Friday, October 30, 2009

Yes, I finally finished my sunflower quilt. Here is a detail of a hand pieced sunflower. I think I used more different techniques in this quilt than any other quilt I've made. I hand pieced blocks, machine pieced blocks, paper pieced blocks, hand appliqued blocks and machine appliqued blocks unto the quilt.

Is this creativity or lack of focus?

I did enjoy each technique and making the quilt, even though at times I felt I would never get done. Did you ever have a quilt that seemed to take over your life?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Joy of Quilting Friendships

Maybe its the dark days or the rainy weather, but I've been stalling out on quilting lately. I have a project near completion but it just wasn't getting done. Yesterday, our small quilting group got together and worked on quilts to donate. During our time together, we not only create lovely quilts to share with others but we share our lives. I always come away with renewed enthusiasm and can't wait until our next meeting.

Quilting is not about creating perfect stitches, its about creating perfect friendships.

Now I'm off to complete my project. Life is fine today.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Machine Quilting a large Quilt

Yesterday, I was talking to another quilter who was having trouble handling a large quilt on her home machine. She mentioned that anything over 60" wide was too hard to quilt on her machine. Perhaps you may also have had the same problem so I thought I would mention a method I've used.

Lay out your quilt for basting -- the backing, the batting and the quilt top. Pin baste the center section from top to bottom of the quilt. On a 90" wide quilt, this would be the center 30". Fold back the side of the quilt top over the basted section, exposing the batting. Without cutting the backing, cut out the batting (you will replace it after quilting the center section). Repeat for the other side of the quilt. Now you have batting only in the center of the quilt, making it much easier to handle under your machine.

After machine quilting the center section, lay out the quilt again. Reinsert the side batting, butt the edges of the batting and hand stitch together. Pin baste and quilt the side of the quilt. Repeat on the second side. Because you are quilting closer to the edge of the quilt, you will be able to handle the additional weight and thickness of the batting.

This does require you to lay out your quilt a second time, but the ease of quilting may be worth the effort. What do you think?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hexagon in Allottastrata

Did you see the hexagons in my quilt?

Here is a close-up of one hexagon shape made from two mirror image half hexagons. This is a fun and easy way to piece hexagon shapes because you can piece the half hexagons in vertical rows. (You will be alternating a left half hex and a right half hex down the row.) Piece the matching half hexagons in the next row and your piece is complete.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Here is another quilt made entirely of hexagons. Can you pick them out?

I started with strata (striped fabric made of strips of several fabrics stitched together) that I had left from another project. I cut it into half hexs and stitched them together to make this unique pattern.

I have the most fun creating something out of the remnants of another project. Waste not, want not, so they say. (Hint: Click on the photo for a closer view.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fallen Apple

As with the previous quilt, I have again used hexagons in my project. This time the background is complete composed of machine stitched hexagons. The apples are hand painted in Velda Newman style and hand appliqued on.

As you can see, I have continued to reach out and try new ideas. What have you tried today?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Uninhibited Growth

Had I not stretched myself beyond the accepted color palette in my ugly "Worst of the Worst" quilt, I may still be letting others choose my pattern and color choices. I am so happy I made that quilt and that I moved on to make other independent choices because each one help me grow as a quilter.

Now I am not afraid to try many options. "Uninhibited Growth" reflects my growth as an artist. It combines machine piecing, hand applique, fusing and machine quilting. (It, too, can go to the highest bidder.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Worst of the Worst

Last night, we had a fun time at our guild meeting competing for the title of "Worst Quilt". We each brought in an offering and carefully slipped it into the pile. (Who would want to admit they made such an "ugly"?) After displaying and voting on the offensive quilts, we had a lot of laughs as the owners told their stories.

Moral of the event: Don't lament about your mistakes and take quilting too seriously. Yes, we strive to make beautiful quilts but we couldn't do it without a few "uglies" along the way.

By the way, I won the "Worst of the Worst" with this lovely creation. (Available to the highest bidder!!) You know..... I do believe....... as they say, cameras just don't do it justice, it's so much better in person.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Basting for Quilting

Today I will be busy machine quilting. Yesterday, I spent time crawling around on the floor, busy getting my quilt ready. I like to tape the backing to my hardwood floor keeping it straight with the floor boards. Then I smooth the batting and finally the quilt top over the backing. Because I want the edges of my quilt to be straight, I spend time measuring and squaring up the outside edges of the quilt. If there is excess fabric, this will have to be eased into the center when I quilt. I hand baste approximately 1/4" from the outside edges and pin baste the rest of the quilt.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bittersweet Corners

When I finished Forest Floor, I had excess fabric cut from my mitered corners. With a "waste not, want not" attitude, I always see these scraps as a creativity challenge. I pieced two mitered border ends together and added a background block (the same technique as you would make an attic window block). By adding bittersweet vines and three dimensional berries, this became a small art quilt to coordinate with my Forest Floor wall quilt.

Further instructions for this project and Forest Floor can be found in my book "Log Cabin Quilts with Attitude".

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The orange berries of the bittersweet caught my attention.

I chose to add them to a colorful fall wallhanging.

This is Forest Floor from my book Log Cabin Quilts with Attitude.

Monday, October 5, 2009

English Flower Basket

The reds and browns of English Flower Basket combine with a leaf print in the background making this a wonderful quilt to display in the autumn. Unique borders make this quilt something special.

Often in our quiltmaking, we are so involved in the center of the quilt that when it comes to the borders we have lost our enthusiasm and go for an easy solution. Yet, dramatic borders can add so much to the quilt.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I hope you are enjoying the autumn splendor. As I drove down my driveway, I felt as if I were driving into a crayon box. This is my time of year. I enjoy rustling through the leaves, coming inside to warm drinks and I can't wait to turn on my sewing machine and delve into new projects.

This is a perfect time to join a quilt guild to enjoy the camaraderie of other quilters. You will be inspired and encouraged. There are numerous quilting events to consider. There are quilts shows to attend and ideas to bring back that fire our interest. There are quilt shops to visit as you travel to view fall colors. Or is it, there are autumn leaves to view as we travel to new quilt shops?

Thursday, October 1, 2009


This previously completed G.P.S. quilt is machine quilted completely different. I used swirls in the center and crosshatched the outer border. This quilting design given you a chance to practice both your machine guided and free motion quilting. Embrace the possibilities of trying a multitude of different ideas in your quilting.
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