Saturday, June 24, 2017

Where did the week go?

OK, it's my own fault because I have a short attention span.  

All I did with the colorful paper pieced blocks this week was move them around.  I'm leaning toward the pinwheel arrangement.

The big stitch quilting on the batik lap quilt continues.  I hope that by the time I finish the inner border I have decided what to do in the outer border.

I made two more "Splendid Sampler" blocks.  I'm going to have a Stitch and Sew group at the shop for people making the blocks, so I'd better be a good example!

Then I took time out and made another pair of baby socks. 

Last but not least, I've cut pieces for another quilt.  It will serve as class and shop sample but I think I'll enjoy it in these colors.  Batik fun!!! 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

What I did with my weekend

I went upstairs to the playroom this afternoon.  It's not fancy enough to call it a STUDIO.  Across from the sewing area, on the opposite wall, I have a smaller table set up with an Ott light and my beads.   Copper wire in 4 different sizes and tools.  It had been a while, and I was rusty.

I persevered and now I have a new bracelet!

Not the greatest photography, taken with the phone, not my nice camera.  Now I think it's time to head for that easy chair and a pair of socks that are almost finished.

So, no quilts today, but there will be quilting again tomorrow in my special Monday group.

Friday, June 16, 2017


I'll start with the little idea I found on the internet, searching for "turtles", believe it or not.

I drew it out on EQ4 and printed 15 copies, thinking that I would make 3 columns of 5 blocks.  Just as I was finishing the 15th block, it dawned on me that because it takes 2 columns to form the pattern, I would need 5 more.

Tonight I trimmed.

Then I arranged my blocks in 4 columns.

THEN, I had a "what if?" moment ......

So, I might need to think about that for a while.  It's a good thing I have 99 other projects waiting for me! I've gotten started on my Splendid Sampler blocks by making the first three in the book. 

Then I picked out a couple of easy ones from the middle of the book.  The blocks vary widely in difficulty and method.

I've invited interested people to come to the shop on the 3rd Saturday of the month, beginning in July, to work on the blocks together, sort of a Splendid Sampler Support Group.

I've put the hourglass quilt aside for just a bit.  I have another hand quilting project that I've worked on sporadically for a WHILE.  Now that I've reached the borders, I want to concentrate on getting it finished.  It's one of my Cotton Fields patterns called "Crooked on Purpose".

I challenged myself to quilt it with no markings.  The only guide I gave myself was to score lines with my stiletto in the side triangles to keep myself even. I used the stiletto and a 1" ruler because, who knows where my hera marker is?! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Well, I'm working on about four different things this week, so progress is slow on each but it IS progress.  I had a chance to start the quilting on the hourglass quilt.

I've also had time to play around a little with the quilt idea I found on the internet while looking for something else.  

I'm making a quilt along side my beginner class AND starting the blocks for the "Splendid Sampler".  There's a SAMPLER support group meeting for the first time at the shop on July 15.  So, I'd better get back to the machine.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hourglass Quilt Top

I almost stopped after the plain gold border.  But, it was PLAIN.

I didn't have enough of any of the gold left to work with, so I found some off-white instead.  I used what I had of the leftover browns and added a couple more.  Then I made 40 curved half-square triangles.

36" square - it will be my next hand quilting project.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Not a Turtle

When I was at the quilt show a week ago, my friend and I both admired the TURTLE quilt hanging across the aisle from my booth.  Did I take a picture?  No. When I got home, I went online to see if I could find the source of the cute block.  Nope.

I found other turtles but not the one I was looking for.  And, in the midst of the turtle patterns, I found this (attributed to

CUTE!  I sketched the block and worked it out on my ancient EQ4 program (mirror image).  I printed 15 copies sized for 4" blocks. That's what I'm playing with today. 

I decided that the hourglass quilt needed a little bit more zing, so I'm in the midst of making a zillion crooked half square triangles for a second border. That should be ready for viewing soon.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Crooked Hourglass Blocks

A few weeks ago, I began to make some hourglass blocks, a la Sujata Shah.

I got completely side-tracked.

And ended up with this:

Then there was a graduation....

Then I was a vendor at a quilt show....

Everything is finally back in place and I can sew again! I had admired a quilt with the hourglass blocks set in columns, so they made vertical rows of crooked squares.  I tried that.

Then I made some blocks that included RED.  I don't know why, I just like brown and red together.

Then I tried just putting the four small blocks from each set together to make larger blocks.

I had to stop and make one more set of blocks.  Then I sewed them together and put them back up on the design wall.

I'll revisit the column idea at a later date.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Turtle Time

It's not what you'd call an ART QUILT, 
but it IS original.

My shop (Cotton Fields Quilt Shop, Washington, NC) is participating in the Row by Row experience for the third time this year.  The theme is "On the Go".

I thought about this one for a long time.  I had the turtle idea almost right away, but wondered about what the turtles should be doing or carrying. Over the years, the designs nationwide have gotten ever more sophisticated and almost exclusively iron-on applique. In my previous designs, I've incorporated a little bit of both.  I decided to keep things simple.

I heard that a lot of Row by Row folks were looking for more PIECED designs.  Out came the graph paper. After I was happy with my little turtles, I added the checkerboard bottom for a little more interest.  The discovery of the cotton tape printed like a tape measure was great.  So, the leader of my turtles is "on the go" wearing a tape measure bow. 

* If you're not familiar with the Row by Row Experience, the best thing to do is look it up online for a more complete explanation than I could give here.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Baby found the new quilt and gave it her stamp of approval.  I took her picture, then made her move.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Facings Finished!

I just finished the facing on the piece I've been working on.  Many thanks to influence from Rayna Gillman and Sujata Shah.

Next, I'm off to work on my "Row by Row Experience" design for the shop.  It's overdue.  I've got the pattern worked out, now to get it stitched together.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Walking Foot Quilting

This morning I finished the quilting on the brown/gold/red piece.  All straight lines, 1/2" apart.  It took 2 1/2 bobbins!  I marked the center with blue painter's tape and lined up the edge of the walking foot.  Then I continued to line up with lines of stitching, working on one side and then flipping it around and working from the center out on the other side.  

I like the texture.  Now all that's left to do is squaring and adding a facing.

WAY last fall I was working on a small tree wall hanging.  It was part of a challenge for the local quilt show with the theme "Branching Out".  I realized that I had never shown it after it was completely finished.

The straight line stitching on this piece is by hand.  It also has a little bit of embroidery and beading, plus some hand made polymer clay leaves.  I actually made the leaves before I started the wall hanging.  It's name is "Standing Alone".

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Bits and pieces have spent all week on a pieces of batting on the wall.  I look at it every time I walk by.  Once in a while I make a decision about what comes next.

What starts as pure play ends up feeling like an engineering assignment as the pieces come together.  Keeping in mind color and balance, light and dark, detail, it's time to make things fit together.  Here's the progression, starting with the last picture that I showed here.

Everything is sewn together.  Quilting comes next.
Small - 19" tall, 24" wide

Sunday, April 16, 2017


I looked it up.  Although sometimes "octopi" is used, the more correct plural of octopus is "octopuses".

Now that that's settled, I've got to say that I was downright embarrassed to see that I had only posted FOUR TIMES in 2016 and 2015 wasn't much better. There's no explanation other than laziness and the possibility that all my sewing was for the shop and not too creative.

There's also the KNITTING factor.  Here's where the octopuses come in.  I bought a darling little pattern from Jeanne at Knitting Addiction in Kitty Hawk, NC.  I've made about a jillion socks since I learned about 2 years ago so it was time for something new.  

I promise to keep the posts coming.  This afternoon, I completed seven more scrappy blocks and started many more, for no reason other than it's fun to do, it's the weekend and my other scrappy stringy project is on the design wall at the shop.

(Cotton Fields Quilt Shop, Washington, NC)