Finished: In Need of Repair

I have a habit of cutting off two 2-1/2″ strips of each fabric as it arrives, so that I don’t have the fear-of-cutting-into-it Blank Canvas Syndrome when it comes to treasured fabrics. But this creates another problem… What do I do with all of those fabric strips?

I decided to play. I cut each one into about 10″ sections, and sewed strips together randomly.

Pressing to one side, I used a straight edge to trim about half of each strip off.

Then I had lots of strips and small pieces. I sewed more strips together randomly.

When I ran out of sewn pairs, I split the remaining stack of pieces and sewed those together randomly.

Eventually, I had two 7-foot strata of 10″ strip-sets. And no plan. Hm….

I decided to cut 1-1/2″ wide strips of the strata and sew them between half-square triangles of my low volume neutral fabrics.

Since I have the attention span of a guppy, then I decided to make half-square triangles of the strata, and attach those to the HST of neutrals.

Kinda fun to play with.

This was cool, but it would have been really small. And not that interesting to look at, other than the color variances.

So then I played with tilting some of the 1-1/2″ stripset pieces into the neutral squares. YES, PLEASE.


And then quilting. I wanted the color to pop, so I quilted everything else with more neutral thread.

But obviously the outer corners would need more stabilization. And the interior sections were boring, so I traced them — over the other quilting — with purple thread. Much better. And then purple thread in the colors gave it just enough zing. Ella liked it too.

So did Friday, but he was feeling snobby.



Here it is, oriented properly on the fence outside. I named it “In Need of Repair,” since I made it during Exam Week last May, and it’s how I feel at the end of a long school year.

And here’s the back!


In progress: Circles

A few months ago, I rabbit-holed on the Internet while looking at The Quilting Edge, and found Mari’s Wonky Curves Tutorial.

Naturally, I had to drop absolutely everything that I was in the middle of doing and rob my stash and experiment.

I went a little wonkier than Mari’s samples, but it was so exciting for me to get out some of these ultra-treasured fabrics from my stash and play.

Aren’t they pretty all trimmed up?

I like the interest that the black and white fabrics add and I especially like that the check fabric is slightly uneven. Adds to the whole visual feast, I think.

Some of these are hand-dyes from 2002, and there’s even a fabric in here that I bought in 1996. Yes, I remember exactly when and where I bought it, because it was the first fabric that I stashed. And I’ve used almost all of it up, which kind of makes me sad. It’s the rainbowy fabric in the bottom right corner of this picture. It has metallic detail on it, and it was made by Hoffman Fabrics.

Here’s the assembled top on the fence in natural light, since I was unable to get a decent photo of the colors inside.


I layered it and quilted it very simply with a neutral thread, and now I’m in the process of handquilting it irregularly with perle cotton thread. I don’t draw lines ahead of time, so sometimes there are bumps and corners in my stitching lines, but I’m fine with that. I want this to be very very organic. 


And I’m not a hand-quilter, so my stitches aren’t even. That’s cool, too.


And I don’t care if this takes a very long time to finish. With fabric from 1996 in the quilt, I’m obviously not in a huge hurry, right?

Finished: Goose Vortex Tree Skirt

In time for Christmas! It’s a foundation pieced treeskirt with a 44″ diameter.

You can make it with two colors, as shown above, which requires 5 fat quarters of two different colors and 2.5 yards of background fabric, or you can use half-yard cuts of 5 different fabrics (plus the background) to get a spiral that goes all the way from center to outside edge.

Or you can make a 25″ in diameter table topper for any holiday — not just Christmas. C’mon… You know you want to!


Pattern available in my Etsy store (PDF and print versions available), or through PayHip for PDFs for my EU customers.

Finished: Steampunk Challenge

Yay! It’s reveal time for my entry into the BAQS Steampunk Challenge! When I ordered the fabric pack, I didn’t open it for a few days because I wanted to finish some other projects. When I finally did open it and read the rules fully, I was a little concerned — there was a LOT of fabric in the package and the rules stated that every one of them had to be used somewhere in the piece. UHOH. Initially I was going to do a small bag, but I changed my plan to Dresden Sprockets as accents on a Travel Duffel when I saw how much fabric I had to utilize.

In my stash I had a large chunk of black peau de soie that my mom had used to make a gown for herself for my Debutante Ball in 1992, and it was the perfect complement for all of the fabrics in the challenge pack. It had the weight and heft I needed to suggest leather, without the handling difficulty.

Luckily, it came together pretty quickly…

But it was BIG. So my second plan had to be replanned. The big sprocket was far too big to go on the bag design I wanted to do, so now I had to find a background fabric that would work. Luckily, I had in my stash a fantastic satin-finish cotton that I had purchased a few years ago with the intentions of making a jacket for myself. I never made the jacket, obviously, so over 2 yards of fabric was plenty for the front and back of this quilt.


I had plenty of fabric to make another sprocket, but I didn’t want to overwhelm the piece or shift focus away from either of the two I had started with. So I cut a sprocket out of freezer paper and auditioned it on the background.


Once I had the sprockets appliqued down to the background, I ironed the freezer paper sprocket down and layered the quilt. After I quilted around the paper sprocket, I filled in the background sections. Here it is, from the back. Ella helped, as always.


I binge-watched episodes of the Blacklist, Blindspot, Body of Proof, and Quantico while quilting the background sections.

I liked how the ghost sprocket was looking, but when I got any distance from the piece, you couldn’t really see it. So, pardon the pun, the wheels started turning.


Shiva Paintsticks to the rescue!

I realized as I filled in the ghost sprocket that when the paint hit the black peau de soie, it really looked like metal. If I brushed the peau de soie with just a little, it took on a leather-like sheen. SO PERFECT. I went a little berserk, but I loved the effect. Metallic thread just pushed it that much further.


I finished it, but the density of the quilting meant that I couldn’t really cut it square without cutting into the big sprocket. So I improvised the bottom edges, and bound it with bias binding. Then I started adding metal embellishments that I had in my scrapbook stash.

And here it is! I’m so pleased with how it turned out, even though it’s not what I had in mind when I started.