|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.
|For the alternate blocks, I wanted a
little bit of the focus fabric and some
lightness, so this is what I came up
with. These blocks will set in at six
inches, so the stacked focus fabric
triangles are pretty small.
|Although it's cotton, this blue fabric is
one of those funny ones that, after you
press it, it pops back up. Then, after
you spray starch it and press again, it
pops up again! So, I'm just going to let
it be popped until it's sewn down :)
|"The Softer Side of Wild" is all
done and the binding will be in the
blue. I like the way the alternate
blocks combined with the corners
on the octagons to create a
secondary design :)
|Hard to believe they're from the same
fabric! The seams are wonderful
when using the voile and the fabric
presses so well. This could spoil me
for regular quilting cottons.
|I fell in love with this fabric the
moment I saw it. It's a voile, so
thinner than the usual cottons, but
it should make some great seams.
|These blocks delivered on both color
and diversity - just what I wanted :)
|Octagons are all done and
they were really fun to make.
Now, putting all of the little
corners on them probably
won't be quite as much fun.
|I'm using sashing and
cornerstones that set in at
three-quarters of an inch, because
I love those tiny cornerstones.
Sometimes, as I'm making a quilt
top, I get tired of the fabric, but this
one, I love more and more :)
|"Summer Snowflakes" is all done and
the binding will come back to the focus
fabric. Yes, I know it doesn't snow in
the summer, but, if it did, I think the
snowflakes would look like this :) I
didn't use cornerstones around the
outside blocks because I wanted the
rounded look of the octagons to show.
So happy with this fabric!
|I liked the fabric from the last
quilt top so much that I wanted
to keep working with it, so I
went and bought more! We'll
see where this goes :)
|"Celebration" is all done and the
binding will be in black. I'm so
pleased with this, because it was a
challenge to set! I didn't want
anything to look like it was in a row,
but rather more like fire works, so
most of the setting pieces are
triangles. I wanted to keep the top
right quarter block and I wanted the
large block to be partially cut off on
the side and I arranged the other
blocks from there. It's done and it's
flat and I'm happy :)
|This is another piece of the voile
fabric, which I really love to piece
with. I still have more of the colorful
fabric from the last two quilt tops, and
I'll get back to it, but I wanted a
different color to a bit. I think this
one will make some neat stacks.
|I think these blocks look so different
depending on which way you turn
them. On the left, the pink blades
meet and on the right they're
opposite from the neighboring block.
I like both ways and have used both,
but this time I'm using the one on the
right just because I think the
individual blocks show more and it
gives an impression of movement.
|"Pretty in Pink" is all done and the
binding will be in the pink. The
yellow centers made a bunch of
designs that look like suns :)
|Love the designs you get
with stacked fabric used in
the 24 blade Dresdens!
|Back to this colorful fabric :)
|I wanted to try a Storm at Sea with one
solid and one print fabric and these
two seemed like a good combination. I
also reversed the placement from what
I normally do. I'm anxious to see how it
looks this way.
|Yes, I think this is going to work and as
soon as the seams are taken, I believe
the Storm at Sea design will show.
Every time I make Storm at Sea blocks,
I'm grateful for the Fast 2 Cut Storm at
Sea templates. There is a good deal
of trimming so there is fabric waste, but
they really allow you to make some
very accurate blocks.
|I wanted more of the floral
fabric, so I changed the
outside row to get that. Kind
of grew larger than my wall!
|I added the squares around the
edge, which are magenta in real
life. Later in the day, I should be
able to get a picture with better
colors. This is going to be very
busy, but I'm hoping that when
it's sewn together, the design will
show and take away a bit of the
|Interesting - with this busy print
and with the values reversed,
I'm seeing circles and stars
more than the normal Storm at
Sea waves. That's fine, I like
circles and stars :)
|Here are the three different quilt tops
made with that same focus fabric. I
wanted to show the fabric in different
ways, using just one solid with it and I
really had a good time with this great
focus fabric :)
|"Coral Sea" is all done and the binding
will be in the colorful focus fabric.
Really like the way the border turned
out! So fun to take a very traditional
pattern, like the Storm at Sea, and do
it in modern fabrics and colors.
|I wanted to use these with plaid
backgrounds, however I knew the
plaids weren't going to match at
the seams. I made a deal with
myself to not freak out about that
and to just get the plaids cut
straight and then let them fall
where they wanted at the seams!
With that out of the way, I'm really
enjoying the blocks :)
|I love finding a scenic fabric
where I like the colors and
shapes, so, moose it is :)
|If I can figure out something I like
for the corners, I think I'll set the
stars on point like this.
|I haven't sewn the center together yet
because I want to get at least an idea
of what the corners will be, which will
help me decide if I want to sash the
center or not. There were four
different moose in the fabric that I
could cut for those corner blocks, so
each corner will have a different
moose. They're all facing into the
center of the quilt top, which I try to do
on a fussy cut.
|One corner done! Since the
orientation changes on each
corner, I'm going to need to
really pay attention for these!
|The corners are done - woo-hoo! I
think I will sash the center section
with the black to set in at three
quarters of an inch.
|I was hoping to have enough room to
use the three-quarter inch sashing on
the outside of the center blocks, as
well as between each block, because I
wanted more black, along with the
triangle border, to emphasize the
center section. The black fabric is a
solid that's the same kind of fabric as
the homespuns, so it's very agreeable
to being flexible. Also, when I'm using
small triangles like these, I use the bias
side on the edge and that allows a lot
of ease or stretch when fitting to
|"Moose Lake" is all done and the
binding will be in the black. This
one is 67 x 67 inches, much larger
than my norm, but I really wanted
the sixteen blocks in the middle, so
it needed to be this size :)
|After the moose print and all of the
plaids, I'm going for this pretty
floral. Love how you can totally
change the mood :)
|I have four repeats of the focus
fabric, so I'm using two four-stacks
in each Lemoyne Star.
|I wanted to use the colors used in the
floral stars fabric in the alternate
blocks. I thought of and rejected a
bunch of blocks and finally decided on
the square in a square block. I can't
get the color right in this picture, but I
think they're working. We'll see when
they're all done :)
|"Stars & Squares" is all done and the
binding will be in the gray & white
dotted fabric used in the background.
I really love the colors in this one
against the soft gray.
|I decided to make some Shoo-Fly
blocks with scrappy florals. After I
have some made, I'll decide if I want
them straight or on point and if I want
alternate blocks or sashing. These
are nice to make :)
|I think Shoo-Fly blocks are
so cute! I'm going to use a
straight set with alternate
blocks. I like this light, airy
look, so I'll try to keep that
with the alternate blocks.
|I wanted to keep the light look of
this, so I looked for a fabric with
designs on a white background to
pair with the white on white for the
alternate blocks. This little
shamrock print is just what I had in
mind, so I was glad I had enough :)
|In the upper left of the picture, I've
started a row on the outside of partial
blocks to finished up the chains and
also serve as a border. Lots of little
|This is going together so nicely! On
the Shoo-Fly blocks, I pressed away
from the HSTs and on the Chain
blocks, I pressed toward the four
patches, so the seams nest when the
blocks are sewn together. The smaller
squares in the chain blocks set in at
one inch, so there are a lot of seams
on this one.
|"Shoo Fly Blooms" is all done
and the binding will be in the
white. Loved making this!
|I am a process piecer so I
enjoy the backs almost as
much as the fronts :)
|Working with my cut strips is so much
fun! I'm going to just start with some
greens and make this little block. I
may stay with green or use some other
colors and I can decide on a setting
after I get some blocks made.
|So many ways to arrange this
type of diagonally split block and
this is just a few. I haven't
decided on which arrangement
to use yet, but I am going to stay
with all scrappy greens.
|At this point, this is the layout I'm
thinking of. However, when I get all
of the blocks done and try to
arrange them, if I can't get an
arrangement I like, then I'll go to
one of the straight line settings,
which are much easier to arrange.
|The picture on the left is just how the
blocks went up as they were finished
and the picture on the right has the
same blocks arranged a bit to get some
areas of light and some grouping of
colors. I really like this kind of design
either way, but I'm going with the one
on the right this time. The color is a bit
off here, in real life everything is a little
more green and less blue.
|"Greens Galore" is all done and
the binding will be in a green
print. Loved working with all of
these greens and I'm sure I'll try
this block again :)
|I like to look at different blocks and see
what makes them differ. These three
are interesting - the green one is
basically a nine patch with one row of
HSTs running on the diagonal, the
turquoise one can be seen as a nine
patch with two rows of HSTs running
on the diagonal and the red one is a
sixteen patch with four rows of HSTs.
Can't imagine ever running out of quilt
tops I want to make :)
|Same block but in mixed
scrappy. Lots of possibilities!
|I decided on the on-point Barn Raising
setting with all of the blocks facing
toward the center. It's the fifth layout
on the previous picture. When I have
this many blocks made it's tempting to
lay them out in all of the different
settings, but I think I'd rather wait and
just make different tops at some time!
|Ready to be sewn together! Most of
these scrap strips are from fabrics that
I used for stacking, so they are larger
in scale, which makes them pretty
intense, so I used the white and white
with gray print for the background. I'm
anxious to see these sewn together to
see if the difference in the two
background fabric shows.
|"A World of Scraps" is all done
and the binding will be in the
white with gray print background
fabric. I always love scrappy!
|One more with that same block!
I'm thinking of this block as the
Potato Chip block because I
can't seem to stop with it :)
|The design is starting to show. I'm
trying for a value gradient in black &
white for the background and I'm
interested to see how that goes.
|The orange-red, yellow-green,
blue-purple may be my favorite
color triadic! Now, I'm anxious to
see how the background goes.
|I'm always anxious to sew
blocks together, however,
when they run off the design
wall, I'm even more anxious :)
|"Ups & Downs" is all done
and the binding will be in
the black. What fun!
|Same block, but this time, I want to
emphasize the heart shape. I'll use the
same red solid in each block and also
the same white floral, but scrappy
pinks. I'm hoping the white floral
triangles will make a subtle diagonal
line. I'll make a few blocks and see if
the red hearts are too much.
|I've done a number of layouts as
I've been making the blocks and
still haven't decided. That's OK,
lots of blocks to go :)
|I decided to go with the on point
setting, but, when I got the blocks
all finished, it seemed to need
something more. I turned four of
the blocks and I think that added
the interest it needed, so the one
on the right is the final layout :)
|"Four Hearts" is all done and the
binding will be in the red. Really
enjoyed working with all of those
|One block - many ways! Love finding
a block that's so versatile. I'm done
with this block for now, but I'm sure I'll
use it again at some time.
|Here's a close-up where you
can see some of the scrappy
pinks a bit better.
|I wanted to make some scrappy, strip
pieced Kaleidoscope blocks. These
are made with four, one and three
quarters inch strips. I'm going to need
to distribute those yellows once I get
more blocks made!
|Usually, when I make a strip pieced Kaleidoscope block, I use value in the strip
strata and use four of a light strata and four of a dark strata in each block. That
gives the Kaleidoscope circles as you join the blocks. On this one, I mixed the
values in the strips and I think it gives a spiderweb look. Since the blocks didn't
use value, I used it in the corners and then extended the corners into the border
area. I need to move a few blocks and then I can sew it together.
|"Caper" is all done and the binding
will be in the light gray. Always
love making this block!
|At the beginning of the month,
I made a top with Shoo Fly
blocks - scrappy florals on
white. I knew then that I
wanted to try white on floral
backgrounds, so here we go.
|My garden is growing :) I'm just putting
these up in a kind of light to dark and
then, when I get enough, I'll arrange
them. At this point, I'm thinking of
setting these with no alternate blocks
and no sashing, but that may change. I
like the way the Shoo Fly really shows
on the dark backgrounds and almost
disappears on the light.
|It's so helpful to look at this kind
of block in a picture to see how
things blend or don't blend.
These will be fun to arrange!
|Blocks are sewn together and you really have to
work hard to find the Shoo Flies! Now to decide
about the border. I could just stay-stitch the
edges and leave it like it is. Some quilters don't
mind all of those points coming to the edge, but
some do. I could go with a border of the white
dotted fabric used in the Shoo Flies. I could use
some 3.5 inch squares of florals, two to each
block, with the same values as the blocks around
the edges. I think I'll go get my groceries and
somewhere between the dairy isle and the
produce, I'll probably decide :) Shows how much
attention I pay to grocery shopping!
|I decided I liked it with no border, so no
border it is :) "Shoo Flies Hiding in the
Garden" is all done and the binding will
be in the white dotted fabric.
|I've been scrapping all month and
haven't done any stacks! I'm going
to combine these two fabrics, of
which I have six repeats in each, for
twelve blade octagons.
|The paisley is making
more designs than I had
anticipated - cool :)
|The sails made some neat
designs - some stars and
some windmills. I'm going to
do three of the blocks using
the sailboat fabric in some
way. On to the corners.
|I'm back after a week of vacation with family!
What a great time with a wonderful bunch of
people :) On the blocks that showcase the
focus fabric, I was going to put white corners
on the two sides of each, but then I decided I
liked them being a different shape than the
other blocks. The cornerstones set in at three
quarters of an inch, which I think will give about
the right amount of red along with the red
diagonal formed by the focus fabric corners.
|"Sailing" is all done and the
binding will be in the blue check
fabric, cut on the bias. I thought
it was neat that the paisley fabric
gave sort of a wave like effect in
the border :)
|I'm going to start out with the
leaf print and scrappy oranges
in this block that I became so
fond of last month.
|Love this delicate leaf print!
|I think I'm going to use the orange
blocks to make a zig zag like I did
in "Ups & Downs" last month. For
the background, I'm trying some
octagons from the leaf focus
fabric. We'll see how that looks
as I get more done.
|About time to start thinking
of how to set these :)
|Blocks are done for the Zig-Zags, so
back to the background. I could
extend the zig-zag look by making
some of the corners on the
background octagons in oranges, but I
think I'm going to use the leaf focus
fabric for the corners, so the octagons
blend and the main zig-zags stand out.
|Excuse those sun spots :)
Ready to sew these together!
|"Sunlit Leaves" is all done and
the binding is in the leaf fabric. I
really like the idea of using the
stacked octagons as a
background and I'm looking
forward to trying that again :)
|I want to do another quilt top
using the stacked octagons
as background, so I'm going
to try this fabric.
|These are going to be fun to work
with :) I'm not using stacks for the
black and white in the dresden
octagons, just for the colorful fabric.
|It's filling in :) I made the octagon
Dresden's in different sizes so I
could off set them a little bit. I
think this is all of the color I'm
going to use and I'll arrange the
black & white octagons once I
have them all made.
|Blocks are done! I'll try
grouping the black & white
blocks a bit to see how that
looks, but I may go back to a
random setting if I don't like the
grouped look. I'm pretty sure
that all of the blocks are
different, which still amazes me
that you can get so many
designs from a single fabric :)
|"A Touch of Color" is all done and the
binding will be in the colorful fabric.
I've enjoyed mixing the stacked
octagons with other blocks so much
that I may make another top using that
idea :) I think the octagons with the
corners done in the focus fabric look
so different from the hexagons used in
One Block Wonder designs, maybe
because you're using eight repeats
instead of six, or maybe because of
the added corners, I don't know.
|I think this print would make some nice
background stacked octagons,
however, I don't have enough for a lot
of octagons. I'm going to make some
and see what I can come up with to
have a bunch of the octagons set next
to each other and then something else
for the rest of the top.
|I think I'm going to try to make a
partial heart shape with the
octagons. We'll see how this
works as I get more blocks made.
|Well, the heart design, on the
left, just wasn't working out for
me, so I'll go with the simpler
design on the right :)
|"Hearts Aglow" is all done and the
binding will be in the dark pink, dotted
fabric. Not what I was picturing when I
began, but I like the way it turned out :)
This photo is pretty close to the real
color - the background fabric is the
color of the large heart in the center.
|Here's a close-up taken
outside that shows the
colors a little better!
|I wanted a very small scale floral
with a light background to stack
and I think this one will be just
what I was looking for.
|These are the delicate looking
blocks I was hoping for where
you can see some floral circles
and stars of different sizes :)
|I want to scatter these hearts over a
background of the stacked octagons, so to
make the scattering work better, I made three
sizes of hearts. On the small and medium, I
framed them on two sides to bring them up to
the six and a half inches of the other blocks. I
used different sides of the hearts for the
framing, again to add to the scattered look.
|I've arranged these in kind
of a scattered diagonal and
now I an start filling in with
the octagons, so I can see
where I need to make
|Just a few more blocks to make
and then I'll be able to tell if I
have the right number of hearts
and how to arrange them.
|"Shower of Hears" is all done and
the binding will be in the red, which
I think will make a nice design
when combined with the red
triangles around the edges.
|I was looking through my fabrics and
deciding what to make next, when I
saw this piece. I thought, "I'd love to
use this for the stacked octagon
background!" but then I thought, "No,
I should make something different,
since I've just made several of
those." Then I said to myself, "Don't
be silly, you can make whatever you
want :)" Sometimes, it's hard to get
over the habit of saying "should" to
yourself all of the time!
|I decided to use pinwheels with
the octagons this time. I was
going to go with scrappy
yellow/orange/greens, but then,
when I saw this yellow/orange, I
decided to do all of the pinwheels
in this one fabric.
|All ready to be sewn together.
I did add a few scrappy green
pinwheels to the mix. The
colors are off in the picture,
but I'll try harder to get the
right colors in the final picture.
|"Happy Days" is all done and the
binding will be in the
yellow/orange. This looks so
different from the last top, with the
hearts, but they are the same.
|I pulled my scrappy green and white to
black squares in the two and a half
inch size. I arranged them in a very
loose light to dark in both the green
and the white to black groups and now
I'm just going through the stacks
making four patches and arranging
them in a spiral.
|I promised myself that I wasn't
going to replace any blocks until I
had them all finished, however, I've
already replaced four of them.
Apparently, I'm not to be trusted!
|Four patches are done, so time
for the setting triangles. Love
making this kind of quilt top :)
|These little flower pins are so helpful to me. I
position the seams in the blocks to oppose the next
block as I put the blocks on the design wall. For the
pressing of the seams across the rows, I mark the
left side of each row with a flower pin pointing in the
direction that I want to press the seams. Also, since
I always put the row pins on the left, I can always tell
which side is the left during the sewing and
pressing. When sewing the rows together, I pin at
each block and I can easily feel the center seam on
the blocks because they nest nicely.
|"Night Light" is all done and the
binding will be in the black.
Love making this kind of
scrappy quilt top!
|While I was sewing together the
last quilt top, I was thinking about
this group of two and a half inch
squares. They all have designs
with different colors and don't
really fit into any one color group.
I came up with an idea for them :)
|I'm going to try pairing the
multicolored squares randomly with
scrappy rainbow colors and see if
the rainbow shows up. Of course,
now I'm anxious to get each new
color up there to look at :)
|Oh, cool! It does have a
rainbow look :)
|Coming along :) I wanted to have this a bit
wider, so I'm adding a row of scrappy
pinwheels, but then I needed to add the row of
the black and white plain squares so the
pinwheels would show up. There will be a lot
of rearranging to do on this because I just put
the blocks up without paying attention to which
direction the seams were, so I need to make
that right. Also, there are areas where darks
or lights meet and form a line, mostly in the
purples, so I need to change those as well.
|I love this part where decisions
are already made, seams are in
the right directions and the
blocks are in stacks all ready to
sew. So, it's just easy sewing
and I get to see the quilt top
take shape :)
|"Scraps Over the Rainbow" is all done and
the binding will be in the border fabric. I can
see a few blues that could have certainly
gone into the blues instead of the mixed
fabrics, but overall, I'm happy with the mix. I
like the way one quilt top makes you think of
other possibilities. For instance, I really like
the mixed, scrappy pinwheels and will revisit
that at some time :)
|Choosing two and a half inch squares for another four patch fade.
I don't know if I've ever tried brown and purple before, so I'm
anxious to see how they look. I pulled 222 squares from each
color group, which will make 111 blocks. I'll use a seven by nine
on point block setting, so hopefully my math is correct. From just
looking at the squares, one can see that the medium purples are
going to start showing quite a bit before the browns get to
medium, so I think the purples will dominate. We'll see. I think
that's why I like doing the fades this way, the result is a surprise :)
|I could make this kind of top forever :)
I love the checkerboard effect you get
from using two different color groups.
|I changed the layout a bit so there
would be two blocks at each corner
instead of one. I like the way the
purples and browns mixed :)