|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
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
E Mail and I'll put your name on my Mailing List.
|Woo-Hoo, I'm all excited!
My daughter wrote and my son
illustrated two children's books!!
The books are available on Amazon
- just click on the book to go there.
|So much fun to watch the design emerge as
I put up each new group of blocks. Just the
four corners are left and they're the ones
with so many of the colored squares. By
the way, this design takes 706 of the
colored squares and quite a bit of variety to
keep them from touching each other. So,
it's a perfect design for a scrap quilt!
|I do love scrappy! There's just
something very satisfying about
putting a couple hundred
different and unrelated fabrics
together in one quilt :)
|"Light Triple Irish Chain" is all done
and I'm not sure about the binding
yet - maybe scrappy. I do love this,
but it's about 58 x 78, which is large
for me. I'd like to do another one, but
maybe smaller in a square!
|It used to be that I didn't like to make
the same design twice in a row, but
now I love doing it. It's really fun to see
how different the same design looks in
different fabrics. I think this black and
batik is looking very different from
yesterday's white and light scrappy!
|Ready to sew these colorful little
blocks together! It's amazing how
distracting that bit of white between
the blocks is to the overall design,
so I'm anxious to see them sewn.
|"Batik Triple Irish Chain" is all done
and the binding will be in a batik
print. The black does so much for
the colorful batiks!
|Next up....cats! I pulled my collection of cat fabrics and
picked these twelve, which have enough yardage to do a
Trip or a Zig-zag top. This means cutting into the poor
cats, but I think enough of them will show to get the idea.
After I took this picture, I had to change out one of the
fabrics. Most of the prints look like they could be dog or
cat, but that one fifth from the left really looks like a dog!
|I couldn't decide between the
Trip or the Zig-Zag, so I'll do
this combination. There will
be three of these panels.
|"Just Cats" is all done and I haven't
decided on the binding fabric yet.
Love all of these cat prints, which you
can see close-up in the next picture.
|When I don't know what I want to make,
I find that if I begin to straighten
fabrics, one of them will grab my
attention. The piece on the bottom got
me and I'm going to pair it with the top
piece for some low contrast, stacked
|As I've been sewing blocks, I've
been auditioning fabrics for the
block corners and I think these
two light greens will work :)
|Blocks are ready for their corners.
These were such fun to make because
each individual block is so different :)
Because there's not a lot of contrast, I
don't think I'll get much of the
Kaleidoscope circle look, but more of
an individual block look.
|"Peach Roses" is all done and
the binding will be in the peach
rose fabric. I like that this one
is both busy and soft looking!
|It was really fun to make
these blocks and see the
delicate designs form!
|I don't know what I'll do with
these yet, but for now, it's
just fun making them!
|I have a plan! I'll keep the sixteen
patches in the six color groups and
set them with some multicolored
pinwheels. I'm using two inch
squares in the sixteen patches, so
they work with 3.5 inch HSTs for
|I'm using the pinwheel alternate
blocks in this one, but I can see I'd
like to make one with the colored
sixteen patches set with plain white
squares for the alternate blocks :)
|Both scrappy and busy! I'm glad I
made the sixteen patches with one
color in each one, so you get some
sections of color showing. When I look
at this, sometimes I see the pinwheels
and sixteen patches and sometimes it
looks like blocks on point. I think I'm
going to use some HSTs in a narrow
border to make the block on point look
show up more.
|I'm laughing because this idea looked
a whole lot better in my head than it
does in real life! I'm going to put those
HSTs in the This & That Box and finish
this top with a stay stitched edge
instead of a border :)
|"Fiesta" is all done and the binding will
be in a white with multicolored
pinstripes, cut on the bias. I really like
the way these two blocks go together!
|I had a bunch of two inch black
squares cut, so I paired them with
whatever black & white prints I had cut
that had eight squares. I don't know
yet what alternate block I'll use with
these, but I need to cut some black &
whites to make more sixteen patches,
so hopefully, when I'm done with those,
I'll have an idea.
|Now for the alternate blocks - I'm still
between two ideas...... I replaced the
bowling pin block because the little bit
of red was distracting in these black &
white blocks. There are still some
yellow owl eyes in there, but they
aren't bothering me :)
|I wanted the white prints surrounded
by black and I think, once these are
sewn together, the white will show
nicely. For a little variety, the squares
are in three different sizes, setting in at
three quarters of an inch, one inch and
an inch and a quarter.
|"Fade to Black" is all done and the
binding will be in black. I really like the
way the white in the prints shows up
now that it's surrounded by black!
|I'm seeing stacked
octagons for this piece :)
|Florals are so reliable
for stacking :)
|I'm deciding on some sashing for these
blocks. The sashing on the left is
made from 1.5 inch strips and it
seemed like too much to me. On the
right, is 1.25 inch strips, so they set in
at three quarters of an inch. That
seems like a better size, since there
will be so many of them!
|Coming along! I really like
the little nine patch
|I've made this sashing before, so I
should be used to it, but every time,
as I get near the end, I'm saying to
myself, "I need more? Really?!" It's
all made now and I do love the way it
looks, which is why I'm sure I'll do it
again sometime :)
|"Framed Florals" is all done and
the binding will be in the brown pin
dot fabric. Really hard to get the
colors right in a photo!
|Loved these fabrics together
and the colors look so much
better in person!
|I think these simple four patches
will be good for this fabric :)
|If these blocks could speak, I
think they'd say, "Sashing,
please!" So, I'm going to do that
and maybe group them a bit.
|I grouped the blocks a bit and then
added this sashing in the dark red
mini-floral print. The sashing sets
in at one inch. The cornerstones
are from the focus fabric. On to
the setting triangles :)
|"Sashed Florals" is all done and
the binding will be in the dark
red mini-floral. The large scale
prints sure make fun stacks!
|I love this fabric but I don't have much of it and only three repeats. I can only
believe that, on the day I bought it, either it was the end of the bolt or my
pocketbook was completely empty! I matched it up with some solids, using the
color dots on the fabric and I'll make the blocks shown until I run out of the
floral. Then, I'll add blocks using just the solids. I may mix the directions when
I set these or even set them on point - we'll see....
|After much rearranging, I
think I'm going to go with this!
|"Color Connections" is all done and
the binding will be in one of the dark
greens (the one that looks black in the
picture) with a few insets of the floral
fabric. Really like working with the
quarter square triangles!
|A couple of quilt tops back,
Sashed Florals looked a little like
tiles and it made me think of Dutch
tiles. I went looking in my stacking
fabrics to see if I had something
that would turn out looking like
that. I'm going to try this one.....
|For stacking, I tear my fabric instead of cutting for the stacking part
because I want to work with the grain line. The first tear is along the
center fold of the fabric and then I work with the two sides separately. I
never combine repeats from the first side of the fabric with ones from
the second side and this picture is a good example of why. The first
side of the fabric had the motifs in a straight line with the grain, but on
this second side you can see how much they're off. This happens
sometimes even on the best of fabrics. While this wouldn't be good for
many things, it's actually good for stacking because it assures that
blocks made from the second side will be different from those made
from the first side. I cut with the grain, so you can see how different
the cuts will be from one end of the fabric to the other.
|That's all the blocks I can make using
four patches. I have two repeats left,
so I can do something different around
the outside. Even though these blocks
blend into each other a good deal, I
like the look so I'll set them without
sashing, although they probably would
look more like tiles if I used some
"grout" between them!
|"Dutch Tiles" is all done and the
binding will be in the blue. I do
think this fabric turned out
looking a bit like tiles :)
|Still enjoying the quarter square
triangles, so I decided to make some
scrappy ones with my recycled fabrics.
I think this is going to be a fun mix!
|Since most of the 3.5 inch strips
were already cut, these blocks were
pretty easy to make! I'll check to
see if I want to rearrange any and
then I can sew them together.
|"Recycle Time" is all done and
the binding will be in a tan with
a white pin stripe, cut on the
bias. Really is my kind of quilt :)
|Still with the same quarter square triangle
blocks. I've been cutting these from 3.5
inch strips, then sewing two together to
make a large triangle, then two large
triangles to make a square. I'm going to do
the pink and orange without regard to value
and just have pinks going one way and
orange the other. I'm cutting from my 3.5
inch strips that are already cut, so it will be
very scrappy. I'm anxious to see what I get!
|They'll be nothing shy
about this one!
|I want to make this one square,
so that's it for the blocks. I could
rearrange these to get some
more definite designs but I really
like the designs formed by this
random placement, so I'm going
to sew them together!
|"Brilliant Prisms" is all done and
the binding will be in a pink &
orange print. I always enjoy
working with these colors!
|I have a bunch of scrappy whites in
small pieces, so Log Cabins! I'm
combining the white with strips I
have cut that I would normally
consider lights, but they become
darks when paired with the white.
The color is off in this picture, but
more pictures to come when I
decide how I'm setting these!
|This is closer to the actual colors.
Seems that the camera wants to have
some color up there before it will
cooperate! There are a lot of different
scrappy whites in this, which I'm cutting
as I go along. Cutting whites isn't
much fun unless I'm doing it for a block
I'm making right away and then it's OK.
|Blocks are done and I think on
the layout, I'm going to use the
blocks from the bottom row and
move them to the top. That will
bring the design down one row.
|"Cabins in the Light" is all done
and the binding is in a light blue
stripe, cut on the bias. I don't think
I've ever made a Log Cabin and
felt it wasn't worth the time.
|I have a bunch of leftover, stacked
octagon triangles, so I'm going to
sew them into octagons and then
decide what to do with them.
|These are stacks from 29
different fabrics. Had fun trying to
remember what the quilt top
looked like that I used each fabric
in. Now, to decide on the corners
and I think I'll set these on point.
|I did the corners and setting
triangles in a black pin dot and
arranged them a number of
times. These look so funny, with
their corners all popped up
because of all the rearranging!
|It's always nice to see the blocks
sewn together and on a top like
this, where the corners were all
popped up, it's especially nice!
|"Scamp" is all done and the
binding will be in the black
pin dot. I do love working
with the mixed stacks!
|I had a good time with the scrappy,
stacked octagons in the last top, so I
decided to do some stars. I'm using
two slightly different background
fabrics, split on the diagonal, to add
some background interest.
|OK, the background shows up a
little bit, kind of like a shadow. I'll
figure out how to arrange the stars
once I have them all made.
|I think I'm ready to sew these
together! What fun to make each
star from a different stacked fabric
- really kept me interested :)
|"Stacked Star Sampler" is all done and
the binding will be in the darker of the
two background fabrics. The
off-center Barn Raising design in the
background shows up just a little,
which is what I was hoping for :) This is
made with leftover stacks from thirty
different fabrics. As you know, I do
love stacks and having so many
different ones together was great fun!
|The star in the lower left is a
fish tail! The color of the
background on this picture is
pretty close to the actual color.
|I'm delving into my scrap triangles. I'm
going to use mostly ones that don't fit
into a color group and they're all odd
sizes. I'm pairing with white, so
anything that isn't all white is a dark!
Some of these could be trimmed to 2.5
inches, but many can't, so I'm going for
2.25, which means they'll set in at one
and three quarters. I don't know yet
what design I'll use, but I'll bet the quilt
top will be pretty small :)
|I decided to do a Triple Irish
Chain, using HSTs instead of
squares. I'll only do a five by
five setting, but that should keep
me plenty busy! The neat thing
about doing this is that next time
I make a Triple Irish Chain with
squares, it will seem so simple :)
|I've been following the little
diagram I used last month to make
the two Triple Irish Chains that I did
with squares. All was fine while I
was making the blocks in the
center, however, the outside
blocks change! Because the HSTs
are directional, the orientation of
the blocks around the edge
changes so you can't make them
all the same. Well, there will be no
daydreaming for me as I make
|I do love this, which is a good
thing because it goes very
slowly. When you find yourself
thinking, "Oh, good! It's almost
time to get ready for my dental
appointment!", it means you've
trimmed too many scrap HSTs :)
|I get a kick out of little things! Look
in the lower left of this block....and
you'll see an African woman and a
little green witch. Unless I'm wrong, I
don't remember seeing any other
faces in these HSTs. With over five
hundred HSTs, placed at random, I
think it's very cool that these two
sought out each others company.
Yeah, I know that's not really true,
but still.....after I had ironed the
seams on the back of this block and
turned it over to look at it, I was so
pleased to see them there together :)
|Woo-hoo! Blocks are done and
ready to be sewn together :) I
wasn't really sure about using the
HSTs, all facing one way, in the
Irish Chain design because three
sides of the white squares have
points and one side is straight.
However, I couldn't be more
pleased with the way it turned out!
|"Tiny Triangle Chain" is all done
and the binding will be in one of
the scrappy white fabrics. I really
didn't want a border on this, so I
stay stitched around the edges.
So pleased with the way this
turned out :)
|An interesting comparison....Both of
these tops use the same basic design,
the one on the right with fewer blocks.
On the left, a top from last month, the
squares set in at two inches and the
finished size is about 58 x 78. On the
right, the half square triangles set in at
one and three quarter inches and the
finished size is about 51 inches
square. Obviously, the one on the right
took substantially more effort with all of
those trimmed triangles, but I like both
styles and just enjoy the difference :)
|A very generous person gifted me with
a Moda Layer Cake. The fabrics are
beautiful and I really want to use them
well. I decided on Bonnie Hunter's
Scrappy Mountains for the blocks and
I'm mixing lights and darks so the
zig-zags show in an uneven way. We'll
see how it works as I get more done.
|As I'm working along on the blocks, I'm thinking about the layout. I
know I'll have black on the left and right edges because I needed to
add fabric to get the size I wanted. I haven't decided yet between a
more random placement, as on the left, or a grouping of the
blacks/greys, as on the right. I'll see how things look when I get the
two outside rows made with the black. I think I may try this pattern
with black on one side and then the other side all mixed colors and
not grouped with the same fabric in each block.
|Blocks are done and I'm going with this
grouped scrappy layout for this one.
However, sometime in the future, I want
to do this with blacks on one side of
the zig zag and then the other side with
scrappy, mixed so that each block has
four different scrappy pieces. Since
each block uses two triangles, this
would be great for me because when I
make my bias bindings, I always cut a
large triangle from the corner before I
begin cutting my bias strips.
|"Metro Zig-Zag" is all done and
the binding will be in black.
What fun this was to make!
|As I mentioned in previous comments, I was anxious to try the last design in black and then mixed scrappy. I
knew I could use the corner that I cut off when I'm making my bias bindings and that would be great because I
generally put them to the bottom when cutting scraps - just don't like to cut them as much. I was telling
myself that I'd just start saving these corners as I made bindings and then someday I'd be able to make a zig
zag top. I figured I'd take a look at my black scraps and my mixed scraps to see if I had any large triangles.
Well, as you can see, I had no trouble coming up with 60 black and 60 mixed! I want to make this one two
rows longer than the last one. I hope I like this top so I can save these scrap triangles for this type of top in
the future. I really like having different groups of scraps that I'm saving for a particular design because that
way, when I get a scrap, it's like "Oh, good!" instead of "Oh, no, too many scraps!" That top triangle is a bias
printed stripe, so the bias is on the correct edge for making these blocks.
|Hmmmm....I think I'm going to like
these, but I'm not sure yet.
However, if the zig-zag doesn't work,
I'm sure another design will, so I'll
keep making blocks and decide what
to do with them later.
|Now, I'm pleased with these blocks - just needed more of them to
see the design! The Barn Raising type setting on the left is
tempting, but I think I'll go with the zig-zag on the right this time.
Now, I have something to save those scrappy triangles for :)
|Coming along! I'm doing these blocks
in "batches" so groups of a particular
color stand out in some areas. At first,
I thought I'd move things around to
distribute those more, but at this point
I'm thinking I like those areas. We'll
see as I get this last batch done.
|"Scrappy Lightning" is all done and the
binding will be in black. I do love
scrappy :) This is using Bonnie
Hunter's pattern for Scrappy
Mountains and is cut the same way,
then the four pieces from each block
are mixed instead of sewing them
together next to each other.
|These are one by three
inch pieces. Think it's time
to use some!
|I think I'll do this and probably
use a light background.
|I felt the "kisses" were too close
together and I needed some
breathing room (yes, I'm
laughing at that!) so I turned
the outside kisses into hearts
and I think that works better :)
|I had to do a lot of auditioning to get the
background I wanted! I had planned on white
with a yellow pin dot, but that didn't seem right. I
tried the red, but the blocks just disappeared.
The pink didn't look good with the colors of the
scrappy blocks. In the last picture, the tan on the
left was OK, but I think I prefer the cream with
black circles on the right. I ended up with a
number of squares to put in my cut scraps!
|I found a way to use the red and
still have the blocks show! I
really wanted that red :)
|Even though my sewing machine has
hardly any edge between the throat
plate and the machine, it was enough
that it wanted to catch every one of
those little seams. The piece of tape
over the joint takes care of it.
|I wasn't sure how all of those
little pieces were going to sew
together and press, but they are
doing well so I'm happy! Sure
makes a difference in the size
when the seams are taken.
|"Hearts & Kisses" is all done and
the binding will be scrappy. I'm
really pleased to find a use for all
of those tiny pieces!
|After working with all of the bright and
bold scraps, I wanted something light
and delicate - this should do it :)
|Never ceases to amaze me
how different the octagons
look from the focus fabric!
|I'm going to sash these blocks but I didn't
want the block corners to be the same as
the sashing so I went with four stacks. If I
were placing these next to each other,
with no sashing, I'd make the four stacks
match at the intersection of four blocks,
but since I'll have sashing, I'm using a
four stack on each block.
|Growing! When I get the
blocks finished, I'll probably
group them by value.
|Not sure about this block placement
yet, so before I sew the rows
together, I'll place my cornerstones,
which are colored, so that may make
me move some blocks around.
|OK, I think I'm ready to sew this
together! Although the
cornerstones will set in at three
quarters of an inch, I think they give
a bit of a diagonal flow and enhance
the areas of color in the blocks.
|"Wispy" is all done and the
binding will be in the focus
fabric. It was really fun to make
something so "quiet" looking :) I
think the different colored
cornerstones added a lot.
|Here's a close-up of some of
the lighter blocks. So hard to
get a good picture of light
colored quilt tops!
|I want to see how this group
of blue florals looks in a Trip
Around the World......
|So nice to get the first strip set
made and up on the design wall to
see where the top is going :) I
really like the way large scale
prints show up in the Trip quilts!
|I sure love making these :) If you find a size you like to make, this is just so
nice to make! For me, this is my size, which makes about a 55 x 67 quilt top. I
choose thirteen fabrics, spray starch them and cut four 3 inch strips from
each. I think the spray starch before cutting is very helpful! When I have my
strata sewn, with seams pressed opposite on each strip, I sub cut at 2.5
inches, so I'll have a rectangle instead of a square. There are leftovers on
that last strip set, so I figure out how many more strips I need before I sew that
one. I haven't stopped long enough to figure out why you need that row of
extra pieces in a horizontal line across the middle, but I know it works :) I sew
in that piece and then sew the long strips together. Once I have about the
first half sewn, I can move it over so part of it is off the design wall and the rest
of the strips will fit on my wall. Love the whole process :)
|I still have two more seams to do on
this one and there's a good reason for
the delay. The other evening, I
decided to watch the first episode of
the TV series "Reign." So, 44
episodes later, I was checking on when
I'd be able to get the third season!
That really slowed down my piecing :)
|"Blue Floral Trip" is all done and
the binding will be in the fabric in
the four corners. Love mixing the
fabrics for a Trip quilt top!
|The florals are great to work with :)
|I'm going to try this one in
some stacked four patches
and see what I get :)
|I think this fabric is good
for the four patches.
|That's all of the fabric
that I have for blocks, so
I'll think of an alternate
block to go with these.
|I'm using these hourglass blocks
as my alternate block, so the
blocks are the same, except the
designed one is a stacked block.
|Ready to sew these together.
I think it's neat when you use
the Hourglass block this way
that it makes a straight set
look like blocks on point.
|I sewed the main body together and
then decided I wanted to finish the
light squares around the edges, so I
added another row of blocks, every
other one an Hourglass with one of
the light sections. Doing it this way, I
think the stars are difficult to see,
unless you try really hard and the
block on point look dominates.
|The little nymphs in this fabric
are so beautifully detailed.
|"Woodland Nymphs" is all done and
the binding will be in the border fabric.
Such a pretty fabric to work with!
|These are made with two,
ten-stacks of the focus fabric.
Really happy with them!
|Before I do the center block, which
will use ten degree wedges, I need
to decide what fabric I'm using as a
background. I'd be happy to use
any of the seven fabrics up there,
each would just give a very
different result. We'll see.......
|I decided on an orange background,
but went with one slightly lighter and
closer to solid than I had pulled
before. I oversized the corners, and
I'll trim them down once I get the
centers sewn in.
|Normally, I'd use an octagon
kaleidoscope from the focus fabric,
cut down to a circle, for that center in
the middle block. In this case, I
wanted that larger splash of blue to
match the smaller blue centers in the
outside blocks and to bring out the
oranges. To fill in the remaining
spaces, I think I'll just use the plain
orange, so the blocks stand out.
|"Orange Celebration" is all done and
the binding will be in the orange.
These twenty blade blocks, using two
sets of ten stacks are such fun to
make and I think they go well with the
central 36 blade block.
|Everything in this print is
outlined in gold and it's so
pretty in person. I think it will
make good stacks!
|I have a plan! I knew I wanted the octagons as a border, but it took a while to decide what to put in the middle.
There are three sets of eight stacks around the outside of the star and I positioned them to have the most black
around the outside to give kind of an airy effect. I'll put the corners on some octagons and sew them together
to see what size spacer strip I need around the middle to make it fit the border. I'm headed off to our family
Thanksgiving, which we've always celebrated on the Saturday following Thanksgiving so people could all get to
places they wanted to be. My son is our Thanksgiving cook and he does a great job :)
|With these four octagons sewn
together, I can now measure
this section against the center
section and see how wide my
spacer strip needs to be.
|"Elegant Star" is all done and the
binding will be in the coral floral
fabric. This little top is only 35 x 35
but I think it has a big impact :)
|This cute baby fabric is so very
different from my last fabric,
which I think is why I never get
tired of doing the stacks.
|Blocks are done so on to the
corners and sashing. Since this is
a baby quilt, I don't want it to get
too large, but I really do want
some sashing with it.