Tag Archives: WIP Wednesday

A Nudge To Think Christmas Quilting

Usually I don’t think Christmas till November, and then it is too late. And of course January is too early to think it for the next year. But this year is different. I won the weekly drawing from WIP Wednesday (button to right). How fun is that!

The FQ Bundle

Count ’em. Ten fat quarters of Debbie Mum‘s Jolly Christmas line.  What a lovely squishy to receive! Thanks Jennifer Bosworth of Shabby Fabrics!

No, I don’t have a plan yet, but one thing is sure.

Santa print

I foresee some fussy cutting of Santas in my future.

Some beginning thoughts: Christmas placemats. Or a table topper. Or a tree skirt. The wheels are turning–stay tuned!

Seems a good day to link up with Molli Sparkles’ Sunday Stash. Click and enjoy other peoples’ plans and fantasies.

ETA owner of Shabby Fabrics.

ETA link to NewFO.




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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

Block Play

I got the block lotto winnings out. It has been a long time, but I think I won them two months in a row. They didn’t immediately fall into clear groupings, so I put them away to mix with older stragglers later. Well, it is much later. It’s that out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing again.

What prompted this flurry of activity was reading about the Soy Amado project at Little Island Quilting. The idea of quilting 12.5 inch blocks appealed to me for practice with various Free Motion Quilting designs. I knew there would be some orphans after I’d made combinations from the lotto blocks, and thought they would be good candidates. So to find out which blocks were orphans, I had to see which blocks I could combine.

So far I have these four grouped together. One needs two more blocks, all need about 3-inch borders. I considered putting the hearts on point, but rather like them with the other five that have similar colors. I think the hearts look okay on their sides.

I can sew another day, but I know I’ll be more likely to sew now that they are grouped.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday (links in the sidebar).


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Bridge Time

Another one of those “plenty of time” projects rears up to say, “No longer.” Back in July the Portlan- Bridges-Now challenge was announced, and soon after, the required fabric became available. Here is the fabric I selected from Violet Craft’s Waterfront Park line. I had sunset thoughts in mind when I made the selections. One idea abandoned.


My Selections

The challenge requires me to use half a yard from the line, recent instructions indicate of one of the fabrics. There is no size restriction for the quilt, but it will have to be large enough to handle a half yard of one of these. (I had interpreted it as allowing us to select from the whole line when I was shopping and doing initial planning.) And the quilt needs to be inspired by one of Portland’s bridges and be modern.

My first step was to observe and photograph my bridge of choice, the Hawthorne Bridge. (photos here); the second was to start sketching. When I put it away, I thought I had a sketch and a plan.

Working sketch #1

I had decided that the red weights and the arches were the distinguishing features of the bridge. I had no intention of attempting photographic realism. The red domino dot would go in the upper X for the weight and the red and salmon bubble print in the lower X for the reflection. The arch would be made with the aqua and black line print and the reflection with the aqua bubbles.

When I got the sketch out, I didn’t like its top anymore. (It was only the two Xs.)  I added the supports and the pulleys at the top and was only a little bit happier with it. The main problem was that I was slipping more toward realism than abstraction.

So I’m allowing myself a couple days to redesign, then I’ll get to cutting and stitching.

Did I mention that it is due April 1? I guess that clarifies my goal for March. Not always this easy. Set goals and check out other goal setting and accomplishing at Dezertsuz‘s blog.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and later in the week Off the Wall Friday (button in sidebar)


Filed under design, quilting

Another Prehistoric Set of Yellow and Purple Lotto Blocks

One down., two to go from this two-year old collection (link here).  Maybe I should assemble all three tops before they get buried again.

Whether I make this one 45 x 45 or 40 x 60, it needs additions. While pondering whether to add blocks, borders, or sashings, I remembered an orphan block, Dresden Lady, and wondered if I could make them play together.

blocks with Dresden LadyWhat would you do to relate them? Or would you keep them in separate projects?


Filed under design, quilting

Traditional Round Robin Quilted

Time flies. This round-robin quilt was started in May of 2012 (blogged here) by some members of the Sunshine online quilt guild. I received it back around August or September. It lay waiting for me to improve my machine quilting. I had done meandering in the past fairly successfully on a different sewing machine but was having trouble getting a good stitch now on my Featherweight.

Last summer I took a class with Barbara Schapel on Free Motion Quilting fillers. And I’ve been browsing Leah Day’s Free Motion Project as well as taking a couple of her classes on Craftsy.I have a stack of charity quilts to practice on (my quilting is good enough to hold them together, and the kids don’t care about the pattern glitches).

Over a month ago, I was ready to start a binge of quilting. However, all of my tops were at least one or two inches wider than the width of fabric. Sigh. Pieced backs are “in,” but it does make an extra step. So the top was put away again.

Finally I pieced a back, and this weekend I quilted it. In the center I used Leah Day’s River Path.  If you aren’t familiar with her site, go look at all the fillers that she demonstrates.

River path center quilting

(You’ll have to look at the half of the quilting that shows and Leah’s sample to get the idea of the design.  I took the photo at the same angle as others that show the quilting, but this is what I got.) The round-robin partners all had fabric to coordinate with the center moth print. Note the dragonflies to the side. And there are other butterflies coming up.

The first and fourth borders got Loopy Line–the dragonfly flight path in the print in the first border suggested it, and it seemed good to repeat it. Besides, it is fast.  The third border, with its distinct divisions, asked for a more blocky treatment, so I browsed some more and finally selected Rain Forest Leaf. Butterflies, dragonflies, and moths need leaves.
Corner quilting I plan to bind it in navy, and I will post a photo of the whole quilt then.


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If Your Only Tool Is a Hammer…

Most of my sewing time this weekend was devoted to the Modern Quilt Guild’s Riley Blake Basics Challenge. The fat quarters were distributed around September, and I got right to work. (Blogged about it here.)  I set it aside till I could practice Free Motion Quilting because I had “plenty of time.”

No longer do I have plenty of time, and I didn’t get enough practice to feel comfortable with FMQ on the whole quilt, so out came the walking foot. Straight line quilting couldn’t take too long, could it? Three days later, I decided it could.

Quilt top with quiltingAnd a better shot of the quilting

Quilting detail

What added the time was my decision that I didn’t want gray thread on the yellow or orange prints. After I spent eons trying to figure out a continuous line route, I decided it was impossible. Actually I spent less time with the stops and starts and hiding the knots than I spent trying to avoid them.! Next time I won’t think so long (though it is always good to do as much without a thread break as possible–in case my non-quilter friends want to know what’s the big deal).

I still have some time, though not plenty, so I will practice pebbles and do FMQ in the empty triangles and in the big aqua block. I seem to have the best luck with the pebbles design of my FMQ repertoire, so it is good that it is the one I want. (Or is it a case proving the African proverb: If your only tool is a hammer, all your problems look like nails.????)

Linking up with Design Wall Monday and WIP Wednesday (button to right)–check out other peoples’ projects.


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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.


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Two Guilds = Two Challenges

Challenges come in various shapes and sizes.  Some start with fabric combinations. One such is the Modern Quilt Guild’s Riley Blake challenge; it starts with six fat quarters of Riley Blake Basics.

Six Riley Blake fat quartersMy first thought was that the fabrics needed space between them (though I’ve since seen some great examples where they were used adjacently). My second thought was that the aqua chevron pieces needed to be large to showcase the print (though I’ve seen some cut small that look great). The rules are pretty open: add any solid; add any Riley Blake print; may omit any of the six fabrics; object must be quilted.

I decided on an  infant-size quilt (for the baby with modern taste) and got out the graph paper. I started with a large square for the aqua and added squares around it. Might be the first time I’ve liked a first draft of a design–oh I did enlarge the aqua square to make the other measurements come out better. I finished the top at a recent guild retreat.

RB quilt topI had cut the pieces at home before the retreat, so sewing it went fairly quickly; I was finished in a couple of hours. Now to think on quilting options.

It went together so quickly that I feared running out of projects at the 3-day retreat. So that night instead of counting sheep, I planned a pair of pillows with the left over fabric.

RB pillow topsI have been playing with slash-and-insert lately, and this fabric seemed fitting for such a project. Interestingly, these pillows took as long to assemble as the above quilt top. Even though it has happened before, I remain amazed at how much time improv takes. It takes longer than the more regular squares and rectangles that I can chain piece. Every slash is a new design decision. Every slash is as much a possibility of ruining what is there as enhancing it. I came very close to abandoning the two pillow idea and making just one because I liked the top at that point. But I went ahead with my plan and don’t dislike the pair. Also incubating quilting ideas.

Then there are challenges where chance makes some decisions. Such a challenge was offered by my other guild.  We drew a number which became a page number. We closed our eyes and drew a magazine (not a quilting magazine) from a big pile. The challenge is to use our page (the number drawn) as inspiration for a quilt: colors, designs, or words.  My magazine was a journal for horse breeders and racers. I have until spring, and the quilt is small.  I will have an idea by then.

ETA link to Sunday Stash.


Filed under design, quilting

Not All Design Decisions Are Good

ETA: Reviving this post for Val’s Tuesday Archives.  And I still haven’t dealt with the orange though the green has been finished and sent to a Shrek loving child. I have plans for the orange, but haven’t done them yet.  Button in the sidebar.

I considered not showing these, but then I get tired of thinking everyone else has only successes.

orange infant quilt

uh oh

The plan was that the bright orange would make the dark brown (which has some orange in it) kid friendly. Maybe it would have in smaller pieces and smaller doses.

Then there is the “lime green is the new neutral.”

green infant top

a green experiment

Trust me, it looks even worse in real life.  I don’t think having all lime green instead of some of the more olive green would have helped. Obviously, I was working on using up large scraps and quick quilts. In each of the tops, the pieces are 6-inch square. From now on, I think I’ll keep pieces small for scrap quilts.

I can salvage the green top, though.

Shrek panel

to the rescue

A friend had given me some boy-friendly fabrics that included Shrek panels. Obviously I worked very hard to find matching Shrek green pieces for a pieced back. Right? And even though we usually try to avoid flowers in boy quilts, I think these will be okay, overpowered by the other blocks and panel. And I often wonder if other cultures are as fussy as we are about what is for boys and what for girls.

Of course girls probably enjoyed the Shrek movie too.  I’ll admit that I find it annoying that boy things are okay for girls, but not vice versa.

Now what to do with the orange?


Filed under design, quilting