Quilts · Something to Think About


PTQ is how I’ve taken to calling the Portuguese Tile Quilt since writing out the long name is tedious.  But tonight when my husband came upstairs to check on me (his cave is downstairs, mine is upstairs) and I said, we really have to go to Portugal.  Really, really.

Here’s my work in progress, which I’ll be posting on Lee’s blog Freshly Pieced, on her regular Wednesday Feature of WIP Wednesday (found *here.*)

Here I’m working the windmill effect, striving always to keep the pinks in the same place.  I had to cut some more blues, because I’d cut the first ones upside down and backwards.  And I have lots of black points, so I’m wondering if I gave the right amount in the how-to post?  Pretty sure I did.

I noticed that the pattern seemed to be lost in the fabric I chose, so this version is my trying an entire block of blue and an entire block of pink/orange.


I laid out what I had and decided I liked the not-square version of 5 rows by 6 rows.  It’s good to change your mind once in a while.

I decided to make up a batch of those “backward” blocks.  I placed one in here–spot the ringer?  I would be tempted to leave it in but it would drive my symmetry-loving husband nuts. I was just trying it.

I pressed the seams towards the black pinwheels on all pieces.  Then you have a lump in the middle, so clip a couple of stitching threads to release it, and pressing down with your thumb, “swirl” to flatten out that center.  This is the backwards block, so your seams will look reversed.

The back of the backwards block.

I was really tempted to sew this row by row, with no regard to the block.  But I need that block to be distinguishable in a subtle way, so decided to start piecing blocks together first, then sew them in rows.  That way the block will be its own entity before losing its identity to the overall tile pattern.

Just like my hair stylist who married a guy with four children.  I went in to get my hair cut today on her first day back at work since her honeymoon.  She said they spent a week on Maui, then got home late Saturday night. Monday morning, he went to work early and didn’t return until late.  She told me she went from “single woman” to “single Mom” in one week.  I admire her and think about her a lot because of my story: my husband Dave married me and my four kids.  He We survived, but even so, it doesn’t stop me from keeping her in my prayers, hopes and thoughts.

So as I work on this quilt, I think about how all of us are individuals with our own lives, quilts, loves, hates and troubles, and sometimes it just doesn’t seem to make sense until we put it all together and see the pattern.  I like that about quilts.  I like that about life, now that I’m old enough to discern some of those patterns now and again — one of the great advantages of hanging in there.

6 thoughts on “PTQ/WIP

  1. I’m going to make this thing, but in solids and yikes, you can go blind looking at it for more than a few seconds! Spotted the block, 2nd row, 2nd block, but who (except for your guy) would ever notice??!!
    And I’ve always wanted to go to Portugal, think it first called me when I was given a copy of “Sonnets from the Portugese” (was maybe 19) and then actually paid attention to the country! Anyway, love, love this quilt. And hooray for your hair stylist – she took a mighty big leap!

  2. Love the pattern but I can see how it can get confusing. I just did a pattern that happened that way and it was very confusnig but you just carry on and you it get right. One block at a time. I’m definitely going to try it and knowing it can get confusing will help. Thanks for the great tutorial too.

  3. I’ve been catching up on your blog too. I have subscribed before, but it hasn’t been coming up in my reader, so I must be better about checking in
    Your quilt looks great with all those fun fabrics.

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