2015 Quilt #3 Started

It’s already February and I’m just starting my third quilt for the year and the second one barely counts since it’s a block of the week and I’ve only made one block!  The new start is the cover quilt from Scrap-Basket Beauties and is called Hourglass

SBB cover

My small quilting group is working through the quilts in this book and this is our February project.  It’s been awhile since I’ve made a quilt from the book and I kind of like this one so now it’s a work in progress. 

The cutting instructions in the book are written for 2-1/2” strips and seem to be a little fussy and wasteful so I plan to try a little different piecing method.  The book has you sew strip sets of a print fabric with a background, tape a template to the back of a ruler and cut each pair individually.  My idea is to use 3-1/2” strips and tape a single unit template to the back of a ruler like this:

Hourglass ruler

This way I can cut several layers at once, which seems like a good idea since I need 396 of these units; half from prints and half from black background.

hourglass cutting

Time to get back to cutting!

Women of the Bible Block 1

I’ve been collecting the block patterns for the Women of the Bible quilt for awhile.  I really like these patterns because they offer a little Bible lesson in addition to the block instructions.  There is also space for personal reflection so you end up with a journal to document your quilt.

As I was digging through my scrap bin the other day I had this block in the back of my mind and found three fabrics that would work for the first block, appropriately named Eve. It finishes 15” square so it took some searching to find scraps large enough but once I found them it just took a few minutes to cut and sew the block together.  I used the Omni 98L ruler to make the quarter square triangles so I could get by with narrower strips of fabric than the pattern called for.  It worked even better because the stripes in the plaid went in the same direction by cutting the triangles from a strip.  If I had cut a large square into quarters on the diagonal, the stripes would have run both horizontal and vertical.  It’s so nice when things work out like that!


This is a big quilt-110” x 125”—so it’s going to take some time to accumulate all the blocks.  The quilt is designed by Stitchin’ Tree Quilts and is being provided as a free block of the week by several shops.  Typically a block is only free for two weeks but there is a CD available for purchase that has all the block patterns if you want them all at once. I get newsletters from Little Quilts and Quilt N Bee and they are both doing this so check it out if you would like to make a Women of the Bible quilt for yourself.

Stitchin’ Tree Quilts has just started a new block series called Have A Little Faith.  Be sure to take a look at that too if you like making sampler quilts.  It’s a great way to use some of your scraps!

DWM: Stamp Top Finished

There wasn’t a lot of time for sewing over the weekend since we made another trip down to Milwaukee but I did manage to finish the Stamp top.  I decided to go with the off-white sashing since there is no gray in the border fabric.

Stamp top

I wish I had a different fabric for the border, but this is what I could get.  The colors are okay but it’s really hard to work with such an obvious directional print.  It was made worse because there are two rows of blue diamonds, then a row of bright lime green.  I realized too late that I should have made an attempt to fussy cut the border strips because the lime green really seems to stand out.  The diamonds are vertical in the top and bottom borders and horizontal in the side borders.  It was very distracting where the corners met so I added cornerstones to break it up.

Stamp border

In the end, it will probably look fine when it’s quilted and bound.

Be sure to head over to Patchwork Times and click on the links to see other Design Wall Monday projects.


Sashing Decision for Stamp Quilt

All the blocks are finished for my Stamp quilt.  I have a soft gray solid that I really hoped would work for the sashing. It matches the gray in the prints well and I love the color but I’m not sure it works for this quilt.  The white just looks more crisp and fresh.  I never thought I’d be using white in quilts like I have been lately but it seems like a lot of the newer fabrics call for whiter, brighter accents.

Stamp Sashing


Since it’s snowing I had to take the pictures inside so you can’t tell a lot of difference, but I’m thinking white is the way to go on this one.


Field Trip to Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts

This week the Color in Motion exhibit opened at the beautiful Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts .  The main gallery is inside this barn and provides a wonderful space to exhibit quilts.


The Color in Motion exhibit features the work of Carol Bryer Fallert-Gentry and includes her “30 Quilts for 30 Years.”  If you’ve been to a major quilt show you are probably familiar with Carol’s work.  She had a very unique style and does amazing things with hand-dyed fabric and machine quilting.

CBFG wing


Also included in the exhibit is wearable art by Virginia Avery that is part of the museum’s permanent collection.  Two Wisconsin artists, Peter McMasters and Elena Rosenberg, also have pieces in the exhibit.

An opening reception will be held on Sunday, January 25 from noon to 3 PM at the museum.  On March 25, Carol Bryer Fallert-Gentry will be presenting a Gallery Talk at 10 AM and a workshop at 1:30 PM.  For more information, click the museum’s link here.

This exhibit runs through April 12, 2015  If you’re in the Milwaukee area, be sure to stop by and see these beautiful quilts.  The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts is located at N50 W5050 Portland Rd., Cedarburg, WI 53012.

Getting Serious about UFO Busting

Vicki at Field Trips in Fiber issued a challenge for UFO Busting in 2015.  This is something I really need to get serious about.  Many of my projects are near completion so it would be nice to finish them up and use them to bless others. Plus it would be nice to start new projects guilt free.

This month Vicki asked us to admit to the number of current UFOs and to write about our oldest one.  Ideally we would finish it before the next link up.  My UFOs are in large plastic bins and I have at least 22 bins.  Each one holds about 12-15 projects so I am admitting to 300 unfinished projects.  You might wonder how I could have so many but the answer is simple.  Most were shop samples and class samples from the many years I owned a quilt shop. When I go through a bin it is a little stroll down memory lane.  The project may be from a particular line of fabric, a fun technique from a class I taught or a special program we ran at the shop.  I really like most of these projects so it’s still fun to work on them.

This is my oldest UFO.

Ohio Star - Copy

It is from my first quilt class so I started it over 25 years ago.  Technically, it is a disaster.  Just take a look at this close-up.

Ohio Star block - Copy

Holy moly!  It is really bad, but I can live with the mismatched seams and the uneven quarter-square triangles.  What I couldn’t live with and why it became a UFO is this tragically poor choice of backing and puffy polyester batting.

Ohio Star back - Copy

Not only is the color completely wrong it is very thin.  The batting looks fluffy but is also thin so I’m sure it wouldn’t be any time at all before it migrated into nothing.  So why is this quilt worth saving and finishing?  One reason is because I LOVE this fabric.  It is still one of my very favorites.

Ohio Star fabric - Copy

The more important reason is that it serves as a reminder of how my skills have improved over the years.

The quilting I’ve done so far is just stitching in the ditch on four blocks.  That was another bad decision–nothing like accentuating cut off points and mismatched seams!!  So now, I’ll rip out that little bit of stitching, select a more appropriate backing and quilt an overall design through the blocks.  It will probably only take a few hours to finish this one and move on to the next UFO.

A Speed Bump Near the Finish Line

As I was sewing the binding to this quilt I felt this on the back.

French Kiss back pleat

When I flipped it over to take a look I couldn’t believe it. I’ve quilted probably a couple of hundred quilts on the frame and never had a pleat but somehow it happened on this one (of course!). Apparently the back wasn’t smooth when I turned it and reloaded to quilt the sides.  Ugh!  You are probably as sick of seeing this project as I am.  After my initial horror I consoled myself with a little treat that I keep by my machine for emergencies such as this.



Then I pulled out Jack (the ripper) and started fixing the mistake.  It was only about 14 inches so it didn’t take too long and I was able to re-load it and sew it correctly.

French Kiss finish

This quilt is now finished and ready to send to it’s new owner!  These aren’t colors I would normally use, but the fabrics are all so pretty and give this quilt a fresh modern look even though the design is more traditional.

French Kiss fabric

Hopefully this is the last we’ll see of this quilt!!!

23 Bobbins Later

The quilting is finished.  Yep, I used 23 bobbins on this quilt.  My machine uses the smaller “L” size bobbins, but that is still over a mile of thread just on the back.  No wonder it took so long to quilt it.  With all the bias in the center, I thought it needed dense quilting to stabilize the blocks and keep everything flat.  Plus it looks really pretty with all those swirls and twirls!!

French Kiss quilting-2

I’m so happy there’s just binding left and then this project will be FINISHED.

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