“Eye Spy” Finish

27 03 2017

“Eye Spy with my little eye . . .”

I raided my box of 3″ squares and cut more from conversation prints for the centers of the patchwork blocks. Frames of primary colors were cut 2″ wide, and I cut 2″ corner squares of black and white polka dot fabric. I decided to extend the Nine Patch secondary design in the borders. (The math actually works out for 3″ finished squares in the outer border, but I forgot and cut 3″ squares as I did for the interior blocks. Extra points if you can figure out how I coped with my “Ooops.”)

While looking in JoAnn’s for sashing, I ran into a quilting friend from my guild. She propelled me toward a white with colorful triangles print instead of the white and gray print I was considering. I am pleased with the fun-loving results. Most of the squares in the interior of the quilt have a “twin” in the outer border so the recipient of this quilt has had fun matching the monkey, cat, cowboy boots, construction equipment, etc.

I quilted the quilt with white thread in a meander and loop, freehand design. And I bound the quilt with black Kona cotton.

Have you made an “Eye Spy” quilt? What was the most interesting conversation print you included?


First Quarter Challenge – “Vroom!”

22 01 2017

fullsizerender-7Hey, quilting friends! How are you doing on the First Quarter Challenge? As a reminder, I challenged blog readers and myself to use stashed pre-cuts this year, making a project each quarter. Read about the challenge guidelines here.

In the first quarter, January – March, the challenge is using Fat Quarters (18″ x 21″) or Quilter’s Candy (packages of 2 1/2″ squares). I’m happy to report a fat quarter friendly baby boy quilt top is finished! Simple but fun, the fabric and design show-case vehicles little guys are fascinated with. If you’d like to make “Vroom!,” you’ll find a link to instructions on the Patterns page of this blog.


I hope you’ll share a picture of your challenge project (aby.quilts@gmail.com). Blog readers love to applaud your creations. And your pictures inspire others to accept the challenge!

String-Pieced Star Lap Quilt

25 04 2015

How do you use extra string-pieced blocks? I had three lonely 8″ blocks leftover from my “Nancy” quilt. I trimmed the blocks to 7 1/2″ and constructed 14 1/2″ Saw Tooth Star blocks with golden yellow star points and blue tone-on-tone background. I solicited help from my Quilting Circle to make a fourth block and to string-piece a border on paper foundations. My goal was to teach my quilting friends how to string-piece as they helped me finish a charity quilt top. (Thanks, ladies!)


I tried a new serpentine (wavy) all-over quilt design on my long arm machine. Beginning at the top of the quilt, I free-handed a giant rick-rack style curve from the left edge of the quilt to the right edge. Back and forth I quilted, echoing my initial wave, keeping the lines approximately 1″ apart. I love the texture this design created!

If you try this on a home sewing machine, I suggest drawing (or tracing) a curved with chalk through the center of your quilt. After quilting the chalked curvy line, work outward from the left and the right of the serpentine line of stitching. Keep the stitching lines approxmiately 1″ apart, and don’t stress if the waves aren’t perfectly spaced.

“Nancy” Quilt Finished!

24 02 2015

I’m happy to report that my “Nancy” lap quilt is finished!  You can read about the inspiration for this quilt and my method for making the blocks here. Incidentally, Lynn Harris, who designed “Nancy,” has written “Every Last Piece;” it will be available from amazon.com in mid-May.


I used a lime green thread to quilt an all over design that resembles the lines on a contour map. This thread choice was good in that it blends well with all the fabrics, BUT since I was quilting in the evening, it was very hard to tell where I had already quilted. It blended almost too well. However, I cannot think of a thread color I would prefer for “Nancy.”


I really like this design which utilized many scrappy strings, and I will probably make another very similar. Now begins the hunt for a lime green fabric. Or perhaps I could use a different color for the large triangles. What color would you advise?

“Window Pane Disappearing Nine Patch”

24 10 2014

The “Disappearing Nine Patch” quilt design is fairly popular; perhaps you have made one like my quilt for Hazel Poppy. But have you heard of a “Window Pane Disappearing Nine Patch?”


You can see a tutorial for this quilt design by Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company on You Tube. I have been saving two sets of charm squares for just such a project. (These were birthday gifts from the Nuertingen quilt group in Germany.)  Jenny Doan used black strips between her charm squares. However, since my 5″ squares were dark, rich jewel tones, I selected a tan, swirly fabric  for contrast instead.

I cut the tan fabric into 1 1/2″ strips and sewed them between the 5″ squares.


Then I cut these “Window Pane Nine Patches” into 4 equal squares.


I made 8 large “Window Pane Nine Patch” blocks which yielded 32 small blocks.


I arranged the blocks in a 5 x 6 grid on the floor and turned the blocks so no seams matched as Jenny instructed in the tutorial. With this arrangement, I had 2 small blocks left over.


After moving the blocks around a bit to distribute the various colors, I sewed the blocks in each row together and then joined the rows. I decided to add a 4″ border of the tan swirly fabric.


The striped flannel for the backing was a “free table” find at my guild. The colors blend perfectly with the warm tans and oranges in the quilt. I enlarged the backing by adding a panel of burnt orange and the two leftover blocks.


As you can see in the photo above, I quilted freehand curls in gold thread to mimic the swirly tan print. A half yard of dark teal fabric inherited from my mom made a handsome binding.


Won’t this make a comfy quilt for a patient at the V.A. hospital?

“Wings of Liberty” Raffle Quilt

26 03 2013

In the Winter 2011 issue of McCall’s Quilting America Loves Scrap Quilts you will find my quilt, “Wings of Liberty.” At the time of publication, I lived in Boeblingen, Germany and attended the German quilt group in nearby Schoenaich. The group meets monthly in the Fellowship Hall (Gemeindehaus) of the Laurentiuskirche (Lutheran church). Each year the Schoenaich quilters make a quilt to raffle at the spring cake bazaar. I was thrilled that they chose to make “Wings of Liberty” as the raffle quilt this year!


Birgit, the raffle quilt coordinator, requested beige/white, red, and light and dark blue fabrics from the members’ stashes. She cut some from each donation and returned the leftovers to the members. Birgit cut squares and made kits for the beige/blue blocks.  Helen cut and sewed the beige/red half square triangles and made kits for the triangles/squares blocks. The kits were distributed to the guild members. While they sewed blocks for the quilt, Birgit precut the blue border strips.

A guild retreat in Bad Herrenalb last fall provided the impetus for finishing the quilt top. Later, Lisa quilted and bound the quilt. The leftover blocks were transformed into pillows and pot holders. These also served as prizes at the bazaar.

Schoenaich Bazar Preise

The quilt raised a record amount, over 1389 euro, which will be used to help pay the church youth adviser (Jugendreferent).

More about the cake bazaar . . . In early spring, the Lutheran church turns off the heat in the sanctuary so that the donated cakes will rest on pews in refrigerator-like conditions.


They jokingly tell parishoners that no one can die or be married the week prior to the bazaar! All week the ladies of the church out-do themselves in making delicious cakes for the bazaar. And a local baker donates oven space. Bazaar day is quite the occasion in Schoenaich, whether you purchase a yummy cake or win a quilted prize!

GewinnerGerda, on the left, poses with Ilse, the happy winner of “Wings of Liberty.”

Red, White and Blue Quilt Contest

26 11 2012

As I have written before, my local guild, the Tarheel Quilters Guild of Fayetteville, NC, makes a yearly visit to the Veterans Administration Hospital to gift the patients with handmade lap quilts. To increase the number of finished quilts and to boost enthusiasm for the project, guild member Naomi proposed a contest. Members were to bring Red, White and Blue quilts to the November guild meeting.

My submission for the contest is a variation of “Liberty” designed by Ann Weber of the Gingham Girls in the July/August 2011 issue of McCall’s Quilting. In fact, Ann’s quilt is on the cover of the magazine!

I modified the design by making fewer blocks, substituting setting triangles for the partial blocks, and adding two borders. I don’t expect to win the contest, but I did enjoy the challenge of participating for a good cause.