Friday, December 17, 2021

Optic Strings is Finished


Optic Strings is finished!

This quilt was started in 2019
as part of the UandU QAL.

You can read the full reveal post
over on my blog - click HERE.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Baskets Full of Scraps

I don't even remember when was the last time I posted here. But lately I am working on a quilt that is so appropriate for this blog, I had to post a few process pictures and talk about the process and its progress.

First version of this quilt I made was in 2009 or something like that. My husband's niece had a baby and so I decided to give that one to her. Ever since then, I had thought of making another one but never got around starting one until about two or three weeks ago when I was working on a sample block for a workshop I was going to teach at a guild in Seattle.  

I wrote the pattern a while back and that prompted me to make another version for myself. 

I chose the colors I hadn't worked with in a while. It has been ages since I have bought new fabrics. I am sticking to my use what you have rule. It kind of feels good to use the stash.  

So here is how it went. I just got a stack of brown and orange fabrics out. Selected a few based on their textures and value.

I already was unhappy where I was headed with these colors but  that day I made a few crazy blocks. 

That night I went to bed thinking I will start over the next day. I absolutely disliked the colors. The design wall looked too much like Halloween. The next day, I woke up, went back to the sewing room and decided to make at least one basket to go on the background. This was pretty challenging because I was already frustrated with the background, how was I going to over come that?  

 I thought lighter value of basket fabrics will be perfect. Considering the seasonal aspect was already decided as soon as I chose the background, I didn't have much choice but to stick with fall colors. 

Okay, this could work, I thought. 

The original quilt had all plaids and stripes for the background. They sort of blend into each other and made a crazy but soft background. This one right here, started looking like a mosaic. I was struggling with really crazy, busy background. Still, I continued on. Once I started appliqueing the handle on the basket, I suddenly calmed down. I could hear my voice saying, this might just work. 

Then there were two!

All I had to do was to continue. More I stared at the design wall, clearer my thought process became, the next few steps became easier. 


I actually got excited about setting the baskets, adding the spark and on and on it went. I have spent most of my day today in the sewing room.

This is where I am right now. I know what I will be doing this weekend. I hope to work as best as I can to complete this quilt top. It is very likely, I will finish it with machine quilting. Entire quilt is too busy for me to finish it by hand. I will be sure to come back and post the final results.

Have a great weekend you all!


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Leftovers and Scraps for 2 New Improv Quilts

Improv 'Half Square Triangles and Broken Dishes'
'Orange X Squares Medallion Quilt', my design.

Thanks Sujata for hosting this blog, Basket of Scraps.

These two quilts are my improv designs. The top small quilt,  Half Square Triangles and Broken Dishes, measures 15" x 16". I pieced it using scraps and recycled cotton shirts I found at a local thrift shop.
In the top photo it is still in the process of being hand quilted. I have since finished it (last summer) and now it is on my wall, perfect brightness for summer.

The second quilt, Orange X Squares Medallion Quilt measures at 44" square.
I used left over blocks, scraps and yardage from previous projects. I pieced the Orange X Blocks (left over from another project) into a medallion and pieced HSTs and nine patch stars (down the left side), as borders, deciding to make the medallion off center.
Did I mention that orange is one of my favorite colors? 
This quilt was started early this year and I'm almost done hand quilting it.

Sujata congratulations on your article in American Patchwork & Quilting, Sew & Tell.
'Post Cards from Thailand' is a beautiful quilt.


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Christmas Medallion Finished!

Before we get too many months into the New Year I want to catch you up on my most recent Christmas quilt named "Christmas Medallion". It measures 69" x 76".

Beginning with a desire to use up my red and green scraps, I started with a rough idea of strip piecing my red scraps in a large rectangular ring around a central block and then adding my green scraps in a way to be determined. I began piecing this quilt early in December 2019 but then holidays, a December graduation, and family visits took priority and my red strips languished on the wall.

Enter January 2020! Champing at the bit, I got back to it. Okay, too late for Christmas 2019 but early for Christmas 2020, right?

After some red strips were put into place I began looking at the Greens.  I found a wonky tree idea by Karla Alexander called "Crazy Christmas Trees" that I liked and made a large freezer paper pattern. I pieced one to see if it would fit the bill. It was rather a painstaking process and I decided the fabrics I used were not that point I was just too impatient to move on rather than try another tree version although I am keeping that tree pattern in mind because I love the may show up in another quilt someday.

Wonky tree pattern minus the trunk

Trying to figure out the next ring.....

So, what next? The scrappy quilt was looking folksy and homey so I defaulted to old-fashioned, simple, free-wheeling log cabins (one was already in the center) and started piecing them randomly. From a distance they kind of reminded me of Christmas wreaths with red berries! They formed the third ring and then it was time for a final border.

A couple red fabrics from clothes I've sewn for myself many years ago are in this top! 

When I showed my 'quilt in progress' to my sisters (who are not quilt makers), one of them said “just the reds would be nice” and another commented that the Greens “seem not to have been invited to the party”. What? It’s a Christmas red and green naturally, no? I was committed to my original vision but gave the second opinion a bit of thought and altered the central red rings a bit to extend an 'invite' to the Greens.....can you tell what I did? Not sure if it makes any difference!

I machine-quilted it on my domestic Viking with straight lines....lots of fun because I got to travel across all those lovely colors again and twice enjoy them! I had that wonderful red backing already in my stash. (It's also in the quilt front.) My daughter helped me choose the correct shade of green for the binding....and that was the only fabric that I had to purchase at the quilt shop because I didn't have a big enough piece of just the right color. And now it's signed and ready for Christmas 2020 festivities!

@piecingpassion on Instagram

Monday, December 9, 2019

Overlapping Octagons is finished.

Following Sujata's challenge in January to replicate one of the quilts in the book "Unconventional and Unexpected, American quilts under the radar", by Roderick Kiracofe, I made the Overlapping Octagons.

Instead of continuing with hourglass blocks at the intersections of the octagons as I did for the first few blocks, I took the fabric of the "sashing" further to form the point. The hour glass blocks gave very bulky seams at the corners of the red pieces but now there is less bulk but more Y-seams!

The original quilt was pieced by hand and I think that if I had done that I may have been finished sooner. Slow going as it was I'm glad I persevered; I'm quite comfortable with Y-seams now!

I quilted the red squares with various FMQ designs, and varying degrees of success! In the "sashing" I followed the seam lines to avoid losing the shape of the octagons. In my view that has worked well and they stand out nicely.
fabrics: scraps from stash
measurements: 38" x 44"
pieced with Aurifil 50 wt light grey
quilted with Aurifil 40 wt dark blue, dark red and bright red.
Now I'm going to look into the book again and see which quilt I would like to make next! 

Happy sewing


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

September Maple Leaves....on the wall!

September seemed to call for a Maple Leaf quilt....especially since I had been eyeing the quilts in the "Unconventional & Unexpected" book  by Kiracofe and found one which intrigued me made in PA by an 'unknown quilter'.....more's the pity for there being no signature. I love the new improv quilts but I also like using well-loved traditional quilt patterns and making my own version of those familiar blocks that have been around forever. It feels fitting and proper to add to the quilt story with one's own humble version of the tried and true....a joining up with the sisterhood!

I chose smaller calico-like prints from my stash and dug deeper into my older fabrics. It's always such a pleasure to place an 'older' fabric in a quilt and give it a reason for being! I took my cues from the inspiration quilt (below) but didn't use any stripes or plaids like this quilt maker did. I also did not add that unexpected strip of  bright red on one side. My blocks seemed to call for a softer green border. My quilt is approximately 51 1/2" x 51 1/2". The inspiration quilt is 65" x 68" and notice how there is binding on three sides but not on the fourth! There is definitely a story with that added strip of red but we'll never know! Ah...the mysteries....

I machine quilted it in horizontal wavy lines and pieced a large maple leaf for the backing.

And I didn't forget the signature!

And now the completion of  this Maple Leaf has me eyeing yet another Maple Leaf quilt in another exciting book full of inspiration:  "Signs and Symbols: African Images in African-American Quilts" by Maude Southwell Wahlman.

And I find myself thinking hmmm......

Friday, November 1, 2019

Thirty blocks pinned on the wall for UANDUQAL

Target reached with the blocks and now on to sewing and the
borders on.
A rough photo here I'm afraid, blocks just roughly pinned on the design wall.

I should be back during the week with a finished top - fingers crossed!
Excuse the very, very short post but I have a visitor just arrived.