Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Today would have been our mother's 90th birthday. She was a joyful, creative woman, full of grace.
Photograph of Henny and her camera at age 15.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

a return to tile

I started this Tile quilt on LeClaire, about 2 1/2 years ago. It was packed up with the move and because there is a bit of a ramp-up to the thinking in making this block it was set aside for a time for more mindful work.
It isn't a difficult block, just takes focus until a rhythm sets in. I work with a bunch of the directional fabrics at once to keep those skills going.
I will work on it then set aside once more as spring semester prep takes more brain space. I have other mindless sewing to do then.
A nice way to end the year, remembering cutting these in my attic sewing space and working with familiar fabrics, some of which were all used up for cutting these blocks. I will have to do a block count to see if any are left to be cut.
I think I planned to make 96 blocks, set 16 by 6 to finish 80 by 84. We will see if that is what happens.

Block finishes 5 by 14 inches

Solid: two rectangles 3 by 7 1/2 inches, two 3 inch squares
Print: two rectangles 3 by 7 1/2 inches, two 3 inch squares
I then use Doug Leko Simple Folded Corner Triangle Tool to cut off the corners. I had the original one when I started the quilt. I have since purchased the mini version and it works well.
The corners can be set aside for another project. I am not sure the ones I did 2 1/2 years ago survived the move.

At first sewing of corners to chisel shape, press all seams to the solid fabrics
Second sewing of quarters, press to the predominately print sections
Third sewing of complete block, leave seam unpressed until assembly

Friday, December 27, 2019

more sample blocks

During the semester I have limited time to quilt so I like to have a few plans ready to cut and sew when teaching gets busy.
I made a few more sample blocks to contemplate.
Tunnel, Rickrack, Patience Corner
Patience Corner

Thursday, December 26, 2019

mitten garland

My sister Janna made the most delightful garland from our childhood single mittens we wore and lost the companions.
Mom had kept them because, well, Mom kept everything. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Sunday, December 22, 2019


Block finishes 8 inches

Solid: two 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch rectangles, two 1 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangles
Print: one 2 1/2 inch square, two 4 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch rectangles, two 8 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch rectangles.
You could cut one block from a 2 1/2 strip 28 1/2 inches (exact)

All seams away from center square
My design, use at your pleasure.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

bullseye, top completed

80 by 96 inches
120 blocks
Block finishes 8 inches

Solid: one 2 1/2 inch square
Print: two 8 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch rectangles, two 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch rectangles
All pressing away from center square

Rotate every block so only corner seams need meet.
Sew into 4-block units, press seams to the block that ends with a horizontal rectangle.
Then sew these into 8-block units.
Five of these units makes one row.
Make three rows.
Press seams left on top and bottom rows, right on middle row. All seams will nest.

This is simply a proportion change from the Cobbles block a few quilts ago.
My design, use at your pleasure.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

political quiltmaking

A few posts ago I talked about political quiltmaking. Women have long used their needles to express their leanings.
Here is progress on the Impeach quilt.
This is a sad day.
This is a necessary day.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

steps, top completed

Top finishes 81 by 96 inches
Block finishes 6 by 9 inches
134 whole blocks, 10 2/3rd blocks, 10 1/3rd blocks

A very simple block I want to explore some more.
My design, use at your pleasure.
full block
Solid: two 3 1/2 inch squares
Print: two 3 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch rectangles
(There are also partial blocks cut from 3 1/2 inch squares and 6 1/2 inch rectangles)

Sew square to rectangle, press towards rectangle.
Then sew two together, pressing every other block up or down

Row assembly
Row A of nine whole blocks,
Row B starting with 2/3 block, 8 whole blocks, ending with 1/3 block
Row C starting with 1/3 block, 8 whole blocks, ending with 2/3 block
Press all rows to one direction, I chose to the right of the quilt
Sew into five units of three rows
(I made an extra A row to put at the bottom to add a little length)

Top assembly
Sew units together, pressing all rows up
All seams will nest

The partial blocks I changed the orientation of a few blocks to feature some larger elements like Alice and the line-up of men (a gift from Wanda Hanson of Exuberant Color).
2/3 block
1/3 block
This top is kind of a Joseph's coat mixture of value in both the solids and the prints. It would also work well with a controlled use of solids or prints.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

tip #50, make an artifact

My Hillary quilt top was packed up in 2016 in preparation for our move. This week I decided it needed to be finished as an artifact of that time.
For anyone who argues that politics do not belong in quiltmaking, I strongly disagree.
Throughout quilting history quiltmakers have expressed political opinions in their work. The topics of the day remain as artifacts of our quilting language: Burgoyne Surrounded, 54-40 or Fight, Tippecanoe and Tyler Too, Amethyst, Kansas Troubles.
The impeachment hearings are making me anxious and my way of dealing with that is handwork.
Are you a Donald Trump supporter? Let your descendants know by making a T quilt.
As for me, I am at work on an I is for Impeachment quilt.

Monday, November 18, 2019

more binding!

evening star (floating)
puss in two corners
Not a lot getting done here with this semester taking a lot out of me.
BUT, today three quilts were ready for pick-up from my long-arm quilter, and, because I had the labels, sleeves, and bindings ready, it was quick work to get the machine part done, setting me up for my Sunday evening handwork sessions til the new year.
All directions for these quilts are here on the blog.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Almost Amish sew-a-long, top completed

Lori DeJarnatt had another of her periodic sew-a-longs. I love these as they are just bits of sewing that I can fit in during my busy times.
This finishes 22 inches.
Thanks, Lori!

Monday, October 07, 2019


Block finishes 8 inches

Cut one 2 1/2 inch square
Cut two 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch rectangles
Cut two 3 1/2 by 8 1/2 inch rectangles

Press first seams away from solid
Press block away from center row

I plan to make 120 blocks, set 10 by 12 to finish 80 by 96 inches, or 99 blocks set 9 by 11 blocks finishing 72 by 88 inches.

Sunday, September 22, 2019


Block finishes 6 by 9 inches
I plan to make fifteen rows, put into 5 row units, so 125 blocks, 10 variation 1 and 10 variation 2 blocks, to finish 81 by 90 inches.

Solid: two 3 1/2 inch squares
Print: two 3 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch rectangles

Sew square to rectangle
Press toward rectangle.
Sew two units together to make block
Press to one side.

Variation units are needed to make the step layout work
Variation unit 1
Solid: one 3 1/2 inch square
Print: one 3 1/2 inch square, one 3 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangle
Variation unit 2
Solid: one 3 1/2 inch square
Print: one 3 1/2 inch square
Assembly of rows:
Rotate blocks so seams will nest.

There will be three different rows sewn into five larger row units.
Row A: 9 blocks
Row B: Variation unit 1, 8 blocks, Variation unit 2
Row C: Variation unit 2, 8 blocks, Variation unit 1

Because the block-joining seams do not meet in the joining of rows, the way you press these seams does not affect nesting. I am pressing all mine to the right.
To avoid the tedious sewing of 15 long rows, I plan to sew into the 3-row units then assemble these units into the top.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

handwork once more!

It has been since May I have been without binding work. I was happy to get these three quilts back from my quilter so handwork will again be part of my quilting time.

Monday, September 16, 2019

whirlygig, top completed

80 by 96 inches
120 blocks set 10 by 12
Block finishes 8 inches

I love the lattice look all the whirlygigs form over the top.
My design, use at your pleasure.

Solid: four 1 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangles
Print: four 3 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangles

Block directions here:

Keep center seams of blocks horizontal
Sew blocks into units of 4, pressing all horizontal and block joining seams in one direction.
Sew together two 4-block units, flipping one so all seams nest
Lay out 5 of these 8-block units into three rows, pressing all the joining seams in one direction, reversing this direction for each row.
This leaves just two long seams to assemble the top and all seams will nest..