Category Archives: quilting

Square Hearts

This one has been finished for a while now, but… you know how that goes… Tomorrow it is going to be gifted, so this was the last chance to get some pictures taken. Here it goes:


Is this upside-down? It was not my intention to make hearts, but you’ll see in the next one, the bright squares do look like hearts, right?


Quilting: not very exciting I must say. Straight line, both sides and close to the seam. This past year, and I mean school year, I have not done many projects, due to a few factors, heat being among top reasons. Here in Southern California we did not have a winter. Not that we ever have much of a winter, but we went straight from summer to summer. And not our usual mild summers (here on the west side), we had record highs almost once a month. Temperatures that we might get only in the first part of September, the hottest part if out summer. And we don’t have ac in our house and fans can do only so much. So you can imagine then how inspired I was to have a blanket over me for hrs at time while sitting in front of a machine in a hot room. Not so much. Anyway…


I did do something new on this one… The corners, see? I thought it would be fun and by the time I had all the squares and triangles (for edges) cut I was a little sick of cutting. I know it’s only four more triangles, but it’s four more triangles to cut!!!


I cannot believe I started making this quilt 1/1. I didn’t pull all the fabrics out at one time, I was selecting fabrics on the go. I started with this gray fabric with big flowers you see in the middle if the next picture. That was my color inspiration even though I think the whole color scheme did change as I progressed.


I started with the basic block you can see on the picture below: one 3×3 square and one 3×5.5 rectangle in bright fabric, and one 3×3 square In coordinating low volume fabric. When I finished all of those squares I had this:


I could have just added white squares to fill in, but that seemed a bit boring and unfinished. So I decided to go with a square made up of two white 3×3 squares and two low volume 3×3 squares which created the final pattern that seems a bit like bright and low volume ‘hearts’ are interlaced vertically. I really liked the outcome.

To finish this long post two more pics. And a wish that next year, that is next school year is cooler and more productive. See YOU in about 5 weeks.



Paper Piecing Play

Sunday afternoon I drew a pattern in illustrator, thought about how it could be pieced using a method similar to the one used for my Tolva quilt, but then realized it would be a pain to try to match up those kites and half hexagons. My next thought was… paper piecing. I have not tried paper piecing yet. I never had a need really. I though it would be tedious, messy and besides, I don’t mind the cutting process. But then this design came along and I needed to educate myself. These are the tutorials I used to go into my first paper piecing project:

Starry Night Quilt Block Tutorial by Fresh Lemons Quilts
Foundation Pieced Quilt – Design Phase by Dunawi Creek
Paper Pieced Kaleidoscope Tutorial by Pitter Putter Stitch
Hummingbird Quilt Block Tutorial by Red Pepper Quilts

And this is what I have to show for it… I made two of these diamond blocks, showing only one here. 20140325-221359.jpg What do I think? I am still not sure. It is a bit of a pain to cut the paper patterns (I never liked using templates to cut fabrics). I made a few mistakes and it’s not fun ripping a seam with such small stitch length. And then the paper is useless, so you have to either start again or use tape… tedious. I am hoping this would disappear once I get better at it. And then… this triangle (half of the block) pattern has only three pieces, or two seams, as you can see. So the fabric pieces are not attached at the corners, and then tend to curl up from the paper, especially after ironing. So when I tried to sew these two triangles together, I had to align the papers, while at the same time making sure that the fabrics is not slipping between the papers. Maybe there is another way? I don;t want to use glue. More pins? 20140325-221408.jpg And then the biggest disappointment – alignment (see above). One of the major benefits of this method is crisp, sharp points. Not so much for me. Can you see? I have a smaller problem on the other block, but it still does not match exactly. Why? I matched the papers perfectly. A little frustrated. But I am going to finish it. These are fairly small blocks (maybe that’s an issue?) so It will be a mini quilt. I will let you know how I feel after I make a few more of these…


This is the fourth and the last of the quilts I finished over the last few months. This one is for my mom. And my favorite. I have a few more quilt tops finished, but they might have to wait. A bit.


This is what the process looked like. I selected some fabrics I picked up at the Crate and Barrel outlet store (Marimekko), cut them up in panels, move them around the design board until I was happy with the colors, and then I started cutting and adding strips of the gray chambray. (You can see full sized pictures here)


I quilted with different color threads, simple straight lines.


I used gray thread for all quilting over the chambray.


Initially I planned to quilt in both directions, but when I finished this one, I thought it might be too busy. And, really, I need to finish it.


One more view of the front.


The back… I had a hard time figuring out what to use for the back. Nothing I had in my stash fit. So I did what I never do – I pieced the back, using the same fabrics I used in the top. Crazy, but I like it.


Scrappy binding.


Finished size: about 67 x 67 in.

Diamonds, really?

Yes, this quilt started as diamonds, but then turned into triangles. How, you might ask? A method similar to half square triangles, this would be half diamond triangles.


To be more specific… Remember this quilt? Of course you don’t šŸ™‚ I made this one over a year ago, using a method (similar to this) to get 4 half square triangle blocks out of two squares.


Similar to that, I made up my own method of sewing and then cutting up two big diamonds into 4 smaller half diamond triangle blocks. Put these 4 together, and you get a basic block for this quilt. I have taken pictures as I worked on this and I will post that soon. I promise.


Original design for this was to use just half diamond square blocks, which would result in about twice the size of the triangles. But when I put those up on the design wall… it just wasn’t working. There was just too much of too big color. This was much better. I was lucky I started with diamonds that were big enough to get these triangles – they are only about 21/4 in on the side. If I had started with a smaller diamond, the triangles would have been too small.


I had nothing in my stash for the back, and I wasn’t in the mood to piece it (never done it, really) so I went to my local fabric store and got this blue fabric. It has all the same colors I used in the top but they are a little muted. Not the best choice, but there it is.


I finished it by quilting 1/4 on both sides of diagonal lines.

Finished size: 43 x 45 in.

Herringbone variation

This is the second of the four quilts I finished recently. As always, I cannot come Ā up with a clever name for it, so Herringbone Variation it is. It was inspired by this quilt I found on Pinterest:

It seems that this quilt was pieced using rectangles, but it also seems that would be a nightmare to machine (or hand) piece. So my version used squares. Simple enough.


Originally, the plan was to make this a pillow case for an oversized pillow I have on my bed, but then I realized it would not match anything else in the room. Not willing to cut and add more squares (once I’m done with a design, I’m done) I added a border to it. Unfortunately I ran out of the linen I used for the central part, so if you look hard, you might be able to see that the border linen is a bit darker. But i don’t fret about things like that.


I usually like all-over quilting designs. I am not crazy when different areas of the quilt are quilted with different designs. But I did it here, it just seemed to fit. So alongside seams in the middle part, and a “spiral” around the border.

1 down. Quilted. Surprisingly easy even though the top was mostly linen.

I am not sure what I will do with this quilt. Because of all the linen (the purple linen used on the border is quite thin, which is why I quilted over it quite densely as you can see) I don’t think this quilt will be able to withstand frequent washes. But it’s not really a wall hanging. So?


This is the back. It was really hard to take a picture, and the color is not quite right, The background is much less blue. It is a nice purple, similar to the colors in the top.

Oh, did I say I quite like this one (unlike the Baby Quilt #2).

Finished size: about 48 in square.

Baby Quilt #2

This is not a second baby quilt I ever made. It is the second quilt I made cutting a bigger quilt top, into 2 baby quilts (take a look at the first one). I finished a bigger quilt top, set it aside waiting for an appropriate backing fabric to appear, when I realized I need a baby quilt for my son’s teacher in two days. The quilt top as it was, was way to big for a baby quilt, but cut simply into two pieces, it was too, small. Too narrow. The solution was to add some linen – for the first one, I added a single strip to widen it. For this one – which was even narrower, I added a few strips of linen between strips of squares of varying widths.


I planned to quilt straight lines along the width and length of the quilt, 1/4 in on both sides of seams, as I usually do when I have a simple grid like this. There was a problem however…. when I separated the strips of squares and added the linen between there was some distortion and the corners didn’t match anymore – so I could not quilt straight lines across the width, crossing the linen strips. They were not straight lines. I couldn’t even quit diagonal lines, for the same reason. I ended up quilting next to seam lines vertically, and then zig-zag lines down the strips.


The backing is a simple orange seer sucker fabric. You can see the quilting lines better here.

I am not so crazy about this one. The only thing that comes to my mind is… bla. I am not crazy about the squares arranged in strips. There was probably another arrangement I could have come up. I am not crazy about the quilting. I have to admit I really just wanted to finish it. Not too proud of it…


I do like binding… I used a thrifted sheet. It was a little thick to work with, but looks very nice.

And I do like the fabrics I chose. well, most of them. In retrospect, it took too much time to select all these fabrics to then get to a not so satisfying result. Oh well.

Finished size: 43 x 49 in.

Lina Quilt finished

Today I have a finished quilt to show off. It is a variation of the scrappy trip around the world block. I have seen these quilts pop up since the new year and really wanted to try one, but I wanted something a little different. Then I needed a baby quilt, and I had this idea… I will give you the details in the next post…

I always struggle with light in my studio. Actually, there is no good light anywhere in our house, so… bad pics… anyway: this is the top as it waited on the design wall.

If I can, I press the seam allowances open. I just like it better that way…

And this is the finished quilt. I waited for some sun, for three days, but then I could wait no more. I took it with me when we went to tennis on Wednesday, hoping that maybe at the park it would look better. But no so much. Oh, well.

These ended up about 1 x 1 in squares, so the quilting was quite dense. I used light blue thread that matched the lighter blue fabrics.

This quilt, just gifted today, was made for one of my son’s teachers, who is expecting her first baby. She was a teacher two both my boys in preschool, and we all loved her so much, that I just had to make a quilt for her… I hope she likes it.

The back… I remembered this fabric after I finished all the blocks. It fit the colors perfectly, and by some magic, it turned out to be one of the few fabrics I had more than 1 yard of (I usually buy half yards or even less). This is the first time my boys were interested in helping photographing… I think S actually took this last one.