Tag Archives: sampler

Back to Quilting

It takes a while to get back in the groove after being away for a month. I’ll miss watching Logan’s almost daily progress (see last four entries if you are looking for baby photos). Guess I’d better get to some quilting progress to make up for the absence.

In my stack of held mail was a package of Block Lotto winnings, 15 blocks. I’d entered one pair of floral blocks. Well, as “they” say, It takes only one entry to win.

When the theme is a topic instead of a color, it is more of a challenge to get coordinating sets. This grouping works.

possible arrangement

I am as yet undecided whether to sew them adjacent as shown with a border of the pinkish orange that I am auditioning or to sew them with sashing (of the same orange). And I may swap out the upper right darker block. (It didn’t look that dark to me IRL as it does in the photo.)

The other six blocks are fine by themselves or in pairs, but do not play well all together.

Six more blocks

I’ll either keep them to mix with other blocks that come my way or use pairs that work and make blocks to add. The upper left block is the one I sent, and I have more of the lilac fabric. I may combine it with various lavenders to complete it.

Time to go stash diving and see what I come up with. If I remember I’ll link up with Design Wall Monday and WIP Wednesday and NewFO at CatPatches.



Filed under quilting

More Block Lotto Winnings Quilts

12/16/14 ETA: The blue/tan/red/white top was partly a Leader and Ender project. Because I was quilting this month I didn’t do much with current LEs. But I hope you enjoy seeing what LEs can become. Linking With A Quilting Chick’s Leader and Ender Challenge.

When the lotto-block squishy arrives in the mail, the first thing I do is try to find groups of 9 or 12 that go well together since that is the easiest and quickest way to make a top. Then I group what is left into possible top combinations and set them aside for adding “something” to “sometime.” Because I have the lotto box out, I’m looking at all those groups that have been patiently waiting.

And this is one that I chose to work with. starter lotto blocksThese were from two projects, an ancient bright  lotto and a misguided challenge.  I’d issued the challenge when I wanted to make a sampler quilt of very random blocks, colors, and sizes. What I received was neither random enough nor coordinated enough.  So I made groups and set them aside.  I did finish one that sort of hit what I had had in mind.  It was helped along by the extra stuff in auction packets. There were some cut and trimmed HSTs and some red and tan squares. I started making pinwheel and 9-patch blocks as leaders and enders, then I used some squares in three 54-40-or-Fight blocks and ended up with this top.

primitive sampler topThat was fun.  But you can see I couldn’t have combined the pink and aqua small pieces into it. So they waited.  No new blocks came my way to try to mingle with them, so I went to my stash to see what might work.

Fabrics   Plenty of potential here; however, most pieces are fat quarters, eighth-yard cuts, or left over scraps. So I can’t do anything that takes a lot of one fabric.  I am lucky in that the two aqua/rose blocks were the ones I entered, so I have some matching fabric still. They looked bright to me at the time, but are a totally different bright than the clear crayon colors that most of the other bright blocks used. And an aside: I am pleased to report that the new organization made it easy to dig in the stash.

The only progress I have made is to eliminate the pink smaller blocks–nothing wrong with them; I just didn’t have enough to work with them. And in its place I made an Old-Tippecanoe block.

Modified blocks--a starter

Better. A little disappointed that my Old-Tippecanoe block isn’t as saturated as the Sawtooth-Star block, but it will do. Symmetry remains very appealing to me, though I do work on asymmetrical sometimes. I’m thinking square-in-a-square and courthouse steps, but am not committed to either. Nor am I committed to the 9-patch arrangement. With something so open ended, I clearly needed some instant gratification somewhere. So I assembled a set of 9 that went together all by themselves, using what we in Sunshine (see link to right) call the “Tammy” setting. (She says it was inspired by something she had seen in the distant past and modified–have you seen it before, and if so do you remember where?)

green lotto blocks in top

Tammy usually uses squares to make a pieced border, but this quilt (and quilter) wanted the simplicity of 12 whole pieces.


Filed under design, quilting

Care and Feeding of a Stash

A stash. Quilters and knitters have them. Some have STABLEs (Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy). And here is how it happens.

About a week ago, I posted about needing 16 fat quarters for an upcoming mystery retreat and after looking at what I had, shopping and adding five. I sorted and selected and got ready to cut, which necessitated rereading the directions. Uh oh.  All of the fat quarters were to contrast with the background. I had, instead, a nice variety of shades, some too light to “contrast with the background.” So I sorted again. Have I told you that one of my favorite stages of quilting is the hunting and gathering stage?

I ended up with these–more than sixteen

first "sixreen"

but that is okay. The directions indicated more would work well, but not fewer.

I still had some that looked too light and I really, really wanted  more green to balance the blue and lavender.  And that led to more shopping, more stash feeding.

But let me back up a bit to the history of this portion of my stash.

I started out avoiding thirties print fabrics, thinking it a responsible way to moderate my collecting.  It seemed I had enough other collections going to skip starting a new theme. Then a local quilt shop held the proverbial “$5.00” quilt sale. You pay $5.00 for the first block, then bring it back finished the next month to get the next one free. Usually this continues for twelve months. You get instructions, a chance to buy small pieces of the same fabrics in your block (it is a good design approach to repeat a fabric in two or three places), and a chance to see some new item that is available at the shop.

Here are the blocks I made at that time. Even though I put them away while I worked on other projects, I could see potential in them, and I realized I’d need a big variety if I were going to make a queen sized quilt, the size I often opt for. So while the blocks and ideas incubated, I shopped.

thirties blocks

Now I have been hunting and gathering long enough to know that manufacturers make fabric designs in limited quantities and very often do not repeat. So if you like something you have to grab it when you see it. That is the first principle of feeding a stash.  So I tried for variety of color and print and shopped till I couldn’t remember if I already had that one or not.  Now if I had been caring for my stash properly, I would have known. Fabric needs to be looked at and patted.  But I had turned my attention elsewhere and was neglecting the thirties group;  not wanting to duplicate, I  quit buying them for a while.  The earlier shopping, however, provided  fabrics to select from to start this new project.

Now, back to the current project, and my wanting green.  I logged on to the computer and pulled up my three favorite sources.  Previously, the search term “thirties” had brought at least a page of thumbnails to select from. This time I got only plain colors at one site, about five at another, and only prepared combinations (quilt kits, various sized squares and strips), and all I wanted was one perfect green. Was this the end of a fabric era?

I inquired of my friends and was directed to a few more sites. One of them led to a Close Out shop. And when I landed on local quilt shop sites, many listed sales of half off or listed how few yards were left. More handwriting on the wall?

So while some thirties prints still remained, I evaluated against the possibility that a fabric theme was ending. (I have a picture of the hoarding at the grocery store before either announced bad weather or an announced shortage.)  I had an abundance of pinks and reds and lavenders. I had added yellows, but was still a bit light, and was definitely low on oranges and greens. So look at what “one green” morphed into.

New thirties fabrics

With these additions,  I could now get serious about selecting my sixteen or more. And I did.

Last selection?

The only decision left is whether or not to include a red fabric or two.  Would you?

The retreat is next weekend. Tune in again to see what the mystery turns out to be. Meanwhile, I now  have more greens and oranges than reds and blues…and so it goes.

How does your care and feeding of stash compare to mine?


Filed under quilting, shopping

The quilt blocks arrived!

Yesterday I got a squishy in the mail; the yellow and purple blocks had arrived.  The project started with 8 blocks can now continue with 28. Last night I just looked at them over and over; today I started possible arrangements (after realizing I couldn’t photo all 28 at once).  My first step is to see how many I can combine into one top–old fashioned sampler style.

So here is the first pass at using 12 blocks.  The goal is quilt tops approximately 40 x 50 or 40 x 60.  This one will need a border–I’m thinking a warm brown.  I may switch a block or to also.

Next I look for duplicate blocks–I do tend toward symmetry. And similar degrees of contrast plus some similarity in shade of purple/yellow.  Sometimes also theme, for example these blocks are mostly all stars.  I don’t know yet what to do with the center space. I have enough fabric to make a fifth star like the four I submitted, but I think that might be too much; I may leave it plain and match it to the border. Whatever I do, it will be dark around the edges to contrast with the light blocks it will adjoin.  I may pick up the aqua of the two side stars in border and center–but it will have to be just the right amount.  I really like the stars adjacent to each other, so no sashing for this one. The 9-patch arrangement of 12-inch blocks gives only 36 x 36  so some bordering will be needed. Pieced or plain…no clue yet.  Maybe something including both the bright aqua and the medium purple in the bottom center block.

Then there are the more pastel blocks. I started with 9-patch arrangement. I think that is my default arrangement, and I have to remind myself that there are other options. So this one already morphed.

       After seeing these two photos, I realized   that I needed to get out of 9-patch arrangement mode.  So I played a bit more. After all that is what this stage is all about, arranging and rearranging before committing to sewing.

I like challenges where certain colors and/or themes are presented. Sometimes a limitation on how many fabrics one has to use/can add. I like to work within restrictions.  In block lotto the restriction is the number of blocks one gets. But there is no limitation to how many I can add. I can use just one block and add all around it; I can arrange like the first 12 and add next to nothing. So this challenge is wide open with just a few restrictions. At any rate, here is the rearrangement.

With this one there would be the most room to play with sashing and borders. I’m leaning toward something that will emphasize the pastels, but am not fully committed yet to any plan.

The next step will be to dig into my 12 boxes of fabric (yes they are labeled) for colors to work with. But I also like to let ideas germinate a while and the golf quilt has germinated long enough. So I think I will move to working on it.


Filed under design, quilting


99 x 105

99 x 105

UFO, for the uninitiated, means UnFinished Object to quilters. Some of my friends stew a lot about these and one of my guilds has a challenge to make a numbered list of 12. Each month a number will be drawn and that one on the list is the challenge to finish that month. Or at least work on. I signed up, but ended up not taking it seriously. I have always joked that I have an infinite capacity for unfinished. Still it is fun to finish a project. This time the guild quilt show provided the deadline. (It had provided a deadline two years ago also, but I let that one pass.)

Since it was longer than the height of the hanging poles, the bottom border had to be pinned up. It shows better here where the quilt is modeled on a queen sized bed.

99 x 105

Next to model it on a king sized mattress. The bump at the foot is the foot of the bed–probably I would tuck it in, but wanted to show border again. On this older mattress, the quilt falls one inch below the mattress, over the box springs. On a newer deeper mattress, it would require some fiddling to fit on one side or some creative mattress covering.

This quilt was started in 2004. I had never before done pieced borders and needed to practice the square-on-point border on smaller projects before proceeding with this one. Of course that doesn’t explain all six years! After I finished all the piecing, Judy Clare of Mulberry Patch Quilts did the free motion custom quilting. (I will link to her web site when she creates it.) I have comments about the design decisions and other details of the quilt’s creation on my website www.knitnkwilt.com

Reviving this post for Val’s Tuesday Archives where Samplers are the monthly topic. Button in the sidebar.


Filed under quilting