|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.
|I have a bunch of leftover stacks of
four repeats, so I decided to try using
five sets of four-repeat stacks in twenty
blade octagon dresdens. The angle is
18 degrees on these. I wanted
twenty-five blocks, so I needed 125
blade sets. I chose sixteen different
stacked fabrics. I love making these
because each block is a surprise :)
|Well, there's a wild looking
bunch of blocks! I think I'm
going to do the centers, corners
and setting triangles in some
kind of print that will, hopefully,
make these blend together a
bit. We'll see.....
|Wild Child - close
Quite the mix of fabrics!
|"Wild Child" is all done and the binding
will be in the background fabric. And it
really is a Wild Child :) Always good to
find another way to use leftover
stacked fabrics! I like the way the
blocks blend into the background so
you just get a hint of the individual
blocks. The next picture shows a
close-up so you can see some of the
|I wanted to try the block I used in "Wild Child" with a few
changes, the center being a square instead of a circle and
four of the blades remaining a constant. In the first picture, I'll
use the four fabrics on the left, plus one more from the group
on the right in four stacks. #2 - I cut a five inch strip and then
cut wedges with the 18 degree ruler. #3 - Four matching sets
of five blades each are sewn and then trimmed to give the
center a straight edge. #4 - A small triangle is sewn to the cut
edge. #5- the four quarters are sewn together. #6 - Edges
trimmed to an octagon. #7- Corners applied. I think these
blocks will make a good secondary design.
|Good! I like the
secondary design :)
|Blocks are finished so I'm ready for the
setting triangles. These blocks are a
little fussy to make because of the
trimming, which is done two times on
each block, but I love the final result,
so the trimming is worth it :)
|While I liked the little white Friendship
Stars, on the left, they seemed too
close to the other blocks and it looked
like they needed a bit of breathing
room. I added a narrow spacer strip to
the inside of each setting triangle, on
the right, and I think they work much
better now. Time to sew it together!
|"We The People" is all done and the binding will be in the flag
fabric used in the blocks. This was a lot of piecing, but I
really like the result, so that makes it worth the extra effort.
|I wanted to use these two companion
pieces in some stacks. I'm using the 30
degree ruler and two sets of six stacks.
Instead of using the ruler so that the
seams all meet at the center, I'm moving
down one inch on the ruler and I'll use a
circle in the center of each block.
|These are sure playful looking
blocks! I'm going to do the
alternate blocks next and then I'll
decide on the color for the
centers and corners of these.
|This is a great stripe for
making the mitred squares
because it doesn't repeat at
all across the fabric!
|I decided on white for the Octagon corners and
also for the alternate block surrounds because
there was already a lot going on! I did add the
little lime green squares as an accent. I think I
could have chosen any of the colors in the two
focus fabrics for an accent, but the lime green
seemed good. I think the block centers will also
be in the green, but I'll do some more of the
alternate blocks with the green squares before I
decide for sure.
|Obviously, getting too large for my
design wall! On the setting triangles,
both the stripe and the white had a bias
edge on the outside, so I applied the
dotted fabric, which will be my border,
to each block so I wouldn't have to have
a long bias edge to deal with. I was
going to make all of the block centers in
the lime green, but I don't want to take
away from the little lime squares, so
now I think I'll use different colored solid
scraps that have some of the colors
from the focus fabrics.
|"Lime Zest" is all done and
the binding will be in a lime
print. What fun fabrics :)
|Next up is this blue and black floral
fabric in the upper right, which I think
has such an elegant look. In the upper
left is the first quilt top I made with this
fabric, using six repeats and then a
color for the other two blades of the
octagons. This time, I'm going to use
two different six stacks in a twelve
blade octagon Dresden.
|The blocks have their
centers and corners and
next I'll frame them.
|On the left, the framing strips are
ready to be sewn on and the picture
on the right shows the blocks framed. I
didn't frame the outside edge of the
blocks because my border is going to
be in black. The little blue squares are
only on some of the blocks, so
between that and the fact that the
blocks aren't framed on the outside,
there were a lot of different frame sizes
to work out!
|I finally got one of these little
checkerboard sections sewn
together so I could see it! The
squares set in at just
three-quarters of an inch but I
think they have quite an impact :)
|"Night Blooms" is all done and the
binding will be in black. I admit that
several times while setting in those
three-quarter inch squares, I was
tempted to abandon them, but, seeing
it all together, I'm glad I stuck with it :)
The squares look white in the picture,
but are actually a light turquoise.
|I'm going to try a Scrappy
Trip, all in purples and
set on point. I'm keeping
one constant, the solid
dark purple, in every
block and using it as the
diagonal. These are cut
from 2.5 inch strips.
|I did have these arranged with the light
end of the blocks toward the center,
however, I've decided to use dark
setting triangles, so I turned the blocks
around so I'd have light points coming
up between the setting triangles. I
really like this setting and since I like
making the scrappy trip blocks, I may
try this one again!
|Woo-hoo! I love the way the points
are showing up! It's kinda like a Lone
Star-Scrappy Trip-Trip Around the
World combined - well kinda :)
|"Purple Glow" is all done and the
binding will be in the solid purple. I
like this so much, I'm going to go
start another one in different
colors :) What a fun way to use
accumulated 2.5 inch strips!
|More Scrappy Trips! This time, I'm
using black, red, dark novelty,
lighter novelty and white print in
each block. Should be colorful!
|All ready for the setting
triangles and corners. I do love
super scrappy :)
|"Scraps Squared" is all done and the
binding will be in a red stripe. This is
a design that I could revisit a number
of times! The next picture shows a
close up of some of the fabrics.
|Close up of some of the fabrics
in Scraps Squares. The little
green witch and the monopoly
money have shown up in quite a
few of my scrap quilt tops :)
|There's lots of lovely, brand new
fabric waiting for me, but I still feel
like scrapping :) At the top are my
1.5 inch pieces and strips left over
from making strip sets. I just started
sewing them together Log Cabin
style. I'm not paying attention to
color or value, but just trying to keep
it all straight! I bordered the piece
and turned it on point and now I'll
work on the corners.
|For the corners, I made two large
squares and then cut them on the
diagonal. I made them a row wider
than the center so that the black
square would float instead of
touching the border. I may go
around the outside with one more
row in scraps, haven't decided yet....
When sewing these I hoped, really
hoped that they were going to work
where they were joined and that the
whole thing would be square, so I'm
very pleased :)
|After I had sewn on each round, I
pressed and spray starched that
area. It kept the strings down to a
minimum on the quilt top, although
my sweatshirt sure has gathered a
bunch and it made the seams nice
and flat. I didn't need to square up
as I was going, which was nice, so
all the rows set in at one inch.
|"Maze" is all done and the binding
will be in black. There's something
really satisfying about seeing this
many little scraps all sewn up! All
of the pieces set in at one inch in
width and different lengths.
|Still playing with the little pieces :)
|OK, I think I have a plan for
these now :) Still not
running low on little pieces!
|The black and white HSTs were
getting totally lost in the scraps, so
I decided to do the rest of the
blocks with two different larger
sizes of HSTs and I'm also
offsetting them a bit to give a more
|Now I can see the HSTs :)
Time to sew this together!
|"Obsession" is all done and the binding
will be in black. Instead of a border, I
decided to just stay-stitch around the
outside on this one instead of having a
border. I always love working with the
little inch and a half pieces :)
|Top left are the one and a half
inch pieces and left over strip set
pieces before I started the last two
quilt tops. On the right is after -
these pieces go a long way!
|Love making these blocks with
leftover stacked fabrics because the
final block is always different than the
last one! This time, I'm using four
sets of six stacks for each block.
|I'm using about a dozen
different stacked fabrics for
these and trying to keep some
shade of blue in each block.
|"Splashes of Blue" is all done and
the binding will be in another dark
blue print. I was thinking of doing
the setting triangles in scrappy, but
then decided I really liked them all
in this blue print with the gold
metallic overlay. I think this is such
a good block for using leftover
|I'm having a great time with the leftover
stacked fabrics! I'm going to try the
five in the picture on the lower right,
using the ten degree ruler. The five
quilt tops shown are the ones I used
these fabrics in originally.
|These are a little fussy to make,
but I love the way they turn out,
so it's all fun :) When the
corners are on the block will set
in at fourteen inches.
|I was so hoping for a very busy, blended look and I think it's going to
be that! I decided to do the block corners with octagon sections, so
even though they end up square, I think they'll give a circular look.
The octagon centers and the corner octagons are all made from the
same fabric, the second from the left in the picture, two pictures
back, that shows the fabrics used. The octagon centers on the
Dresdens aren't applied yet and the blocks will be but down to
octagons as with the top middle block. Hope it all goes together well!
|"Blooms All Around" is all done and the binding will be in the
pink border fabric. I used a very narrow border, just enough to
contain the bias in the blocks. My goal on this was to have it
look like a group of motifs that gave the impression of circles,
instead of looking like individual blocks. I think the stacked
octagon corners worked toward that. I did try using a four stack
for the corners, but it really didn't go well with the octagon block
centers, so I was very pleased when I tried a trimmed octagon
for the corners. Chatty today, aren't I :)
|Everything in this is bias but it went
together so well :) I think that,
when dealing with fabric cut on the
straight of grain, it's like working
with bread dough in that it's pretty
sturdy. When using bias, it's like
pie crust - you have to be more
careful, but you can do a lot with it!
|I usually show the fabrics I'm going to
work with at the beginning, but this
time, I think I'll wait until the end.
These fabrics are so diverse that I'll let
you guess what they are...... All of
them, except for one, are fabrics I've
used before for stacked quilt tops.
Remember, I'm only going for color
and line here :)
|I used six of these fabrics and
eliminated the red floral, third from
the left. If I were naming this quilt top
using the fabrics, it could be, "The
Fiery Dragon and his Owl friends
went bowling in the afternoon and
then sailed off to a tropical island,
where they enjoyed the flowers and
listened to some rousing music."
However, I think I'll just go with
"Convergence" for a name :)
|Close-up of Convergence. The
musical instrument fabric made
some pretty octagons :)
|"Convergence" is all done and
the binding will be in black. I do
love this! Check out the
previous picture to see the
surprising fabrics I used in this :)
|I did one of these in the bright pink
florals, one in the dark black, white and
red, and now I want to try a light one!
This picture doesn't give the true
colors, but hopefully the next one will.
I'll show the fabrics at the end :)
|This time, I've used the same
six fabrics in each block and
put them in the same
position. Then, the blocks are
laid out with a quarter turn to
every other one. Time for the
corners on the blocks :)
|"Shine" is all done and the
binding will be in the border
fabric. Loved the colors in this,
but couldn't get a good indoor
picture, so hopefully, between
the indoor picture and the two
outdoor shots, you'll be able to
see what it looks like :)
|Here's the mix of fabrics
used in "Shine."
|I'm going to do a Trip Around
the World in these batiks. I'm
anxious to see how they mix.
|Love these rich colors!
These colors are closer to
true than the previous picture.
|I'm going to start sewing some of
these together before I try to put
up any more strips!
|So nice to get some rows sewn
together so I can see what it looks
like! The rectangles set in at two
by two and a half inches, which
gives the diamond shape instead
of the more traditional square.
|"Autumn Trip" is all done and
the binding will be in a dark
batik. Great to work with
these intense colors!
|Another Trip Around the World, just
because they're fun to make :) Not
so much a value progression this
time, but more hoping some
individual rows will show up.
|Coming along :) I like the
way the fabrics that have
different sections of color in
them show up and break
the line of the rounds.
|Hard to believe this will be just a
few inches wider than the design
wall, when sewn together :)
|"Jungle Trip" is all done and the
binding will be in the brown cheetah
fabric (it's next to the green.) I like the
Trip Around the World done with
graduated colors, as in Autumn Trip,
but I also like it this way where the
individual rows stand out more. Both
are nice, just different.
|This is my initial fabric pull
for some mixed, stacked
Dresdens. I may eliminate
the fifth from the right.....
As it turned out, I eliminated
the second from the right
and also the second from
the left and kept the trees :)
|Interesting...these blocks are such fun
because the fabrics can be a surprise. I
really liked the leaf fabric on the left and I
loved the way the octagons looked, but
when I auditioned them for the block
centers- the two on the left, I really didn't
like the way they looked. I felt I needed
something with more solid since the block
surrounds were made with such small
scale prints. So, I got out the funny tree
fabric, which I had eliminated, and I think it
makes perfect centers - the two on the
right. So, the pretty leaves will be saved
for a quilt top of their own and I'll go with
the funny trees :)
|I love all the repetition I
get to work with when
making these blocks :)
|Blocks are done, so on to the
corners. I think these fabrics
really made some neat designs.
Other than the color, these
blocks remind me of snowflakes :)
|These blocks have a lot of
seams, but I press every time I
sew a seam so the blocks end
up nice and flat.
|"Golden Leaves" is all done and the
binding will be in the fabric used for
the centers and corners. Love
seeing how these blocks turn out!
|I wanted to try this design using just
leftover six and eight stacks. I always
like scrappy mixes of lots of fabrics :)
|"Twirling Gypsies" is all done and
the binding will be in the border
fabric. This just made me think of
being in a balcony and looking
down to a dance floor where
women in colorful skirts were
twirling. I imagine a lot of things as
I sew along :)
|I've been working with a lot of
intense color lately and wanted
something sweet and light.
|I'm applying one side of the sashing as I
go. This fabric is making really pretty
octagons :) I'm kind of cold/snowed in
here, which is OK with me, except I
haven't been able to send the Quilt Top to
the winner of the January Drawing yet.
She's been very patient, but I hate to
have to keep someone waiting on that!
|Blocks are done so time to begin
the horizontal sashing. I would
have become tired of making
these if each one hadn't had
such a unique design :)
|When I saw this fabric in the store,
I'm hoping I didn't actually drool, but
maybe I did, just a little :)
|"Mini Floral Wreaths" is all done and
the binding will be in a light blue. I
love the colored cornerstones, which
in this case, set in at one inch.
|I had planned on doing some
stars and then adding something
else, however, seeing these stars,
I may just make more and let
them "shine" all alone.
|When working with the stacks, I
think it's fun to look at a stack,
without laying it out, and try to
imagine what the block is going to
look like. I try to choose which one
will be my favorite from a small
group. In this group, I'd say the
one on the right, but the two blocks
in the last picture fooled me
because I had chosen the one on
the left for sure, but I liked them
both the same!
|This is why I don't select cuts on the
stacks....while I do like all three, I'm
drawn to the one in the middle and I
thought it would be the one on the
right. Actually, I even like the one on
the left a bit more than the one on the
right! The stacks often surprise me :)
|This fabric produced such great
variety in the stars :)
|When setting the Lemoyne Stars,
especially when they're made with all
one fabric, if they're set next to each
other, I think you see the secondary
design first, as in the quilt top on the
left. I wanted the stars on the right to
show first and then the secondary
design, so I used a sashing and
cornerstones. I wanted an accent color
and decided on the lime green because
that and royal blue is one of my favorite
color combinations. The cornerstones
set in at three quarters of an inch, so I
don't think they'll be too much.
|"Swirling Stars" is all done and
the binding will be in a royal blue
to match the stars. So glad I
found that piece of fabric!
|I want to work with the ten degree ruler
again, so I'll need nine repeats in the
fabric. This fruit fabric is interesting
because, although it has all of the fruit
colors, they're very subdued shades.
I'll pair this with off-white and I'm
anxious to see how the blocks look with
just two fabrics.
|These aren't sewn down yet, but I can
see how they'll look. I haven't decided
on setting them like this, where the
blades meet at the block edges or
setting them so a white blade is
opposite a colored blade. We'll see
when I get more blocks.
|Ready to do the corners
for the blocks :)
|"Around the Orchard" is all done
and the binding will be in the
focus fabric. I think this was a
good use for this fabric :)
|Sometimes, I just feel like doing scrappy
Log Cabins, which is a good thing
considering how many scraps I
accumulate! I'll do an off-center Barn
Raising and keep the black constant. I'm
using the strips that I always add to, cut in
Log Cabin sizes and the black I'll cut as I
go from my leftover blacks. These are the
strips that I have sorted as dark, so
sometimes in the future, I can use the
strips that are sorted as light.
|It's taking shape :) These
logs set in at one inch, so I
feel like most any fabric will
work as long as there is
enough color and variety.
|Blocks are all ready to be sewn
together. The arrangement on the
left was my plan, but seeing it, I
decided I wanted it a little more off
center, so I moved the row on the
right over to the left. So, I'll go with
the setting on the right.
|"Midnight Cabins" is all done and the
binding will be in black. I love the
way this turned out! Even in the
blacks, since they're cut from scraps
of many different blacks from
different times, there is some shading
:) The next picture is a close-up,
where you can see that better.
|You can see the shading
on the blacks a little
better in this picture.
Quite the mix of fabrics!
|The black centers on these Log
Cabins set in at two inches and the
Logs at half an inch. I love working
in colors like this because, just
about the time I'm getting very tired
of one color, it's time to move on to
the next color and it's almost like
starting something new :)
|Still feeling scrappy, so I thought I'd
work with the one inch strips. These
are all color sorted, so I'll take
advantage of that. I had to laugh at
my storage boxes.....some are pretty
classy and some, well, not so much :)
|I was going to make blocks with
all the colors, but then, when I
saw these four colors together, I
decided to stay with them. So,
I'll make more pink, purple and
blue. I like to run across a fabric
that has the background color to
match the block, but there are
other colors in it as well.
|Blocks are done, so on to the
alternate blocks. When I do Log
Cabins, I cut the logs to size before
beginning to sew. This time, for
some unknown reason, I decided to
work from the strips and pieces and
sew them on and then cut off the
rest of the strip. For me, cutting to
size works so much better. I got
the same end result, but it took
much longer this way.
|Good, I think the alternate
blocks worked well with the
first group of blocks, so on to
the setting triangles :)
|These are going together well :)
With all of those skinny strips, I
wasn't sure if they'd look straight
or if they would wobble, so I was
anxious to get some put together.
|"Little Cabins" is all done and the
binding will be in black. I wanted to get
a little bit of yellow in there, so I used
the yellow half inch squares in the
setting triangles. The skinny strips
weren't bad at all to work with in the
Log Cabins, but, if I do this again, I will
cut the strips to size first!
|I've been wanting to try this with the
one inch strips for a long time, so,
today's the day :) These are all reds
or red prints, although in the picture,
some look almost black. With careful
pressing, spray starch and sewing the
rows in opposite directions, these are
staying pretty straight.
|I'm debating on this piece....I think it
would be good at this size as a wall
hanging over a bed, couch, or buffet,
but I also think it would look good
larger as a throw. I'll think on it :)
|I decided to leave it this size, because I
love it as is and, as I said, I think it
would make a nice wall hanging behind
a bed or couch or above a buffet. I
named it "Red Strata" and the binding
will be in red. The size is just 46 x 22
and the strips set in at half an inch.
|The makings of a good day :)
I'm going to use more of the
scrappy one inch strips in
|The first pressing on these little strips
is a bit tricky. After you've pressed to
stay the seam, if you open it and hold
the piece a little above the ironing
board, at the same time, running your
thumbnail along the seam to finger
press it, while pulling just a little, it
works! Obviously, the iron is following
along on the right side pretty close. I
couldn't show that because I only have
two hands and I needed one to take
the picture :)
|The strata are finished and I think I'll
use some piecing between them. I
really like these colors together and
they make me think of the Southwest.
|You can see some of the
fabrics in this close shot.
|"Southwestern Strata" is all done and the
binding will be in the brown. I wanted
something to bring the three different
colored strata together a bit, so I needed a
block that could be split and I also wanted it
to look a little Southwestern. I decided on
these shapes, some from the Storm at Sea
design and some from the Tri Recs star.
This piece finishes at 46 x 25 inches and I
think would make a nice wall hanging.
|I think this kind of fabric is great
for making stacked stars because
the straight lines make some nice
designs in the stars.
|I think the straight lines in the
print form neat designs :)
|Blocks are done so now I
can decide how to set them
:) I could just set them like
this, but I think I'll add
|Even when my sashing is all one
fabric, I still put a cornerstone in there
because it really helps me to line up
the blocks. The red frame around the
blocks sets in at half in inch.
|"Seed Packet Stars" is all done
and the binding will be in a thin,
red & white stripe, cut on the
bias. I really like the way the
frames worked out :)
|I think this fabric has such a
traditional look. I'm going to use
it with the ten degree ruler
because I really love making
those large Dresdens :)
|Jury's still out on
these.....we'll see :)
|OK, I think if I use the brown for the
corners, it makes the floral fabric show up
a little better. Seems backwards, but if I
use the floral fabric in the corners, all I
see is the brown in the blocks. I like the
floral dresden shown in the last picture
and I have lots of this fabric, so I'll make
more of those for a different quilt top.
|I'm going to add a sashing and the little
reverse nine patches as
cornerstones. I think this makes the
blocks stand out better :)
|"Floral Starburst" is all done and the
binding will be in the background
fabric. I enjoyed working with these
subdued colors :)
|I'm going to so some graded
Log Cabins in an off-center
Barn Raising set :)
|The colors are off on this - it isn't
quite that yellow, but hopefully, as I
get some darker colors up, I can
get a better picture :)
|This is pretty close to
the actual colors!
|Love watching these change as I
get into the darker shades :) As
always, when making these, I'm
trying to include some fabrics
that have the color I'm working
with as a background but also
have some other colors in them.
|All ready to sew this together! I'm
always glad to make one of these :)
|"Green Light" is all done and
the binding will be in a
green. I'm really pleased
with the blending in this one :)
|Here are the tops I've made using
this same idea. Two with florals,
three based on a color and one with
plaids. I love making these and look
forward to doing more of them :)