How’s Your “Spring Migration” Coming Along?

21 05 2015


Brenda's Quilt

Brenda’s Quilt

To inform new blog followers:  “Spring Migration” was a Quilt-A-Long offered on this blog. Based on the traditional “Goose in the Pond” block, directions can be found on the Patterns page.

To encourage QAL participants:  How’s your quilt coming along? Are you in the quilting or binding stage? Keep at it – you’ll finish soon!

To offer a variation of the pattern:  Take a look at Connecting Threads’ “Red Letter Day” quilt kit. Doesn’t this block remind you of “Goose in the Pond?” Several of you wondered how you could expand “Spring Migration” to fit a bed. Nine giant blocks, set in a 3 x 3 grid, would do the trick!

More on Reversible Quilts

19 05 2015

On Friday, May 15th, I showed a reversible table topper and asked if you all had any tips for centering the top patchwork on the backing patchwork.

Brenda commented with several great ideas:

I have made a reversible wall hanging–simple outline quilting. It was a challenge to do, but I did sew one straight line across horizontally and then vertically to line it up. When I do pieced backings with maybe a design element that I want to have fall in a certain spot, I also hand baste the quilt first.

And Helga emailed me pictures of the front and back of her double sided baby quilt along with comments:

Helga's double sided quilt 1   Helga's double sided quilt 2

Die Fotos zeigen unseren BFQ Crayon Challenge. Leider hatte ich zwei “süßliche” Farben – also das Richtige für einen Baby Quilt. Ich wollte aber nicht beide Farben auf einer Seite haben – also zwei Seiten! Von der 1. Farbe durften Schattierungen benutzt werden (türkis), von der 2. Farbe nur ein Stoff (fraise). Das Quilten war ein bisschen schwierig.

The photos show our Black Forest Quilters “Crayon Challenge.” Unfortunately I had two “sweet” colors and also the rule for a baby quilt. I didn’t want to put both colors on one side, so I made two sides. From the first color (turquoise), shades of the color were used. From the second color, only one fabric. The quilting was a little difficult.

Helga made the top and backing larger than her target size and then trimmed after centering and quilting. The tip for making a modern reversible quilt, then, is planning lots of negative space around the patchwork which can later be trimmed.

I also found several patterns for reversible quilts in the May 2015 Connecting Threads catalog. (No, this is not a paid ad). Click here to view the “May Table Runner Kit,” and then click on “view more images.” While you are on the Connecting Threads website, you can view the “Squared Strips” reversible lap quilt.

How about it, are you now empowered to try your hand at making a reversible quilt?

Peninsula Piecemakers Lecture & Workshop

18 05 2015

Last Tuesday I shared my round robin and friendship/signature quilts with the Night Chapter of Peninsula Piecemakers in Hampton, VA. Everyone enjoyed the trunk show, and it was interesting to note that several of the quilters have also lived at the various Army posts to which we have been assigned!

Then, on Thursday, I taught the “Buzz Saw” workshop. Here are some pictures of the process:

DSCN7387     DSCN7386

Everyone had a great time learning a time-saving construction technique. They whipped out blocks faster than a buzz saw cuts through a 2 x 6!

DSCN7384     DSCN7385

Kitty brought her design wall so a sampling of everyone’s blocks could be admired.


I can’t wait to see your completed quilts, ladies! Thanks for making my visit with you extra special!









Reversible Table Topper

15 05 2015

A friend is getting married soon. Since the dishes she posted on her wedding registry are blue, I decided to make a table topper as a gift. The couple will begin their married life in Ohio, hence the Ohio Star.


From my stash, I selected a batik snowflake print. The tan star points on a white background are subtly sophisticated and allow the center blue print square to shine. The border again showcases the beautiful snowflake print.

If I give a winter-themed gift, then my friend will only use the table topper a couple of months per year. So I decided to make a reversible quilt. For the “back” of the quilt I used red, white, and blue fabrics to make a Saw Tooth star with a wonky border, thinking that this side of the quilt could be used during the warmer months.


It is difficult to center the top of the quilt perfectly on the back. One solution is sewing extra wide borders onto the backing as shown in the photo above. (It is not a good idea to create or cut the back the same size as the front because the backing fabrics will likely shift during the quilting process.)

Another tip for making a reversible quilt is to purposely design the back off-center or tilted so any asymmetry is considered part of the design. In the photo below you can see that I tilted the Ohio Star when layering it with batting and the Saw Tooth Star backing square.


Simple meander quilting with a light tan thread looks great on the Ohio Star side and on the Saw Tooth Star side of the quilt. If I had custom quilted the Ohio Star, the quilting designs would not have “made sense” on the Saw Tooth Star side of the quilt.


I used Kona navy to bind the quilt, feeling that navy would complement both color schemes. Sometimes I attach the binding totally by machine, but in this case I finished with hand stitching. Because of this, the 23″ square table topper is truly reversible.

Reversible quilt

Have you made a reversible quilt? Do you have some tips for “centering” the top on the backing?

“A Different Path” Finished!

13 05 2015
"A Different Path"

“A Different Path”

My rendition of “A Different Path,” designed by Kathie Holland and published in the Oct./Nov. 2013 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting is finished. Pieced, Quilted, Bound, and Labeled! You can read about the beginning of this quilt project here and here.

I elected to quilt the “Double Plume” pantograph by Keryn Emmerson and used a Magnifico Honey Gold thread on the top with light tan bobbin thread.


Since the backing, leftover from another project, was not quite large enough, I increased the size by adding a column of sashed 12″ blocks. I had previously thought of using these blocks to make a sampler quilt with Civil War repro fabrics, but that project did not materialize. Better to use the blocks as backing art for “A Different Path” than to consign them to the orphan block bin!

I am very pleased with this twin sized quilt, and I’m thankful to my seven friends who exchanged blocks with me for ultimate scrappiness!


A Visit to an Art Museum

11 05 2015

While vacationing in Florida, relatives and I visited the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art in Daytona Beach, Florida. It just opened in February and is part of the Museum of Arts and Sciences on the same campus. The paintings all have a Florida theme or the artists were Floridians. Almost all are traditional pieces, some over 100 years old. The paintings were wonderfully framed and tastefully displayed.

Believe it or not, I found some quilty inspiration at the museum! Note the patchwork quilt draped over the railing of the balcony. The artist: Jules Andre Smith.


“Dilapidated Homestead, Eatonville”

Another work I loved was painted by Jane Peterson. The colors are so luscious; a quilt using the same color palette would vibrate with life.



We spent an awesome afternoon at the museum. Should you find yourself in the Daytona Beach area, I hope you’ll have time to view the inspiring paintings.

Winners of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol. 11

9 05 2015

What an exciting week of touring the blogs featured by Quiltmaker to celebrate the release of Volume 11 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers! Click the icon to link with Quiltmaker’s blog; you can still visit designers’ sites even though the tour is officially over.

QM 100 blocks vol 11 cover

Thank you all for commenting on my block, “Around the Bend,” and for giving such great suggestions on color combinations for the block. The entire color spectrum was represented: black/white/red, shades of orange, yellow and gray, blue and green, purples, aqua/teal, totally scrappy. I can’t wait to try some of these ideas!

As promised, I’ve drawn three winners for magazines. Congratulations to Rachel Reilly, janequilter54, and Janet P.!  I will send you each an email requesting your mailing addresses.

If you didn’t win this time, I hope you will find the magazine at your fave newsstand. It truly contains some innovative designs.



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