Purple Strips Donation Top & Back: Finished

Purple Strips donation top
Purple Strips donation top

Last Friday, I finished the back of the Purple Strips donation quilt. It is ready to go to Tim for his magic quilting.

I am pretty pleased with the way it turned out, though Mom vindicated my thoughts around using green. I might try something else in purple and green. Right now my purple scrap drawer is much reduced. I am hoping to reduce it more with the purple Improv donation quilt, but we will see.

Sewing FOTY 2017

Yes, I started to sew. Yes, I started to sew even though not all of the patches are on the design wall. I don’t have the space and am letting go of a little bit of the control.

FOTY 2017 - Sewing start
FOTY 2017 – Sewing start

I am fairly pleased with the overall layout. I think the colors are pretty much in the right place except for the light blue/blue-green. The gradation seems ok at the bottom, but might not work towards the top. I still have time.

I do end up having to trim blocks. It is fine as I will do it a little at a time. I am still figuring out the math on this one – what size to cut, so I don’t ruin anything.

Finished: Mod Lights

Mod Lights: Perfect Fit
Mod Lights: Perfect Fit

This tablerunner (buffet runner) is finished and I couldn’t be more pleased.

The photo, left, shows where it will go in my house during Christmas. I am pleased because I had to adjust the pattern slightly and it worked! The runner fits perfectly on top of my buffet.

Mod Lights Table Runner
Mod Lights Table Runner

As mentioned, this is a quick curve mini-ruler pattern from Sew Kind of Wonderful called Mod Lights. The pattern has 3-4 patterns, so you wouldn’t just be getting this one.

I used some Free Spirit solids bought at QuiltCon in 2018. They were lovely to work with-not much fraying and great colors. The green is a Pointillist Palette ombre I have had for awhile and the background is the same background I used for Metroscape.

I also did the quilting myself. I don’t do much quilting, but I decided it was too small to take to Colleen and I could do it. Also, I wanted it done, so I spent a Saturday quilting it very slowly. My body is still complaining a bit from the exertion.

Mod Lights Table Runner - back
Mod Lights Table Runner – back

I had some tension issues, but learned a bit about my machine in working them out. I didn’t see the computer display change as I adjusted the tension, but I did see a difference in the stitching, so I guess it worked.

Mondo Bag Start

You know that I often like to make projects multiple times to get the hang of the process. The other day, avoiding FOTY 2017 and having some time at Craft Night, I started on the Mondo Bag. I bought the pattern at Golden State a few weeks ago when I was in San Jose.

I have been wanting to make the larger size of this bag since I took the Scruffy Quilts Midi Bag class. I like the Midi bag and wanted to cement the process in my head. Recently I was thinking that my, as yet unstarted, new knitting project would fit better in a larger bag. Thus the perfect opportunity presented itself.

Mondo Bag start
Mondo Bag start

The process is that you press 2.5 inch squares on to an interfacing pattern, then fold and sew until you have a panel. Since I was at Craft Night, I pinned the squares to the interfacing. I did this for convenience, but also so I could contemplate the design before I pressed everything down permanently.

I am using Flow and Basic Mixology mini-charms. I had some packs from QuiltCon, I think, and they seem to go together well. Not perfectly, but well. So far, I am pleased with the results. The mini-charm packs have been hanging around for awhile. I was waiting for this project to come along so I could use them.

Finished: Aqua-Red Sampler

Aqua-Red Sampler finished
Aqua-Red Sampler finished

Shortly after I finished the binding on Metroscape, I started and finished the binding on this sampler. I am pleased to have another finish! With this finish, I am crossing something off the list that has been on it for a long time. That feels great.

I showed it at BAM last Saturday and I was gratified at the response. I don’t think this sampler looks fuddy-duddyish, but I wasn’t sure how that more modern audience would take it. They liked it and it makes me want to pull out the Handbag Sampler and get back to it. I do think I would like to make some smaller blocks to go in a new sampler I might start, like the Star Sampler.

Aqua-Red Sampler back - finished
Aqua-Red Sampler back – finished

Spiky 16 Patch Star n.3

Spiky Star donation quilt n.3
Spiky Star donation quilt n.3

I finally finished the Spiky 16 patch stars into a quilt top! This is the 3rd one of these quilts I have made. I have an idea for another one, but since I am working on scrappy strip quilts right now, they may have to wait.

It isn’t exactly 100% stellar but only because I could have arranged the blocks differently. It looks great and I have already handed it in to be quilted.

Spiky Star donation quilt n.3 -back
Spiky Star donation quilt n.3 -back

I am pleased that it went together so quickly. I was rearranging the Tutorials page and there were the directions for setting blocks on point. I took the bull by the horns and made the top. It really went together very quickly. I also found the perfect piece of Stonehenge that only needed a little piecing. Since I couldn’t finish the purple strip quilt, I was glad to have a donation top to hand in.

More Process in Purple Strip Donation Top

I finished all the blocks and began to think about the color of the plain blocks. Tim doesn’t like white backgrounds and since he will most likely quilt this top, I decided to look for something else.

Purple strip donation quilt with yellow-green
Purple strip donation quilt with yellow-green

Across from purple on my Studio Color Wheel is chartreuse. I admit this is a bold choice and I was thinking about it quite a bit before I went hunting for fabric. Finally, I decided that I needed to make visual decisions visually and cut up some fabric.

I like the boldness of the color combination, but something wasn’t quite right.

I was just about to sew it together when Tim saw the photo and suggested grey. Purple is hard for me to work with, because it really darkens my workroom to a depressing state. Adding grey made me think it would just get worse. I knew the yellow-green was the right color for the purple, so I found a couple of greys and tried it.

I chose the greys based on fabrics I didn’t think I would use for something else. These were both in that category because they have a taupe cast too them, which is not my preference for grey. I prefer the cooler white-greys.

Purple strip donation quilt with grey solid
Purple strip donation quilt with grey solid

Immediately, I knew that the grey solid (#1) was a much better choice. It will be suitable for a boy and isn’t too depressing.

I have begun sewing the plain blocks to the strip blocks.

I saved the green for another day.

Finished: Metroscape

Metroscape - finished
Metroscape – finished

I finished Metroscape a few weeks ago. I didn’t post it sooner because I just had the chance to snap a photo before I took it to guild last week.

I am still pleased with it and was encouraged to enter it into the fair, which means adding a rod pocket. I don’t have much else to add so I just might. It will, at least, impress a few people because of the curves. The machine quilted category is a tough one, but with the curves and the bold fabrics, this one might have a chance to win.

Metroscape back - finished
Metroscape back – finished

What this quilt makes me think about now is what to do next with the Quick Curve Rulers.

Purple Improv Donation Top in Process

Purple improv shard n.1
Purple improv shard n.1

As I said the other day, I still have a lot of purple scraps. I also found some large purple shards in my purple scrap bin. I immediately pulled these out and have decided to use them for another improv donation top like the Green Thing. I can’t say I’ll make a companion quilt to each strip quilt I make, but I have a lot of scraps and this seems like a good way to use them up.

I know these shards probably started out as potential journal covers. I don’t know why I didn’t finish them, but now they can go to a good home.

Purple improv shard n.2
Purple improv shard n.2

The triangular shard is really strange. I wonder what I was thinking when I made it. Of course, I have to make it into a square or rectangle, so I can use it. I do like it. If I can use lighter purples and lavenders around the triangle, I can preserve the triangle quality of the piece.

I have already added to the smaller piece shown above the triangular shard, using it as a leader as I was getting towards the end of the strip blockmaking.

Purple improv shard n.3
Purple improv shard n.3

The last shard is good sized as well. The three pieces make a nice start to a donation top. They are all purple and that is good, but I hope the shards go together well enough to make something cohesive.

I do know that I am finding all this purple on my design wall to be oppressive and dark. Perhaps that is my issue with the darker purples? I know I felt like this when I was working on the purple bullseye. I do know that I have a good start to the purple donation improv top and that pleases me.

FOTY 2017 Feeling Better

FOTY 2017-mid March layout
FOTY 2017-mid March layout

I rearranged all of the patches for FOTY 2017 and am feeling much better about the layout. I still have some design problems, but I feel like I am finally making good progress and am not feeling so much design despair.

The white and light patches will fill in the top of the piece to make it square.

Yes, colors need to be rearranged a bit and I need to slip in a column of turquoise, but otherwise I think this is basically the layout I will use. It is much better than my previous idea.

I know Angela loved the subway tile layout, but as a design concept, it wasn’t working. I may try that layout with smaller patches.

Again, my design wall cannot contain this series of quilts. I can’t tell you how frustrating this is. I have to figure out how to add 3 more columns to this piece without design wall support.

New Donation Blocks

Purple strip blocks
Purple strip blocks

I worked the other night while DH was out on clearing out my purple scrap bin. This resulted in a new set of blocks for BAM’s community quilting project.

There are a couple of duplicates as I had some long strips that resulted in two blocks.

There are also a lot of light scraps – lavender and very light purple. I was surprised at the variation in color. I don’t think I am a strictly dark purple lover.

I also made 6 more blocks than I did for the Green Strip quilt. I was on a roll and had the blocks in process before I realized how far along I was. It will be a slightly larger quilt. I haven’t decided what color to put with it for the plain blocks (I am using the same design as the Green Strip quilt). Chartreuse is across from purple on the color wheel I use.

I don’t feel like I used up enough of the purple scraps. The bin is definitely more empty, but still not empty enough. I even sorted out some super small pieces that would be much better as pet bed filling. Still I need to make more headway on purple scraps. Another similar quilt? Should I make this one larger?

Next FOTY?

First FOTY 2019??
First FOTY 2019??

This might be the beginning of FOTY 2019. The pieces are the same size as FOTY 2018 as I have the Ellsworth Kelly idea and I might want to do one with black squares and one with slate squares. I could also combine the two and do a FOTY 2018/19. I am getting behind now that FOTY 2017 is not jelling. I could probably skip FOTY 2017 and get to FOTY 2018, but that seems wrong to me.

Various & Sundry 2019 #3


A friend sent me another article about the health benefits of quiltmaking. This is, what I would call, a readable scholarly article. I am not familiar with the publication, but I always enjoy reading about the health benefits of my passion.

I didn’t know that Ruby McKim still had a website.

Sara over at Sew Sweetness is hosting a quilt fiction book club with projects. No idea on what the projects are or if there is a cost.

F&W Media, the ‘enthusiast’ company has filed for chapter 11 and will sell their assets. F&W is the owner of such quiltmaking properties as Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors. they also own book imprints such as Interweave (where they ruined their quilt history magazine), SewandSo, The Quilting Company (includes Fons & Porter), North Light Books, and Krause Publications, all publishers who produce quiltmaking books. You can find more business-type information on the Bloomberg page. Abby Glassenberg wrote a blog post about the sale of recent ceasation of publication of some of their magazines. In my opinion, the changes they made to the successful publications they purchased led to this situation. I hope someone better (Fortunoff??) will buy some of these former gems and restore them to their glory.

Projects, Patterns and Tutorials

Valerie has a portion of the latest scrap quilt by Charlotte Hawke posted on her blog. I really like the Trip Around the World look and putting it on point makes it even better. The post includes a description of mystery quilts and some of those Charlotte has designed.

Ronni of Road Home Quilting posted a Peaky & Spike tutorial. No special rulers required.

Knot and Design has a pattern for fabric and vinyl pouches that are interesting.

Lieblingsdecke has a really great cushion cover pattern using paper foundation piecing. If you need help foundation piecing, check out my tutorial.

Patti told us about a quilted scissor holder tutorial from Miss Sews-it-all. I went and found the 2015 post and may make some of those for gifts.

Doing Good

The Million Pillowcase challenge is still going strong. Their website has patterns and other information.

Theresa gave Sara of Sew Sweetness permission to share her document that gives information on the kind of yardage you need for Sew Sweetness patterns. This is a google Drive document and I have no control over it.


Someone pointed out a shop with lots of Kaffe Fassett (and Philip Jacobs!) fabrics: Sew Colorful.

Tips & Tricks

Two methods of seam ripping.

FOTY 2017 Back on the Design Wall

FOTY 2017 - second effort on the design wall
FOTY 2017 – second effort on the design wall

I resorted the patches and have started to arrange FOTY 2017 on the design wall. It isn’t going well.

Why? I don’t know. It just isn’t working.

I did some math and am thinking I need to make the piece 18 rows by 18 columns to make it square, though that does not use all of the patches. I could make it a little off square and make it 19 rows by 18 columns, but that would use more patches, which is my goal.

I have another idea to try.