Tag Archives: Stepping Stones QAL

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!

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(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.

Projects, Projects, Projects

I am currently working on lots of different projects. I don’t normally do this but I am enjoying it. It allows me to enjoy bits of the process, depending on what I am in the mood for (piecing, trimming, stitching etc.)

I have been hand stitching the binding on my Square Dance quilt. I found a cute red and yellow print on a sale table that works well with this pallette. Picking this up in the evenings and stitching a bit is perfect. I brought it up to Downieville over the weekend for some hand sewing but only worked on it for a short while. I should have it finished up by the end of the week.


Knowing that we were going to be up at the house in DV, I made a little curtain. In our bedroom, there is a door leading to a tiny room which will someday be a sewing room. For now, it is where Ray keeps his tools and supplies for all of the work he is doing on the house. But someday…. it will be a perfect place to sew. This door has a window that I wanted to cover for privacy. The sewing room has windows that one can look through to the bedroom. I used a great piece of Tula Pink in gray and blue. I took the photo at a weird angle because the sun was coming through and when I took it straight on, the colors were way off.


Now that April is here, there is a new color for RSC16, orange.  Not at all my favorite color, I was surprised to see how many scraps I had to work with. Last night I worked on “making” fabric (as discussed in “15 Minutes of Play” by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.) It is coming together well.  I had a patchwork block left over from RSC14’s quilt so I unpicked some seams and used bits of patchwork for the new blocks.



These colors will add a huge pop to my scrappy HST quilt. I won’t use them for the Gemstones  quilt though. After a little back and forth with Cynthia Brunz, she suggested swapping out orange for a deeper rust (think of Topaz gems). I love this idea but don’t have enough choices in my stash. I will pick up a few FQ’s for this.

Finally, I made huge progress on the Stepping Stones QAL that I am doing with Jennifer over at Inquiring Quilter. Participating in the QAL has been the perfect way to keep me on task. After many years of working to a deadline (which is so common in the HR world) I am finding that having the deadline is really helpful to me. I have pieced the 143 HST’s needed. I also cut some extra charms. After counting what I had, I came up slightly short. Take a look at these black and white FQ’s that I picked up to supplement my charm squares with.

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I love all of these! The fabric at the top is a Tula Pink which I found interesting – I don’t think she uses black and white very often. It is gorgeous though.

2016 Advice and Tech Helpfor New Quilt Bloggers

Finally, I want to let you know that signups are open for the 2016 New Quilt Blogger session with Quilting Jetgirl, Late Night Quilter and Meadow Mist Designs. I participated in this activity last year. If you are relatively new to the quilt blogging world, I highly recommend participating. It was a valuable experience offering tips and techniques that taught me so much. Working with a large (we had about 70) group of bloggers, I became acquainted with many new bloggers. Opportunities were available which helped to push me to learn and grow (such as the block hops sponsored by Paint Brush Fabrics.) Be sure to check out the information at any of the three websites I have linked to and see what if this is right for you. If you have questions, leave them in the comments. Here are the criteria for participating in this event.

  1. If you have been blogging mainly about modern quilting (modern quilting to you is modern quilting to us.),
  2. for less than 2 years,
  3. writing at least 4 posts a month,
  4. are willing to agree to be actively involved in the blog hop through visiting and commenting on the other blogger’s hop posts,
  5. and have or are willing to open a Facebook account to participate in the group discussions.

**If you are interested, sign up here!

Hope you are all having a wonderful week. Springtime is certainly long in coming to the east coast but we are in full swing on the west. My lilacs are fully blooming. I tried to cut some for inside the house but the fragrance was powerful and I couldn’t leave them. We were all sneezing after just a short while!


Linking to lots of fun places. Check out the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups.