School’s out!

My first order of business when school is out is to upright the house and try to get my sewing room back into a more functional setup… This involves cleaning up the slow way by seeing stuff that’s been pinned or pre-cut, so that I can move forward. This basket now has hundreds of Tri-Recs triangles, flying geese, four-patches, and half-square triangles all sewn together. They look pretty together but weren’t originally meant to go into one quilt. I’ll play with them soon now that they’re made and not in parts anymore.  

I’m planning to try some new improv stuff very soon, and I do get to play a bit while I get things back in order… Last night, for example, I made these strip sets:  


No big plans for those. I wondered something. Now I don’t. Those squares are only 4.5″ finished so I don’t think I’ll do anything else with them but I have a better developed idea for a future project because of them. 

I also made these strip sets: 
Much more interesting! I’m going to make more of them tonight in the same colors. Not sure what I’ll do with them but they’re pretty. 

Today I made this 16″ swoon block to remind myself how I did those when I made Alice’s quilt a few years ago, since I’m demoing this block in three sizes in a couple weeks. I’ve never made a scrappy one so I’m very pleased with how this turned out!


More later…. Once I’ve gotten things back in working order. In the meantime, the design wall looks a little schizoid. But I kinda love that too.  


Almost Finished: class sample for July guild Quilt-In

I made a 25-sided polygon mini-quilt last year because of a sketch I drew at the beginning of church one Sunday. I came home after the service, drew it in Illustrator, and put it together.  

I love how this turned out, but it did require some surgery during the construction process because my angles at the center weren’t an exact 14.4 degrees. This matters when you multiply a small error by 25 wedges– suddenly it’s not a small error anymore. 

I got help from my friend Pete (who teaches Graphic Design at our school) so that my Illustrator drawings would be more accurate, and made it again.   

This attempt was much more successful. I sold that one to a friend out of state, and then was asked to teach a workshop on it in July of this year. I needed another sample. 

So I decided to make a patriotic one, since I do plan to extend the wedges and make a holiday tree skirt, so I didn’t want to make two more Christmassy ones. 

I got the wedges made yesterday when I was so completely socially drained from the exam week-baccalaureate-graduation extravaganza and just couldn’t handle any more. I closed myself in my sewing room and just meditated. But then I wasn’t sure… Should the geese fly in towards the center of the circle this time?

Or should they fly out of the center like I had done the last one? I couldn’t decide, so I asked Instagram.


Opinions leaned slightly in favor of the geese flying in, so that’s what I decided to do (after messing up and sewing them backwards first because I’m a dork). And I glue-basted and pieced a center too. 


I marked, basted, and quilted it this afternoon, and hand-bound it with a bias binding tonight. Ella was available immediately for quality control testing the second I finished it. 


The only bad thing is that I can’t get the SewLine pen to come out of the red center. I tried cold water, warm water, mild soap, Aveda shampoo, and an OxiClean slurry. A friend on Instagram has suggested a product called SewClean and I will look into that tomorrow. 

Friday was completely fascinated as I tried to get the markings out. He really wanted to help. 

Now the piece is drying flat on the counter in the kitchen. We shall see how it looks in the morning, I guess. I have a work-around (threadplay of with blue over the marking lines) if I can’t get the marks out of that center circle (what IS it about red and orange fabric that clings so mightily to water-soluble pens?!), but I hope I don’t have to. I want the quilted stars to be subtle and not the first thing you notice when you look at it. 


In any case, I’m pleased with it, and now I have a class sample for my workshop and can mark that off my list! 

Finished: A Semma Tree

I finished this one a few weeks ago… It will need to be carefully blocked before it can hang in any shows, because it’s a bit wavy from all of the handling during the finishing process. I do love how it turned out, though!  


I chose to face the edge rather than binding it, so that the Aqua would be the final frame… And also because I didn’t have any more of that fabric to make a binding with. There are two layers of batting in this quilt so getting the edge to turn to the back was a bit of a challenge, but I did prevail. Woohoo!      

I love how the image of the tree ghosts when you look at the back.   

And one final look. Love love love this quilt.  

Finished: Log Cabin Star

I am excited to share this finish!!  Each log is 3/4″ wide, and the finished quilt is 63″ square with 144 blocks. It was a “Leader-Ender” project as I worked on other things, until it was the only project I was able to work on over a retreat weekend because I forgot critical parts of every other project I took with me. I got about half of the blocks made that weekend so I just kept going until I had enough for the entire top. 


I quilted it simply with an all-over zinnia pattern that has become my favorite unobtrusive fill pattern, and pieced the back with some large pieces that were sitting near my cutting table. The binding is a Riley Blake diagonal print. 

No plans for this one other than to admire it and snuggle under it when the chill of air conditioning is too much this summer.