Saturday, November 04, 2017

Acorn Medley

I saw a sample of this wall hanging in a quilt shop and loved it. After thinking about it for a couple weeks, I went back to the shop, bought the pattern, and choose fabrics, with some great help from the staff at the shop (Patchwork Garden, Amherst, NY). This is a Kansas Troubles pattern, Acorn Medley, which uses an Oak Haven charm pack and some coordinating yardage.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Some recent work, some still in progress, some finished.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Village Square

This is another Kim Diehl design from her Simple Whatnots Club. The fabrics are the Heritage Hollow design from Henry Glass. It's 37 1/2" square.

There's quite a bit of applique on this quilt so it took a little longer than tops that are pieced only, but I love the gently curving vine border. I fused the appliques in place with heat 'n bond light, and machine stitched them with a narrow zig-zag and monofilament thread.

I stitched in the ditch in most of the pieced sections, did a diamond pattern in the plain borders, and did echo stitching around the appliques.

This is one of the projects that is actually finished and hanging on the wall. Yay.


Old Towne

Having decided I rather like kits, I found this one on sale at Craftsy. The fabrics are all Sturbridge by Moda. The pattern is by Kathy Schmitz. The size is 49" x 59"... not a bed quilt, but a nice size for a throw. I couldn't fit the entire top in the picture, but this at least shows the borders on two sides. I have backing in the black print fabric so I'm on track to get it basted and quilted.

Grandpa George's Cabin

I am running out of wall space for any more small quilts so it's time to make some bed quilts. I saw a kit for Grandpa George's Cabin and loved the colors, so when it was on sale I bought it. The quilt pattern is designed by Joyce Weeks for Geoff's Mom Pattern Co. The fabrics are by Diamond Textiles and the quilt size is 82" x 89". Some of the homespuns in the kit were a little dark, so I substituted a few brighter colors from my stash.

I love the look of on point settings but I did find it rather tedious to stitch the blocks into rows and the rows together. So, though it took a while, the top finally got done. Now it is awaiting batting and quilting. Fortunately I have coordinating backing all set to go.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots wall quilts

I participated in a Simple Whatnots program at my local quilt shop last year and am continuing to work on finishing the various little quilts (some with kind of funny names) made with Kim Diehl fabrics and patterns.
 I pieced this one last fall, didn't feel like making all those little yo-yos, so set it aside until now. I finally stopped procrastinating, made the yo-yos, and stitched them on. This is a fairly small quilt, 12 1/2" x 14 1/2".
Window Box
This 13 1/2" x 18 1/2" quilt was also pieced last fall and set aside to do the applique after Christmas. The pattern called for appliques with the same cotton fabric used in the piecing, but I decided to do wool applique instead. It was stitched down with my machine buttonhole stitch.
Hen Pecked
This was the smallest of the club quilts at 10 1/2 x 11 1/2". The half square triangle blocks are just 1". Usually I make HSTs by stitching 2 squares together 1/4" each side away from a diagonal line drawn in the middle of the square and cutting apart on the drawn line, making 2 identical squares. This time, I remembered I had an Accuquilt fabric cutter triangle die of the exact size to make finished 1" squares, so I used it to cut all the triangles. They were so accurately cut that they stitched together really well.

This is one of the larger quilts, 28 1/2" square. The pattern had directions for adding the center applique, or just using more rows of triangles. I liked the applique look better so went with that option using the iron on fusible web method. I haven't quilted this one yet. All the flying geese units were made by stitching squares on the diagonal on each end of the background rectangles, folding the squares back, and cutting off the excess. When I stitched the squares on, I stitched an extra seam 1/2" away from the diagonal stitching line, resulting in 2 already stitched small half square triangle squares left from each unit. I have them all set aside ready for a new project. Yaay.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Button Flowers

This little 17x23" wall hanging was from the McCall's mini madness quilt-along last year. It's called Button Flowers, designed by Sheri Bain Driver. I was so anxious to get it done that I bought the kit
 rather than take the time to plow through my fabric stash to find the perfect colors. I finished it last fall but just recently sewed on the little buttons.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Starry Night/Tardis Wall Hanging

This wall hanging was made for another grandson whose favorite painting is Starry Night and who is a big Dr. Who fan. (Dr. Who is a British science-fiction television programe produced by the BBC from 1963 to the present). Dr.Who travels in a time machine, called Tardis, which looks like a 1960's police box. In one episode he travels back in time to visit Van Gogh and brings the artist to the future to see his works in a museum. Thus the connection between Starry Night and Tardis. There are many examples of quilts with this combination online, and I borrowed some of the ideas to fashion my own. I found a small Tardis picture and printed it out on fabric for the applique.

I didn't get any pictures of my process, but I did it as I had done the blue and yellow wall hanging, starting by sketching a large drawing (about 24" x20") and then choosing fabrics. This time I used fusible webbing along the edges of the pieces and pressed them in place on a couple batik background fabrics rather than using freezer paper and glue. I did all the appliqueing and quilting after layering and basting. I stitched close to the edges of each piece first, using a walking foot, then added swirls and such for the quilting.

Baby Quilt

A little blue and white quilt finished for a new grandson. I think this was made using strips from a jelly roll I won in an online giveaway a few years ago. These aren't colors I use in decorating, but seemed perfect for a baby quilt. When it was all pieced, it reminded me of the sea, so I machine quilted little fish, shells and sea creatures in the striped blocks, starfish in the small blocks, and swirls in the white.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Blue and Yellow wall hanging

This wall quilt, which I made last summer, was inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night and based on a Pinterest picture which I've traced to Wonderlab Science Museum in Bloomington, Ind. but haven't been able to find any further information about it so far. I made the quilt for a new grandson's bedroom with a navy and yellow color scheme and an art theme loosely based on paintings by Picasso, Van Gogh, Modigliani.
First I raided my stash for appropriate colors to play with.
Then I enlarged the picture to about 22" x 22" and modified it a little.

Since all the pieces were curved, I decided to use freezer paper. I numbered and hash marked each piece on my master drawing, then traced it all on freezer paper. I ironed the paper to the wrong side of the pieces, cut with a quarter inch seam allowance,  pressed over the overlapping seam allowances and then glue basted the pieces together and removed the papers.
I worked in sections.

Once everything was glued in place, I machine stitched close to the edge of each piece. Then I layered the top with batting and backing, pin basted, and free motion quilted a swirly pattern all over.

Here it is with the quilting done. I finished it off with a navy binding but didn't get a picture of that.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Death Star Wall Hanging

I made this wall hanging for my middle grandson who has been a Star Wars fan for years. I used a free pattern on the Quirky Granola Girl blog but enlarged it to make the star about 12" in diameter. Total size of quilt is 22 x 22. I cut the patterns from freezer paper, ironed them onto the fabrics, then glue basted the pieces together. I hand embroidered the stars and machine quilted everything using a walking foot.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kansas Troubles pattern


This little quilt is from a pattern I purchased in a quilt shop in Freeport, Maine. It's called KT Classic Charms, designed by Lynne Hagmeier, and is 22" square.  I used some charm squares from a Jo Morton pack I bought at the same shop. Like many (most) of my quilt tops, it remains to be quilted. I'll probably do stitch in the ditch on the main section because I want the fabrics to be the center of attention. Then I'll do some free motion in the border. By the way, all those little triangles are  HALF square triangles :)                                                                        

Sunday, April 26, 2015

HSTs and QSTs - a Pet Peeve

It really, really bugs me when quilters use the HST term for both kinds of triangles. Yes, they look the same, but in half square triangles, the diagonal is on the bias and the edges are on the straight of grain. Quarter square triangles are the opposite, with the diagonal on the straight of grain and the edges on the bias. For stability of your blocks it helps to have all the outside edges be on the non-stretchy straight of grain. Thus, placement and type of triangles used is important for accurate measurements, matching seams and points, and preventing the block from having a 'wonky' shape.

I see all sorts of videos and tutorials for making quick triangle units. The triangles are invariably referred to as half square triangles when they actually are quarter square triangles. One such tutorial is the 'tube' method where you stitch 2 equal sized strips together on both the long sides, then cut them apart on 45 degree angles. Most of these tutorials recommend heavily starching the fabric, I guess to cut down on the bias edges stretching out of shape.

I have no problem with people posting and using these methods. It's totally OK if you want to do it this way. There's no 'rule' that says you can't. Just please give the triangles their correct names. It seems pretty simple to me and would certainly help clarify whether the edges will be on the bias (QSTs) or not (HSTs).

There's a detailed explanation of HSTs and QSTs on the Guidelines for Quilting web site. I'm not affiliated with this site (they sell rulers), I just think they have a pretty good tutorial.

Friday, March 20, 2015

My latest efforts

'Sunday Supper' ( Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots) is quilted, mostly in the ditch with a walking foot. The black binding seems to frame it nicely.

Quilt size 13 1/2"x16 1/2", block size 4"

Little Bites Tidbit No.3 (Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.) is also quilted in the ditch and bound. As I hoped, the straight line quilting in the border hides the seam where the extra fabric was added, and the striped binding, which shows up much better in real life, is just the right touch.

 Quilt size 18"x21", block size 3"

'Barn Stars' is from the 2nd Simple Whatnots series. It's quilted in the ditch and ready for binding.  I like that this quilt has light neutral stars on darker backgrounds. It's a nice contrast to another little quilt I did last fall that is the reverse with colored stars on neutral backgrounds.

Quilt size 20"x20", block size 4"

'And now for something completely different.'

I've had my eye on the Robbi Joy Eklow 'Groovy Guitars' wall hanging pattern for a couple years, and finally decided to make it using batiks from my stash. The pattern size is 35"x47". That was a little large for my purposes, so I reduced it to about 22"x25".

It was a challenge to work with the idea of 'transparency' where the guitars overlapped, especially using only fabrics that I had on hand.  I ended up cutting and trying several different colors for some of the pieces before finally finding what seemed to work the best. In spite of the 'extra' pieces, it was a fun process....and I don't think I wasted too much fabric.

All the applique pieces are fused to the background with fusible webbing and now need to be stitched down. I'm not sure whether to use a small zigzag or just a straight stitch close to the edge. I also have to add a narrow black border and then of course quilt it. That'll be a whole nother challenge.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

More winter's work

While at the quilt shop picking up my Simple Whatnots kits of the month, I naturally keep finding other projects that call my name. Lately I've been drawn to reds and creams and there were some store samples using these colors that I couldn't resist.

The first was from a pattern called Little Bites Tidbits by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. 18" x 21".

The shop sample used 2 mini charm squares, a cream pin dot, and a stripe from Moda Petite Prints by French General with reds, creams, tans and browns. In my mind's eye I remembered the striped fabric as the border. It was difficult to tell which of the 3 pattern designs was used for the sample but I thought it was the one with the inner and outer borders. There were equal amounts of the pin dot and striped fabrics in the kit, so I made the inner border with the pin dot and the outer with the stripe. It looked ok, but just not quite right..

Next time I was in the shop I checked out the sample and saw they had used only one border and it was the cream pin dot fabric. The stripe was used for the binding, and that is what had caught my eye. Unfortunately I hadn't thought to take a picture of it the first time I saw it.

Since I had already cut and stitched the pin dot for the inner border, there wasn't enough of it left to make the complete wide border. I decided to cut what I had and sew it on to the existing narrow border.  I'm much happier with it now and can't wait to get it quilted so I can add the striped binding. Hopefully the quilting will somewhat hide that extra seam in the border.

Another sample I saw at the shop was Waiting for Spring from Fit to Frame Set 9 by Lori Smith. The quilts are pretty, but I don't think I would have noticed the pattern were it not for the sample of the one on the upper left done in reds and creams instead of blues.

Here's my finished quilt, 11" x 14", using fabrics from my stash. The blocks are so small, 2" x 2", that it didn't even begin to make a dent in said stash. Oh well.


I always love working on some sort of northwoods pattern, in the midst of all the reproduction designs, so I hauled out this kit purchased on a trip to Maine last fall. It's called There's a Moose in the Woods from Sewing by the Sea in Trenton, ME. I've been to Maine many times and have never seen a moose there in spite of all the 'watch for moose' signs.  I think I'll have to be content with a fabric moose.

This one is 14" x 33". The moose is appliqued and the trees are paper pieced. I don't like paper piecing but thought I'd do it...for the sake of the moose. I like the quilt but still don't like paper piecing. :)

Winter's work

This cold, snowy winter has been a great time to stay in and work on some of my many wips, both old and new.

Last summer I signed up for the Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots club at my local quilt shop. Each month a kit is available which uses her Vintage Farmhouse fabric line. These small quilts  have been a good study in piecing. I discovered the truth to needing to be REALLY accurate in cutting and stitching blocks that are only 3 or 4 inches in size. Seams that are only a fraction off can cause all sorts of problems. They can't be eased in like they can on large blocks, so my seam ripper has been getting a good work out.

This one is called Sunday Supper. It's 13 1/2" x 16 1/2", with blocks that are 4" x 4". It's pinned and ready for quilting.


This is Laundry Day, 20 1/2" x 20 1/2", with 3" x 3" blocks. I added in some fabrics from my own stash as is suggested in the kit. Leftover scraps from the blocks are used to make the randomly pieced binding. I liked that idea a lot and think it adds  the perfect finishing touch to this quilt.

Idaho Lily is one that is actually all done and hanging on the wall in my living room. It wasn't until I finished it in December that I realized it would be just right to hang at Christmas time. I don't have enough wall space for the many wall quilts I've done over the years, so now I have to rotate them. I quilted in the ditch around the lilies and leaves, stippled in the background and did feathers in the border. The feathers don't show very well since I used red thread. I should have used a different color, but I'm happy with the result anyway.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Another loon quilt

The latest loon wall hanging, a gift for my daughter this past summer. This is the same McKenna Ryan pattern I have used before, but with a few changes. I added pine boughs, subtracted a canoe, and arranged the trees differently.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Civil War Minis


I didn't have room to pack my entire fabric stash to take on vacation, so I just took one tote bag of fat quarters, mostly civil war reproduction fabrics. The small amounts were perfect for making small quilts. I made these little 9 patches by sewing sets of short strips together first. I ended up with 2 blocks in each color, one with dark corners and one with light corners, enough for a 2nd quilt.

Little quilts go together very quickly, so I was able to make several. These next two were made using the leftover triangles cut from flying geese units in another larger quilt.


I found a little basket pattern in an old quilt magazine and thought it would work in another small quilt. I used fusible webbing for the appliques and stitched them down with a machine blanket stitch.

The last small quilt is called Blackbirds and Berries, designed by Kim Diehl, from her book Homestyle Quilts