December 14, 2016


This quilt was inspired by brick work on a building in Nashville, Tennessee.

I made improv log cabin blocks from strips of various denim and indigo-colored fabrics, cutting free-hand, and set them on point.  The background fabric is an unbleached linen from Moda.

I threw in some small bits of Kona Lime just for fun.  I included a batik fabric as well, thinking it would be fun to sneak some into Quiltcon.  Unfortunately, though, this quilt was not selected for Quiltcon.

With so much negative space, I wanted to show off the quilting.  I used wool batting, which really pleased me in combination with the unbleached linen.  Here's a shot I took before adding the binding:

And more details of the quilting:

Finally, here is a shot of the back:

I'm a little disappointed not to have a quilt in this upcoming Quiltcon, especially since it is the first chance I'll have to attend the show in person.  But I do hope to enter this quilt in other shows.

I'll be linking up with crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

November 18, 2016

House Blocks for do.good.stitches

As a member of the Believe circle of do.good.stitches (an online charity bee), I make a few blocks each month and send them off to the designated quilter for that month.  This month, we were asked to make house blocks, using any design we wish.

I drafted a block based very roughly on our own home, and pieced it using freezing paper and "paperless" paper piecing methods.  I included a tree as well, but left that portion unattached to the house, to give our quilter some flexibility in placement.

I wanted to make a second block, and tossed about ideas of using mostly Tim Holtz fabric, but with a fussy-cut hot air balloon in the sky.  The fabrics didn't want to play together well, though, so I made two additional blocks -- one making use of Tim Holtz fabric, and another using the hot air balloon fabric.  I pieced both of these improvisationally

Here is the block using Tim Holtz fabric.  It looks more like a barn, which I suppose is not a bad thing.

And here is the block using hot air balloons:

I added some "landscaping," although I'm not sure how well it works.

I'm looking forward to seeing blocks from our other bee members, and the final quilt.

September 21, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival, part 2

For my second entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival at, I am featuring my Imperial Star quilt.

This quilt is based on a traditional Broken Star design, with additional elements inspired by the work of Edyta Sitar.  The applique uses shapes from several of Edyta's patterns.

I am entering this quilt in the Applique Quilt category of the festival.

Here are a few more photos:

The quilting shows up well from the back:

Be sure to check out all the entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and vote for your favorites.

UPDATE: This quilt has been selected for the Viewer's Choice category.  What an honor!

September 19, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival, part 1

Amy Ellis is again hosting a Blogger's Quilt Festival at  Be sure to visit to see all the wonderful quilts in eleven categories.

My first entry for this year's festival, in the Large Quilt category, is my Double G Picnic quilt:

This quilt uses Cotton+Steel fabrics, primarily from Melody Miller's Picnic line.

I first posted about this quilt here.  This was a quick and easy quilt to construct; I wrote a tutorial which can be found here.

August 19, 2016

"Vintage Made Modern" mini

I was given a 22-piece charm pack of Amy Barickman's Vintage Made Modern fabric, and decided to make a small quilt to feature the designs.

I am sure I am not the first to make this type of design, but I did sketch it out and do the math on my own.  It is almost certainly a derivative design, but of what I don't know.  The size is roughly 24 inches by 30 inches.

Here is a detail of the quilting.  I used a hooked scroll design in all the larger squares, and a curved cross-hatch in all the smaller squares.

I added triangle pockets in the back upper corners to hold a dowel for hanging, and included a couple of twill tape loops near the center to avoid sags.

The piecing was mostly done as leaders and enders, so this was almost a "free" project.  Not sure yet what I will do with it.

August 12, 2016

Denim & Linen Super Tote

I've completed another Super Tote; this one is a gift for my wife.  This bag uses several denim fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics, plus a Color Daze linen stripe.

The lining fabric is from Asuka by Dear Stella.

I followed the pattern for the most part.  I replaced one of the interior elastic pockets with a zippered pocket, and added a key fob.

I used Soft and Stable to interface the exterior A and B pieces.  This is the same interfacing I used for my daughter's bag, but for that bag I also interfaced and quilted the front pocket.  This bag has only a lined linen exterior pocket, which leaves it a little more floppy than the first bag.

I found the buttons at a local quilt shop.  I don't recall where I first saw buttons added to a Super Tote like this, but they are certainly a derivative idea.

Two of the AGF denims are wonderful lighter-weight fabrics.  For the gusset and handles, I used AGF's Bluebottle Texture Denim, which is much heavier (but equally wonderful).  I used one layer of fusible woven interfacing for the gusset, although it probably was not necessary.

The zippers are from Zipit.

My wife stumbled across these photos on the computer, and from her reaction I think she is going to like this bag.

July 5, 2016

Finally finished - Imperial Star

I am happy to announce I have completed my largest quilt project to date.  I began this quilt over a year ago.  I've taken a few breaks to finish some smaller projects and also to deal with some family issues, but still quite a bit of work went into this quilt.  It is roughly 90 inches square.

The design is based on a traditional Broken Star, with inspiration from multiple designs by Edyta Sitar.  For fabrics, I used a complete fat quarter bundle of Parson Gray's Empire line, plus most of a bundle of Tim Holtz's second Eclectic Elements release, and a number of additional choices.  I even threw in a few batiks, in another nod to Edyta.  I have named the quilt "Imperial Star," since it uses Empire fabrics.

The Empire and Eclectic Elements lines have very different styles, yet the colors seem to work together quite well.

The diamonds were constructed using strip-piecing methods.  I cut 2" x 18" strips from fat quarters and made sets of five strips each.  From each of these strip sets I cut four 2" diamond strips (with 5 diamonds per strip), plus a 1.5" strip to use in the border.  Each larger diamond was then pieced by joining five of the 5-diamond strips.

There are a lot of Y seams in this quilt.  I did not have any difficulty with them, but I didn't really appreciate how many there would be when I started.  The interior corners of the central star are the simplest, but where the points of the star meet with three outer diamonds, it is more complicated.  I made myself a small tool out of template plastic to mark the intersections of the quarter-inch seam lines for the various angles involved, which was a great help.

The applique is raw edge, stitched with a blanket stitch.  The shapes are all from Edyta Sitar patterns, but the arrangements are my own.  I used wool batting and quilted densely around the applique shapes to give a pseudo trapunto effect.

This is one of the smaller side setting triangles:

The quilting shows better from the back.  The backing fabric is Carolyn Friedlander's Widescreen Crosshatch in yarrow.

I quilted feathers in the diamonds of the central star, and a combination of straight lines and continuous curves in the outer diamonds.  In the background squares surrounding the star, I used Kathleen Riggins' "magic shape".

For binding I used Eclectic Elements Worn Croc in black.  I sewed the binding to the back by hand for the first time.  I am happy with the results, although the wool batting made wrapping the binding to the back a little tricky.  It might have helped to zigzag around the edges first.  When I bind by machine with cotton batting, I zigzag the edges with fusible thread in the bobbin, in order to press the binding to the back before stitching it down.  This method requires too much heat to use with wool batting.  Zigzag stitching with plain thread might have made the edges easier to handle for this quilt, though.

 Here is the full quilt:

Previous posts about this quilt:

Starting a Lone Star project
Quilt Surgery
Auditioning borders
I'll be linking up with crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

May 30, 2016

Tim Holtz Creative Journey Quilt

Many thanks to Barbara Black for capturing a couple of photos for me at the recent Quilt Market in Salt Lake City.  I had entered a block in the Tim Holtz Creative Journey block challenge, and it was selected as one of the blocks to be made into a quilt.

My block is in the third row, third from the left.

I so appreciate Barbara's efforts to find the quilt and get photos -- and I think it is cool that Tim Holtz is in the photo too!  You can read more about Barbara's experience at Quilt Market here.

My prize for the contest was a 40-strip design roll of Eclectic Elements (some of my favorite fabrics).  Now I am trying to decide what to make with it...

May 6, 2016

A Super Tote

I made a bag for my daughter using the Super Tote pattern by Anna Graham (Noodlehead).

The fabrics are from the Drift Away collection by Sue Schlabach, plus Andover Chambray in mustard.

I used Soft and Stable for the medium weight interfacing.  I also used a layer of Soft and Stable in the front pocket piece so that I could quilt it.  I cut the pocket pieces larger than the pattern before quilting, then trimmed to size after quilting.  This was to allow for the slight shrinking caused by the quilting.  I did the same for the back exterior piece.

For the quilting, I outlined her initial on the front pocket, and filled in the background by following the chevrons in the fabric.  For the back, I just quilted along the chevrons.

I probably should have trimmed the Soft and Stable from the top seam allowance of the pocket, although that would have been difficult with the quilting stitches in place.  I had to do a second row of top-stitching to get it to lie somewhat flat, but it still looks a bit odd.

I had read where some folks struggled with the multiple layers of interfacing at the pleat in the gusset, so I trimmed the interfacing away in the areas where the stitching would go.  (Sorry, I forgot to get an in-progress photo.)

I added a layer of stiff interfacing to the handles, sliding it in place after turning right side out.

Inside, I put one fully lined elastic pocket:

For the other side of the interior, I added a zippered pocket using this tutorial, and a key fob using this tutorial:

A little fussy cutting for the zipper tab:

This was my first time making a bag with such heavy interfacing.  It was much easier to work with than I expected, and the pattern was great (augmented by the many tips I found online).  I'm sure using my Janome 8900 helped too; not sure if the old machine could have tackled this. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how it came out.  Now I need to make one for my wife.

I'm linking up with crazy mom quilts for Finish It Up Friday.