|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.
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. Lately, I've taken some pre-orders from the Today's Work page before the tops were completed,
but I'm not going to do that anymore .... 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 from here may or may not be on the website on the first of the next month, but they will be on the site on the first of some 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 eight repeats of this floral,
however the fabric is a bit heavy to be
cutting eight repeats, so I'm going to
use four repeats and use it as the
background. I'm curious to see if I can
work out a pleasant block grouping
with such large flowers in the fabric.
|OK, I think I'll get some diverse
blocks! I'm going to put on a
crock pot of chili and spend my
day with stars and roses :)
|I like the variety in these. I'm going to
add another pink, purple and yellow for
the centers, so I'll have three blocks of
each fabric and I'm using a number of
different dark greens. I probably will
set these with a sashing, just so the
flowers don't come together at the
sides of the blocks.
|Coming along :) These look
so different depending on
how much of the roses
design is in each block.
|I added a light green sashing, which matches the
background of the focus fabric, just to separate
the roses where the blocks come together.
Instead of doing a border, which just kind of makes
the roses run down in a line on this fabric, I made
oversize setting triangles. I'll do the sashing that
runs in the other direction, add some cornerstones
and then I can sew it together :)
|"Abundant Roses" is all done
and the binding will be in the
roses fabric. Loved these
fabrics! It's really fun to use the
stacks as the background
instead of the central motif.
|I want to do another quilt top using
Kaffe Fassett's Shirt Stripe Boxes
design as a starting point. The last
one I did was in blues and greens, so
this time I want to try these colors. I
want really intense color, but, if this
gets to be too much, I can pull some
other colors to include.
|Woo-hoo! I said I wanted some intense
color - well, I think this will do it :) I'm
just making a few blocks with each
fabric and then I'll see how they're
looking and may make more from the
same fabrics. Also, I always end up
with partial pieces at the ends on a
strip, so there will be some mixed blocks.
|Still not a very good picture - sorry
'bout that! There are actually more
stripes than show in the picture.
These are going to be so much fun to
arrange when I get them all sewn :)
|Only about twenty more of the
little guys and then I can work on
setting them. I have a dental
appointment this morning, so this
will give me something pleasant to
think about :)
|To start on the layout, I put the large
and medium blocks up, not where they'll
stay, but just in the general space. I'll
fit in the small blocks and then start
changing things around. It would be
nice if they fit on the wall, but I'm trying
to remind myself that the last time I did
this one, it was from the floor and the
space wasn't wide enough to lay out all
the pieces! So, I'm glad for my wall :)
|I believe I've got them laid
out....now, I wonder if I can get
them sewn together :)
|The blocks in the first two
sections are done and I just
have the long vertical seam to
do. On to the third section.
These blocks really do go
together surprisingly well. I just
have to keep them straight and
having the picture of the layout
really helps that a lot. I just do
a small section at a time and
there aren't even any partial
|"Go Forth Boldly" is all done and the
binding will be in one of the brown
stripes, cut on the bias. As I said, this
is a Kaffe Fassett design from his book
Glorious Patchwork. I changed the
layout and also the size of the quilt top.
I tried to group the different stripes in
some sections and scatter them in
other parts. On the mixed blocks, I
tried for several areas where I could
combine them to make diagonal lines.
I do love the way this quilt turns out :)
|Still with the stripes :) I want to try
some of the boxes with these stacked
stripes and see how they look with just
a few fabrics. If it doesn't look OK, I
can add some more fabrics to the mix.
|Those brown wavy stripes really make some jazzy boxes! It will be
interesting to see how those play when there are more of them. I felt
those first three fabrics really needed an accent and I decided on
turquoise. I like the stripes on the right, but I prefer the brightness
of the turquoise piece on the left. It will probably be the one on the
left because I think I need the brightness, but I'll make more of the
blocks like the ones I have and see how it looks then.
|With those wavy blocks in there, I think
it's safe to say that this will be a "love it
or hate it" quilt top! I think the little
blocks are so cute, of course, I always
like little blocks :)
|More blocks made and still more to
make! I added two more fabrics plus
the turquoise and I think that will be
enough variety. I'm anxious to see all
of the blocks together :)
|That's all of the blocks :) I wanted to make this same quilt top again right
away for two reasons. One because I love it and two because I can't
believe that all of those blocks sew up into an area just a little larger than
my design wall! My design wall is 48 x 69 and the quilt top finishes at 54 x
72. I realize it's because there are so many small blocks, so lots of seams,
but still even though I understand, I'm amazed! I taped up some batting on
my door just to hold these blocks and I think, after I get this top sewn, I may
just take down that one design panel on the door and put batting on the
whole front of the door because I often need that extra room.
|I think this is what I'll use. I like the
path of the turquoise and the red-pink
and the twisty ones are just going to
be twisty no matter where they are :)
This one was more of a challenge for
me to arrange, I think because there
were fewer different fabrics in this one
but the blocks were more distinctive.
Anxious to see it sewn together!
|The first two sections are together
and I love it :) I'm usually such a
fan of "fast" and this one does not
go together quickly, but I like this
design so much that I don't mind.
|"Dare" is all done and the binding will
be in the striped leaf print, cut on the
bias. I think that using the stacked
fabrics for the blocks made this look so
different from the same design used in
the last quilt top. I'm so pleased with
this crazy little quilt top :)
|I'm still getting a kick out of all
of those blocks fitting into this
one quilt top!
|I wanted to try the same size and
block configuration as in the last
two quilt tops, but with a different
block, so I'm going with the Log
Cabins. I'm not sure if the little
guys will show well, but I think if I
make my lights lighter in those,
they will work. If they don't, I'll just
make them into larger Log Cabins
and do some other setting.
|I had to try some ideas for the little
blocks....I tried the HST ( it would
actually be in red & cream) and I didn't
like that at all. Then I tried the red,
black and white blocks, and didn't like
them either. So, now I like the original
idea much better :) I'll go back to the
light and dark small log cabins and just
see how it works. I think that one of the
problems here is that there isn't enough
red because I'm not using red logs
since I want the centers to show. Once
the small blocks get in there with their
red centers, I think that will give enough
red. So, I'm going to trust the scraps :)
|I really like the way this is coming along!
I'm using a lot of mediums in both the
light and dark sections of the Log Cabins
so that the line between the two sides is
more of a hint than a definite. This sure
uses a bunch of 1.5 inch squares! I was
thinking that there may not have been
enough red, since I'm not using red for
anything but the centers, but there's
plenty of red, since there are so many of
the tiny blocks. Fun :)
|Growing and just the
bottom sections left to do.
Happy, happy with the way
this is going :)
|"Cabin Fever" is all done and I really
think that this may be my all-time
favorite scrap quilt top that I've made :)
All of the pieces set in at one inch and
it's three different size Log Cabin
blocks - three and a half, six and a half
and nine and a half inches, unset.
|I felt like doing some strip piecing with
my one and three quarters inch strips
and I love the ribbons design, so here
we go! I like to make a few blocks and
then see what I need to do.....I can see
I need to avoid yellow/orange for a
while and also that my light to dark
progression doesn't need to be so
strong. I'll be looking for more
mediums to put into the strip sets.
|The design is beginning to show
:) I'll distribute the blocks once I
get them all made.
|Blocks are finished, so I can sew them
together. When I make the strip sets, I
press all of the seams toward the dark
side, so when I sew the diagonal seam
in each block, the two sides nest
together at each fabric strip. This,
plus the fact that it's a bias seam,
makes these blocks so easy to sew
those two sides together. I included a
lot of mediums in this, but I think the
design still shows up very well.
|"Scrappy Ribbons" is all done
and the binding will be in a dark
green or blue. This is such a
cooperative pattern to work with
and I love the result :)
|Still working with the one and three
quarters inch strips. I pulled the warm
colors to make some Court House Steps.
As always with scrappy, I'm trying to get
lots of mediums in there and just enough
light and dark to carry the design.
|These really move right along
when all of the strips are already
cut! So, it's just choosing
fabrics and sewing them
together - what fun :)
|There are different ways to set the
Court House Steps blocks, but this
simple setting is my favorite. I've really
enjoyed working with these colors!
|"Salsa" is all done and the binding will
be in red. I debated about using a
border on this, but decided against it,
however, I could see it either way. The
Court House Steps is such a great
block that it's always fun to make :)
|Love the colors of
these pretty fish :)
|The fish had such great colors and
lines for making octagons! Now, I'll
decide what I want to do with them.....
|I have this piece of turquoise, dotted
fabric for background that matches the
focus fabric background so well that it
makes the circular kaleidoscope design
stand out. So, I think I want to try this
spiral with the blocks offset by half a
block. I'll transfer this idea to graph
paper and see if I can see a way to
reasonably piece it.
|Here's the design on graph paper.
The red lines indicate sections that
can be sewn together without needing
partial seams. The stacked blocks are
seven and three quarters, so each
square on the graph paper indicates
four and one eight inches. I'll combine
where I can probably on those
background squares. So, now I need
to decide if I want to do any piecing in
the background squares.
|So funny....I think this will be the most
unpieced area I've ever had in a quilt
top, but I'm kinda intrigued by it, so I'm
going to do it :) It' so much easier for
me to piece than to not piece!
|The sections are sewn and now I
think I will do a bit of piecing in
the last section :)
|"Next Three for the Swirling Seas
Ride" is all done and the binding will
be in the background fabric. A lot of
whimsy in my sewing room :)
|I want to try this little print in some
stacked octagons. I'm thinking of
another spiral, but we'll see what the
blocks look like first.
|These are cute and would set
in at five inches! I'll make
some more and then decide if
I want to do them in a spiral or
use some other setting.
|I decided to set these in sections as I
go instead of making all of the blocks
at once. Whereas the last quilt top
had the octagons overlapping by half a
block, these overlap by two thirds of a
block. We'll see if it makes any
difference in the look of the spiral.
|I really like working this way! Make a
graph design, figure out the sizes of
the pieces, work out a plan to section
the pieces with as few partial seams as
possible (this one will have a couple of
them) cut pieces to size and then put it
together by section. Also, the colors in
this picture are the actual colors of
both fabrics. Just needs to be the right
time of day for me to get the true
colors in a picture.
|The spiral is beginning to
show up :)
|"Delicate Spiral" is all done and the
binding will be in the focus fabric to
match the octagons. Since these
octagons set in at five inches, this one
was so different to make than the last
one where the octagons set in at
seven and a quarter inches.
|Still feel like making some stacks, so I'll
try this fan fabric. The pink on the left
is probably a safer choice, but I really
like the red on the right, so red it is :)
|This kind of large airy print really
makes some diverse octagons.
The colors in person are a little
less intense than this.
|WOW, that would be a lot of red! I
really like the red, but I don't want that
much of it. I think I'll just use purples
on the outside blocks and have the red
"bow ties" only on the inner blocks.
They will be smaller after seams - the
cornerstone will set in at three quarters
of an inch. I think that will be a good
amount of red - we'll see :)
|Blocks are finished, so off to add
the scrappy purple sashing. I'm
pleased with so many different
designs in the blocks :)
|Love these little red bow
ties that form at the
intersection of the blocks :)
|"Fans & bow Ties" is all done and the
binding will be in the border fabric. I
do love the red & purple color
combination and just noticed I made
two from that combination this month - I
must love it!
|Next up...don't know as
what yet, but I love these
two together :)
|I had planned on making all of the
blocks in the stacks and turquoise
HST's as on the left, however the
turquoise quickly overpowered my
focus fabric, so I decided on the
layout on the right. I like that
balance much better :)
"A Little Bird" is all done
and the binding is in the
orange focus fabric. Great
colors to work with :)
|Love this floral and really, how could I
not stack it in some way!
|Not a good picture of the
colors, but I really like the
way these are looking :)
|I'm going to use the blue "hollow" stars
with the stacked background for the
alternate squares. I'm curious to see
how they will look when all of the
blocks are finished :)
|Ready for some setting triangles. The
pink, blue, brown color combination is
such a traditional one that you don't
see it much today but I'm really
enjoying working with these colors :)
|"Double Star Traditional" is all done
and the binding is in a brown
tone-on-tone the color of the focus
fabric background. I really like using
these two stars together with a stacked
fabric and I'm sure I'll try that again :)
|I couldn't get the colors right
on the full picture, so here's a
close shot where the colors
do look right :)
|It's all gray and rainy outside today
and I get to stay in my sewing room
and work on these! I'm a lucky duck :)
|I really like these :) I'm so glad
that I finally restocked on white -
sometimes, you just need white!
|Blocks are finished, so on to
the setting triangles. There's a
lot going on in these blocks, so
I won't piece too much in the
|Lots of stripes! Not sewn on yet, but
I wanted to see these in a picture. I
could have finished this with just the
white on white dots with the stripe as
a binding, which would have been
nice, but I wanted more in the design.
I also thought of the triangles at the
edges of the setting triangles in the
solid colors, but the color
progression would have turned out
uneven, so I went with the stripes :)
|"Lots of Rainbows" is all done and
the binding will be in the yellow solid.
I'm really pleased with the way the
stripes blended in to each other
along the edges :)
|This is a design from the book "40
Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts" by
Evelyn Sloppy. I've used this
before and really enjoy making it.
I'm going to keep it scrappy, but
just in dark and medium blues and
lighter yellows, trying not to let my
yellows go into the golds.
|Blocks are finished, so on to the
cornerstones. I think the
scrappyness gives these some
good motion and besides it
keeps me from getting bored.
|A little change of plans....I was going to
use scrappy dark blues on the outside
and scrappy medium blues on the
inside of the sashing pieces. However,
seeing that, I think I'll use the same
paisley as in the snowballed
cornerstones for the center of the
sashing. I like the look of the
connection between the cornerstones
and the sashing and that gets a little
lost with the scrappy centers. I'm glad I
have enough of the paisley to do this,
but, if I didn't, I'd still be OK with the
|I love how much the look of
this changes as each new
block type is added :)
|Here are the scrappy setting triangles.
This is obviously one of those quilt
tops that won't fit on my design wall!
Time to begin to sew things together :)
|Yet another handy use for the design
wall....when the quilt top is too large to fit both
the finished sections and also the rows to be
sewn, I can stack the rows that are ready to be
sewn and just put one long pin through them
and stick them to the wall in the right order.
Probably everyone in the world, except me,
had figured that out already :) As these are
coming together, I'm pleased with the balance
between the really dark blues and the more
royal blues. I think the darks define the design
and the royals add some interest.
|"Pinwheels & Paisley" is all done and
the binding will be in the yellow
dotted fabric used in some of the
blocks. Love this design, which is
from the book, "40 Fabulous
Quick-Cut Quilts" by Evelyn Sloppy.
One of the nice things about a
design like this is that you could use
any of the parts of it in a different
quilt top. I think it would be cool to
use a stacked octagon in place of the
pinwheel blocks, or to use the
pinwheel blocks with a different
sashing and cornerstones. I may
have to try some of those ideas.
|I like this piece...don't know
what I'm going to do with it,
but probably something
stacked - what a surprise :)
|I always get a kick out of seeing
what designs a fabric will make in
the stacked octagons :)
|Since I just did a quilt top with the
brown/pink/blue stacked stars at the
end of last month, I wanted to make
this one look different. So, I'm going
with the octagons and Log Cabins. I
want to get a bit of pink and blue in
both the light and dark browns and I
also want to use some of the focus
fabric in the dark browns. I'm happy
with the colors so far, so I'll try to stay
in this general area.
|I think I'll use an off-center barn raising
setting and fill in the center with
something.....some of the focus fabric,
more log cabins, a large Dresden, a
small lone star...something.
|I decided to use a log cabin heart
in the open space. One of the
many reasons that I love the log
cabin block so much is that it's so
versatile :) I did the red outline,
followed by pink all around to try to
make the heart stand out a bit.
|A nice day with my Log Cabins :) I
really like choosing the fabrics for
log cabins and trying to keep the
color and value look that I want.
|All ready to be sewn together. It
always makes such a nice difference
when the blocks are sewn together,
especially on ones like this where the
blocks are hanging off the design wall :)
|"Gotta Have Heart" is all done and
the binding is in the border fabric.
Love it - of course, I always love
Log Cabins :)
|I want to try more of
the Log Cabin Hearts :)
|I think you can see the plan here. If I had
done these with straight across strips,
instead of the log cabins, it would have
been a lot easier! However, I wanted the
Log Cabin configuration and I also wanted
each heart to have twelve different
fabrics, plus the one constant fabric for
the cornerstones that set in at one inch.
Even though I did the heart on graph
paper, I still had trouble with what went
where and in what order, several times. I
do like the final scrappy hearts and I think
the outline of the cornerstones gives
some definition, so it's all good :)
|Love my hearts :)
|Hearts are done and now for 64 small
Log Cabins for the background.
They should be pretty easy after
keeping the right orientation of the
logs in the heart blocks!
|I'm trying to keep the background
blocks neutral enough so the hearts
will show, but with enough color so
they aren't boring. I decided to make
the central squares in the colors from
the outlines of the hearts,
because...well, just because :)
|If I'm doing a bunch of log cabins and have a particular look in
mind, I like to do the blocks in groups of six to eight. That way I
can see them and then make color corrections in the next
group of blocks. After seeing my first group of blocks (in the
last picture) I decided to add some blocks that had a neutral
center instead of the bright center to make the bright centers
stand out a bit more and have a scattered look. I also felt I
needed to add more white, pink, peach and cream and use
fewer yellows. I added a few whites with tiny black designs to
the mix because I think they add some clarity to a light mix of
fabrics. The goal, of course, is to allow the hearts to be seen
and still have some interest in the background.
|Blocks are finished! I changed a few of
the logs around both the yellow and the
lime green hearts to lighter colors to give
the hearts a chance to show up. I may
change a few more logs in the lower right
corner of the lime heart. There are 64
background log cabins and I did thirty of
them in the bright centers. I think I'll
change a few of the brights centers
around and then I can start the sew these
together. Working with so many fabrics
this light was really strange. Colors that
would normally be quite light were all of a
sudden super dark!
|One of the many things I love about
Log Cabins is the back of them! They
just look so organized :)
|"Heart of Hearts" is all done
and the binding will be in the
border fabric. I'm so happy
with the way this turned out :)
|I want to combine these two
value progressions using one
horizontally and the other
vertically. I love doing these
just to see how they mesh and
how different the same fabric
looks when seen with different
|Now I can see how it's going! The
blues will be split like this in each zig
zag because there will be ten blue zig
zags and I wanted to use twenty blues
instead of ten. I think the white to
black progression is fine, so I hope the
blue turns out as well :)
|This is so intriguing to me - bet
I'll do more of these :)
|I'd probably be smart to
start sewing some of these
together, but I'm having too
much fun adding the rows
to stop now!
|Everyone has their own way of doing things and this is the way I like to put these HSTs together. I mark the direction
that I want to press rows with my pins while the rows are still on the design wall. I press in the direction that the pin is
pointing (even I can remember that!) and I always put the pins on the left side of the rows. After they HSTs are sewn
together into a row I finger press the seams from the right side in the direction of the pins while the row is on the
ironing board and then I press with the iron. When I put two rows together for the long horizontal seam, the pressed
seams nest and make it really easy to match them. I generally pin about every third intersection and the other
intersections I can feel with my fingers. When the rows are sewn together, I set-press the seam on the wrong side
and then turn the top row to the top (my flower pins are always on the left, so it's easy to see what's the top) finger
press at each seam and then press with the iron. I then spray starch the seam and press again.
|I did stop putting up rows and started
sewing these together because I know
they can get pretty tedious after a
while if I leave it all to the end! Along
about the fifth row, I got to thinking that
it would really be fun to go dust mop
the floors, so I knew it was time for a
sewing break :)
|I really enjoyed watching "Zig-Zag
Fade" take shape! Neat to see how
the appearance of the zig zags
changed as they moved across the
light to dark background. The binding
will be in a black & white print.
|I'm thinking about these pretty sedate
greens with a floral mix for another
zig zag quilt top. I'll see how I feel
about this plan tomorrow, but, if I do
another zig-zag, I will sew the rows
together as I go :)
|I'm trying to get some variety of scale
on the two floral sides of the zig zags.
Looking at these florals against the
different background values is really
interesting because I can see how
different a quilt top would look if a
bunch of mixed florals were used with a
light, medium or dark background for
the whole quilt top.
|Coming along :) As I'm cutting
my florals for this, I'm adding to
my cut strips in different sizes.
These florals are really jazzing
up my scrap cuts!
|"Floral Zig-Zag" is all done and the
binding will be in a medium green.
The values on this were
challenging because of all the
different colors in each floral, but
I'm happy with the end result :)
|I have a lot of 2.5 inch squares that
don't fit into any color group. So, I
pulled sets of four and sets of five and
I'm going to make nine patches
combining them with the blue floral
fabric at the back. I'll try some and see
how they look and, if I don't like them,
they'll go into the This & That box!
|I'm enjoying making the nine patches
with the five florals, not sure about
ones with four florals yet. I
underestimated the darkness of the
blue floral background fabric, so I'm
going to need to brighten things with
the alternate blocks.
|I think this is my plan....I added a nine
patch made with four florals to the
center of a group of four nine patches
and then added white snowballs to
separate the groups. I'll see how that
looks as I get more made.
|Ha! It looks like a
Tic-Tac-Toe game! I'll
see what it looks like
after the setting triangles,
but I may name it that :)
|It's beginning to come together. The
colors from the nine patches seem to
be showing up better and I think the
addition of the white blocks and setting
triangles helped tone down the
darkness of the blue background. I
say blue because it really is, however it
looks gray in the pictures!