Quilting again

I have been a quilting derelict for months but this week I got inspired to tackle the Japanese Jigsaw I have been eyeballing.  I borrowed the pattern from a friend so long ago, she probably thinks I have stolen it.  For months, I have had three fabrics on my design wall that I bought from a Japanese vendor a few years ago at QuiltFest.  Every time I added something from my stash, it did not seem to work.  Finally I just decided it did not have to be perfect (duh) and got going on it.

It is so much fun when the real pattern starts emerging (last photo, upper left).  Why was I trying to make it so hard?  Here is progress so far.





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12 x 12–Favorite expressions theme

I had a hard time coming up with an expression I could translate into fabric!  I wanted to do “You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear” and even had some purse fabric on hand.  But when I tried to make my sow’s ear from fleece (new purchase), I decided to look for an easier expression.  It’s a bit hard to see but I liked my op art idea for “Just Do It.”  You can see from the back, I did the first Nike logo backwards on my Heat n Bond 🙂


Karen chose “Chill Out Dude” for her expression.

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Sharyn depicts an expression her father used instead of curse words!

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Diane’s favorite expression is one everyone needs to remember.

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Linda’s depiction of her favorite is so cute.  She even included some eggs!

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Kathy also chose some chicken expressions.  Is her fabric perfect or what?

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Melinda used real candy wrappers for her “Gimme Some Sugar.”   She claims they were not the easiest sewing she ever did.


Vicki’s expression is from her wedding invitation which made for an elegant quilt.


And Bonnie used some cute cow fabric as inspiration for her expressions.

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Only one theme to go!  Can hardly believe this 2-year project is drawing to a close.

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Trying to get it right the first time–aargh!

This new quilt has to go together exactly as laid out.  I found I really needed a photo in front of me even after taking one block at a time off the design wall.


So even with all these precautions, imagine my surprise when I put row 2 on the wall, stepped back and saw THIS…


Thank goodness for seam rippers 🙂


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Quilts as puzzles

Recently I was sharing my hobbies with a new acquaintance and he commented on how similar quilting is to jigsaw puzzles–both favorites of mine.  I had to agree since I had recently finished this fractured quilt and found it quite a brain teaser.  I used extra cuts for the backing.

The one I’m working on now was even harder to get started correctly.  I finally cut a little window the size of one block and moved it around the diagram to see what I was supposed to be doing (just noticed window is not quite centered on a block in photo but you get the idea).  Finally got it going and am now ready to sew.



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12 x 12 Doors theme

There were a few members missing from our September meeting as it fell on a holiday and some of the quilts must not have made it to the photographer.  I’m posting what is available.

My door was symbolic


as was Linda’s


Vicki chose the band


and so did Diane


Melinda gave us some quilting humor.  Love her colors!


Only two themes to complete this two year project–and my November quilt is already finished!

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Quilt sale room report

I am happy to report I did sell the Radiant Nine Patch from my September 3 post so it is out of my house.


However, overall my first marketing attempt was a failure.  I put seven quilts in the sale and only moved one.  It’s not a huge deal because I am not trying to make a living selling quilts.  I have just started keeping the ones that were planned as donations because I rather like them.  As they were becoming a storage challenge, I thought someone else might appreciate them enough to buy them.  I guess it’s back to the drawing board to look for Plan B 🙂

I will show some of my favorites from the show soon.

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12 x 12 catch up

I am caught up for our September theme (doors)!  Man, does that feel good.  I missed the last two meetings so I procrastinated making the quilts.  My Season theme idea is not my favorite but I did try two new (for me) techniques–stick-on crystals and couching.


I really like the quilt I produced for the Idiom theme.  For my idiom, I chose “Snake in the Grass.”  I was going to make my snake more 3D but instead I used fusible batting behind the front side and Heat n Bond on the back side.  When I tried using a small satin stitch edge, it raveled more than expected so instead I shortened the “binding” stitch I have been using on these little quilts.  The grass also went through several evolutions but I’m very happy with the result.


DSC01676In an effort to show more process (and there is a lot of it in these little art quilts), here are the evolution shots of my snake and my grass 🙂


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Radiant nine-patch

For the first time ever, I am going take some quilts to the “sale room” at QuiltFest 2013 and I realize I never posted about this quilt (which is on my sell list).  Last year when I was trying to decrease my stash, I ordered the book Radiant Sunshine and Shadow: 23 Quilts with Nine-patch Sparkle by Helen Frost and Catherine Skow and really enjoyed playing with the technique of color blending using 3 inch nine-patch blocks of two surrounding colors.  I picked three fabrics and started building from the middle.  I cut and sewed as I went along because I did not know how far my yardage would go.

The quilt finished at 57″ square.  I had one yard each of the light and medium fabrics and three yards of the dark but had to purchase some coordinating broadcloth to complete the backing and the binding.

I will report back on this first foray into marketing my wares.

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Back at the machine and loving it

I recently saw a quilt on Lisa’s Red Headed Mermaid blog that got my juices flowing.  I printed one of the photos and started playing.  Had to have a few tips from her along the way but here is how it is evolving.  I could hardly believe I was having so much fun building it!


Now to sew it together, add a border and piece a back with the left-overs!

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Recovery stitching

Wouldn’t you know that just when I felt like sewing again, I was forced to restrict my activities to let my poor back heal.  I tried to mostly read and watch Netflix but after a while I needed more variety.  So I picked up a hand piecing project that had been living in my suitcase to keep me occupied during my travels.  This project has a long history.  I started out wanting to do a Rose Star using a kite template.  But as you can see from my 12″ floor tiles, these were going to be huge hexagons


So I looked at a layout with just two rounds of kite pieces instead of five and decided that was more feasible.  I cut some bright scraps to sew a test block.


After making the bright block, I started down a different road and finished this little quilt last November.

Then I picked up the purple/yellow pieces as my travel project.  I didn’t have many blocks left to sew when I recently pulled the baggie from my suitcase so the focus changed to joining them all together.  But after I got them on my design wall, I was not pleased with the look–a real de-motivator when it comes to hand piecing.  I had successfully “sashed”the bright quilt so I looked through my stash for something to make the new blocks more cohesive and I’m happy with my choice.  I don’t have a template for the side squaring triangles so I cut them bigger and will trim later.  The border strip is only laid on top in the last photo and only one side of the “sashing” is sewn.


Posted in hand piecing, hexagons, quilting | 5 Comments