Category Archives: Pieced Quilts

Sewcial Bee Sampler Quilt Finish

I am so happy with the finish of my Sewcial Bee Sampler quilt.  I loved making the blocks along with the billions of other quilters that followed along with this QAL hosted earlier this year by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. I posted progress shots along the way as I made the blocks, but just in case you didn’t know, the QAL included 25 blocks but I stopped after making 20.  This quilt is a comfortable size for a lap quilt and I felt like if I went for the full twenty-five blocks, this would just be set aside and not finished.  The colors of the quilt are so pretty and I was anxious to finish it and use it.

After sashing the blocks and rows with Mesh Joy, a gorgeous low volume print from Sharon’s Gossamer line, I took the quilt over to the long arm shop where I rent a machine.  For the backing, I used a piece of soft vintage gingham that I purchased at a thrift store over the summer. The light brown color is lovely and works well with the quilt top.

When I picked the binding, I was trying to choose between two fabrics, Terra Firma in deep yellow and Twinklestar Berry  from the Garden Dreamer line by Maureen Cracknell.  I couldn’t make up my mind so I asked Julia to choose between  them and she immediately went to the Twinklestar fabric.  It works well with the front and back.

I took it to the long arm shop a few weeks back and quilted it with a loose meander pattern. Because each block is different and the quilt is fairly busy, it made sense to keep the quilting simple.  More importantly, I wanted to use this quilting time to practice my control on the long arm and by using such a basic quilt motif, I could focus on the speed and evenness of the stitches on the long arm.  It was really helpful to practice like that.  It amazed me how little time it took to quilt it!

I really like the loft the quilt has with the loose quilting.  This quilt is so cozy.

The rich colors – cheddar yellow, the deep blues and the raspberry colors are my favorites.  This was such a fun quilt to make.  I know there are a lot of QAL’s popping up for the new year.  I think I will look through them and choose one. I have two more quilts in process and I hope I can finish those up before starting another one.  Tomorrow I plan to take my nephew’s jersey quilt to the long arm shop and quilt it.  Hurray for finishing up some projects!!

Have a wonderful weekend all!  Linking to some of my favorites. Please feel free to check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Sewcial Bee Sampler Quilt Top

This week didn’t go quite as planned.  But I have learned to be flexible because my week rarely goes as planned.  I had scheduled time to quilt Sam’s jersey quilt at the long arm shop but this plan was derailed by a migraine.  Fortunately, the woman running the shop is very flexible and was able to reschedule me to Thursday of next week.  Hopefully, that will work out for me as I am really looking forward to quilting it.

After a day of recuperating, I pulled out my blocks made with the Sewcial Bee Sampler during the spring and summer.  I loved this QAL which was hosted by Maureen Cracknell and Sharon Holland. For the majority of my blocks I used scraps of Fleet and Flourish (designed by Maureen) and solids from my stash.  Toward the end though, I added in a bit of Garden Dreamer and one scrap from Alison Glass because I was really running out of Fleet and Flourish.  Thankfully, these all worked well together.

Somehow time got away from me toward the end of the quilt along and I completed only 20 of the 25 blocks designed for the quilt. I pulled out the blocks, looked them over and decided that 20 blocks was plenty.  These are 12 inch blocks and there is sashing, so the quilt makes a generous lap size. Even without the last five blocks, it finished at 58″ x 72″. I love these blocks and wanted to finish this one up.

I used Mesh Joy, from Sharon Holland’s Gossamer line for the sashing.  This low value print is a huge favorite of mine. Actually, it is a favorite of many which was made clear by how quickly I sold out of two full bolts of it. The colors and grid like print are really soft and work with so many colors. I am please by the way it enhances my blocks. Between the colors, Maureen’s fabrics, the sashing and the block design, I am thrilled with this quilt top. Samplers are a favorite of mine, second only to basic, simple patchwork. It is fun to see the varied design of the blocks, some with large chunky shapes and others with smaller, detailed designs. Sashing is a life saver for me as I am not a precise quilter. With sashing, I know my less than perfectly pieced blocks won’t need to line up corner to corner.

I think I will try quilting this project at the long arm shop too. I want to do a loose all-over pattern so it is soft and cozy. It is second in line, after Sam’s jersey quilt.

Chemex cozies for my shop

Besides finishing up the Sewcial Bee quilt top, I have been making Chemex Cozies for my shop. It is getting to be the time of year for holiday shopping (I know, it is still 80 degrees outside and fall has barely begun!) so I need replenish stock in my shop.  It has been fun to shop my own store for fabric to make these.

With holiday shopping around the corner, my shop will become busier than usual.  I need to look at the sewing I hope to accomplish during the last part of the year and prioritize.  My personal sewing tends to be less during this time as my Etsy projects and holiday gift sewing increases. I had planned to take part in the Wayward Transparency QAL hosted by Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl. I love the pattern she created for the event, so much so that I am sponsoring the event with a giveaway prize. However, this isn’t the right time for me to begin another quilt. If you haven’t looked at this event yet, I highly recommend it. The pattern is really cool and the transparency effect is striking.  The QAL for this striking lap size quilt has barely begun with fabric selection happening now.

Julia and I are heading up to Apple Hill this weekend. About an hour’s drive from here, there are lots of you-pick places, yummy Apple Cider donuts, pumpkins and all things autumnal.  I am looking forward to spending the day with her out and about.  I hope you have something fun planned for this weekend too!

Be sure to stop by next week. I have a fun post and giveaway to share on Tuesday!

Linking to my favorite places. Please check out the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups. See you back here next week!


A Harmonious Finish

This week I finished my Harmony quilt. I will finally be able to send it off to my nephew and his wife as their wedding gift. Doesn’t some rule of etiquette say you can give a wedding present within the first year and it is still ‘proper’? According to this post on Manners Monday of the Huffington Post, I am still within the time frame. Though really, who would refuse a wedding gift because it was late? At least I am finally giving it to them!!

You might remember I made the quilt top a long time ago. I used a fat eighth set of Millie Fleur by BariJ for the centers and Moda solids, Fig Tree Cream and Stone. The pattern is one that alternates hourglass blocks and economy blocks, each of which finished at 9 1/2″. I love the look of this pattern and feel proud to have drawn it myself and figured it out without a pattern (I don’t do that too often.)

I wanted to quilt it on a long arm because there is lots of cool negative space and it would have been fun to play with it. However, that just never worked out and in the interest of time and wanting to complete this quilt, I opted to quilt it at home.  It is fairly large at 74″ square so I decided against free motion quilting and settled for straight line with my walking foot. I did a diagonal line across the middle. For one side I did vertical lines all the way out and on the other side I quilted horizontal lines. I like the effect.

My favorite part of the quilt is the bottom border where I relief quilted their last name and the words EST. 2016.  It is a sweet reminder of when they married and established their family of two (plus a couple of dogs!!) As with my other relief quilting projects, I fused stabilizer to the back of the border strip (before it was attached to the quilt) Once the letters were traced on to the border, I used my darning foot and created the design by free motion quilting around the shapes of the letters and numbers.  After attaching the border strip and quilting the body of the quilt, I took the darning foot and FMQ’d the outline of each letter and number to quilt that section of the border and make the letters stand out and puff up a bit.

On the corners I used a four patch block as a cornerstone.  On each of these I quilted a little flower. The borders were free motion quilted with a pattern of loops, alternating small and large ones.

To finish it off, I made a scrappy binding!  I am such a fan of scrappy bindings. Luckily, I had just enough of the Millie Fleur fabric left to make the binding.

The backing is a green, floral wide back I purchased long ago and I couldn’t honestly say what it is. I can say I love the ease of a wide back for backing. Pieced backs are very cool and give you sort of a double sided quilt but wide backs (108″ wide) provide ease of use and a speedy finish. (Plus I have a large piece of it leftover which is kind of nice!)  In fact, I recently bought the first bolt of wide back, a small gray polka dot by Red Rooster and it is listed in my shop.  Just in case you need some. 🙂

I can’t wait for the kids to receive their quilt.  I was really sad to have missed this wedding last year. From the pictures they shared, it was just a gorgeous day for my nephew and his new wife. I am sharing a picture of them dancing at their wedding. Breathtaking, aren’t they? I hope they love the quilt and use it happily for years to come.

If you haven’t yet signed up, I would love to have you sign up for my newsletter. Sent monthly, it contains updates about new fabrics I have in the shop and promotions that will run that month for newsletter readers. Sign up form is on the right side of your screen, toward the top.

Linking to my favorites, each of which can be found at the top of the page, under Link Ups.


Wednesday WIP

Here is an early morning update for you. This has been a crazy week. Last weekend we were up in Downieville working on the house while Julia traveled with the tenth grade class to Ashland, OR (about a five hour drive) to attend the Shakespeare festival. She had a great time up until early Sunday morning when she woke with a nasty stomach flu. After talking with the mom’s and her principal who were taking care of her, it was decided she really couldn’t do a long drive to come home. My husband drove up to Ashland and they hunkered down in a hotel until the worst was over. Then they drove home on Monday afternoon. She has been recuperating but it looks like she is going back to school today – luckily she has a light morning so she will just go for the afternoon classes.

Until it came to an abrupt end, we were making good progress on the living room in Downieville. This room has been fun because it really only needed some paint, new trim and carpet. Friday last week was the day of the carpet install. I drove up in the morning to let the installer in. Remember the house is very tiny (approximately 700 square feet) and I knew I would be stuck either in the kitchen or bedroom while he was working on the living room. I brought my little sewing machine and set up shop in the kitchen. (Don’t you love the little kitchen table? I found it on Craigslist and I am crazy about it.)


It was nice to be able to sew while he was working in the living room but it was quite cozy in the kitchen! There was no other spot for the couch so he pushed it through to the kitchen. Of course because it almost didn’t fit, there are new scratches in the paint of the door trim, but that can be taken care of later.

imageHere is a before and after shot of the living room.  The left side is how it looked when we bought the house and the right is current.


Here is another angle on the current living room. We primed and painted the paneling and Ray put new crown molding up around the walls. Ray also refinished a portion of the original hardwood flooring in front of the door so we don’t walk in right on the carpet. Hopefully this will lessen wear and dirt on that portion of the carpeting.


Since the picture was taken, Ray also got the baseboard installed and we hung some pictures. It looks so sweet now.

While I was trapped in the kitchen with only my sewing machine and a pot of coffee, I worked on the second quilt for the downstairs bedroom in Downieville.  Remember this was the first one I made. I finished this one last February – you can check out this post for the details.

Downieville Quilt #1

Downieville Quilt #1

It is a basic patchwork using 10″ blocks. I thought it would be fun to make this one with the same fabric but a different pattern. (For the first one, I was in a hurry to get it done for winter as it gets really chilly in that bedroom.) Since I have time to complete this one (the second twin bed isn’t used all that often) I changed it up a bit and made large half square triangles using the tan solid as half of each one. I have about 40 blocks done so I am almost half way to a quilt top.

imageThe layout above mixes the green tones and the purple together in a scrappy fashion. Here is a shot with the colors separated out in a more orderly layout.


At this time, I have more purples completed than green. I love the green tones though and look forward to playing with this when I get a few more completed. I am leaning toward the layout with alternating colors. The rest of this should go together in no time at all. The little downstairs bedroom will then have warm, coordinating quilts.

Hope everyone is finding some time to sew and staying healthy!!

Reminder:  next week is the Handmade Halloween event here at Needle and Foot. You are invited to link up new and old posts about all things spooky! Quilts, costumes, decorations that are for Halloween will create a fun source of inspiration for readers. The link up will open on Tuesday, October 4th and stay open through Friday, October 7th. I have tons of prizes from Craftsy, C&T Publishing (makers of your favorite craft and sewing books) as well as Sew Fresh Quilts. I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!!

Linking up with Let’s Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop this week. Links to all three can be found at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Slowly Progressing

We are down to the last week of summer. Julia, as is the desire of most teenagers, is trying to cram as many activities into it as possible. She has been to the movies, we went to the river last weekend, the fair yesterday (and will be there again on Sunday) etc. I think this is because she knows her precious free time will be given over to homework after school starts. She is also trying to get through her summer reading assignment which is a boring book on the evils of fast food.  Probably not the her top choice in books.

Last weekend we were up in Downieville and it was the weekend of the Downieville Classic. This is a mountain biking competition that is well known for its grueling, technical course. The first competition involves riding 29 miles with a 4000 foot elevation ascent and then a 5,200 foot elevation descent into the town of Downieville. I can’t even imagine. (Especially since I don’t own a bike, but still…)  Julia and I were walking around and watched several riders complete the course. They were covered in dust, head to toe, with little racoon masks on their faces where their glasses had been. Day two is the downhill race over rugged mountain trails where speed and technique are critical.

We certainly weren’t there to ride but it was a great weekend for people watching. The little town of Downieville is usually very quiet and it was nice to see so many people up there enjoying the river and all that the town offers. Especially the river jump, which is a tradition at the Downieville Classic each year. Riders sign up to ride down a ramp and jump into the river, bike and all. They use BMX bikes though, not their mountain bikes. It was crazy fun to watch.  I kept thinking they were going to land on top of someone but that was just the angle that I was watching from. They had plenty of room.


With all that has been going on, I haven’t accomplished a whole lot in the sewing room. I did bring my pink stripes up to Downieville for hand stitching. This project is a bit of a lesson in patience. I love the look of the chunky stitches with Perle cotton but every once in a while I will wonder why I am doing this when it would take 10 minutes to machine quilt it. Patience isn’t a strong suit of mine, so this is a good lesson for me to work through.


I have made some progress on my nephew’s wedding quilt. I am thinking of calling it Harmony. It is a sweet name for a wedding quilt and I am really happy with the look of the colors that I am using. At one point, it came to me that the colors looked so harmonious, hence the name.

7054 with picmonkey

I have had a couple of migraines this week which is always annoying. Yesterday I was sort of between headaches and tried to get a bit of sewing done. It just never works out. I should know better by now. This is how things turn out while in headache mode. Not once, but twice!! At least the seams match up nicely.  😉


Playing with Quiltography is a better bet when I am in this state. At least I don’t have to pull out a seam ripper if things go south on me. Rachel over at Stitched in Color is hosting a challenge called 30 Days of Quilt Designs. She is encouraging all of us to either sketch, doodle or electronically create quilt designs. Just to get your creative juices flowing. I am having fun with it and it is a great way to play with the Quiltography app that I wrote about here.  I have finished several designs so far.

I made one using hourglass blocks and court house step blocks with limited colors. I really like the movement in this design.


Here is another one using hourglass blocks and square in square blocks. With this design, I love that it appears to be set on point but isn’t. What do you think?


If this challenge is new to you, check it out here.  There is plenty of time to join in. The 30 designs don’t have to happen in 30 consecutive days – I believe she is holding this through October. Giveaways are involved which is always fun. There are lots and lots of designs posted on Instagram, #30daysofquiltdesign.

Hope you are all enjoying this last bit of summer before school starts (at least those of you with kids at home!)  Let me know if you are into the 30 days of quilt design challenge. I will go take a peek at your designs.

Linking with Needle and Thread Thursday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop. Find the links at the top of the page, under link ups.

Stepping Stones Finish

It seems like I finished this quilt a while ago. You might remember that I made this as part of a quiltalong with Jennifer from Inquiring Quilter. Probably two weeks ago I finished up the quilting and got the binding stitched about 75% of the way. Then it sat there. I was distracted by purses and other fun projects. Yesterday afternoon I was able to stitch that last bit of binding down while Julia rested that poor pinkie toe of hers and it is now complete.


The movement caused by the diagonal placement of the charms and those cute little HST’s make this quilt. The black, white and cobalt blue also worked very well together. (Though if I were to do this again, I think I would bind it in black. )

All of the quilting is curved (rather than angular) which complements the angular structure of the charm squares, borders, and HST’s. As far as my FMQ goes, this looks reasonable but is still not where I want to be. The only way to get there is to continue practicing, which is the plan! I look forward to washing this and letting it crinkle because that will hide some of the jitters in my stitching.


Because I am lax in my use of quilt labels (meaning I label about 1 out of 12 projects) I stitched my initials on one of the HST’s.  At least that will give someone a hint as to who made this.


I also put the month and year in. This was kind of funny though.  I was stitching the binding down and saw that I had left one bit of blue border empty so I took it over to the machine and quickly filled it in. I like it!


For the backing I chose a print from the Good Neighbors line designed by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts. I am very happy with this fabric as it has a nice feel to it and the price is right (as it is with most of the fabric over at Connecting Threads.) It has a bright bit of color to it and the pattern hides some of the FMQ wiggles too.


Finally, as with Amish tradition, there is one mistake. Look at these HST’s! The block was stitched incorrectly but I didn’t notice this until I was quilting up to these HST’s. Ah, well, this is testament to the imperfection of our craft!  Or, another way to look at it: ‘A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections.’ (Chinese Proverb)


This was a fun experience, between the social aspects of the quiltalong, using these particular colors (which I have wanted to do for quite a while), and furthering my FMQ just a bit, it was very satisfying. Hopefully you are enjoying your projects too. If you are in the US, have a great Memorial weekend. We are supposed to have some hot weather over the next couple of days – here comes summer!


Linking to my usuals! Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Stepping Stones Quilt

I am so excited about the progress made on my Stepping Stones quilt. I have been following along with Jennifer’s quilt along over at The Inquiring Quilter.  Jennifer did an excellent job with all of the explanations which made this a very fun project. The Stepping Stones pattern is simple which made the piecing quite easy. It was the number of blocks and tiny HST’s that took a while! Remember I chose to use a collection of black and white charm squares that I collected over the past couple of years. I chose a cobalt blue to trim the blocks with. It came together just as I had hoped!


I made 143 blocks but only used 132 of them. Once I started playing with the layout, I decided that I didn’t want it quite as big as I had thought. I am sure I will be able to use the extra blocks for something fun. Laying out the blocks was a challenge. I wanted to be sure that the stepping stone effect was dramatic so I divided my blocks into light and dark values. There were many that were in between, in the medium value pile so to speak. It would have been good to have a few more in the darker shades. At any rate, playing with this number of blocks was a little crazy making.


My design wall is small so it was of no help here. Because I really wanted to lay this out so I could look at it straight ahead, I decided to take a huge piece of polyester batting that I had and tape it to a wall for use as a design board. Hmmm… this was problematic in that I don’t have a lot of empty wall space. We have lots and lots of windows in our house. Hoping for the best, I taped the batting up over a window and began to play with the blocks.


Let’s just say, things didn’t go well. Not at all! I had taped the batting to the moulding around the windows which left too much space between the batting and the window. When I put a square up, the motion of gently pressing it to the batting invariably caused one (or many) of the other blocks to flutter off.  Also, using poly batting was a mistake. It doesn’t stick as well as normal batting (like Warm and Natural).  Jeez! It was no time before this happened.


Everything came tumbling down. I gave in and went to lay it out on the guest bed. I have mentioned before that my spatial perception is hugely challenged. For the most part, I am unable visualize how something will turn out. I need to lay it down and keep playing until it works.  This was the next challenge in the process.  I used some cool text prints in this quilt and I wanted them to be placed in the same direction so all of the text read properly (e.g. not sideways or upside down). Seems like this should have been easy…. not so much. Can you see the text prints that are all going sideways here?


I laid it out numerous times with the steps angling in one direction but each time, the text prints were sideways. Finally it made sense to me that all of the blocks had to angle in the opposite direction for the text prints to place correctly. So I picked up the blocks and reversed the placement which set the text blocks in the correct direction. It took a total of four attempts before I got the layout to work. A lesson in patience, for sure. At one point I was groaning and grumbling while working on this. Ray passed by and muttered something like, “how nice that you have such a satisfying hobby”.  😉


I loved making this quilt top. As is usually the case, I learned from it. The HST’s are solid black and white and finished at 1 1/2 inches – fairly small if you ask me! At first I thought I would try to orient them so that they all pointed in the same direction. This was even more crazy making than the text prints. Not long into the process of piecing the strips with the HST’s I gave up on that idea. It wasn’t worth the strain on my spatially challenged brain and I just sewed them in whichever direction they landed on the strips.


Chain piecing came in handy here. It made things flow much faster, especially since I wasn’t worrying about the direction of the points.

Here is one last tip that came about while making this quilt top. I had loads of pieces to keep together during the process.  I found one of those plastic bins that spinach and salad greens come in. It was a great container to keep everything together. It even has a lid that I could set on top when I wasn’t actively working on this.  Very handy and it is reusing something rather than throwing it in the trash. Win-Win.

step stones begins

The next step is to prepare my backing. I am pretty excited about this part too! (Really amazing how little it takes to make me happy!!) I ordered the backing from Connecting Threads and chose a piece from the Good Neighbors line by Amanda Jean Nyberg. I love the colors, the price was so reasonable, and it works quite well with the black, white and cobalt blue of the top.


This fabric feels just wonderful. I am such a tactile person but I love when the fabric has that solid yet silky hand to it.  Off to prewash the backing and stitch it up. Then on to my least favorite task of quilting, basting the quilt sandwich!

Hope you are all finding time to sew a bit.

If you are finding the time and are in need of supplies, check out the sale this weekend at Craftsy.  Lots of deals to be had!

craftsy sale 4_29

(I am an affiliate of Craftsy, meaning if you click through a link on my page and purchase, I do receive a small payment.)

Linking to all of my favorites this week. Links are found at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

An Unexpected Finish

I am not one for leaving projects unfinished. An exception to the rule, but I don’t have a huge stack of unfinished quilts in my sewing room. Putting in the time to cut a billion pieces of fabric and then stitch them together, only to leave them languish in a pile just isn’t my deal. (No offense intended. Like I said, this is the exception to the rule; many (most?) quilters have stacks of UFO’s. So it’s me, not you, ok?

I am chomping at the bit to cut into my stack of Pat Bravo fabrics that I received for my birthday last fall. I have a plan for a plus quilt and all the fabric is just sitting there, waiting so patiently. First though, I decided I had better finish one of two projects that are near completion. I started this quilt almost two years ago. I had attended a local quilt guild meeting and we had the opportunity to listen to Sandy Klop talk about her American Jane fabrics. She did a great trunk show. I got totally sucked into her adorable lines with their Americana feel and bought several 1/2 yard cuts.


I quickly cut into them, with the intention of making a traditional quilt that I had tagged in an old copy of  QuiltWorks magazine. Designed by Debra Feece, it is called Square Dance. Basically a simple quilt using squares and strips. I worked on it for a while and somehow it was pushed aside until last week.

The pattern is so simple. One would think that my blocks would have been the precise 9 1/2″ square that they were supposed to be. Ha. Not so.  When I took the project out to finish, the blocks looked off to me. They measured anywhere from 9 1/8″ to 9 5/8″. Didn’t I bother to use a ruler to cut my strips? Maybe I forgot what a 1/4″ seam looked like?  Who knows. But I was able to get them to a mostly consistent 9 1/8″ and they went together nicely.


I think this quilt top is adorable. I haven’t made anything with such a Folk Art feel to it.  Ray came into the sewing room the other night and said it looks patriotic. Made with (mostly) the three primary colors, it is so cheerful.


There is a lovely breeze out today (which is hopefully blowing a storm my way – we are supposed to be heading into a rainy spell) which made taking photos kind of tricky. Here is one in the house where there is significantly less breeze!


I love the red and white stripes and the red alphabet print. Traditional and so dang cute.


I am anxious to get this one basted and ready to quilt. I pieced a backing with my leftovers plus a couple of pieces from my stash. I just need to buy the batting. The squares will be fun to quilt over using a spiral or loopy pattern.

Hopefully I will be back soon with a full finish on this one. This weekend is going to be a no-sew weekend.  My sisters (well, 4 of the 5) will be here for the weekend. Yay!!! I can’t wait to see them. Ray and Julia are on their own up in Downieville this weekend while we all stay here and hang out. Hope you are having a wonderful week with at least a bit of time spent at the sewing machine.


Linking to:  Finish it Up Friday, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, Let’s Bee Social – all of which can be found at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Progress – Tula Pink 100 Modern Blocks

I don’t have very many unfinished projects. Right now the count stands at four.  There are two quilt tops that need basting, quilting and binding. Plus two WIP’s – my Tula Pink project using her 100 Modern Quilt Blocks book and a quilt that I am piecing with (mostly) American Jane fabrics. While this is quite reasonable compared to what I have read about quilters with lots of quilty UFO’s, I want to work toward finishing them all up. There are always projects swirling around in my head but I don’t want to start too many at once.

This week was derailed with a series of migraines but I was able to spend a little time sewing and I got several  blocks done for the Tula Pink City Sampler quilt.  I am using Floriography fabric for this project. Last year I won a gift certificate to Doe Street Fabrics and spent it on some 1/2 yard cuts of Floriography. I started to cut it up for the City Sampler project. The blocks finish out at 6″ so you can imagine that many of the pieces are small (1″ to 6″). Because each block is different from the next, it isn’t a project where I can cut a stack of anything ahead of time. I am cutting each block independent of the next. I soon found that I didn’t have enough variety in the 1/2 yard cuts that I bought.

As luck would have it, last November I found a jelly roll and charm pack of Floriography on sale at The Clever Quilt Shoppe. I bought them right away as it would give me small pieces of the full line and would be so much easier to cut from.

IMG_2933 (2)

While spending last weekend up in Downieville, I was able to cut the pieces for eleven blocks. I’m not sure it even matters but I have been doing blocks from each section in no particular order. The book is organized with the blocks divided into sections such as triangles, squares, rectangles, etc.

tula pink floriography

I have stitched ten of the eleven prepared blocks so far. I love having a stack of blocks cut and ready to piece.  Each block is actually quite simple to piece. More time is spent on planning which colors to use in the block and cutting the pieces. I made several errors with fabric choice when cutting the blocks and it wasn’t until they were up on the design wall that I could really see it. Not enough difference in value which causes the design to be lost. This fabric is busy and many of the prints are the same value. Even though I plan to sash the blocks when I make the quilt top, I need to start adding in a couple of solid fabrics to tone things down a bit and increase the change in value. After I take Julia to school today, I will make a quick stop at the store for some solids. When I cut the next set of blocks, I will incorporate the new fabrics in the mix. There are a few blocks that I will take apart and replace pieces with solids.


Overall, I am very happy with the blocks this far into the project. I am not sure I will do the full 100 blocks. I need to decide how big this quilt will be and how I plan to sash it. The blocks will be arranged in color groupings or it won’t “make sense” to me. The colors are what will define the layout. Look at the difference.


And with sashing and organization by color:


For an example of a horrible fabric choice with values in the same range, look at the green block, middle line on the far right. The flying geese are lost in a fog on that block. For that one, I probably won’t rip it apart – it will be quicker to just make a second one and ditch the first. Quilting is always a learning experience, and this quilt is all about color.

The weekend promises to be a fun one. My sister and her two girls are coming along with their husbands and boyfriends. We are going to dinner at a fundraiser for my parents’ church. Yay for family time.  🙂  I hope all of you have a nice weekend with family or friends and at least a little time to sew.

Linking to Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.




Orange Opulence

Another row is complete. Thanks to Mari at Academic Quilter, I now have nine rows done for my Classic Stitches BOM quilt. This is, as you probably know since I have explained it many a time, my project for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge that Angela sponsors each year at So Scrappy. It is pretty nice having all of this spelled out for me each month. Angela dictates the color and Mari gives me a block. No decision making on my part except for what scraps to use and what size to make the blocks. Easy peasy.

Orange has never been my favorite color. However, with a bit of on-line research using a very intellectual website,, I found out that I do (should?) have a significant connection to the color orange.  It seems that, according to the Thai solar calendar, Thursday is associated with the color orange. Accordingly, people born on Thursdays may adopt orange as their primary color (whatever that means – does one have to wear only orange, live in an orange house, eat lots of citrus?) Guess what day I was born on all those many years ago? Yep, Thursday. It concerns me since this isn’t a color I associate myself with, nor am I a particularly huge fan of it. This whole Thursday thing has been a problem from the beginning…. remember the poem, Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace?  Well, Thursday’s child has “far to go”. That’s not fair.  Talk about creating issues for a kid right from the get-go.  Yikes. The color orange and all of those obstacles in life that cause me to have “far to go”.  Like Charlie Brown, I’m doomed.

Enough negativity.  I love this row of bright orange blocks. See what you think.


It really is a pretty row. These blocks were such a breeze to make. Until yesterday that is.  For whatever reason, I had sewn one of the flying geese blocks in upside down. I ripped it out and then repeated the error. More ripping and more sewing…  I don’t know what the deal was. Finally worked it out and the row is finished. Here it is with it’s other mates.


At this point, most of the rows consist of 6″ blocks. The light blue and the gray rows are 7 1/2″ blocks. I am thinking of doing a small row next month, maybe a row of 5″ blocks? Just for variation. Of course if Mari springs some sort of complicated monster of a block on me next month, that may change.  🙂

For now, I am pleased with the quilt. It is going to be a fun one, once it is all stitched together. I am going to sash the rows because my blocks are not entirely precise and won’t line up well if I sew them row on row.  Not to mention the difference in size with the light blue and the gray rows.  Of course, that begs the question, what do I sash them with??? The background color on each row is made of scraps of cream and/or off-white fabric. I had a load of it and wanted to use it up.  What if I find some sort of miniscule polka dot? Could I sash with something like that?


In closing, and because you are probably dying to know this, it rained a little bit yesterday. Every single person in Northern California could be seen dancing a happy dance. It was heavenly. Hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!

Linking to Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts and Angela at So Scrappy.