Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sharpie Tie Dye Project

Here's my Sharpie tie dye fat quarter.  I auditioned it with other fabric and found a pretty intense aqua that worked.

I cut four 9" squares from each and used the instructions for "Peppermint Pinwheel" in Cultural Fusion Quilts to make two blocks.

The pieces are kind of wonky when the sewing is complete.  I pressed each piece well and squared to 7".  Then I made two blocks.

I'm probably going to put them together the same way I used two blocks made with a leaf print fat quarter back in 2015.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

My New Big Ugly Bag

True confessions.  YEARS ago (5-6) I happened to pick these up FREE in NYC while visiting my sister.  A chunk of pre-quilted fabric (yes, it looks a lot like a moving van blanket) and a roll of wide tape.  I  thought I'd make a tote bag.

I didn't get around to it.  For a while they lived in my attic.  Then they made it back into my sewing room.  Recently, I was packing up a box for Goodwill and they almost went in.  


Today was the day!!!  I set out to make a big tote bag.  I referred to another bag to figure out handle length. 

There was binding on two edges only that I wanted to take advantage of.  I was able to figure things out so that there would just be one side and one bottom seam.

I boxed the corners and turned down a cuff.  In the future I may add some big buttons to secure the cuff behind the handles.

It's not the most beautiful bag, but it's big and soft, about 19" wide and 20" deep.  You can never have too many tote bags!

What do I do with the leftovers???  Maybe they can go to Goodwill.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Sharpie Tie-Dye

Short and sweet, this is what we all did on Saturday at our monthly meeting of Artrageous Quilters.  First, we ironed fabric onto freezer paper.  Then we drew on the fabric using colored Sharpies.  Some decorated scarves, some experimented with different effects.  I drew flowery pop art shapes with curling lines of dots winding through them.  The next step was to drip, dribble or spray alcohol to make the Sharpie ink run.

Once the ink and alcohol were dry, the freezer paper was removed and the design heat set by ironing or in the clothes dryer (I used the iron).  My colors really spread out so I chose to enhance the blurry shapes by adding more to the drawings with black Sharpies in two widths. It was FUN!

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.