Monday, February 28, 2011


Our Saturday group is meeting this week and we have decided  to work on a collaborative quilt. This may be something we do kind of in the background for a  while or maybe we will get excited  about it and  put it together quickly. We go with the flow. We are  all making 6 inch blocks using bright colors. The inspiration is the collaborative quilt books by Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston. Those are the only guidelines. It will  be fun to see where we go with  this. 
I made these 6 blocks today. It is not easy for me to do improvisational piecing. I am always cutting things too small.  Sometimes I get carried away with cute and  cuteness gets in the way of what I really want to do. The houses I like best are the  bottom left and center houses, nice and simple.  Just in case you wonder where the chimney's are, most of these are all electric  houses with Geothermal heating so there is no need for a chimney. The one in the center on top is a  beach cabana which doesn't need to be heated.

I spent my day doing this and I was reminded tonight that tomorrow is our Friendship block swap group and  I do not have my blocks made. I am not sure I will get them finished. My ears have been loudly ringing for the past half hour and that is usually the  first sign of vertigo. I took a pill and since it is bedtime  (for normal people anyway not usually for me ) if I go to bed now maybe I will  be OK in the morning.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


One of my 4 year old great grandsons likes to help his grandmother cook and he told his mother he wanted a man-dress (apron).  Don't you just love it when little kids don't know what to call something so they figure out how to let you know what they want. Yesterday when we were out shopping my daughter was  going to buy an apron for Ben. I knew I could do better than the one she picked up for $13.

I found some bright blue fabric in my stash and then I found some fabric that I had left from making a summer dress for myself, probably 25 years ago. It had bright colored giraffes all over it.  My granddaughter (Ben's mother) asked me to make her one just like it for her 5th birthday. I had some pretty good sized pieces left and I can't believe I still have it after all those years. I made it reversible and fused a giraffe on the blue side and zigzaged around it. It would have been free but it cost $1.50 because I bought D rings to make the neck strap adjustable so it would be more "manly" than  tied in a bow at the neck. 
 I remember that when I made the dresses I thought about how I could fuse the giraffes from the leftover fabric onto something. That was before paperbacked fusible web. I used WonderUunder to fuse fabrics together but it didn't have paper backing and I never got around to figuring out how I would fuse the giraffes.

In case you wonder, I really did wear the dress......... with a red belt and red shoes and red wood beads. If I still had it I would wear it again today. And you know what? I am going to fuse some of those giraffes on to something and make something for me and my granddaughter.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bathroom quilt done

Done and hung. It was not easy to get this photo. There is nothing  spacious about my bathroom. It is a bit less than 5 feet wide so it was hard to back up far enough to get the photo. I had to sit (guess where) and point the camera up  to get the picture. The top of the  quilt is about 1 inch from the ceiling and about 7 inches from the tile around the tub on the left side. On the right side the photo show the door and how close it is to the corner.
It adds alot of color to that white on white room. I like it. Next for towels.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Liberated Blocks

I have been playing with blocks from "Collaborative Quilts" by Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran. I got them out today to look at them because our group has been thinking of making a collaborative quilt. This is a sampling of what I have.  I think  we are going to start out with 6 inch blocks and then take it from there. Some of my blocks here are 6 inches and  some are not but when I made them I was just having fun and not aiming for a particular size.
For some reason I have several boxes of bright fabrics,some are scraps and  some are larger pieces. There doesn't seem to be any reason why they are not all  together except maybe I sorted some of them out for what I was working on at the time and there they stayed. Maybe I can get this down to 2 boxes and gain some shelf space. then again maybe I should chuck the organization and "just do it".

I am currently quilting my bathroom quilt and I am thinking I could play with some of these in
the 6 inch size when I get bored with the quilting

Our group at church is  going to be doing a block of the month which will be more precise piecing and I am looking forward to that too but I really have more fun with the more relaxed wonky piecing.

More about this another time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


This is what I spent my day doing.
I decided that this will be a great bathroom quilt. I won't have to decide on any one color for towels I can have all the colors I want.
I planned to make a 3 part border with the center strip pieced with 2 inch squares alternating bright and cream fabrics; the other 2 border strips would be 2 inches wide also. After I got the first strips on 2 sides I thought it was looking rather large and I measured the wall from the ceiling to the top of the tile and it was 45 inches. I was already at 44 with 8 more inches to add. I had already made the pieced borders. I trimmed the borders that were already on the quilt to finish at 3/4 of an inch and I did the same with the other borders. Well..... it fits the wall.  I'm not sure I like it but I am going to leave it. I am going to bind it with the Kaffe fan fabric that is on the left of that corner block because it has a lot of colors in it. I could have save myself a lot of trouble it I had taken the time to hold the quilt up against the wall just once.

Jack's comment about the will  be a lot easier to hang than wallpaper.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I had big plans to make a big bunch of these mug mats but these are the only 3 I finished. I sent them to 3 of my friends. well I did finish the Home is Where the Heart is quilt and I hung it in my bathroom.

Yesterday as we were sitting down to dinner I looked out the window to this magnificent sunset. This is a picture of what I see above the buildings across the street. I took this from out living room window. I played with adjusting the color but this doesn't really show how red and gold it actually looked. That purple (which is very nice) was  not what I was seeing in real life. This was around 6 PM, the days really are getting longer and that sure cheers me up.

Last spring I was inspired to make these blocks that were on Bumble beans  15 minutes of play. I put them up on my wall over a week ago and have been looking at them all that time. This morning I started sewing them together. The photo on the left is half of the blocks sewed together in a square.  Above  is the rest of what I have sewed so far. I am thinking that I would like to make a quilt to hang on my WHITE bathroom wall (there is also WHITE tile in the bathroom).

 I have enough blocks to add to the 9 block  square and the 5 block strip and put it all together to  do this on the right. Bigger would cover more white. I thought I would make one bigger quilt with all the blocks but I want to keep at least part of these blocks for something for me and I do not need a bigger quilt. I am leaning toward the 5 x 5 square with a pieced border.............we'll see. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another Block for the Party

 This is my Modern Block submission to the Block Party. It is a Quails Nest block which is an old  traditional block that has been cut into  4 equal sections, the sections rearranged and then sewn back  together. I would like to give the block a catchy name but nothing comes to mind.

I  first  saw the Quails Nest block on Love Laugh Quilt and thought maybe it was Beth's original block but Beth assured me it was not and to  go ahead and post it.
The two blocks above, set on point, are blocks my Friendship Group made for me when it was my month to receive blocks.  I am not sure I will cut them all up and rearrange them because I really like the Quail's Nest block.

The red, yellow and black block is the first one I cut apart. When I put these 2 print fabrics together the octagon hiding behind the Churndash got lost or maybe it was the churndash that got lost..... anyway something got lost  I liked the combination and the fabrics so I thought maybe cutting and rearranging it like a Disappearing 9 Patch would help. I think it is better. At the right is a block cut apart but not rearranged yet.
When I cut the first block I divided it a quarter inch off center. I was thinking "12 inch block" which is the finished size not the raw edge block. I had to trim it a little to make it go together and that cut off the points in triangle squares and made the center square "float". Now I have to figure out exactly what I did so I can repeat it and use all these blocks together.
I have found that what works best for me when dividing the block in equal parts is to use the measurement of the center square and move my ruler back and line up the edge of my ruler on half the center square. That way I don't have to think about what size to cut the whole block which may not be exactly the size I was aiming  for.  After the sections are rearranged the new block is one that lends itself easily to squaring up to the right size.

I wish I had more patience so I would stop and think before I charge ahead. Then I wouldn't have to  figure out how to fix things. Maybe if I had more patience I wouldn't have as much fun. I think I will hang on to that thought because I am probably not going to change.

Block Party Time

I am joiningThe Block Party to The Block Party on My Quilt Story it is too much fun to miss.
I am submitting two of my original blocks.
This is my Traditional Block that I named JP's star. I also have a modern block that will  be in another post because I am having a problem with Blogger when I try to put more photos in my post.
Shown here are 2 versions of the same block or maybe that makes this 2 blocks. If traditonal blocks are ones that have many pieces that require accuracy in cutting and matching points and intersections and offer plenty of opportunity to turn things the wrong way; this is IT!   
  I designed it several years ago when I made a quilt for my grandson (JP). I wanted to use the quarter square triangle units that "spun" in a different direction when I made the units. My method of choice to make these 3 piece traingle units is to start with 2 squares and stitch on either side of a diagonal line, cut apart and trim to the exact size. Then repeat the process with a square and a HST square  I couldn't see myself sewing the 3 piece triangles units any other way because it works for me better than anything else I have tried. However, half the units spin in the wrong direction and I didn't want to end up with hundreds of left over quarter square triangle pieces.  I played with it until I came up with this block.
The orange and green version is 8 1/2 inches unfinished; the purple and green version is 14 1/2 inches unfinished. Guess which one was easier to sew.
The half square triangle squares in the opposite corners can both be omitted or one can be omitted, they produce a secondary pattern where four blocks come together.

something wrong here
 I designed the block in EQ5 and the computer I used is long gone and so is a lot of the work I did on it. When I reproduced this in EQ7 to play with the design again I remembered how versatile a block it it. There were a lot of "what if" moments. I always meant to go back to this and play some more in real fabric but this is the first time I put it together again for real. I think that maybe after I got a bed sized quilt put together I was tired of matching all the points. Since then I have started pressing all of my HST seams open and it makes a big difference. This time the blocks went together without too much fuss, that is if you don't count the time it took to fix what I did wrong. I discovered  I had switched two of the components that spun in different directions.  This was two days after I finished it and had it up on my design wall. I guess I only looked at the large green triangles when I laid it out. Oh well..........sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's not.

The picture below is a small top with 4 blocks arranged to form a circle with a pinwheel in the center.When I made my grandson's  quilt I used a different background for half of some of the blocks which made the area inside of the "circle" show up as a different colored  square, creating another layer of design. It also created another step that could go wrong but it was worth the trouble.That quilt is no longer around, it wore it out. To me that is the sign it was a good quilt

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday No Sewing

Today our loosely organized quilting group got together but we did not do any sewing. Actually  we didn't really plan to sew this time. Our plan was to work on fabric collages using the book "Happy Villages" by Karen Eckmeir as a guide. One person actually got her pieces cut and organized on her collage surface and fused down, two people worked on cutting their shapes, some people looked  at picture quilt books and planned quilts, some  people talked. It is always good to get together we find inspiration and encouragement and affirmation from each other. I've read that girlfriends are good for each other and I believe it. Lunch is always good. It  is usually unplanned and everyone brings whatever they want. A few months back almost everyone brought dessert; another time we were heavy on the salads. Today we had a nice variety; a little heavy on the fruit but that is better than heavy on the desserts which makes for heavy on you know who (pointing finger at self). Lunch was really fun with everyone sitting together around the table talking and laughing, lots of laughing going  on.

 There are always quilts  to show. This is Fran's Disappearing 9 Patch made with 6 1/2 inch squares in the original 9 patch block. I love all  those blues and I  like this quilt done with the larger squares.

Diane brought her practice pieces from  a machine quilting class with  Patsy Thompson. Diane's work is beautiful I wish I had taken a picture to show. Some of our other people took the same class and I saw their work at another time and it was beautiful too. I have to say that Patsy Thompson must be a  very good teacher.

Diane also brought her finished Diva quilt from our Diva challenge. The quilt on the left is the front and on the right is the back of the quilt. Both sides are wonderful. I think she might have used every motif on the panel and then added a  lot of other elements. Good job, Diane!

We had the big reveal for the Diva challenge back here in July 2010. The reveal was previously scheduled for January 2010 and originally scheduled for a time before that. There are still 1 or 2 quilts not finished. No matter, we will enjoy them and exclaim over them when they finally show up. As I said we are loosely organized. Maybe that is why we have so  much fun.