Quilting without a plan!!

Yesterday I mentioned my dilemma about how to quilt my latest project. Since I couldn’t figure out exactly what to do, I started with a couple of simple things that I saw.

But where to go next???

I spent some time on Procreate, playing with various ideas……

….but none of them truly appealed to me. However, I did like PARTS of them!!

Firstly, I added the “petals” in part of the negative space…..

Then I added matching arcs to the outside of the pinwheel…..

Now, that made a really funky shape!!!

I then thought about quilting a circle around the pinwheel, but that didn’t turn out so well…..

The idea was good, but I didn’t have a ruler big enough to do the circle and it ended up being lumpy and bumpy, and out came the seam ripper!!!

I started looking at my rulers and realized that this one could be used to make a design that was ALMOST a circle…..

What if I use that arc and be sure to hit each of the points? THAT will work!!

But what to do next?

I found another of Angela’s new rulers…..

…and thought that it might be fun to add a flower design!!

In the end, I used three different rulers to quilt each side of the pinwheel. First I used the arc ruler to quilt from one point down to the next…..

Then I used “Petunia” to quilt the next design, ending back up where I had started…..

I liked how this looked……

….but I knew that I needed a third line to bring me to a position where I could move forward to the next side. I solved this problem by adding another arc, using yet another ruler…..

The final design looked like this…..

I am happy with how the quilting turned out and am pleased to say that every bit of the interior quilting was done using 5 rulers…..

For the two outside borders, I chose to use a couple of curvy line designs…..

Here is the finished quilt……

This has been a sweet project from inception to finish and it makes me happy to remember my new friends on the other side of the world!!!


A year’s worth of learning

As of this past weekend, I can say that I have finished with the International Block Swap that I have been involved with. It was sponsored by Make Modern Magazine and I have loved working with 4 quilters from Australia and 1 from New Zealand.

Our fearless leader, Gaye, was the first to present a block back in April of last year….read the post here…..

……and now she is the last one to present a block as the challenge ends.

As I mentioned in the post, her blocks contained 61 pieces in a 10-inch square, which meant that accurate piecing was key!!

The first thing that I did differently from last time was that I used my “Accu-quilt” machine to cut the 1-1/2 strips and in a matter of minutes, all 122 pieces were ready to take to the sewing machine…..

In the post, I said that I had to make a few adjustments to my seam allowance, but in truth, I AGONIZED over getting it exactly right so that the blocks would end up being the correct size.

Over this past year, I have worked hard to figure out where to hold the fabric to achieve a perfect 1/4-inch seam allowance on my machine.

SO…..it was VERY exciting to sit down and be able to piece these two new blocks with minimal size differences.

MAYBE….just MAYBE my plan to “up my game” in the quilting area is coming to fruition!!!

The first block contains some of Gaye’s favorite “Moda Grunge” fabric…..

….and the second is a sweet blend of blue and yellow…..

Tomorrow they will be winging their way to New Zealand. HOPEFULLY, it won’t take 10 weeks like it did last time!!!

This challenge has been so much fun….not only for the quilt blocks that I have received but for the new quilting friends that I now have on the other side of the world!!!

If you have a chance to join a challenge like this, I suggest that you do it. It has been a BLAST!!!!

Stash Smash update….

I haven’t posted in a while about my International Block Swap that has been going for this past year.

It is being run thru “Make Modern Magazine“, which is published out of Australia. It is an online magazine and I have loved seeing the designs and patterns from all over the world.

My swap group is definitely international as we have 4 Aussies, 1 New Zealander, and me!! It has been great fun getting to know these ladies and even more fun exchanging the blocks!!

I have now received almost all of the blocks that I requested and I love how the quilt looks….

It will be a lot of fun to finish up once I receive the last set of blocks and then add my own to it!!

One of the sweet things that happened was that one of our members suffered some sadness in her life and had fallen behind with her blocks. Another of the members picked up the ball and sent extra blocks to cover the missed ones. It is just another example of quilter’s taking care of each other!!

We are supposed to send the blocks every month as they are finished but the US postal service is not shipping to Australia.

So, I have held onto the last three sets of blocks and am about to UPS them to one of the members and she has graciously offered to send them on. Hopefully today they will be winging their way to Aus….

I can’t wait to see what their quilts look like!!

There is one more set to do this month and then send off to New Zealand!!

Stash Smashing!!

As I have talked about earlier this year, I am involved in a “Smash That Stash” Quilting bee hosted by Make Modern Magazine. There are 6 of us participating….1 from New Zealand, 4 from Australia, and ME!!

We have been making blocks for each other with some new, fun designs.

The months of August and September were MY months so I got to pick the pattern and the colors….FUN!!

I posted about the intricate plans for my blocks…..

…but when it came down to it, I really didn’t want to make all of the additional blocks that I would have needed to create my masterpiece!!

Since I didn’t want another UFO hanging around, I went for something simpler and more fun!!

While I was at the retreat, Michael called to tell me that I had a package from Australia….MY FIRST SET OF BLOCKS HAD ARRIVED!!!!

They are from Janet and are wonderful…..

I believe that all of the other blocks have been made, but since Australia and New Zealand are in a major COVID lockdown, they can’t get to the post office to send them on.

I suppose that this is teaching me patience, but that is a hard lesson for me to learn!!!

I will update you when more arrive!!!

Teeny, Tiny Piecing

The task for Saturday was to complete two blocks that need to be sent to Jacqui as part of our “Smash That Stash” block swap sponsored by Make Modern Magazine.

Jacqui selected the block named “Pivot”, a very intricate block featuring SIXTY pieces!!!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I used my new Accuquilt machine to cut most of the pieces and was thankful that it was fast and SO accurate. I think that the accuracy is what made these blocks fairly easy to piece!!

I started out by making half-square triangles, using the pressing technique that I learned from Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. Check it out HERE.

Don’t they look cute….like little butterflies ready for takeoff….

After they were pressed, I used the Bloc-Loc ruler to trim them down to a PERFECT 1.5 inches ( click HERE for notes about using the Bloc-Loc)

With the first block, I was nervous about the seam allowances so didn’t lay out the entire thing before I started piecing. I started piecing in the center and was so excited to find out that the middle section did measure 10.5 inches…..

And I was ecstatic when the top and bottom sections also matched…..

One block down…..

…and one to go!!

For the second block, I got smart and laid the entire thing out before I started piecing….

This made it SO much easier and faster and this second block went together smoothly…..

It is a good feeling to have these two blocks finished and also to know that working to perfect my 1/4-inch seam allowance is actually showing some benefit!!!

The next two months are my turn to receive blocks and I am looking forward to see what these girls do!!