Monday, April 29, 2019

a few more letters

G is for giraffe
A few more blocks.
The Dear Stella giraffe fabric was what started this project. I saw it and knew it was time for another alphabet quilt. I bought it for a backing with the primary purpose of having leftovers to make the G.
(The backing I made is pretty wonderful too.)
C is for celestial
F is for fairy
H is for honeycomb

Sunday, April 28, 2019


A is for Alice
I made an alphabet quilt in 2012/13 with Cheri Payne's sew-a-long.
This time I am using the McCall's Quilting Best Day Ever alphabet.
Again with changes in construction and design as I go along because I cannot leave well enough alone.
Watch for the tutorial I am writing about how to cut the chisel shape used in these blocks and in the basket block.

The McCall's blocks finish 6 by 10 1/2 inches.
I add a 2 inch cut boarder to each block so they finish 9 by 13 1/2 inches.
Every other block is an A or a B block for these borders.
A: from 2 inch strips cut two rectangles 6 1/2 inches for the top and bottom and two rectangles 14 inches for the sides.
B: from 2 inch strips cut two rectangles 11 inches for the sides and two rectangles 9 1/2 inches for the top and bottom..
This mades setting the quilt easier with fewer seams to deal with between blocks.

I am not making in order, instead using fabrics I have out to match the letters.
Thinking ahead with the X dilemma. I may go with fox.
I is for iris
D is for dog
B is for baseball
P is for popcorn
M is for maple
R is for robot

Friday, April 26, 2019

riven, top completed

Block finishes 9 by 10 inches
four blocks
80 blocks set 8 by 10. measuring about 80 by 90 inches

Solid: cut 1 1/2 by 9 1/2 inch rectangle
Print: cut 9 1/2 inch square, divide in two, making the cut anywhere from midway to 3 inches from the edge.

Press away from the solid

Because I never let the solids meet from block to block it was easiest to sew into columns first..
Press every other column up or down. Then sew columns together.

My design, use at your pleasure.

Monday, April 22, 2019



Block finishes 9 by 10 inches
I plan to set 80 blocks 8 by 10. to finish about 80 by 90.

Solid: one rectangle cut 1 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches
Print: one square cut 9 1/2 inches, then split into two vertically. I vary the cut from right in the middle to any point up to about 3 inches from either side.

Press to the prints.

In setting I am not having the solids meet.

It is interesting how my personal thoughts shape my quilting path.
Sitting at her bedside during my mother's decline I would sketch quilt block ideas. I kept coming back to this very simple split block which seemed to show the separation to come.
It has been a quiet, contemplative project to sew on. I have been including some of her fabrics into this quilt.

Sunday, April 21, 2019


This is our first Easter without our mother.
I am sharing photographs from her funeral. We used the tulip quilt I made for my parents' 60th anniversary on the casket and had a bouquet of tulips on top.
We had her buried with a thimble on her finger.

I want to acknowledge the wonderful help we had from Trappist Caskets, made by monks at the New Melleray Abbey in eastern Iowa. They sell to us Protestants too!
My mother wanted a simple casket which is surprisingly difficult to get through traditional means with funeral homes.
We chose the simple rectangle style directly from the Abbey, which shipped it quickly. It was beautiful, reasonable, and respectful.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

basket, top completed

Ready for Easter Sunday!

Block size 8 inches
Quilt size approximately 80 by 92 inches
112 blocks set 7 by 8
Set on point with float

Solid: Cut from 2 1/2 inch strip using EZ Angle or Bonnie Hunter's Essential Triangle Tool: four half square triangles, two chisel pieces cut at the 4 1/2 and 6 1/2 inch lines
Print: Cut from 2 1/2 inch strip three 2 1/2 inch squares, two 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangles, and two half square triangles using the EZ Angle or Bonnie's tool, and one triangle cut from 4 1/2 inch strip using the EZ Angle or Bonnie's tool (I didn't cut a strip, rather cut it from the corner of the fabric)

I'll post a tutorial on cutting the chisel shape with the specialty rulers.
My adaptation of a traditional design. Use at your pleasure.

Friday, April 19, 2019

tip # 47, trim triangles for floating sets

When making on-point set quilts I prefer a float.
The triangles are cut over-sized  To make sure I do not distort the triangle along the bias when sewing it into the row, I trim the triangle on the side that will be sewn to the block.
Here you can see I measured the side of the triangle to 8 1/2 inches, the unfinished size of my basket block. The nub that is cut off is circled.

To lessen distortion with the bias:
1. Sew with the triangle on the bottom again to lessen distortion to the bias.
2. Start from the 90 degree angle and sew to where the nub was cut off, in this case, from the bottom of the basket block towards the top of the basket block.
NOTE: on at least one of the sides of the quilt you will have to make a choice as these two steps will not both be possible!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

tip #46, make and use a master block

When starting multi-block quilts I make about 6 blocks to work out my piecing and pressing decisions, making assembly of blocks, and, later, the top easier. I may try several different sequences before settling on one.
Sometimes the logical piecing/pressing sequence is not the optimal, so I like to sort this out early. Because, once I've made a dozen or so blocks I know I'm not going to go back and re-do them.

Once I figure out my block piecing and pressing sequence I commit. I choose a higher-contrast block as my master block. It is used from then on as a reference for the rest of the block making. I place pieces on the reverse of the block itself to keep me consistent.
In nursing I teach my students to hold the medication package right next to the printed words on the screen/paper to compare and ensure the correct medication is given as our minds play tricks on us and we will read what we think is there and not what is really there.
The same phenomena happens with piecing. We think we have it in the same direction as earlier blocks when we do not.
By having my pieces placed over the master block, I keep my consistency when piecing and pressing.
In these basket blocks I pieced them into quarters. Then placed the quarters over the master block again.
You will see that the final seam is not pressed. In my planning I found that seam would be pressed different directions in alternate rows, so my master block again reminded me to not press that seam.
I try to honor this work-horse block by putting it in a good place in the quilt! This delightful fern block will be the bottom left block.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

ladder, top completed

96 by 84 inches
A simple block.

Block finishes 4 by 12 inches, 168 blocks
Blocks are put into 4-block units which finish 12 by 16 inches (rotate every other block)
Set 6 block units into 7 columns, 42 units

Solids: cut four 1 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangles
Prints: cut four 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangles

Press blocks to the side that ends with a print
Wait with pressing block units until all 7 columns are sewn together
Then, press every other column up or down, all seams will nest

My design, use your your pleasure.
Ritz crackers!
four blocks into one 4-block unit