Zeus & Athena Revised

Wonky 9 Patch Sewn
Wonky 9 Patch Sewn

I really like this quilt.

I love the blue and orange together. Complements, what could be better? In addition, the orange just makes me happy.

I am trying to think of whether or not I have used this much orange in a quilt before. Looking at my orange scrap drawer, I would say no.

The other interesting thing, which I always find when working with a monochromatic palette, is how different, in this case, the oranges are. Some are peachy, some are more red, some have a pink tinge. There were a few prints (my man Philip Jacobs!) with browns. It is so interesting to me how those browns took on more of an orange cast when used withe oranges.

I know you can also see that some are multi-colored and so non-orange colors show up as well. I think those add some interest.

More Wonky Blocks
More Wonky Blocks

I decided to make the Wonky 9 Patch a bit larger. As I said before, the problem is the blue. TFQ said she may have some of the blue, so I sent her a swatch.

I made more of the blocks, so I am ready. One thing I did differently was press the seams open. It made cutting the blocks much easier.

I decided not to sew the one new row to the rest of the quilt, though I did consider it, if for no other reason than to make progress.

Now I am just waiting with my fingers crossed.

Why Language is Important

What does it all mean?




Lately, I feel like I am being bombarded by the differences in types of quiltmaking. This post is my attempt to puzzle out the differences.

All of the above words evoke something in each of our minds related to quiltmaking. Each of them probably evokes something different. Language is important, because it is a mode of communication and if the words above evoke something different in each of our minds then communication is breaking down.

I would add to this, already confusing, list:




All this means that I really think we, as quiltmakers, are not communicating clearly about what we do. Think about what a “traditional” quilt means to you. How would you describe a “traditional” quilt? Calico fabrics? Certain designs?

How would you describe a “Modern” quilt. Is there any overlap between “Traditional” and “Modern”?

This conversation really started with “Art” quilts. I remember the conversation being hot and heavy in the early-mid 1990s. I remember long essays about art vs. craft, art quilts vs. traditional quilts when the Internet was young and we could find people with whom to have such conversations. Modern quilts, labeled and followed, did not exist then.

While TFQ was living near me for 5 months this year, we had many discussions about quiltmaking language. She is a language person, so these types of conversations are fun, but tax my brain. I have to be precise and clear. It is good for me. Some of what I am writing comes from those conversations.

I am concerned about the assumptions that are surrounding every day language in the quiltmaking community. I don’t think it is always relevant and I think the stereotypes brought to mind when this language is used can be harmful, not only to the community, but also to people’s feelings. What do we gain by using these distinctions?

Traditional: I don’t know if there is a distinct definition of a “traditional” quilt. Does a “traditional” quilt use “traditional” blocks? I have seen “Modern” quilts made from 9 patch blocks, so are they really “traditional” quilts?

Art: What is an ‘art’ quilt? Is it a “traditional” quilt made with hand dyed fabrics? Is it a quilt of a tree where you know it is a tree and not the Pine Tree block? Is realism included? Painting? Inks? Crazy free motion quilting? Couching? Embroidery? Embellishment?

I realize that humans seem to have a need to segregate themselves into exclusive groups and that may be the distinction.

Traditional, in Random House Webster’s College Dictionary (1999), is defined as 1. of or pertaining to tradition; 2. handed down by tradition; 3. in accordance with tradition. Tradition is defined as “the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, etc., from generation to generation, esp. by word of mouth or by practice.” It is also defined as “… a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting.” This definition doesn’t say anything about design or fabric type.

Modern, in that same resource, is defined as “of or pertaining to present and recent time. 2. characteristic of present and recent time; contemporary.” From the Modern Quilt Guild website, they define Modern quiltmaking as:

“Modern quilts and quilters:

  • Make primarily functional rather than decorative quilts
  • Use asymmetry in quilt design
  • Rely less on repetition and on the interaction of quilt block motifs
  • Contain reinterpreted traditional blocks
  • Embrace simplicity and minimalism
  • Utilize alternative block structures or lack of visible block structure
  • Incorporate increased use of negative space
  • Are inspired by modern art and architecture
  • Frequently use improvisational piecing
  • Contain bold colors, on trend color combinations and graphic prints
  • Often use gray and white as neutrals
  • Reflect an increased use of solid fabrics
  • Focus on finishing quilts on home sewing machines

Modern quilting has its roots in rebellion, in our desire to do something different, but simultaneously its feet are firmly planted in the field of tradition.  Modern quilting is our response to what has come before.  We are quilters first, modern quilters second. There are however, characteristics that set modern quilters apart from our traditional and art quilting friends.

Modern quilters are a diverse group of woman and men, young and old, experienced and novice, yet each of us feels the need to differentiate ourselves as modern quilters by how we work, the fabrics we choose, and the aesthetic of our quilts. We create in a way that supports our individual creative needs and our lifestyle preferences.” (from Modern quilt guild website About Us page)

From the dictionary definition, I could infer that any quilt made this year is modern. The definition says “of or pertaining to present and recent time, ” so isn’t that what it means?

The above Modern Quilt Guild definition is very helpful to me for a number of reasons, but mostly because it tells me that some of the definitions and assumptions about what a modern quilt is, which I have heard on the web and in social media, are untrue. There seems to be “information” floating around that is suffering from the “Telephone Game” syndrome. The information is read, extrapolated out from the original source, morphed and then disseminated incorrectly. The Modern Quilt Guild website is pretty clear about what modern quilts are. There is no mention of age, time of guild meetings. This makes me think that the advent of the Modern Quilt Guild became popular, because people were given permission to start guilds of their own; guilds that fit their needs and aesthetic sensibilities. The attitude of “we did it, so can you.”

I do think “modern” quilts exist. I just don’t think that all quilts being made by members of the modern quilt movement are modern. I think Jackie of Tall Grass Prairie Studio’s Babyscapes work in progress is Modern. Perhaps there is an offshoot or subsidiary of Modern quiltmaking called fresh or contemporary quiltmaking where the newer, lighter fabrics are used in classic patterns? Perhaps the intersection of Modern and Traditional is Classic, Fresh?

Yes, I would add a category for Classic patterns. Classics are like the little black dress of quiltmaking: 9 Patches come to mind, as well as 4 patches. They are both elements of a quilt in and of themselves, as well units in larger designs.

Art, again from the same resource noted above, is defined as “… the quality, production, expression, or realm of what is beautiful or of more than ordinary significance. 2. the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings. … 7. the principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning…9. skill conducting any human activity. …” The definitions for art go on and on (and I have omitted some, but you can look up the long list yourself). None of them say you have to have things hanging off of your quilt or that you have to throw paint at your quilt and use only hand dyed fabrics for your piece to make it an art quilt. SAQA defines an art quilt as “a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure.”

I just think that the language could be improved. Really, I don’t think we absolutely need categories. The important question is “does this quilt (or quilt-like structure) appeal to me? Am I being playful and having fun?

Instead of “traditional”, I prefer the term classic. Classic blocks, to me, are blocks that have been around for awhile. They might have first shown up in Godey’s Ladies Book,  in a newspaper in the 1930s, or in a farm journal in the 1910s. You might now find them in the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman or in Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns (2009) book. They are also blocks that conform to the accepted structure we know as blocks – usually squares (though hexagons and Double Wedding Ring come to mind as well) with shapes making up that structure. This means that they don’t have to come from Godey’s Ladies Book, but could have been designed by Jinny Beyer or another designer more recently.

Classic quilts are an offshoot of Classic blocks and cannot be defined absolutely in my mind. Two different quiltmakers could take the same fabric and the block pattern  and make very different pieces. Designs can diverge in completely different directions even if everything else remains the same. Quilts must, then, be categorized even further, if categorization is necessary, into a taxonomy that includes fabric and designers, such as Civil War, 1930s, calico, etc. I also think such a categorization would have to have multiple layers to accommodate a variety of choices:

  • Block choice: 9 Patch
    • Fabric Choice: Civil War reproduction or Amy Butler Soul Blossoms?
      • Sewing style: straight or wonky
        • etc

Each of the above categorizations is an example of how a quilt could be defined more clearly. The key would be what element to start with: block design or fabric? Sewing style or quilt layout?

Contemporary or Classic Modern may more exactly describe quilts using fresh, new fabrics such as Bonnie and Camille fabrics, large scale prints or dots combined with classic block designs.

Mark Lipinski said, in his May 9, 2012 podcast that making quilts is about doing what you love. I think is true. Let’s make quilts in the style that makes us happy, welcome other people into the quiltmaking fold, enjoy their work even if we do not want to make a duplicate, and not judge.

More Corner Store

60+ New Corner Store Blocks
60+ New Corner Store Blocks

I was more exhausted that I thought I would be yesterday after getting home late from celebrating the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th birthday. Over the weekend, I worked hard on the Corner Store blocks and I couldn’t work on them anymore. I didn’t have a clear path moving forward on the project and needed a break.

Between Saturday and Sunday, before we went to see the fireworks, I made an additional 60 blocks. The blocks are now covering my portable design wall. I think the piece is large enough, though I did consider sewing another 34 blocks for two more rows. I have to decide what I will do for a border, if I will add a border.

The blocks are very easy to make, as I have said, but I wonder about the colors. I have a sneaking suspicion that ROYGBIV just does not provide enough colors for me. OR I could be forced to confess to the fact that I buy fabric in a small range of color families. In putting the new blocks up, I saw that similar colors ended up next to, or near, each other. Some weird quirk of quiltmaking fate?

Full Corner Store
Full Corner Store

After taking the photo of the new blocks, I put up all of the blocks and was pleased to see that the quilt is now starting to be large enough. It might actually be larger than a placemat, e.g. large enough, especially if I decide to put a border on it.

What would you do for a border?

Block-a-Long #57: 1 Rectangle in a Square

1 Rectangle in a Square #57
1 Rectangle in a Square #57

I have been thinking about the QuiltCon block challenge, as I may have mentioned. In the course of that thinking, I also looked at the definition of a modern quilt. One of the elements is Asymmetry, so I thought I would try this block design out.

It is related to last week’s block, #56 Two Rectangles.

The directions for One Rectangle in a Square #57 are posted.

If you have made blocks or a quilt from these patterns, please post a link in the comments section of the relevant block or on the AQ Block-a-Long Flickr group. I would love to see what you have made.

Nota bene: The AQ Block-a-Long is ending. I am starting to repeat myself and run out of ideas and since this has not been very popular, I don’t feel bad about ending it. I am going to try and make it to #60 so you have an even number with which to work, but we will see.

Corner Store Progress – Mid May 2012

Whole Corner Store Mid-May 2012
Whole Corner Store Mid-May 2012

What I want to rant about is a very bad and getting worse customer service experience that has nothing to do with quiltmaking. I need to get over it (or at least put it out of my mind), delve into the happiness that is Quiltland and tell you all about the Corner Store.

I was truly despairing of every finishing this piece. The blocks are small (3-7/8″) and I wanted to make something larger than a placemat. I thought I could just make blocks until I was 90 and then have a table runner.

Oh me of little faith. As I said before, I get more on this project finished, when I don’t focus on it. You know how you see things out of the corner of your eye, but if you look straight at them they disappear? That is what is going on with this quilt. I used the C.S. blocks as leaders and enders for the Wonky 9 Patch, as I think I mentioned.

C.S. Blocks finished before the W9P
C.S. Blocks finished before the W9P

Guess what? 68 (or so) blocks done!

No kidding. I do not jest. You can see, in the above picture, that I have made a total of 168 blocks. The piece is bigger than a placemat and a tablerunner now.

I thought the blocks I finished before I started the W9P would be the end until I got some more Kona Snow. As luck would have it, I found a piece of Kona Snow, clearly labeled (damn solids for not having a selvedge with words on it!) and about 14″ wide. I promptly cut it all up into 4″ squares and came up with about 75 squares. I was off. I thought I would never get through that many, but I don’t have very many of the squares left.

C.S. Blocks finished after the W9P
C.S. Blocks finished after the W9P

The new batch of Kona Snow is here and washed, so I am ready to cut some more and continue sewing.

I don’t think I am nearly done. I am thinking that I need to make at least another 121 blocks and then the border. I am thinking of the spiky border Gwen Marston talks about in Liberated Quiltmaking.

Anyway, progress is being made.

Creative Prompt #158: Bird

Big Bird (Muppet)


Bird People of China


bird cages


bird feeder

Bird of Paradise


Birdman of Alcatraz

flips the bird


Birdie (golf)

Hold fast to your dreams, for without them life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly. Langston Hughes

Tweety Bird


Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott


The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock

cockatiel (Penfold for Brian)

Larry Bird


Official US State Birds (is there a similar site for other countries, provinces?)

Bird is the Word

Andrew Zuckerman bird photography

bird banding

the birds and the bees

Angry Birds


Bird City, Kansas

Cornell Lab of Ornithology (check out their wonderful heron nest web cam)

Alston & Bird LLP

American Bird Conservancy


Bird-in-Hand, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania


Parrots of Telegraph Hill


Great Backyard Bird Count

parakeet (Penfold for Julie)

Make your response simple. It doesn’t need to be a masterpiece. Take 5 minutes. Just respond and create a creative habit. Please post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog, and how your work relates to the other responses.

The Creative Prompt Project has a Flickr group, which you can join to post your responses. Are you already a member? I created that spot so those of you without blogs or websites would have a place to post your responses. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted.

Nota bene: Daisy Yellow is having an Index Card a Day Challenge in June & July. I think this project fits in well with the Creative Prompt Project and I agree with Tammy that an index card is a great canvas size.

Definition:Birds (class Aves) are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic (warm-blooded), egg-laying, vertebrate animals. With around 10,000 living species, they are the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. All present species belong to the subclass Neornithes, and inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from the 5 cm (2 in) Bee Hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) Ostrich. The fossil record indicates that birds emerged within theropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic period, around 160 million years (Ma) ago. Paleontologists regard birds as the only clade of dinosaurs to have survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 65.5 Ma ago.

Modern birds are characterised by feathers, a beak with no teeth, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a lightweight but strong skeleton. All living species of birds have wings—the now extinct flightless moa of New Zealand were the only exception. Wings are evolved forelimbs, and most bird species can fly. Flightless birds include ratites, penguins, and a number of diverse endemic island species. Birds also have unique digestive and respiratory systems that are highly adapted for flight. Some birds, especially corvids and parrots, are among the most intelligent animal species; a number of bird species have been observed manufacturing and using tools, and many social species exhibit cultural transmission of knowledge across generations.

Many species undertake long distance annual migrations, and many more perform shorter irregular movements. Birds are social; they communicate using visual signals and through calls and songs, and participate in social behaviours, including cooperative breeding and hunting, flocking, and mobbing of predators. The vast majority of bird species are socially monogamous, usually for one breeding season at a time, sometimes for years, but rarely for life. Other species have polygynous (“many females”) or, rarely, polyandrous (“many males”) breeding systems. Eggs are usually laid in a nest and incubated by the parents. Most birds have an extended period of parental care after hatching.

Many species are of economic importance, mostly as sources of food acquired through hunting or farming. Some species, particularly songbirds and parrots, are popular as pets. Other uses include the harvesting of guano (droppings) for use as a fertiliser. Birds figure prominently in all aspects of human culture from religion to poetry to popular music. About 120–130 species have become extinct as a result of human activity since the 17th century, and hundreds more before then. Currently about 1,200 species of birds are threatened with extinction by human activities, though efforts are underway to protect them.

May/June Donation Blocks

Brown Donation Block
Brown Donation Block

This is a block made partially from a kit that the BAMQG Charity Girls provided. I wasn’t that thrilled with the choices left when I went to look in the basket, but these postage stamp type blocks are very popular and the kits are arduous to make up. And beggars can’t be choosers, so I took the kit.

The other thing about taking kits is that I get to use fabrics that are out of my comfort zone. I know I have some browns and beiges that have languished for a long time. I have started to use them as quilting borders and other temporary parts of quiltmaking. While I don’t want to depress some poor child with a brown quilt, perhaps I could use some of the beiges and browns for donation blocks? We will see.

Green Donation Block
Green Donation Block

I made the brown block up before the May meeting and Angela took it to the meeting for me. I was mostly working on the Blue Donation Quilt, so I only made a few blocks. I have a lot of backgrounds cut and, as I mentioned, I want to work with pink, so I am cutting some pinks to use for pink donation blocks.

I am cutting 8″ squares so I can cut a bunch of 2.5″ squares all at once using the Accuquilt. That means that I don’t actually have any pink patches cut yet, but soon, hopefully.

In the meantime, when I ran out of Corner Store backgrounds (because I was making them using the leaders and enders technique), so I switched to making a blue donation block. I have plenty of backgrounds for those.

I had a few pieces of fabric waiting to be cut on the Accuquilt, so when Julie was over the other day, I cut those up using the pieces for the donation blocks as a demo. That means I have a few pieces ready to sew.

The sad part is that I am using leaders and enders to move forward in other projects, so I haven’t done nearly as many blocks for the charity girls as I would have liked. I am trying to rest on my laurels a bit, since I did make an entire quilt and back. I’ll get back in the saddle.

From Zeus, Athena

Wonky 9 Patch - Full, unsewn
Wonky 9 Patch - Full, unsewn

I do not believe in the concept of Quilt in a Day. I love Eleanor Burns, I love various quick techniques and the rotary cutter, but I simply do not believe I can make a well designed quilt with great piecing and wonderful quilting in a day.It is not possible for me.

I do believe I can get a lot done in one day, though, and this quilt is proof.

Short story: the top is finished except for the quilting border; back is nearly finished. I do not want this project to linger. I want to finish the back and get it to the quilter. I want to be done with my part before the weekend. We will see. I don’t want it to become an albatross.

Kathleen's Wonky 9 Patch
Kathleen's Wonky 9 Patch

Inspiration is a funny thing. You never know when it will strike or what will spur it on. The combination of Kathleen’s quilt, the Pinterest photo and the oranges that I bought some weeks ago from the quilt shop From Here to Quilternity all coalesced into one big blob of inspiration and I sewed.

And inspiration breeds inspiration.

Susan, of the History Quilter podcast commented on Twitter (yes, I am there, too. You can follow me – @artquiltmaker) that the orange part of the quilt looked like mosaics. As you know, I love mosaics and tile and try to take inspiration from them where I can. Susan is absolutely right and her comment has been on my mind all day.

  • what would a quilt look like if I did the same idea, but made the blocks and, thus, the pieces smaller?
  • how would this design look with no plain blocks?
  • is this a great way to explore monochromatic color schemes?
  • etc.

My mind is whirling with possibilities. Simply whirling. If I had more time, I would explore all of these possibilities. Perhaps someday.


Long story: I really got a bug in my ear on Thursday night. I happened to look at a Pinterest photo (above, the door and the orange textiles) I had pinned some weeks ago and that photo, along with Kathleen‘s quilt made got me started.

Did I need another project? No.

Did I care? Obviously not. The muse must be satisfied.

Wonky 9 Patch - detail
Wonky 9 Patch - detail

I spent Friday late afternoon and evening cutting 9.5″ squares from the fat quarter group from the From Here to Quilternity quilt shop. I had to press and cut other pieces according to my ‘new fabric regime’, but it went well. The next day I began sewing.

Kathleen had done a demo for making these blocks and she reminded me that this is an Oh! Fransson pattern. I had forgotten.

When I looked at the pattern, I knew exactly what to do. I referred to it for sizes, but I also just went my own way. I have done this kind of piecing before with the Slash Stars. The thing that makes this quilt, IMO is the setting. Brilliant.

I also, like Kathleen, made the quilt a bit bigger. It has to be wrapped around a boy, so it needed to be bigger. If I had had more of the blue fabric, I would have added two more rows to the bottom, but I didn’t.

Fresh Squeezed FQ Pack
Fresh Squeezed FQ Pack

The only tiny quibble I have with the pattern (perhaps it is just a tutorial?) is the movement of the pieces. You can’t just move one piece each time. You need to move 2 at one point, three at another. I think this needs to be a bit clearer, BUT I should also read the directions all the way through before starting a project. 😉 I looked at my pieces and moved them according to what I thought was best, so it worked out.

I am pretty pleased with my blue plain squares. This sort of blue was my plan all along. I had planned to buy a solid, but didn’t have a Kona color card and wanted to make sure I had the right color. Blah. Blah. Blah.

On a whim, I delved into the fabric closet and came up with the blue fabric above, which is an old commercial hand dye. It is probably a Hoffman, but I don’t know for sure. I love it because it complements the orange perfectly. I like Kathleen’s grey background (the photo above does not do it justice); I am not so fond of the white (I know, Modern quilt blasphemy) in EH’s version. Then again, I am a color girl, someone in love with color, so I didn’t expect anything less.

Now I am in love with orange and blue. Stay tuned for the ramifications. 😉

The title of this post has to do with how Athena was born. Zeus got a massive headache and then Athena sprang, fully formed, from his forehead. Can’t imagine the scar. 😉 That is how I feel about this quilt. I didn’t do much of the work – EH designed the quilt, Kathleen made it and showed it at a guild meeting; I took up the baton and ran with the idea.

Pillow Top Tutorial

Since the NSGW pillows for 2012 went so well, I thought I would do a little tutorial. Remember, my SIL suggested I do it this way, so I am just passing on her information.


  • basic quilting/sewing kit
  • batting the size of the finished pillow top (leftovers, Frankenbatting are fine)
  • pillow form
  • fabric
  • fabric panel or embroidered panel or fussy cut element from fabric
  • square ruler the size or larger than your pillow

Tips, Tricks, Notes:

Please note that I am really only showing you how to make the pillow top. You can finish it anyway you want. I finish it with the envelope style of closure. I will briefly describe how to do that and, if I can find them, give a few links.

If you know how to foundation piece, you can do this. It is the same principle.

If you are not making a block that lends itself to foundation type piecing, you can make your block the normal way and then quilt it to get the same effect.


Cut strips of fabric the color(s) of your choice. Right now just worry about the width of the strips. You won’t need them any longer than 14″, but keep them as long as possible until a bit later.

Cut the batting to the size of your pillow form. I usually use a 14×14″ pillow form. I cut the batting/foundation half to a quarter inch smaller so that the form fills out the pillow cover well.

Cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than the batting. It will be used as a backing. It can be ugly fabric, if you want. Nobody will see it.

Fabric on batting foundation
Fabric on batting foundation

Lay your fabric back (ugly fabric)face down on your work surface.

Lay the batting on top.

Lay your panel or fussy cut fabric or embroidery panel over the batting. Center it, if you would like a symmetrical piece. Put it at an angle if you want more movement and don’t mind some bias edges.

Pin panel to batting to hold it steady.

Now you are ready to sew.

Sew strips using batting foundation
Sew strips using batting foundation

Lay a strips of fabric face down on the center panel even with the edge.

Trim the length of the strip to the length of the fabric panel. If you leave them too long, you will be tempted to sew to the end and it will eventually make the edges bulky.

Sew using a quarter inch seam. Really you can use any seam allowance that will stand the pressure of the pillow form trying to explode out.

Sew strips until the batting is covered. If you want a scrappier look, use thinner strips. If you want the project finished fast, use a few thick strips.

Square up pillow top
Square up pillow top

Once you have covered the batting with fabric, take your large square ruler and square up the pillow top to the desired size. I trim my pillow top about a quarter to half an inch smaller than the pillow form, so that the form fits snugly.

Now you are ready to make the back. Make the back anyway you like. I use the envelope method, which I will describe below. There are a multitude of books describing different ways of putting together pillows. Pick your favorite and do that.

Cut 2 pieces of fabric per pillow. The fabric should be the same size as the pillow form in one direction and about 3/4s of the size of the pillow form in the other direction.

For my 14″ pillow form, I cut pieces that are: 10″x14.”

If you have a 16″ pillow form, you may want to cut them 12″x16″, etc

Where possible I use a selvedge as the edge so I don’t have to hem. This works well with batiks as the selvedge is usually the same color as the fabric.

Hem raw edges. I use a decorative stitch.

Lay pillow top face up on your cutting table or workspace.

Lay both pieces of back face down on top of the pillow top. If you care which piece will end up on the top of the back, put that piece on the bottom.

Align edges of back and pillow top so they match.

Pin backs to pillow top.

Sew around the entire edge of the pillow top. Sew back and forth over the spot where the hem of the pieces of the back meet the pillow top. There are four of these sections, which you will have seen when you laid out your pillow top and back. This step is to reinforce the most vulnerable stress points.

Trim threads

Turn your pillow cover right side out.

Carefully poke out the corners with a wooden knitting needle or your favorite tool.

Stuff your pillow form into the pillow cover.

Adjust form so it is evenly distributed.

Congratulations on your completed pillow form!

Block-a-Long #56: Two Rectangles

2 Rectangles in a Field of Squares #56
2 Rectangles in a Field of Squares #56

Yes, this has a lot of small squares, but you can do it.

Directions for 2 Rectangles in a Field of Squares #56 are posted.

If you have made blocks or a quilt from these patterns, please post a link in the comments section of the relevant block or on the AQ Block-a-Long Flickr group. I would love to see what you have made.

Nota bene: The AQ Block-a-Long is ending. I am starting to repeat myself and run out of ideas and since this has not been very popular, I don’t feel bad about ending it. I am going to try and make it to #60 so you have an even number with which to work, but we will see.

Sketching #136

CPP Response #136: Holly
CPP Response #136: Holly

Yes, I am still catching up with prompts I didn’t do. We all go through moods and lack of creativity and response is one of mine. I seem to be back in the saddle, so here is an oldie, but a goodie.

Just spend 5 minutes developing a creative habit. it takes time.

Then, please post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of the original prompt post. Keeping all the artwork together provides a way for others to see the gamut of responses. It is also a great showcase for your work and  way for people to find a link your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, to which you can join to post your responses. Are you already a member? I created that spot so those of you without blogs or websites would be able to participate as well. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted.

FOTY 2012 – Mid May

Fabric of the Year 2012 - Mid May
Fabric of the Year 2012 - Mid May

Many of the fabrics in this group are from the back of the Flowering Snowball. I am also diligently pressing and cutting pieces from fabrics that have been washed. The chair on which I hang just washed fabric is no longer falling over. That is a good thing.

There is some Half Moon fabric there, which I need to figure out how to work into a project. No ideas there yet. I have to say that I really came to like that large grey dot and ended up buying a few yards more to use as a background. This, dear readers, is why I do this project. By working with the fabric a little bit, I find out if I like it during a time where I have a chance to get more. I know I am repeating myself, but perhaps one reader will be enlightened. 😉

Fabrics from the most recent A-B-C Challenge blocks are also represented as are fabrics from the NSGW pillows. Kind of like a fabric diary of my recent work, huh?

26 Projects – May Update

Here is the list, again, still in no particular order. This time I have moved the finished pieces off. 23 WIPs left! I had to add two more projects to the list. I can’t believe I forgot about the Stepping Stones. Also, I have a Super Secret project that I did, but it took me such a short time that I don’t know if it really counts.

  1. Original Bullseye: needs border, backing, quilting and binding. Went rummaging through my fabric closet to find this top, because I was fired up to put the border on. I couldn’t find it. It is lost. I know it is in there somewhere. I am also working on my border idea and have definitely decided not to put that particular border on this quilt, if I ever find it, but I am glad I am doing the test.
  2. Corner Store:  106 blocks made, need to cut more foundations with the little bit of Kona Snow fabric I have left. Waiting for more Kona Snow. Need to continue to pin triangles to new foundations, then sew.
  3. Spin Wheel: really not started, but supplies gathered. Cutting fabrics as I go
  4. Infinity blocks: Am starting to think this would make a good nephew quilt.
  5. A-B-C (A-Z) BAMQG Challenge – I am actually not sure if this should be considered a WIP (Please say no!), because I don’t really have enough blocks with which to make anything yet. I am making good progress. I made Q and R blocks and am thinking about putting sashing around all of the blocks and then trimming the sashing a bit so the blocks are all a uniform size. They are not wildly off, but they are a bit off…
  6. Aqua-Red Sampler – steady progress has stopped and the class more than the quilt is really weighing on my mind. As far as I know Frances has nearly finished her Dresden Plate, so perhaps we will start up again soon. The next class was going to be fusible machine applique’, but I haven’t gotten past cutting out the templates. Perhaps I should skip to machine piecing curves?
  7. The Tarts Come to Tea: I haven’t quilted on this since April 2011. I need to work on the quilting. I was making good progress and then got sidetracked.
  8. Garden: used this piece for my beading demo for the 2012 EBHQ Voices in Cloth show (March 17), which means that I added some beads. I started on the machine quilting late in April. Haven’t done anything since I started working on the Flowering Snowball.
  9. Flower Garden: I still find the ‘flowers’ too spiky. I think I need to soften them up a bit.
  10. Moon and Stars: need to finish handquilting. This quilt is not interesting.
  11. Pointillist Palette #4: needs tiny square patches sewn together.
  12. See: needs satin stitching.
  13. Self Portrait
  14. Spiderweb: need to make sure that I have the right number of blocks for the size quilt I want to make. Need to make sure I have the border pattern and start sewing border blocks.
  15. Under the Sea: class project; like the design, but not the colors much.
  16. Flower Sugar Hexagon: sewed more hexagons together. Sewing Y seams is a bit of a chore, so I get tired of doing it after awhile.
  17. Young Man’s t-shirt quilt: have cut up the t-shirts and am in the process of applying fusible.
  18. New: Super Secret Project: top, back and binding made. Ready to go to the quilter. Stayed tuned. ;-)
  19. FOTY 2011: at the quilter, needs binding.
  20. Flowering Snowball: Top and back finished 5/13/2012; ready to go to the quilter
  21. Stepping Stones: at the quilter, made binding, which she will sew on for me and then I need to hand sew.
  22. Food Quilt: sewing binding.
  23. Jelly Roll Race: at the quilter. Needs binding, quilting, sleeve.

Finished or Abandoned projects that were on the list:

  1. Stars for San Bruno #2: Finished! YAY!
  2. Pavers. Finished! YAY!
  3. Kissy Fish: Finished! Yay!
  4. Pineapple: Abandoned; will remake blocks at a later time with more care.
  5.  Stars for San Bruno #3: Finished! YAY!

Creative Prompt #157: Write

Write what you know

writing practice

Palmer method


comedy writer

wrote code

copy writing

written communications

write me a letter


write a cover letter

write fiction

write a song

write your own ticket

writing classes


Definition: (transitive verb) 1. a : to form (as characters or symbols) on a surface with an instrument (as a pen) b : to form (as words) by inscribing the characters or symbols of on a surface c : to spell in writing <words written alike but pronounced differently> d : to cover, fill, or fill in by writing <wrote ten pages> <write a check>; 2 : to set down in writing: as a : draw up, draft <write a will> b (1) : to be the author of : compose <writes poems and essays> (2) : to compose in musical form <write a string quartet> c : to express in literary form <if I could write the beauty of your eyes — Shakespeare> d : to communicate by letter <writes that they are coming> e : to use or exhibit (a specific script, language, or literary form or style) in writing <write Braille> <writes French with ease> f : to write contracts or orders for; especially : underwrite <write life insurance>; 3 : to make a permanent impression of; 4 : to communicate with in writing <we’ll write you when we get there>; 5 : ordain, fate <so be it, it is written — D. C. Peattie>; 6 : to make evident or obvious <guilt written on his face>; 7 : to force, effect, introduce, or remove by writing <write oneself into fame and fortune — Charles Lee>; 8 : to take part in or bring about (something worth recording); 9 a : to introduce (information) into the storage device or medium of a computer b : to transfer (information) from the main memory of a computer to a storage or output device; 10: sell <write a stock option>; (intransitive verb) 1 a : to make significant characters or inscriptions; also : to permit or be adapted to writing b : to form or produce written letters, words, or sentences; 2 : to compose, communicate by, or send a letter; 3 a : to produce a written work b : to compose music.

Make your response simple. It doesn’t need to be a masterpiece. Take 5 minutes. Just respond and create a creative habit. Please post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog, and how your work relates to the other responses.

The Creative Prompt Project has a Flickr group, which you can join to post your responses. Are you already a member? I created that spot so those of you without blogs or websites would have a place to post your responses. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted.

Nota bene: Daisy Yellow is having an Index Card a Day Challenge in June & July. I think this project fits in well with the Creative Prompt Project and I agree with Tammy that an index card is a great canvas size.