Finished (my part, anyway): Pattern test for an IG friend

Top Secret! Top Secret! #15 from my Q1 Finish-Along Goals for 2015. This one doesn’t really count as a “finish,” as far as the FAL rules go, but my part of the quilt is done. I shipped it back to the designer so that the quilter who is doing all of the quilts in the book can start on it, so I don’t have anything more to do. As far as I’m concerned? It’s a finish.

I can only show you this much now, and these are only a small part of the finished quilt top (and they’re not assembled like this, either– I was just counting at this point and figuring out which combinations I still needed to make), but I did finish the pattern test and I’m excited for you to see the finished piece! IMG_8802.JPG

Finished: Fibonacci Fractal 2

This was #2 on my Q1 Finish-Along Goals.

This is the 2nd iteration of my FibFrac quilt, since the first one didn’t demonstrate the mathematics as well as I wanted. This time I chose to use Moda Grunge tonal fabrics in contrasting colors. I was very pleased with how it came out.



I quilted it with a favorite spiky spiral all-over filler design, spaced about 3/8″ apart.


Jerry chose the thread color to match the taupe background fabric, and I love the choice — it gives texture without adding another design element to the fabric, which allows the math to stand out finally.


And, of course, more Ikea Britten Nummer fabric on the back.

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I bound it in plum Grunge fabric, which set off the quilt very well.


The plum was also was a good fabric and quilt choice for my binding tutorial, because everything photographed very well.

I’m quite sad that I’m out of the Grunge fabrics now, because they were a lot of fun to work with. I may need to stock up on them for future projects. I like how they play solid without being flat.


As I was getting the pattern written for it (in final edits now, and I’ll post when it’s ready and in my Etsy shop), I realized that I made a pretty significant mathematical error in the sections connected to the center square. Here’s a comparison of what I sewed and what the mathematics in the pattern design actually calls for.


I’m more than a little annoyed by the error (and especially that it took me so long to even notice — not once until after the quilt was totally finished!), and I’m trying to decide if I should Photoshop those squares yellow for the cover photo of the pattern or just go with it and admit the error in the pattern. Would that be confusing? I’m not sure. In any case, I didn’t make that error in FibFrac1:



Grr. First World Problems, I suppose.

Anyway. I’m happy with how they came out.




Finished: Counter-Clockwise

I worked on this little quilt while my friends pattern-tested “Big Bang” for me at the Snowbird Retreat back in October. It was #14 on my Q1 Finish-Along Goals for 2015.


Originally, I had named it “Where’s the Square?” since it’s built on much of the same principle as Big Bang — a non-square quadrilateral that, when combined in groups of 4, make squares. This design only has two foundation pieces, but figuring how to get the colors to end up where you want them was a bit of a puzzle for me.


I ran out of the Kona Ash background fabric — actually, I didn’t really run out. But I had two very obviously different dyelots and they looked terrible next to each other. This one had a greenish cast and the other one had a pinkish cast… So I was forced to think outside that light gray box and select a different background. Rather than make the light gray box be centered, I decided to place it off-center. This probably makes my husband a little crazy.


I quilted it through two layers of cotton batting, so it will be a very stable wall-hanging with a lot of texture. It finished at about 40″ square. The blocks units are 7″ finished, but I trimmed the outer blocks a few inches narrower after quilting because I didn’t want the border that wide.




I left the pinwheels unquilted, which makes them puff up quite a bit from the quilt with the extra layer of batting. I really like the look that this gives the finished piece.


Jerry maintains that the doubled pinwheels bear an unfortunate resemblance to an abhorrent symbol from the World War II era. I disagree, since I did not use black, red, or tan, and the pinwheels all turn in the counter-clockwise direction. He has hassled me the whole time I’ve been working on the piece, which has dampened my enthusiasm at releasing this one as a pattern. It’s really neat how it goes together without any partial seaming at all, and I think people would respond well to the simplicity of only having two foundations. But I definitely balk at the idea of creating a pattern that could so easily be manipulated into such a controversial symbol. I considered naming it “Blitz” (since the fabrics were from a “Tiles of Casablanca” bundle for QuiltNow, a magazine from the UK) or “Roundup” (since there’s definitely motion involved when you look at it), but felt that even those titles were too reminiscent of that connection which I want to avoid. So “Counter-Clockwise” it is.




As it is another Nerdy Math Quilt, I used my beloved Ikea Britten Nummer fabric on the back. I’m pretty sure I will grieve when I use up that bolt of fabric. And Jerry will rejoice, because he’s tired of it.



Finished: A Quilt for Shelly

Revisiting my goals from the beginning of January…, I’m pleased with myself! I finished 4 of the things on my list.  This one was #12 on my list, and I haven’t shared any photos of it before now.

A year ago, a quilting friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer, and several of us conspired to make a quilt for her. We used Lori Holt’s “Support Group” pattern, and each of us made two bras using colors to represent ourselves and a background white-on-white print from our stash. I got the last two blocks the day before my tonsillectomy in July, so I didn’t have time to sew them together into a quilt top before school started, and then life happened. I did finally finish the quilt in early January, so I took it back to retreat in February so we could all sign it and have our picture made with it. My blocks were the navy one and the bottom right lime green one (apparently I’m very conservative in my undies choices), and my white-on-white fabric has numbers all over it. Even though it wasn’t perfectly white, I had to use it. Obviously!


I didn’t get a chance to take Fence Photos of it before we gave it to Shelly, but here’s one from when I was quilting it. At one year post-diagnosis, Shelly was declared CANCER FREE! So even though our quilt didn’t comfort her through the chemo process, I hope it makes her happy for a long time to look at it and know that her silly friends adore her enough to make a boob quilt. My little giggle through the process is that I quilted nipples all over it. BWAHAHAHA — Shelly cackled when she realized that.



So much fun to be part of a secret project like this.

One of the white fabrics I used in the border has a little bit of smoke damage, and I struggled with whether or not to include it. Ultimately I decided to leave it in, because Shelly was a big support for me in the aftermath of our fire. The smoke damage was for me a visible sign of how we all have opportunities to pay it forward in life, because those gifts do come back to us when we are in need of strength.