veins” to have no right angles and not to parallel the blocks, more like the casual placement of modern improv, and the two “grids” to be in tension. I don’t think this tension between the two is what MQG means by their category “Modern Traditional,” but I might submit it to QuiltCon next year anyway.

I am still not sure if the design has a focus.  My eye tends to fall at the spot where the two veins almost meet above the autumn tree block. Not sure if that qualifies it as a focus.

Now to plan quilting–I have two tentative ideas. Tune in again next [whenever].

*For those interested in details of the Stretching Art Challenge, here is the link.

Meanwhile, while piecing the top I finished off 11 more sets of 5 squares for the Irish Star quilt, the relaxed schedule QAL, relaxed because many of us are making the chain blocks as leaders and enders. (Link here if you are interested in the tutorial.)

Irish Star progress

Whereas most people are making blocks as they go, I am making columns.Why do something easy if you can make it more difficult? Before I realized that each star’s background involved 4 of the chain blocks as well as the star block itself, I’d decided I wanted to use left over background fabric and not have the backgrounds match. I won’t have enough variety to make each of 17 unique, but there will be variety.  That means I have to know where the stars are going to be placed before knowing where to put the background square in each of the four surrounding sets of 25 patch blocks. (If this doesn’t make sense, go look at the tutorial.) I need 68 pairs of 2 1/2-inch squares, so it will take a quilt or two before I have them ready.  I also need to cut more pieces for around a dozen star blocks. To do that, I need to do some scrap control, i.e. cut more 2 1/2-inch squares. My color selection is getting very limited as well as there not being 136 usable squares.

I plan to link with Moving it Forward Monday (ETA link here) and Oh Scrap! (link in the sidebar.





Filed under design, quilting, Uncategorized