Aug 05 21

A First for me!

I won’t dwell on the fact that I last posted over 1 ½ years ago; suffice it to say that I just haven’t felt like I had anything useful to say.  For whatever reason, I do feel like I have something to share today, so I will!

Do you ever start something new and get to a point where you stop because you’re really intimidated by the next step?  I am quite enamored by the work of MariQuilts whose blog is called the Quilted Edge.  You can find her blog by clicking here. Anyway, I love her color choices and her bold curves and lines and I have spent many an hour drooling over her work.  A couple years back, I played around with some improvisational quilting in a similar spirit.  I had never done “any quilt as you go” (QAYG) kind of work because I really love free motion quilting and am not bothered much by the bulk of the quilt anymore, so QAYG didn’t really offer me any gains.  I did do it “halfway,” with this project, though, because I really like the look of the spiral quilting and that would be awful to do (if it were even possible to do) with a full size quilt.  So,  a couple years back, I made and then spiral quilted (using my walking foot) these 2 mini-quilts which were actually portions of a larger improve quilt that had yet to be made:

Above is piece one and below is piece 2:

These 2 pieces have been pinned to my design wall (along with other “lost souls made of fabric”) for the past 2 years!  The reason why is because I was too chicken-hearted to try and join them!  I know, just pathetic!  It’s just freakin’ fabric!    Mari has a wonderful, very clear tutorial on her web site that gives perfect guidance for every step (you can find that tutorial by clicking here) and I had read that tutorial about a million times but was so worried that I would screw it up that I just let it all be.  I finally got up my courage last week and I could just kick myself for being so worried about what was actually a very easy process.  After squaring up my edges, I cut my joining strips for the front and back and the batting strip, all according to the very clear directions on her blog. I pressed my top joining strip in half and then pinned it to the top side of one of the blocks.  I also pinned one side of the bottom joining strip to the backside as those 2 strips are sewn on in the same seam.  I was laughing at myself as I did this because in her directions, she said that one only needed to use 1 pin.   As you can see in the photo below, I did not trust myself and pinned the heck out of it:

 In the photo below, I have added the bottom joining strip to both blocks, and have sewn one side of the top joining strip to one of the blocks:

You can see there is an empty space above that bottom joining strip and eureka, the strip of batting literally fits perfectly in that space:

I carefully ran a thin line of Elmer’s Glue that would temporarily hold the folded top joining strip to the other block while I was sewing.  I was cringing the entire time I did this…it felt totally unnatural and I was certain I would end up with smears all over the place.  Instead, it was a very easy and neat process and most importantly, it allowed me to sew this top joining strip down without the use of any pins!  Another eureka moment!  Below is a shot of the joining strip pressed into place and held down with the glue:

I know, unbelievable how well that worked!  I took it to my machine and sewed it down and it wasn’t hard to do.  Phew!!  Here is a shot of the piece thus far, and it is not done yet:

Can’t wait to start some more improve piecing to create the next panel!!


  1. Sandy Says:

    Wow! I love the quilting on this piece, Patsy! I’m going to have to check out that web site. In the meantime, I’m *loving* my quilt suspension system!

  2. Janice Says:

    Welcome back Patsy. You have been missed! AND what a return.
    You’ve given me encouragement to try QAYG. This is my second contact with the method in three days. I’m taking it as a sign.
    I’m so glad you did not retire. Your work is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Geri Says:

    Welcome to the world of Elmer’s Glue. I don’t piece without it. Glad you are back have missed you

  4. Theresa Says:

    Welcome back Patsy! Indeed you have been missed. Beautiful quilt! Very modern – can’t wait to see what comes next! I just did my first QAYG project, with similar anxiety. I followed Leah Day’s method of using 2 strips (1 1/2” folded on front, 1” for the back) – it was so very easy-peasy! But I did a test run first just to be sure.
    Isn’t it wonderful how there is always something new to learn in the sewing/quilting world?

  5. Elsie Says:

    I saw myself in your comments! I often get stuck in the middle of a project because I’m afraid I will mess it up. So glad you jumped into the improv blocks again; they are so vibrant and joyful! By the way, I’m a retired physician/quilter, too.