|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.
|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 :)
|I sorted my 1.25 inch strips into color
groups and also made groups of plaids,
florals and prints that had so many
different colors in them that they didn't
fit into any group. These Courthouse
Steps blocks have a center that sets in
at two inches and the steps set in at
three-quarters of an inch. I think I may
just stay with this simple plan and these
three color groups, we'll see....
|These are nice little blocks to
make! I'm trying to get the full
range of values in each of the
three color groups so it doesn't
get to look boring.
|All ready to sew these together. It's
funny, these aren't wonky but,
because of the random mix of light
and dark in each color group, the
blocks do look wonky. I'm interested
to see how they look when sewn
together :) At this point, I think I'd like
to use this block again because it's
great to make and it uses pretty small
pieces of strips. I only had to cut
some more turquoise for this - I have
lots of 1.25 inch strips!
|"Block Party" is all done and the
binding will be in hot pink. Love
these sizes for the Court House
Step block and I'm sure I'll use
them again sometime!
|The last few quilt tops have been
scrappy ones, so I felt like working
with just two fabrics for a change.
Love this rose fabric and I think it
goes well with this dotted white,
which is one of my favorite whites.
This is the Tri Recs star cut from
a 3.5 inch strip.
|Often, I'll use an alternate block with
the four patches turned the other way
to go with the Tri Recs stars, which
gives an Irish Chain effect. This time, I
turned the four patches to go around
the center part of the block and it gives
some nice circles when combined with
the stars. I decided to change some of
the outside pieces of the blocks and
replace the pink floral with green.
|The blocks are finished and I'm
anxious to sew them together
because, when the white from
the four patches meets the white
from the stars, I think the circles
will show well.
|"Watercolor Roses" is all done
and the binding will be in the
pink floral. I'm pleased with
this design and am wondering
how it would look scrappy....
|I wanted to use some leftover stacked
triangles, so I'm going to try this
double octagon block. In each block,
I'll use two eight stacks from the same
fabric. Should be pretty scrappy!
|Since I'm usually making octagons or
hexagons with triangles, I'm used to
sewing the small ends together. This
block doesn't work that way so I have
to keep reminding myself what goes
with what :)
|These are all ready for their
corners. Fun to see how each
block would turn out with the two
sets of stacked fabric :)
|"Triangles to Circles" is all
done and the binding will be
in the gray border fabric.
Loved making this!
|I want to make more double octagon
blocks, so I'm going to try this fabric
with the huge flowers. This time, I'm
going to use the same stacked fabric
for all the blocks instead of using
stacks from different fabrics for each
block, as in the last quilt top.
|A beginning! There were so
many possibilities for the
background color on these, but I
liked this dark evergreen fabric.
|I used the striped fabric for the
corners to enhance the circle look.
I think I may go with the nine blocks
and add a pieced border.
|I think I'm going to border with some
staggered octagons, so I'll make the
border first and then use a spacer strip
around the body of the quilt top to
make the border fit. I'll make the
octagons and see how they look. If I
don't like them for this quilt top, I can
make a second top with them :)
|Instead of placing the octagons
randomly in the border, I'm going to go
from lights on the four corners into
darks in the centers. I took the picture
so I can look and see if I want to
rearrange any of the octagons before I
sew them together. This value
arrangement may not even show up
very much....we'll see :)
|"Evergreen" is all done and the binding
will be in the striped fabric, cut on the
bias. I went through so many different
ideas for this top in my mind, but I'm
glad I decided on this one :)
|These are cut from 3.5 inch strips, with
the Easy Angle template, so the
finished HST is 3.5 inches. I'm going
to keep the watercolor batik constant
in all of the blocks and do scrappy for
the other side of the HSTs. We'll see
where this one goes.....
|Love working with batiks! For one
thing, the wonderful color and
secondly, they press so well :)
|On the left are the blocks just as I
made them and put them up on the
wall. On the right is the arrangement
I'll go with - I tried to get a light
diagonal near the center.
|"Dreamscape" is all done and the
binding will be in the blue marbled
fabric used in each block. I did
rearrange the blocks yet another time
before I sewed them together :)
|Since I just did some cool
colors in the batiks, I wanted
to go to some warm colors :)
|I was anxious to see how my colors
were going to work, so I made some
partial rows. I'm happy :) A friend
had commented, on the previous
picture, that this looked like dragon
scales. I couldn't get that out of my
head and as I was thinking of how
one would get close enough to a
dragon to see the scales, and
"Dragon Selfie" came to mind. I have
a lot of fun in my sewing room :)
|This is adapted from a design by
Toadusew Creative Concepts Studio. I
changed the size on the black to be
more narrow than the two other strips
in the quarter Log Cabin blocks, just
because I didn't want too much black.
This is the kind of top that makes me
keep sewing because I want to see
what the next line looks like :)
|"Dragon Selfie" is all done and the
binding will be in black. This one has
been fun from beginning to end :)
|I decided to try the quarter Log Cabin
block as a trellis, since the last one
looked so much like a trellis. I used
different sizes for the pieces, so I'd
have more flowers and less shadow
and trellis, and I changed the dark strip
from black to a dark gray so the
shadow wasn't quite so stark. I also
turned the block up-side-down so the
shadow would be on the under side of
the trellis. We'll see how it goes as I
add flower drifts.
|Just need to work out the sides
and the bottom blocks and then I
can sew it together! I think the
trellis will be about the right
width once the seams are taken.
|OK, this turned out to be a good width
for the trellis and the shadow so I'm
happy! I thought a good deal about
how to do the sides, top and bottom
and decided to make these triangle
blocks that are a little more then half a
block in size.