Quilted and Bound!

November 10th, 2018

This quilt was the quickest quilt I’ve made in eons and it was totally fun from start to finish.  There is something invigorating about working with rich, saturated colors that really gets me “into” a project.  The center section is quilted with featherettes:

The outermost border is quilted as series of arched swags with tapered channels inside.  These were made using the PTD 12 arc:

…and the blocks themselves are just quilted with stitch in the ditch.  I did those as ruler work using my PTD staright ruler:

Besides being incredibly fun to piece together, these donation quilts are teaching me about quilting for bed quilts/snuggle quilts.  I am exercising tremendous restraint in my quilting because densely quilted quilts don’t keep folks as warm (you need to be able to trap air in the batting layer to provide warmth), and a stiff quilt is not as inviting to snuggle as a “poofy” quilt.

Hospice Donation Quilt #3 for the period 10/1/18-9/30/19 completed!


New Quilt Started

November 5th, 2018

I’m about 2/3 done quilting that first improv quilt, and in the meantime, I’ve gotten a good jump on piecing my next improv quilt.  This time, I’m working with a blue/green colorway.  Here were my original building blocks before the really fun part began:

I knew I wanted some type of blue for my sashings/borders, and this is the color I settled on:

I laid out the rest of the borders to get a sense of what it might look like.  I like it, but it’s too “matchy/matchy” for my taste.  I decided to try and simulate what it might look like if I slashed each block and inserted a new color as the “slasher color:”

The more I looked at it, I wondered how it might look if I used a different shade of green on 2 of the 4 blocks.  It’s subtle, but you may be able to see there are 2 shades of green in the photo below:

I like that much better.  The slashing part is pretty fast and easy.  I drew 2 intersecting soap lines on a block so I had a kind of a road map as to how I wanted to slash, then went ahead and slashed in 1 direction.  I re-attached the pieces with a narrow strip of a yellowy green in between, and here’s how it came out: 

I then slashed in the opposite direction and here’s what it looked like at that point:

I then re-attached the 2 pieces with another narrow strip of the same color.  Here’s what my first block looked like once it had been re-assembled:

I’m so excited and I’m loving this process!  I  won’t have time to get back to this quilt for a couple of days, but I’m psyched to work on it more.  I’m seeing some slashing in my future…

And on a totally unrelated note, if you haven’t watched the new mini series on Netflix called “Homecoming,”  watch it!  The acting is great and the story is intriguing.  The first few episodes are a little slow, but once it becomes clear that something is amiss, you can’t stop watching!!

Improv Quilt

November 2nd, 2018

The pile of strips above represents the beginnings of an improv quilt.  I was so “juiced” by working with warm colors on my last quilt that I decided to start a new quilt in that same colorway.  To be honest, I have been so upset/frustrated/disenchanted/saddened by the hate and distrust that is bubbling over in our country that I have been “hiding out” in my sewing room, trying to stay upbeat by throwing myself into quilting.  I’m grateful to have this outlet as there seems to be no end in sight for the negative vibes in this country.



This next shot shows my 4 improv blocks just before they were completed.  Each block began as a scrap from a quilt I made more than 20 years ago.  I threw in a few more “skinny strips” of those same scraps into each block as I worked my way outward.   I like the look of them all together on the floor:


I knew I wanted to stick with a warm color for the “background” fabric, so here is my first color audition:



Ooh, la-la!  I found my winner on my very first try!  Next up, I sewed the joining sashings and then added those outer borders, and viola, my quilt top was complete:




I must confess that in my enthusiasm to piece this improvisationally,  I ignored all the rules about taking the averages of measurements to determine the correct length of “the next strip.”  I may pay the price for this when I go to quilt this colorful top…full report to follow!  In the meantime, I have bagged my warm strips together so I’m ready for another project down the line:

I’m trying to stay organized so I can make many of these kinds of quilts down the road…

Another Orphan Block Quilt Finished!

October 31st, 2018

I finished quilting/binding my 2nd hospice quilt, again made with orphan blocks.  These pictures don’t quite capture the colors correctly.  The shot below is a closeup of the orange block.  One thing I am learning is that when you are quilting a quilt that is to be snuggled and/or keep someone warm, it’s very different than quilting a wall hanging.  You really don’t want to quilt as densely, so for me, this involves a lot of restraint.  Normally, I would fill in those ruler work frameworks, but I don’t think that makes sense here:

Here’s a closeup of the center portion:

The long strips hold a long, straight featherette.  That is a bit denser than what I probably should have quilted, but I couldn’t help myself.  I was very restrained in the outer border zone and just did a 2-tiered swag with a tapered channel:

(The last 2 photos are more realistic as far as color goes.)  Here’s a long shot:

…and here’s a shot of my first 2 donation quilts together.  It’s very gratifying to me that both of these were made using up orphan blocks:



2nd hospice donation quilt for the period Oct 1, 2018-September 30, 2019.

Another Quilt From Orphan Blocks

October 21st, 2018

I just finished piecing another donation quilt using orphan blocks, but this time it’s in richly saturated warm colors.  Here are the first 2 blocks:

I know,…talk about BRIGHT!!  Here are 2 more blocks to add into the mix:

You really need a pair of sunglasses to look at these!  I have to say that working with these colors is invigorating, though.  I decided to set them off a little differently than the last quilt, so I added a sashing between them:

…and then I added a narrow border in another warm color around the whole thing:

I realize that this quilt is kind of over powering color-wise, but I am quite drawn to it.  It’s already been basted and I’ve started quilting it, which is my favorite part.  More to follow…