Friday, March 31, 2023

Another border......

I had to finally make the decision how to cut this large print for the border of the Australian fabric 16 patch quilt top.  I decided on matching borders for the 2 long sides and liked it and did the 2 end borders the same way.  I like the way the border just blends into the 16 patch center.  61.5" x 77.5".

 This closer view shows the variety of colors in the border fabric.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Border, finally............

I put off cutting the border as long as I could.  After all, the end of the month is coming and you know I want to finish as many as possible.  This quilt top is 71.5" x 85".  The border is the leftover long strip from another quilt's backing and I was able to cut four 5.5" wide strips from it.

I took a couple close up shots so you can see how pretty the border fabric is.

The border is one of the prettiest  mottled batiks, almost a tie die type pattern included in it.

I have one more top that needs its border, the Australian fabric 16 patch.  I just have to decide how to cut the large print shown on this post, the fabric on the right.

I got a backing and batting for another quilt loaded on the longarm....not sure if I can get that one done too by midnight March 31.


Wednesday, March 29, 2023


The binding is done!  Yay!  This beauty is about  57" x 72".  I cut the pieces with my hexagon, half hexagon, and equilateral triangle dies with 4" sides.  A lot of time was spent designing this on the design walls starting March 21, 2016. (Archive on right side bar.)

I used Hobbs 80/20 batting, gold variegated YLI cotton thread on top, Superior Bottom Line thread in the bobbin.  The backing is a Liberty print colored by Kaffe Fassett.

The fabrics on the front are Kaffe Fassett collective and Martha Negley prints.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

3 corners............

A lot of time was spent hand stitching yesterday.  I'm proving I have made it around 3 corners with just one long side to go.

The photo is too light but I couldn't get it to adjust any darker.  I'm trying to show here that there is purple in the backing fabric too so the binding is great on both sides of the quilt.

How about one more photo of the pretty cactus bloom.  

Sunny day yesterday and we did make it up to 50, almost to our normal high for this date.


Monday, March 27, 2023


 The binding I chose is an early Kaffe fabric from 2001....just think, 22 years old.  I snagged several yards of it from an ebay seller about 12 years ago.

I got one short side hand sewn and about 35" down a long side.  That amounts to about one fourth done.

My one lonely champagne color bud finally opened yesterday.  I have one orange and 3 red blooms ready to open on other cacti.  I sometimes have blooms all the way to the end of April so I'm still hopeful.

One photo just isn't enough so here is a closer shot from a slightly different angle.

Outside I have Sedums coming up in 3 gardens.  I'm hoping for a warm day with no rain this week so I can go out and break off last year's flower stalks.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

It's about time!............

I finished this quilt top 7 years ago and it has been waiting in line too long.  I had chosen the backing a couple years ago and had cut the batting too, anticipating its turn for finishing.

It got trimmed last night and I'm ready to choose binding.  I love the backing fabric, one of the Liberty fabric collections which had Kaffe doing the colorations.  I have enough of it for binding but I'm going to look for other candidates too.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

4 patches won...........

The main problem with the corner decision is that 2 corners have light outside strips and the other 2 have dark.  If I did triangles there wasn't any way to contrast with the strips and still have all 4 corners alike.  Even the 4 patches had a problem.  To alternate dark/light of the 4 patches with the strips, all four 4 patches would have had to be in the same position and that looked goofy to me.  I needed all four of the 4 patches to have the dark squares pointing out of the corners.   If you look at the top 2 corners, the dark on the left one is joining the dark color strips and the one on the right is contrasting with the light strips.  They only way this would have been easy is if there was an uneven number of blocks in both directions.  This is already 57" x 81", close to my goal size of 60" x 80", so I did not want another row of 12" blocks in both directions.  Really the only thing that matters here is that I am happy with it.  It is going to look so much better when a dark print binding caps off the light strips and gives a consistent color edge on this Australian fabric quilt top.

I also got one of the backings that I had been working on pieced together and loaded on the longarm.  The batting is cut so there should be a finish soon.  I also pressed the 2 large pieces for the other backing.  Dare I hope I'll have 2 finishes soon, like in this month?


Friday, March 24, 2023

Partial border......................

I hoisted this up as high as I could reach and stuck 3 pins in to hold it up there.  The bottom is laying on the floor. 

I got all of the strips for the border sewn on the quilt top.  I left the ends unsewn on the top and bottom borders so I can add the corners.  I originally thought I was going to put 4 patches there.  Now I'm wondering if a square might look better.

I put the narrow strips of a black print on the right side to simulate the binding.  It definitely doesn't look finished without the binding.

I had the iron on yesterday, pressing 2 large pieces for a backing, pressing the Bear Paw top, and pressing the strip sets that made the border strips on this quilt.  I got another backing cut but will press it on another day.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Audition day............

I spent way too much time looking for and playing around with the audition of batik fabrics for the Bear Paw quilt borders.  I'll show them in the order that I tried them.  I was looking for pieces long enough (2.25 yards) to cut the borders lengthwise.

I tried this one first as it would be cut crosswise of the fabric.

Then I placed it as it would be if cut lengthwise.

I found a stripe of many colors that could be cut crosswise but it seemed a little dark.

You can click on the photos for a closer view of the choices.

Then I found a busy print batik with a black background.  It has a lot of colors in it.  There is more orange than shows  here.

I think this one looks a little lighter in person, green, gold, and soft orange.

But wait, I have some long leftover strips from backings and I needed to try them.

This one is about the shade of blue I had been searching for.  I like it with the quilt top.

This one isn't bad either, although a little darker than what I had in mind.

I didn't try the other 2 because I decided they weren't the color that I wanted.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Just 4 more seams.................

Only 4 more seams and a good pressing and then I can audition for the wide border.  On the last Bear Paw quilt I used a blue/turquoise batik and I thought it was a good complement to the warm light colors in the blocks and sashing.  

I chose 2 fabrics for backings of other quilts too.  I just need to cut them to length and sew the 2 pieces together.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Bear Paw progress...........

I took the Australian fabric top off the design wall so I could use it for the Bear Paw blocks.  I started sewing the sashing onto left and top sides of blocks.

I got 2 columns of blocks prepared. They need to be pressed and then I can sew those 2 columns together.

Look at all of the fun in this project box, all Australian fabric scraps.  I need to go through them and organize them by size before I cut some triangles out of the larger pieces.


Monday, March 20, 2023

Working on two..................

The first thing I did yesterday was pair the Australian fabric strips for the border pieces for the current quilt project.

That became my TV time sewing.  Ready for trimming to size and sewing onto the quilt.

I still had a little time left so I sewed cornerstones onto 30 strips for the Bear Paw quilt sashing.

While I waited for the weather forecast on the 10 p.m. news I finished this dishcloth.  It is a departure from the pattern I usually use just for a little variety.

It was 12 degrees Friday morning and supposed to be 50 on Tuesday.  That's spring in our neck of the woods.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Decision made...........

I did a mock up on the design wall with more strips pinned in place and a narrow strip cut to show how the binding will finish it off.  I need to pair the strips that are already cut to make 20 sections and I'll need four 4 patches for the corners.

Yesterday was more thinking and planning.  I have 2 more quilt tops waiting for completion.  The Australian16 patch needs its border and I need to decide how to cut the large print.  The batik Bear Paw is waiting for the sashing and cornerstones.  The sashing strips are all cut.  I need to choose the color for the cornerstones today, whether it will be all one color or several fabrics.  

And of course you know what I want to do.....I want to start another quilt.  But I won't.  I'll work on these 3 to completion.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

24 blocks sewn together..........

I sewed the 24 blocks together yesterday, turned on the iron and pressed it. I'm really happy with it without sashing.  I like the corners meeting and creating hourglass blocks.  I didn't measure it but it should be close to 48" x 72".

I have been thinking about making pieced borders that can be sewn to each block instead a long strip of border.  I used this on my pink heart quilt and liked it a lot.  I had 2 left over 16 patch blocks so I folded them in half and put them up there so I could see if I like the checkerboard border.  When I cut the 16 patch strips I cut duplicates so I have the 40 strips I would need to do a border.  My only decision is whether I group them with all colors alike to add to each block or make it mixed with all 40 fabrics falling however in a scrappy look.

My second idea is to add 2 strips to each block and they would be alternating with the light on the left next to a dark block and dark on the left next to a light block.  I can do a mock up of that with more strips, just didn't think of it before 11 p.m.

Either of these ideas will add 8" in width and length to the quilt top.

Friday, March 17, 2023

A little green for St. Patrick's Day............

Before I can hang a finished quilt on the design wall for its portrait I need to use the lint roller.  I don't want a lot of threads on the back of a finished quilt.

I think this is the only quilt with this much green in all of my shelves of quilts.  I love green but haven't made an all green quilt for many years.  This one will have to do for the Irish celebration.  It is 50" x 70",  Kaffe collective and Martha Negley fabrics in the top, quilted in a wavy crosshatch with yellow variegated YLI cotton thread on top and Superior Bottom Line in the bobbin.  The batting is Warm and Plush.

I love the Martha Negley tree rings fabric on the back, the green colorway.

The binding is a Kaffe fabric in yellow, machine sewn.

This photo has 2 things to look at, the possible final layout and a mock up in the top left corner with a black print Australian fabric cut 1" wide to simulate narrow sashing.  By now you probably know I like busy quilts that make you keep looking at all of the details.  I think the sashing would emphasize each individual block but I personally would lose the excitement of looking all around the quilt looking at placement and overall design.  I think both ways would work, sashing or not; I just have to make a decision what makes me happy.  Another thing, the secondary pattern where 4 blocks meet will be tightened up when the blocks' outside seam allowances are taken and will become an integral part of the overall design.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

5 blocks instead of 4..............

I had many pieces cut and I was sewing away and ended up with 3 light centers and 1 dark when what I needed was 2 light an 2 dark centers.  I made one more dark center from the extra pieces and I will get them pressed this morning and decide which ones I will use.

I was moving one of my cactus pots to make room for another one and there was a surprise bloom on the plant.  I inspect them every morning so I don't know how I missed that bud.  This one is by the west window.  The red one by the east window has 3 more buds now.  I couldn't get the camera to focus on the red and this was the best of 6 photos that I took.

One bud on the smallest champagne color cactus plant is looking good.  Maybe 2 or 3 more days and it will be a bloom.

I was gifted this new Kaffe Fassett book and it is really interesting.  It goes into more depth about all of the amazing things Kaffe did before he started designing quilts.  I knew some of it from previous books or videos where he talks about his life but there is a lot of new info.  It has many pages and tiny print so I'll be reading for a while. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

20 blocks, 4 more to go................

I wasn't happy with some of last groups I had put together so I only got 5 more blocks sewn last night.  I'll be searching for some more fabrics for the large squares.  I have enough triangles and rectangles cut for 4 more blocks.  I have 3 blocks with blue in them into the mix now and 2 more will have some blue pieces.

When I first started making these blocks I thought maybe I would put sashing between them.  I'm liking them edge to edge but I'll still try a black background Australian print and see what I think.  With the every other block/dark/light edges black is the only thing that will contrast with all of them.

I trimmed the quilt that I quilted on Monday and chose the binding but didn't get the binding cut yet.  Today I need to turn on the iron and press that fabric and all of these blocks.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

15 blocks.............

Six more blocks were added yesterday and I can't tell you which ones they are.  I keep moving them around so I don't have 2 with the same center fabric next to each other.  I need to cut some more of the 6.5" squares.  It looks like I might end up with 24 blocks, a 4 x 6 layout.  The blocks will finish at 12".

Here are 3 more groups matched and ready to sew.  I have to find some fabric with blue in it for the centers of some of the rest.

I had this quilt loaded on the longarm for at least a week and yesterday I was finally ready to quilt it.

I did a wavy crosshatch on this one.  I just followed the strips in the blocks so it was easy.

I used a yellow variegated 40 wt cotton thread on top for this one.  I'll trim it today and get the binding cut.