|I'm going to post some pictures of whatever I'm working on each day. This doesn't exactly show how to
make a quilt top, but it will show a quilt top being "born." Hopefully, it will be a little like a quilting blog.
I think the most important thing to know about how to make a quilt, is that there are as many right ways to
make a quilt as there are people who are happy with the quilt they've made.
I'll just do one page and then delete from the bottom as the page fills. All of the information from my Today's
Work page is archived on Flickr if you want to see older entries.
If you click on these pictures, you can get a real close-up shot, where you can see mistakes, dust and all
kinds of fun things!
When I set up my website in August 2006, I committed to putting new Quilt Tops on the New Tops Page on the first of each month and
I've been able to do that every month. I don't take pre-orders from the Today's Work page because I want to stick to my original
commitment of new tops being sold only on the New Tops page.
The Today's Work page is intended as a way to share my process of completing a Quilt Top with anyone interested.
Tops that I complete during a month will be on the website for Sale on the first of the next month. Sales will be on a "First Come, First
Serve" basis after the Quilt Tops are put on the New Tops page on the first of the month.
If you'd like me to send you an Email reminder on the first of each month, when the new tops are put on the website, just send me an
E Mail and I'll put your name on my Mailing List.
|This is so different from
working with all of the
leftover stacked pieces!
|These are my solid, colored one and a
half inch strips and there are a lot of
small pieces in there, so I'm thinking
Log Cabins. I also have a bunch of
blacks in odd sized pieces that need to
be cut into something small, so we'll
see how long my patience lasts :)
|I decided to fill the spaces with
pinwheels. I wanted them to have
some motion, so I'm doing everything I
can think of to get that effect...they're
different sizes (the smallest setting in
at two inches), some are on point, the
blades spin in different directions,
they're situated in different places in
the blocks and I varied the values of
the colors so that some blades stand
out more than others. We'll see how it
all looks when they're sewn in.
|"Tumbling Pinwheels" is all done
and the binding will be in the black.
I think the tiny pinwheels added a
lot to this piece :) I actually stayed
with cutting the odd sized black
scraps for this whole quilt top - I'm
both surprised and proud!
|I want to try another of the Mega
Stars in some lighter fabrics. This
time, instead of using 36 stacks
from different fabrics, I'm going to
use stacks from just eleven fabrics.
So, each large diamond star blade
will be exactly the same (because
of the stacked fabrics) and the
different fabrics will follow around
the star as in a Lone Star. I'm
anxious to see how this works.
|Very interesting....this looks
much more like a traditional
Lone Star, although the stacking
shows up a bit, not nearly as
much as when I used 36 stacks
from different fabrics. This looks
very vintage to me, so I'll choose
a background with that in mind.
|My diamonds for this star are cut from a two and a half inch strip, so there are a lot of little
diamonds. I do handle them gently, like for pie crust, instead of with total abandon, like for bread
dough, but with two bias edges they can get stretched a bit by the time I get to sewing the large
sections together. For sewing the rows, I'm OK without pinning, but when I get to sewing the
large sections together, I pin. The first picture shows a row that I've just pinned. I can see that
this seam will not go well, even if I put that excess on the bottom to sew. I've found that if I use
my fingers to gently push the fabric up toward the seam and then use the tip of my iron (dry iron -
I never use steam) I can get that excess out. Then I put that section on the bottom and sew. It
gives a pretty good result as long as you don't have more excess than this.
|"Quaint Star" is all done and the
binding will be in a tan roses print.
The colors show better in the next
picture of the close up. This has such
a vintage look to me. I can think of a
bunch of other stars I'd like to try!
|The colors show up much
better in the close up!
|Another star - I'm
hooked on them :)
|What fun! I can kind of guess what the
star will look like as I'm choosing the
fabrics and then sewing the rows
together, but I don't really know until
it's all sewn together. That mystery
factor really keeps me focused on
getting the diamonds sewn together!
|"Feisty Star" is all done and the
binding will be in the red. Usually, I
name a quilt top as I'm finishing it,
however, this one I named before I
began and choose my fabrics
thinking of that name. Yep, feisty!
|Close-up of Feisty Star
|I pulled some stripes to work on
a shirt box type quilt top.
|The blue, purple, teal wavy
stripes blocks look like little
Rorschach ink blots!
|My Grandsons reacting to
seeing Spiderman at the local
carnival last night. Love 'em :)
|Unless I've counted incorrectly, that
should be all of the blocks. I use the
sizes and part of the layout from Kaffe
Fassett's Shirt Stripe Boxes in his
"Passionate Patchwork" book and
every time I make this one, as I'm
laying out the blocks, I say that I'm
going to refigure the layout so it will fit
on my wall. Then, when I decide to
make it, I don't refigure it and it doesn't
fit on the wall - just like the last time :) I
did run a piece of double stick tape
down the woodwork by the door, so
hopefully that will help when I'm trying
to work on the layout.
|On this kind of quilt, where I can be
easily confused as to placement of the
pieces, I bring a small section to my
cutting table and using my printed
picture of the arrangement, I put the
section together and then add it to the
design board. Looks like my printer
needs ink, but I just changed it!
|OK, I think this is the way I'll
arrange them. I could rearrange
forever on this kind of quilt top!
Sewing them together is just
endless trips to get a few pieces,
sew them and then place them
back. I do print this picture so I
don't have to keep turning on
my camera to see where
|"Cool Stripes" is all done and
the binding will be in the pillow
ticking looking fabric. I think
what I like most about this is the
combination of the wild stripes
with the order of the squares :)
|When I went to put away the five little leftover blocks from "Cool
Stripes" I could hardly close the top on the This & That box. These are
blocks that I either made too many of, decided on a different design, or
was just trying out. I decided to do some sorting! I made piles of
blocks by size or that could be made into a certain size by cutting down
or adding to. There was a large group of scraps that I knew only an
insane person would save. I saved them. Then I pulled the 12.5, 9.5,
6.5 and 3.5 inch blocks to work with and this is what I have so far.
|"This & That with a Star" is all done
and the binding will be scrappy - what
else :) I tried to get sort of an oval look
through the center with my placement
of diagonals in the blocks and I can
see that, actually better in the picture
than in real life. I always love using
scrap fabrics or blocks!
|A close-up of some of the
fabrics and blocks.
|Next up is this vibrant floral stripe.
Kay Nichols book, "Wonderful 1
Fabric Quilts" has some good ways
to work with this kind of stripe.
|I think the stripes make
some interesting designs :)
|Yet again, larger than the design wall
and I don't even having the setting
triangles up there yet! Well, I had
enough fabric and the design looked
best with more blocks, so......
|I added the orange to the
setting triangles, which are
made with a companion fabric
to the striped focus fabric.
Don't know why the turquoise
looks different in the picture.
|It's funny, even though this is another
companion piece to the focus fabric,
and I love it, I really don't like the way it
looks with the blocks, so I'm going to
stay with the turquoise in the setting
triangles for a narrow border.
|"Golden Times" is all done and
the binding will be in another
companion piece in gold. Fun
working with this stripe :)
|I really like this text print and I think
I'll use it with these saturated
colors and make something - don't
know what yet :)
|A beginning! This star is so
nice to make with the Tri
Recs templates :)
|I'm deciding on each round as I go
along so I'm anxious to see what it
looks like with each addition. I wanted
the black dots and color squares
border to be random, which takes so
much longer than set colors where you
can strip piece more, but I like the
|The medallion style quilt tops, with an on point center, are neat to work with.
Once you get to the four corner triangle shapes, you can put anything in
there and just repeat it four times. I decided to use three half LeMoyne stars
from the stacked text fabric in each corner. These triangles will be too small,
however, once the center of the quilt top is sewn together, I'll put a border on
the two outside edges of the triangles to bring them up to size. The three half
stars made one of those neat designs where I see different things when I look
at it - sometimes I see the half stars and sometimes the black squares on
point :) I think it's time to sew this together and then decide of I want to do
anything else. A number of the design choices I made on this were
predicated on the fact that I just had four repeats of the text fabric to work with.
|"Text Plus Color" is all done
and the binding will be in
the black & white dotted
fabric with the largest dots.
It was really fun watching
this one grow :)
|I have a bunch of 3.5 inch batik strips that
I've cut as I've made other things and I think
I have enough to work with. I decided on
hourglass blocks and was going to do all
scrappy, as in the two blocks on the left, but
then I decided to use this gray piece (which
is so pretty in person) as a constant in each
block. So, the two blocks on the left go to
the This & That Box and someday will be in
a scrappy block quilt top.
|I'm making these in cool
colors to keep the subdued
look of the gray. Such fun
to go through my batiks!
|Blocks are done, so now I can
arrange them and sew them
together :) Each block is made
with a different batik combined
with the gray batik.
|"Misty River" is all done and the
binding will be in the gray. I really
like the way the gray blended all of
these bright batiks :)
|This little plaid is a crinkle cotton
and I wasn't sure how it would sew
up, but it does just fine and I'm
enjoying the really nice texture :)
|I'm going to add some sashing to
this for two reasons, the
arrangement looks a little tight to
me and also, since I made the
four patches in a random
placement of colors, I want some
cornerstones to even that out a
bit. Hopefully, later in the day, I
can get a picture that shows the
|I'm using a one and a quarter inch
sashing, so it will set in at three
quarters of an inch. While I was
sewing this on, the song "Love
Changes Everything" came on the
radio and I thought to myself, well, so
does sashing! I guess a song entitled
"Sashing Changes Everything"
wouldn't go over real well :)
|"Soft & Sweet" is all done and
the binding will be in the plaid
cut on the bias. I was
surprised at how well this
plaid, which is like a cotton
seersucker, worked up :)
|This picture, taken outside,
shows the colors much better!
|I felt like making some batik stars with
some of the warm colors. I want the
stars to share space sometimes, so I'm
not sewing the sections together yet.
When I get them all done and
arranged the way I want them, I'll sew
this together in rows instead of sewing
the stars into blocks.
|Yesterday, I went fishing with my son and
daughter. Well, they fish, I watch! They
were telling me about another recent fishing
trip they had when a Muskie came swimming
by with his head out of the water. We were
discussing why a fish would do this. This
morning, my son sent me his opinion of why
they do it. Cracked me up :)
|All ready to sew this together :) It should be just like sewing a
bunch of 3.5 inch squares, in diagonal rows, since the star
sections aren't sewn together yet. Well, except for the three
areas where I used the smaller stars that are 6.5 inches,
which is equal to two 3.5 inch squares sewn together. In
those areas, I'll sew the 3.5 inch squares of the two rows on
each side of the star, then sew the two rows together and
then I'll sew them to the small stars.
|The 3.5 inch squares and the
stars in 9.5 and 6.5 inches go
together just fine. Good to
know, said the piecer who
loves stars and has a lot of
scrappy 3.5 inch squares!
|"Batik Star Glow" is all done and
the binding will be in the black. I
really like the scattered look
from using the different size
stars and the overlapping of
some of them :)
|A little Halloween! Such fun to get out a
collection of fabrics and decide what to
make with them. I'm using two 2.5 inch
strips and a 1.5 inch strip in the middle for
these. Most of the fabrics are Halloween
novelty types with a few like the orange
dots on white, on the left, and the orange
circles on blackin the center on the right,
put in for enough variety.
|OK, you're going to think I'm kidding about this, but it's true.....last night, I
got these Halloween fabrics out and began cutting them and this
morning, when I woke up, there was a BAT in my house! I've never had a
bat in my house before! I quickly put on a hooded sweatshirt and tied it
tightly around my face (that seemed very important at the time) and then
I opened the back door and closed myself in the sewing room. I sat there
for a bit hoping the bat was flying out and nothing else was coming in,
which, fortunately was what happened. The whole adventure sure took
away my normal morning "I'll just have a nice little cup of coffee and start
my day" attitude. Now, do you suppose the bat was drawn to my colorful
bat fabrics??? I'm going to be a little hesitant the next time I want to get
out the jungle animal fabrics!
|All ready for the corners. I think I'll
get some nice kaleidoscope circles
on this. I did make the strip sets in
light and dark, however, many of the
"lights" were pretty dark, so I wasn't
totally sure if I'd get the circles.
|I decided on the gray batik with
silver spider webs and the orange
and white cross hatch for the
cornerstones. I was going to use
the gray and a black, but I didn't
want the overall look to get any
darker than it was. Now, to sew
them together as soon as I run
|"Spooky Webs" is all done and the
binding will be in one of the Halloween
prints, probably the yellow/orange
stripe with the large black spiders.
The Kaleidoscope circles always
delight me when they emerge :)
|I started a Court House Steps with
traditional fabrics. I'm placing some of
the fabrics next to themselves to give
some pooling of color. Funny, but I
find that more difficult to do then totally
mixed fabrics. Each time I go to put a
fabric next to the same thing, I think, "Is
it too soon?" Several of the older
quilts I've made and still use are done
this way and I'm always drawn to the
areas where the fabrics meet.
|I'm happy with the way the pooling of
the colors is going. I'm getting some
larger scale prints in there to add
some motion. I'm sure I'll rearrange
these to get some connections in the
prints going horizontally after I get all
the blocks made. Yesterday, I made
a trip to Jo-Anns to get a new cutting
mat. What a difference! I tend to put
that off longer than I should, almost
to the point where I'm cutting
everything twice because of the
groves in the mat. Why, oh why, do I
|By turning every other block of the
Court House Steps, you get this
design. Once I have a bunch of
blocks made, it's fun to play
around with them :)
|Only a few blocks left to go, well
eleven more, so I wanted to take a
picture to see what I needed. I
think I need some blocks with very
dark darks and very light lights!
|"Traditional Court House Steps" is all done
and I haven't decided on the binding yet. I'm
always happy to have made a Court House
Steps or a Log Cabin top. This is made
from inch and a half strips, so they set in at
one inch. I like the pooling of the fabrics in
some places because it makes me think of a
woman coming by some fabric and running
right in to make a few blocks and letting
them accumulate until there's enough for a
quilt. That person is not me, but still, I feel a
connection to her :)
|When I look at this fabric, my
thought is stacked stars!
Then I wonder, do I set them
on white and let the blue
design show or set them on
blue to bring out the white....
|I decided on the blue :)
|Stars are done, now to decide
how to set them. I do think the
LeMoyne stars look good set right
next to each other so you get that
neat secondary pattern of
squares and squares on point.
However, I also like them on
|"Serenity Stars" is all done and the
binding will be in the solid blue.
Love this secondary design that
the LeMoyne Stars make. The
border treatment is done with the
Storm at Sea templates.
|I've accumulated enough of the one
inch strips, cut into 3, 5, 7 and 9 inch
lengths, so I have plenty of variety to
make some thick and thin Court House
|Progress is slow when the strips set in
at half an inch, but I do love the look
and it doesn't get boring since there
are so many different fabrics :)
|Diamond Courthouse is all
done and the binding is in a
white and yellow print.
Love these skinny strips :)
|I love to find a print like this that has
strong colors on a black background. I
think the stacked blocks will stand out
so well used with black.
|Oh, these are going to
be fun to make :)
|The reason I find these stars so
much fun to make is that I'm not
totally sure what they'll look like until
the end. When I looked at the first
diamond, I could see that there were
some lines that went across the
center of the diamond, which meant
that I'd get a circle of some kind, but I
didn't know how much until all eight
pieces were together.
|Time to figure out how I want to set
these, so I know if I need more stars or
|I decided on an on-point setting
with the red/orange hollow stars.
I made the stars smaller so I
could add the tiny yellow
squares to the sashings. Even
though the squares set in at
only three quarters of an inch, I
think they add some brightness.
On to the setting triangles :)
|I added the little bit of purple in the
setting triangles to bring out the purple
in the focus fabric and to add a
contrast color. I'm anxious to sew this
together because the blocks are up on
the design wall in such a messy way!
|"Sunflower Stars" is all
done and the binding is in
the red. What a great
focus fabric to work with!
|I'm choosing purples to go with
the focus fabric. I really love
seeing a whole bunch of fabrics
in the same color family!
|This fabric has such
wonderfully delicate detail :)
|It will be interesting to see how this one
develops! What I'm hoping for is the
focus fabric showing up in the upper
left, a blend on the diagonal through
the middle and the companion purples
showing by the time you get to the
lower right. When I'm working with a
progression like this, I just choose the
colors (in this case 64 purples) and
then I need to commit to those choices
until I get the blocks made. When the
blocks are done, I can rearrange them
or even change out some if they're not
|Coming out of the blended area
and into the darker purples,
where the focus fabric becomes
the light. Love to watch the
change from light to dark :)
|On the left, the blocks are done,
except for corners. On the right, I've
added graduated purple corners to the
blocks on the focus fabric corners.
Now I need to decide on the colors for
the blocks where the purples come to
the corners. So many choices....I
could do more graduated purples, all
whites, graduated pinks or I could add
a color with more contrast. We'll see....
|I decided on light to dark lime
green for the rest of the
corners because it really
seemed to do a lot for the
purples. With all of the
corners sticking out, it's hard
to see what this will look like,
so I'm anxious to sew it
|"Purple with a Little Green" is all done
and the binding will be in a medium
purple. There are over a hundred
different purple fabrics in this one, so it
was really fun to place them. You can
hardly tell that this is a quilt top made
with stacked fabrics until you look at
the blocks close up. I wasn't sure if the
Kaleidoscope circles would show on
this one, but there they are :)
|I'm doing some thick & thin Log Cabins
with HST centers. I like the design you
get from turning the HSTs in the
opposite way from the colors in the
next rounds. I had planned to make
these set in at ten inches, which would
have meant another blue round and
two more yellow/orange rounds,
however, I decided that I wanted more
of the HST centers, so I needed to go
to a smaller block. These blocks will
set in at six inches, so I'll have lots of
|Really enjoying these
vibrant colors :) I'm trying
to keep my blues medium to
dark and my oranges to the
yellow side of orange.
|All ready to sew this together.
I can picture this block in a lot
of different color
combinations, so I'll probably
make it again sometime :)
|"Scrappy Cabin Steps" is all done and the
binding will be in the dark blue with wavy
gold stripes, cut on the bias. I had debated
about using a border, but then after I
decided on the binding, I went with the
border so the binding will show up better. I
really enjoy using a Log Cabin block and
changing some of the elements of it.
|I'm working on a floral, light to dark
progression with the hot pink centers
remaining constant throughout. I want
to get some pooling of the fabrics as I
go. Hopefully, I won't have to go to the
really dark florals because I'd like to
keep this one pretty light.
|I love watching this kind of
quilt top change as the
rounds are added :)
|There are still several more rounds
to go, but I think I can still keep this
with an overall light look, while
getting some light to darker effect.
The florals blend so easily that I'm
glad I worked for some pooling of
fabrics to give some shape.
|Close-up so you can see some of the
very diverse florals in this.
|"Garden Glow" is all done and the
binding will be in the hot pink used
for the block centers. Love the
way this turned out!
|I still felt like working with florals, so
I'm going to use two inch strips for a
Scrappy Trip. I decided to do the
blocks in a gradient so I've sorted
the strips from light to dark. While I
am anxious to start making the
blocks, I find the value sorting much
easier if I cut, or pull from my precut
strips, all the strips I'll need before I
begin making the blocks. Some of
these fabrics I'll use in one block
and some in two blocks.
|I'll probably use one of these two
settings - the Barn Raising or the
squares on point. Bonnie Hunter's
Scrappy Trips is such a nice block
to make and it looks different
depending on the settings, use of
values and size of the strips used.
No wonder so many people have
|Still haven't decided!
Hopefully, I'll decide soon so I
won't feel the need to
rearrange the blocks into
each layout every time I put a
few blocks up on the design
wall. I really like both layouts,
but I imagine one will stand
out to me soon :)
|My garden is growing :) I'm
going to go with this setting
for this one, but I'm sure I'll
try the Barn Raising setting
at some other time!
|"Floral Crisscross" is all done
and the binding will be in a
light floral. So pleased with
the way this one turned out!
|Close-up of Floral Crisscross
Lots of florals!
|Friday, September 19, 2014
|I've pulled strips for another Scrappy Trip and this time,
it will probably be in the Barn Raising setting. Strips on
the left are the florals I used for Floral Crisscross and
the ones on the right are what I'm going to use now.
Most of the center three rows are from novelty prints
that have too many different colors in them to fit into
any color catagory. Also, my black and whites are
much darker and lighter than for Floral Crisscross, so
I'm interested to see what I get :)
|I'm pretty sure I'll use the Barn Raising setting for
this one, but there is still lots of room for different
looks just by turning the blocks. I'll see when I
get more blocks done. Just like the last top,
these are cut from two inch strips and there will
be 36 blocks, so I needed 36 strips in each of the
five value groups. I cut my strips at eleven
inches to give a little room for sub cutting.
|Lots of choices and I'm sure
there are many more! I'll need
to look at these for a while.......
|I mean, there are only thirty six blocks,
but I can't seem to stop arranging
them! I think my problem is that I like a
lot of them, but I need to choose just
one :) At least, I overcame the
temptation to see how many
arrangements I could get if I set them
on point or if I added a few blocks that
were different - oh, my!
|"Scrappy World" is all done and the
binding will be in a black print. While I
liked a number of the layouts, I
decided on this one because it had
both the straight lines in the center
squares on point and also the illusion
of motion in those corner pieces. I find
this block so pleasant to make and with
so many layout possibilities, I can see
more of these in my future :)
|On a quilt top that's based on
value, instead of color, it's fun
to change the picture to black
and white. It really gives a
good idea as to whether or not
the design is showing.
|Here's a close-up of some of the
fabrics used in Scrappy World. I
think value quilts are so much
fun because you can use such a
variety of fabrics.
|These are very subtle, but I
think they'll give some
background interest....we'll see.
|I want to make another quilt
top using the stacked
octagons as background, so
I'm going to try this piece.
|I'm just putting the blues up there as I make them and I'll arrange
them later. A few days ago, my iron died after several good
years, so I can't complain considering how long it was on each
day. So, I pulled out my back-up iron to use until the new iron I
ordered got here. I guess all irons now have automatic shut-off,
however this back-up iron of mine is johnny-on-the-spot when it
comes to turning off! Every time I go to the cutting table or the
sewing machine for a very short time the iron turns off. Even if I
give it verbal instructions, ranging from, "Please don't turn off, I'll
be right back", to "Seriously, don't turn off!" to "Darn it, don't you
dare turn off or I'll use you to iron plastic wrap!!!" None of these
comments have worked at all and I'm really looking forward to
getting my new iron :)
|Starting to fill in a little. What
looks like black here is actually
navy blue. My new iron arrived
and it doesn't shut off until eight
minutes have gone by - that's
more like it!
|To make my blue blocks, I picked out a
bunch of blues from my strips that
were already cut to 2.5 inches to start
with. I intentionally chose about six
less than I would need, so that I could
see what areas needed to be filled in
after most of the blocks were made.
Now, I'm deciding on those six blues for
the remaining blocks.
|The blues are somewhere near the
middle, between matchy and scrappy,
so I'm happy with them. The Tri Recs
stars set in at six inches, which is
smaller than I usually make, but it goes
with the other blocks. The rest is more
octagons for the background.
|Blocks are done and time to
sew it together :)
|"Stars & Zig-Zags" is all done
and the binding will be in the red
fabric. I really love the subtle,
circular designs you get from the
octagons in the background :)
|A thick & thin Log Cabin, using
1.25 and 1.75 inch strips. I love
seeing the curves begin to show!
|I kept these blocks small so the
curves would be very gentle.
Log Cabins sure are a great way
to use strips, probably why
they've been around for so long!
|Wednesday, October 1, 2014
|"Wavy Logs" is all done and
I'm going to use a scrappy
binding on this one. Love
the curved Log Cabins :)