Help….I need a good name

Doesn’t it feel good to finish a project that has been years in the process??

YES, I finished this quilt last week…..

For those who may not remember, it was inspired by this photo….

I used “Electric Quilt” to design two blocks…..

I then played with them to come up with this design…..

When I received a bunch of gorgeous blue and green hand-dyed fabrics, I knew that it was time to start piecing!! The top has been ready for 18 months but it took this long to figure out how to quilt it!!

After readers gave tons of ideas, I decided on straight lines following the basic design of the triangles. That is a LOT of straight lines!! Let’s just say that I am now perfectly comfortable using a straight ruler for quilting!!


I enjoy looking at each quilt and thinking about how I could make it better the next time, and for this quilt, there are TOO many lines of quilting. I like my general idea of having the large triangles run into each other…..

BUT, I should have had the spacing of the in-between lines be further apart!!

Live and learn!!

Having said that, I do like the look of the quilting, especially from this angle…..

I have written the pattern for this quilt but need a name before I can publish it.


Are you in a rut with your machine quilting? Sure, you know HOW to do FMQ and you have 4 or 5 patterns that you do well. BUT, you are bored with those designs and need a push to try some new things. If so, please join “MOVE-IT…. a Free-Motion Quilting Boot Camp”!! I will take you on a FREE 10-week journey to learn new designs and become more comfortable with just MOVING IT!! You can sign up by clicking HERE. The two videos shown above are part of this video series.

Teacher Gifts – Part 2

Yesterday I posted about two sweet teachers….Mrs. Helm and Mrs. Harp, and I showed the quilt that I made for Mrs. Helm.

As I was in “miniature mode”, the second quilt was also in that same genre.

The only quilting magazine that I subscribed to was “Miniature Quilts” and the pattern came from there.

I loved the checkered background and how it flowed thru into the border.

It reminded me of stars in a dark sky so I gave it the name “Starry Night”.

After I posted yesterday, I heard from both of these women after they saw the quilt on facebook. Both told me that they still have their quilt displayed in their homes and that just makes me….

Teacher Gifts – Part 1

Well, it is THAT time of year!! School is almost over and parents are trying to figure out WHAT gifts to give the teachers!!!

Those days are long-gone for me but I still remember two favorite teachers and their gifts!!

Mrs. Helm and Mrs. Harp were elementary school teachers and BOTH of my children spent 1st-grade in their classroom. They were a true blessing to my children and to me. When May approached, I knew that I wanted to make each a quilt!!

Way back in 1994, I was into miniature quilts. I loved the fact that I could spend a lot of time piecing them and almost NO time quilting them.

I had beed reading about paper piecing and this quilt seemed like the perfect place to start…..

I remember that I had used white fabrics for the background and when I finished piecing the inside portion, I was frustrated that there was too much contrast. I almost started over but instead decided to brew a STRONG pot of tea and dunk the pieced portion in.

I was thrilled that it turned the background to the PERFECT shade!!

I named it “Tea Dyes”!!

Come back tomorrow for Mrs. Harp’s quilt!!

The Aquarium Quilt

It is time once again for….

In 1993, my friend Sandy announced that she was expecting and that she was planning to decorate the baby’s room in a “fish” motif.

I IMMEDIATELY started thinking and planning a quilt to welcome this new addition. Remember that way back then (in the stone age), we didn’t have access to Electric Quilt or other design software so I was relegated to graph paper and pencil…..

My biggest design problem was figuring out how to make the quilt without too many inset seams!!

The first draft of the pattern only had 3 fabrics for the background water but in the end, I decided to use more than that. Of course, part of the decision may have been made because I didn’t have many large pieces of any one fabric. That would NOT be a problem now!!

In my notes about the quilt I wrote…..”The piecing was difficult, but was a lot of fun to do!!”

The back was inspired by a pattern for a goldfish bowl and from the fact that Sandy was a huge cat lover….still is!! The fish in the bowl are made from “cat” fabric, making them Catfish!!!!

It is fun to look back at quilts from a different time!!!

Do you have a favorite quilt from early in your quilting career???

The evocative “Tradewinds”….

My husband Michael is a master of the written word so today we teamed up to present “TRADEWINDS”…….

Some see pinwheels held by children, others see windmills charged by Don Quixote. A final category of observers, see ever-increasing-colorful movement – movement caused by the wind, and captured by the warmth of deep reds, dark pinks, and tarnished yellows. Appropriately named “Tradewinds”, this quilt pattern reminds me of a 10-day sail through Australia’s Whitsunday archipelago. The splash of deep reds and dark pinks reflecting from Bottle Brush flowers on the island slopes, the coral beds’ tarnished yellows leaping up through the crystal-clear waters. Whatever sweet memories lurk, “Tradewinds” evokes their release.

Michael L. Arnold