Tag Archives: TGIFF

Red-Blue-Yellow Doll Quilt and Others

The red-blue-yellow piece that I started here is now a completed top, and it is stitched to its Cuddle fabric back. The quilting will wait till the last two have been attached to their backs and I can change to red thread. No point in rethreading the needle more than I have to. Here is the top.

RYB top

20 x 20

I’m pleased with it. I’d miscalculated before, thinking it under 20 inches; since it measures 20, I’m not adding borders.

After I cut the remaining pieces needed and got them on the design wall, I moved a couple to get a better balance of color than I could “see” in my imagination. (“Visual designs need to be evaluated visually,” Elizabeth Barton (at least that is where I read it; it may be an axion.) )

Next I studied the sketch.

Graph paper sketch

Since I don’t like Y-seams, I added markings noting the units that could be combined in straight line stitching. I used it to guide transporting pieces to the sewing machine and the sewing itself. A time or two I’d have been confused without it.

As I started to contrast the quick sewing to the slower sewing for improv, I revised my thnking.  Both take planning, but at different points in the process. That this went together faster was an illusion, true only if I ignored the planning. Improv piecing shifts the design from one sitting to step-by-step cutting, measuring and evaluating. Sometime I’ll have to check my theory with a timer.

My plan was to make five doll quilts, ten if possible for the upcoming Toy N Joy event that the Firefighters sponsor as well as gifts for children rescued without their own toys.

truck star quilt

I have 13 tops (counting the red-blue-yellow one). This star uses the last square of the truck fabric left from a bunk quilt I’d made earlier. The flying geese made to form the star left me with “bonus” triangles that I made into pinwheels to go with the bear fabric that someone tossed my way at the quilt retreat.bear fabric tops

I had two other sources of pinwheels.  “Bonus” triangles from previous pink and green lotto blocks, and a little packet of already trimmed half-square-triangle blocks that I bought cheap at the Aurora Colony museum.

pink stars and pinwheels

All “bonus” triangles don’t end up in pinwheels; notice the pink triangle half border on the yellow star. And the yellow ones made a partial border for the red and white stars made from the Aurora packet.

red pinwheel tops

Of the thirteen tops, eight are finished and all but two are sewn to their backings. Quilting, as I said before, is being delayed. Quilting is stitch0-in-the-ditch. There is no batting to hold in place, so unquilted areas are rather large. I did not retake photos to show the quilting since it is so simple. The “fanciest” I got was wavy lines on the mostly aqua pinwheel quilt, but a tendency to pucker caused me to abandon that idea. Here is one photo of a quilted doll quilt.

yellow and green quilted doll quilt

It even has a pieced back: The piece of green wasn’t wide enough, but I had some color sample pieces. I wish the soft feel of the Cuddle fabric could be uploaded.

Doll quilts are fun because they work up so fast; however, they do not make much of a dent in the scrap pile!

ETA I’m joining up with Scraphappy Saturday. And NewFO link. Check out what others started.


Filed under quilting

Finishing the Monkey Fabric

Infant quilt using monkey fabric

36 x 36

Stretching the monkey fabric as far as I could, I made this center row of 4-inch squares and built from there. Of course, I used all the coordinating fabrics I had used in the larger quilt. The 2 1/2-inch squares had already been cut, but not used in the larger quilt. Can’t say as I used any of the principles from the recently read design book, to create it, but I can use them to analyze it: the quilt has an underlying diagonal structure, and the monkey focal area is highlighted by contrast of value and texture variation from all the rest of the fabrics. I wonder if the two strips of three bright greens create  competing focal areas. For the moment I’ve convinced myself they don’t, but you are invited to comment if you think otherwise. (I am using the design book ideas while creating another barely formulated plan. Stay tuned.)

When I had bought the striped fabric it had seemed bright. I was surprised at how dull it looked in the other quilt after I made the middle row using a medium green.  (That’s why I added the bright green and red.)  This time the dark green livens the bright colors, and the striped fabric especially looks more like it had looked to me in the store.

I’m going to experiment with stitching front to back and then quilting it. No quilting plan yet.


Filed under design, quilting

Monkey Biz Top Is Finished

Monkey Biz quilt top

40 x 60

The top is finished, but there is still fabric left. The smaller squares that I had cut had been intended for this top, but the top seemed better without them.

I’ll work out an arrangement that uses them for an infant quilt (36 x 36) or a doll quilt (25 x 25) for guild to donate to fire fighters.  Another group makes dolls. When children have to be removed from their homes the smaller ones are wrapped in a quilt and the slightly larger ones are given a doll and quilt.

As soon as the doll/infant quilt is made up, I’ll get into quilting gear.


Filed under quilting

July Bee Blocks

The plan for the week was to quilt a top using what I had learned in the class at Sisters, and then the next project was to make my Bee blocks. Three quarters of the way through the quilting and the end of the week modified my plans. The Bee blocks had a time frame; the quilting did not. Besides, I was practicing, not racing. 🙂

I read the original of the pattern, here, then printed out the paper piecing form.  Since I’d not done paper piecing for a LONG time, I did a trial run before going to Sisters.

Mini Trajectory block

I had a wee bit of pink left and added green and added the block to the June Block Lotto package.I managed to remember the steps of the paper piecing process and relaxed.

Last night I shifted from quilting to paper piecing and made my two Bee blocks.

Bee project

The practice one went together more smoothly than the real one; it often seems to happen that way.  Still they are finished and in the mail.

Now, to return the quilting foot to the machine or to piece a bit more ?. . . leaning to the latter.


Filed under quilting

Architecture Top Completed

The top is finished, and I get to go shopping before I can quilt it because I don’t have either gold or green thread. May also need orange and brown.  I’m leaning toward matching colors in the quilting.

I told about the challenge and photo choice here.

The other side of the street

The other side of the street

I realized when I came home from the fabric store that my color choice had been affected by other directions on the street:

Looking other direction

Looking the other direction

I started by sketching out the idea that had formed while I was waiting for the bus, then refined it.  Remember my goal had been something minimalist–a direction I have been trying to work toward.

Five sketches Moving clockwise. Sketch 1 was the original idea, much better in the head than on paper. Way too busy. In sketch 2 I tried removing the trees, but the bottom was empty. Instead of inserting a tree, I thought to jokingly insert the trash can that I’d hardly seen originally, but was so prominent in the photo (the camera sees everything; the eye selects). Didn’t like that. In sketch 3 I tried returning the trees and removing some of the buildings. By sketches 5 and 6 I had only the order of color of the buildings in the variously arranged irregular oval shapes. That would probably require applique and I don’t yet have the skills needed for that. So I let it rest a while and came up with sketch 6 and the one I used.

Final sketchI include all the sketches because I don’t think the connection with the photo would show at all without the sequence. And here is the top.

quilt topWhen making “made fabric” for the top partial circle I thought I’d really like the prints that had green and browns. I don’t so much now; I really prefer the ones where the value remains closer among the pieces.

Quilt top upside down   I put it on the design wall upside down and temporarily liked it better, but then noticed it looked empty in the upper left.  I don’t think it looks empty in the lower right when it is  “right side up.”  If anyone with design knowledge could explain  that apparent difference, I’d like to know. (Or maybe it is just me who sees it that way.) I find it amusing that after straightening out the street to remove depth I reintroduced depth in the colors and size of the circles–one step away from historical modern I guess.

Started at the end of May, close enough to June to count for me. There are other starts as well, so I’m linking up with NewFOs; click to see others’ starts.



Filed under design, quilting

Ohio Star Border Finished

Ohio Star Bordered quilt top

It took only a week longer to finish the top than I expected.  Partly because it was tedious, and partly because I read two novels instead of sewing. That is the hazard of having more than one hobby.

I reported on the start of the quilt here and here.  I tried various ways to get the aqua/green into the border, but each of them lost more in the effect of the border than they gained overall.  I was so busy taking down and putting up that I forgot to photograph any of them. I did replace half of the squares in the first row with the darker green, one of the colors I’d have used if I’d have done the Court House block of an earlier plan.

As I said earlier, the border was rather tedious to do. But yes, I would do it again if I had a quilt that it seemed right for. I would think twice about how many colors and values I’d use, and most likely restrict myself to two.  I also think it would look better on a larger quilt  with a center that is put on point so that there are large triangles to rest the eyes on.

2/17/15 Linking with Tues Archives


Filed under quilting

SuperBaby Bib finished

1/26/16 Reviving this post for Val’s Tuesday Archives–button in sidebar.

This is the project that has been distracting me from quilt tops.

superman fabricI was tickled to find this Superman patch among my scraps.  So it became part of the bib back.

I had been wanting to play with improvised letters and seeing a bib with the following saying on it provided an inspiraton to play.  Next time I try letters, though, it will be for a larger piece and shorter words.

Bib front

The letters are all red; I don’t know where my camera found black. Plan A had been to have the gold shaped in the shield like Superman’s S; however, I was doing well to fit the letters onto bib-size.

Pile of blocksTo show how fussy the improvisational process was for me, here are the leaders and enders that I sewed along with it. There are 45 finished 9-parch blocks. That is 8 seams each for a total of 360 starts and stops. I usually make about 10 seams on leaders and enders at a sewing session. So improvisational piecing is fun, but it is not a shortcut.

This is the 7-inch block that  the 9-patch blocks will become when they grow up. scrap block

It has been so long since I posted about this project that I’ll post the link for Michele Foster’s  tutorial again in case any of you are interested.

Now I have to cut the neutrals and triangles to add to the 9-patch blocks. I am aiming for a twin size charity quilt unless I get tired before I make enough.  I won’t be stopping because I ran out of scraps!


Filed under quilting

A Finish and a Kickstart

The turtle triathalon fabric from a week ago Sunday has become a finished top. It would have been finished sooner if I hadn’t taken three days to reorganize my stash.

turtle quilt top

I ended up leaving the pieces as is and playing with irregular placement. I don’t think I saved any time that way, but I rather like the effect.  It was meant to be a quilt to practice free motion quilting on.  It has two problems for that: solids show quilting and the high contrast means that either I’ll change thread (which I hate) or the quilting will show on one color or the other. Not a great practice piece. I’ll repeat my mantra, the kids don’t care, as I quilt it.

I had a yard of the solid and this is how much was left.scraps left over I was holding my breath till I saw I had enough to get to 40 x 60, the size I had decided on making. I guess I’ll have to rethink my purchase amounts when I am buying without a plan in mind.

More exciting than the finish is that I won the lotto blocks for March, color requirement–green. I have some left over blocks from a previous winning when the assigned color was “brights” that I knew I could probably mix with them, so I was especially hoping for a win this time around. So I have been playing with arrangements. I started with the greens.

Lotto blocks 1

I think these will work together. The blocks are 12-inch square, so I’ll add sashing and border to get it up to size.Not sure what color/colors I’ll be using yet–bright blue maybe.  Then I mixed the greens and brights for two more layouts.

lotto greens and brignts 1

lotto green and bright layout 2I have a new bright orange that I think will work with these two. Tomorrow I will dig in the newly organized stash and see if my re-sorting has made it easier to find fabrics to use! And of course, I will rearrange them a time or two before I start sewing.  I do enjoy playing with a mix of blocks and working to make a unified quilt that looks like it was planned from the start. I like the head start that comes with having the blocks already made.

The resulting quilts will go to Sunshine, an online charity quilt guild.

Linking up with Design Wall Monday–the other linky parties have buttons to the right.


Filed under quilting

Golf Quilt Back Finished

Once I thought I was finished with the main work when I got the center of a quilt finished and threw on a border or two of plain fabric. Then I discovered pieced borders.  Once I thought I was finished when the top was completed, but now I have discovered pieced quilt  backs. (Here is a view of the quilt top in progress.)

Pieced golf quilt back

Experimenting with designed quilt back

This was my first experience with a designed pieced back.  Oh, I have run out of fabric and thrown rectangles together before, but people in my guilds (local ones and online ones) are experimenting with designing pieced backs. I did need to do something as I didn’t have enough of the golf course fabric for the whole back.

I took some hints from the Craftsy free class, “Creative Quilt Backs,” taught by Elizabeth Hartman. (I can’t make the link go to the specific class; you will have to scroll.) The most important hint was to allow “blank” space in the design for the four inches that the back extends beyond the top. Second most important was to not expect the quilter to be able to place the top precisely, and to allow some leeway.  For example, those two principles explain the long plain gold strip above and below the flying geese. I also used the suggestion from Weeks Ringle’s Designing Modern Quilts to use a quilt back to make the transition from traditional to modern quilt design.

Some people are lucky enough to have blocks left over; other people make larger sized blocks from one of the patterns in their quilt top. I had no extra blocks. I did have left-over fabric. I decided to use two repeating motifs that turned out to be about the right size, then added strips to fill up the left over space. Now that it is finished, it was fun. While I was doing it, I wondred…

[ETA a newer (April 2014) linky party on backs] [ETA a linky party on pieced backs.]

While I was sewing the flying geese to each other, I was using leaders and enders between each seam because it seemed the best way to maintain the order I’d made on the design wall.  And suddenly the leaders and enders took over.  I’d been sewing two square pieces together thinking only enough to join a darker to a lighter one. But as soon as I wanted to add the third I had to start planning the nine-patch part of the block. So I made three blocks, then remembered  the primary project.

Here are the blocks.

Starter set of scrap blocks

Starter set of scrap blocks

I can see I am going to have to solve how to use large prints well and prints with light backgrounds.

The block comes from a tutorial by Michelle Foster–maybe you would like to try it too.

It’s still Friday (at least on Pacific Standard Time).  I’ll be linking with TGIFF; see the link to the side and see what others have finished.


Filed under Craftsy Class Project, design, quilting