Show Up. Do the Work.

Change of Seasons
Change of Seasons

I was asked to speak on a panel about art quilt making a few weeks ago, which was held in conjunction with the Primal Green Exhibit.

I was really flattered. I do a fair amount of public speaking for my profession, but it is the first time I have ever spoken publicly about quiltmaking. The request to speak sparked a lot of soul searching on my part about my quiltmaking. I am not a professional quiltmaker, nor do I really aspire to be. I wouldn’t mind licensing some of my images, but I have little to know interest in making quilts for sale, designing patterns, cutting kits or selling fabric. If someone plopped a successful shop in my lap, I might change my mind, but for now I am happy working away on the weekends making what I feel like making.

Part of the presentation was talking about my process, what makes me an art quilt maker and what my process is. I have a fairly good handle on my process, I thought, but the underlying philosophy of my work I knew would create a challenge. I thought about it a lot, wrote about it in my journal and kind of worked through some of the things that, it turned out were holding me back. Here is what I presented:


Primal Green presentation

Quiltmaking, for me, is about the interplay of colors with each other, and also with geometric shapes. I enjoy working in series, so I can explore a concept through to the end. The concepts I am working with currently have to do with color, and how the geometric shapes affect the relationship of the colors while acting as a vehicle for corralling the fabric motifs.

My quiltmaking work centers on the process of piecing. Once I finish the piecing, I am pretty much finished with the piece, because I am done working through that concept. I have to work very hard to get the finishing steps, such as the quilting and binding, completed.

I add texture to my quilts by embellishing with beads and Perl Cotton or decorative machine stitching rather than dyeing and painting on fabric. I do appreciate having an element of hand work involved in my quilts.

I prefer to work with other artists’ designs on fabric as that “self-imposed rule” provides some boundaries for my work.

I work very much in the geometric space of quilts, venturing only every once in a while out into the world of realism – or at least pseudo realism – such as with Change of Seasons.

For Change of Seasons, my Primal Green show quilt, I had a clear idea in my mind of the image I wanted to depict and I needed to work through the process of moving my vision from my head into fabric. This process required some fabric manipulation techniques and I did some of the quilting at the same time that I appliquéd down the leaves.

My quilts have really come back to the beginning lately. I am making a lot of one patch quilts, which means that I select one shape and work with it in one or more quilts. After selecting the shape, I work very intensely with color and motifs on fabric. The shapes I am using might be simple, but the colorwork makes the overall quilt look more complicated. I also find that the intense colorwork does not compete with the uncomplicated piecing and the work provides an intellectual challenge.

This direction turned my thoughts to what it means to be an art quiltmaker and whether the simplicity of my work fits in to that space.

I am inspired by antique quilts and the wide variety of block patterns available as well as [well photographed] advertising, color in nature and mosaic tiles.

Thank you!

(The following questions were posed to the entire panel. My answers are below.)

Q.   How did you start with fiber/textiles? How long ago? Are there other artists in your family?  Have you always done art?

A.    I come from a long line of needlewomen. I know that my great grandmother crocheted rugs from bread bags, tatted and did embroidery. My grandmother sewed formal dresses for my mother and aunts and crocheted afghans. My mother made costumes, clothes, crocheted, tatted and now quilts.

I have always done some kind of art. Before I started quiltmaking, I made leaded glass panels. I stopped because it wasn’t very portable and didn’t do anything for my hands which were always cut, black and bleeding. I painted, drew and did collages before being a collage artist was popular. I also took up garment sewing as I headed towards my college graduation.

I turned to quiltmaking on a whim. A friend from work wanted to take a quilt class and asked me to take it with her. I didn’t see the harm, but thought it was something grandmothers did! She dropped out after making her top and here I am ~25 years later.

Q.     What is it about fiber that appeals to you?

A.    The Tactile nature of the fiber.

Q.      What artist(s) (textile or other) have had a strong influence on your work?

A.    Wayne Thiebaud and his repetition of simple shapes as well as the intense brushwork.

Q. Whom (if anyone) do you depend on for artistic feedback?

A.    I am pretty much of a lone wolf. I haven’t found a group that fits my schedule in terms of critique, though that is something I would like to find for the future. Julie gives me good feedback in way that I can hear.

Q. What tool/gadget/thingamabob would be the last one that you would give up?

1.    Rotary cutter and my 4.5×8.5” ruler. I practically sleep with that ruler.

The following questions were directed to me specifically:

Q.    Do you have a particular method for acquiring your fabric?  Do you plan ahead with the quilt in mind?

A.    I started out with the Magpie method of fabric buying and still resort to that in times of stress. That is where I see something pretty and buy it.

I like to buy lines of fabric, but I find that I am doing that less as I will buy a line and then remove too many to really make it worth it. I do like buying lines of fabric because it forces me to use colors I wouldn’t normally use.

I am becoming more organized about buying fabric. I keep little swatches of fabrics that don’t work for me when I go to a quilt store and compare them to what I am considering buying.

I often have an idea in my mind and will collect fabric for it. My current “collection” are aqua and reds.

I am also paying more attention to the scale of motifs.

Q.      Have you ever done a neutral/black and white quilt?  Would that be a scary or fun challenge?

A.    I have never done a black/white/neutral challenge. I did use a lot of black in my quilts at one time, but find the darkness too depressing to work with. I have moved away from black, purple, dark blue, forest green, jewel tones and tended towards lighter and brighter colors.

While I wouldn’t rule it out, I also don’t much like doing challenges, because they usually don’t move my process forward. I also have enough ideas in my head to work straight through until the end of time.

I wouldn’t be scared of doing a black and white challenge, but my process is about color so I am not sure what the point would be for my process?

Q. What is the crux of your struggle as an art quiltmaker?

A. It goes back to the old question of what is an art quilt.

My quilts do not seem to fit into what the artquiltmakers at SAQA are doing nor what is being shown at Quilt National.

Still, I do not use patterns, for the most part, so my quilts don’t look like the multitude of quilt-a-longs and challenges out there either.

There is an element of “why am I compelled to do this work?” as well.

My struggle is kind of like being at the bottom of the mountain and not being able to see the fog and cloud shrouded pinnacle. I am not sure where I am on this journey, but I feel compelled to stay on the path and keep moving forward.


I went back and forth about posting what I said, but decided I would after hearing part of Notes from the Voodoo Lounge podcast where Rice interviewed Zom Osbourne. In it they two women have a long discussion about mistakes, which I really appreciated. Zom talks about posting unfinished pieces and how they look terrible before they look better. She also encouraged Rice to post a picture of a piece that Rice was thinking of abandoning. Zom makes the point that none of us are perfect and we will do more bad or not-quite-up-to-standards work than we will do great work and that we have to talk about the mistakes or mediocre pieces as much as we talk about the great pieces.

I think this is really true. I have to show up and do the work almost every day for at least a little while. The more work I do the bigger chance I have of churning out a great piece. I may only make a pillow or a stuffie with my nephew or a nine patch or press some fabric, but doing the work leads me to better work.

When I say work, I don’t mean something that is a dreary drudge. I mean the cutting, pattern reading, math, fabric selection, piecing, quilting and handwork that it takes to make the pieces that I make.

So, I guess I’ll let history, if my work stands the test of time, decide whether or not I am an art quiltmaker. While history is deciding, I’ll show up and do the work.


Various & Sundry 2011 #8

Patterns and Projects

Julie, over at the Intrepid Thread, has created a tutorial for an iPad bag in conjunction with Cutting Corners. Aside from the bag being cheerful, I like the directions. There are a ton of photos and the words are pretty clear. This is a long tutorial, so put a new ink cartridge in if you plan on printing it.

I bought a gift of fabric from Julie and she was kind enough to offer to include a card. She sent the fabric out in a timely manner as well. Great service.

Quilts & Shows

The 2011 AQS Show winners are posted.

I love this quilt. It was part of the Red and White show in NYC. Don’t you love the different borders? I might make one.


I was listening to Creative Talk Radio with Pat Sloan recently. She had an interview with Joanna Figueroa, which was about a half an hour long. I really enjoyed hearing about her and about her new project with Quilts & More magazine. It starts with the April issue. I will have to seek out that magazine and see what it is about. Pat also had an interview with Eleanor Burns on that same episode as well as the news that she is moving her podcast to the website.

As a result of the podcast, I decided to try out the Fig Tree Quilts Fresh Vintage subscription for awhile. They called me to get some payment information and Joanna Figueroa picked up the phone. What a thrill! Who cares about Brangelina!

I have purchased this publication before. TFQ and I were together when I bought issue 10 that has the fabulous Tea Basket quilt in it. I haven’t made that quilt, but still admire it. I am looking for something a little different and hope that this magazine will provide it.

Sandy of Quilting for the Rest of Us podcast has started to write some book reviews. I flatter myself that I inspired her, but I know that she wrote book reviews on some other subjects for previous jobs. Go check out one of her first books reviews.

Penguin has come out with some new editions of classics such as Black Beauty, The Secret Garden and Emma. The creative part of this everyday publishing phenomenon is that they are being released under a new imprint called Penguin Threads and the covers are hand sewn. I saw a brief article in the Atlantic that featured wonderful pictures. In the images the stitching can be seen. The colors are cheerful without being glary. There is a lot the article doesn’t say, such as how many are being made? Are they all hand stitched or only the first one? Cool, in any case.

The Quilt Index had a great Double Wedding Ring quilt up last week. The background was Nile Green – kind of a combination aqua and green – which provided a real WOW factor to this quilt. The maker really had some guts.

Linda Kemshall has a new blog. She is a UK artist who works on DMTV and Thr3fold Journal. I wrote about her, and her daughter Laura, in a blog post some time ago.

Stars for San Bruno

As you know, I finished the first quilt top and am gearing up for the second. Someone offered me some fabric and replied to my query about her being sure she wouldn’t mind sending it along to be used with a very entertaining quip: “It’s been on my shelves for a couple of years now. I figure if I haven’t even pulled it off to audition it in that time it’s better off going to a home which will make it feel much more needed and useful. I’m all about helping my fabric self-actualize.”

Trying to Do Good

I like to do charity projects that fit with my life and my interests and help people locally. You have seen me make pillowcases. I have made about a dozen so far. I finally got my act together and called the hospital to arrange a time to donate them. I left a message. A few days later, a chipper, cheerful and young woman called me back and left a message telling me they have a ready supply of pillowcases and don’t need any. She told me to take them to a town about 20 miles away. She was very nice, but I am still annoyed. I guess some hospitals are getting too much of a good thing.


Quilted Fish Fabrics
Quilted Fish Fabrics

I have to admit that I didn’t remember buying this fabric. Also, I didn’t have a receipt for it, except what came with the fabric when it was shipped. I don’t usually purchase fabric from, so I was really confused.

It is very strange and has really put me off buying fabric lately. If you bought this for me, will you, please, confess so I can write you a thank you note? I also want to get over this feeling of losing my mind. Thank you!

UPDATE: I have a secret fabric fairy. Thanks, Mrs. K.!


Pillow Time Again

NSGW Pillow #1 - 2011
NSGW Pillow #1 - 2011

This is the first first of a series of pillows I will be making over the next month.

My DH is an executive board member for a California organization called the Native Sons of the Golden West. In addition to supporting the preservation of California history, they raise money to help people suffering from facial deformities such as Cleft Palette. During their elections, each of the candidates opens a hospitality room. They do their best to raise the most money for Cleft Palette. To do this they display items, such as gift baskets, for sale. People purchase raffle tickets or bid on items. The competition to put out the best items is fierce, because each candidate wants to draw the most people to hospitality room. They get kudos for the amount of money they raise.

Last year, the pillows were a big hit. People bought many tickets and when I made a brief appearance for the Grand Ball, people wanted to place orders for pillows. I told them they had to buy raffle tickets. The pillows and the gift baskets put together for DH raised over $600 to donate to the NSGW Foundation. Get a donation form on their website.

The Young Man was visiting his grama so I spent time (when I was not doing Easter stuff) working on the pillows. I did a kind of log cabin design around the printed flag and emblem with leftover strips from various projects that are piling up on my desk for the Spiderweb.

I have all of the pillow tops done, but haven’t made the backs for all of them.

Making a Double Pinwheel

Here is how I make a Double Pinwheel block.

I found it interesting to break down the process step by step and try to explain it. Here is what I came up with.

Double Pinwheel
Double Pinwheel

This is the block we are making today. You are making 12″ finished block in the Double Pinwheel pattern. The unfinished block will be 12.5″.

Double Pinwheel - Another View
Double Pinwheel - Another View

It is ok if your finished products looks like the above photo.

1. Cut 4 squares 4″x4″ for pinwheel part of block (mine are red in the above photos) and 4 squares (also 4″x4″) from the background fabric (my background fabric is aqua in the above photo). This will allow you to have enough extra fabric to trim the half square triangles before you sew them into the pinwheel. I like trimming. Also cut two 6.5″ squares for the large background pieces. Use your background fabric for the 6.5″ squares.

2. Cut all of the squares in half on the diagonal.

Layout your patches
Layout your patches

3. Lay out all of your patches to you can see how the block will look. Start thinking about how you will piece it.

  • Notice how the patches don’t look like they are the right sizes? That is because of the seam allowances. It will all work out in the end. I promise.

4. Put one background patch and one pinwheel patch right sides together matching the hypotenuse (longest side) of the triangle.

  • Handle the triangles carefully by not yanking on them.
  • Gently put triangles under presser foot
    Gently put triangles under presser foot

5. Sew one background patch and one pinwheel patch together along the hypotenuse of the triangle. I sew them with the background patch on top.

Use your hands to guide not yank
Use your hands to guide not yank
  • Sew all patches with the same color fabric on top. It will help you keep them organized.
  • My fingers are just keeping the hypotenuse up against my seam guide.
  • Chain piecing, baby!
    Chain piecing, baby!
  • I use chain piecing to piece all of the triangles. I try and prevent them from falling off the back of my table so the falling triangles don’t yank on the ones still under the presser foot.

6. Sew all triangles needed to make pinwheels.

7. Press towards the pinwheel fabric.

  • I set the seam like Fons & Porter suggest and then open the seam and carefully press the seam open towards the pinwheel fabric (red dot in my case).

8. Line up diagonal line on your ruler (hopefully you are using a square ruler with a diagonal line) with the diagonal line you have sewed and trim your new half square triangle (HST) block to 3.5″.

  • You will need to make this cut twice for each patch as you cut two sides, turn the block 180 degrees and then trim the other two sides.

9. Arrange your sewn HSTs on your design wall to you can be sure that the HSTs are arranged in a pinwheel block.

10. Make a note to yourself (use a pin, eyeball it, pinch it) which sides you are going to sew together.

Sew 2 HSTs together
Sew 2 HSTs together

11. Take 2 half square triangles and place them right sides together underneath your machine’s presser foot.

Nested HSTs
Nested HSTs
  • The seam allowances on the diagonal should be nested together. This will work if you have pressed all of your HSTs towards the pinwheel fabric. In the above photo you can see how the diagonal seams are lined up when I lift the corner of the fabric to show you. (Professional stunt quiltmaker, please do not try this at home with your machine running!

12. Making sure you are sewing them in the right orientation, sew two half square triangles together.

13. Press these half pinwheels towards the background.

  • You should have 2 pieces of 2 half square triangles ready to sew into a pinwheel.
Important Matching Spot
Important Matching Spot

14. Nest the 2 half pieces together and sew along the middle of the pinwheel. In the above photo I have put the pin in just to show you about where you should sew.

  • When you sew try not to cut off the point of the pinwheel center. You will see a V made by the seams you have sewn previously. Make sure you err towards the seam allowance (on your right looking at the needle of the sewing machine) and don’t cut off that V. Ideally, you want to sew one thread towards the seam allowance on top of that V.
  • You can just sew over the middle (.5″ on either side of the middle) to make sure your points match, then you can go over the whole seam once you decide if you like the way the center looks. The ripping out is easier if you only have an inch to do.
Middle Sewn to Check Points
Middle Sewn to Check Points

When you open the block (with just the middle sewn) you can tell whether or not the points will match.

A NOTE ABOUT POINT MATCHING: It is really important that you know your tolerance level for points not matching. My points don’t always match and either I leave them or rip them out. If my points are 1/4″ apart, I usually rip them out. If they are 1/16th of inch from one another, I will probably leave them. It is important to know:

  • what you are trying to achieve (practice block or show quilt)
  • if you are going to think about that seam not matching late into the night and it is going to prevent you from sleeping.
  • deadlines
  • whether the quilt is a gift to a prize winning quiltmaker or a baby who will drool all over it.
  • How busy the fabrics are (can you actually see the seams matching?)

Be kind to yourself when you think about whether to agonize over a seam not matching. Have fun, there is always more fabric and don’t make yourself crazy.

15. Sew the halves together, along the whole side, for both pinwheels. If you have sewn along the middle for an inch, make sure you stay on that line when you sew the whole side together.

 Pressing Perfection
Pressing Perfection
  • See that nice little square that the pinwheel makes in the center?

16. Press the pinwheels patches in the same direction as the other triangles. It will look like the seam allowances are spinning.

17. Sew the large 6.5″ background square to each of your pinwheels.

18. Press towards the 6.5″ square/background.

19. Nest the two pieces (which are made up of a pinwheel and a background patch).

20. Sew over the middle  starting from about .5″ on either side of the middle to make sure you have not cut off points.

21. Sew the 2 pieces together starting on one side, sewing over the middle where you have already sewn and continuing to the end of the block.

View of Pressing
View of Pressing

22. Press whichever way the seam seems to want to go. I like to press each half of the seam towards the background. It makes for kind of an ugly pressing job, but I am not going to quilt over that center anyway, so, for me, it doesn’t matter.

  • You could trim the seam in the middle, but I don’t do that. Jo Morton talks about doing that and you might want to check out her website and YouTube videos.
3 Sampler Blocks
3 Sampler Blocks

Look how nice the 3 blocks look together!

In Progress

I seem to be working on a lot of small projects lately. Here is a list:

  1. Cut fabric for Jane Market Tote patterns from Michael Miller’s French Journal collection.
  2. Started Teacher Pillow block for 8th grade science teacher.
  3. Made a Double Pinwheel block for my Sampler class.
  4. Finished binding on Frosted Stars Leftovers. See Finished blog post.
  5. Started binding on Frosted Stars.
  6. Sewed bricks together for second quilt like Purple quilt.
  7. Started NSGW pillow tops. These will be used to raise money for Cleft Palette issues through the Native Sons Charitable Foundation, to which you can also donate, if you want.
  8. Washed fabric.
  9. Pressed, and cut fabric for FOTY 2011. Yes, I am working on it. I’ll have to take some photos of the patches to show you.

This is in addition to cooking, laundry, writing, Facebooking, etc.

Finished: Frosted Stars Leftovers

Frosted Stars Leftovers - Front
Frosted Stars Leftovers - Front

The last time you saw this quilt was after Thanksgiving.

Last night I finished the binding while watching Oceans 12 and now it is ready to go off to its new home. I am not ready for it to go off yet, because I will wait for the end of the school and give it then. I decided I am going to go and get several large gift bags (no, I am not making them, though I probably should) and just start filling them up with quilts and Teacher Pillows. The thought of having a bunch of gifts to wrap at the end of the year makes me crazy.

I have to admit that I have never gotten over the feeling that the quilting will ruin the look of my piecing. It turns out that I am really pleased with the quilting. Colleen did more feathers, which I love. She also paid special attention to the various borders – no all over patterns for me. The other thing that is making the finishing of these various quilts much easier is giving her the binding and having her sew it on. I can just bring it home and start working on the binding right away. Wonderful.

I decided that I should take a photo of the back, so I asked my quilt holder to turn the quilt around. You get a lovely view of the back:

Smart Aleck Back
Smart Aleck Back
Frosted Stars Leftovers - Back
Frosted Stars Leftovers - Back

I like using the leftover fabric as the back, as I have said before. I prefer to use larger pieces, as I discussed when I was talking about making the back for FOTY 2010. Two panels were included in this group of fabrics. I thought it was a little odd looking, but one of them works for the back.

Finished: Purple Quilt

Michaela's Quilt -Finished!
Michaela's Quilt -Finished!

Here is the full quilt. I only showed part of it before, because it was too large to photograph in the space I had. I am going to make a second version in different fabrics with a few changes.

I wanted to get this one done so I could send it off, but didn’t get it done in time, so it will have to wait for the new owner to get home.

Selecting Fabric

Selecting fabric is a very personal choice. I have a group of fabrics for my sampler class with Frances and I needed to choose some background-esque fabric to go with the Four Patches for my Double Four patch block. These are large blocks and I don’t normally work in this size, so I found it challenging.

I fell back on Lorraine Torrence‘s old adage: Make Visual Decisions Visually. That is the best advice I have EVER gotten in quiltmaking. Go take a class from Lorraine and buy her books. She is awesome.

Plain Jane
Plain Jane

I liked the bold graphic-ness of this print, but thought it might be too large.


I thought for sure this would work, but the cherries felt too scattered. They need to be hemmed in a little.



Something in the color was off with this print. The aqua in the Bliss print is more green while the small flowered print is more on the turquoise side.

Plain Jane (smaller flowers)
Plain Jane (smaller flowers)

This is the same print as the first one, but the flowers are smaller. I like the way you can see more of the flowers. Success!



I chose the last print and above is how the finished block looks.


Finished: It’s a Merry & Bright Wrap

It's a Merry & Bright Wrap Finished!
It’s a Merry & Bright Wrap Finished!

I really finished this in December, but never got around to taking a photo. Here it is in all of its glory. It will be a gift. This is a pattern from Sandy Gervais called It’s a Wrap. Someone thought the packages looked like elephants.

The last post about this project talks about selecting the border.s

Various & Sundry 2011 #7


I saw this photo on Camille Roskelly’s blog and couldn’t get the sentiment out of my mind. I like her blog. I like the colors and the feel. I like the look of it and the hopeful tone of the way she writes. As an added bonus, Bonnie and Camille (of the Camille referenced above) are coming out with a new fabric line called Ruby. It looks very similar to Bliss in the coloration and in a few of the motifs. I can’t see the motifs very well, but what I can see I love. I want a full half yard set of all of the prints. I have to resist.

If you haven’t looked at Nina Johansson’s blog recently, it is worth a look. Her drawings are lovely, especially some food drawings she did in Barcelona.


From the American Museum of Folk Art newsletter: See for more information. Thanks to TFQ for passing this along.

More than 24,000 people came to see “Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts,” presented by the museum at the Park Avenue Armory last month. It was the largest exhibition of quilts ever held in New York City. Visitors from around the world filled guest books with thank-you notes expressing their gratitude to Joanna S. Rose for sharing her singular collection, and many have posted images to the museum’s Flickr group. We will upload footage of lectures and interviews to our YouTube channel soon. 

This magical but ephemeral moment will ultimately be captured in the pages of a fully illustrated catalog copublished by the American Folk Art Museum and written by Elizabeth V. Warren, guest curator of this spectacular presentation. Stay tuned for information about the publication date.

A digital guide to the exhibition, including images of all 650 quilts that were on display, is available as a free app for your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Android smart phone. Go to the Apple iTunes App Store or Android Market for the free download.

I downloaded the iPad app and found it to be quite inspirational. It took awhile to download, but it is great to have a quilt exhibit at my fingertips.


Do you need an explanation of what exactly those dessert bundles Moda is selling contain? As your info resource, I found one for you at the Moda Bakeshop. Take a look.

Other Artists

Freshly Pieced is having a SuperNova challenge/exchange. The blog author posted some examples of participants’ work. The post is a great example of how, using one block, everyone’s work will be different.

The Molly Flanders blog author has started a Flowering Snowball quilt. It is flattering to think that I started something, but I doubt it. Remember mine? I haven’t done anything lately on it and need to make the border.


Ever since I did some spring cleaning last week, I have been thinking about upgrading my space: paint, shelves, clearing out more junk, eh-hem unneeded, perfectly good items. Of course, in my travels around the web and other media I keep seeing different workspaces. I saw this one and this one and this one (another view here here). How these artists work in their lovely chairs? Don’t get me wrong, they look gorgeous! I need an office chair with lumbar support and adjustable height otherwise my body hurts and I feel like an 85 year old. And all of those sensible shoes kind of chairs don’t fit with any decor. Yes, I drape fabric all over them, so what does it matter?

Stars for San Bruno #1 Design Process

You want to know my biggest problem with this quilt? I don’t have enough dark blue fabric. I have used EVERY scrap, except the tiniest (I mean, really, why bother?), for this project and I haven’t even gotten through the first quilt. I kid you not. Now I know that I never buy dark blue. No big loss, but, yes, I went to the fabric store to see what would work.

Design Toss
Design Toss

I tossed all the blocks out like this to see what inspiration I would get. It actually worked pretty well, because I could see some patterns start to emerge.

DH really liked the layout above and thought I should applique’ everything down like this. In an ideal world, with a fleet of sewing ladies, i would have done this, but I am still waiting for my fleet.

Design Toss Trimmed
Design Toss Trimmed

Once some patterns started to form, I began editing. Above is what is left after the first edit. The edited blocks will go into one of the other quilts. All the blocks will be used, don’t worry.

Border tryout
Border tryout

Sue’s blocks really wanted to be the border, so I tried them out in different ways. Tossing is a lot easier than sewing, so they won’t be as wonky as they seem here.


Line 'em Up
Line 'em Up

The editing is done, though I haven’t worked much on the bottom left hand corner and will need to pay some attention down there, so I started to line up the blocks and start filling in with pieces of fabric. I added some triangles to get some movement.

Sew 'em Up
Sew 'em Up

This is the top of SfSB#1. I have the border put together and am starting to sew rows together. It is harder to chunk with improvisational piecing, but I will do some chunking.

I really like how well the blocks fit together in terms of color.

Make 'em Fit
Make 'em Fit

You can see some chunking going on above. You can also see the neglected stepchild that is the lower left corner. I’ll get to it. The ultimate goal is to have a square or rectangle that is not to big, but will be big enough to snuggle with.

Lower Left Corner
Lower Left Corner

I thought of putting some coping strips in, but then I looked through the blocks again and found some smallish blocks (thanks, Diane!) that would fit and add interest to the bottom.

SfSB#1: Making progress
SfSB#1: Making progress

The piece is coming together.

Stars for San Bruno #1 Top sans Border
Stars for San Bruno #1 Top sans Border

Looks a little unfinished.

Adding Borders
Adding Borders

A little bit of breathing room around the edge should do the trick.

Do you like it?