Cleaning up the Crumbs

A few weeks back, I posted about making crumb blocks and showed three that I had finished. A few days later I finished 6 more so ended up with 9 finished blocks……

They were luscious but now the question was “what to do with them”!!!

My first decision was to finish each block with a one inch black border….

I kept thinking about flying geese and decided to experiment on the green block. This was my first attempt…..

Nope….the back polka dot is TOO much!!!

Second attempt……

No again….the grey is too bland!!!

How about a mottled black…..

Okay, I like that…..let’s try another one…..

YES…..we have a winner!!

I spent the next few hours at the machine madly sewing flying geese. I do love when the pieces back up behind the needle…..

….except when I realize that I ran out of bobbin thread ELEVEN geese ago!!!!

I did make one other decision about the black block…..

I felt that the white was too prominent but rather than re-piecing it, I simply got out a grey Fabrico marker and toned down the whites…..

It isn’t greatly different but I think that it is better.

Now to figure out the layout and borders!!!!

What was I thinking?

Since I had finished “Bridge Over the River KEW“, it was time to turn back to the Color Wheel quilt that I have been slowly working on for the past YEAR!!!

Now that the hand applique on the corner’s were finished I needed to turn these five pieces into one very BIG piece…..

I had been dreading this part of the process since it would be extremely easy to get the triangles off center and then the whole thing would be skewed. When doing the corner design I had marked all of the sewing lines, so it was easy to match those lines up, iron a crease where the sewing line would go and then simply sew along the marked line….

After the initial sewing, I laid the top out on the floor and used the laser square to see how close it was….

There was one corner that needed some work…..

….but a bit of ripping and re-sewing soon had that fixed.

The bottom line is that the final trim will be very close but I will get it quilted and then see where it is.

Next I needed to make a back for the quilt and at this point I started asking myself exactly what I was thinking when I designed this quilt and WHY did I make it so big!!!

It was fun using a number of multi-colored pieces of fabric for the back…..

…..especially the cute psychedelic VW Bug fabric!!

So for now, I will put this into the line-up for quilting….it is number three in the queue.

Kew Quilt…..NOW WHAT??

Now that I have the design drawn and the initial fabrics selected, it is time to turn my mind to EXACTLY how I am going to accomplish this quilt.

I don’t believe that the side strips will be super hard. I will just have to be extremely accurate and careful in my piecing!!

But, how am I going to make the center “ladder” section.

Applique would obviously work, but seems like a LOT of trouble!!

I really want to piece most of it but am concerned about how I will accomplish these dimensional areas….

Rather than making a full plan, I did what I normally do and started with the part that would be the easiest. I can always figure out the harder stuff when I get there!!!

Although it is not my favorite piecing method, I decided to paper piece each section….

….starting with the large (window) piece, adding the black side pieces and finally adding the “step” to one side.

After finishing with each section, I attached it to the preceding section…..

By doing this section by section, before I knew it, I had finished the top five window panes!!

There are three more of these “simple” sections and then I get to the hard part!!

To quote Scarlett O’Hara……

My new “thinker” quilt!!

When I posted the Inspiration Tuesday photo last week…..

…..I mentioned that it really was calling to me. I kept thinking about it more and more so this weekend, I made a start on the project.

My first task was to put the photo into Photoshop and start cleaning it up as much as I could. I started by applying the “Poster Edge” Filter to help further define the lines…..

photo with Poster Edge Filter applied

I knew that I didn’t need the lights that ran along the top so I started by roughly erasing those….

Finally, I knew that I didn’t want the hooked lines that ran out from the middle ladder, so it was off with their heads…..

When I was happy with the clean-up job, I put the photo into Powerpoint so that I could play with the sizing a bit. I made the photo 6inches by 9 inches and then printed it out using the poster function. This enlarged the photo so that it was printed on a 3×3 page grid, making the finished product about 18 x 30 inches…..

I cut out and taped the 9 pages together…..

….and voila….my full size pattern was born!!

Now, you may have noted that the orientation of the photo has changed. When I printed out a full size photo, Michael and I both looked at it and decided that it needed to be upside down…..

It was simply too top-heavy in the original version.

I started looking at the full-size pattern and realized that there were other unnecessary lines so I started cleaning up some more…..using correction tape this time!!….

So, the final pattern is ready to go…..

Now comes the fun part……

Inspiration Tuesday

How about this for some geometric inspiration……

This photo was taken inside one of the greenhouses at Kew Gardens in London.

We were there for Michael to speak to a group of scientists and had spent the night with two of them. That morning, as we all walked into the back gate of Kew, one of our hosts asked what my plans were. I said that I was going to stick around the area until the gardens opened. He said that there was no reason to wait and that I could enter at the back and wander by myself!!!

SO….I had almost two lovely hours to stroll thru the area without any other visitors…..just me, my camera and the odd gardener!!! It was heaven!!!

BUT….back to the inspiration. It would be fun to use this as a pattern for a quilt using blocks of color and trying to get the perspective to work!!

And now as I think about it more I am getting really excited about this one. Who knows, maybe it will be my new “BIG” project!!!

Let the handwork begin!!

Over the last 9 months I have been working on my color wheel quilt. A few weeks ago I posted about using the Pathagorean Theorum to calculate the size of the triangles needed to fill the corners.

Now the question was exactly what to add to the corners. In my original design, the outside circles were going to move in curvy lines…..

But, when I started laying out circles in different orientations, having curves in the outside drew the eye away from the center rather than toward it……

I had also considered making the darkest grey into a circle, but quickly decided that it wasn’t worth the effort!!!

After a lot more playing around……

…….I decided that a starburst effect would draw the eye to the middle……

At this point I realized that I needed a bit more fabric than I had on hand so, while I waited for UPS to make a drop to my door, I started making all of the circles. I found that the colors were much easier to pick since I had my fabrics folded so well. This was the basic way that I worked…..

SUCH luscious colors!!!!

You can check out this post where I tell how I prepared the circles.

Once the fabric arrived I made strip sets and then trimmed them down to a size that was a few inches larger than the final product…..

Now I needed to transfer the circle pattern onto each of the 4 fabric triangles. I started by tracing the triangle onto the fabric and adding the straight radiating lines. Next step was to trace the circles onto the fabric……

Final step was to baste each of the circles into place….

Then it was time to put it up on the design wall…..

Happily, I am pleased with how this looks!!!

So, now every night will find me sitting in my chair and appliquéing circles!!!


Pathagoras was one smart cookie…..

According to Wikipedia, Pathagoras of Samos was an ancient Greek Philosopher who lived from 570BC to 495 BC. Under Occupation, it lists Philosopher, Teacher and Mathematician……quite the trifecta!!! But this third occupation is the one that puts him squarely in the middle of a blog devoted to quilting!!!

Cast your mind back to my Color Wheel quilt that was started about this time last year. I dutifully appliqued all of the circles on and then things came to a grinding halt with studio renovation, tax season and, dare I say it, CORONA!!!!

This was the last post that I made about this quilt and it ended up with the idea of continuing the quilt by putting it on point and adding triangles to each corner. This was my final idea about how to proceed……

So today was the day to figure out what size the triangles would need to be and THAT is where Pathagoras comes in. As part of his discoveries, he found the Pathagorean Theorem, based on this diagram……

….which I don’t REALLY understand, but I did understand the formula where a and b equal to the sides of the triangle and c is the hypotenuse of the triangle……

Since I always loved Algebra, I was pretty sure that I could figure this out!!! Normally, I would have just used trial and error and then cut off any extra along the sides but this time I needed to have things a bit more precise.

The first thing that I did was to lay out the top as it stands right now and figure out exactly where the next border would be added on. I used my Laser Square Up to draw in some basic lines…..

And then measured to see how long each side would be. I found that the hypotenuse of the triangle was 59.5 so now I had to calculate the sides. I started with the formula and did the math…..

…finding that my square needed to be 42 inches. I then drew a 42 inch square on paper, divided it across the diagonal and, voila….it measured 59.5 inches…..


Since I am wanting to have circle made from the 4 triangle corners, I now needed to get the circle drafted. Since my triangle was only 1/2 of the square in the corner, I needed to complete the square to draft the circle. Of course, I had ALREADY cut the square apart and discarded the unused portion so I moved to the floor and “drew” out the other half of the square with painter’s tape……

….making sure that the diagonal was 59.5 inches.

The final set was to attach a pencil and cord that was the correct length……

….and draw the circle…..

These photos don’t look square but I promise that they are!!!

So, now I have a precise size template to use to cut the fabrics and can move on to the more exciting designing!!!

That is TOO much math for one day!!!

Let’s go do something else!!!