|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
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.
|Yeah! That's what I wanted to see
:) Some of the motifs in the fabric
are large enough so you get some
areas of color but the design is
also intricate enough to give great
variety in the stacks.
|Sometimes, when I have a
bright focus fabric, I like to
make it even brighter :)
|I liked these octagons to start
with, but as I added each of
the five background solids, I
liked them even more :)
|"Spicy" is all done and the
binding will be in an orange, one
shade darker. I love the
combination of the blend in the
background and the colorful
designs in the octagons :)
|You can see some of the
octagon designs in this
|Normally, I'd call this
fabric pretty bright but,
after the last quilt top,
this seems subdued!
|I think this is what I'll do with this
fabric. Funny, even when I'm
not actually making octagons, I
make things that look like
octagons....I like octagons :)
|I think I'm going to use these
blocks as a center and work
out with something different.
|I really wanted to use the stripe in
this focus fabric in some way.
Finally, I decided on these mitred
corners on the central square.
Now, to decide on a border.....
|When I cut those eight large
triangles for the background, I
wanted all of the trees to be
"growing" from the middle out and I
also wanted to use stacked fabric.
So, I ended up with a number of
four stacked, large triangles, which
I wanted to use, so I decided on
this border. Since the trees in the
print don't "grow" straight, the four
triangle squares have a nice twisty
look to them. Here's hoping that
the border fits well!
|Border pieced are made but
before I trim and apply them, I think
I'll go veg out in front of the TV :)
|"Tropical Medley" is all done and the binding will go back to the focus fabric. I
love this border because you can use anything - log cabins, squares, four
patches, nine patches, hearts, etc.- where I've used the stacked hour glass
blocks. I've used the border a lot but it still remains a challenge for me! This
top turned out to be 62 inches square, which is big for me.
|It'll be fun to decide how
to set these :)
|I'm going to use these scrappy
homespun blocks for my alternate
block. I haven't decided on the
corners for the octagons yet. They'll
probably be black, but I'll wait until I
have more blocks made to decide. My
computer is being most uncooperative,
so, if I disappear for a bit, it will be that!
|I decided to use the focus fabric
for the setting triangles and it will
also be the binding, so things
would be pretty dark if it weren't
for those white spaces where
the octagon corners will go. So,
I think I'll go for something bright
for the octagon corners :)
|"Gone Golfing" is all done and
the binding will be in the focus
fabric. I love making stacked
blocks out of the novelty fabrics
because the geometric designs
you get are always a surprise :)
|You can see the focus fabric
in the setting triangles.
|Yes, each one is very different! Once I
get to the navy background areas that
don't have much design, I'll get some
blocks that are more subtle. These
blocks will be fun to arrange :)
|This large scale print should
give many varied blocks :)
|Lots of variety :) I'm
putting them up on the
design wall in rough color
groups, which I don't
know if I'll use yet or not.
|I'm thinking of an eight by eight
arrangement, so this will be enough
blocks. I'm looking forward to
arranging them and deciding on the
corners for the octagons :)
|"Color Drift" is all done and the binding will be in a navy blue,
which is also the background color, although it looks black in
the picture. After I'd arranged the octagons by predominate
color, I used six different fabrics for the corners of them to get
this drift effect. This looks almost like a One Block Wonder, but
the octagon corners are really a great design tool :)
|That's enough octagons, so on
to the corners for the octagons
and arranging them :)
|This is the arrangement I'll use and I've
chosen fabrics for the octagon
corners. I'll take them off the design
wall a bunch at a time and keep my
camera handy with this picture, so I
know where to put them back after I
get the corners on.
|One of my favorite accent fabrics, the
zebra, is beginning to show :) My initial
plan was to use zebra for two of the
corners on each block and then the
other fabrics I picked for the other two
corners. Since I wasn't sure how much
the zebra would show, I put it on the
pink and yellow sections first and
decided that it would be too much on
all of the blocks. So, I'm using it on
just some of the outer corners of the
other sections. I also rearranged my
blocks a bit after the corners were on.
|"Zebra Capers" is all done and the
binding will be in the zebra fabric.
Loved working with these colors :)
|I'm going to try these two fabrics
together in some stacked octagons.
Hopefully, there will be enough
contrast to make the Kaleidoscope
circles show in the design.
|Well, the circles certainly show up!
They won't be quite as clear when the
corners are added to the octagons,
but I think they'll still show :)
|The octagons are finished, so now I
need to decide on the corners. I like
the way the circles show so well, which
makes it tempting to use just white and
cream for the corners, so the top
would look pretty much like this.
However, I'm also thinking of some
|The tie-dye that I used for half
of the corners really changed
the look of this top!
|"Leopard Capers" is all done and the
binding will be in the lighter stacked
fabric. Obviously, I decided to go for
the white and brights for the corners :)
|I'm going to start with these stacked
Shoo-Fly blocks. I don't know what
else I'll do, but I know I want to keep
this pretty airy with a lot of white.
|While I like both of these blocks, I'm
not so sure that I like them together.
That's OK, I have enough of this
fabric that I can make two different
quilt tops if I still don't like this look
after I get more made :)
|I decided to use the Shoo-fly
blocks in a different quilt top, but I
do know what I want for my
alternate squares for these now.
I'll arrange these by value and
then start on my alternate blocks.
|I arranged my blocks to have an area
of lightness and I'm changing the size
of the central red square in the
alternate blocks to enhance that look.
The smallest red square sets in at half
in inch and I'm increasing them as I go
along in quarter inch increments.
|"Red & White Delight" is all done
and the binding will be in white. I
think the different sizes in the
red squares made the area of
light show up well :)
|Now, this is an interesting fabric! I only
have three repeats of this but the
repeats are very large.
|The blocks worked out so that I
could make a sunflower path :)
I'll look at them again, to see if I
want to rearrange any and then I
can sew them together.
|I went with as split nine patch so I
could use the tree repeats on each
side. The focus fabric is such a
large scale print that I chose the
bright yellow and blue to give some
definition and I'm also cutting my
squares at 3.5 inches, which is
larger than I usually use. We'll see
how they look!
|"Sunflower Path" is all done and
the binding will be in the blue
dotted fabric. I was really glad
that the blocks worked out so I
could make the sunflower path :)
|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.
|Love these colors and the white
designs show up so well, so I'll
keep making these :)
|This is a very large scale print and
I have four repeats, so I think I'll
start with some mitered boxes.
|This fabric made some
interesting blocks! Now, to
work out the setting.....
|I decided on an on-point setting and
the sashing and cornerstones that set
in at three quarters of an inch. This
really brightens the blocks!
|"Orange on Cobalt" is all done and
the binding will be in the orange
used for the cornerstones. Really
like the way the cornerstones show
up, especially in the border area.
|Here's another close-up of
Orange on Cobalt.
|Hexies it is :) I don't know yet if I'll
color group these or leave them
random, like this. We'll see.....
|Coming along! Looks like a
bunch of colorful starfish :)
|Ready to sew these together! I
tried a few different layouts in a
more free form look, but kept
coming back to this straight one. I
used two different oranges in the
background to give a little texture.
|"Hexies & Stripes" is all done and the
binding will be in the solid orange. I'm
so pleased with how vibrant this is!
|The gold metallic in the
one orange fabric shows
so well in person :)
|Curls, swirls, stars, stripes and
a gold metallic edging, all on a
black background.....could a
stacker ask for more!
|This fabric is sure giving a
lot of variety in the stars :)
|As I make my blocks, I'm working
along on a design and moving
things around until I see what I
like. I love my design wall!
|The sections are coming together
:) I want to bind this in red, so I
used red in the central design and I
think that will be enough so the
focus fabric isn't too overwhelming.
|"Stars & Stripes" is all done and the
binding will be in red to match the
central design. When doing all of the
measurements for this kind of setting,
it's really nice to get the sections all
fitting and sewn together!
|I had a lot of slightly different black
scraps, most in the shape of a large
triangle, from cutting bias bindings.
Log Cabins seem a good way to use
those. I think I'll use this Crossed
Ribbons setting, but I'll see when I get
|The arrangement on the left is what I
had as I was making the blocks. On
the right, I reversed the position of the
black and colored areas. I like both of
these, but I think I'm going with the one
on the right this time :)
|"Scrappy Crossed Ribbons"
is all done and I haven't
decided on the binding yet.
How I love Log Cabins :)
|In this picture, you can see some
of the different shades in the
scrappy black solids.
|I have quite the accumulation of
scrappy, solid black triangles! There
are a lot of smaller ones, so I decided
to make a bunch of HSTs that I'd trim
to two inches. These set in at one and
a half inches, so they work well with 3.5
inch squares. I think I'll work along on
these and use them in something like
the picture on the right.
|It's filling in :) I tried to mix it up a
little in the middle section where
the colors meet so they're wouldn't
be such a clear definition of the
color change. I'm anxious to see
what the HST blocks look like when
their outside seams are taken.
|OK, I think this is what I'll do.
The pink, turquoise, yellow
color group is one of my
favorites, but I usually use it
with white. This time I'll try it
with the black :) Now, to fill in
those white spaces.
Ready to sew this together :)
|"Tiny Triangles" is all done and the
binding will be in black. I've seldom
worked with the HSTs that set in at
an inch and a half and never before
this many in one quilt top. However, I
love the way they look and I'll have to
use them more often!
|You can see some of the fabrics in this
close up. I'm heading off for
VACATION! See you on the 29th :)
|I said I'd be back from vacation on
the 29th, because I thought I'd need
a day to get back to sewing, but I was
wrong, it was easy to get back :) I
wanted to use some light satins with
the black cotton, so I'm going with
Kaleidoscope blocks. In person, the
shine of the satin looks so good
against the depth of the black :)
|"Circles of Satin" is all done and
the binding will be in the black
cotton. I'm really pleased with
this! I don't think I'd want to cut
and sew the small, slippery satin
pieces every day, but, once in a
while, it's very special to work
with satin :)
|I'm trying some of my bright/dark satins
with this gray swirled cotton in a
checkerboard setting. The squares
set in at three inches and I'm going to
do the colors randomly.
|The satin has so many different
looks, depending on the light :)
|"Squares of Satin" is all done and the
binding will be in the gray cotton.
Maybe it's just me, but I think the satin
is much more difficult to cut than to
sew! Love it in these simple squares
and the flatness of the gray really
shows off the shine of the satin.
|I was organizing my solid color scraps
and got sidetracked into making this
little piece. It's only 18 x 28 inches,
which seems to be about my limit for
improv :) The binding will be done in
green, either solid or scrappy.
|Almost done with the
octagons, so time to
decide on a setting :)
|I was planning to set my octagons
with Irish Chain blocks as an
alternate. Gray like used in the
octagon corners for background and
a white chain. However, now I'm
feeling more scrappy, so I pulled a
bunch of grays, a couple of oranges
and a little turquoise for an accent.
We'll see how it looks :)
|I'm going to add the scrappy gray
squares and one nine patch to each
octagon block. I had tried a four patch
with the orange, but felt it was too
much color in one spot, so I changed
to the nine patch.
|Well, I have my new computer and
now, all I have to do is learn how to
use it! I'm a little backed up on
pictures, so I'll just put a few on now.
|"Periwinkle Plus" is all done and
the binding will be in the periwinkle
blue fabric. This is a new design
idea, using the octagons in halves
to make the circles :)
|"Scattered Octagons" is all
done and the binding will be in
the gray border fabric. I really
like this design because the
octagons and the nine patches
aren't all in a row but rather in
a wavy line :)
|This is one of my favorite stacking
fabrics. I've used it at least two other
times for stacked quilt tops.
|I'm using twelve repeats to
make two octagon blocks and
setting them in a circle, as in
the last quilt top.
|The picture on the left looks like I
just threw the half octagons at the
design wall! On the right the center
seams are sewn in the octagons
and it's much easier to arrange
them. I'm going to sew in some of
the centers before I decide on half
blocks to make the border.
|When blocks have all of these little
corners that pop up on the design
wall, it's especially nice to get the
blocks sewn together :)
|"Octagons with Orange" is all done
and the binding will be in the
orange. I think this is a neat design
because it's a little hard to see
where the blocks begin and end.
|Feeling scrappy - actually, super scrappy! For me, that means recycled
fabrics :) The top picture is my collection of stripes and plaids in the recycled
fabrics. The bottom two pictures show the fabrics grouped in piles from light to
dark because I want to make another off center, value Log Cabin. The piles in
the middle value have more fabrics because there are more blocks to be made
for those rounds. This is a lot of pressing and cutting when I'm starting with no
cut strips, but I'll just start with the lights and it will move along :)
|So far, I'm happy with the value progression. I
try to have some fabrics in each group that are
a bit lighter or darker than the majority. I've
also cut some of the plaids and stripes on the
bias to add some motion. The red centers are
getting darker as I go out on the rounds. The
brightest yellow stripe is from the scraps left
over from making my forty-year-old daughter a
jumper when she was a toddler!
|This is what my sewing machine looks like when I'm doing a
value progression Log Cabin. First, I group my fabrics by
value, as shown a few pictures back. Then I cut strips from
each group of fabrics as I'm ready for them. I do one round
at a time. My light logs are on the right and my dark on the
left. When I finish the blocks for this round, I'll move my
darks over to the right and they become my lights for the
next round. Then, I cut the darks for the next round of
blocks. This sounds more confusing than it is!
|I love making these because I'm
never really sure about how the
values are going to look until I
get the blocks up on the design
wall, so it's kind of a mystery
quilt. So far, so good :)
|"Act II" is all done and the
binding will be in a small,
dark red & navy check, cut
on the bias. Log Cabins
and recycled clothes - for
me, what could be better :)
|When preparing the fabrics for "Act II,"
I spray starched and pressed each
fabric on both sides before cutting.
So, once I'd done that, I hated to just
cut enough for the one quilt top. I cut
extra 1.5 inch strips, some 3.5 inch
strips and also some 1.5 inch strips cut
down to size for Log Cabin blocks. I
put all of these back in the box with my
recycled clothes and next time I pull
them out to work with, I'll be happy to
see all of these cut strips :)
|I have four repeats of this fabric, so
I'm doing the Kaleidoscope block
this way. I'll probably turn every
other one to get the Kaleidoscope
circles, but maybe not.
|Still more blocks to make. I think the
Kaleidoscope is so interesting
because you can use it in so many
ways. On the left is the straight set
with all of the blocks going the same
way and on the upper right, I turned
every other block. Of course, when
you put the corners on, you can get
a lot of other different designs :)
|Because I made the corners in high
contrast, the white and focus fabric,
you get a very busy look. If the
corners had been all white, or white
and a light color, it would give a
more airy look. When sewn
together, this will give the
Kaleidoscope circles, but they'll be
|"Lime to Cobalt" is all done
and the binding will be in
white. I love the color
change in this one :)
|I feel like cutting some of my scrappy
batiks, so that's nicer to do if I'm making
something. I think this will be an
on-center Barn Raising setting, with the
black four patch centers in all of the
blocks. This will be a fun day looking at
all of these beautiful batiks :) Generally,
when working from scraps like this, I'll
cut enough to get a few blocks with
some variety in them and then I'll cut
between each group of blocks that I
sew. Hours of straight cutting would
make my back very unhappy!
|Growing :) I'm trying to get lots
of mediums in both the light
and dark sides. I'm liking the
look of the black in the little
four patches and must try that
using red on a Log Cabin
made with regular fabrics.
|Blocks are ready to be sewn
together. What fun to work
with all of these brilliant
colors! I think I'm going to
keep it in the Barn Raising
setting, but I'm not sure yet.
|Once the blocks are made,
it's fun to play with layouts.
I'd be happy to do any of
these, but I think I've
decided on one of them.
|"Batik Cabins" is all done and the
binding will be in black to match the
black in the four patches. I love
batiks and I love Log Cabins, so
this has been great fun :)
|I wanted to try some scrappy, batik
Kaleidoscope blocks. Instead of
making the pieces match in each
block, I'm mixing them up in hopes that
the overall Kaleidoscope design will
show more than individual blocks.
We'll see if that works....
|So far, this is looking like I
wanted it to - very scrappy :)
|Blocks are done, so on to the corners.
I like the way it looks now, so I'm going
to use white corners on the light blocks
and the light batiks on the dark
blocks. The white fabric is my go-to
white dots on white fabric and even
though it isn't a batik, I'm going with it
anyway because I really want to keep
the light circles light.
|While the blocks in the center
have white corners on every
other one, along the edge I used
all white. I think it gives a nice
scalloped look around the outside.
|"Mostly Batiks" is all done and
the binding will be in a royal blue,
turquoise and green print batik.
I'm so pleased with both the
scrappy look and also how well
the circles show on this.
|In this close-up, you can see some
of the varied batiks used in this
one. The white dotted corners
aren't batiks, thus, the name.
|I wanted to do a color fade Log
Cabin, using red in the four patch
centers, so I thought blue would be a
good choice. I have a lot of blues
and it was kind of overwhelming to try
to pull for the color fade. So, I went
through all of the blues and pulled
only small pieces and then did my
color sort. With pieces this small,
while I'm cutting for this Log Cabin
quilt, I'll finish cutting each piece and
put the extra strips into my precuts.
|Cool! I think the four patch
centers with the red really
brighten the blues :)
|The design is starting to show
up :) I see I have one block
turned the wrong way. Things
sure show up on a picture!
|I was trying to block the sun with
my body to take this picture, thus
the strange angle. A picture is so
helpful in seeing how the value
progression is coming along.
|"Blue Moon" is all done and the
binding will be in a dark blue. I
like the four patches with red in
this and I'm sure I'll try that
again with Log Cabins :)
|I wanted to use this diagonal stripe in
something and since I've been making
Log Cabins, they came to mind. I'm
going to use the very high contrast
dark browns and beiges and let the
stripes be the only color in hopes that
the stripes will show up somewhat.
|The design on the left is the one I'm
working on, however, when I turned the
picture on the right, it got me thinking.
Well, lots more blocks to go before I
need to decide on the setting :)
|OK, that's graphic!
Think I'll go with it :)
|"Log Cabin Combo" is all
done and the binding will
be in the striped fabric
used in the block centers.
I've never done this Log
Cabin setting before, but it
has all kinds of
|I still wanted to make Log Cabins so I
decided to work with some African
themed fabrics. I had planned on a
zig-zag design like on the left, but I could
see that wasn't going to work because
there just wasn't enough contrast in this
first group of blocks. So, I'm going for a
Barn Raising and I think if I use more
contrast in my other rounds, the busy
background will work and this low
contrast round will be OK. We'll see!
|Here's the fabric I'm using
for the background rows.
It's wild and I knew it was
risky, but I really like the
way it's turning out.
|While I always think it's nice to sew
a quilt top together and see how it
looks, it's especially nice on one
as scrappy and low contrast as
this. I like the way the lines of
color are showing up :)
|"African Cabins" is all done and
the binding will be in the black
print used in the corner blocks.
A lot of these fabrics have gold
or copper metallic in them and
that really showed up in the
center on this picture!
|Loved working with
|I always say that I'm going to cut scraps into the sizes I usually use right away. Sometimes,
the scraps don't seem to hear me and they just congregate in color groups! I pulled the
pink, purple and orange groups and I sorted in a rough light to dark. I'm going to make
some Log Cabins and I think the rounds will show instead of blend because I'm going to
use what I have and only go to my precut strips if I don't have enough for the round of
blocks. So, rounds may have quite a bit of a fabric and fabrics may be next to same
fabrics. It will keep me sewing because I really want to see what I get :)
|So far, I'm pleased :) This is the first
time I've tried this using smaller scraps,
instead of folded pieces of fabric from
stash. It's more difficult to see values
this way, but, if the rest goes this well,
I'll be happy!
|"Sunset Cabins" is all done and
the binding will be in orange. I
only added two strips to the
original pile of scraps and I cut a
lot of extra scraps. By the time I
got into the darker colors,
however, I only cut for this quilt
top and the rest went back into my
|After all of the cutting I've done for
most of the quilt tops this month,
it's nice to be working from my
already cut strips! I think this will
be an on point scrappy trip.
|These move right along when
the strips are already cut!