Thursday, April 1, 2021

Spinning Stars

Night Sky Sampler 28

A couple of years ago, I designed the Night Sky Sampler 28 quilt to teach techniques to other quilters in my classes. I used a combination of blocks including one I designed, Spinning Star. Since that star turned out to be a favorite of mine, I wanted to try a design using only it and some small star-colored squares.  I wanted the stars and faux stars to be scattered across the quilt which is sometimes harder to do than making rows of blocks. So I spent a lot of time playing with them once I had them constructed.

I made a large star out of like fabrics for the backing and added some half square triangles and borders to make it the correct size. Conrad was busy helping me that day.
A friend, Michael, quilted it for me with an all over star pattern. 
Truer color on this pic.
I like how it turned out...on both sides!

The coloring on the picture above is truer to the color of the quilt. 

Night Sky Sampler 28...You can see the spinning star blocks across the lower half of the quilt.

Sunday, March 28, 2021


Even though I've been sewing throughout the the pandemic, I haven't been blogging as much. I am not sure why, as I have always liked blogging as a way to connect to other quilters as well as keeping a journal of my quilting journey. I have talked to others who feel they got bogged down and weren't as productive as they could've been. I definitely have felt this way. 

I started working on Fabrications in July. Using a block I designed and different colorizations of it, I played with layouts even though I had a general idea of how I wanted it to look. That is part of the fun of designing a quilt...trying out different ideas and layouts. 

I had several white Moda Grunge fabrics, but none were enough to make this design so I decided to use 3 different ones I had on hand since I had 3 different fabric colorways. It's not that noticeable in the pictures.
I like taking pictures outside because of the lighting, but it can also be fickle sometimes.

As I worked on finishing it, I debated many names for it. I even asked friends on Facebook to weigh in on a name. To my surprise, many thought the large colorful shapes in the quilt resembled the covid virus pictures/symbols we had all gotten used to seeing over the summer. So their suggestions reflected that. It definitely gave me something to think about but I decided on Fabrications because for me it meant creating something new and beautiful in the midst of a lot of distress and worry in the world around us. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Stashbusting Sewalong anyone?

 A few years ago I decided to do a colorwheel stash assessment as part of my monthly sampler classes. I knew we all had plenty of stash and I had been intrigued by some colorwash quilts I saw others making, most notably Wanda at Exuberant Color. I started going through my fabrics and cutting 2.5" squares. I colorized them in groups, and started taking them to the monthly classes. I encouraged the students to cut their stash into 2.5" squares. They were cutting through their stash by color, and keeping the colors separated. They would then bring them to monthly classes and we would swap squares so everyone would have a nice assortment of colorful squares. Swapping is the best way to get many different values and tones of each color.  I talked about how to get that blended, colorwash effect by using many shades of each color. 

I played with them at home too, trying to get that perfect mix of colors. Eventually I had a class on using the squares we had been cutting, and making a colorwash quilt. It was a fun experience, and this is one that I ended up making using that technique. 

I made several smallish quilts, but used very little of my cut stash. They have been in the back of my mind for a long time, and I had an idea on using them awhile back and finally got around to starting it last spring. The quilt at the top of the page is the result. As you can see, I added gray/blacks to the colorized squares for the quilt blocks. I tried a few different ways to add them in and finally settled on one. It's easy to do and you can use up lots of 2.5" squares!

Since I'm not back teaching classes yet, I thought it would be fun to host an online sewalong making these scrappy blocks out of our stash. I will be posting more info about this sewalong soon, so stay tuned!


Monday, September 28, 2020

Precious babies

I went to visit my mom the other day and got to meet my two newest great-nephews, Flynn and Liam. They were born about 2 weeks ago and are as cute as can be. I also masked up and got to hold each one for awhile. They like to be held! 
I made them these Dog Gone Cute quilts earlier this summer, and they seem to enjoy them! I wanted them to be similar, but not identical so the twins could always identify their own. Looks like they will be growing into them. 

I backed both with the same fabric and quilted them myself, so the final touch was adding the labels after they were born. 


Friday, August 28, 2020

Beyond the Stars quilting

 I've been working on quilting the Beyond the Stars Sampler 15 this week, along with doing some fabric sorting and other cleaning. The room the quilt frame is in can be a dumping ground for the leftovers from projects since I store my fabric in that room, too. When I'm working on a project, I save most scraps because you never know if you'll need every bit you have until you're finished. I've been going through those scraps and organizing them into usuable, unusable and won't use. Some pieces are big enough for a pillowcase, so I have a pile of them to make now. 

Question of the day: Would Conrad use a hammock if I made him one? 
Two are finished. What did I think I was going to make out of that Duck Dynasty fabric anyway?
I'm updating this with a picture of the finished quilting. 

Monday, August 24, 2020

Desert Sky finish

My quilt guild, Piecemakers, hosted Connie Lange, a Judy Niemeyer trained teacher, last summer to speak at our guild meeting. She also did a class to help us learn the techniques and ease of paper piecing the Judy N. way.  It was very informative, and a fun, faster way to pp using strip piecing methods. We did some precutting before class so that we could get a head start on the day of class. The precutting was definitely worth it, as it takes some time in itself. By precutting, we were able to start in with the sewing right away. 
I got about two thirds of it done, then set it aside for awhile to work on other projects for classes. When I finished it a few months ago, I accidently turned some around and sewed them together partially in the wrong order. So up close isn't quite right, but at a distance it looks fine, I think. (If you are reading this Connie, don't look too closely!)

I recently quilted and bound it, so it's officially finished. I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle another Judy pattern any time soon, but it was fun making this one and learning the techniques.
Our guild hasn't met since February because of the virus, so I miss that stimulation of new projects shown and friendly chatter. We were to have several fun sounding classes, but they were cancelled. I hope that we are able to meet again soon!


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Sunbonnet Sue Sampler 1

I designed this very basic sampler to using traditional blocks to teach quilters how to move on from Beginning Quilting and learn new techniques, including half square triangles and blocked sashing. 

As you can tell from the fabrics, this is about 15 years old, give or take a year or two. The students also made Sunbonnet Sue using fusible webbing and then handstitched around the pieces. 
This is probably the oldest one of my quilts that was not quilted until recently. After several years of using it,  I made a different, brighter version of this quilt as I had grown tired of the fabrics. Now where is that picture....