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.
|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
|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.
|This star can make some neat
secondary designs, depending on how
you do the background fabrics.
|Loving the designs this
fabric is making :)
|Stacks keep me interested because, even though I have a general idea of what a stack will look like,
there are always elements of the finished block that surprise me. On top are three eight-stacks of
diamonds and below them are the blocks they made. These are cut from a 2.5 inch strip, so when the
seam allowances are taken, the finished block looks quite different from the stack set.
|I must really want to talk about stacking this morning! I never lay out stacks to see which point I
want in the middle, but here's a demonstration of how different the blocks can look. The top and
bottom, left is from one set of eight-stacks using a different end for the center. Same on the
right. I'd be happy with any of these, but since they're laid out and I can see them, I'll choose the
top left and the bottom right for when I sew the blocks.
|Ready for the border :) Setting the
stars next to each other really changes
the look of them. Sometimes I see the
stars, sometimes the black on-point
squares and sometimes the purple &
green pinwheels! I want to get some
yellow in the border so I'll have all
three Mardi Gras colors.
|You can get so many different
designs by changing some of
the octagon pieces.
|"Bourbon Street" is all done and I
think I'll go back to the green fabric
for the binding. The border took a
lot of piecing, but I really like it!
|Back to Log Cabins with the one and a
quarter inch strips. I don't know how I'll
set these yet, but I like the colored
squares which kind of look like they're
set on top of the brown and tan strips.
|Trying out a few of the Log Cabin settings. Right now,
I'm thinking of number five - Straight Furrows, but I may
go with number four - Zig Zag of some kind.
|"Squares on Stripes" is all done and
the bias binding will be in scrappy
browns with some sections of gold,
orange and green. I'm so happy with
the way this one turned out :)
|I've been working with these one and a quarter inch strips long
enough that, next time I use one and a half inch strips, they are
going to seem giant! For these I'm using the text and ticking fabrics
on one side throughout and the other side done in two scrappy
florals for each block. At this point, I think I'm going with the zig-zag
on the right, but I may go back to the triangles on the left.
|"Text, Ticking & Flowers" is all done
and the binding will be in a small
back & white print. Really like the
way the bright florals show up
against the black & white prints! I
think I may be done with these three
quarter inch logs for a while :)
|I made a small piece of batik squares,
set on point and then matched them
with a tie dye piece. As you can see, I
reversed the direction of the tie dye
piece. I sliced both fabrics into 2.5
inch strips and then sewed them back
together, keeping all of the strips in the
|"Blend" is all done and the
binding will probably be a dark
batik and will have some pieces
of the tie dye fabric in it. This
was a fun little piece!
|I wanted to try the same idea as in
the last top of putting two different
panels together in strips. this time, I
made some improv panels with four
different batiks. To get the diagonal
stripes, I cut the fabrics on the bias,
so they set in with the grain lines
going up and down. I'm curious to
see how the strips will piece and also
what this will look like!
|"Batik Improv" is all done and
the binding will be a scrappy mix
of the four fabrics used in the
top. I find it so interesting to see
what designs the two beginning
fabric panels will form!
|Some batik scraps. I think I'll make a Log Cabin Spiral in kind of a rainbow
progression. Since I love bright batiks with black, I'll use black for one side
of the Log Cabins. I'll go for a 7 x 9 setting, so I'll need 63 blocks. I've
sorted the scraps into seven color groups, so I'll need to cut for nine blocks
from each group. If I don't have enough in the scraps, or If I need more of a
color (like I probably will on the blues) I'll go to my regular stash of batiks. I
really like working this way - in small "bites"- so about the time I'm getting
bored with a color, it's time to move on to the next color.
|A beginning! If it turns out that
this design doesn't look good
where the colors change, I'll try
some other design......
|I changed the number of blocks in the
turquoise group and did one less of
the greens so I could make the corners
black to make the spiral stand out
more and enhance the asymmetrical
look. Ready to sew these together!
|"Batik Spiral Rainbow" is all
done and the binding will be in
black. The batiks have such
|Still scrapping and I'm back to the
one and a quarter inch strips.
|"Scrappy & Red" is all done and the
binding will be in red. The reds really
made this one nice and bright!
|These fabrics are all fruit or
veggie prints. This is going to
be busy! Looking at the
picture, I see the top right
block is placed wrong.
|I feel healthier just looking at all of
these fruits & vegetables :)
|"Orchard & Garden" is all done and
the binding will be in the yellow
strawberry fabric used in the light
side of the blocks. These logs set in
at one inch - small enough to blend
but large enough so you can see
some of the motifs in the fabrics.
|"I Spy A Pair" is all done and the binding will be in one of the fabrics
used in the quilt top. I collect five inch squares of fabrics that I think
would be interesting for a child to find, name, learn about, use in a
sentence and eventually, use as story starters. I think you could
consider the I Spy quilts as early SAT Prep! I added the solids to
give a little shape to the squares. Once you have all of the five inch
squares cut, these are pretty easy to put together.
|Love the colors in
|Making the octagons is such a
change from all of the Log
Cabins! I like making them both,
and I especially like the change :)
|Octagons are all finished. While I
always like the stacked octagon
designs, I think that my favorites are
when stars form and this fabric
delivered a lot of cool stars!
|Some people who have tried this layout said that it was a bit confusing to put together, so here are the
steps I use. Not the only way, just the way I do it. 1. blocks are made, 2. Yellow and orange corners are
on the blocks and sashing on one side. 3. Pink corners are on blocks and sashing on one side. Blocks
are sewn together in diagonal rows. 4. To make the other sashing with the colored cornerstones, I strip
piece sashing and cornerstones of each color and then sew them together, looking at the design wall to
see what color cornerstone I need next. 6. sashings are up. Funny, as soon as I put those sashings up,
even though they're not sewn on, the design begins to show! 7. sashings are sewn to the rows on one
side - top side on the top and bottom side on the bottom. The center row of sashing is left unsewn. 8.
Setting triangles are made. I only had a small amount of the turquoise sashing fabric left, so I used it to
make four patches to try to integrate the darker turquoise fabric a bit. More to come......................
|Here's the "more." Sewing this together is only a little different because the blocks are on point,
there is sashing and cornerstones and, most of all, because it's a rectangle instead of a square.
In picture one, you sew on the setting triangle on the right of the lower of the two long center
rows of blocks and then you can sew on the long sashing strip, as in picture two. In picture three,
the setting triangle in the lower left is sewn, so those two center long rows can now be sewn
together. The rest of the rows are pretty normal. Interesting how my camera picked up different
colors in all three of these pictures! The color in the center is closest to true.
|"Zodiac" is all done and the
binding will be in the darker
border fabric. Loved working
with this fabric and sorry to see
it is almost gone!
|This fabric has some nice
lines for making stars.
|The narrow black frame in the second
picture will only set in at half an inch, but I
think it makes a big difference. The
scrappy homespuns for the sashing just
seemed to go with this focus fabric.
|Ready to decide on the
Homespuns are so great :)
|I laughed at the fish star
in the upper right!
|"Stars & Plaids" is all done and the
binding will be in a homespun
plaid, cut on the bias. Loved
working with the homespuns :)
|I'm going to keep the yellow and
blue constant and use different
florals. We'll see how it turns out!
|I used the same blue and
yellow and about fourteen
different floral fabrics. Ready
to sew these together!
|"Along Route 66" is all done and the
binding will be the blue. The reason
for the name is that the blue fabric has
Route 66 road signs on it.
|Next up...I don't know as what
but it will involve some stacking.
|I like the way the kaleidoscope circles
are showing up with the white design
wall in the background, so I think I'll
make all of my block corners in white.
Half of the blocks have the white with
colored circles fabric and the other half
are plain white. I was planning to use
the colored circles fabric for the corners
against the white blocks, but now, all
white. Even I'm confused when I read
that last sentence and I wrote it :)
|"Geometric Kaleidoscopes" is all done
and the binding will be in the companion
striped fabric, cut on the bias. Always
love the kaleidoscope circles!
|I have a plethora of blue scraps!
Looks like Log Cabins for me :) I
may add some of the turquoise,
seen in the upper left of the picture
and maybe some green.
|As anyone who has looked at
my photos can tell, the off center
Barn Raising is one of my
favorite Log Cabins settings!
|So much fun to choose the
fabrics for this kind of layout and
then see how each new group of
blocks changes the look!
|Ready to sew these together! Had such a good time choosing
these fabrics. I try to mind, first the color, then value and then
scale. I think it's good to get a few larger scale prints that have
some colors other than the main colors I'm working with. Often, I
do this type of top with the same group of fabrics in a round of
blocks. This one has the rounds more blended and the blocks
made so you get the striped effect in each block.
|"Lakeside Cabins" is all done
and the binding will be in a
turquoise. One quarter of this is
turquoise fabrics, one quarter
greens and one half blues, but I
think the turquoise dominates.
|My fingers are a bit sore after cutting
all of the scraps for the last quilt top,
so I thought this would be a good time
to sew up some of the Log Cabin
pieces that I've already cut to size!
|Ready to sew these together.
It sure goes fast when the
logs are already cut to size
and sorted into light and dark!
|When not using a border, which is
most of the time for me now, I stay
stitch the edge and then trim. These
are the trimmings for the whole quilt
top. Doesn't take much but it makes
the edge look so nice.
|Even though there are a lot of
medium value fabrics is this top, the
furrows still show up well. Always
surprises me how well value works in
the Log Cabin blocks!
|"Scrappy Furrows" is all done
and the binding will be in a dark
green stripe, cut on the bias.
|Next up...after all the scraps,
something quiet! This is such a tight,
busy print, but I think stacked
octagons will give some focus.
|Colors are a bit off here, but
you can see the designs.
|This fabric is making so
many delicate designs,
each one different :)
|I've taken a week off and now it's nice
to get back to my sewing room :) I'm
using the white dotted fabric for both
the block corners and also the
sashing. I'll insert the squares of pink,
turquoise and gold, which will set in at
three quarters of an inch.
|Using the cornerstones in the center
of the sashing instead of at the
corners gives a very different look.
Of course, I guess they wouldn't be
|"Linked Octagons" is all done
and the binding will be in white.
This is one of those light colored
quilt tops that looks much better
in person than in the picture! It
always amazes me that one
fabric could make so many
blocks, each different :)
|Love the designs this fabric made!
|Next up - some small Courthouse
Steps made with the one and a
quarter inch strips. I'll decide how to
set them after I get a few more made.
|I'm setting these Courthouse
blocks on point, just because
they look so different that way.
I'm trying to make some scrappy
and some in the same fabric.
|Time to decide on the setting
triangles. I'm anxious to see
these sewn together!
|All done and the binding will be in the
fabric used for the setting triangles.
The traditional fabrics are so nice to
work with and I really like the
Courthouse Steps set on point!
|The interlocking Courthouse Step
blocks make an unusual shape
when just using four steps!
|Since I'm making these blocks one at a
time, the process is quite different from
the normal way I make Courthouse
Steps or Log Cabins. Making this one
is fun, but I wouldn't want to totally give
up making blocks in batches!
|"Hot Steps" is all done and the binding
will be in a black with random, small
red squares. I enjoyed the process on
this one and want to try another with
slightly larger blocks.
|I wanted to do some more on-point
Courthouse Steps blocks and I think
they'll look good in the 1930's prints.
These blocks still use the one and a
half inch strips, but are larger at
seven and a half inches instead of
the five and a half inches from the
last two tops. Some of these prints
are so cute - love the Uncle Sam hats
on the lower right!
|I'm combining some prints that look
like feedsack prints along with the
cute little 1930 reproduction prints.
As I'm cutting for these blocks, I'm
also cutting 3.5 inch and 1.75 inch
strips for something or other.
|I auditioned a lot of printed
fabrics for the setting triangles,
but finally decided white would
be it. Off to sew it together.
|"Earlier Times" is all done and the
binding will be in another pink print.
When using the Courthouse Steps
blocks this way, I like the way the
"squares" of fabric are kind of offset.
|So glad that there are
reproduction prints available!
|Since the 1930's fabrics were out and
I'd just cut a variety of 3.5 inch strips, I
decided to make a Kaleidoscope top
with those strips and scrappy whites.
far, no repeats!
|Before I put the corners on, I'm deciding between a random type setting, as on the left, or
more color grouped, as on the right. I don't have all of the blocks on the right turned in
the correct direction, but I wanted to get a general idea. Turns out I have two repeats.
|I decided to group the colors and I'm
using the yellow and white check on
half the blocks and white on the other
half for the corners. Nor matter how
many of the Kaleidoscope blocks I
make, and I've made a lot of them, I'm
still thrilled to see the circles appear :)
|"1930's Kaleidoscope" is all done and
the binding will be in a pink 1930's
reproduction print. Pleased with the
way these blocks blended!
|I'm going to try a Trip Around
the World/Bargello type top
with this group of fabrics.
|I'm cutting the tubes in different
widths to give a little curve to the
diamond shape. Although the
vertical seams aren't sewn yet, the
design is beginning to show.
|These sure look different
when the seams are taken!
|"Vagabond Trip" is all done
and I haven't decided on the
binding yet. I like the design
created by the strips cut in
these sizes and I'll probably
try this one again sometime.
|Quite a varied group of
fabrics in this one!
|I want to try a Trip Around
the World in all stripes.
|Such a difference when
they're sewn together. Off
to do the rest of the strips.
|"Striped Trip" is all done and the binding will be in one
of the striped fabrics used in the top, cut on the bias.
Really like the way the stripes turned out!
|I've accumulated a bunch of busy one
and a half inch strips, so some twisty
hexies will work for them.
|"Twisted Hexies" is all done and I
haven't decided on the binding yet -
either the gray dotted background
fabric or scrappy. I really like this block!
|I have six repeats of this fabric, so
I'm thinking of two sets of six-stacks
and twelve background fabric blades
for some 24 blade Dresdens. We'll
see how they look!
|Deciding if I want to use all blue
corners, as on the left or use white
and blue as on the right. The
centers will probably be red.
|Ready for a border. I made the
blue blocks match where they
meet and the white blocks
opposite to the blue ones. I
think I'll use some stacked
hexies in the border.
|"Bandanna Bonanza" is all done and
the binding will be in solid red like the
block centers. Really like the way the
border of hexies turned out!
|Between different Christmas
festivities with my family, I've been
working along on this one.
|"Butterscotch" is all done and the
binding will be in the focus fabric. I
auditioned the focus fabric as the
border but it just seemed like too
much, so I think the amount seen in a
binding will be about right.
|Next up....some Log Cabins made with
blue florals. I'm using the one and a
quarter inch strips, so the logs set in at
three quarters of an inch.
|"Blue Flower Garden" is all done and
the binding will be in another blue
floral. I like these arrangements
where the blocks aren't all from the
same fabrics in each round.
|I received about a yard and a quarter
of this beautiful batik as a Christmas
gift. I'm thinking it would be a great
accent piece with black & white.
|I'm going to change the position of
the color round in each batch of
blocks. I'll decide how to arrange
them once I have more to work with.
|I'm using one and a quarter inch
strips on these, so the logs set in at
three-quarters of an inch. It's cool
how much color you can get from
three-quarters of an inch!
|Blocks are done and time to
decide on the arrangement. I was
thinking a centered Barn Raising,
as in number seven, but I may go
for the Zig-Zag, as in number two.
|I was trying to think of the best way to use this
batik piece. Decided on an on-point
checkerboard with light to dark browns. I
sorted all of my brown two inch squares and
chose 324 of them to pair with squares of the
batiks to make 162 four patches. If I keep
everything in order as I'm sewing and pressing,
I can just put them up on the wall in a spiral.
Some of the medium browns are coming up
and they totally blend with the batik.
|"Black & White in Party Mode" is all done and the binding is
in black. Love the way this turned out and I think the colorful
batik really did good things for my scrappy black & whites :)
|This batik background fabric was great
for blending all of these diverse
browns. I think one can pretty
accurately judge a quilters age by the
degree of wonkiness shown as blocks
are placed on the design wall -
especially at the bottom of the wall!
So, yes, there it is demonstrated in
batik and cotton - I'm old :)
|"Blended Browns" is all done and the binding is in
a dark brown print. Since the squares set in at an
inch and a half, the blending went very well.
|I decided on twenty blade
Dresden type blocks. These use
two sets of ten blades in each
block, both from the same fabric.
To cut ten stacks, I have to cut
from two five stacks because eight
is as much as I can cut all at once.
|Next up is this pretty floral. I
surprised myself when I was drawn
to this since I just worked with pink
& brown. Usually, I want to go to a
completely different color.
|The wedges are sewn and not I
need to decide how I want to set
the blocks before I can choose the
fabrics for the centers and corners.
|I had the second half of the fabric
left, so decided to make an octagon
border. I'll finish up the blocks on the
border with their corners and then
sew them together so it will give me
the size that I need to make the
sashing for the blocks in the center.
|Fun to watch this kind of top change
as each new element is added. I
was working with the pink, dark
green and a lighter green, but I don't
think I'll have a place for the lighter
green. These pictures don't show
the color well, but maybe later I'll get
a better shot.
|The colors in this close-up
are pretty close to true.
|"Pink & Green Floral" is all done and
the binding will be in the green border
fabric. Really like these two stacked
blocks together! Thee close-up
picture shows the colors better.
|This is the first time I've used the
"Straight Out of Line" ruler by
Creative Grids, so I'm anxious to
get more blocks made to see how
they look. This is four blocks and
each is a little over eight inches,
so it's pretty large piecing.
|"Orange Vertigo" is all done and
the binding will be in the two
different oranges. This Creative
Grids ruler, "Straight Out of Line"
is really nice to work with!
|I wanted to make some four patches using my green, blue and turquoise two
inch squares, paired with with. In the shot on the left, I tried them out with
scrappy three and a half inch squares. In the middle picture, on the left, I
tried one fabric in a blue & green floral, then the turquoise and green circles
and finally the fabric on the right. I thought the one on the left too dark, the
one on the right, well, just awful and I liked the one in the middle. Actually, I
like the first one with the scrappy squares, but I'm going to go with the lighter
choice this time and use the turquoise and green circles.
|The blocks on the left are all
ready to sew together and I like
them, but I decided to add some
star points to give a little focus.