|I'm going to post some pictures of whatever I'm working on each day. This doesn't exactly show how to
make a quilt top, but it will show a quilt top being "born." Hopefully, it will be a little like a quilting blog.
I think the most important thing to know about how to make a quilt, is that there are as many right ways to
make a quilt as there are people who are happy with the quilt they've made.
I'll just do one page and then delete from the bottom as the page fills. All of the information from my Today's
Work page is archived on Flickr if you want to see older entries.
If you click on these pictures, you can get a real close-up shot, where you can see mistakes, dust and all
kinds of fun things!
When I set up my website in August 2006, I committed to putting new Quilt Tops on the New Tops Page on the first of each month and
I've been able to do that every month. I don't take pre-orders from the Today's Work page because I want to stick to my original
commitment of new tops being sold only on the New Tops page.
The Today's Work page is intended as a way to share my process of completing a Quilt Top with anyone interested.
Tops that I complete during a month will be on the website for Sale on the first of the next month. Sales will be on a "First Come, First
Serve" basis after the Quilt Tops are put on the New Tops page on the first of the month.
If you'd like me to send you an Email reminder on the first of each month, when the new tops are put on the website, just send me an
E Mail and I'll put your name on my Mailing List.
|Somewhere, sometime, I had seen the
idea of using strips to make blocks that
looked a bit like Tumbling Blocks and
I've been wanting to try it. I made the
mixed scrappy ones first and I may
revisit that at some time, but, for now,
I'm going to try scrappy, but the same
color in a block and graded with light
toward the center. I think this will give
a little more depth.
|I decided to do all of the black first
and then I can fill in with the
colors. On the blacks, I used
prints of black with different
amounts of gray in them and
graded them with the light toward
the bottom/center of the block.
That doesn't show very much in
the picture, unless you enlarge the
picture, but I think it will give depth
to the piece.
|Now some depth is starting to
show! Looking at these like
this, I'd say that I should have
made the color and black
strips a bit longer, but, I think
once that horizontal seam is
taken between rows, it should
be just about right :)
|All ready to sew these
together! Right now, I'm
getting kind of a honeycomb
effect, so I'm curious to see if
they look more like cubes
when sewn together. Either
way, I really like them :)
|After I posted that last picture, I put
away all of the strips and got the rows
piled up and ready to sew....then I
looked at the picture again and
realized I really needed another row on
the right to even out the design. So,
out came the strips and the blocks
were all laid out again so I could work
the new blocks in. Good thing I'm not
in a hurry! The rows are going
together nicely and with that horizontal
seam taken, I like the proportions :)
|"Color Cubes" is all done and the
binding will be in a black. I think
the time spent on the color grading
was well worth it. Often, when I
finish with a quilt top, I want to
make it again in different colors,
but, with this one, I can't really
think of any color combination I'd
like as well as this one :)
|In this close-up you can see
that there was a lot of color
grading in the colors and a
little bit in the blacks.
|I pulled these Asian themed
fabrics yesterday to start a
Trip Around the World.
Always anxious to see how
they will look :)
|I've decided this is the size I like
making my Trip Around the World
tops. The strips are cut at three
inches and then subcut at 2.5 inches,
so when these are sewn together, the
quilt top will be a rectangle. Even
thought it doesn't fit on the design wall,
it works out pretty well using that little
design wall on the closet door.
|Some of these fabrics
are gold etched, so they
show very well in person.
|"Asian Trip" is all done and
the binding will be in the gray
with red fabric used in the
quilt top. The Trip design is
endlessly fascinating to me!
|Another Trip - this time
to the market :)
|This one is going to be
nice and bright :)
|I like the way that strange fabric, the
strawberries with the strong red lines,
is showing up. I've had that fabric for a
long time and always wonder if I should
use it in a top and then I like how it
looks when I do! In the last Trip top, I
grouped colors and in this one I tried
to separate them more. I like both
looks, just different.
|"Market Trip" is all done
and the binding will be in
the yellow with peppers
fabric. I love working with
the busy novelty prints :)
|Wait....I believe I hear someone out
there laughing at me and my little
peas in a pod fabric :) I used a bit of
this in the Market Trip quilt top, but I
have enough left to do some
stacking. I'm anxious to see how this
fabric looks when stacked :)
|This is why I never get tired of
making stacked blocks -
because each one is different :)
|I decided to set these blocks on point, so I needed an alternate block. I love the green stripe and I
think the darker green squares will be a good accent. For me, it's well worth making a mock-up block
when working with these little squares, if I'm not sure of what sizes I want. I wanted the alternate block
and the star blocks to float, so using these sizes will give white all around everything. The squares
are shown at one inch and three-quarters of an inch and I'll make them to set in at those sizes.
|Just one more row of stars and
then I'll be ready for the setting
triangles, which I think are going
to be plain in the white dotted
fabric. I did change the alternate
blocks a bit, so the second round
of squares was not only smaller,
but also in a lighter green.
|"Snug as Peas in a Pod" is all done
and the binding will be in the white so
the design floats. The funny peas
fabric did well and I'm so pleased with
the way this turned out :)
|You can actually see the
peas in this close-up.
|This is a very small scale
print, but I think it will make
some sweet octagons.
|Sweet :) These will look
brighter once it's light in
my sewing room!
|I think once the seams are
taken, this will be a good
amount of the pink.
|It was funny to make all those
blocks the same - no scrappiness
at all! Of course, this way, I got to
do lots of strip piecing :)
|"Quiet Time" is all done and the
binding will be in the pink. I
think the Irish Chain, or some
variation of it, like this, goes so
well with the stacked octagons.
|The light colored quilt tops don't
photograph well for me! Or, I
guess what I should say is, I don't
photograph them well :)
|Another Trip! This time,
through the woods :)
|I like these colors
together, so I'm happy :)
|I chose my fabrics for this Trip with the novelty animal fabric in
mind. I wanted to add some different sized animal pictures to
break the rounds in the Trip. So, I have enough strips made to
do some auditioning. In the upper right, with no frame, I think it
blends too well. The lower left, I tried letting the mountain lion
peak into the picture of the wolves, but I don't think that will
work, I like the wolves better in the last picture all by
themselves. The frames on the top are a dark brown and on
the bottom, black. I think I'll go with the black and once the
outside seam is taken, one inch will show, but I'm not sure yet
because I don't want to place the pictures until I have most of
the strips done so I'll know how many I want to add.
|I'm anxious to see how these
look when sewn in, well, and
also anxious to see how hard
it will be to do that :)
|The first two frames on the left are
set in and I think the size looks
good. I had chosen a very dense
black for the frames, but I traded it
out for this charcoal black and I
think it works better.
|"Trip Through the Woods" is all done
and the binding will be in the medium
green. I like looking at this and trying
to see the lines of the Trip Around
the World design running "behind"
the animal pictures :)
|I think this focus fabric has such
realistic looking animal pictures.
|My two inch and three and
a half inch squares have
built up, so I can make
some scrappy tops!
|"Slide" is all done and the binding will
be in a red. I love it when my cut
scraps accumulate enough to make
something! This one uses two inch
and three and a half inch squares.
|When I got the blocks finished and in
the arrangement I had intended, on
the left, I really didn't like it, so I
rearranged them. I'm going with the
asymmetrical arrangement on the right
- that one I like :) I did replace a few of
the red 3.5 inch squares with more
intense reds but I used all of the
original four patches.
|I pulled my two inch green squares and made a four patch
with white and one of each different fabric I had in the cut
squares. Then I played around with them combined with the
cut green three and a half inch squares. I'm going to use the
design in the lower right, with everything value graded.
|I wanted a compliment to all of
the green, so I added the little
red hearts. I think they should
be about right, once the seams
are taken. As you can see, I
should have begun my layout a
little lower on the design wall :)
|"Love All Around" is all done and
the binding will be in a dark
green. The only repeats in the
green fabrics are a few that show
up in the four patches and again
in the three and a half inch
squares. What looks almost black
as you get to the outsides and the
border is really dark greens.
|These are 3.5 inch squares and
after a lot of rearranging, I think
I'm ready to sew. However, by
the time I get back to the sewing
room, I'll probably want to make
some changes :)
|I'm really enjoying sewing
this together and seeing
each new color appear!
|"Color Buzz" is all done and the
binding will be in black. I've been
wanting to do this for a long time and
I'm glad I finally did - love it!
|Thinking.....I know I want to use the
four patches in pink & orange
scrappy, but deciding on the layout
and fabrics to go with them. This
picture looks pretty brown, but it's
really quite orange!
|Originally, I had thought I'd use a different fabrics between each row of four patches, but, seeing them
all finished, I've decided to go with one fabric. The four patches will get mixed up as I sew them together
and that will distribute some of the colors better. I'll use the floral fabric shown on the left for the other
zig-zags. It has little pink and orange flowers in it, so I think it will go well. I also think these would work
well with a dark or medium brown, but I think I'll go with the light, maybe....we'll see :)
|I had to laugh at how crooked this is on the design wall :) Apparently,
my sense of balance was put off by the diagonals! I sewed three four
patches together and then cut the background fabric at that size,
which is nine and a half inches. This is such a simple design....looking
at the diagonal rows it's three four patches, one background and then
the next row is the large background piece ( to equal three four
patches sewn together) and one four patch.
|"Pink & Orange Go Zigzagging"
is all done and the binding will
be in the background fabric. I
really like this zigzag design and
I'd like to do another of these at
sometime but, for now, I'm tired
of the two inch squares:)
|I'll make some of these blocks
while I'm cutting the solids scraps -
that will make it more fun!
|I think the solid colors look
so good with black. On to
the alternate blocks.
|What fun to work with so
many different shades!
|I added the little squares to the setting
triangle sections, so I'm ready to sew
this together. I'm hoping that the
second black border that's on half the
blocks shows up when it's sewn to the
colored blocks on each side.
|Good, the little black outside
border on the blocks is showing
up fine, so I'm happy :)
|"Color on Black" is all done and
the binding will be in black.
Such a difference between this
shot and before the blocks were
|Some scrappy, floral, value graded
Trip blocks. Sure different from
working with the solids!
|I love watching these
grow, which, of course, is
why I keep making them :)
|Time to decide on the setting
triangles. I really like the way
this block gives some small
random looking runs of color
and the value grading gives a
|"Flower Mart" is all done and the
binding will be in the fabric used in the
setting triangles. I had originally
thought I'd use an orange/yellow,
bright floral for the setting triangles,
but, when I auditioned it, it totally
overshadowed the brights in the
blocks. So, I decided on this light floral
and turned all of the blocks so the
darker edge faced out and would show
up against the light setting triangles.
|I sorted through my two inch strips
and cleaned out the ones that
were too short for effective strip
piecing. These are in general
color groups and I'm going to make
some kind of blocks with them.
|I decided on some off center
Log Cabins, without regard to
value. I'll arrange them after I
get the colors done, or maybe
I'll just leave them as they go
up on the wall :)
|Just enough space left
for some greens :)
|"Splashes of Color" is all done and
the binding will be scrappy. I think
this was a good way to use some of
the small, scrappy two inch strips :)
|I really liked the look of the black with white and white with black blocks in
the previous quilt top, so I decided to make something else with that
combo. I'm using my cut 2.5 inch strips in this one. I pulled both the black
and the white (sorry, no picture of the white, but there were fewer white
than blacks) and sewed them together randomly. The whites made a strip
432 inches long, which I cut in half and sewed the two halves together for a
double strip 216 inches long. Then I planned what I'd do based on that
figure. I know I have more black than white, so this will end up being a
rectangle, with the rainbow row off center.
|I got three more of the double black
strips than I have of the white, which I
think is a nice balance. I had about
ten inches left over, which I'll cut
down into smaller scrap pieces. Off
to sew this together :)
|"Between Day & Night" is all done
and the binding will be in a black
& white dotted fabric. This was
so much fun to make and I've cut
lots of 2.5 inch scrap strips, so I
hope to revisit this idea again!
|I feel like making some stacked
octagons and I think these busy
butterflies will work well.
|The butterflies are making
some cheerful blocks :)
|I really liked these octagons, so I
decided to highlight them. The
octagon is 6.5 inches unset, so it goes
well with 2.5 inch strip piecing. These
two blocks will give an Irish Chain with
the octagons in every other block.
|"Butterfly Chain" is all done and the
binding will be in either the orange or
the yellow. Sorry the picture is a bit off,
I couldn't get back far enough to get it
straight. Irish Chains and all of their
variations are always fun to make :)
|You can see the butterflies.....if
you look real close :)
|I had a lot of small ends left
over from making strip sets so
I decided to pair them with
some mixed creams. The
strips set in at half an inch.
Some I'll cut straight and
some on the bias.
|After I get all of the blocks done, I'll
decide if I want to group the
backgrounds or mix them. I was
wondering if all of the seams in those
little insets would press well and they
are doing just fine, so now I have
something I can do with leftover ends
of strips sets :)
|"Scrappy Lines" is all done and I'll use
a scrappy binding on this one. I'm
always looking for ways to use scraps,
so I'm pleased to have found a way
that I like for using the bits left over
from scrappy strip piecing.
|You can see some of the
strips used in this close up.
|This is generally the setting I'm
going to use because it reminds
me of a flock of birds taking off :)
|"Fly Away" is all done and the
binding will be in the white dotted
background fabric. I really thought
this was going to be difficult to put
together, but it wasn't :)
|The darkness you see in the
lower right is my shadow as I
take the picture!
|I always like the HST four patch
block all alone, but I also like it
combined with plain blocks. I'm
going to make it into diagonal
stripes this time starting with browns
and then I'll decide what else I want
after I see some blocks finished.
|Starting to fill in :) I'm using all
different sized scrap triangles
here, so they all need to be
trimmed after they're sewn. It's
kind of fun to take a pile of messy
looking triangles and end up with
nice, neat HSTs!
|All ready to sew these
together. I do love color
|"Earth, Sea and Fire" is all done
and the binding will be in a brown
with a narrow orange stripe, cut
on the bias. HSTs take some
time, but they're so great :)
|Well, I'm wondering if a design will
show up when more blocks are made.
If I had reversed the white and
scrappy, the design would show, or if
I'd used solid scrappy instead of the
mixed, that would have done it as well.
Now sure what I'll get here, but I'll
continue and see.
|The one on the left just wasn't working
for me at all done in these super
scrappy fabrics, so I rearranged the
blocks and I think the arrangement on
the right is better.
|While I do like these blocks, I see
two problems with them. They're
too tight and the white design
doesn't show much, however I
think I have a solution to both
problems......we'll see if it works :)
|OK, I think this will
brighten things :)
|"Triangle Twist" is all done and I think I'll use a scrappy
binding on this. So many different fabrics and oh, so
many HSTs! Each unit sets in at two inches. This is made
from my precut scraps that have so many colors in them
that I can't sort them into any particular color group. I
think of these as my "super scrappy scraps."
|It's really fun to revisit fabrics
in my scraps! I've always
loved the fabric in the upper
left with the smiley child :)
|This must be, "The Month of the Scrap Triangles," for me! When I
made the above quilt top, I used the cut corner method, which
gave me a lot of leftover homespun triangles. I'm going to pair
them with homespun, probably several shades of homespun, and
make some stars. I have twice as much gold as the other
homespuns, so I'm going to make all gold stars and then mix the
others. Each unit will set in at 2.5 inches and I'm going to leave
them unsewn until I get them arranged and then sew them
together in rows. Some people think the world will be taken over
by aliens, but I think it will be the scrap triangles that prevail:)
|Beginning to fill in :) The stars
will set in at seven and a half
inches and I want to keep this
scattered look, so most of the
rest will be background.
|I'm very ready to sew this together
because there are so many small
pieces up there that can get mixed up
in the sewing! Well, if I get anything
turned around the wrong way, I'll sure
know it quickly when I go to put the
next row on :) I have the pins in the
rows pointing in the direction that I
want to press each row so the pieces
nest. Also, I always put the pins in on
the left and bottom, so I know when I
get to the ironing board without having
to look at the design.
|I was really anxious to see how these
scrappy little stars would look when
they were sewn together. Love 'em,
so I'm happy :)
|You'd think that since the last four quilt
tops were made with scrap triangles,
I'd have fewer left....but, no, I still have
plenty! The boxes on the left are all
eight stacks, then two boxes of color
sorted, some cut for 2.5 inch HSTs and
finally, small triangles. Think I'll make
another triangle top :)
|"Homespun & Muslin" is all done
and the binding will be in the gold
plaid homespun. Love working with
this fabric combination :)
|I decided to make some of these little
butterfly looking blocks, using two
triangles from a stacked set. I can
use the other six triangles from the
stacks in something else. While
these would work better if the stacks
made a mirror image, I still think this
gives a butterfly look. I'll do the
background in scrappy yellows, blues
and creams and I'll stagger the
butterflies once I get enough made.
|I think I'm going to stay
with this layout and just
keep going for a while :)
|All ready to sew this together! Each
unit will set in at two inches, so there
will be a lot of seams to match today :)
|"Facets" is all done and the binding will
be in either a light yellow or light blue.
As soon as I saw this one sewn
together, it reminded me of the look of
a sunlit diamond viewed through a
magnifying glass, thus the name :)
|Still enjoying those scrappy
triangles, so I'm making some stars
with solid centers and scrappy legs.
|I'm really enjoying choosing
the colors for these :)
|Stars are all done and now I can
decide how to set them :)
|"Scrappy Sparkle" is all done and
the binding will be in black. The
dots on this are silver and they
show up really well in person. Each
star has eight different fabrics for
the "legs." Loved making this!
|I have a lot of strips cut to 1 x 3
inches and 1 x 5 inches, so I came
up with this block. As you can see
from the block on the bottom, it's
just a rectangle 3 x 4 inches
framed with the strips and then a
1.5 inch strip on one side to bring
it up to a square. I think these will
make a nice design once the
seams are taken.
|A lot of seams in this one but
they're nesting and pressing
well so everything is nice and
flat, so I'm happy :)
|"Downtown" is all done and the
binding will be in a cream. I'm
always happy to find another way
to use one inch strips!
|I'm going to do another
top like "Facets" but this
time using value.
|Starting to get a bit more
contrast. I think I'm going to
make this one off-center.
|Just a few more blocks to go.
I had quite a supply of
scrappy black & white
triangles, so I haven't needed
to cut any more for this piece.
|"Uptown" is all done and the
binding will be in white. I loved
sewing this one together
because there are a lot of seams
and they're all taken from the
white, so it really brings the
|I pulled my one and a half inch
squares and I'm playing around with
some four patches and HSTs to see
what I want to make.
|These are still four patches and HSTs,
with nothing sewn together, so I can
change them around if I want to. I had
originally thought I'd use the red in
each block, but now I'm thinking I may
leave some sections with just the four
patches. We'll see....
|I've decided to sew these
together by row instead of
making them into blocks
first. I'm curious to see if I
like working with the 2.5
inch units in that way.
|On sewing these together by row,
instead of making blocks first, it does
give a very nice result, however, it's
pretty tedious. I suspect that by the
time I'm about half way done, I'll be
thinking to myself, "Oh, WOW, I just
remembered that I really need to scrub
my bathroom floor....best do that right
now!" However, as I said, it does give
a very nice result :)
|"Crossings" is all done and the
binding will be in red. I do love
the little one inch squares :)
|Except for one quilt top at the
beginning of the month, I've been
scrapping this entire month! By golly, I
need to stack something :)
|Florals are so
amenable to stacking :)
|I'm making some framed
diamonds. The yellow is cut from a
1.5 inch strip and the black is one
inch wide, which will give a
diamond that will set in at two
inches. These are to go with the
roses and it looks good in my
head, so I'm anxious to see how it
looks in real life :)
|I'm just going to keep thinking
"octagon" and add to these
wedges until I get to the size I
want and then I'll sew the wedges
together to form the octagon.
|One wedge done! All I have to do
is make seven more exactly like
this one, so they'll sew together
well. I believe I've created quite
the challenge for myself :)