Tag Archives: Quilting

As planned? Hardly…!

Thought I’d be getting a lot more done than I have, but life does have a way of changing the plan on you!

I’ve been slowly stitching away on my brown wool/scrunched cotton project. It hasn’t told me it’s name yet, so I guess I  haven’t established a good enough rapport with it.

Stitch, stitch, stitch…the more I did, the more I thought it needed. And I wanted to get all the hand stitching done before I put the beads on and of course I had to do the machine stitching before beads. I’ve been working on it for so long that I don’t even know anymore if I think it’ll be good.

So, right now I think all the hand stitching I’m going to do is done. I added a layer of batting and did my machine quilting. I’m pretty sure I’m ready to start beading.

Brown wool 14

When I look at this picture, I think I’m achieving what I set out to do. But I leave interpretation to the viewer…and the beading will help to tell the story.

The detail work makes this one of the most intense pieces I’ve done, and I’m not done yet!

Brown wool 13

Can’t wait to see if my beading ideas will finish this story. I hope so. But, remember–this is a slow stitching project. Don’t expect results overnight!


Linking up to Off the Wall Friday.


Filed under Art Quilts, Beading, Big Wool Adventure!, surface design

Class samples

The sample for Night Village is up at the shop and I’m ready to make a second sample for Improv Quilting With a Modern Slant.

Designing Summer 3

I actually started this one with scraps for my Curvy Improv class and liked it so much that now I want to make it into a full size quilt. And I think I have enough scraps for that, even though it’s a two color quilt, red and ecru.

As always, I just start making pieces and throwing them up on the design wall, without doing any arranging. I’ve got quite a few done already and I’ve started to think about my 40% theory on modern quilts…I’ll explain that in a minute.

Mod sample 1

I try to have a combination of super quick stack/slash/switch blocks and more complicated blocks. The stacked ones can fill a design wall in a very short time, but don’t give you enough variety.

Mod sample 3

The more complicated looking ones are not necesarily harder to do. They just take longer.

Mod sample 2

And either way, you need a lot of blocks for a full size quilt.

Now, about that 40% theory. Modern quilts have a huge following right now but many ‘moderns’ have a hard time with a definition of what’s different about modern from the traditional. Okay-usually more graphic, more solid colors, alternative grids. But there are a lot of modern quilts out there using traditional block designs, too.

In an effort to simplify things in my own mind, I just think anything that has more than 40% background is a modern quilt. Maybe a bit too simplistic, but it works for me.

This sample is much closer to 50/50 right now. It needs more background ecru, so as it continues to grow and as I assemble it, I know that I have to keep adding background, NOT more red. It’s tempting to use up all those red scraps, just because I have them, but I have to keep the end goal in mind here. I’m trying to illustrate improv with a modern slant, not just my usual crazy improv!

Let’s just see if I can get there…



Filed under Color, Contemporary, Designing Quilts, Teaching

Night Village

My sample for a Night Village is finished and waiting for quilting.

Night village 4

I decided that I would not be putting streets in and I think the quilting is going to be simple squares over each building.

I learned a few things from this one that I hadn’t remembered from the first one. I don’t like working with very small squares. The smallest ones here ended up at 3.5″ and that’s just plain too small for me. So when I teach it, I’ll suggest larger size squares.

And if someone has a full size quilt in mind, we’ll forget the little ones and go right for the larger sizes. No point making this a lifetime project!

I was also suprised to find this was almost square when done. I thought it would be quite a bit longer than wide and it just didn’t end up that way. How often does a piece tell ME what it wants—ALL the time!!!

Added a narrow border to contain the village and decided that a second border could only be that background fabric. Nothing else worked at all.

Night village 5

Now all I need to do is get the quilting done and sample #2 will be done.

And I have a start on sample #2 for Improv With a Modern Slant, which I will be teaching on Sept. 27, also at The Quilt Patch. It’s easy when all my work is improvisational and I can just pick up a couple pieces of fabric and start cutting and sewing! I’ll show you that as it gets a bit further along, of course.

Now for some quilting—hooray!


Filed under Designing Quilts, Quilting, Teaching

Build a Night Village

Whenever I teach a class, I like to have more than one sample. Why? Because with improvisational work, there is never only one way to put a piece together!

I’ll be teaching Build a Scrappy Village

Scrappy City 72

at the Quilt Patch on Sept. 25…at least the very basics. It’s not a full day this time, so the students won’t get much of a chance at the design wall. That makes it my job to show them more options.

Night village 2

It all starts with 2 squares–various sizes, one background, one scrap.

I’m going for a darker feel this time, like a town at night, so my background is the black/white.

The village gets built square by square and then decisions are made as to how it is arranged.

Night village 1

In my mind, the first sample I made is of big city apartments. I will be aiming for a smaller village feel on this next one, with neighborhoods and streets.

Night village 3

It still needs some arranging and then construction…decisions on streets and roads…backgound filler or an accent color…lots to do but I can’t seem to spend as many hours straight on the sewing machine as I used to.

I’m also going to be teaching Improv With a Modern Slant and I want to make another sample for that class. Maybe I better suck it up and get back to that sewing machine! There’s work to be done!


Filed under Art Quilts, Designing Quilts, Teaching, Teaching Quilting

Cleaning House

Just in the studio, not the whole house! Over the past several months, I have found myself saying that I have more fabric than I could use if I lived to be 200 years old. I’ve said it quite a few times and that has finally registered in my consciousness.

Too much stuff! But…but…but…it’s stuff that I love and think I’m going to use someday. C’mon–really? It’s time to start doing something about it. Commercial fabrics–hand dyes–whatever! Things have to GO!

Over the next little while, I’m going to start offering up some of the items that I can live without. That means mostly fabric. I could give it to charity, but then someone is forced to use it that may not even like it. So, I think I’ll post pictures of fabrics that people may actually want to have. Pick up if you live close to me or pay postage if you are far away.

And, oh my gosh, if you know anyone who would like quilting magazines, please send them my way!

There are people who sell their fabric on ebay, but I think I’d rather just have it go to a good home, especially if it were to go to a beginning quilter. It comforts me, like “We took the dog out to a farm and it will live happily ever after there.”

I’ll miss it, but not that much.

Here’s the first of what I’d like someone to adopt.

Fabric gone 1

Two half yard pieces on the left and 6 fat quarters on the right, and you have to take it all!  Call, comment, email…whatever works for you. First come, first served!



Filed under Fabric, Quilting, Thinking About Quilting!

Look up AND look down!













Where do you get your inspiration? I have found mine more than once in hotel carpet designs. This is what I found last weekend.

IL carpet inspiration

I can pretty much see another composition coming, based on this little bit of color and swirl.

Look around you–design inspiration is everywhere!


Filed under Color, Designing Quilts, Thinking About Quilting!

Playing a bit

Not doing anything sewing related for a few days has been very nice. I’ve read a few books and played in the garden a bit.

Took some time to visit a fellow quilt addict that I don’t get to see too often. We didn’t do any sewing, but we had a grand old show and tell time and talked up a storm!

She got a long arm quilt machine and we played with it a bit. It’s not really as easy as I thought it should be. I kept trying to move the handles at an angle! But I’m still sure that I don’t want one. I’ll happily pay the price of someone who has spent time on that learning curve when I need to.

My friend says she has a bad habit. She gets an idea for a quilt in her head and starts collecting fabrics for it. Then when she finishes it, somehow there is enough left over fabric to make another quilt…or two more…or even three!

Sheldon 3

Sheldon 2

She really has made three quilts from the fabric she collected for just one! And she said she has another one in her head that she thinks she’s doing the same thing for! She thinks that is something unusual, but I’ve done that. Haven’t you?

I’m ready to sew something…anything…hand or machine! Vacation is over!



Filed under Quilting, Thinking About Quilting!