|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.
|"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 :)
|"Deep Purple" is all done and the
binding will be in another deep purple.
The border and setting triangles, which
look black in the picture, are a very
dark purple rose print. The purple and
brown combination really turned out to
be very rich looking :)
|The scraps I cut for Log Cabins
have accumulated enough that I
can make something :) I'm
going to start with all
|I think this is what I'll do....starting
with just the red centers and then
adding a round with each group
until I get to the full Log Cabin
block. We'll see how that goes.
|I think I'm done with the blocks. I was
considering adding one or two more
rows on the bottom, but I think I'll leave
it square instead. Always enjoy
making Log Cabins :)
|"Log Cabin Progression" is all done
and the binding will be in either the
red from the center squares or the
cream background print. So nice to
work with these mixed pieces that I
have cut for Log Cabins!
|I've got chicks! Love
these colors :)
|You can hardly tell they're
chicks, but they're there!
|I used a center panel of the fabric because I
think it's so pretty and I added corners to it
to make it work well with the Log Cabins.
|I've been adding some different colors to the main colors
of the Log Cabins....some browns to the blacks and some
grays and whites to the gold, to keep them from looking flat.
|It's so nice when a quilt top has enough blocks that you can switch them around
to see what an idea would look like, instead of just trying to imagine it! Top left,
I was deciding between the left with three octagons and the red round cut off at
the corner or the right corner in the first picture, with the black/brown Log
Cabins going the whole way around and the red squared up. I liked the left, but
wanted more octagons, so top right is five octagons, which just didn't seem
good. Finally, the bottom picture is what I'm using, four octagons and the
corner of the red cut off to match the central design. As always, if you left click
on the picture, it should get larger and you can click again to make it huge!
|What a mess, with pieces not
sticking to the design wall and
the blocks all askew and
taped to the walls on each
side! This will be much neater
next time you see it :)
|"Chicks at the Cabin" is all done
and the binding will be in a black or
brown. These logs set in at one
inch, so there was a lot of piecing
here, but it was well worth it
because I love the result :)
|These are eight stack piles of
diamonds from thirty-six different
stacked fabrics. I'm going to make
another of the large Long Star type
tops with them. I don't know yet if the
center of the star will be the light end
or the dark, it will depend on what I
use for a background.
|One reason I've stayed with the
stacked fabric for so many years is
that I love the final product,
however, the other reason is that I
really enjoy seeing all of the
repetition the whole way through
the piecing process :)
|Star blades are sewn together, so it's
play time! I think this is the first time
I've tried one on these with the star
blades in different directions, like the
upper right. I don't know which of
these I'll use yet, kind of depends on
what background I decide on. Always
amazes me that, because of the
repetition from the stacks, so many
diverse prints combine to make their
own unique design in these stars :)
|"Star Power" is all done and the
binding will be in the pink. Love
making a quilt top with so many
different stacked fabrics!
|Here's a close shot of Star
Power to show some of the
diverse fabrics. See the
horse head in the middle :)
|I decided to start with a two
and a half inch diamond as
just keep bordering it with
different width strips. I found
that I can cut the eight stack
this way, trim the torn edge,
and then sew them on.
|These are leftover eight stacks, none
of which are wide enough to make a
two and a half inch cut, which is the
size I usually use for the stacked
Lemoyne stars. So, I'm going to try to
work with them :)
|It's funny, I've had those narrow
stacked strips for a long time and have
kept adding to them. I couldn't think of
what to do with them, so I'd think that I
should just cut them and add them to
my regular scraps instead of waiting
for an idea to come along. Glad I kept
them as stacks because this was the
kind of idea I was waiting for :)
|I was playing around with some
different ways I could use these
eight, pieced diamonds. I did
choose one of these and will
have a picture shortly :)
|I wanted to use the pieced
diamonds in the corners, but I
didn't want to try to work out
measurements to make them
into a border, which would then
have to be put on with a Y seam.
So, I turned the star on point
and I'm putting it together this
way instead. It still gives the
impression of a mitred border,
but it's much easier!
|"Star Bright" is all done and the
binding will be in the black. The hollow
star was such a challenge to do with
the stacked fabrics, but the stacking
hardly shows! I think the strips would
need to be a bit wider to get the
stacked effect, however I really like the
skinny strips, so it's all good :)
|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 :)