Scrap Fun


I am in need of a quilt for an upcoming gift (more about that in later posts) and was trying to figure out what to do.  I knew that it needed to be a small wall quilt so I started looking thru my Miniature Quilts magazines….starting with Issue number 2.   MANY issues later, I came upon a strip pieced quilt that caught my eye and proceeded to start planning it in my head.

The first ideas was to use the strips that I had been cutting from my scraps, but realized that the smallest of those (1-1/2 inches) was still too big.  SO, I moved up a drawer and pulled out the bits that were “too small to use”….ie narrower than 1-1/2 inches.  They were perfect for piecing this quilt!!

I drew one of the block sections on Golden Threads paper and then put 30+ additional squares under the drawn one.  I then sewed around  the design using a threadless machine and achieved all of my paper patterns in one fell swoop.

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I started with all of my scraps in the drawer, but ended up throwing them onto the floor so that I could get to them easier.


As I started paper piecing these blocks, I found two things that helped the process go easier.  The first was to leave my machine in “Needle-Up” mode.  By doing this, I didn’t have to move the needle up after every seam when I was wanting to pull the sewn piece to the back and start sewing on the next one.

The second was to select and cut ALL of the pieces for a certain seam at the same time rather than reaching down into the pile and cutting them individually.

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After piecing the paper blocks, I removed the paper and put them  together into the quilt top.



My original idea was to put a solid color fabric in the small border, but decided that it lost the sparkle that the rest of the quilt had, so I used a handful of 1-1/2 strips and created the stripe.

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It was a fun quilt to make and I am truly happy with the results.


Now it is off to the home opener for the University of Georgia football team.

 GOOOOOOOO  DAWGS!!!!    Sic-Em!!!!    WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!!

Casa Amarela

A few weeks ago I ranted about a project that I was scared to start because I didn’t know if I was capable of finishing it.

It was a quilt based on this photo that was taken when I was in Porto, Portugal back in May……

I knew that I wanted to replicate the stairs and houses, but was frightened to start it!!!!!

I started out by printing the photo in an 8×10 format, using Black and White printing, on regular computer paper. I then used a ruler and fine point Sharpie to draw the major lines on the drawing. If the Sharpie is fairly new, the ink will soak thru the paper so that you can see it easily from the back side. I re-traced those lines on the back, giving me a reverse pattern.

I then printed out the reversed version of the line drawing using the poster function which allows the one page to be printed out onto 4 pages….2 across and 2 down. Finally, I printed the photo itself out onto four pages as well….of course I ran out of toner mid photo!!!

I began working with the fabrics by dividing the picture into straight-line sections and tracing them onto Golden Threads paper. I paper pieced each section and then sewed them all together. A couple of the seams were hand sewn to help me get the parts lined up properly.

At this point, I decided that I wasn’t happy with the piece, but couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. So, I took it to my Charity Bee the next week and asked for their suggestions.

They immediately said……add the details from the photo and add some shading to the stairs!!! Simple little changes, but they definitely did the trick!!!!

I was nervous about using gray markers on the piece to shade it, but once I finally got my courage up, it made a HUGE difference. I ended up adding shading to almost every part of the picture.

The quilting was fun, although I had to take several lines out and re-do them because they didn’t match with the perspective of the quilt.

Here is the final version, named “Casa Amarela”, which stands for “Yellow House” in Portuguese.

Sunflowers in the Rust

Well, I can happily report that I have finished the rust piece that I have been working on for the past couple of weeks. I wanted to enter it in an Atlanta show and the deadline was today, so I was working down to the wire.

In doing some practice work (see previous post), I realized that I was going to have to do some thread work on the piece, so I started out by backing it with a very lightweight fusible interfacing.

I used Golden Threads tracing paper to draw the sunflowers…..wasn’t game to try to freehand them with thread.

I then sewed around the paper design.

…..and removed the paper.

I did the same thing with the leaves, and then sewed around the designs 2, 3 or 4 times, depending on how heavy I wanted the lines to be.

As I did the thread work, the fabric started to draw up slightly, making the fabric look wrinkled in the flowers, so I decided to trapunto the flowers and ended up adding extra batting to all of the elements, including the grass at the bottom.

I am happy with the borders on the piece as the first one on the right and bottom used fabrics that I had stamped.

Final step was to baste and quilt the piece. All of the rust colored lines were quilted just following the design of the flowers. Then I had to decide what to do to the background. I started with even lines at the top, but moved into curvy lines in the interior of the piece. The main reason that I did this was because it was easier to do, but, in retrospect, I really like the way it looks.

I decided to face the quilt rather than bind it.

It is always a good feeling to finish a piece… on to the next 4 or 5 that are in my mind!!!!

Quilting Day

I decided to spend much of today working on the machine quilting for the queen size quilt that my Mother and I are doing together.

I knew that I wanted to put some fairly detailed quilting in the large blank spaces, so decided to use Golden Threads Quilting Paper to mark the quilt. If you have never used this product, it is a fine paper that allows you to easily quilt a detailed pattern. This is the process that I use…..

Draw the design on the paper using a Sharpie and then pin it into place on the quilt.

Quilt along (or close to) the drawn lines

Tear the paper off.

If you are having trouble getting the paper off, you can use a seam ripper (or other pointy notion) to “cut” around the quilted lines.

This tears the paper further so that it comes out easily.

Here is the final result of some of my quilting using Golden Threads.